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Terraforming Mars thoughts 

Played TERRAFORMING MARS again this week. It remains terrific - just consistently a great game that feels absorbing & thematic. I didn't win but the player who did really earned it by creating an efficient machine. Even so, despite the fact it feels like you make radically different choices, games I play with equally experienced players generally end pretty tight score wise. Big fan, anyway. Deservedly celebrated.

Tim Clare boosted

Time for an #introduction post! Hi, my name is Emma. I am an author, an audiobook narrator and an artist. You can find out about my books here: My Planetfall series (sci-fi) was nominated for the Hugo Best Series award. I'm also a podcaster. My old podcast won a Hugo award, my new one is still very new! I am working on the next episode atm. #author #sciencefiction #podcast

Game book, writing 

Still waiting to hear back about my new book from publishers. I'm writing a book about tabletop games, & how they bring humans together, & why I care about them so much. It feels very personal but also very expansive & global, & I would like the opportunity to finish it & get it out there. But there has been a long period of waiting, seeing if an editor will bite. It's my least favourite part of writing, because I'm kind of powerless, waiting for others to say yes or no.

re: Cosy game recommendations 

For my part, a non-exhaustive list looks something like:

AGRICOLA: All Creatures Big & Small
& I'm looking forward to trying out the tabletop version of DORFROMANTIK when it comes out in English at the end of this year / early next year

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Cosy game recommendations 

What's your ultimate 'it's raining outside, I have tea, a plate of biscuits & 1-2 friends' tabletop game? I'm talking cosy, you can play even if your mental health is shredded, it allows for conversation but also you can all sit comfortably in silence if no one wants to chat. I'd love to hear recommendations and personal favourites.

Autism, moomins 

We've started watching the third season of Moominvalley in our house. We watched the first two during lockdown, having watched the 90s cartoon prior to that, & to be honest they were a real comfort & a source of bonding for me & my daughter, whose grandmother is Finnish & who is now 6. We've visited Moominworld twice & she loved it.

The new series introduces Snork, an inventor & Snorkmaiden's brother. Imagine my surprise when I heard they've made it canon that he's autistic!

re: AUTOBAHN thoughts 

At the moment, if someone asked if I'd rather play AUTOBAHN or BRASS, I'd choose the former. I like the theme, I like the interplay, I'm not sure how fine-tuned it'll prove to be in the long run (some strategies feel more likely to bear fruit than others) but I can say I'm enthused & I hope this reaches a bunch of players. I just wish it didn't take so long to set up!

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AUTOBAHN thoughts 

Played AUTOBAHN again this evening. I have some niggles - long setup/teardown. Many fiddly small components. A few unintuitive rules that feel odd. Big first player advantage. BUT. But.

I really like this game folks. Each time I play I enjoy it more. Lots of interdependence on a central map. Pick-up-&-deliver that actually feels fun, plus engine building, some deck building, & a lovely progression as your reps first earn you money, then VPs as they get kicked upstairs.

re: Some favourite games 

None of these notes explains the game if you haven't played it, so much as why I like it. But I thought it might be fun/acceptable to share some of my favourite games as an introduction to me & what I've historically liked. If you would like to know more about any particular one you're unfamiliar with or have any recs based on my current likes, please let me know!

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re: Some favourite games 

PIXEL TACTICS - a slept-on card battler which mainly uses identical decks so no need to break the bank keeping up with a 'meta'
COCONUTS DUO - monkey beer pong with catapults; ridiculously silly fun
GEISHA'S ROAD - only recently got this, & it's my favourite 2 player card game
MYSTERIUM - an incredible piece of design that asks 'what if DIXIT, but CLUEDO?' & makes something far better than either
QUACKS OF QUEDLINBURG - deservedly popular: 'it's good'

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re: Some favourite games 

TAMMANY HALL - imperfect, punishing to whoever's last, but a very thematic, engaging game of blind-bidding
FORMULA D - the best race (both in terms of theme & mechanics) game I've ever played
AVALON - still my favourite hidden role game; BANG! is a close 2nd but this is a very pure, no-nonsense game of lying
TERRAFORMING MARS - the best game of econ engine + pseudo-area control I've ever played; rich, engaging & thematic
SANTORINI - one of the best 2 player games ever

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Some favourite games 

I make no claims about objective *best*, but here are some games I love:

CAVERNA - still haven't found something with its sense of expansiveness & choice
AGRICOLA: ALL CREATURES BIG & SMALL - basically same as above but for 2; with the expansions it's perfect
SAFRANITO - an exquisitely funny dexterity game where you hurl poker chips
PIRATE'S COVE - the simultaneous actions feel agonising & hilarious
LOVE LETTER - perfect minimalist design, quick & easy

re: Learning about games 

I'm very interested in how we push certain values & quantities around a game board, & how we invest in-game resources, behaviours & scores with meaning. Also just very elementary questions like 'ok, how do you decide how much this action costs?' 'what makes an interesting choice?' 'what is good vs bad randomness?' 'what experiences do *I* value in a game?'

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re: Learning about games 

Since I got diagnosed with autism I'm aware of how much my brain likes systems, despite the fact that I'm not very mathsy & a bit inattentive when it comes to working out exact numbers. I'm aware that working on this alongside a book & a podcast might scramble my brain a bit. I can get very hung up on small inconsistencies or details at the expense of the big picture. I'm aware it's an iterative process, not a solo one-shot.

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Learning about games 

I'm waiting to hear back about the book I'm writing about games - not sure if a publisher will take it on so I'm in a bit of a limbo phase at the moment.

To take my mind off it, I've been fiddling about with some ideas for a game. I used to make board games when I was little & I'm thinking playing about with a prototype will be a fun experience that will deepen my appreciation for the artform. I love playing prototypes at UK Games Expo & engaging in the process.

Request for book recommendations 

Can anyone recommend any great books on tabletop game design & the principles of good games? There seems to be lots out there on video games & not so much about board games, card games etc. I quite like crunchy theory & stuff with examples, but I'm aware that some academic texts can be pretty expensive. Anything you've read that did the job?


I'm reviewing this for Tabletop Gaming magazine so I'll reserve a full, nuanced take for that, but I played this game of action selection & flying round the galaxy completing missions last night for a 2nd time. I think it's very impressive for what I understand is a debut designer, & the production is lavish & wonderfully thematic. The main game doesn't have much of an arc though, & feels fun enough but a bit baggy, with lots of admin. I never felt *squeezed*.


Playing STARSHIP CAPTAINS at game night. Tried it at Essen, looking forward to having another go.

Hello everyone. I just wanted to say that I'd love to follow some autistic/ND tabletop gamers in the community. I got diagnosed last year - weirdly, because of games. I'm working on a book about tabletop games & I spoke to many ND gamers, & ended up going for an assessment as part of my research, & was shocked when they said I'm . Anyway I think there might be many ND folks about here so wanted to give a friendly wave. *waves*

folks: what's the heaviest game you've played that you really enjoyed? (mechanically, not by mass!) I played BARRAGE recently & liked it, though it's a tad stodgy. TERRAFORMING MARS has never *felt* heavy to me, though I guess relatively speaking, it is. What titles, for you, pay off on their heaviness with a commensurately engaging experience?

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