Best Board Game Blogs of the Week: D&D without the Handbook, Wargaming without the Hexes

This is a recap of the best blog posts from the last 7 days. It’s usually posted mid-week, but I’ve been behind the past couple of weeks…


Hexless Wargames
Games on Tables, Sept. 2, by Marshall

A very readable look at the growth of wargames, from Chess to Kriegspiel to hex-based games, for better or for worse…

So why do we use hexes today? I presume this practice started to make games easier, to regulate movement, to have clear, understandable rules. Sounds good but the hardest part to learning a new wargame is all the rules related to hexes. Every game is different. Have you ever stopped to look at how much text in a rule book is dedicated to this? Hexes create a ton of problems.


How to Kill a Hot Game without Really Trying
ICv2, Sept. 2, by Scott Thorne

When it was first released, everyone seemed to want Marvel DiceMasters. Because of low supply, relatively few people got Marvel DiceMasters. Now, relatively few people want DiceMasters.

Scott writes about recent games that ran out of stock quickly and took  too long to restock.

If you have a collectable game, you have to have something for customers to collect. Magic: The Gathering could survive lengthy out of stocks in its early days since it had the market pretty much to itself. WizKids and Cryptozoic don’t have that luxury; there are too many other things out there for their customers to collect and play.

8 Ways to Experience the D&D Brand Without a Players Handbook
Clever Move, August 29, by Matt M. Casey

Spinoffs are common on Television, and they’re becoming more common on tabletops (Love Letter much?). By far, the masters of The Spinoff are Wizards of the Coast, who are milking the D&D universe for every single game idea they can think of.

Even if you’re tired of the decades-long Dungeons & Dragons avalanche, you might have played Lords of Waterdeep without realizing that it, too, was a spinoff….

Observations From a First Time GenCon Exhibitor
League of Gamemakers, September 1, by Jeff Cornelius

Gen Con booth – $1,000
Insurance & Power – $250
Banners & Furniture – $190
Prototypes – $380
Shirts (staff & volunteers) – $250
Swag – $110
Experiencing Gen Con from the exhibitor side – Priceless

That’s the Nutshell version, but the whole post is a highly readable account of an excited employee at his first company convention booth.

(The above four blogs earn consideration for the BGA Blog of the Year Award. One point is awarded for inclusion, with an extra point given to the Post of the Week.)


Landmark Games, Part 7: Can’t Stop
Mechanisms and Machinations, August 29, by Kevin G. Nunn

Many say it’s the best Push-Your-Luck game ever made. Why wouldn’t it be? It was created by legendary designer Sid Sackson. Like trying to analyze why a joke is funny, Kevin is breaking down a classic and explaining just why it’s a great game.

Autumn Leaves
Every Man Needs a Shed, Sept. 2, by Tony Boydell

The best of Tony’s week. He’s a prolific and interesting writer, but I only have room for one per, and this is it.


Which one of these posts did you enjoy? Are there any blogs that I missed last week? Let me know in the Comments section!

  • Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...

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