Board Gamer Toy Drive 2017 – Updated

The Thomas Fire has greatly affected people in our local area. People have lost their homes, and their livelihoods. Our local community is hurting. Let’s help with the rebuilding. With Christmas fast approaching things are especially hard on the kids.

Board Gamers Toy Drive
Toy Drive for those in Ventura County affected by the Thomas Fire

So, we are holding a Toy Drive. We are gamers who can help people through the power of learning and play. For more details see the Toy Drive page.

Bring along NEW Toys, Games, and School Supplies to a Meetup, or get them to Tim or April-Lyn of the VCSB Meetup; or Blake, Chris, or Julia of the Simi Valley Games Meetup.

Help in anyway you can; donate money via places like the red Cross. People need all sorts of basic items. Every little bit helps.

Update – 21st December

Yesterday, I took a dozen bags full of new, and much needed, items to the Boys and Girls Club Thrift store in Ventura. The pop-up store was winding down and had passed their role onto the B&G Club store on N. Ventura Blvd.
Items donated to the Toy Drive
A dozen bags of items were collected, and donated. Many thanks.
 Many thanks to all the help and the donations for the BoardGamers Toy Drive, including: Christieann, Kimberly, Sudro, Kathy G, April-Lyn, and Brian (from Game Ogre in Westlake Village).

Many thanks for all the donations.

 
The items included: games, toys, school supplies (binders, books, pencils, highlighters), and hygiene products (tampons, wipes, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, deodorant). All of these types of items, and more, are still required.

 

Tim

14th December 2017 (Updated 21st December 2017)

Clank! And 101st Anniversary

A Game That Does It Right

 

Clank! box cover
Clank! box cover

Clank! A Deck Building Adventure has been getting a lot of plays since I acquired it last December (2016). For a game that uses many common mechanics it just works well. It is also a game that works for me even though the theme is not a big draw.

  • It is a deck-building game, nothing revolutionary there. The cards are easy to understand. There are no complex icons to remember.
  • The theme is understandable. Go into the dungeon and steal things from the dragon, and get out alive!. No pressure.
  • There is drama. The drawing of damage cubes from the bag creates plenty of tension.
  • The players have choices. The players can play it safe and steady, or fast and loose.
  • It plays fast enough.
  • Suitable for beginners, and experienced players alike.
  • It’s expandable. More cards, different boards make for a varied and re-playable game.

It is always a pleasure to find a solid game that does it right. The gameplay is sound, despite being on the light-medium difficulty level. The cards are easy to comprehend. Despite not being the type of game that I would go for, I am glad I bought it. It is the game that Thunderstone should have been.

 

Tuesday Nights

Last week we had over our limit with 36 attendees. We had so many signups we had people on standby in the hope that we could find space for them. We accommodated everyone a little big of juggling, and having good table loading. We managed to fit everyone by ensuring the our tables were well loaded with people. A 6 player game around one table helped a lot.

This week we had only 27. Only one of the newbies came back. Just when I thought the attendance numbers were growing again they drop down to new norm of the high 20’s.

 

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The Somme 101st Anniversary – The Big Push After Action Report

July the 1st was the 101st Anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme. After visiting the Somme battlefields last year I finally got to play the only wargame that cover the battle. Here is my After Action Report, with lots of pictures from my Somme trip.

Tim

2nd July 2017

Gamer fatigue and the growth of the hobby

Some interesting points on the growth of the hobby. As a lifelong board gamer I want the hobby to grow steadily without a bust cycle. We will have to see how the growth curve progresses.
Tim

Formal Ferret Games

In a recent episode of Breaking Into Board Games, we discussed our predictions about 2017. One of my predictions was that we would start seeing a cap on attendance at larger conventions. I wanted to continue on that subject with a wider lens, looking at a possible scenario we may be facing in the coming years.

The board game industry is growing at an explosive rate (revenue from hobby board games grew 56% from 2014 to 2015; I’d expect similar numbers when the numbers come in for 2016), and I’ve heard a few pundits indicate that there’s no end in sight. As an independent board game designer/publisher, I certainly hope that’s the case.

But I always try to plan for contingencies, and part of that is planning for the possibility that this explosive growth slows, stops, or even reverses.

To be honest, I would expect the hobby to continue…

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10×10 Challenge update and Upcycling Punchboards

The page with my latest 10×10 Challenge for 2017 has been updated. I am making progress but I have concerns on making all of the categories.

IMG_2715
10×10 Challenge

Christieann took some photos of used punchboards being used as drawing templates in her classroom. It is a great example of upcycling. You can find out more here.

Upcycle board game punchboards
Upcycle (or resuse) the punched countersheets as drawing templates for younger kids.

 

Mid-Week update – 22nd March 2017

Along with a recent update on the gaming last Saturday at Game Empire, I recently finished an article on Analysis Paralysis, the article is long and I found myself rambling on, as I often do. I hope people find it useful as it does contain some useful tips on redicing the effects of AP. A poll on the BoardGameGeek page on Facebook was created to gather peoples opinion of games that suffer from AP.

I recently meet a game designer, Chris Renshall, at Carrows the other week, he’s a nice lad and we have started a friendly rivalry after he beat me at Qwixx by one point. I have added Chris’s website to the Useful links page.


We had a good crowd last night in Newbury Park with 27 in attendance. Despite the threat of rain, Mark drove down from Goleta.

A recent newcomer to the group, Spenser, is having a blast with every new game he plays. After extolling the virtues of BSG to him last week. I was happy that we roped him into a 6-player game of Battlestar Galactica (aka BSG). Teaching BSG is tough. The mechanics are quite simple, yet the permutations are huge. It does require a lot of regular games to get good at BSG. We play BSG a lot, it is one of our go-to games, so hopefully he will become a regular cylon player.

Larry taught Greg how to play the new version of Through The Ages. I am interested in learning this, yet have yet to take the plunge.

Games played last night included:

Strasbourg, Star Wars Rebellion, Through The Ages, Power Grid, Ticket To Ride, Terraforming Mars, Concordia, Clank!, and Battlestar Galactica.

VCSB Meetup 21st March 2017
Some of the games played at the VCSB Meetup 21st March 2017
montage 2
Other games played at the VCSB Meetup 21st March 2017

 

Tim