Sven – that boardgame guy

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I am Sven and I am one of the new contributors that Stargazer took aboard. I feel that it is only appropriate, that I tell you a little about myself.

Let’s start with a shocking revelation:
I haven’t played a pen&paper RPG for about five years!
“So what’s that guy doing here??” you might ask. I’ll come to that in a minute.

Of course I am no stranger to roleplaying games and I have played lots of RPGs in my late teens and early twenties. Actualy I was a member of Stargazer’s gaming group back then and we enjoyed many sessions together. I started with Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, which to this day remains my favorite. But I also played (and partialy GMed) Star Wars D6, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse and AD&D – just to name a few.
As many of you will have experienced themselves, after people leave school, many gaming groups just fall apart. Some players move away to university, some completely lose their interest in gaming, others prefer to spend more time with their signifcant other and most people just have less and less time to commit to a hobby like roleplaying.
I am one of those people: After I moved away, it became harder and harder to arrange gaming with my old group. At the same time I just didn’t find a lot of interesting roleplayers in Frankfurt, where I live now. The few times I managed to join another group here, I just didn’t get the same enjoyment from it, as I had with my old gaming buddies. At the same time, my girlfriend never really “got” roleplaying – she tried it a few times, but she just doesn’t like it. So after a few unsuccessful tries to get into groups at my new location, I slowly gave up on roleplaying.
That didn’t mean I quit the gaming hobby altogether: I love boardgames. When I was a kid I always bugged my parents to play Monopoly with me and my first kind of “geeky” gaming was the Battletech boardgame – even before roleplaying. So boardgaming became my replacement drug: It doesn’t require as much preperation as a roleplaying session, you are more flexible with the number of players and it is often easier to find players. The top reason: My SO also likes boardgames.

So coming back to the question, what I want to do here:

I want to be your correspondent on the planar side of gaming. I know, that many roleplayers also enjoy boardgames – just as there are many hardcore boardgamers, who are ex-roleplayers like me.
I would like to introduce you to interesting boardgames, that you might have missed otherwise and of course I will focus on games, that I feel should be especialy appealing to roleplayers: Games, that generaly have a strong theme (often Fantasy or SciFi).
And don’t worry: I will not flood the blog with lots of postings on boardgames – Stargazer’s World is a Blog about RPGs and I just want to add an outlook on another aspect of the gaming hobby.

So…to get a bit of a feel for my audience here: Do you even play boardgames? What are your favorites? What was your worst boardgaming experience? What kind of games are you most interested in?

13 thoughts on “Sven – that boardgame guy”

  1. Sven, you don’t role-play? Why would I even respond to that post!

    Just kidding… Please to read you.

    I love board games but have not played much for a LONG time, what little time I have I’m usually playing RPGs. That does NOT mean I’m not interested, on the contrary I’m VERY interested. There are two games I’m currently interested in right now, Descent and Tannhaüser.

    Here is looking forward to reading about those or any other board games you write about.

  2. I definitely do.

    While I don't personally own many (I'm a perticularily selective git when it comes to board/card games), I enjoy them tremendously.

    If I were to name my favourite ones I would say…

    Citadels – probably the most often played board (card actually) game im my flat. Simple to learn yet presenting enough strategy and complexity to keep us involved over and over again – the drawback, doesn't scale down to 2 players very well but with 4 it's a blast.

    Carcassone – it's just I dunno addictive or something 😉

    and of course Talisman – it's a bit of a nostalgia thing but I could not resist the new edition. Plus I find it to be a pretty good window into role-playing.

    I'm intrigued by the relatively new Dominion (another card game) as soon as I have free 30 odd quid I'll invest in this one.

    I'll be looking forward to your posts.

  3. Hey Sunglar,
    thanks for the welcome.
    I might actualy write about roleplaying games, when I finaly break down and buy the new editon of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Though I am not really sure, if Stargazer will let me write about that here. 😛
    I still feel the itch to do some roleplaying again – but something always gets in the way. Actualy I am very close to doing some roleplaying again: A buddy of mine has promised, that he'll DM a game of Dark Heresy. We'll see…

    Concerning Descent: This is definitly very high on my list of games to review here – though it definitly has it's shortcomings, if you look at it from a RPG-perspective.
    Tannhäuser looks interesting of course – though from what I heard it's not quite living up to the expectations. But I also like the Castle Wolfenstein-like background. 😉

  4. Hi Sven, glad to see you here.

    I am an avid roleplayer and boardgamer. I am currently running a Mage: the Ascension chronicle, playing in a Wheel of Time game using modified OWoD Storyteller system rules and also playing Munchkin, Settlers of Cataan, Age of Renaissance and other board games. I am very interested in trying to pick up copies of Descent, Arkham Horror, and Carcassone. I look forward to seeing more of you around.

  5. @Voidman:

    Interesting games – Carcassonne of course is a classic. I played it a LOT (like weekly) about six years ago. I always thought, that the map that you create during the game, would be extremely cool as the basis for a local map for a RPG-campaign. 😉

    Citadels is a game that I personaly don't like too much. But I know many people who love it – and I see the appeal. But for me it just doesn't work out. I once was in a game, that took almost two hours, because one player agonized over every single turn… *snore*

    Talisman is still a really cool game. It's very simple (bordering on simplistic) and can take a bit long, but I really like the newest edition. It's another game I will propably write about here – even if most roleplayers propably know that game anyway. 😉

  6. @Phalse:

    Thank you. Mage is the RPG, of which I propably have the most ambivalent memories. I really loved the setting and the two or three sessions I GMed, worked out quite well (I consider these sessions my greatest feats of improvisation). But magic seemed so boundless, that players came up with all kind of stupid (?) ideas…it seemed very hard to keep the players in check. So I tip my hat to you. 😉

    Arkahm Horror is actualy one of my favorite boardgames and I definintly WILL write about it. Not only does it have a strong RPG-feel about it, but it works surprisingly well with people who don't RPG and normaly don't care for that kind of boardgames.

  7. Sven,

    Nice to meet you. I look forward to reading your first post.

    My favorite board games are simple ones. Risk, Clue, Apples to Apples. My brothers enjoy Axes & Allies. I would love to read a post on that subject. Maybe you could bleed over to the A&A minis game a bit and explain that if passable. I know I would be interested.
    .-= Youseph´s last blog ..Patrick Stewart on Twitter, iPhone, and the Internet =-.

  8. Youseph, from my experience, Risk is propbaly the #1 entry-game to the gaming-hobby as a whole. It's propably the simplest wargame out there and if you don't mind the luck and just play it for fun (as opposed to competitive) it's a really great game.
    Believe it or not, I have never played Apples to Apples. I know that it's supposed to be a good game, but then I am not really fond of party games.
    Sadly, I can not really help you with A&A minis – while I am intrigued with it (esepcialy with the naval variant "War at sea"), nobody I know was interested in starting a collectible miniatures game and I didn't want to shell the money for it, if it was doubtful that I could ever play it.

  9. Sven, feel free to do a review of the new Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Just don't expect me to pay for the review copy. 😉

    We might even give it a playtest. I am not that unreasonable.

  10. Sven, I actually own Arkahm Horror. I picked it up at 75% discount when a local store closed and I’m yet to play it. I know shame on me…

    Youseph Clue is probably my single favorite board game, my parents and close family members have memories of me trying to force them to play with me. I even played a version of Clue that came with a VCR with a pretty cool movie (not related to the theatrical release).

    I think the board game I played the most as a teen was the Mad Magazine board game. It was an anti-game, it turned many of the common elements of board games on its head, and he who lost all the money won the game. Lots of fun…

  11. Guys, thanks again for that warm welcome.

    I took note of all the games, that were mentioned here (Descent, Arkham Horror and Dominion were mentioned twice and I also made a list of those that came up only once) and will keep those in mind. There were many games, that I expected to turn up, and some I am a bit surprised about. I am especialy surprised, that Dominion made the list twice.

    So, to make the best of your welcome, I will try to come up with a small review over the weekend. It will be a rather simple game, but one I like very much. I won't tell you more at the moment. 😉

    Originaly I planned to do Middle-Earth Quest as my first game here, but writing about that will take a bit longer, and I feel that I should get my first article out this month.

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