First Time Game Tester: High Moon

I saw the trailer for the High Moon mobile app a while ago, and I was stoked. When Stephen Gibson (the games’ creator) sent me his rulebook for the card game I was pretty skeptical. The game had a ton of potential on my phone, but I didn’t think it would flow too well as a table top. I play a lot of board and card games and I have a good idea of what I like and dislike in a game.


Certain I would be converted, he printed out the base set and brought it to my house to teach me. I continued to be skeptical for the first few rounds of play. But as I began to see the simple-to-implement tactics of the game, and feel that every card I played (and how I played it) could turn the tides for or against me I started to really love the game.

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Tash-Kalar : Let the Games Commence!

I can’t speak from personal experience, but from my limited time with the many genres of games, I would guess that abstract’s are among the toughest to design. Your rules & mechanics have to be sharpened to a razors edge, you’ll imbue it with every little shred of theme  you can manage, try to make it as appealing as possible  even though some will complain about how it’s ” just a board and some pieces”, and sit back to endure the inevitable onslaught of fools wailing about how they don’t understand it.

Once in a blue moon, you’ll be granted  something truly marvelous. In this case, that something is Tash-Kalar: Arena of Legends, is famed designer Vlaada Chvátil’s latest offering and I believe it to be a monumental achievement of abstract gaming.

Where the  Legends are born.

Where the Legends are born.

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Who’s going first?

Ever struggled to figure out who’s going to start a game? Do weird rules on how to select the first player annoy you? Have an Android phone? Then grab Select Who?Select Who?

This free app is a fun and fast way to select the first player. All players simply place a finger on the phone, and after a countdown, the app randomly chooses one finger, and turns the circle under it purple, designating that player as first.

I would say more, but that’s all there is too it. This app simply works, and at a price point of FREE, why hesitate to give it a shot.

Jason’s Favourite Board Game Ever!!

About a year ago I started helping out at the Solid Board Gamers (SBG). This opened up a whole world to me, as I suddenly had access to a myriad of games, including Terra Mystica, Seasons, Castle Panic, Lords of Waterdeep, Alhambra, Neuroshima Hex, Yggdrasil, and so on. These are vastly different than the games of my childhood, as you may have guessed, based on their names.

As you may have surmised, being a gamer yourself, that The Settler’s of Catan was the game to de-virginize me. Countless hours of collecting wheat and bartering for wood showed me the light. Board games didn’t have to be collecting rent from unintentional tenants, world domination by dice rolls, or creating words on a grid. While all classics, I found little pleasure in these games. The irony is that this new world of games made those classics better for me.

Now, as an associate of SBG, I have access to their horde of boards [Editor’s note: I love this phrase, and will be co-opting it for further use]. I usually have one or two of their games in my house at a time. This has led to me learning LOTS of different games, and I was beginning to become a bit bored. I was beginning to feel like all games were just similar to another game I had already played.

Today I write about a game that, in the crux of my dilemma, stood out above the rest. In fact, it’s a variation on one of the boring classics that I mentioned earlier. Read More…

Nasir’s Top Board Games in 2013

Hello and welcome to what I hope will be the first in an annual tradition: our top games lists. This particular list is not the best games that came out in 2013, but rather the games I enjoyed playing most in 2013. Also, this list is in no particular order. So let’s get to it.



Parade is a game that works well in almost any situation. I’ve played with my friends, with my parents, with strangers, and at our events, and had fun each time. High quality cards, wonderful artwork, and excellent mechanics that work well with two to six players.

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John’s 2013 Top Ten List

This is a list of my top ten favorite games I played during 2013.  I didn’t get to play every game that came out in 2013, and a few of these are games I learned in 2013 that came out in previous years.  Here they are:


10.  Love Letter

This simple, plays in 20 minutes or less, game something I picked up because of a recommendation by a friend.  After playing a few rounds I discovered quite a bit of depth.  It’s a good casual game and plays best with 3 or 4, but can still be played with 2.  There are a few variants of the game, the original comes in a little red velvet pouch, and 2 different special editions that come in boxes, and add additional cards that can replace the Princess card.  I prefer the pouch version over the boxed version.  Due to the size of the game, it’s an easy one to travel with which adds to its appeal as part of a game collection.  My wife and I have introduced it to several couples, and it’s always been a hit!

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Exhausted Daze

Starting a business as a part time endeavour has been quite the experience.  From becoming familiar with the Canadian tax system, to figuring out what kind of bank account we could use. From setting up an e-commerce store, to deciding on which games to buy for our inventory.  We’ve had quite a ride.  We’ve hosted least 4 unofficial small events, and 3 Official events (@ Fred’s, Nasir’s and John’s place (my place)).  We’ve been to ConBravo, and soon we’ll be at our first Restaurant, and then at the International Student Festival.  The strange thing is, all of these going ons have happened as result of semi-weekly meetings, and a lot of Kijiji advertising.

When I return home after a long day, and today was especially long, I start thinking about all the board game related things I need to do, and then I realize I have Kitties to feed, dishes to do, homework to catch up on, and a bed that looks so great, and that I will only get to spend a few hours with before waking up for work and school.

It seems like this is rarely any time for board games, but i was able to play some tonight.

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What is Solid Board Gamers about?

Over the past few days, weeks…  months, I’ve been thinking about Identity.  If I had a board game business, what would i want people to associate that company with?  I can tell you it wasn’t a big screen of orange, or a small selection of games and Kijiji ads.

To explain what Solid Board Gamers is really about, would mean I need to open up about my past; take a look into my board game history.

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Crazy Alice in Wonderland!

Messes with your mind!

After our first convention, I’m left to dream about the future of Solid Board Gamers.  We had the unique opportunity to take part in ConBravo, taking up an 8 foot table covered in board games that con attendees could try out.

All the games available to play

All the games available to play

Neuroshima Hex! proved itself popular, seeing quite a bit of play, as well as King of Tokyo, Parade, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Dixit Odyssey, Carcassonne, Cards Against Humanity, Apples to Apples, Small World , Jungle Speed, Blokus, Settlers of Catan, Munchkin and Shadow Hunters.  All these games were opened up and taken for a spin.

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SBG Update #1

John here. Just wanted to post a quick update on the state of Solid Board Gamers..  I guess you could say, our Solid State…

We’ll be going to ConBravo, as you may have read in the previous post.  It’s essentially where all the comic book, video game, board game… internet….  fans will be on the weekend of July 26th to the 28th.  We’ve got the unique opportunity to go as a volunteer group, supplying board games, and running demos for people.  We won’t be selling any games there, but we’ll be showing off as many as we can!

I hope to see a few friends out there, and meet some new people.  I’ll be posting an update about it here, and hopefully I’ll get some video that I can post as well.

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