Spotlight on Games > Reviews

Reviewing the Reviewer
updates June 2017

Reading game reviews over many years, I have many, many times been surprised by the incongruity between the description and the conclusion parts of many of the reviews. That is, if I had written the description, I would have reached a much different conclusion. Unlike in the worlds of movies and music, or to a lesser extent that of books, there is no such thing as a "Siskel and Ebert" of game reviews, where one has the advantage of long-term experience with the reviewer and knowing something about their tastes and possible biases. Game reviewers tend to be more frequent and less encompassing, so establishing some sort of "baseline" to their reviews is considerably more difficult.

With all this said, I think it is helpful for a reviewer to provide some idea of where he or she is coming from, so that the reader may gauge the reviews accordingly. This is what follows and I encourage other reviewers to do likewise.

Radar Search box cover
I grew up playing the common family games such as Battleship, Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, Checkers, Sorry, Parcheesi, Careers, The Game of Life, that it seemed just about every child in the United States used to play, as well as several less common ones such as Green Ghost, Radar Search, Ker-Plunk, Don't Break the Ice, Stay Alive, and others that I don't remember at the moment. I vividly recall however that in Mrs. Culhane's fifth grade class we were allowed once a week to bring in games and play for half an hour. One child brought in Clue, which fascinated me by its color and flavor. The set was missing its instructions so we were playing, as it were, by hearsay. Was it allowed to move diagonally or not? Did one have to reach a room by exact count as in Candyland, or not? That night at home I fantasized about the game, attempting to hand-create a set for myself. In such simple ways began concerns about playing games as they were intended by their designers as well as creating games for myself.

At the same time, I developed an early interest in reading history, starting with a biography of George Washington at age six, and read in it constantly thereafter. My first encounters with more adultish games were gifts from my father, Milton Bradley's Broadside and Stratego which while fairly basic and diceless have some war game-ish aspects.

I didn't play anything else more sophisticated for a couple years until when in my first year of high school I ended up sitting behind a guy with an older brother in the Navy who played war games. Through him I was introduced to Diplomacy, an older version with wooden pieces, and about which I was considerably obsessed for quite some time. Around this time we also started playing Risk -- I couldn't find a copy of Diplomacy to buy anywhere, so I drew my own map and used pieces from Risk to play it. We also started playing a lot of SPI games. I recall playing Sorcerer and The War of the Ring at this time, but most of the high school group were into World War II games so we played things like The Fast Carriers and Global War. However, I was never really that much interested the Second World War, apart from air or global situations, preferring more exotic topics -- after all, that war was something my parents had lived through. The first war game we acquired was actually a gift for my brother, Luftwaffe, which we found interesting enough to actually complete the campaign game of bombing every city on the map, even though the game was basically a disappointment to my brother who had expected a game of tactical air combat. A few years later we were to set about designing our own.

After two years I changed schools and miraculously wound up having three out of six classes every day with someone who was into gaming. It was at this time (1978) that I was introduced to the Metagaming line. He knew of a place to buy every one of them as they appeared and we used to play and actually finish them on an outside bench, considerably away from the cafeteria, over lunch -- not sure what the reaction of our fellow high schoolers would have been, had they seen us. Ogre, Melee and Wizard were our particular favorites and I started picking up and eventually subscribing to Metagaming's magazine The Space Gamer as well as SPI's Strategy & Tactics and Moves. Through Melee and Wizard I got interested in the idea of role-playing games and soon we were playing the entire Death Test series, which we played rather competitively, the game master versus the party. Since these games were somewhat disposable, I was soon busy designing my own complicated pre-programmed dungeon adventures and eventually, when The Fantasy Trip finally emerged, my own fantasy world. In those days we used to denigrate Dungeons & Dragons as the FRP system which gave the game master too much arbitrary control and TFT as the one where he had to play by the rules.

Ogre box cover
When I got to the University of California at Davis, it so happened that there was a game player living in the dorm right across the hall. He was also an avid player of Ogre and had actually submitted a variant article. He was from the Bay Area also owned a lot of old and obscure games like Battle of the Five Armies. A guy in the next room also turned out to be a game player and it was at that point that I first learned about Kingmaker, which we also played as if obsessed for a while. We also played a lot of Starfire and Steve Jackson Games' Kung Fu 2100 for some reason, in the dorm common area, solemnly intoning phrases like "Clonemaster Movement Phase ... Clonemaster Combat Phase" which must have sounded so exotic and mysterious that they later made it into the floor yearbook.

It was only a few weeks before we began to wonder if there were any other game players on campus. As part of orientation, we were given information on all the different clubs that existed on campus. One of those listed had the ungainly name of "Conflict Simulations at UCD." Interested, I thought I would try to contact them. The university people who managed the club scene could give me no information on how to reach them except to leave a note in their mailbox, which I did. After a month or so of non-response, I decided that this situation was insufferable and found out that all one needed to do was get five student signatures and you could make your own club. As is the case for any freshman dorm project, you may have many obstacles, but getting people is never one of them. So I soon had my five signatures, at least two of them never having played games in their lives, and went through the red tape of setting up the club. At the end of it they said, oh, by the way, if anyone wants to contact you, they can use this mailbox. Hmmm, there already seems to be something in it. Curious, I opened the note only to find a message from myself.
UCD logo
Let there be
Spotlight on Games

From that point and for the next five years, every month I would reserve every Sunday from 1 PM to 10 PM a room in the Memorial Union where we would meet as informally as you can imagine to play games. I made and photocopied flyers with those little pull off tags and hung them all around campus and at the local gamestore with my phone number so that people could call me to find out where the meetings were. Rather quickly we had 10-15 people showing up every week and sometimes considerably more as we started drawing in some from nearby large city, Sacramento.

One of the first things that I did was to create a large list on computer paper, today it would be a web page, showing everyone's phone number and list of games owned, organized by time period. This really seemed to help people get interested what others had and in playing a very wide variety of games. It's almost impossible for me to remember everything that we played in those days, but I can list of those that stand out most. I remember that we played Dune and Cosmic Encounter many times. Our introduction to the latter was rather bizarre as the owner of the game and only one who knew the rules was playing the Filch Flare, which allows him to steal and cheat so long as no one catches him. Well, not knowing what was legal and what wasn't, he pretty much did this throughout, naturally won, and only told us after it was over!

Empires of the Middle Ages
For a long time, there was a game of Third Reich going every single week and how to best run the Russian defense a constant topic of debate. I didn't really play this, but did compete and win in a Grand Scenario of Empires of the Middle Ages campaign game, doing a century every week and writing everything down from week to week. Later we also competed (and I was again fortunate enough to win) in The Sword and the Stars campaign game.

Another big topic of interest was Starfleet Battles, so much so that I submitted designs for a Gorn Dreadnought ship and was credited in one of the rule books. SFB got a bit frustrating though because the battles were only tactical with no motivation, so in the days before Federation and Empire, which did the same thing, I invented my own grand campaign game complete with a detailed galactic map, planets, production and technology purchase. The eight players would send me their orders throughout the week and I would have all the movements, sightings and productions ready by Sunday for them to fight their battles, often working on it up to 2 AM the night before.

Nuclear War spinner
Other games we played during these days were A Mighty Fortress, Barbarian Kings, Borderlands, Car Wars, Civil War (VG), Crusades, Elric, Empires in Arms, Intruder, Junta, Macchiavelli, Medici (International), Nuclear War (I had some variant cards published in the The Space Gamer), Quirks, Siege of Constantinople, Spies, Starfire, Stellar Conquest, Stomp, Wizards, World War I, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Uno and others I'll think of in a moment. Some of us also spent a fair amount of time with Champions, the superhero role-playing game while others were playing Traveller. One year the club actually sponsored the showing of the film The Road Warrior on campus, earning the club a couple hundred dollars.

In 1981 we heard that Origins was actually coming to the West Coast which was like a miracle to us. I resolved to go and made plans to stay with the parents of a friend from the Bay Area to save on costs. In practice, we would finish so late in the wee hours that I decided I didn't want wake up his parents and instead decided to try sleeping in my tiny car -- a most uncomfortable experience which I've never repeated, but during the days were the glory times. We got to see and hear people we'd only read about like Redmond Simonsen, Brad Hessel, Greg Costikyan and others. I met Steve Jackson at his company's booth where he was extremely personable and willing to talk about and even take input from a total stranger on the new RPG he was designing, GURPS. It was at this con that I picked up the last copy of Empires of the Middle Ages at the SPI booth, to the consternation of the guy working the booth who had promised to save one for a friend, but to his everlasting credit, he allowed me to purchase it. A mere $20 if I recall.

I also took fourth place in the Kingmaker tournament, rather a poorly-gamemastered, unpleasant affair with plenty of arguments over rules. When I went to claim my gift certificate, others were there and there was some confusion over the line, but a very polite gentleman pleasantly remarked "Oh, there's a line" and let me go first. I turned to look at who this was and my eyes boggled -- it was Steve Jackson who no doubt had more important business than a cheap gift certificate. I used the certificate to pick up a copy of his company's Illuminati Expansion #1 by the way.

Talisman box cover
Toward the end of the college period, classes got less intense and we started playing on weekday evenings occasionally. I remember a lot of games of Talisman which fit the amount of time about right and sometimes during the days, quick games of Family Business. We had also been playing for a long time the card game Nuclear War to the extent that I thought I knew it well enough to program its play, so I programmed it on Unix as a computer game, playable either by multiple players or as one player against 5 computer opponents. We also discussed a group project to program Family Business, but like many group projects, it kind of fell apart.

1985 was the first time we got USENET on the campus computers and we were all very excited at first. But something was missing, we noticed, a newsgroup in which to discuss our favorite games. We got to talking about it one afternoon and decided it would be a good idea to propose one. We soon found others on the 'Net in agreement with this idea and before long, the newsgroup "" as it was called in those days was a reality. It was only after the great USENET naming switch that it became the that we know today. It has spawned children in and since then as well. I suppose it was that one year got me an invitation to Alan Moon's Gathering which sounded a lot of fun, even though I've never been able to attend. In those days fantasy role-playing gamers had not yet split off into their own group and there was plenty of conflict between boardgamers and role-playing gamers at conventions. On the newsgroup this led to creation of the humorous piece Real Men, Real Roleplayers, Lunatics and Munchkins.

Orient Express box cover
After I graduated (minor in history) we used to play once a week or so in someone's home on a weekend. Along with our favorites from the earlier games, we got into games like Blood Royale, Britannia, Civilization, Days of Decision, Empires of the Middle Ages (I won the campaign game for the second time in my life), History of the World, Orient Express, Russian Civil War, Shanghai Trader, Tai-Pan, Warrior Knights, World in Flames, and others I'll think of in a moment. We also continued to attend the Labor Day convention in at the Dunfey Castle in San Mateo, Pacificon, although it never matched the excitement and quality of the Origins year. One year we were told that we could set up an open game of Pax Britannica, but into the second turn of this 7-player game were told that we had to pick it up because a miniatures painting contest was about to be held there. Although we also attended the Origins events in Los Angeles and San José, conventions soon became more a way of finding out what was going on and seeing new games than a playing opportunity.

Die Macher box cover
In more recent years, I've finally accepted and enjoyed railroad games, especially Silverton, and even the crayon games, have resisted collectible card games entirely and am attracted by the influx of the non-war, non-simulation European games (my first of which was Die Macher). I think the industry has a lot to learn from them, but am not sure if they are really here to stay. I liken them to light pastries which taste very good, but at the end leave me feeling somewhat empty and wanting more. My feeling is that this type of game is another fad, just like collectible card games, RPG's and microgames each were in their time. I gave up on RPG's long ago by the way, simply because my experience was that players so rarely really want to try to put themselves in a medieval frame of mind, but instead just view the game as a contest to see how well they can do, which to me is really missing the point. What I tend to find most interesting these days are games in which I can learn something and/or, to borrow a phrase used by Mike Siggins, "experience games". I find American Megafauna by Phil Eklund, to be an excellent example of the former and his games Lords of the Renaissance and Lords of the Sierra Madre to be good examples of both.

Current Favorites

Activities since writing the above:
October 2000 With my friend Philip Vogt, designed and published our own "experience" game, Balmy Balloonists and premiered it at Essen.
February 2001 I have done an interview with Boulder Games. Also, my article "Up, Up and Away", a survey of balloon-themed games, appeared in the February 2001 issue of Strategist.
May 2001 I have also penned some game reviews and articles for publication in the magazine Moves. A review of Halali!/Tally Ho! appeared in issue 104.
June-July 2001 Playtester and rules editor for second edition of American Megafauna by Sierra Madre Games
August 2001 Analysis of Edison & Co. appears in Moves issue 105: Note that the issue's review of ZÉRTZ, although attributed to me, was actually written by Joe Willette (attribution error). It is a well-written review. If you agree, be sure to tell Joe that you liked it.
September 2001 I answer questions for Spelinfo (Dutch).
October 2001 Edit rules translations for Goldrush-City, Saloon and Heaven and Hell by Krimsus.
November 2001 Provide English language translation for Kanaloa by Bambus Spiele. Analysis piece on American Megafauna in Moves issue 106.
December 2001 I am helping out with categorization and various other things at the database.
I was recently stunned to see that USENET archives dating back to 1981 have appeared on the Web. In a curious walk down memory lane I found a number of my postings to what was then in those salad days. Very few of my fellow posters from those days seem to still be active in the games world. See here to get a taste of what postings were like back in those days.
January 2002 Relocated this website to a new ISP as after five years of general happiness with, they were acquired by Verio. To prevent the dislocating nature of such a move in future, decided to get a personal domain name at the same time, so now begins the era of
March 2002 Provide English language translation for the card game Mömmen by Die Wuselmäuse.
May 2002 My review of Wallenstein suggests that the system might have worked even better in a Japan setting than it does in its current one.
June 2002 Feature piece on Corsairs, Cartagena and Pirate's Plunder appears in Moves issue 108.
August 2002 Proofread English version of instructions and booklet for the forthcoming Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde
October 2002 Proofread English version of instructions for the forthcoming Trias by Gecko Games.
November 2002 Proofread/translate English versions of instructions for Am Rande des Gletschers and Höhlengröen by Krimsus.
February 2003 Proofread/translate English webpages of Gecko Games.
March 2003 I have now reached over 1,000 different games reviewed.
April 2003 Attend Alan Moon's Gathering of Friends in Columbus, Ohio.
May 2003 Submit a game design prototype to Hans-im-Glück.
Work on the English translation for Kogge by MOD Games / JKLM Games.
August 2003 Review the new map for Decision's re-print of Empires of the Middle Ages.
September 2003 Help with translation of the English edition of Der Flaschenteufel (The Bottle Imp) by Bambus Spiele.
November 2003 Translate English versions of instructions for Wo Ist Jack the Ripper and In 80 Karten um die Welt by Krimsus.
December 2003 Review map, rules, cards and counters for Decision's re-print of Empires of the Middle Ages.
My translation work receives favorable mention from Rick Thornquist:
Best Unsung Heroes: The Translators We have long given kudos to the game designers, artists, publishers, etc, but I haven't yet heard of any recognition for the translators. There are many games, especially in the old days, that aren't available in English and it's these folks who took these games and make them comprehensible to us English types. The translators do it for the love of the games and to help the game community. I can name a few - Rick Heli, Pitt Crandlemire, and our group's own Patrick Korner, but there are lots more of you out there. We all owe you a big thank you.
(Thanks, Rick)
January 2004 Empires of the Middle Ages work continues.
My game design prototype is rejected by Hans-im-Glück. Among the stated reasons are "games on this theme never do well" and "another company is announcing a game on this theme next month".
I'm asked to speak to a local high school class about game design and the board game industry.
February 2004 I undertake the English translation of past newsletters of the SAZ (German Game Designers Guild).
Work on the English translation for the solitaire version of Kogge by MOD Games.
This site's variants for Bohnanza, Expedition and Njet! appeared with permission in the Italian magazine Un'Altra Cosa, no. 15.
February 18, 2004 the Board Game Designer's Forum holds a Game Design Showdown. Players are challenged to come up with quick yet nifty game designs based on a small number of criteria (as derived from my Spotlight On Games Game Design Challenge). An example of a 3-mechanism challenge -- the toughest level -- would be to describe a new game design that had a theme of "China" and the mechanisms "Commodity Speculation," "Event Card Interaction," and "Civilization." Players have limited time and space to create their mini-masterpieces. Previous results at
March 2004 Translating past newsletters for the German Game Designers Guild (SAZ)
The Board Game Designer's Forum holds another Game Design Showdown.

Helped playtest the game that later became Burger Joint.

April 2004 Board Game Designer's Forum comments on the Game Design Challenge feature:
Not being facetious or anything, but: is a surprisingly good way to kick-start your creative juices.
hey that's a cool little gizmo of a web page. i just went to check it out for about five seconds and stayed for fifteen minutes and came away with two ideas i'm probably going to work on. if you think about it that page itself could be a game...

And thanks to S.H. Wong -- who has made some great contributions himself -- for the nice comment on a "list of lies" over at

One fine day, I just decide to used up all my ridiculous amount of frequent flyer points to travel around to meet up all these people I know in (BGG). Alright, my secret agenda was to become King of BGG, and have every game sent to me for playtesting before publishing. I first went to Tom Vasel and challenged him in every light "fun" game that he ever knew of. Soundly defeated in every game, he commented he still had "fun", and they were a little luck driven anyway. I did the same with the war game category with Chris, the deduction category with Scott, the abstract category with David, the negotiation category with Nate, each time beating them with awesome strategic forsight and profound wisdom. I trashed Randy on the baseball and word games and gaming knowledge on Heli just for the heck of it. Sadly, my victorious campaign was deemed "inofficial" and not acknowledged, though I am offered life-long free trips to Gathering of friends and Essens as consolation for my impressive effort. I guess you can't win them all.
May 2004 Translating the rules and background notes for the new game Capt'n. W. Kidd by Bambus Spiele.
June 2004 Prepared final report on the latest revision of the Decision Games edition of Empires of the Middle Ages. I wish they had listened to me more.
August 2004 Translating the rules and for the Cwali re-issue of Visjes: SeaSim.
Reviewing box cover text for Whisky Race.
Reviewing 5-player variant for American Megafauna by Sierra Madre Games.
September 2004 My interview with Ro Sato was excerpted in an article published in the German board game magazine Fairplay. The article is about the current board game popularity in Japan and Korea. The writer saw my website and got the idea.
October 2004 Translate English versions of instructions for Bad Hollywood, Stunt Academy and Feenbalz by Krimsus.
October 2005 Translate English versions of instructions for Socks in the City, by Bambus Spiele and Piratengold by LudoArt
January 2006 Created lists of my most played games of 2004 and 2005.
May 2006 Translate instructions for one of Bambus' Essen games.
September 2006 Helped playtest the future Starship Merchants.
October 2006 Translate instructions for Bambus' Essen games Tactic Blue and GreenTown.
Review/proofread American Megafauna 3.0.
Learn that Italia by Andreas Steding, which I playtested way back in August of 1999, is at last to appear.
Going even further back, have just learned that some scenarios of mine devised over two decades ago for the SPI game Swords and Sorcery are under consideration for a forthcoming new version.
Wallenstein is re-issued as Shogun, in a Japan setting, just as suggested on this site back in 2002.
January 2007 is nominated for the Best Game Resource Site by Gone Gaming:
May 2007 Helping with development/testing of Origins, the Essen entry for Sierra Madre Games.
June 2007 In the Nice to See That the Website Is Helpful Department, it seems that someone was wandering about the Bay Area and got a sudden desire to find a game store. Here's the story of how they used my site with their phone.
August 2007 Attended West Coast Meeple Fest in Santa Clara, California, four glorious days of gaming. I hosted the Tichu tournament for the event.

Helping with translations of Bambus' Essen games.

September 2007 Web-published Founding Fathers.

Featured in the photo album at Michael Schacht's site.

Gasp, an involuntary podcast! I was ambushed into participating in Doug Garrett's episode 80. I took the occasion to pay homage to where most of the games come from these days ...

October 2007 The interviews of game players around the world have given inspiration to a new book in German, So Spielt Der Welt, which also includes some excerpts from some of the interviews.
November 2007 Celebrating ten years of presenting a games website.
March 2008 Called a wordsmith of games by Darren M.:
Simply put... I thought anyone who takes the time to write comments on many wide ranging games has something interesting to say and is worth highlighting (or else they simply have no life)... either way they belong on this list as they are valuable resources for their wide range of viewpoints on the huge variety of games that they play. What better people to have for geekbuddies or just to to print out their epic commentaries and tape to the toilet door for reading material while sitting on the throne. :)

According to Wikipedia's entry for Word Count:

Classification - Typical word count:
Epic At least 75,000-100,000 (or 200,000) words :
Novel At least 50,000 (or 60,000) words :
Novella At least 17,500 (or less than 50,000) words

So... using this as a base I came up with a minimum word count filter to celebrate the most prodigiously proficient in propagating piles of prose among us...

BGG Uber Epic authors 200,000+ words
BGG Epic authors 100,000-200,000 words
BGG Novel authors 50,000-100,000 words
BGG Novella authors 17,500-50,000 words


Wordcount: 282611
Game Comments: 1367

Heli is quite simply a game commenting machine. Rising above all others with his website... he has a word count of over 280,000 words and is the sole occupant of the BGG Uber Epic author class. Writer's cramp much? :)

Later Gil Hova writes:
I thought I'd have a fighting chance to be mentioned here... but I'm only up to 11,225 words. So if heli is the Charles Dickens of BGG, and sisteray is the Steven King of BGG, does that make me the Jack Chick of BGG?
All of this found at
June 2008 Helped to translate the new Krimsus game There Are Robbers in the Woods.
September 2008 Rules editing for the new Sierra Madre Games Kriegbot.
May 2009 Helping with High Frontier, the latest Sierra Madre Games game.
July 2009 Helping with Erosion, another Sierra Madre Games game.

This site and its reviews are recommended by the new book Hardcore Inventing: Invent, Protect, Promote, and Profit From Your Inventions by Ellie Crowe and Robert N. Yonover.

October 2009 Noticed a number of this site's reviews have been quoted in reviews by Brian Train. Mostly so that I can find them again, here are links to these:
December 2009 Reported on a visit to a counterfeiter of board games in China.
January 2010 Translated the instructions for Attandarra.

Suggested that the English title for the forthcoming Die Speicherstadt not be "Hanseatic Trading 1900" or "Die Speicherstadt". The second is too unintelligible to English speakers whereas the first is too similar to the several prominent "Hansa" games that have appeared already. Suggested something along the lines of "Hamburg 1900" instead, though know nothing of the game.

September 2010 Translated the instructions for Key West and also Minotaurus.

This site quoted many times in Stewart Woods' Ph.D. dissertation, Convivial Conflicts: The Form, Culture and Play of Modern European Strategy Games.

October 2010 Favorite mechanisms currently:
    logical deduction
    variable powers
    theme & experience
    team vs. team

Least-favored mechanisms currently:

    worker placement
    majority control
    pure cooperative
    pure abstract
January 2011 Reviewed rules for the unpublished Over the Road and for Moritz Eggert's and Christoph Tisch's Das kalte Herz.
February 2011 Mentioned in Mark Johnson's Board Games to Go podcast, with Dave O'Connor
November 2011 Web-published Italian Rails.
May 2013 Web-published Inventing the Future.
June 2013 Reviewing English translation for The Pharaoh's Labyrinth by Krimsus
September 2013 Web-published Poleis.
October 2013 Web-published Rome in Crisis.

Web-published cards for Republic of Carthage.

Categories and mechanisms used in my published games, sorted by frequency.

3 Ancient
2 Card Game
2 Economic
2 Negotiation
2 Political
2 Trains
1 Aviation / Flight 1 Civilization
1 Dice
1 Expansion for Base-game
1 Exploration
1 Industry / Manufacturing
1 Racing
1 Science Fiction
1 Wargame

4 Variable Player Powers
3 Card Drafting
2 Auction/Bidding
2 Dice Rolling
2 Hand Management
2 Voting
1 Betting/Wagering 1 Crayon Rail System
1 Modular Board
1 Pick-up and Deliver
1 Point to Point Movement
1 Route/Network Building
1 Simulation
1 Trading
1 Variable Phase Order

June 2014 Rome in Crisis available for print-on-demand at
July 2014 July 2: A beautiful new version of Founding Fathers now available for print-on-demand at

July 27: published the PrintNPlay edition of The First War.

November 2014 November 24: Published Founding Fathers: Offices & Statesmen, the first Founding Fathers expansion kit at
March 2015 Published Rome in Crisis at
November 2016 Published Poleis at
January 2017 Published The First War at
February 2017 Published: The Course of Honor and Founding Fathers: Ladies & Orators at
March 2017 Published Dwarven Rails at
April 2017 Published LA BISTRO at

Gave an interview to The Players' Aid about Foundinng Fathers.

Updated categories and mechanisms used in my published games, sorted by frequency.

3 Ancient
2 Wargame
2 Trains
2 Political
2 Negotiation
2 Economic
2 Card Game
1 Territory Building
1 Science Fiction
1 Racing
1 Prehistoric
1 Industry / Manufacturing
1 Exploration
1 Expansion for Base-game
1 Dice
1 Civilization
1 Aviation / Flight

4 Variable Player Powers
3 Card Drafting
2 Voting
2 Modular Board
2 Hand Management
2 Dice Rolling
2 Auction/Bidding
1 Variable Phase Order
1 Trading
1 Simulation
1 Route/Network Building
1 Point to Point Movement
1 Pick-up and Deliver
1 Hex-and-Counter
1 Crayon Rail System
1 Betting/Wagering

June 2017
Celebrating 20 years of A Spotlight on Games!
Thanks so much to C.M. Perry for the
celebratory image he created!
July 2017 Published 7/2 The Republic of Carthage at The Game Crafter
August 2017 Published 8/4 Italian Rails at The Game Crafter

Rick Heli