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Monday Brews: 10-21-13

Though over half of Monday is gone already, I’m finally able to post my Monday Brews article. I hope your Monday is going well. As per my usual approach I present to you the Boards and Barley that I enjoyed this past week:

The Barley:


New Belgium Fat Tire: A classic, solid choice for a beer. Enjoyable.

Ale Asylum Madtown Nut Brown: I enjoyed this with my boss and several colleagues as we greeted a former student who has returned to town. On tap it’s a pretty decent brew.

Rathskellar Red: This beer is produced by the UW Union and was very enjoyable as well.

Abita Fall Fest: I’ve had better beers and I’ve come to realize I don’t care for any from Abita. But if you’re in the mood for some New Orleans style, then Abita is for you!

Tyranena Painted Ladies: I’m a sucker for pumpkin beers and this one did not disappoint. Unfortunately it appears the season for Oktoberfests and Pumpkin beers is waning despite Halloween still over a week away.

Left Hand Brewing Nitro Stout: This milk stout was more enjoyable than the MKE Brewing Polish Moon Milk Stout that I wrote about previously. This was was much less “Earthy” tasting, thankfully!

Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale: I’ve decided that I do not care for strongly aged bourbon barrel beers. If I want bourbon I’ll just drink bourbon. This beer was overwhelmingly bourbon-y. I hate to say this, but I would have rather had a PBR.

North Coast Brother Thelonius: I enjoyed this while being a guest on the Building the Game Something from Nothing podcast that aired last night. It was a mighty fine brew in a delicious Belgian style that I will likely drink again!

The Boards:

Amazing artwork and awesome gameplay make Farm Aged Don a great game!

Amazing artwork and awesome gameplay make Farmageddon a great game!

Farmageddon: I broke this out at Board Game Night and it was thoroughly enjoyed for its cut-throatty awesomeness. We played a tight game that ended up being not so tight as the winner had 46 points and last place had 16. This was a very fun game and I highly recommend it!

Scoville: I got to play my game again! I taught two new players and they both enjoyed the game. Scoville will be up on Kickstarter to coincide with BGG.con in November! I don’t think I could be more excited! Here’s another exclamation point just because!

Long Shot: We played with 8 players and utilized a few house rules to speed things up. The result was that we played the game in 35 minutes! The house rules included being able to bet $10 at a time and rolling both dice twice on your turn so horses move faster. It’s such a fun game and these rules made it more enjoyable since it didn’t take an hour and a half.


So those are the Boards and Barley that I enjoyed this past week, What did you enjoy?

Also, is there any interest in having a “Designer’s Corner” section in these articles where I discuss the designing work I’ve done each week??

Monday Brews: 9-30-13

Today is the last day in September. Where did this month go??? Well, at least it is ending nicely by attending Protospiel-Milwaukee this past weekend! So I had the opportunity to play some unpublished games, including some that I really really enjoyed.

I have an opinion about writing about unpublished games. Here it is:

If you loved the game, write about it. If you did not love the game, don’t write about it. Negative press for any game that potentially could be published as anything other than the form you played it is just bad business.

So while there were other games I played that I enjoyed but the designer will be changing, I will not be writing about them. I don’t want to be unfair to any designers whose games may change for the better. But I want the games I played that I thought were awesome to be noted as such.

Alright, here’s the list of the Boards & Barley that I enjoyed this past week:

The Barley

I wish I had these glasses to further my enjoyment of pumpkin beer!

O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer: This beer has a lot of pumpkin attitude in it. There’s nothing subtle about the amount of pumpkin in this one. It was enjoyable, but be warned that it is heavy on pumpkin.

New Glarus Totally Naked: I used to dislike this beer for some reason that I cannot remember. But when I had a bottle of it that was leftover after the latest game night I found that it was quite enjoyable. It’s just an enjoyable brew.

Milwaukee Brewing Sasquash Pumpkin Porter: Wow. Now this was an enjoyable beer! I was glad my friend Ben brought it over for us to enjoy. Want to learn more? Check out this article by Chris Drosner of the Wisconsin State Journal.

New Glarus Staghorn Oktoberfest: I enjoyed two of these excellent beers while attending the New Glarus Oktoberfest celebration with fellow game designers: Brett Myers (@Brettspiel), Chevee Dodd (@cheveedodd), and Dave Ross (@ddgdrs). The pretzel bigger than my head and the delicious brat were excellent as well!

Pearl Street El Heffe: This was enjoyed at Protospiel, in a glass, because we bring glasses to Protospiel because beer is better in a glass than the bottle. It was a fine wheat beer, though my attention was more on games than beer.

The Boards

X-Wing: I played my second game of X-Wing while brewing a Scotch Ale on a chilly Wedndesday night. It was beautiful! However, my experience was enhanced by my ability to roll only hits and critical hits. I think I only had three dice results all night that were misses.

Scoville: While at Protospiel I was able to teach a 4 player game and to partake in a 3 player game. The 4 player game had three first timers, so it took a little longer than I would have liked, but afterwards one of the new player said they’ll be backing it when it goes up on Kickstarter! So that was pretty awesome. And in the 3-player test I got a lot of good feedback which I will be mentioning to the publisher.

The blurriness is due to the Orcas jumping across time!

The blurriness is due to the Orcas jumping across time!

Quantum Orcas: Yes, this is the game that I made up last Friday in my Design Me article! I mocked it up and it actually got played 4 times during Protospiel. That was partially due to it being about a 10 minute game. It got comments like, “It didn’t suck,” “It was playable,” and “It was really interesting.” So I’m pleased that a game that was less than a day old was not broken and actually worked pretty well.

The City Beneath: Designed by my friend Adam Buckingham (@adambuckingham) this is a game about a heist crew who has stolen some stuff and now are trying to get away. In the game players begin with limited skills. Throughout the game they can increase their skills and be able to elude the police more efficiently while placing the blame on the other players. There are some really awesome social aspects to this game that make it quite enjoyable. Adam has put in a lot of effort and this game keeps getting better and better!

Hedeby: Chevee Dodd cut my first play of this short when he taught it at Protospiel-Milwaukee back in March. This time around, with the game being an insane overhaul of awesomeness, we were able to play the game without him ending it. This game is really fantastic! You are Vikings who are trying to raid and build a town. The engine building portion of the game is totally awesome and it gives you the means of decreasing the luck of the dice as the game progresses. I will be owning this game when it comes out!

Baron Age: By the designer of Coin Age, Adam McIver (@ad7m), this game has some of the feel of Coin Age, but it is ramped up in a most amazing way. In Baron Age players try to control areas to earn points. On it’s own that doesn’t sound that different or unique, but the way it is utilized in the game is awesome. Players each have their own scoring condition that is secret. Throughout the game you are rolling and placing dice onto a map with distinct regions, each with a different number of sections. Three dice can be placed in each region. But depending on what the die results were the player gets to do different things. I won’t give more details here, but like Hedeby, I will be owning this game when it comes out!


So that’s the Boards and Barley that I enjoyed this week. What did you enjoy this past week?

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