四畳半ペーパー賽系 (Yojōhan Pēpā Saikei)

Designer: Shimamuranao (シマムラナオ)
Artist: Yamauchi Rock Boy (ヤマウチロックボーイ)
Publisher: ハレルヤロックボーイ (Hallelujah Rockboy)
Players: 1-100
Ages: 10+
Times Played: 7 on a purchased copy

四畳半ペーパー賽系 is a game about how you’ll spend your last year of college life.  Balancing romance, schoolwork, friendships, hobbies, and a part-time job. Who’ll have the most fulfilling time, as they fill in their four-and-a-half tatami mat room with memories.

For me, it was just a final semester. Romance was a fiancee 13 hours away.  Schoolwork was, well, I should’ve followed through better in that computer science class.  Friendships were subleasing Mike’s room while he was in Bulgaria for the semester, meaning Vinnie and Casey as roommates with Sunday trips to the Urbana farmer’s market and friends for dinner. The ceramics work that had started as a hobby had become school work too, and was expanding in both of those arenas. The part-time job was in the “RBX”, the rare book room. 

…but that’s not the intro to this review.  

I can’t focus and the words aren’t coming to me.

Let’s watch a little something.

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Resources for Gamers in the Era of Social Distancing (Article by Chris Wray)

Social distancing is interrupting countless game nights and events, and with an uncertain end date, many of us gamers are finding new ways to enjoy the hobby we love.  I wanted to write some of my discoveries and observations.  

Dale had an excellent and fun article about gaming in the era of social distancing a few days ago. I wanted to offer my own thoughts here, and a few more people chimed in below.

As a preliminary matter, many writers here at the Opinionated Gamers serve in the medical field, so thanks to them for their diligent work on the front lines!  Dale, Lorna, Tery, and everybody else I’ve forgotten, thank you for everything you’re doing right now!

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Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 17

Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!

If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.

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Chrono Corsairs (Game Review by Brandon Kempf)

  • Designers: John Brieger & Vincent Hirtzel
  • Artist: Matt Paquette
  • Publisher: Tasty Minstrel Games
  • Players: 2-5
  • Time: 60-75 Minutes
  • Times Played: 2

Groundhog’s Day — the movie — and Pirates, those are pretty nerdy things, right? So when I cast my eyes upon the newest title, Chrono Corsairs, and saw that it combined things from both of those into an area control/majorities game I was instantly curious as I love those things. To top it all off, it was a return to medium box games for Tasty Minstrel Games, which I think they do far better than small box games. 

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Dale Yu: Review of Wizard Würfelspiel

Wizard Würfelspiel

  • Designer: Daan Kreek
  • Publisher: AMIGO
  • Players: 2-5
  • Age: 10+
  • Time: 20 minutes
  • Times played: 7 with review copy provided by AMIGO

In Wizard Würfelspiel, players bid on the results of seven magical dice.  Results are recorded on a paper scoresheet, but this isn’t a typical roll-and write.  In each round, players bid on how many symbols of a certain color will be rolled on the seven dice. The six-sided dice feature blue, red, yellow, and green symbols on four faces, along with a wizard on a fifth face and a joker on the sixth.

At the start of the round, the active player makes a bid for the round on his score sheet, a bid that specifies a color and a number from 1-5, e.g., blue-4. He marks this by drawing a circle in the corresponding spot in the grid on his sheet.  In turn, each other player places a bid that differs from all other bids placed this round. After all the bids, the active player then sets the color that jokers will be counted as in this round.

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Posted in Essen 2019, Reviews | 2 Comments

How to Host a Game Night – Book Cover Reveal

I’ve played board games since childhood, and as an adult I dove into hobby headfirst in 1999 after being introduced to modern games like Settlers of Catan. Board games are central to many of my favorite memories, like…

The time a group of us played the entire campaign of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 over a single weekend.

The time my wife and I introduced one of my older sisters to Saboteur and saw just how suspicious and conniving she can be.

The time I was the last player remaining in Ra and had a 50-50 shot of pulling the one tile that would give me the win… and lost.

The many times (far too many to count) that I nearly passed out from laughing so hard playing Time’s Up.

The time a good friend told me his house burned down and my first question was whether his game table survived the fire.

Most of all, I cherish the many incredible lifelong friendships built at the game table.

Needless to say, I love game nights. (And game days, game weekends, game weeks… if the word “game” is followed by a timeframe, I’m all in. Especially once the gathering restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted!)

In fact, I love game nights so much that I’m writing a book for Tiller Press called How to Host a Game Night, and I’m thrilled to reveal the cover here at The Opinionated Gamers:

The book is scheduled to be released this fall, and right now I’m smack dab in the middle of writing it. How to Host a Game Night will be full of practical advice and a lot of stories based on my game-night experiences — and the experiences of gamers like you.

In fact, I would love to hear from you!

What are your favorite game night memories? What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen happen at a game night? What are your go-to games for new players?

Please take a few minutes to share your stories by filling out this form. (Even if you don’t host a regular game night, there are plenty of questions you can answer!)

How to Host a Game Night is my love letter to game nights and I can’t wait for it to be available. In the meantime, here’s to many more great memories at the game table!


How to Host a Game Night will be available in trade paperback and ebook. It can be pre-ordered via the Tiller Press website. Connect with Erik Arneson on Twitter at @ErikBoardGames.

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Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 16

Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!

If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.

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Gaming in the Era of Social Distancing

Well, unless you’ve be living under a rock for the past few months, you’re aware of the new normal in the world of Covid-19…  Everyone is asked to stay at home when possible, schools are essentially closed for in-person learning, groups of 100 or more are illegal in my state.  I have already had two gaming conventions be canceled on me in March and April…  

I have been shown some articles which show that the Covid-19 virus might be able to live on boardgame materials for awhile.  Which begs the question – should my game group still meet regularly to play games? I was thinking about what my other options might be…  What games could be played over email/webcam/etc?

Over the years, I’ve played a few games PBEM (play by email) and a few PBM (play by mail). I have also dabbled in some gaming via the computer on Brettspielwelt and Yucata.de.  

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Dale Yu: Review of Miyabi

Miyabi

  • Designer: Michael Kiesling
  • Publisher: HABA
  • Players: 2-4
  • Age: 8+
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Times played: 5, with review copy provided by HABA USA

In Miyabi, players vie to make the most elegant Japanese garden.  Each player starts with an empty garden board, which has a 6×6 grid on it.  They also get six wooden lanterns in their color to mark off the different columns of their board.  In the center of the table is placed a scoring board which also keeps track of the four to six rounds of the game.

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Posted in Essen 2019, Reviews | 4 Comments

Brandon Kempf – Surviving the Purge 15

Over the next few months, instead of going with my Three Games articles, I am going to take a look at my collection and try to discuss why certain titles survived the great purge of 2019. During this process I may take a look at some games that didn’t survive, but only as a measuring stick for what did survive. Since I am silly, like a lot of gamers, I use Ikea Kallax shelves to display the games that we own. This makes it pretty easy to break things down cube by cube, so that’s what we’re going to do, twenty-four cubes, plus a top shelf for games that don’t fit in the cubes, over the course of a few months. I hope you enjoy!

If you are a BoardGameGeek user, you can also follow along on the Geeklist I created.

Continue reading
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