🔥 Gentes Nemesis

Jun 10
2021

Engelstein’s “Achievement Relocked” And The Nature of Error

The Thoughtful Gamer

Geoff Engelstein is one of the best people in board gaming at teasing out and explaining the complex factors that go into game design and game experiences. His contributions to the Ludology podcast and his GameTec segments alone have dramatically improved my understanding of games. His encyclopedia of game mechanisms with Isaac Shalev is an … Engelstein’s “Achievement Relocked” And The Nature of Error Read More »The post Engelstein’s “Achievement ...


Jun 04
2021

Jun 02
2021

Podcast Episode 82: Reiner Knizia

The Thoughtful Gamer

Amber and Marc are here to talk about perhaps the most prolific board game designer of all time: Reiner Knizia. Going strong since the early 90’s, Knizia is a master of making a game no more complex than needed. His games are straightforward and clear–something we see less and less of. Weirdly, this episode is … Podcast Episode 82: Reiner Knizia Read More »The post Podcast Episode 82: Reiner Knizia ...


May 28
2021

Battle Line Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

I love the part in war movies where the battle is about to happen. Everyone is ready. Plans are set. Death is coming and everyone has a moment to reckon with that truth. The Two Towers did it best with the Helm’s Deep battle. I’m sure in real life, even in pre-gunpowder face to face … Battle Line Review Read More »The post Battle Line Review appeared first on The ...


May 21
2021

Arraial Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

I’m glad I do written reviews because I have absolutely no clue how to pronounce Arraial. I looked up how to pronounce Arraial and I have more questions now than before. As best as I can tell if you try to gurgle some marbles you’ll get close. I feel a kinship with the subjects of … Arraial Review Read More »The post Arraial Review appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


May 15
2021

Podcast Episode 81: A Conversation with Dan Kazmaier about Chai: Tea For 2

The Thoughtful Gamer

Dan and I chat about game design, his experience as a top-tier chess player, and, of course, tea! Check out Steeped Games and the Chai: Tea For 2 Kickstarter, live now. 0:00 — Creation of both Chai games10:16 — Dan’s history with board games12:25 — Dan’s experience as a Chess Master35:39 — Chess influencing modern … Podcast Episode 81: A Conversation with Dan Kazmaier about Chai: Tea For 2 Read ...


May 06
2021

Podcast Episode 80: Solo

The Thoughtful Gamer

I’m by myself talking about solo games. I got a bit experimental with this one. I hope you enjoy. 0:32 — A note on silence3:43 — Solo games6:10 — Arraial7:35 — My thoughts on the Fantasy Flight Arkham games15:37 — Arkham LCG24:30 — Unbroken32:40 — Nemo’s War44:26 — Spring emerges, literally and figuratively Music: Sailing The … Podcast Episode 80: Solo Read More »The post Podcast Episode 80: Solo appeared first ...


Apr 20
2021

Stay Cool Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

A quick description might suffice as a review of Stay Cool. You’re going to know pretty easily if it’s the kind of game you’ll enjoy. More precisely, you’re going to know if it’s the kind of game you will not enjoy. Stay Cool is a party game about stress. I enjoy stress at my parties, … Stay Cool Review Read More »The post Stay Cool Review appeared first on The ...


Apr 16
2021

New Video Series: I Respond To Your Hot Takes

The Thoughtful Gamer

Here’s a bit of fun. I solicited some board game hot takes from twitter and in this video I respond to a few. Let me know what you think!The post New Video Series: I Respond To Your Hot Takes appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


Apr 10
2021

Podcast Episode 79: A Conversation With Cole Wehrle

The Thoughtful Gamer

I was delighted to sit down with one of our most interesting historical and conflict game designers, Cole Wehrle. The discussion starts with talking about the second edition of John Company (on Kickstarter right now) before wandering to the the rest of his designs as we talk about the ways games can portray history or … Podcast Episode 79: A Conversation With Cole Wehrle Read More »The post Podcast Episode ...


Apr 08
2021

Scrumpy: Card Cider Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

Scrumpy is on Kickstarter for the next couple of weeks. If you only looked at an image of Scumpy on the table you’d be forgiven for getting a bit of the ol’ eye glaze. Looking every bit the model of a modern mid-weight eurogame, it wears its aesthetics like camouflage. But look a bit deeper … Scrumpy: Card Cider Review Read More »The post Scrumpy: Card Cider Review appeared first ...


Mar 30
2021

1861/1867 Unboxing

The Thoughtful Gamer

This is the best looking 18xx game I’ve seen. Check it out!The post 1861/1867 Unboxing appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


Mar 25
2021

Podcast Episode 78: 18xx Revisited

The Thoughtful Gamer

Marc, Orion, and Ben have been playing all sorts of 18xx games over the past year, and they’re here to compare and contrast the five they’ve played the most. How much variation is there within this sub-sub-genre of game? What kind of dynamics do different rule variations create? Which is the best starter game? What … Podcast Episode 78: 18xx Revisited Read More »The post Podcast Episode 78: 18xx Revisited ...


Mar 16
2021

Check Out This Spirit Island Insert Video

The Thoughtful Gamer

I got a 3d printer and started by printing out an insert for my favorite game–Spirit Island. Check out some sweet, sweet organization below.The post Check Out This Spirit Island Insert Video appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


Mar 02
2021

Pocket Paragons Review

The Thoughtful Gamer

I don’t know why Pocket Paragons exists. The two player dueling card game is an exceptionally crowded space, even if you exclude the CCG behemoths. I remember going to BostonFIG a couple of years ago and every other game was some variation on this dynamic. I wanted to ask each of them if they thought … Pocket Paragons Review Read More »The post Pocket Paragons Review appeared first on The ...


Feb 21
2021

Podcast Episode 77: A Conversation With Sean Chappell About Hivernation

The Thoughtful Gamer

I sat with Sean Chappell from Ramstar Games to talk about their first release: Hivernation. We discuss the design process for this abstract game as well as the challenges of being a first-time designer and publisher. Hivernation will be on Kickstarter April 13th. 1:01 — A little about Hivernation3:23 — Origins of the design7:20 — … Podcast Episode 77: A Conversation With Sean Chappell About Hivernation Read More »The post ...


Feb 16
2021

3 Impressions, 3 Questions: Union City Alliance

The Thoughtful Gamer

Orion and I got a sneak peek at Union City Alliance, a new cooperative superhero deckbuilding game now on Kickstarter. We give our initial thoughts and speculations on this impressive game after one play.The post 3 Impressions, 3 Questions: Union City Alliance appeared first on The Thoughtful Gamer.


Feb 09
2021

Podcast Episode 76: Conventions in the Time of COVID — With Kimberly Revia

The Thoughtful Gamer

I sit down with Kimberly, one of the co-organizers of the excellent Granite Game Summit, to talk about how to run a great board game convention. And, now that everything is necessarily virtual, how do you continue to keep that community alive? 1:01 – Origins of the Granite Game Summit9:10 – Keeping a convention safe … Podcast Episode 76: Conventions in the Time of COVID — With Kimberly Revia Read ...


Feb 07
2021

5 Strategy Tips for Lost Cities

The Thoughtful Gamer

Lost Cities is a perfect example of Knizian elegance. It calls to mind a sort of dance or duet as opponents tip-toe around giving each other aid while trying to hold on as long as possible before cashing in points. I’ve found it perhaps a bit too mesmerizing as an “in between meetings” diversion over … 5 Strategy Tips for Lost Cities Read More »The post 5 Strategy Tips for ...


Jan 29
2021

Slay the Spire and Randomness Tolerance

The Thoughtful Gamer

Over the last few weeks I’ve returned to Slay the Spire as my digital relaxation game of choice. It’s as brilliant and brutal as ever, and I’m bumping up against ascension levels that test the limits of my skills. If you haven’t yet played Slay the Spire, you should. It’s a game created with such … Slay the Spire and Randomness Tolerance Read More »The post Slay the Spire and ...