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My Origins 2017 Highlight Reel

For those of you out there who may not know, Origins is like the American version of the U.K. Games Expo. Think of it as our U.S. Open to your Wimbledon. (What's that? No, it's a tennis tournament. We have one of those over here too. It happens after Wimbledon. Well, it's kind of a big deal. I mean, I thought it was a big deal. Nevermind.)

So Origins is a gaming convention held in Columbus, Ohio in June each year. I went for the first time last year. And couldn't wait to go back this year. The Fun Group didn't go (losers!) but I went with the Hubz and two of our gaming friends from back in the day. I won't bore you with a detailed play-by-play, I'll just hit the highlights.

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Board game terminology: a guide

Contributor Zara Shoosmith recently wrote an article about board game terminology and how their widespread use in conversations can be confusing and intimidating to new gamers. I am guilty of assuming that everyone will understand when I use a term such as 'king-making'; I do not use the term to consciously exclude people from the conversation but that is in fact a likely result. This whole topic is an issue I had not considered before; joining a board game group already has significant barriers to entry and we must do what we can to make new gamers as comfortable as possible. In future I will try to make sure that if I use jargon, I immediately offer an explanation to those who may not understand. If you are a new gamer, there is also something you can do: read around the topic, consume lots of board game media and, if necessary, consult this handy reference guide designed to explain terms that you may come across.

Confused Peter looking at a dictionary

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Kodama: a review. The family game with depth.

Background

Kodama: The Tree Spirits was released in 2016, designed by Daniel Solis and originally published in English by Action Phase Games and Indie Boards and Cards.

Kodama box

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I find making friends hard; gaming helps

I have suffered with depression for a number of years now; it's hard to say exactly how long. Thankfully, unlike millions of other similarly-afflicted people in the world, I'm a board gamer. Out in the real world, being an introvert hinders my ability to make friends and depression and anxiety symptoms have done nothing to improve this. If you can relate to this then my first piece of advice would be to go to a regular gaming group. Emma and I had lived in Bromsgrove for 4 years by the time I formed Bromsgrove Board Gamers. How many good friends had I made in that time? Not many. Fast forward another 3 years and we have made some great friends, all through the joys of gaming.

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Top Ten quick 2 player games

Many games are advertised as suitable for 2 players but really only shine with more. Here is a Top Ten list of games that work very well with 2 players and are played in approximately 15-30 minutes. They are also readily available to purchase at the time of publishing- see links and prices below.

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Hello, I don't speak board games

So, I recently joined a board games group. For context, I have always loved board games. My family and friends also enjoy board games. It’s just unfortunate that they don’t enjoy board games half as much as I do. Consequently, after over a decade of patient participation I decided to give my loved ones a break and indulge my ludological longings elsewhere.

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Emerson Matsuuchi: an interview with the designer of Specter OPS

Those who know me know that I love games in the 'hidden movement' genre. On New Year's eve I published my top 50 games in a blog on boardgamegeek with Specter OPS top of the pile. It is my favourite game so I decided to seek an interview with the designer, Emerson Matsuuchi. Here is that conversation, for your enjoyment. You can also click here for our Specter OPS review.

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Waggle Dance: a review

Background

Waggle Dance was released in 2014 by Grublin Games and designed by Mike Nudd. As is standard operation for Cornwall-based publishers Grublin Games, the game was crowdfunded by a Kickstarter campaign and is now available from retailers. Speaking personally, it can be frustrating when a game is created for a Kickstarter campaign but then unavailable for those who didn't back it. No fear of that with Grublin Games: we salute you!

Waggle Dance

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