1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [15]

Recommend
18 
 Thumb up
1.10
 tip
 Hide

"there are more hours of amusement in a single deck of cards than in all the world’s movies combined" -RG

I've tagged a lot of climbing games in this post. If that brought you here, then I apologize that I'm not going to write anything useful or meaningful about those games. But I won't lecture you either. All I'm going to do is quote Richard Garfield and encourage you to play a new-to-you card game with a traditional deck of playing cards that you already own. You won't regret it.
Phelddagrif wrote:
When I was in graduate school, I was introduced to a fascinating card game by a friend (who I called “Doctor Chocolate,” but that’s another story). I had never seen a game like it before; it rewarded the player in the lead and penalized the player who was falling behind. The game was played for no other purpose than to play. There was no winner or loser at the end; there was only the longest-lasting “Dalmuti” and the “peon,” the player most talented at groveling.

Later my friends and I introduced scoring to the game and started playing it to get a winner. It was fun. I played it with my bridge club. It was fun. I played it with my folks. It was fun. I played it with gamers, nongamers, young people, old people, all kinds of people . . . and it was always fun. Curiously, this game was fun no matter who was playing. And the most curious thing of all was that no matter who I played it with, once we started playing we couldn’t stop.

Intrigued by this game’s wide appeal, I tried to trace its origin. I couldn’t find it mentioned in any Hoyle, but I kept running into groups of players who played their own versions of the game. It went by different names indifferent locations: “Super 2 Peasant” in Japan, “Rich Man–Poor Man” in Alaska, “Scum” in Utah, among others. My hottest lead was a gambling game that was played in Chinatown in New York City. Though I couldn’t track down its name, I learned that it had been around for a long time, and it had qualities that would seem to make it a parent to all these other games.

Years later I found an amazing book that I recommend to anyone interested in games: A History of Card Games, by David Parlett. Parlett suggests that the common ancestor of these Dalmuti-like games is a Chinese game, “Zheng Shàng Yóu,” which literally means “Climbing Up.” Parlett’s book also makes reference to a Japanese game called “Dai Hin Min,” or “A Very Poor Man.” This meaning is ironic since I believe “Dai Hin Min” to be the origin of the word “Dalmuti,” which means something quite different in our game!

If you’ve enjoyed The Great Dalmuti® and don’t usually play regular card games, give them a try. For me there are more hours of amusement in a single deck of cards than in all the world’s movies combined. And I love the movies.

—Richard Garfield
The Great Dalmuti game designer
In particular, today, you should check out the many traditional climbing games that influenced the games that were tagged in this post. This list by Shobu1701 is an excellent place to start doing that:
Chinese climbing card games
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:06 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
28 
 Thumb up
5.05
 tip
 Hide

This is BGG.

Number of "Worker Placement" games on BGG: 2,939
Number of "Components: Traditional Card Games" games on BGG: 761

Thread: Why Are Public Domain Game Submissions No Longer Accepted?

I tried adding Bauernfangen to the database after reading that thread. I knew it was hopeless. I knew it would get rejected, but I did so after having the insight that the only differences between traditional games and brand new web-published games are the date they were released (often unknown) and their designer (often unknown).

"Hybrid games, that mix physical components with electronical elements are in scope, as are web-published games that come with clear instructions on how to assemble or create a physical game."

Bauernfangen is "web-published" exactly to the same extent that something like Sean's games are "web-published". The rules are online. Those rules direct you to what components to use and how to use them.

In my most recently updated version of Nein Nimmt!, the just-sorta-okay game that I designed, I explicitly disavowed all copyright. My game is truly "in the public domain". I think I'm going to submit it to BGG and see if BGG accepts it.

Anyhow, Bauernfangen got rejected.

Of course it did.

Now I'm thinking about rewriting the rules to this and other unlisted traditional games in my own words, publishing them online on my own website, and naming myself as the designer (or, better, maybe using a pseudonym; precedent has already been set with Harry Wu). These would be brand new web-published games! Maybe I'll even make "limited edition" boxed versions for sale. I'm going to call this the Five Cucumbers strategy for getting games on BGG.

Finally, nearly 3,000 worker placement games??? What alternate reality are we living in?
Twitter Facebook
6 Comments
Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:52 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Origin Story (of a comics nerd), for Loon.

This account is by necessity sketchy and incomplete. I lack any documentary evidence. My memory is faulty. I'll do my best...

-----

I don't have any clear memory of any first comic.


I remember digest-sized Archie and Richie Rich.

External image


I don't ever recall a world without superheroes. There were still Super Friends in the world I grew up in.

External image


I remember the giant flea market in Bohemia. There was a large book stall/area in the back. Part of that area had boxes full of comic books. I bought all the back issues I could. Superman and Batman. But mostly Spider-Man. I loved Spider-Man.

That flea market exposed me at an early age to a lot of the 80s anthropomorphic animal underground. This meant stuff like Fantagraphics' Critters and stuff even more inappropriate for children like Omaha the Cat Dancer. And not just animals. Vegetables! Flaming Carrot! I'm sure there's a ton of stuff I've forgotten. Weird stuff.

External image


That flea market introduced me to ElfQuest, which I loved at the time, and had me gravitate early to independent books.

That flea market introduced me to Groo the Barbarian. That reminds me that I was always reading Mad Magazine as a kid.

I remember picking up a TMNT trade at a Caldor (a local department store), which must have been in '90 or '91 (if the online publication dates for the volume are correct; I no longer have it).

I got my first comics store membership "pull list" at Time Tunnel Comics in 1989. The first two comics I got there were Spectacular Spider-Man #158 and Wolverine #18. I no longer own these either, but those covers are etched in my mind. The first comics I got as a member of a comics shop. I would have been 10 or 11 years old. That first time, my mother came into the store with me (a practice that she'd stop pretty quickly) to help me out. That was the beginning of the serious phase of my comics reading life, from roughly 1990 to 1997. My father had a landscaping business. I'd help him every year. As I got older and worked more, I got paid more... and a large portion of that money went towards comics (and CDs).

External image

External image


It's probably weird for a kid to start reading Cerebus at age 11 or so, but that's what I did. I think I had come across Cerebus at the flea market. I know I knew of him as a character from that TMNT tpb. I started reading Cerebus regularly in '91, maybe? It's maybe weird that I can't remember a first Cerebus, but almost all of the covers are iconic and I know I had a lot of back issues before subscribing.

External image

(Sim was always generous in giving space at the back of Cerebus to free samples of work from other independent creators. This issue was what introduced me to Bone before it became a huge hit relatively soon after.)

I loved Maus. I didn't really love Watchmen, but I was supposed to, so I tried.

'92 or so, I bought a copy of High Society and The Doll's House, which would be my introduction to Sandman.

1993. Sandman #47. Another comic cover etched into my consciousness.

External image


I was still reading superhero stuff, mostly Marvel, but now I was down the DC Vertigo rabbit hole. At the same time, or a little later, I read everything I could from Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly. Peter Bagge. Clowes. Joe Matt. Seth. Chester Brown.

I loved McCloud's Understanding Comics and bought copies just to give away.

I was still reading Marvel and DC stuff, but the 90s were pretty lame for superheroics, and I was into weirder, smaller superhero comics universes. I really appreciated what Shooter was doing with Valiant and Defiant. I was rooting for all the artists that started Image, following McFarlane and Larsen from Spider-Man and other titles. Sam Keith's MAXX is a forgotten title that I'd like to revisit.

Yes, I read Wizard, but I also started reading The Comics Journal (this marks me as a true nerd at this age, I think) and was reading pretty much any independent title of the mid90s.

Then, in '97 or '98, I gave away all of my superhero comics to a friend's little brother. A few years later, I gave away all of my indie titles to a good friend from college (we met when he commented on the Bone t-shirt that I was wearing).

I started a family at a young age. I stopped buying comics. (I also stopped buying CDs, but that's a different story).

But the comics bug never left me.

In the mid00s, I was going back to school, living in Buffalo, and I became a weekly regular at Don's Atomic Comics, where I knew I had found a home when I walked in and saw nothing but small press stuff up front. You had to walk through the independent titles to get to the superhero titles. I started spending too much again, exploring the current terrain. Weekly conversations with Don and other patrons were always a good time, maybe a little sophisticated, but pretty much your stereotypical geek gab sessions.

That phase only lasted about a year. I moved to the Binghamton area. Scott at Centerfield was always great. Tawna at Fat Cat was nice. They'd both order whatever, but neither was at all curious about anything beyond the superheroes that sold and made a profit. I figured that if I was just buying stuff and not being part of a community, then I could buy stuff just as well online for cheaper. Except I pretty much stopped buying stuff again.

I turned pretty heavily to early comic strips for a while. Little Nemo. Krazy Kat. Thimble Theatre. Alley Oop. I subscribed to Rick Norwood's Comics Revue. I don't think most people realize how vitally alive this format was in the early half of the 20th century. This is where most of the truly great 20th century comics art is to be found.

The local supermarket had a comics rack. For a while, I regularly bought Hulk (this was '06-'08, Planet Hulk) and ASM and Flash from the news rack.

External image


Years later, partially due to the comics rack disappearing at the grocery store, I returned to my comics shop roots and got a pull list with Scott at Centerfield. There have been a few decent series over the last several years, but mostly this meant Usagi Yojimbo and Uncle Scrooge, the two great all-ages titles that start with the letter U. I enjoyed sharing the joy of monthly serial story-telling with my children.

Scott closed up shop due to all the reasons you'd think a small shop closed last year. He was also just ready to retire.

I find myself again in a world without a pull list.

I do what I used to think was really sad. I read almost all of my "comics" on a digital device, a 10" tablet.

I pay for Marvel Unlimited. I pay for DC Infinite. I'll "borrow" stuff on Hoopla. I have no qualms about "pirating" whatever. I'll sometimes order direct from artists, guys like Kevin Huizenga or Anders Nilsen.

But I'm out of the loop and don't really know what's going on anymore and don't really care. I had almost convinced myself of that.

Then, The Loon, that masked raver, mysterious acolyte of the Sock Puppet, started blogging on BGG about... comics.

And that caught my attention. And now I'm reading (and re-reading) down the list of "100 greatest comic storylines of all time", which has at least partially resuscitated my dying comics devotion. For every Doom Patrol story that thrills me with its originality, I suffer through an Iron Fist arc that cribs from bad kung-fu movies. For every awestruck re-read of The Doll's House, a book that still gives me shivers, I attempt to suffer through an X-Force melodrama that I can't even finish, giving up in defeat. I'm looking forward to a re-read of The Great Cow Race. [I met Jeff Smith in '05, the only year I went to the Toronto Comics Arts Fest, when it was held in a parking lot tent and at local bars. Smith signed a copy of the then-new giant omnibus edition for me (as a gift to Abigail). I'll have to find that and take a photo. I also met Chester Brown, who was awkward and didn't want to talk about his Gospels adaptations that had appeared in Yummy Fur and were never collected. And I greatly enjoyed meeting Kevin Huizenga, who was young at the time (so was I!), and who I thought then was the greatest rising star of his generation; see for evidence Or Else #2, which I still think is one of the greatest comics of the last twenty years.]

Anyhow...
Subscribe to Loon's blog. Follow along. Yes, this has been an advertisement for Loon's blog. What did you think it was? Get over there and subscribe. It'll only cost you hours and hours of reading great comics over the next few months.
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:43 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

The day after the older family members learned and played Texas Hold'Em...

From gallery of trawlerman
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:28 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
21 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

"To pay attention, this is our endless / and proper work." -MO

I'm writing this on December 20th. It should appear to you on December 25th. Hopefully, on that day, I have stuck to my current resolve of logging off of BGG for a short break.

This post is here, but I haven't been here.

I bet you didn't even notice that I was gone.

That I'm still gone?

Did you know that you can schedule blog posts on BGG? I feel sort of like a time traveler right now, traveling from the past to arrive in your present. Then again, I guess that's always the magic of the written word, right? A time and space traveler. My words are present to you in your time and your space. And anticipating the day that this will post (if the BGG 'delay post' function can be trusted), I am not only thinking of being present, but considering each present moment as a present, a gift.

Christmas Day. May you all be merry and bright.

I don't have any game-related content.

Here's a link to my favorite Christmas poem. Enjoy.

On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
By John Milton


I'll be gone off of BGG until Epiphany, at which point I'm hoping that we'll be enough days into the new year that there will be a new trick-taking quarterly geeklist waiting there for me to contribute to. And I'll also post a new new-to-me geeklist and a new 'mindful spending' geeklist.

The love of exploring new games, that personal compulsion to catalog and comprehend through writing, that is part of why I'll return, but another huge reason is to follow your posts, your comments, your geeklists, etc. I'm very familiar with some of you reading this. I've followed your own BGG contributions with a grateful heart. It may be corny to state it so boldly, this affectionate gratitude, but it's true, and hopefully you'll be quick to forgive bold corniness this time of year. Others of you reading this may have never posted anything here or elsewhere on the site. I hope you do in 2022. Leave a comment here. Post a geeklist somewhere. Send me a geekmail. I'm always happy to connect with other geeks.

I do love games and I love this community, but I'm also a Luddite who longs to unplug completely. I'm taking a break now. Maybe I can find a way to take more micro-breaks from being online in the new year, to find that elusive balance. Balance or no, I'll be back, and I'll be glad to be back. Just maybe not so much. Maybe?
Twitter Facebook
3 Comments
Sat Dec 25, 2021 1:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Moosed

On the way home from work today, I bought some new-to-me beer. Why? It's time to celebrate tonight.

From gallery of trawlerman


I'm hard at work adding these right now before Sean can change his mind.

What beer did I buy to fortify me in these efforts? Moosehead, of course.

Since I've just read the rules to Cowbell Vira and re-read the rules to Moosehead, both today, here's a "selfie" of my own fat cow face drinking a Moosehead lager. The first photo I took was fuzzy. This was the 2nd. No polish. No filters. Just a tired, overweight middle-aged man enjoying a Canadian beer while trying to photograph himself. It probably could have been even more unflattering, but I hope it's bad enough. I can't wait to post a photo of this same face with a cow hat on its head after my inevitable failed Vira bid.

I'm also looking forward to logging my own first gaming purchase of 2022: a cow hat and a Cowbell. What hobby is this???

From gallery of trawlerman
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:02 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
36 
 Thumb up
0.30
 tip
 Hide

Nein Nimmt! and the 2021 Lentil Awards

From gallery of trawlerman
Um, so, I designed a card game?

It doesn't feel like I did much of anything.

I had an idea. I kept thinking about it all day.

I wrote down some hesitant rules.

I played the game with my daughter, tweaking a couple of rules as we went.

After three plays, I felt pretty confident about the results.

I think it's a good game.

But I'm probably blinded by bias, right?

If you feel so inclined, give it a try. Give me feedback. Be brutally honest. Tell me you don't like it. Tell me I'm stupid. Tell me I dont understand fun. Tell me you found some fatal flaw that breaks the game that I missed.

Rules: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Uheez8R-AOeIcSpR-SdfELl4...
[Edit: there was one major typo and a couple of minor rules fuzziness. I will try to keep this link updated with the most recent file. Thanks for all feedback.
Edit: minor edits - 12/17/21
Edit: I had changed the CC license the other day. Today, after re-watching Nina Paley talk about copyright, I took it out completely.
Share freely.]
(The formatting mimics the RS&R formatting; I took Sean's Vidrasso rules as my base template. I might have even left in a few sentences verbatim because they were already perfect sentences. I hope Sean doesn't sue me for this blatant plagiarism.)

This game was inspired by 6 nimmt!, the Strawman Variations, Nein Nine, and the 36-card Jass deck.

-----

In addition to thinking up a new game into the world, I've been engaged in my usual list-making. I was going to wait until the very end of the year to make my Top Ten New-to-Me list, but I couldn't wait any longer. Now, instead, I'm going to try not to play any new games for the rest of the year. I've already played 100+ new-to-me games. I think it's time for me to be done.

Here they are. The Lentils. Insert a few Cynic quotes on not caring about stuff. For context, here is last year's post: The Lentils. All you really need to know: "Like the humble lentil, each one of these games is affordable, satisfying, and good for you."

I've written about all of these games on my new-to-me list. In the case of some games, I've also written about them in more than a few other places. If you've been reading me, you know why I love these games. If you haven't been, the new-to-me list is the place to check out. I won't repeat myself here this year.

True Lentils: Top 10 New-to-Me Traditional Cards
#1: Barbershop
#2: Whiskey Cream
#3: Salvage
#4: Twister
#5: Dickory
#6: Nein Nine
#7: Chonkers
#8: Mittlere
#9: Bookshop
#10: Madjack

These are all games that can be (and should be) played with a traditional deck and require no further components. I'm cheating a little bit by including Salvage here, because I used Go stones as the oil tokens, but the game uses a stripped 36 card deck. The oil tokens can easily be 15 of the remaining face-down cards from the deck, so it fits my criteria for this list.

Honorables:
Bears!
Cupid
Hey Nakanuki

I loved all three of these, but they're disqualified from the above list because they require more than a single standard deck. Bears! requires you to permanently modify a deck with a permanent marker (or you can import a copy). Cupid requires a cribbage board (you can play without, but you don't want to). Nakanuki requires at least three stripped decks.

More True Lentils: Top 3 Traditional Boards & Bits
Morris
Tama
Würfel Totten

These are the best new-to-me "abstract strategy" games that I played this year.

Top 10 New-to-Me Commercial Boxed Games
#1: Great Plains
#2: Yellow & Yangtze
#3: Oriflamme
#4: Iberian Gauge
#5: Jaipur
#6: The King is Dead
#7: Tammany Hall
#8: Stephenson's Rocket
#9: Here to Slay
#10: Railroad Ink

This is the category that BGG would have you believe is the hobby. Meh. The games above are good games, but published big (or small) box games are the least interesting games to me right now. First, I'd rather be playing a classic card game or a classic abstract game. Second, there is no second, I'd rather be playing a classic card game or a classic abstract game.

Almost all of the above games would qualify as OG. If you liked any of the above games and you're not a member of the OG guild, well, you should be.

Honorables:
Kluster
Penguin Pile-Up (new edition)

Both of these games have been hits with my kids. I like them both, but it doesn't matter how I feel about them. They've become permanent parts of the collection.

-----

That's it.

I think I'm done blogging for the year. I'm done with geeklists for the year. I'm still debating whether or not I'll take another "Winter Sabbatical". I don't know.

I've been toying with the idea of a paper 'zine. I've already written a post about it, most of it written at least six months ago, but I haven't made it public yet. I don't know. It's a crazy idea. Who cares about paper? Who cares about print? I do? Do I? I don't know. I love snail mail, but... it's also absurd when it is competing against daily instant communication. I'm happy embracing the absurd, but is it also ridiculous? I think I can also happily embrace the ridiculous.

I love BGG. I "hate" BGG.

At the end of another crazy year, I'm glad for all of the human connections I've made here. They've been digital, sure, but they've been real. I'd be happy to buy many, many of you a beer or two or three or four, and play games late into the night (while chain smoking, of course; I don't understand how the rest of you stay awake so late so often). Instead I settle for bits and bytes.

May you all end your year well. I'll see you around in 2022.
Twitter Facebook
21 Comments
Thu Dec 16, 2021 1:20 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Year in Review - 2006

I just stumbled upon this year-in-review list I wrote (probably in late Dec 2006 or early January 2007) for the Buffalo Meetup group, which was the best public gaming group I've ever been a part of (yes, even better than the group I ran myself). As I'm thinking about my 2021 best-of-year list, it's good to look at something like this, recognize that I haven't played any of these games in a long time, and yet I still look at this list and smile gratefully for the good times that these games provided me.

----------

10. Werewolf - Yum, meat sauce. The classic moment was when James got voted out after just showing up for game night. The poor bloke had to sit out the rest of the game. The ultimate reason behind this was, of course, Dee's insane meta-vengeance, something I certainly miss. :>

9. Battleground: Fantasy Warfare - I think that I don't like this game as much as I want to. Nevertheless, this game is on the list because I had a lot of fun rolling gobs of dice for my goblin bomb-chuckers, even if they did malfunction half the time. I ended up goblin guts at the end of the day, but I enjoyed every moment of defeat.

8. Gulo Gulo - My oldest daughter pulls this out within 10 minutes of any guest showing up at our house. Honestly, I enjoy her enjoyment more than the game itself. Nevertheless, playing this game with my children has been some of the best gaming fun of 2006. Playing Lost Cities with my wife fits in here, too, but Gulo Gulo is more fun to say, so it wins out the tie.

7. Heroscape - This game is fun, fun, and more fun. I've had to quit buying expansions cold turkey. No more. I may break down and buy one castle set, but definitely no more figures. This game has cost me too much money. The 6-player skirmish at D'Youville was one of the best, light gaming moments of my year. Coupled with the few times that I've played with my brothers-in-law, Heroscape deserves a place on the list.

6. Bang! - I love this game, even the player elimination aspect. My worst gaming moment of the year was when I pulled off the Renegade perfectly the whole game, then punched the Sherriff one moment too soon. If I could add a game as a tie, I would definitely tie this with Way Out West. I've loved watching the crazy duels that develop over town ownership. I've watched players throw away any chance of winning just to defend their honor.

5. Trias - I've developed a lasting crush on this game. It combines a strong strategic element with the screw-your-neighbor fun of dumpin' dinos in the ocean.

4. Zertz - This has become one of my most played games of the year and I still can barely comprehend how to play well. I've had the chance to play all of the Gipf games (except Dvonn) now and I'm listing Zertz here to stand in for them all. Great games, and I even love Tamsk, which doesn't get a lot of love. If I had to choose, though, Zertz is my favorite at the moment and definitely my most played for 2006.

3. Descent: Journeys in the Dark - Descent provided me with some of the most fun experiences for the year. Who can forget those singing skulls or those lecherous beastmen? Also, if it wasn't for this game, I'd have no idea at all how fantastic Jenna is at opening doors!

2. The Downfall of Pompeii - This was a case of love at first game turn. After playing this, I rediscovered that the primary reason that I play games isn't always the mental struggle, but rather the incredible amount of fun that is available to be had!

1. Hammer of the Scots - Even though my inability to get this game on the table has become something of a joke, this remains my favorite game. Despite my intense desire to play all the time, I only played this twice during 2006. Nevertheless, those two games were among the most tense and fun hours of gaming that I experienced all year. Never mind the fact that I was completely crushed both times I played!
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Fri Dec 10, 2021 11:41 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

A Gathering of Geeklists

I've made a lot of geeklists lately (meaning the last two weeks since the last time I posted about making geeklists).
Here they are:
Trawlerman's 10 Favorite Trick-Taking Games (Excluding Climbing/Shedding Games) 2021 Edition
25 more 2s >2000 (A Deep Cat's Couples' Cuts)
Riffle Shuffle & Roll: New Games - Rooted in Tradition
Trawlerman's 2021 Trick-Taker Watchlist
Trawlerman's Top 20 for Two - 2021 Edition (w/ music too)
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:57 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide

Music to help you get through your Monday.

I've been up since 3am. For reasons. A couple of hours ago, I put together a playlist to help me get through the rest of the day. I'm sharing it now just in case you too need help getting through the rest of the day. Sorry if you don't have Spotify.
https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5YXjbeYvetW4ya0mDuDXUD
Twitter Facebook
1 Comment
Mon Nov 22, 2021 2:33 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5  Next »  [15]