Card Games


Gaming is about many things. Some of us game for fun, some for the social aspect, some to win – but for most of us, it’s some combination of those interests that attracts us to gaming. So, for the moment, let’s look at a couple of games and consider strategy as a way to make games more fun for all the players. Let’s face it, it’s more fun if you’re not getting womped all the time and as we play across ages (generations in fact) in my game group, some level of strategy is important to keep the ‘tweens from feeling like there’s no point in playing if you’re not a grownup.

I spent so much time in TCG's that I thought I'd never want to look at cards again. And here I am, playing games with cards in them. Whodda thunk it? But there are some excellent ones out there, and we'll look at two of them today.

Time for a throwback to days of yore, when Dungeons & Dragons books, filled with demonic imagery, bare breasts and scary-sounding spells like "Tasha's Hideous Laughter", were accused of inciting teens to suicide. A mother has blamed the CCG Yu-Gi-Oh for her son's death.

So. You went out and you bought into this cool new gaming system. You bought the first release and it played so well you bought every expansion that was printed. You built decks, you tweaked them, you traded for just the right cards - and when you couldn't find those, you even bought singles online. You played in league, you competed in tournaments, and you even collected all the promos.

So: it's been a while, but I'm back with more on the "Analog" gaming front! I've just discovered a few new games and had to share!

This is for the person who has everything, but loves games and always wants more. This person will try anything new, but all the expensive board games are really just the same game repackaged - expensively.

Primarily, you get fun, and learning, and a chance to play across age groups. There's a new expansion for Harry Potter which looks like a good one; and a new expansion for Magic as well. But what other card games are out there? The list is almost endless. What can you play with your 5 to 8 year old that won't numb your mind and not leave them whining "but mo-o-o-o-ommie, I don't get it!!!"? Good question. Let's see if I can manage some good answers. . .

Let's talk about cards. Card gaming, in its current incarnation, is fairly new, having only been born in 1993 and exploding since. There are more card games than there are RPG's � and that's some trick. Since designing a card game is much cheaper than a board game or an RPG (way less production costs) and many of them are spin-offs of an existing license anyway, it's faster and cheaper to get them to market; which means lots of companies have dived in with both feet.

A few weeks ago an old gaming buddy of mine was in town. He introduced me to a game that literally blew my mind. The game is called 1000 Blank White Cards (or 1KBWC). It was invented in Boston by Nathan McQuillen and has since spread its undergroundish way around the world.

I admit, I used to play Magic when it first came out. I have also played several other card games from different companies. I admit this with a certain amount of shame. I am proud that I managed to unload almost all of my cards. With this in mind, I wasn't looking to learn or buy a new card game this year at Gen Con. That is, until I ran across the nice Canadian gents at the Anoch booth. I sat down for a demo and was impressed.

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