Happy International TableTop Day! Why Are Board Games on the Rise? Here are a bunch of mainstream media articles to tell you what you are missing…
Board games are on the rise. Deal with it.
In case you have been asleep over say, the past 10 years, board games have gone mainstream and are very cool again. You may not have noticed that mainstream shops like Waterstones in the UK and Barnes and Noble and Target in the US have been carrying a selection of board games that are not retreads of the tired and not very good at all Monopoly, Cluedo, etc. for some time now. You may not have noticed that board game cafes are starting to pop up in major cities. You may not have noticed that board games have been featured as part of the story line in shows like the Big Bang Theory.
Well, today is International TableTop Day, an annual worldwide celebration of playing board games which was instigated by the good folks Geek and Sundry, led by none other than Will Wheaton and Felicia Day.
To help you understand and hopefully motivate you to join in the festivities, I’ve collected a number of mainstream media articles. These articles tell the story of what has happened in the board game industry and why the number of people getting involved in this awesomely fun activity is continuing to grow year on year.
Quite simply, the quality of games available has risen hugely compared to the same old dross being pushed by traditional publishers and people have realised that the social aspect of playing board games is a wonderful enhancement to the quality of their lives.
So, clear out your old copies of Monopoly, Cluedo, Game of Life, Uno, etc. and open your eyes to the truly wonderful world of the new age of board games!
NBC News – Board game renaissance in full swing
BBC – Christmas boom in board games
Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter news – Aether Captains takes flight on Kickstarter
Aether Captains returns on Kickstarter by MAGE Company & Ninja Division! An asymmetric steampunk board game for 1-5 players, of villainous sky pirates and heroic naval zeppelins in epic conflict above the skies of Arkady. A game by Todd Sanders.
What is Aether Captains?
Here one player commands the mighty naval zeppelins of the Grand Compact: Dauntless and Dominion. As Commander, you have been tasked by the Emperor to defend the Grand Compact and Arkady from the merciless sky pirates. With your staunch crew of steam welders, engineers, navigators and gunners, you fly with honor to confront the pirates threatening Arkady. The remaining players command waves of attacking sky pirates, each with their own unique objectives which may pit them against any player when it results in the greatest profit for themselves. Infamous and feared, you have risen through the cutthroat cadres to become a War Captain. You swear to never rest until you control the skies and the Grand Compact falls!
Aether Captains offers a unique gaming experience and playstyle which begins with the different roles players assume. The Navy Commander protects Arkady from the raiding War Captains, using a “points selection” system. The War Captains who are attacking Arkady play using an “action choice” system. Although War Captains have the same goal of raiding Arkady, they do not play cooperatively except when it will result in the greatest benefit for them based upon each player’s unique objectives. Aether Captains use 6-sided dice to form the different ships which compose the fleet of the Navy Commander and the War Captains. These “dice-ships” play a strategic role in the game, but players do not roll them. The dice-ships represent the power and life of each player’s fleet. All ships begin the game with their starting face up. As the ships take damage, players turn the die face to the next side. Each side of the ship’s dice represent several numbers: attack, strength, and value.
Each War Captain recruits a fleet of up to three dice-ships with a value equal to or lower than five points. Each War Captain plays the game with their own unique objectives. Each objective card creates different elements and conditions in the game, increasing the replayability. Each objective has an Entry Point, which specifies a city or an area on the game tiles where the War Captain’s fleet begins the game. Aether Captains uses twelve-sided dice (d12) as a randomizer for attacking, damage, value of resources, and other elements of the game which require a randomizer. Aether Captains attributes are mechanically built upon a small set of cardinal numbers: 2, 3, 4, 6. A D12 nicely combines with these cardinal numbers for multiplying and dividing, and provides the game with a smooth and natural feeling.
The ship miniatures are used to mark your fleet’s location and movement on the game board as they make their way over the skies of Arkady. Movement can be affected by not only other players’ ships, but by the wind and weather. Choose the path you take carefully. The enemy is waiting, hidden in the clouds—ready to attack! The dice used in the game act as miniature ships for the players. As a ship takes on damage, the dice are rotated to show different faces and the players can see the damage to their ships mounting. So you get a nice realtime visual effect of the ship in trouble. Cannons on sections of the ship also lose range as damage is taken so it is important for the player to spend time repairing the ship which takes away from attack and defense so there is a strategic balance to contend with. Here you see all the 6 dice of a zeppelin ship from the top to the bottom. From the left to the right you see the different faces of each die while it gets damaged more and more.
Go check out the project now!