Blog Archives

Monday Brews – 3-30-15

Welcome back to Boards and Barley. It’s been 20 days since I last posted anything. Why? Because board gaming stuff is a hobby and not a job (Though if that changed it would be pretty sweet). I love blogging about board game stuff, but when things get really busy this hobby falls to the back seat before anything else. Never-the-less, I’m going to adjust my schedule so that I can continue blogging and sharing tips about homebrewing and designing board games.

One of the first things I want to do is to renovate (i.e., create) a Game Design Page that compiles all of my articles about the game design process. I’ve posted stuff about game design from concept to publication and I think having all that in one place would be really useful.

I also want to start a regular Tuesday article about beer that focuses on a Beer of the Week. I like to try as many new beers as I can and I’d like to share my thoughts about the beer and its style with you.

Another thing that I’ve missed doing are the “Design Me” game design exercises. These are relatively easy to post so I think I’ll try to get back into those. Plus, they are very beneficial for game designers as they help flex your game design muscle.

But today is Monday so let’s check out the Boards & Barley I’ve been enjoying!

Horizontal Rule

The Barley

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Ale Asylum HuMMMane India Brown Ale

I bought a six pack of this brew at my FLBS (Favorite local beer store) because they were giving away samples and because the proceeds would go to support the local Honor Flight. For those not aware of the Honor Flight program, it is a program that takes war veterans to Washington DC to visit their respective war memorials. Then there are usually nice crowds to welcome the war heroes back home when their airplane lands. With a father who was in the military and with a brother who has served tours of duty in places I would never want to go I am very happy to support the military whenever possible, and the honor flights are a great way to do so.

New Beer Count for 2015: 22

Horizontal Rule

The Boards

My sister beat me and become the Harbour Master!

My sister beat me and become the Harbour Master!

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Harbour

There is a lot of game in this little box. In Harbour players try to manage their resources, ship goods, and buy buildings. There are a lot of interesting decisions to be made while hoping your opponents don’t modify the market and sweep the rug out from under your feet. I’m glad I backed this Tasty Minstrel Games project on Kickstarter.

  • Scoville
  • NEW! Fidelitas I thought this game was pretty clever. I played a 2 player game and I enjoyed it. Playing it a second time will be even better know that I have a better idea of how the game is played and what combos exist.
  • Crokinole
  • Concordia (Half of a game)
  • Dungeon Roll
  • Ticket to Ride
  • Ziggurat Playtest

New Board Game Count for 2015: 15

Horizontal Rule

So those are the Boards & Barley that I’ve been enjoying. What have you been enjoying?

Monday Brews – 3-2-15

It’s been two weeks since I posted anything. Yikes. Life is busy when you have three kids. But no excuses. I have four articles in draft form that i just need to polish off. Hopefully that will happen soon.

But today is Monday, the day we celebrate the awesome Boards & Barley we’ve been enjoying over the past week or so. I’ve played some good stuff lately and even had an enjoyable IPA. So let’s start, as usual, with the Barley…

The Barley

That dude is freaky, but the brew is good!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Revolution Anti-Hero IPA

My friend Mark from Chicagoland brought this over when they visited a couple weekends ago. I have been trying to become more of an IPA drinker to mild success. This IPA, however, has a very nice and subtle sweetness to it that makes it more enjoyable for me. Thanks, Mark, for bringing it over!

  • Homebrew – Rolling Dubbels Belgian Dubbel
  • NEW! Valkyrie Big Swede Swedish Style Imperial Stout
  • NEW! Lumberyard Flagstaff IPA
  • NEW! Lakefront New Grist Sorghum Beer
  • Tyranena Sheep Shagger Scotch Ale
  • New Glarus Cabin Fever Honey Bock
  • Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

New Beer Count for 2015: 17

The Boards

Better than Race for the Galaxy, imho.

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Roll for the Galaxy

I picked this up at my FLGS (Favorite Local Game Store) when I was demoing Scoville. I’ve always like Race for the Galaxy but I’m not sure I’ve ever totally understood it. There are so many icons and it’s not totally straight forward to me. Roll for the Galaxy is much more streamlined and understandable. I love how they incorporated the dice for choosing and completing actions. The dichotomy of developments versus worlds is much more clear than in Race. Overall I thought this was great and I imagine it will be hitting the table quite a bit!

  • NEW! Terra Mystica – Whoa… there’s A LOT of game here. This is a very good and enjoyable Euro game where you can’t ever do as much as you want but you can still feel good about what you can accomplish. It takes a long time to play but I enjoyed it enough to want to play again.
  • Scoville
  • Mutiny Playtest
  • Imperial Settlers
  • NEW! Cinque Terre – I got this in a local Math Trade and played a 2p game. It’s pretty fun, very colorful, and I’d like to play with more than 2.
  • NEW! Among the Stars – This is much better than I expected. This was also a 2p play so I’d like to try it with more, but I really enjoyed it. Plus, there are already a bunch of expansions so it’s got a lot of replayability.
  • Wits and Wagers
  • Sushi Go
  • Camel Up
  • Unpublished Prototype – Nuke it from Orbit

New Board Game Count for 2015: 12

Monday Brews – 2-16-15

Welcome back from a busy Valentine’s day weekend. I hope you all treated each other with love! My wife was out of town most of the day Saturday so I took part in a local Math Trade (where I received a Dixit expansion, Splendor, and Cinque Terre). Then we grabbed a pie from a local diner as a gift for my wife. Then some friends came over and we played Deus, which is inspiring me to build a deck-based engine builder game utilizing similar but unique mechanics.

Then yesterday I had the privilege of demoing Scoville at a local game store. A 13 year old loved Scoville and his grandpa ended up buying it for him. I hope it inspires him to become a gamer!

But you aren’t here to read about my weekend. You’re here to see what awesome Boards & Barley I’ve been enjoying! So let’s begin with the Barley…

Horizontal Rule

The Barley:

Dubbel-y delicious… compared to my previous homebrews, at least.

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Homebrew Belgian Dubbel

Despite having several new beers this past week I had to make my homebrew the spotlight this week. It is by far my best homebrew yet and finally one that I’m not at least mildly gun-shy about offering to people. It is really excellent. My colleague requested the recipe after I gave him a six-pack. And my friends actually enjoy it.

NEW BEER COUNT FOR 2015: 13

Horizontal Rule

The Boards:

Sort of fun.

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Madame Ching

There is a neat and interesting card mechanic where you utilize the cards in your hand to move your ship across the sea. Using a similar color as your previous card moves you straight across. Using a different colored card moves you diagonal down and across. The goal is to earn points, which is done most regularly by completing objectives, which are earned based on how far your expedition traveled across the sea.

I thought the artwork was nice and colorful. But the gameplay seemed really dependent on the cards you were able to procure. I found it difficult to put together a nice expedition. But I’d like to play it again to see if it was just a case of bad luck.

NEW BOARD GAME COUNT FOR 2015: 8

Horizontal Rule

So what Boards & Barley have you been enjoying? Are there any games or brews you would like me to try? Just let me know!

Monday Brews – 1-26-15

Welcome back to Boards & Barley. I hope you had a great weekend! My weekend was pretty slow. I didn’t play any games over the weekend, though I did work on some game design stuff. But since I skipped the Monday Brews last week we at least have a few games to cover! Let’s start with the Barley…

The Barley

Not terrible at all, until the bottle is empty!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
NEW! Unibroue Terrible

I bought one of these for my uncle as a Christmas present so that I could joke with him and say that I bought him some terrible beer. Alas, he didn’t attend our Christmas celebration so I failed to deliver the joke. I did, however, get to try this beer for the first time recently and it is anything but terrible. In fact it is quite tasty, which is usually the case for anything coming from Unibroue!

  • NEW! – Orkney Skull Splitter Scotch Ale
  • NEW! – Karben4 Fantasy Factory
  • NEW! – Ale Asylum Mercy Grand Cru
  • You’ve Been Wheated – Homebrew Hefeweizen

Woo hoo! Four new beers! Not bad at all.

Horizontal Rule

The Boards

Can you catch the mutineer?

Can you catch the mutineer?

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT
Mutiny

I do not possess good social gaming skills. That is why I have a strong love/hate relationship with Mutiny.The game is so excellent. The social deduction aspect is hilarious. Make accusations, charge other people as the mutineer, use your special abilities, and watch out for knives flying at your back!

For those unfamiliar with Mutiny, it is a 10 minute social deduction game for up to 8 players by Moon Yeti Games. We handed out about 100 copies of the 4-player business card edition at last year’s Gen Con. I imagine we’ll have a few more to give away this year. 🙂

Horizontal Rule

Thanks for reading! What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying?

Monday Brews – 1-5-15

A new year is upon us. It was 8 degrees below zero (F) this morning and will snow 2-4 inches tonight. Oh joy. But Boards & Barley is back! So there’s that.

If you are new to Boards & Barley or made a New Year’s resolution to read this site more regularly, then I welcome you with open arms. On Mondays I like to recap the beer and board games I’ve played since the last Monday Brews article. It’s been a couple weeks and we had gaming friends over for a few days so the Boards and Barley are both longer lists than normal.

But before we get into that I wanted to mention that I’ll be posting my 2014 Recap article tomorrow and a Scoville article on Friday. As a reminder, if there are topics you would like me to blog about, please let me know via Twitter or via comments on this article.

Now let’s start with the Barley…

Horizontal Rule

The Barley:

But it doesn’t suck!

BARLEY SPOTLIGHT:
Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute

This brew was a gift from my wife. She found a beer with a 100 rating on Ratebeer and wisely purchased it. Lagunitas’ brews are usually hoppy, as was this brew. But this brew had 63 IBUs, which is about perfect for me. This enjoyable brew had a nice balance between hops and body. I’d drink it again.

Horizontal Rule

The Boards:

Your objective is to settle… Imperially!

BOARDS SPOTLIGHT:
Imperial Settlers x3

I love this game. I love the combo-ing or chaining of cards. I love figuring out how best to obtain and spend the resources. I love that it’s easy to teach and play. I love the artwork. I love everything about it with the exception of some downtime. But the downtime can be used to figure out what you are going to do next. The other thing I love about it is that my wife enjoys it. That means it will hit the table more often than some of the “heavier” games I own. If you haven’t already done so, check out Imperial Settlers by Portal Games.

Horizontal Rule

What Boards & Barley have you been enjoying? What were your favorites of 2014? Thanks for reading and I hope to bring you lots of great content in 2015!

Oakleaf Games

Board Games by Nat Levan

Kevin G Nunn

Mechanisms and Machinations

play without fear

on game design and play

Formal Ferret Games

Gil Hova designs, publishes, and plays board games

Boards and Bees

buzzing about board games

Go Forth And Game

The People Who Make The Games Talking To The People Who Play The Games .... with Tomgurg

Hyperbole Games

Blogging about designing games and brewing beer!

Stonemaier Games

We believe in creating memorable, beautiful, fun games

Cumbersome

Blogging about designing games and brewing beer!

Purple Pawn

Game News Across the Board

iSlaytheDragon

Board game reviews, previews, guides, and interviews

Daniel Solis

Blogging about designing games and brewing beer!

Board Game Reviews by Josh

Blogging about designing games and brewing beer!

Giant Fire Breathing Robot

Blogging about designing games and brewing beer!

Inspiration to Publication

News from the Game Lab of the Bamboozle Brothers

Theology of Games

Two Geeks, Hundreds of Games, One God.

%d bloggers like this: