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Links: Hybrid Board Games, Cribbage Love, and Go That’s Years in the Making

by W. Eric Martin

• In December 2022, Adam of Punchboard asked “Is it okay to enjoy wargames?“, interviewing designers Volko Ruhnke and David Thompson to get their perspectives on what they create and what’s off limits, if anything. An excerpt:

When I started playing these games, I was surprised by the level of depth in the history and background of each of them. Most board games, even those based on a very specific setting, might only have a couple of paragraphs of background. Open a wargame, and you’re in for a very different experience.

The COIN games take an approach of only very lightly covering the scenario in the rulebook, but the playbooks have some great examples and expansions on those themes. I love the way the game delivers the history piecemeal, with each card representing a real-world event from the time. When I first drew the “Sinatra” card in Cuba Libre, it led me to Google, and in turn a rabbit hole of reading about his meeting with the heads of the crime syndicate in Cuba in 1946.

• In late February 2023, the YouTube channel “Five or Eight” hosted Dr. Melissa Rogerson, a.k.a. Queen of BGG, to talk about her research on hybrid board games that results from her position as Lecturer in the School of Computing and Information Systems at The University of Melbourne:

Youtube Video

And yes, all parties involved know about her name being misspelled. Ideally that thumbnail will be updated, making this comment an odd aside.

• In December 2022, Sara Barbour published “An ode to cribbage” for the NPR column “I’m Really Into”, championing an activity that she and her partner really got into at the onset of Covid and stuck with as the months passed. An excerpt:

After our first game, we developed a routine: on Friday nights we’d log off from work, head to the patio, and play cribbage. I’d put on a playlist that mixed jaunty Italian classics with sultry bossa nova, and for the next hour our patio was transformed into something almost luxurious. After flaunting my lead, then scoring three “19 hands” in a row (a cribbage insider’s “zero,” since scoring 19 isn’t possible), we joked that I’d tempted the cribbage gods, who can’t resist interrupting a prideful streak.

The rest of the week might be filled with anxiety, but Friday cribbage was our time to be playful, to flirt, to recapture the feeling of our early dating days and set the many small tensions of daily life aside.

• In January 2023, the news station WFSB in Connecticut hosted Jenn Bartlett from the Manchester Public Library to talk about that facility’s 1,000+ game collection that’s available for borrowing as well as the Silk City Board Game Group that’s hosted there.

• This twenty-minute video demonstrates the amount of work — and astounding length of time! — that goes into the construction of a high-end Go or Shogi board:

Youtube Video

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