In My Collection: Abstract Games

I like abstract games! What does that mean! What is an abstract game! Why am I using the exclamation point for questions! πŸ˜›

Board Game Geek defines Abstract Games as follows:

An abstract strategy game is a strategy game that minimizes luck and does not rely on a theme. Almost all abstract strategy games will conform to the strictest definition of: a gameboard, card, or tile game in which there is no hidden information, no non-deterministic elements (such as shuffled cards or dice rolls), and (usually) two players or teams taking a finite number of alternating turns.

Wikipedia uses the following definition:

An abstract strategy game is a strategy game in which the theme is not important to the experience of playing. Many of the world’s classic board games, including chess, Go, checkers and draughts, xiangqi (Chinese chess), shogi (Japanese chess), Reversi (marketed as “Othello”), nine men’s morris, and most mancala variants, fit into this category.

When I was growing up I played a lot of standard games like Sorry and Risk and Monopoly. As a teenager I grew to hate Trivial Pursuit. πŸ˜› I also played checkers, chess, and tic-tac-toe. And I liked puzzles. Not jigsaw puzzles, but math or physical puzzles. As my interest in board games was rekindled I learned about an entirely new (to me) category of abstract games. Continue reading “In My Collection: Abstract Games”

Beyond Chess Revisited

Beyond Chess Components
Beyond Chess Components
A while back I wrote about how I encountered the game called Beyond Chess. I don’t get the game out every month, but it is a regular fixture when I teach the Chess merit badge, and it has also been on a couple of trips. What fascinates me the most, I guess, is how little information there is about the game on the Internet. There is almost no discussion on Board Game Geek and the original web site is defunct. Even the “wayback machine” (aka the Internet Archive) doesn’t have anything useful! There is nothing on Amazon, and as I write this there is one active listing on eBay (asking price: $39.95) and nothing in the 90 day sales history.

Not too long ago I was in Denver and I stopped by one of my favorite stores: Black and Read. What did I find? I found another copy of Beyond Chess! But with a twist! Continue reading “Beyond Chess Revisited”

Bargain Disappointment

There are several Half Price Books stores in our area, which I like. I like to read, I like to listen to music, I like to watch movies, and I like board games. They have all of these things. They buy used and resell, but they also sell new items on occasion as well. (For example, right now they’re carrying the board game Scythe and Sagrada and others still in shrink wrap.)

This past week was one of their thrice-yearly progressive sales. They start with a 20% off a single item coupon for Monday and Tuesday, move to 30% off a single item for Wednesday and Thursday, graduate to 40% off a single item on Friday and Saturday, and finish with a 50% off coupon (again, a single item) for Sunday. I will frequently visit several stores early in the week to scope out what is available, and if possible; I will even put items on hold to purchase later in the week. (They will hold items for up to three days.) It’s a great way to get bargains, and since we have about a dozen stores in our area the selections are often quite good.

This week my take included a copy of Overlords of Infamy still in shrink-wrap, a copy of the third edition of Red November, a copy of Mastermind that was brand new, a copy of an interesting Hawaiian-themed game called Haleakala that has superb quality components, and among a few other things a copy of Nuns on the Run.

I had tried to buy a copy of Nuns earlier this year on a different edition of the progressive sale, but someone beat me to it. (That’s when I learned if there is something I want, I need to put it on hold.) This time I found it and picked it up on a 40% day, which was still a bargain considering what it typically goes for on eBay.

Unfortunately the story does not end well. I opened the game this evening to do an inventory, and two of the cards were missing. Nope, wait; one of them was just stuck in the manual. But the other card was definitely missing. I even had my wife come look through the box and make sure. Oh well, I do have the receipt and I will return it. And I still picked up some interesting new additions to my game collection.

Oh, and I got to play Scythe again this weekend! But that’s a story that I haven’t even begun to tell, so I’ll provide details on that later.

Father’s Day Fun

β€œA good friend will help you move, but a true friend will help you move a body.”
— Steven J. Daniels

Love Letter Premium
Love Letter Premium
Yesterday we helped some friends move. Today the same friends came over and we had a much less stressful afternoon for Father’s Day. We played several games of Welcome to the Dungeon along with a session of Love Letter. I had picked up a premium edition of “Love Letter” essentially by accident, but it sure is pretty. Normally with this group of friends we like to play Pandemic or Dead of Winter but after a long day moving boxes around it was nice to have something simple.

Good times. 😎

Game Night! How To Transport Games…

I love Game Night. Or even Game Day Lunch. We don’t have nearly enough of them, unfortunately. When we do, we are not always the host. That spawns the question: Where are we going to play? What games do we want to play? How are we going to transport them? Wait, that was actually three questions.Β  πŸ˜‰Β Today I’m going to post about options I’ve tried for carrying games, other than this:

Armored Truck
Armored Truck

Continue reading “Game Night! How To Transport Games…”

Oops!

Fury Of Dracula
Fury Of Dracula
As detailed previously, I picked up a game called Fury of Dracula essentially by accident. I bought the 3rd edition. A 4th edition was just released but by a new publisher. What the new publisher did really well (and frankly I was quite impressed) was they spent time reading and talking to folks on BoardGameGeek.com to review commonly debated issues and address them in the revised rule book. Fantastic idea!

The problems came about because the same level of attention was not given to the graphical elements of the board game. Oops. Continue reading “Oops!”

Acquiring Out of Print Games

The best part about a hobby is the fun and joy that it can bring. The worst part is when you are late to the party and missed out on something. That’s when you learn the meaning of horrible acronyms like HTF (Hard To Find) or OOP (Out Of Print). That has been the case for me with Merlin’s Company, the expansion for Shadows Over Camelot. This is the story of my quest. Continue reading “Acquiring Out of Print Games”

Beyond Chess Back Story

A few weeks ago I posted the rules for a chess variant called Beyond Chess. I thought I would write more about how I came to find the game and how it helped me learn something about the game that I didn’t know before.

I found this game on eBay. I have no idea what I was looking for, because I’m not normally going out of my way to look for chess variations. The auction didn’t attract a lot of attention, and I ended up making the purchase for $15 which included free shipping. (I bought the game in March, 2016, so my memory is a bit fuzzy.) The game was listed as new but unfortunately was missing a pawn. I contacted the seller, and they looked all over but were not able to find the missing piece. That was disappointing. But rather than give up, I started a quest. Continue reading “Beyond Chess Back Story”

Beyond Chess Manual

Beyond Chess Box
Beyond Chess Box
I picked up a copy of Beyond Chess via eBay several years ago. At the time I was teaching the Chess Merit Badge to a group of Boy Scouts and found the idea of a modular board very intriguing. It was something I thought would give the more advanced chess players something to do while the less experienced players learned the basics.

The copy that I bought remains the only copy I have ever seen. Continue reading “Beyond Chess Manual”