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Tabletop Games, Simplified. Building, Painting, reviews, and tools of the hobby. We cover tabletop miniatures games from Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Bolt Action, to Warmachine and much more. Pull up a seat, pick up the brush and sit back for some tools and rules with us fools! We have fun at the table!
 
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Finally, the baton of ringmaster has been passed to you. Your predecessor has been in the job for many decades, but now it's your turn. You need to get the most out of the motley crew of performers and put together a show that will beat your rivals'. Yet, immediately it becomes clear that you need to bring in new talent to make your circus really s…
 
I love playing board or card games with my wife. Spending a little, or a lot of time together focused on the same activity is a wonderful way to connect. It started as a date night, but now we might play a quick 5-10 minute game or two over lunch or we play a longer game. Co-operative games tend to be our favourite. Working together to solve the pu…
 
Waking up from an uneasy sleep, you look around. You aren't quite sure where you are or how you got here. There is moonlight streaming through the small, barred window. It looks like you're in some sort of cell, but you're not chained up or otherwise restrained unlike the skeleton opposite you. There is only one thing for it. You have to find a way…
 
As you probably know by now, I'm a very visual person. I love great illustrations in board games, hence my series "Let me illustrate" highlighting board game artists in the industry. At the same time, a board game with an amazing look alone is not enough. The gameplay needs to be great too and the rules must not be more complicated than necessary f…
 
Waking up from years of hibernation, all of us were a bit dazed and confused. Temporary amnesia was very common and while we all knew our names, we only had some basic memories of what had happened before or what we were meant to do. We weren't even sure which ship we were on, let alone its layout. When we saw that one of our colleagues was dead an…
 
The genre of roll-and-something or something-and-write or whatever else there is these days has really grown in the last few years. To start with, there was a deluge of Yahtzee-style games, but soon the genre added themes and settings to try and draw people in and make them feel like they were exploring a map or fighting monsters. In this article, …
 
The UK Games Expo is the largest hobby games convention in the United Kingdom. It covers all types of hobby games, including board games, card games, RPGs, war games and many, many more. After a break of a couple of years, I was finally ready to make my way up to the NEC, Birmingham again in 2022. However, this time, a friend from my games group jo…
 
I know this is a First World problem, but I currently have a number of games sitting on my shelves that I haven't played yet. I also know that I'm not the only one with a "shelf of opportunity" that seems to be growing, rather than shrinking. I basically have too many board games. It seems to be something that's quite common in the board game hobby…
 
The game, it's a test of sorts, for determining whether something is a machine or a human being. There's a judge and a subject. The judge asks questions and based on the subject's answers they determine who they are speaking with - what they are speaking with. All you have to do is ask a question. So, now it's your turn to ask Turing by Glenn Ford …
 
I have now spoken quite a bit about how to teach board games to people. Those articles were about teaching games that you have already played yourself and therefore know relatively well. However, when you buy a game, you will be faced with the difficult task of teaching the rules for the first time, before having played it yourself even once. Read …
 
From ancient times to the present day, women have never been recognised for their contributions to the world. Yet, throughout history, there have always been women who were strong leaders, who fought for better conditions and equal rights, and not just for themselves, who made significant scientific breakthroughs, were trendsetting artists and did …
 
The last UK Games Expo I attended was 2019. It was an amazing event and I came back from it buzzing, full of ideas and the energy you get after you've been able to catch up with good friends again. We all know what happened soon after the 2019 event. So when UKGE came back as an in-person event in 2021, I decided to give it a miss. However, now it'…
 
The Caliphate is in turmoil. The Murshid spreads its influence and whispers into the Sultan's ear, trying to affect where they build their magnificent towns and cities. The Warlord ravages the lands, plundering and destroying everything in their way. Nothing is safe and everyone has their own goals. So as the sun sets on the deserts, mountains and …
 
I feel that the board game hobby is great and that our community is wonderful. Board games bring like-minded people together. I know, nothing is ever perfect and we can't ignore the bad actors, but on the whole, board game people, if I may address you all this way, are great folk. Playing board games is my happy place and I feel very much at home w…
 
The boats were making their way out to sea, heading for the three main fishing grounds off the coast of the Isle of Norsica. You were hoping that your fleet would bring back the best catch. It would require brain and brawn to beat the rival clans and land the biggest fish. If your clan could grab the most lucrative haul, you would be crowned Skora …
 
Teaching a game isn't easy and the same is true for learning. The teacher will do their best to explain everything and get everything right, but the first play of a game should always be chalked down to experience. Players should do what they can to help and expect mistakes to creep in. However, there are also things the game itself can do to make …
 
The squad had been practising many hours a week for months to get to this point. They were up against a tough team, but they had the belief, conviction and the appetite to win. The determination was written on every single swimmer's face. As the routine started, it was clear that these women were headed for glory. The tension grew as the music play…
 
Hobbies are known to be a way to reduce stress and can improve feelings of anxiety and depression. Board games are, of course, no different. In this article, I want to look at how playing board games can help your mental health. Read the full article here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/05/03/board-game-relief-topic-discussion/ Intro Music: Bom…
 
The woodcutter and I were travelling the lands when we reached a kingdom far to the south. Its people were most distraught, because the fairies of the woods had kidnapped the most famous musician whose music made everything better. Of course, we agreed to help the people without hesitation. We ventured into the forest and peeked under every leaf an…
 
It's so very easy to dismiss the old adage that we learn through play. Many of us take our shared hobby very seriously. We're highly competitive and want to win. We need to play by the rules. It's an unwritten law - but it's a law nevertheless. It's "the law". Yet, when we see how young children interact with games, it's often very different to wha…
 
Get your friends together, grab some bits from the local junkyard and assemble everything into the best stronghold you can, to be crowned champion of the Junk Forts by Matthew Dunstan and Brett J. Gilbert from Inside the Box Board Games. Read the full review here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/04/23/junk-forts-saturday-review/ Useful Links Jun…
 
The following article was written by Laurie Trueblood of Adventures of Authenticity. As a kid, family game night was a staple and we had that one closet that always seemed to overflow with board games. As I got older, I added tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons and video games. And while gaming has always been a part of my lifestyle, I never real…
 
It is the 11th century AD and the Vikings regularly invade our lands, while my domestic rivals try to forcefully take territory from me, without much luck. My military prowess is well known and I prove myself again and again, while also forging political alliances by strategically arranging marriages between my family members and other important ho…
 
When you have a long-standing, regular games group, you will probably have already established certain "house rules" that define what's considered good behaviour at the table. Chances are many of them are actually unwritten rules that have just come out over time and are based on the types of people you play with. In this article, I want to try and…
 
After graduating from Oxford, specializing in criminal law, it was time for me to travel and see the world. Little did I know that every journey I took would present me with a mystery I had to solve using my formidable spirit of deduction and unfailing determination. Tiny clues would lead me along a trail of discovering more and more proof which wo…
 
Staunch competitive players may feel that co-operative games are a bit pointless. After all, it makes more sense if there is only one winner, rather than several, or so their reasoning might go. However, even if you love co-operative games and even if you prefer them to competitive games, there are some games where you don't feel like you're achiev…
 
There is something hiding in the city. I'm sure of it. I keep finding clues and my detectors are picking up very strange signals - but I need proof! Hard facts that I can present to the science community to make them believe that I have found a Cryptid: Urban Legends by Hal Duncan and Ruth Veevers from Osprey Games. Read the full review here: https…
 
Rob Ingle works for Stop, Drop and Roll Games Studio and has been an artist for a long time. As he says himself, he is straightforward, honest and punctual. He is skilled in illustration, design and all manner of creative work. Read the audio transcript here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/03/30/rob-ingle-let-me-illustrate/ If you want to suppo…
 
We all know how some games can take a while to set up. Sometimes it's because there are just a lot of components and different pieces to take out of the box and place on the table. Other times, it's because you have to sort components a certain way, after they were all mixed together in a previous play of the game. The opposite can also be true, wh…
 
My last board game convention was Airecon 2020 and it was the last event of its kind in the UK - and as it turned out, there wasn't going to be another in-person UK board game convention until 2021. It was a wonderful event, even though everything felt weird. Nobody was sure whether to shake hands or not. The special guests who had flown in from th…
 
Co-operative games come in all shapes in sizes, just like any game. So there should be something there for anyone, irrespective of what you're looking for, as long as you want an experience where everyone works together to win the game as a team. In this article, I look at a handful of different types of co-operative games, giving examples of games…
 
Shuffle your deck of creature and vegetable cards, put the pile facedown on the table and spread the cards out, so everyone can reach them and after explaining a handful of rules, you're ready to play A game about quickly grabbing creatures that are totally different & counting your beetroots by Andrew Beardsley and Behrooz Shahriari from Stuff By …
 
I don't know if you've ever come across it, but the final round, or sometimes the final few rounds, of a game often feel different to the rest of the game. There is the common term "end game" and the concept of an "end game trigger" in modern board games, so there is a relatively clear distinction between how a game finishes and the rest of the gam…
 
The city-states of Venice, Florence and Genoa and their economy were doing extremely well. However, their military strength was extremely lacking not only in size, but also in experience and conviction. It was clear that strong soldiers with real battle experience were needed. So when the English soldiers returned from the Crusades, they were welco…
 
Hey there. It's Joe Slack from the Board Game Design Course. Oliver was kind enough to let me write a guest post on his blog about victory conditions other than victory points to spark some new ideas and get you thinking about other new games to play. I hope you enjoy this article! Victory points (VP) are so common in modern board games, along with…
 
Sending someone a letter seems to have become a thing of the past and sending people postcards is mostly restricted to when you've gone away on holiday - but it's been ages since many of us have done that. However, many of us love sharing games with others, so it would be amazing if you could send someone a card that's also a game and even add a li…
 
Amelie Le-Roche is a veteran video game animator, creating games in her free time. She loves to explore different art styles and unique themes while creating family-friendly board games. She started Zerua Games in 2018 (which means "sky" in Basque) as a creative outlet. Read the audio transcript here: https://tabletopgamesblog.com/2022/03/02/amelie…
 
A large number of board games are about winning and losing. Sure, for many of us, it doesn't really matter whether we win or lose, as long as we have a good time, either with friends, family or alone. In co-operative games, you play against the game itself and either you win or the game does. The same goes for solo games, of course, which are basic…
 
It is the evening and everyone has gone home, but you. The library is dark and everything is quiet, when suddenly, out of the corner of your eyes, you think you can see a book opening all by itself in the horror aisle. As you turn to get a better look, you see Dracula standing there, with Bram Stoker's book by his feet. You know exactly what to do,…
 
Hi! My name is Lewis Shaw and I run Braincrack Games, a UK-based tabletop games publisher that's been bouncing around the scene since 2016. After my recent interview with Heavy Cardboard and a post on our own blog where I listed some of the reasons I don't think people should rush to start their own board game publishers, Oliver was kind enough to …
 
We were still trying to understand the special powers of the 8 elemental realms and how our dragon, wizard and warriors could take advantage of each and how we could impose our dominance over the other factions in this growing world. Each realm also had a giant monster that would wreak death and cause havoc amongst us, if we couldn't work out how t…
 
The idea that variability and replayability in board games have the same meaning is understandable, but of course, even though the two terms are related, they are independent of each other. Just because there is a lot of variability in a game doesn't mean that you'll want to play it over and over again and that it will feel different every time. Si…
 
It was quiet in the deep, dark wood. Everything was still and nothing stirred - but everyone was ready. The cats had taken up their position in every clearing, six birds were waiting patiently by their roost in one corner of the forest, the racoon had taken cover deep in the woods and the crows were biding their time in a handful of clearings of th…
 
The longer you have been part of the board game hobby, the more you are used to various terminology and conventions. You will also have become more accustomed to the way rulebooks describe games and how to read them to get the most out of them. However, if you're still new to the hobby then some things may not be obvious. In this article, I want to…
 
You were proud of your large library and your hard-working group of scribes was continually adding new tomes, with wonderfully decorative lettering and illustrations. However, you only had so much gold and the best scribes weren't cheap, but you had to somehow continue growing your collection of books to keep the bishop happy and outdo other abbots…
 
Albert Pinilla is an illustrator born in Barcelona. He is the co-creator and illustrator of the card game We Can Play: Women Who Changed The World and co-creator of the game publisher Julibert. He has also illustrated books such as The Interactive Constitution and Climate Change, the Choice Is Ours and has illustrated children's board games for com…
 
After setting up a board game and explaining the rules, if necessary, the next step usually is to decide who starts. Different games decide this differently, so in this article, I want to discuss the various ways in which board games choose the first player and I will also touch on games where the first player changes from round to round. Read the …
 
Around sixty million years ago on Earth, dinosaurs reigned supreme on land, but at sea, a giant struggle was still unfolding. Creatures were slowly adapting to the changes in their watery habitat and hoping to be victors in this fight for survival. The threat of a giant meteor striking the Earth was increasing all the time, so it was a race to beco…
 
Sometimes I get asked to recommend games for someone to play. As you can imagine, that's never easy and my first question tends to be what other games they have already played. If they're completely new to the hobby, I usually ask how many people they intend to play with, whether they're a competitive group, how long they're happy to play for. It's…
 
Spice, the final frontier. These are the adventures of the Houses Atreides and Harkonnen and the Imperium their five-round mission to explore Arrakis, to seek out new territories and new Spice Blows, to boldly go where no Fremen has gone before. This is Dune: A Game of Conquest and Diplomacy by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Peter Olotka, Greg Olotka…
 
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