Spiele Des Jahres 2010 nominations

Nominations have been announced for the prestigious board game awards in Germany, the Spiele Des Jahres. The winners will be announced on June 28. Strangely, or not, new games are not always nominated…

The nominees are:



A  la Carte

Roll Through the Ages


Children’s Games

Diego Dragonstooth


Tower (Castle) Panic!

Vampire night


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France 1940

My old copy of this classic Jim Dunnigan designs came out to play today as I am minded of the Dunkirk commemorations this past weekend. This is still fun to play and the design works in that it clearly illustrates the impossible position the allies put themselves in which made the German invasion of the Low Countries and France an easy thing. Playing the historical scenario, you can see the German build up and push through the empty Ardennes (save for 1 Belgian cavalry unit) and the breakout. Then the race is on to save the remnants of the Allied armies before the panzers sweep them up in the blitzkrieg.

Classic by Avalon Hill and designed by Jim Dunnigan, one of the Fathers of modern wargaming.


Dungeon Twister

Dungeon Twister is a cool game where 2 teams of adventurers race through the pathways of a fiendish dungeon created by an evil wizard. Not only do the players need to move their team through the dungeon which has trapsto avoid and items to collect but the rooms can be “twisted” and change their alignment, making it a lot trickier and dangerous to escape. Added to this is the danger posed by the other team! Its a crazy and stressful game and great fun… if… you…… survive…

Published by Asmodee Editions and designed byChristophe Boelinger.


Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone? They will be at UK Games Expo!

Remember those Fighting Fantasy books by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone? THey also started Games Workshop. They will be at UK Games Expo!

Here are talks that will take place on Saturday 5th June.

Time Guest Speaker
11.30AM Alessio Cavatore

Basement Seminar Room

How to design a Board Game – Workshop
12.30PM MD Lachlan, Stephen Deas, Gavin Smith

Basement Seminar Room

Fantasy Writer Panel with Live Readings
2.00PM Ian LivingstoneSteve Jackson

Basement Seminar Room

An illustrated history of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy
3.00PM Charles Ryan, Steve Jackson, Ian Livingstone, Gav Thorpe and Alessio Cavatore.

Stand Red 19

Book Signing of “Family Games: The Top 100

Red November

Red November is a cooperative boardgame published by Fantasy Flight and designed by Bruno Faidutti and Jef Gontier for up to 8 players. As a Gnome sailor, you are on the submarine Red November which was probably built in the shoddy Gnomish way and lo and behold all kinds of stuff is going wrong… fires, flooding compartments, threat of missile launch, you name it. You all run around collecting tools to try and stop all the problems before time runs out and the whole thing goes up in a wonderful explosion. On top of this you and your mates are downing the ol grog to cope and the chance of your survival sink as you faint and risk being caugt in a fire or flood. Very chaotic and stressful as during each turn, your activities cost precious minutes which is good and bad. Good in that if you can get through the time and manage to hold on by stopping the dangerous problems, you all win. If not, Bang! Or perhaps you will escape beforehand, hoping to avoid a Kraken and leave your mates to their fate.

Lots of tension and choices. The random elements work treat. Having played it a few times solo, I’m not convinced 8 players will work. 3-4 would be my suggestion as there just isn’t a lot of space to move and you could get trapped and knocked out of the game early.

Love this game!


UK Games Expo 2010- New Game Release news

Read all about the new game releases planned for this year’s Expo on June 4-6 featuring –

Workshop of the World’ – The latest game from Ragnar Brothers whom I hope to interview for Boardgames in Blighty

Age of Industry and Gettysburg – Aiming for release at Expo by Treefrog/Warfrog

Ascendancy and 1860 by JKLM Games

Great Fire – Medusa Games

The World Cup Card Game -Games for the World

Forbidden Island – Coiledspring Games

Tri 3D – Panic Games Ltd

Cubiko Word

Ants Expansion – Twisted Wind Games

Speicherstadt – Eggertspiele

Niche – Hopwood Games

Increasingly Triangular and Backswords & Bucklers – Tied to a Kite Games

Jurassic Wars – Dice Maestro


The Settlers of Catan

First published in 1995, this is THE game that pushed board gaming closer into the mainstream and perhaps launched board gaming as a national pastime in Germany where now the annual Spiel Exhibition at Essen sees thousands of Germans pack the halls to play new games!

This multi-award-winning DADDY of games is set in a world where players vie for control of territory and resources to score points and win. The board is set up through randomly placing tiles. Players then build settlements and roads as well as collect resources to convert to upgrade cities and special card benefits. A Robber can impact your ability to collect resources so watch out!

Yes, one irritating aspect is the random impact of dice rolls which can just knock you out of a chance to win but over a number of games it tends to even out. Also, there are rules available that minimize the random impact.

Great fun to play and highly recommended as an intro game for non-gamers.

Designed by Klaus Teuber, published by Mayfair Games