A Primer on Brettspielwelt.de (BSW): the Games, the Client, and What You NEED to Know!
- Snooze FestUnited States
North CarolinaWe love our pups!! Misu, RIP 28 Nov 2010. Tikka, RIP 11 Aug 2011.
Newest game: Evolution
Index to this List
Asteroids (solo arcade game)
Auf Achse (Convoy)
Big Top (solo game)
Black Box (solo game)
Bluff (Liar's Dice)
Carcassonne (many flavors)
Castle for all Seasons
Choice (solo game)
Darts (solo game)
Dislodge (solo game)
Dominionremoved some time in 2013 Don Quixoteremoved some time in 2013
Flux (solo puzzle)
Hey! That's My Fish!
Imperial (including 2030)
Ingenious (solo version also)
MahJongg (solo game)
Mondoremoved some time in 2013 Niagara
PacMan (solo arcade game)
Pillars of the Earth
Power Grid (several maps)
Princes of Florence
Rotactical (solo game)
Saint Petersburg (includes solo play)
Settlers of Catan
Solitaire (solo game)
Sudoku (solo game)
Thurn and Taxis (and first expansion)
To Court the King
Top Raceremoved some time in 2013
Web of Power
Yahtzee (solo game)
Zatre (board and card games)
NOTE: The list is not sorted. Initial entries are in alphabetical order 'cause that's how I entered them. At the end, however, you'll see the newest games added to BSW. Use the index (above) to navigate to the game you want, or look on the last page to see what's new at BSW!
Playing board games face-to-face is much better than playing the same game online (most of the time): you get to handle the cool bits, you get to smack talk your buddies, and you can take a food/beer break whenever you feel like it. But if you just can't get together as often as you would like, having an online version available is a good thing. Many games are available at BSW. Some are very well done -- others, not so much. I originally had 2 lists, one for the well-done interfaces and another for the not-so-good. I've since consolidated the lists, and also expanded it to list every game available. As I play them, I'll try to add some information about each game's interface and also put in some BSW pictures instead of the default ones.
If you are scratching your head wondering what the heck I am talking about (which may well be possible, given all the new faces around here), read on!
What IS BSW?
BSW = Brettspielwelt, the world of boardgames. It is a free German site where you can play a variety of "euro" games against people from all over the world. There are some single-player games available, too. The most common complaint against BSW is that it is hard to simply find an opponent and play a game ... you have to deal with the whole Metagame thing (below). If you can get past this (and once you know how, it is actually very easy finding games) you will have a great opportunity to play against some very good players. Also, some complain about how some people at BSW whine about poor play, kingmaking etc. Well, as in any large group of people you are bound to find some a$$holes. But most people are there to play, and most are very willing to help you out. So, by all means go, play! There are a variety of links at the bottom, which should give you more than enough help.
BSW is a virtual world: there are cities (city-states, really) which have mayors, ambassadors, etc.; there are guilds which have whatever it is guilds have; there are taxes (unless you are a citizen of certain cities); there may even be death (I think you can be banned?). You earn money (talers) by playing games or winning lotteries. You can spend money to buy houses, do landscaping ... even start your own city. All of this is completely irrelevant if you just want to play games, but knowing something about it is helpful in getting around and in finding those games. One nice thing is that you don't have to do anything to participate - just play. As you play more, your rank goes up. With increasing rank, you get access to a few more commands. Check some of the links below for more information.
Some Useful Links
1. The Client
Download and install the client! Do it now! The application updates itself as needed, and helps you get to and play the games very easily. You can customize the appearance by configuring the .prop file (see #2). It is a much nicer way to play games at BSW, compared to the through-the-web (java) application.
2. The .prop File
This is the file (.prop is the file extension) that configures your client -- you'll find it in your Brettspielwelt folder. Freshly installed, it has only a few useful commands. You will definitely want to customize it.
a. My .prop
I keep an updated copy of my .prop (do a find/replace and put your own id/password there) on BGG! You have 2 options: either open your Brettspielwelt.prop file in a text editor and copy/paste the info found at the link above, or replace your .prop with the latest version I've uploaded to BGG (this one, however, is not updated as regularly); you'll find it under Miscellaneous Game Accessory, here.
b. ET Generator
This will generate a .prop file with many commands configured with control-key combinations. You will also have a bunch of drop-down menus allowing you to jump immediately to game rooms, issue commands etc., without having to remember any actual commands yourself. It's all in English, of course, and designed by/for EnglishTown! Unfortunately, it looks as if this site isn't kept up to date.
The place to go for good games! If you don't speak German, be sure to select one of the flags on the left side of the page before following any other links - much of the site will then be in the appropriate language. You can play games by following the "Games" link - it's a java application. Note that you will have a much better experience playing games if you use...
4. General BSW Information
Joe Lamer's Guide
You should check out Joe Lamer's excellent PDF, right here at the 'Geek. Look for the latest version of the BSW Guide, under Miscellaneous Game Accessory.
Jim Cote (ekted)
A great thread summarizing the highlights of BSW and the user interface, including some useful commands. I suggest, however, that you just use the .prop file linked in #2, above.
Jeff Bakulchuk (TheBoomer) has put together a great site. You'll find a quick start guide, detailed game instructions, more information about the metagame, and much more! Unfortunately, I don't think it's being kept up to date any more.
5. English Town (ET)
This is the website for BSW's largest English-speaking town. The site has some useful information about the town and its citizens (now including ELO ratings). Consider joining and becoming a citizen of ET! Why? They have (almost?) all the games available in BSW. If you join, you automatically start in the town when you enter BSW, and you can enter the town chat channel. Plus, no taxes. Join by messaging the mayor (can change monthly). There's a town puppet "Archie" that you can use to leave a message: type "/tell Archie" then "@send TheBoomer message" - TheBoomer will get the message when he next signs on.
Why join? Well, if you're into the metagame: there are no taxes (probably a slew of other reasons I know nothing about). If not: when you enter BSW, ET members automatically appear in ET. That's nice because everyone speaks English, so it is easy to find and communicate with other opponents. Also, as one of the largest towns ET has game rooms for almost every game in BSW ... very convenient!
How to join? In BSW, go to ET and type "/tell TheBoomer (or whoever is currently mayor) Hi, Mayor! I would like to join your wickedly cool city ... may I?" in the main window. If (s)he is online, (s)he will message you back and tell you what's what.
Note: There are plenty of other cities, too, including one with lots of BGG Werewolf players, another with lots of Canadians, etc.
6. Geeklist: BGGers on BSW https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/3882
7. Geeklist: BGG Tutors https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/662
8. BSW's Tutor Service: https://www.brettspielwelt.de/Hilfe/Tutorenprogramm/
This provides a little information about this service. Not much info, just a little!
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