"Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle [...]"
- John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
TWILIGHT STRUGGLE is a card-driven board game simulation of the Cold War. It has been called a game of crisis management
; dealing with them yourself, creating them for your opponent, and their proper timing. There is a extensive blog about the game, Twilight Strategy
. This is that site's article on starting out play. This page could help you decide if it's for you. ("Do you enjoy games that are extremely tense and nerve-wracking?") Here's a YouTube video on how to play it.
And, although I suggest learning to play with a physical set, the online multiplayer wargaming client Warroom has a Java Twilight Struggle client/server program available
. There is also a VASSAL module
, but it currently doesn't work with VASSAL 3.2 or later. There's a lot more on the game after the break.... [more inside]
In November 2007, a new board game called Yavalath was invented. The rules of Yavalath are simple: Players take turns adding a piece of their colour to a hexagonal board and win by making four-in-a-row of their colour – but lose by making three-in-a-row beforehand. Yavalath has proven reasonably popular as its simple rules allow interesting and surprising situations to develop due to its innovative win with four but lose with three winning condition. But Yavalath is really set apart from the many other board games invented in 2007 by one remarkable fact: Yavalath was designed by a computer programme. [more inside]
Matthew Baldwin (MeFi's Own*
): " ...That’s why I come armed to every social engagement with board games, to help facilitate that whole human interaction thing that people thought was important before smartphones gave us an excuse to avoid eye contact with others. It’s also why I give games as gifts—and why, for more than a decade, I have been helping others do likewise. And so, my annual Good Gift Game guide
, showcasing those board and card games from the last year or so that are easy to learn and teach, fun and engrossing to play, and that can be completed in 90 minutes or less." (additional notes & more games for the 2012 guide
) [more inside]
Flash Friday: Written for Ludlum Dare 23
, Super Strict Farmer
is a flash game that plays like a light version of the popular Eurogame Agricola. If you have trouble figuring out how to play, the rules are in the comment thread. [more inside]
Free, print-and-play Bioshock Monopoly
. That is all.
If you're occupying a financial center, you might want to pass the time with a game of Monopoly
. Though Hasbro gives ahighly contested
" asserting that the game was invented by an unemployed Philadelphia man, it actually originated 30 years earlier as The Landlord's Game
, an anti-capitalist protest
against the movement of wealth from poor to rich via real estate profiteering. Designed
by a Georgist
Quaker woman, Elizabeth Maggie, in 1904, it was published by her Economic Game Company
, but also spread far and wide - including in circles of socialist-leaning academic economists like Scott Nearing
- as a hand-drawn and independently printed folk game
. [more inside]
Tabletop: Analog Game Design
- A commons licenced book containing a series of essays about digital and non-digital games from some esteemed boardgame veterans: "Much has been written about the videogame revolution, [...] In a scant thirty some-odd years,
we’ve grown from nothing to one of the world’s largest entertainment
forms, grossing tens of billions annually [...] Works that discuss the evolution of the game industry from an historical perspective generally talk about the connection between the pre-digital
arcade and the earliest digital games; I’ve even heard some claim
that “without the arcade, videogames would not exist.” This is, of course, bosh..." [more inside]
mastermind Markus "Notch" Persson has officially announced
his company's next project: a hybrid online board game/trading card system
. Spearheaded by Mojang co-founder Jakob Porser (interview
) and with backstory penned by Penny Arcade wordsmith Jerry "Tycho" Holkins, the game will consist of turn-based battles between collectible "scrolls," illustrated character cards
strategically deployed on an abstract gaming grid. In an interesting inversion of the Minecraft
model, the game itself will be free, while updates in the form of additional scroll packs will cost a nominal fee -- a business model gaming analyst Sean Maelstrom decries as "snake oil."
Mojang, for their part, is unafraid and even eager to target an untested slice of the gaming market, and is angling to get their playable prototype of Scrolls
ready for a possible Alpha release this summer.
PanzerBlitz is a tactical-scale board wargame of armoured combat set in the Eastern Front of the Second World War. The game is notable for being the first true board-based tactical-level, commercially available conflict simulation (wargame). It also pioneered concepts such as isomorphic mapboards and open-ended design, in which multiple unit counters were provided from which players could fashion their own free-form combat situations rather than simply replaying pre-structured scenarios. (related)
World Wars 2
, sequel to the hex-wargame
-inspired World Wars
, has been released. [more inside]
FrugalWeekendFunFilter: Zombie In My Pocket
is a free print-and-play
solitaire boardgame that only uses three sheets of paper
. Elegantly designed and well balanced, it has inspired a bunch of alternate versions, from Wolfenstein in my Pocket
to the classic-dungeon-crawl-inspired Dungeonquest in my Pocket
to Star Wars in my Pocket
. (Complete list of variants and user-created scenarios
- all are free.) There's also a cellphone version
, if paper-and-ink isn't your thing.
- how The Settlers of Catan redefined board games.
Play board games during the holidays? Try an updated version
of an old classic
. You can indulge in as much sex, drugs, crime, and rock and roll as your health will handle, just don't roll a 1 on your first turn or you'll be aborted before you get started. [more inside]
Snowed in this weekend? Done with your Christmas shopping? Perhaps you're in no mood to shop anymore. Gather your friends together for a low-tech round of The Economist's Credit Crunch Board Game
For all of you who remember Cosmic Encounter, a java version of it has been released.
Of course, this happened several years ago, I just forgot about it until now. It's a fun game, if you can find the people to play it with!