Board Game Summaries: Part 13

More board game summaries!

Ghost Stories – A famously difficult co-operative game where players are fighting off hordes of undead in a medieval Chinese village.

Hanabi – A unique co-operative game, winner of the 2013 Spiel des Jahres, the German board game prize, where you don’t get to see your own cards!

Hey, That’s My Fish! – A light and quick tactical game with a mean streak!

And while I’m at it, I think it’s worthwhile discussing what I’m aiming to do with Tea and Board Games.

I have always loved boardgaming, ever since I was a child learning to count with Snakes and Ladders, and playing Chess using rules improvised by my brother.  In the past few years, boardgaming has become bigger than ever, with the likes of Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop, Shut Up and Sit Down, the Dice Tower and so on providing a huge range of reviews and gameplay demonstrations.  Despite all this, I feel that boardgaming as a hobby has a bit of an accessibility problem.

I spend a lot of time on board game forums and sites in general, and frequently people will ask for recommendations. Often, people will respond with a list of half a dozen or so games, and actually looking into these games will be left as a task for the reader. If they do start to look, they’ll happen across videos that go for hours and reviews that run for thousands of words but still don’t manage to answer the simple question of what a game is like.

Sometimes, however, game recommendations are accompanied with a few paragraphs saying what people like or don’t like about a particular game, what the gameplay is like, and any other pertinent pieces of information (like ‘Battlestar Galactica plays best with exactly 5 players’).  I find these to be the most useful and engaging, and it’s this essence I’m trying to capture with the board game summaries on Tea and Board Games.

The kind of games that I’ll put on this site are games that I would recommend.  These board game summaries are not reviews, and if I think a game is generally unsatisfying or poorly designed, it will never have a page on this website.  Board games are a highly subjective experience, and any game is capable of being memorable and enjoyable to a group.  Likewise, any game is capable of being dull and frustrating if the players don’t know what to expect, or the game just isn’t to their tastes.  That kind of experience can turn a newcomer off boardgaming altogether, and I’m trying to improve the odds by helping new gamers pick a game they’ll enjoy, and experienced gamers find information on something they maybe hadn’t considered.

At the moment, I am working my way through a list of board games in alphabetical order. There are 100 of these in total, and my goal is to be able to provide links to about half a dozen games to anyone asking for board game advice. After I’ve done the first hundred, I will start writing articles about other board game related things – how to teach board games (both generally and for specific games), how to introduce newcomers to boardgaming, and other interest pieces about the hobby, gradually adding more board game summaries as I play them.  I’ll also start to revisit old board game summaries, adding links to good tutorials and extra photos that give an impression of the game in action.

I hope that clarifies a little of what I’m going for with Tea and Board Games. I hope you enjoy the ride, and maybe even find something new to play!

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