Juegos que Hacen que me Muera del Aburrimiento

¡Buenas! Ya sé que el tema que traigo hoy es bastante controvertido, pero eh, para eso estamos, ¿no? Como siempre, lo que digo es lo que pienso, y no lo digo con ningún tipo de malicia: simplemente expreso mis sentimientos sobre determinados juegos que, aunque he intentado cogerles el gusto, la verdad es que me pueden. Así que preparos para la lista de la muerte:

-Catan: Si, si, ya lo sé, soy una desalmada…PPPFFFFF que queréis que os diga, me importa un comino este juego. Me aburre de forma abismal. Normalmente no puedo aguantar más de cuatro turnos antes de querer acabar con mi sufrimiento. ¿Por qué? Pues, veremos. Creo que posiblemente sea porque me parece una dinámica muy repetitiva y formularia, en la que un par de estrategias funcionan bien, y es uno de esos juegos en los que o te agarras a esa estrategia y ganas o no te comes ni los mocos. Tampoco me gusta la estética del juego – es feo con avaricia. Y nada oye, que es que no puedo entre una cosa y otra sentarme a jugar una partida de Catan (en cualquiera de sus variedades). Y la verdad es que lo he intentado varias veces. Al principio pensé, “jo, soy torpe y no lo pillo”. Pero no tenía nada que ver con eso; incluso ganando me aburre. Punto.

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Games I Tried to Like but Bore Me Endlessly

Hello everyone!! Yes, I know, I come with a controversial title, and I know I am going to get evils from many of you as I write this post but I really needed to get this off my chest. There are some games that it seems everyone loves…But me. I am not saying they aren’t good games, they just don’t cling with me, you know? I have tried them, and tried them, and played them…And i just cannot be bothered. And sometimes I play them just to please others and get along, but if it was down to me, they will never touch the surface of a table. EVER. So here is my list:

-CATAN: I KNOW!!! YOU ALL HATE ME NOW!! Well…Whatever! I really couldn’t care less for Catan. I can last about 4 rounds of the game without my jaw dropping into an insane concatenation of yawning. Why? Well, who knows. I think it feel rather repetitive and very formulaic, in the sense of xyz strategy works and that’s it. I don’t personally find it aesthetically appealing, and the general mechanic of it, I really just cannot find the will to make it through. Not even on my first game ever, years ago, did I actually enjoy playing it. I thought, “huh, I must be doing something wrong as everyone Loves this game”, and that is why I kept insisting. But Nope. Not for me.

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Being a Better DM ( Part 1/2 )

Being a DM is kind of like being God, but with more paperwork.

I’ve been an avid player of tabletop RPG’s for the past eight years or so, and before that I was an addict to the Penny Arcade D&D podcasts that still continue every year at PAX. They were my introduction to the world of pen and paper, but I never got the chance to roll the dice for myself until I visited a little Texas store called ‘The Dragons Den’. Here I enjoyed my first session of Dungeons & Dragons. Living in a distant country, surrounded by unfamiliar people, stepping into a world of strange new possibility… could it have been more fitting?

Since then I’ve explored dozens of systems and played with a great many groups- some long-term, some short. Most of them in person but a couple of online too thanks to the wonders of Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds. The one consistency though is that I am hardly ever the player in the games, but instead I take the seat of the maniacal overlord out to kill the heroes.

At least, that’s how the players always see it.

In truth being a DM is about taking responsibility for the enjoyment of the game. With that comes many challenges, some seemingly high hurdles to meet, but a good DM can turn even the most standard of adventures into a memorable and cherished experience. So today I’d like to share my ten tips towards becoming a better Dungeon/Game Master.

These observations are not limited to any particular game and apply to all tabletop RPGs (and probably some other games besides). They are just the quiet insights I’ve made over my near decade of playing, and while I don’t claim to have the experience of some, I’ve seen many veteran magicians of the table supporting the same points. So without further ado;

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Probando Juegos para Dos en Board in the City (Southampton)

Este lunes Adie y yo nos pasamos parte de la tarde en un café de juegos de mesa en la ciudad de Southampton (Reino Unido), llamada Board in the City. Ya lo conocíamos de otra escapadilla que hicimos este verano, cuando estuvimos jugando con un grupo de amigos a cosas múltiples. El sitio es muy acogedor: antes era un pub de vecindario, hay muchas mesas, muchos juegos, el personal es súper friki (de hecho, nos pasamos como media hora antes de ponernos a jugar hablando de superhéroes y warhammer con uno de los empleados), y lo mejor de todo es que transmite una sensación muy hogareña. Y los batidos están riquísimos 😉

Total, ya que esta vez solo éramos nosotros dos, decidimos aprovechar la situación y probar juegos que fuesen solo para 2 o con buena jugabilidad con el numero mínimo de jugadores. Cogimos Seven Wonders Duel, pero como los dos ya estábamos familiarizados con la dinámica del juego tras haberlo probado en grupo, nos inclinamos por otras cajas. Como tampoco teníamos todo el tiempo del mundo a nuestra disposición nos decidimos por dos juegos con duración máxima de una hora cada uno. Así que aquí vengo a dejaros esta breve reseña y comentario:

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Geek Economy – BoardGame Wisely

So far we have covered many aspects of geek economy, but we had not discussed the elephant in the room which: board games. They are a double edge sword. They take space, time, lots of money, and usually they require other people to play with. You do not want to go wasting any of your resources on any kind of board game to end up with a bad outcome. I know lots of people who are put off-board games because the invested wrongly their time/money/space into them and they got so annoyed with the subject they just left it all together. We obviously do not want this to happen to you, so here are some things you can do to ensure you are building your games collection in a wise way. And the first point to begin with is being up to date and in tune with the current times. Technology, sociocultural changes and economy are actually making gaming life easier, and this is having a positive effect for those wanting to hoard cardboard boxes full of fun and joy.

As usual I would say the golden rule of board games is do some research: there is literally a game for everyone, about anything. The possibilities are truly endless. Diversity of player number, genre, game purpose and dynamic, game time, etc. Even if you think board games aren’t for you, I assure you there is one with your name out there. But you need to give them a chance. The best way to approach the subject is thinking what do you want from the game, do some little research, read about the game, find some reviews, and then you will be in a much better position to decide whether it is for you or not. Do NOT make the mistake of just looking at the box and thinking “this looks cool”. I mean, you can, and I am sure everyone has done that once in a while, but boxing is just another aspect of marketing, and I have played some pretty terrible and dull games that had some awesome packaging. Now, if you have decided you want a game, you may encounter the problem many of us have: games can cost a lot of money! And if you want to have a few for a games evening, you could easily spend a minimum of 20-50 pounds (I know, that can be A LOT of comics…and MTG boosters, and…). So here are some tips as to how to game wisely, and spend your money in the games you want with a bit of logic:

-Print and play: in this day and age, every game that has made big bucks is available through print and play. All you need is an account, a printer, paper, perhaps glue or cellotape, but most importantly a lot of time and patience. It does not require a terrible amount of skill to just make the basic components of a game as they usually come designed for you, but you will have to either print them, build them, or both, and that can be an arduous task. But it could save you a lot of money if you are up for the challenge. This also gives you the perfect opportunity to try games you are not sure if you wanna buy or not. Then you can see if you like them, or if they are worth the monetary investment. One of my friends is very good with this p&p business, and that is how I have played Puerto Rico (which is an awesome game, btw), as well as a few expansions for other games such as Seven Wonders or Colt Express.

-Tabletop Simulator: we live in the age of technology. Not only wonderful companies such as Days of Wonder have online versions of their tabletop games that you can play for free, but there are video games that have been designed to enable you to play tabletop games. Tabletop simulator is truly handy for this: not only you have access to several thousands of mods that allow you to play the same game you would on a table but on your computer, they also allow you to play with friends how may be far away. This way you can run proper and thorough game tests, and then this will allow you to decide if you want to buy the actual game because, let’s face it, as lovely as it is to not spend money, it’s not the same placing cards on a table or physically moving meeples than clicking on things. And some games are just great because of how tactile they are.

-Board game cafes: these are becoming more and more popular, so it is likely there is one near you. Their collections are usually varied, so for the price of a drink or maybe some food, you could try few games in a social environment. It is also a great way of finding people to play with if you feel stuck or your group of friends do not share your interest in board games. I have been to  few, particularly Draughts (London) and Board In the City (Southampton) and found them nice places where to spend a good evening. The staff is always friendly – they have to be gamers too in order to show you how to play! Just don’t be shy.

-Buy & Sell groups: got a game you didn’t like? or you got a game you didn’t get to use or you do not play any more and need to make some space? Why not sell it as a second-hand game? By getting the same game, but used and a better price you will be making another gamer happy, the game will be recycled, and you will get part of your investment back and some space to fill in with, obviously, more games. Many independent local stores will have their own buy & sell events, so go ask. Otherwise, there is plenty of forums and Facebook groups as well as places such as eBay and Gumtree where you can sort out these kind of transaction.

-Group game wisely by performing team effort: if you have a group of friends with whom you game frequently, you could all pitch in for games to make the expenditure affordable. Or you can take turns: there’s no point 4 people having the same game if they play it together all the time (unless you all really like it I guess). Perhaps friend#1 can buy one game, and friend #2 another, etc, and when you all get together you have a plethora of games to choose from without you all spending a fortune on them or having to carry thousands of boxes to your gaming den all at the same time. The gamers that stick and stay together, play forever. Keep this in mind.

Hopefully this has given you a few ideas as to how to make your board and card game collection more manageable without wasting many resources, and making sure you do things with precision and through calculated decision-making for the sake of your wallet and your gaming experience.

Probando Brew Crafters – Travel Card Game

Hemos probado este juego literalmente hace un par de horas, así que este post es fresco, fresco. Había oído hablar bastante de la versión de tablero: esta es simplemente una versión reducida y de cartas para que te la puedas llevar a todas partes. Y la verdad es que tenía mis dudas porque había visto un mix de comentarios tanto positivos, como negativos e incluso indiferentes sobre el juego, así que supongo que tampoco tenía grandes expectativas. Pero, siendo sinceros, para un juego que se tarda unos 20 minutos en jugar, de 2-4 personas, facilón, relativamente entretenido, y por un precio moderado no está mal. ($9.95 – en Amazon.es creo que sale entre €10-15 euros, supongo que sea posible adquirirlo por menos. En el Reino Unido se puede conseguir por unas £7.00).

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A Quick Look at Brew Crafters – Travel Card Game

Today, Adie and I tried Brew Crafters travel edition. Liam adores the full version of the game, so I was keen to see how it would play, even as an abridged version. I have heard mixed views from the travel edition, so I guess I was not approaching the game with the highest expectations, but I must say it was not as bad as some had suggested, and it was a perfectly good little, quick game.

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