Ortus Regni

There is an island and you have some power. It will take strength, cunning, deception and a little bit of diplomacy to come out on top. So how exactly does a single earl come out on top? Well, I'll leave the details to you. But no matter the outcome there will only be one ruler in the end. This is the birth of a kingdom. This is Ortus Regni.

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Final Thoughts on The Great Zimbabwe

10 years ago I watched a video that changed my life. It was about a board game called Indonesia. I was living abroad and had just come home from a board game cafe. I didn't even know such a thing existed before that night. As soon as I got home I stumbled across Board Games with Scott and the aforementioned video. I was intrigued to say the least. I found a copy of Indonesia online. $100?! "There was no way I'm going to spend that kind of money on a board game," and I moved on to other games.

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The Great Zimbabwe

And so it begins, with a monument to Atete,  the goddess of fertility. The people gather and they pray. They settle down and make their homes here. They learn to create and to craft. People talk and word spreads. More people come. Down river another monument to a different god is constructed. More people, more craftsmen. Trade between the peoples becomes a way of life and prosperity comes along with it. These are the humble beginnings of a civilization. This is the birth of The Great Zimbabwe.

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Einstein: His Amazing Life and Incomparable Science

Physics, mathematics, chemistry, and philosophy. Great minds throughout history have formed our understanding of how the world works and how we fit within it. There is an inherent curiosity in humankind that drives us forward. It leads to scientific breakthroughs and new ways of thinking. Genius comes in many forms and has been displayed in many people, but perhaps none is more well known than one. This is Einstein: His Amazing Life and Incomparable Science.

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Final Thoughts on Tramways

Can you be a film critic if you've never seen Citizen Kane? Can you be a music critic if you've never listened to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band? Can you be a board game critic if you've never played Age of Steam? I'm not sure. Am I critic? I just run a silly website and make videos of about board games. If that's all it takes then I have a confession to make; I've never seen Citizen Kane... or listened to Sgt. Pepper... or played Age of Steam. (Yes, the rock I live under is very comfortable).

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Tramways

Where are you right now? What are you doing? I suggest you sit down, I have some amazing news. It's quite extraordinary actually. You know how you're always lamenting the lack of train games? Oh... you think there's too many train games? Well, how do you feel about trams? They're really quite different if you think about it. There's no steam or coal and instead of rails, you're laying down Tramways!

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Final Thoughts on Three Kingdoms Redux

What do you get when a first time design team (husband and wife, no less) start their own board game company, design a game, and handle the logistics of manufacturing and promotion? Just one of the very best board games in existence. Three Kingdoms Redux is a shining example of what's possible in the modern age of board gaming. The barrier to entry is at an all time low. If you have an idea along with the drive and ambition to create your own board game you can actually make it happen. Online collaboration and crowdfunding have reduced the need for publishers as gatekeepers. On the whole, I think it's a good development but it has also meant a lot of half-baked games being released. So how does Three Kingdoms Redux avoid the pitfalls that are so common with independent publishers and put together one of the best board games I've ever played?

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Three Kingdoms Redux

The Han dynasty has fallen and China is in disarray. Three major powers have arisen from the ashes of the past to vie for control of the land. Feudal lords are keen to seize the moment. Take control of the Wei, Wu or Shu and unite the nation under one banner. It will take a keen leader and savvy commander to come out on top in Three Kingdoms Redux.

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