You might enjoy [BrettSpielWelt.de]. This is a site where you can play boardgames (and some cardgames) for free online. Some of the classics available are SettlersOfCatan, Carcassonne, Caylus and PuertoRico. New games are included regularly, so this is the place to go if you want to test a game before buying it. Registration is not mandatory (but recommended - unregistered players have the reputation to often drop out of unfinished games - some players might not want to play with you). Grumpf is spending some time there. You can participate in tournaments and leagues for most games and generally have lots of fun wasting your time. It has a metagame with players advancing in an medieval ranking systems by playing games, groups of players founding cities and gathering in guilds which is quite nice, but noone forces you to enter the metagame.
I've had a look at that before, but didn't get sucked in. I can't recall - is there a client download, or is all web-based? I'm happy with a small Java Web Start type download, but I'd prefer not to have to get a huge standalone client. --CH
It can be played either way. You can play it within your browser OR download the standalone client. The client (only 1.5 MB if you have Java already installed) offers much more comfort (configurable menus, keyboard shortcuts for commands etc), higher image resulution and shortens loading times (downloads the backgrounds and other stuff if needed for the first time). Browser-based is nice for a first look, but once you have seen the client you usually don't want to miss it anymore --Grumpf
Buy games online
Can anybody recommend a good place to buy BoardGames online? Preferably in the UK? Or do the postage costs make it boil down to "ask your local BoardGame shop to order them"? --AlexChurchill
Leisure Games in Finchley aren't bad - [www.leisuregames.com] - postage is usually about 10% of what you've spent with a minimum of 80p and a maximum of £7.50 -- Jay As an aside, I ordered a couple of games from these guys this week. This evening I got a phone call. Apparently the guy who runs Leisure Games moved to Cambridge to live a few months ago and he rang up to ask if I'd like to save on the postage and have him deliver me the games. Not bad service :) -- Jay
[Games from Pevans] offers an mixture of games from smaller companies which are harder to find from elsewhere. It seems to be cheaper than the others on this page, but the range of games is rather limited. It's run by a friend of mine, so if you have any problems, let me know and I'll beat him up for you. --Angoel
Ok, next silly question. Why are all new BoardGames?German or Spanish?? It certainly feels that way.
Because the market in Germany is a lot bigger, and thus it is profitable to produce new board games there --Angoel
And while I'm ranting, do these people not BetaTest? their rule-books for self-consistency? --Vitenka
I suspect they do... just with people less pedantic than us ;) It's not normally too bad, though. In the cases where it is, the relevant BoardGameGeek page usually has clarifications or suggested house rules on it. --AlexChurchill
I give you 'Netzwerk' as a truly bad example, and 'Warrior' for plain buggy rules. Even 'Age of steam' has "Bad game designer, no cookie" flaws in it. I'll have to dredge up that website before going to the next gameplay day. --Vitenka
That's not too surprising. All of those are from wee, little one-or-two man hand-to-mouth companies. --Angoel
Fair enough - but it still took us less than a minute to find and fix about four flaws. (Two of the problems were simple "you have used the same colour for two unrelated things" bugs, one was "use counters to keep track of this or risk accidental beneficial cheating" and age of steam had an abolutely classic "the colours on the cards don't match the colours on the board" Netzwerks basic mnechanic also seemed opaque - but I think that was deliberate.) --Vitenka
I seem to be getting TubeGame published. Are you interested in BetaTest?ing the rule book? --Angoel
Learning new games
Pallando asks: What is your preferred way of learning how to play a board game that is new to you? Learn all the rules first, then start playing, or learn the minimum require to do the first turn, and have things explained as you go along? Do you prefer to know first what to do, or why to do it? (IE: "You place a brown piece on that square there, then you have 4 further brown pieces that you must place, one per square, on squares connected diagnonally with squares you already have a piece in." or "You gain one victory point for each different type of terroritory you control during the scoring phase."). Do you prefer to read a rule book, watch the game being played, or have someone explain it to you verbally? Do you prefer to listen and think while having it explained, then ask questions at the end, or do you prefer to ask questions and test understanding as you progress?
For me, I prefer to know the motivation first from verbal explanation backed up by reading the scoring table in the booklet, followed by a verbal explanation of the pieces and terminology (eg "these brown pieces are called soldiers, these squares are called lands and there are 5 types of them: wood, stone, ..."), followed by a narrated demonstration of the basic mechanics of what you do during a turn (the structure of the round, how pieces are moved), followed by a question and answer period joining the two together sufficiently to let one make decisions about tactics and strategy, followed by starting the game and having the detailed explanations done during play. --Pallando
Personally, I like the spiral method. A quick 'this game is about, here is what you do, here is why you do it.' Followed by the details. Followed by more in-depth exploration as needed. I don't want to have everything in a big wodge up front, I want to be able to call off the explanation at any point and begin, but the point at which I'd call it off varies a lot. --Vitenka
I like to completely read the rulebook first, then if someone's played it before see an example turn, then launch straight in. --MoonShadow
Slightly DevilsAdvocate, but only slightly: "No, because monopoly and cluedo are both fun and comprehensible, as opposed to neither." --Vitenka
I just spotted this comment. I'd advise anyone who doesn't know the games in question to play them (preferably with people who've played them before) and make up their own mind. Given that Vitenka's usual comments are known for being flagrant overstatements, I'll let you draw your own conclusions about a statement that he himself suggests might be a bit DevilsAdvocate. ;) --AlexChurchill (although everyone's tastes and experience differ, PuertoRico is the #1 rated game by multiple online board gaming communities for a reason)
SF thinks this rating should be taken with a couple of salt mines, since as far as he's aware there's no online boardgaming community larger than Cat-23 or DipPouch?, which might just perhaps favour AvalonHill?'s wonderful Diplomacy? over PuertoRico?
The problem with this discussion is, our points of view on PuertoRico correlate too well with the sides we're arguing. But FWIW, I'm not claiming myself that PuertoRico is the best BoardGame ever. I just didn't want those who don't know anything about the game to be put off by a Vitenkaism that seems endearing if you know him, but could be taken as a serious condemnation by those who don't. --AC
Awww. I've been fluffled. Fair enough - the above is only my opinion blah blah blah you have the right to disagree, you'll just be wrong if you do so. There :) --Vitenka
Well, the vitriol is mainly aimed at settlers, which I've had to play. I just loathe that type of game. I find myself unable to visualise far enough ahead to play with any effectiveness. --Vitenka
And you like games that you can play without having any need to work out what's going to happen next... fair enough. --Angoel
Not quite - I really like working out what happens next - but the game has to be simple enough for me to do so. --Vitenka
"Players are commonly expected to maximize their personal position even when they have no chasAe ofwuiiisiig." MtG terms I don't recognise? Unattended Dasher? Cat on keyboard? --Rachael (Oh - I suppose it could be a very bad OCR of "chance of winning". But the rest of the article isn't like that.)
It is indeed very bad OCR of "chance of winning". If you look at the thumbnail of the original printed article, you can see it's got a funky blue line through that line of text, which obviously convinced the OCR software that it was a line of "i"s. The OCR of article #9 seems to be worse at italics, judging by the one-sentence author bio in italics at the end. --AC
Anyone else think "What Were You Thinking?" (article 32) sounds really rather fun? --CH
Yes :) It reminds me of Compatibility, Scruples, and most of all a couply game we played with AmyRobinson and TifferRobinson?, where you get asked these kinds of questions and get points for your answers matching your partner's. --Rachael