In search of an awesome general interest gaming magazine

Last year, I went on a bit of a quest. For years, as a tabletop gamer who played Warhammer 40K almost exclusively, I subscribed to White Dwarf (or "White Dork" as my late wife used to call it). This is the slick and expensive Games Workshop publication that exclusively covers WH40K and other GW games. But as my ravenous game appetite expanded to wanting to pig out on all manner of miniature, board, RPG, and card games, I began to look for magazines that covered all of these. To my surprise, I discovered that there weren't any. Or, at least, I couldn't find one.

There are a number of excellent and beautifully-produced tabletop wargame magazines, such as Wargames Illustrated and Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy. And there are mags that cover board and family games, such as Casual Game Insider. And then there is GTM, Game Trade Magazine, a magazine targeted at your FLGS ("friendly local game store). But where was the magazine that covers all forms of analog gaming? There's a tabletop gaming revolution going on. So where is the house organ?

Here it is. Tabletop Gaming magazine. This very handsome UK-based monthly covers all manner of board games, RPGs, card games, historical wargames, miniature games, dice games, party games, you name it. I didn't even have high expectations for the contents of such a magazine, but Tabletop Gaming delivers a very well-designed and well-written publication that examines every aspect of the gaming hobby. Feature articles cover new games being developed, aspects of game history, culture, art, design, the gaming industry, even the psychology and science of gaming. Read the rest

Fun, affordable post-apocalyptic car combat in Gaslands

Osprey Games has found itself a sweet little niche in the current tabletop gaming craze. Games like their extremely popular (and highly-recommend) Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City (and now Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago) and the many titles that have followed, like Dracula's America: Shadows of the West and Scrappers: Post-Apocalyptic Skirmish Wargames, adhere to a similar format of relatively quick, low miniature-count skirmish games with simple but tight, effective rulesets. All of the games feature inexpensive rulebooks loaded with gorgeous fantasy artwork that really helps flesh out the worlds and begs for more narrative wargaming, with a little RPG-like character development and ongoing storylines (all of these games have built-in campaign systems). The games are also all miniature-agnostic, meaning that you can pull minis from any of your favorite ranges. And because the gameworlds are so evocative and interesting--but what you're provided with, so basic--you are heavily encouraged to flesh out the world and the tabletop on your own. In other words, not only are these awesome and fun tabletop skirmish games, they are also games designed to seriously seduce makers and modelers.

Osprey's latest, Gaslands: Post-Apocalyptic Vehicular Combat, is a perfect case in point of all of the above, but especially that last point. In Gaslands (think: a breezier, less crunchy, more modern Car Wars) there are no ranges of miniatures to draw from. Instead, the game encourages you to Mad Max-ify Matchbox and Hotwheels cars to use in your games. How much fun is this? Read the rest

Gift Guide for Tabletop Gamers 2017

It was another exciting year for tabletop games and the nerds who love them. This was a year (plus) for re-releases of classic titles (Necromunda, Blood Bowl, Escape from Colditz, Axis & Allies) and one that saw a growing trend in pirate, tropical, jungle games and settings. Crowdfunding, 3D printing, and CNC small-scale manufacturing all continued to have a significant and growing impact on the gaming industry, as did the expanding number of YouTube game- and dungeon crafting-related shows. Game component and miniature quality continued to rise and astound, and game design and play mechanics seem slicker and better than ever.

With all of that in mind, here is my 2017 guide to tabletop wargames, RPGs, card games, board games, and more. This is not necessarily a tops list or an exhaustive one. These are mainly games that I played or acquired this year and that I personally recommend. If you have others, add them in Comments. (Where available, Amazon Affiliate links are used to help support Boing Boing.) Board Games

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

D&D's Forgotten Realms setting, Baldur's Gate (immortalized in the late 90s video game of the same name), gets a chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter mash-up with the hugely successful horror game, Betrayal at House on the Hill, in Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. In this cooperative tile-building game, you and your party try to remain alive while making your way through the dark passageways of this iconic D&D city. Collect too many bad Omens along the way and a Haunt happens, turning one party member against the others. Read the rest

A pound of multi-sided dice

I'm pretty sure no game in our home has its original dice. I replace what the dice fairy doth steal, I bought this useful pound bag of dice.

I do not know where the dice go. The only thing I'm sure of is that my dogs aren't eating the missing dice, as I'm pretty sure I'd see them when cleaning up the yard. Regardless, somehow every game that needs dice loses those dice. If this happens to you, I suggest a pound bag of dice.

There are 6, 8, 10, 12, 20 and 30 sided die in the bag. Sparkly, opaque, marbled, solid colors, speckled... dice.

Chessex "Pound-O-Dice" via Amazon Read the rest