Hump Day Dump (8/6): The Probability of Fillers in your Adventuring Kit

A mid-week dump of the best blog posts from the last 7 days

I’ve been on vacation this week, so “Hump Day” is Sunday!

Here are your Four Fab posts of the week!
1. Why It’s Not Cool to Hate on Classic Games (iSlaytheDragon)
2. Kit of Adventuring (iHeartPrintandPlay)
3. Probability for Game Designers (League of Gamemakers)
4. 15 of the Best Filler Games (Clever Move)


 Why It’s Not Cool to Hate on Classic Games, by Jennifer
iSlaytheDragon, August 1

Yeah, there are elitists in our hobby, who sneer at the phrase “casual gamer” and consigner all players of ‘classic’ board games to the 7th level of Hell. It seems like it’s been Open Season on Monopoly and other games of the Past, but – as Jennifer points out –

Denigrating mass market/classic games doesn’t make you cool. It makes you an elitist game snob who turns people away from the hobby, rather than welcoming newcomers. Instead of slamming older games and the people who play them, try seeing those games as what they can be: An entry point into gaming for those who want to learn and grow in the hobby, or as a base level of participation in our hobby.


Kit of Adventuring, by Derek
iHeartPrintandPlay, August 1

A great RPGer’s accessory that’s doubly special because it’s free to print-and-play! With the help of a little origami now you can have all of your adventuring accoutrements at your literal fingertips.

I’ve created a print-and-play adventurer’s kit to keep with you at the game table. … These item cards come with fun art, a description of the item, and its value. Some of the items also include space for notes, like what you’ve filled your waterskin with (I recommend stout Dwarven beer). And to top things off, there’s a version of the item containers (backpack and belt pouch) that can be folded to store your other item cards in. The instructions for the origami containers are included in the downloadable PDF and are surprisingly easy.

Probability for Game Designers, by James Ernest
League of Gamemakers, July 30

It’s hard to make a deep, dry dissertation on design a Post of the Week. But it certainly is worth you spending a couple minutes of spare time in skimming over this great discussion on figuring out probabilities during a game.

James includes a number of practical exercises to help you learn how to improve your in-game math skills. Warning: It gets tougher as it goes on. But, then, getting the edge on your competitors isn’t supposed to be easy.

In the game Pairs, the goal is to avoid catching a pair (two cards of the same rank). The Pairs deck contains a triangular distribution of cards: 1 x 1, 2 x 2, 3 x 3, etc. up to 10 x 10. There are no other cards in the deck. This totals out to 55 cards. The question is: if you draw one card to a hand of (9,10), what are the odds of getting a pair?

You see, that’s why you need to learn Probability…

15 of the Best Filler Games—Clever Suggestions, by Matt M. Casey
Clever Move, August 1

Matt crowdsources a great list of filler games, because – seriously – you just cannot have too many filler games on hand.


(The above four blogs earn consideration for the BGA Blog of the Year Award. One point is awarded for being in the top 4, with an extra point given to the Post of the Week.)



LARP-ish, by Tony Boydell
Every Man Needs a Shed, August 1

LARP = Live Action Role Playing. It’s an awesome game format because it can be played anytime, anywhere. And Tony pulls one off with a troupe of young hiking companions.

To sweeten the blow of a 4 mile ‘boring walk’ for the assembled kiddage, Malc and I had devised a miniature LARP (live action role play) scenario. … Thus, the incline, woodland, beck-crossing bridges and cinder track played out as scenery for puzzles, single combat, jeopardous river crossings, … and other sundry curses.

Eurogames Reclamastion Project #2, by Michael Barnes
No High Scores, July 31

This month’s forgotten proto-Euro, the 2nd in an ongoing series, is Reiner Knizia’s Modern Art, from 1992.

Modern Art is quite possibly the greatest auction game ever designed not only because it connects the actions of the players to a very specific kind of subject matter, creating a narrative around the rising and falling values of works, … but also because of its sharp focus on thematic auctions to drive gameplay.

Gaming With Kids: Initial Impressions, by anonymous
Board Game Duel, August 2

The anonymous writer of this family-friendly blog finally invited young’uns to her game table (her nieces) and she shares her observations about introducing kids to cardboard. One of her revealing observations…?

3. Story and theme are very important to most kids.
I showed my nieces the game Kittens in a Blender and they thought it was the funniest thing ever. We didn’t get to play the game yet, but they kept asking me about it all night. Games with a story and theme are very important to a lot of kids. It can help break the barrier of a harder mechanic if there is a strong theme. … Any game where kids can develop a story can be essential to developing and keeping that creativity.

12 House Rules to Soften Settlers of Catan, by Matt M. Casey
Clever Move, July 18

This is a post that disappeared from my Saved folder but I brought it back from Limbo. It’s that good an article. You can pooh-pooh them as merely House Rules, but they’re well thought-out and a perfect way to refresh a stale game.

Make the Robber Wait
Getting attacked by the robber in the early game can take a lot of fun out of Catan. Not only does the player lose a resource, but he or she also loses future resources. Many groups handle this challenge socially and observe a simple etiquette to not kick a player who’s barely on the scoreboard. But sometimes a house rule is necessary. One of these may help:
   Require that all players impacted by the robber have at least three victory points.
   Require that all 7s rolled in the first round to be rerolled until the active player rolls any other value.

Which was your favorite post of the week? Did I forget to include it here? Tell us in the Comments section and we’ll compare notes!

  • 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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