29 December 2018

Fighting with your Allies

In the foreground is a group of four red meeples next to a group of four black meeples. In the background can be seen a cluster of meeples, with the ones on the left in blue, the ones next to those in purple, then green, and the ones on the right are yellow.
As you may already know if you follow the Game Dork's Gaming Corner page on Facebook (and if you don't, you should! You get to see some cool stuff over there!), I have helped to organise a series of special community events with Loot & XP, in conjunction with the local chapter of PFLAG. Specifically, there was some interest expressed in getting together for some board games. PFLAG does great work, and I'm pleased to be part of what they do, but one night, it was put forward that there are seldom any social meetings in the group. When there is a PFLAG meeting, it's either to support people who are having issues, or to advocate for people who are being marginalised, or to educate people. Rarely do group members get together to socialise.

Well, I took those ideas, and I ran with them. I spoke to the PFLAG leadership, and I co-ordinated with the owners of Loot & XP, and we hosted what we called the 'Trans Friendly Game Night.' The idea was to provide a welcoming space for a fun activity in an inclusive environment. The first session took place this past May.

22 December 2018

PinkFae Archive #25: How to GM Part 2: Finding Players

Today, we look at the second article from the 'How to GM' series that I wrote for PinkFae. This one discusses how to find players and form a gaming group. It was originally published on 10 July 2016.

A group of players sitting around a table covered with books and dice playing a game of Dungeons and Dragons.

So you've found a game that you want to GM. You've looked at the systems, examined the genres, and decided which one was best for you. Now you have to complicate matters by adding extra people to the mix. You need to find some players to play in your game.

Today's entry will be an examination of the things to consider when selecting players. We'll look at fitting players to your game, fitting players to each other, choosing a group size, fitting players to you as GM, and (some might argue, most importantly) fitting everyone's schedule together.

15 December 2018

Board Game Review: The Grimm Forest

There is a debate amongst enthusiasts in the board game community about the importance of the quality of components. Some people think that games with lots of well-crafted miniatures, like those from Scythe, are essential. Other players feel that a game is just as enjoyable with simple cardboard tokens as long as it doesn't affect gameplay.

I have stumbled across a game that puts that idea to the test. The game is called The Grimm Forest, and it is a delightful little game by Tim Eisner, published by Druid City.

The game box, with whimsical fairy tale illustrations including, at its centre, the three little pigs in miniature standing on an open storybook from which the game title emerges, on a table behind a game in progress. Several player mats are seen around the table, each with houses of brick, straw, and wood in various stages of completion on them, with a number of cards and miniatures on display around the table as well.

The game is a very simple affair, thought it packs in a surprising amount of depth. But the real draw of this game is the miniatures. In addition to the player pieces (whimsical representations of the characters from the story of the Three Little Pigs), there are monster pieces (a dragon, some wolves—including one 'big bad wolf'—, a troll, and others), and a gorgeous lectern with an open book to serve as the first player token. The object of the game is be the first to build three houses (of wood, brick, or straw, as in the fairy tale), and the houses are also represented by absolutely beautiful plastic pieces.

08 December 2018

PinkFae Archive #24: Divisive Behaviour in the Gaming Community

Today's article is another PinkFae archive. This article was originally published on 4 July 2018.

a circle of six red meeples surrounding a blue meeple, to symbolise the divisive nature of some people

I was thinking about the way that people exclude one another. Once upon a time, humans lived in a society in which inclusion was essential. Before the advent of agriculture, humans did not tolerate behaviour that benefited an individual over the tribe. After we started farming, though, ownership became important, and it changed everything. Now we live in a society that stresses individual good over group cohesion. The divisive nature of modern society has a far reaching impact; it even affects the gaming community. Today, I would like to discuss the nature of that division.

01 December 2018

PinkFae Archive #23: Board Game Review: Between Two Cities

This week's article is another board game review in the PinkFae Archive series. This entry looks at the game Between Two Cities from Stonemaier Games. This post was first published on 25 June 2016.

Please remember that since this articles is from the PinkFae Archives, it was written before I had added the 'Gamer Profile Ratings' and 'The Six Characteristics of a Good Game' to my rating system.

A game of Between Two Cities in progress: the scoring board is in the centre, with the square tiles that form the cities in groups around the edge of the playing area. Stacks of unused tiles, marked with player pieces, sit nearby.

We have come to the time in which I review yet another board game. This time around, we will look at a very enjoyable game called Between Two Cities. This city-building game has elements of both co-operative and competitive games, using a hand turning mechanism like 7 Wonders or Sushi Go. But let's not get ahead of ourselves... we'll look at the numbers first, and go from there.