Hello again and welcome to the Mailbag where I answer your pressing questions on the most pressing board game matters. Is that even a thing? No matter. You ask, I answer. Want to be featured in a future Mailbag? Just head on over here and drop me a message.

How do you raise money for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund? -Alex Hong

I'm by no means a wealthy person. I have my struggles and hardships, but I'm thankful that I don't have to worry about having food on my table or a roof over my head and it's mostly because of where I was born. Both my parents are immigrants from completely opposite ends of the world and by some miracle met in the U.S. where I have had more opportunities and luxuries than anyone can rightly ask for. I don't take this privilege lightly and make it a point to donate funds to help the world community.

Playing games is important. Everyone plays games. Maybe not board games, but some type of game. I truly believe play is important. But board games are silly. Board game culture is even sillier. Having a board game website is downright absurd. I love board games, but if you really think about it you have to admit it's all just a bit silly. It's just plastic and cardboard after all. In order to remind myself that board gaming is a privilege, I've began combining it with charity. Every month I host a game night at my home and run a charity tournament of Cloud 9. It's a simple, silly game about flying balloons and pushing your luck. To enter the tournament there is a recommended donation and and the winner wins a small prize. All the proceeds are then given to the Red Cross. It's not much, but every little bit helps.

I plan to hold a fundraising event on the site in the future, but until then I'd urge you to consider donating to a charity.

What is your gaming history, your 'street cred'? -Todd Zircher

I once played 100 games in a 100 hours ... without sleeping. OK, that's not true. I don't really have much history. I started playing board games about 8 years ago and that's about it. I haven't been to a convention. I haven't designed a game. I haven't been quoted on any box covers. I'm just a regular guy who loves to play games. What I do have is opinions and hopefully you find them helpful!

What is your favorite deck builder and why? -John

I wouldn't call myself an expert in deck builders by any stretch of the definition. In fact I've only played a handful: Dominion, Trains, Ascension, and Star Realms. Of these I definitely prefer the Dominion/Trains style vs the Ascension/Star Realms Style. I prefer having all my options in front of me instead of having a flop of cards available. Ascension/Star Realms seems to rely on a familiarity with the deck and what may become available later. I'm terrible at this. Between  Dominion and Trains, I'm firmly in the Trains camp. They are extremely similar, but the board element in Trains gives me just enough more to bite my teeth into.

Trains_boxtop.jpg