I play lots of board games. Some of these games are quite complex and have very large and intricate setups with lots of dice. One of the more frustrating side effects of these games is trying roll dice without disrupting the game pieces. So, I built a dice tower.
The tower is mostly made from pieces from the Harry Potter Hogwart’s Castle. It uses three main tumblers and a series of smaller tumblers to ensure randomness. The bottom tray detaches and can be mounted to the front for portability. The design is simple and meant to be aesthetically pleasing while still functional. I have been fairly impressed with its performance, and so I thought I would share the concept. Enjoy.
This article is the second in a series of articles that focuses on board and card games that geeks will love.
Here is a game that any geek will love from young to old. In fact, I would recommend this game to parents for their children in order to subtly promote critical thinking skills in math and logic.
The game focuses on developing the land around the historical city of Carcassone. The game is played by laying various tiles adjacent to each other. Each player has a limited number of followers that can be placed on the tiles in hopes of scoring points. Also, game-play can be altered through various “expansion packs” which include additional tiles and slight modification of rules (see below for some links).
The rules are easy to learn and should be mastered within the first few game plays. Two player games can typically be completed in under 30 minutes while four or more players may take between 45 minutes to an hour. Even though the rules are simple and there is a moderate amount of luck involved, there is still a great deal of strategy that can be used to win more often in the long run.
A true geek will find the balance of probability, resource management, and graph theory an enticing mix with huge replay value. Personally, I believe every child should be exposed to this game at a young age in order to challenge them in these complex topics while keeping the learning experience fun.
References & Links
- Carcassonne at Amazon.com
- Expansion – Inns and Cathedrals
- Expansion – The River 2 (note: the first river expansion comes with the base game now)
- Expansion – King and Scout
- Expansion – The Count
- Kids of Carcassonne (alternate base game for ages for ages 4+)
As a final note, be aware that there are multiple Carcassone base games so be sure to read the descriptions of expansions carefully to ensure you select a compatible expansion set. For example, you don’t want to buy an expansion for “Carcassonne – Hunters and Gathers” when you have the original game.
This article is the first in a series of articles that focuses on board and card games that geeks will love.
Descent – Journeys in the Dark
Here is a board game that is an RPG in box and is playable from 2 to 5 players. It features dozens of miniatures and tokens, a rich set of equipment and event cards, and a dynamic puzzle-like board. Although, it’s not just the impressive artwork and game pieces that make this a geek’s dream game.
The game is played in “quests” where the heroes (1-4 players) try to complete a set of predefined objectives defined in the Quest Guide. One player takes on the role of the “Overlord” that oversees the dungeon and tries to stop the heroes from completing their goals. The base game comes with 10 quests and there is a wide variety of expansions and fan created quests (see below for links). In addition, a quest creator can be downloaded for free from the game’s website.
The gameplay is very rewarding since it adds a nontraditional element over average board games, namely a new story for every session. With every new story there is also a new map and a unique set of challenges. While these quests don’t span days or weeks like other RPGs, expect to to sit down and play anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on the quest.
While the price tag of $80-$100 might sound steep, keep in mind the quality of the game. Expect to get 120+ hours of good gameplay out of this base edition alone. That’s about as good cost per hour as most new video games and this is far more memorable. In summery, if you have a group of RPG loving geeks that want to try their hand at an afternoon of monster killing, treasure finding, dungeon crawling fun, order a copy of Descent.
References & Links