Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Jason Geeks Out, The Final Installment

I may be jumping the gun, but given that we only have 24 entries left, including this one, I suspect it will be the last of the series. So it's fitting then that the end brings us back around to the beginning. Board games.

I've been researching board game mechanics and jotting down notes for a few concepts I have percolating. The list of game mechanics types is pretty long, which I guess isn't that surprising given the number of games available today. In case you're interested, here's the exhaustive list, courtesy of boardgamegeek.com.

Action Point Allowance System
Area Control / Area Influence
Area Enclosure
Area Movement
Campaign/Battle Card Driven
Card Drafting
Chit-Pull System
Co-operative Play
Commodity Speculation
Crayon Rail System
Dice Rolling
Hand Management
Line Drawing
Modular Board
Pattern Building
Pattern Recognition
Pick-up and Deliver
Point to Point Movement
Role Playing
Roll and Move
Route/Network Building
Secret Unit Deployment
Set Collection
Simultaneous Action Selection
Stock Holding
Tile Placement
Variable Phase Order
Variable Player Powers
Worker Placement

Now if you're a regular reader of this blog I suspect you read at most the top ten entries in this list and then jumped to the bottom. I don't blame you. It was a boring list, and it was really only tenuously connected to the topic of this entry.

In my research I came across what could be the Holy Grail of board game sites. BrettspielWelt (http://www.brettspielwelt.de), a German site (which exists in a number of languages) that allows people from around the world to play each other online in major commercial board games (major board games for board game geeks, like Carcassone, Power Grid, and The Settlers of Catan...you won't find Monopoly, Clue, or Battleship here.*) And it's free. I downloaded the client and started looking around, though I doubt I'll have the time to play anytime soon.

For me, it's great. We have friends and family that like board games, but we've never actually pulled together a game night. So I have all these games sitting on a shelf and never play them. Kate and I occasionally play the few that work with two players, but there are so many (not that many, really) that I've never played once. I may now finally get the chance.

The excitement builds, and the geek in me threatens to explode out of my chest.

*Not that there's anything wrong with those games. I like them a lot as well.

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