International TableTop Day for 2014 takes place this Saturday, April 5. What is International TableTop Day? It is a day for fans of tabletop games to come together and celebrate by playing board games whether it be at your friendly local game store (FLGS), a coffee shop, library, comic book shop, or just at home. Perhaps take out an old favorite board game or try out a new game. Find more information at TableTopDay.com.
A game that has hit the table in my home most frequently over the past year has been Upper Deck’s Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (aka Marvel Legendary). The game consists of a game board and 500 cards. Set in the Marvel Comics universe, you and up to four other players cooperate to build a team of heroes using card decks to battle evil mastermind villains and their minions. With the base game, you can set up with heroes such as Captain America, Cyclops, Hulk, Iron Man, Nick Fury, Spider-Man, Storm, Thor, and Wolverine. For masterminds, you can choose to go up against Dr. Doom, Loki, Magneto, or Red Skull. Each mastermind will bring their own team of villain groups and henchmen groups in an effort to complete one of many possible evil schemes. Can the heroes defeat evil and, if so, which player will become the most legendary?
The holiday season has arrived and if you have a difficult time finding the perfect gift for your nerdy friends or family members who love table top games here are five themed games that are worthy of consideration.
Zombies are the cat’s meow these days thanks in large part to the popular cable television show The Walking Dead. Zombicide is a miniatures board game that comes with 71 miniatures. Each round zombies spawn on the board adding to the horde so the game board can quickly fill up with zombie miniatures. This is a cooperative game where 1 to 6 players try to figure out how to accomplish a particular mission goal and control the approaching zombie horde in the process. Meet the victory condition and the team can celebrate a well-earned respite from the undead.
Vitals:Freedom – The Underground Railroad is a cooperative board game for 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, with a playing time of about 1 to 2 hours. Designed by Brian Mayer, a Library Technology Specialist, and published by Academy Games, Freedom allows players to work together as a group of abolitionists in the 1800’s. The goal is to attempt to end slavery in the United States by raising support for the Abolitionist Movement and helping slaves move through the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. The goal is difficult to accomplish and people and events can have negative impacts. There are also slave catchers roaming and reacting to movements of slaves on the board, hoping to catch runaway slaves to send back to the plantations.
Thoughts: Before becoming a parent, I organized game nights with friends frequently. Now while still regularly getting together with a gaming group to socialize, eat food, and be merry, my children and I also play games quite often. Beyond the social interaction, games are a great way to teach children different skills such as spacial reasoning, reading, math, dexterity, and logic. Games can also be a great way to teach history.
It’s Star Trek Week here at The Nerds of Color and what better way to celebrate than to play one of three Star Trek related games that have been released in the past year.
Star Trek Catan
“The Settlers of Catan” designed by Klaus Teuber and originally released in 1995 has sold over 15 million copies worldwide with more than 30 different language versions. “Star Trek Catan” is a game that is a re-themed version of the original. The game is a resource management and trading game at its basic level and the first player to 10 points wins. The “Star Trek Catan” version maintains the same rules as the original Catan, so if you are already familiar with Catan you will easily jump into the Star Trek version. The “Star Trek Catan” does enhance the game play of the original Catan, however, with Star Trek TOS crew members cards with special abilities adding to the overall theme. If you are a Catan fan and a Star Trek fan, “Star Trek Catan” is a great addition. If you haven’t played Catan before but are a Star Trek fan, this is a good game to introduce you to the Catan game play and have Trek fun.
“Star Trek Catan” is a game for 3 to 4 players, ages 10 and up (some reading required for the cards but I’ve found children as young as 8 can grasp the game concepts pretty well), and an average game takes about 75 minutes (can range from 45 to 90 minutes).