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Spotlight On: Word Frequency Analysis on BGG

Here’s a thread on the ‘geek that analyzes how often players use specific gaming terms in relation to a game.  As  data geek by career, I find this type of analysis to be an interesting way to find games that fit a certain style.

For instance, the word ‘fun’ appears in 269 out of 487 comments for the game Terror in Meeple City.   Does this mean that Terror in Meeple City is the most fun game?  Maybe.

I won’t recap all of the details here, but it’s worth a read if you are into this type of thing.



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Spotlight: Top Strategy Articles of 2014 on BGG

Like most gamers, I find to be an indispensable resource for all things gaming.   The problem is that sometimes (ok, almost all of the time) it’s like drinking from a fire hose.  So much information it’s hard to digest.

Sometimes really great content surfaces to the homepage while it’s hot, but over time, it disappears and becomes more difficult to find.

From time to time, my hope it to highlight some of these great articles.

So my first item is the Top Strategy Articles of 2014.

bgg_top_strategy articles


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Spotlight On: The Esoteric Order of Gamers



In my ongoing pursuit of the best gaming accessories, I came across a fantastic resource for reference materials.  The site is the Esoteric Order of Gamers.  The focus of the site is on thematic games, but they also have some rules summary documents for less thematic titles such as Agricola.  A very impressive site…



Here’s a few links to some rules summary as examples of their work:

Star Wars: Imperial Assault

Battlestar Galactica

Kudos to the folks at

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Building the Ultimate Game Room – Part 5: Done?

finished room 417

It’s been awhile since the last Ultimate Game Room post.   After about a 6 week build, the room is now complete.

This picture shows the before and after taken from roughly the same vantage point. The oak beam in the after picture is in the location of the removed wall.



For game shelving I opted for the Ikea Kallax shelves.   There are 3 of the 4×4 cube units, and 2  of the 2×4 cube units.

This next picture shows the room from the opposite side.   This was were the original garage area was.

The last remaining thing I’d like to do is to get different chairs.  The rolling chairs were Staples specials from about 5 years ago and they are quite worn.

I’d love to get some of the matching Geek Chic chairs, but at $800 per chair I need to explore more cost effective options.







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Building the Ultimate Game Room – Part 4: The Expansion


This is part four of a multi-part post chronicle my quest to have the ultimate board gaming man-cave.

If you are looking for part 1 try here or part 2 is here and part 3 is here.

A little over a year ago I made the statement “I think the room is pretty much finished at this point…but my obsessive streak may kick in at some point and lead me to more changes……“.

Well it did.  So here’s the next round of improvement and it’s a big one.

The current space is about 12′ x 13′ – or 156 square feet.  After shelving for games, floor lamps, chairs, and of course the GeekChic Emissary – the room can accommodate about 5 gamers comfortably.   This was starting to feel a bit cramped, so I have decided to convert one of the adjacent garage bays into gaming space.  This change will bring the room to a whopping 35′ x 13′.

My key goals with this expansion are:

  • Add space for more games
  • Add space for more gamers
  • An area for video gaming – for the “kids”

Here’s a rough idea of what the project entails

and here’s a few pictures.

A view from the existing game room - showing the wall to be removed.
A view from the existing game room – showing the wall to be removed.
A view from the garage door.
A view from the garage door.
view from the back of the garage
view from the back of the garage
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The unholy marriage of board games and mobile devices has begun

Will Fantasy Flight’s recent announcement of XCOM: The Board Game be the harbinger of a growing trend towards hybrid games that used both physical and digital elements?  A few months back we posted an article about innovation in gaming that mentioned the potential for games that use both physical components and digital hardware and software.     

xcom board gameOf course, the is not a new idea, as fans of Dark Tower can attest, but the number of games that take this approach appear to be increasing.   A great example of this integration can be found in Bezier Game’s recent title, One Night Ultimate Werewolf.    

In this game, a companion app is used to facilitate gameplay.  While you can play without the app and have someone take on the role of the announcer, the app is so simple to use that  I suspect that most players will use it.

The approach by Fantasy Flight is that the app is essential to the game, and it must be used.   The following is a description from Fantasy Flight’s website on how this works:

While you and your friends immerse yourselves into your roles as XCOM department heads, the alien invasion continues to escalate. XCOM: The Board Game incorporates the use of a free digital companion app, which you can either download or access online. By coordinating alien activities in real-time, this companion app heightens the game’s dramatic tension and its immersive qualities.

Each round, the app tracks the time you have allotted to respond to each task, forcing you to think quickly, even as you must carefully measure the strategic implications of your decisions. However, the app does far more than track time. Its design is integrated deep into gameplay, and it permits both a mutable alien invasion plan and a dynamic turn structure.

When you start a game of XCOM: The Board Game, the app randomly selects one of five different invasion plans. These plans represent the different, overarching strategies that the aliens might employ as they send forces against the earth’s different continents, create catastrophes, and target your base, pressing back against your resistance efforts.

Each invasion plan establishes a larger pattern for the aliens’ tactical use of three different game elements: UFOs, crises, and the enemies assigned to assault XCOM headquarters.

Each round, UFOs appear in orbit, hovering over the world’s continents. UFOs that your Interceptors don’t eliminate spread fear through the continents that they menace, and if two continents fall into panic, your organization loses funding, your efforts are undermined, you fail to safeguard humanity, and you lose the game.

Personally, this sounds intriguing and I’m looking forward to seeing how the reviews of this game.  I also believe that using the XCOM IP for this game will have the potential to attract new gamers to the board gaming hobby as fans of the video game XCOM franchise might give this a try.


XCOM: The Board Game is anticipated to release this year and retail for $59.95, which is the average price of other Fantasy Flight Games titles.

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A new project: The Lost Dungeons of Xon

Dwarven Forge Game Tiles

If you read our review of Dwarven Forge’s Game Tiles, you know that we really are smitten with them.

After a few sessions using Game Tiles, it became obvious that the modules on the market left a lot to be desired. So after a bit of brainstorming with a few friends, we decided to design something better.

We know that many folks backed both Game Tiles and Reaper’s Bones Kickstarter projects, so we decided that we would focus on creating modules that would take advantage of both of these great projects.