A Deckbuilding Look at Don’t Turn Your Back

Don't Turn Your BackI haven’t talked about a new deckbuilder all year. As I’ve previously written, I think that’s because the genre has peaked. So I was happy to get my Kickstarted copy of Don’t Turn Your Back (2015), by Eric B. Vogel, because it gives me a chance to return to a topic that has often filled this blog in recent years.

I talked with Eric about the game in February, but now that it’s out I can talk more about my own experience with the game — about how it expands the field and where it has troubles. I should note that Eric is a friend of mine, and I playtested the game several times in 2014, so take what I write with the appropriate amount of salt!

The Game

Don’t Turn Your Back is a deckbuilding/worker-placement game. You buy cards and filter cards like you’d expect, making the best deck that you can. However, the game’s use of those cards is unusual. Instead of just playing them and taking their effects, you instead place cards on specific areas of a game board, each of which has limited spaces. Doing so produces specific results: Continue reading

Anatomy of a Game: Catan

Catan 5e Box CoverMayfair Games recently released their fifth edition of the Settlers of Catan (1995) — now just called “Catan”. Even if you aren’t impressed by the fact that Mayfair has produced five major iterations of the core game, you have to be impressed that Catan Gmbh reports that over 18 million units of Catan have been sold. That’s a lot of games!

To celebrate the newest edition of the game, its 20th anniversary, and perhaps most importantly its continued success, I’ve decided this week to take an extended look at what makes Catan great. I’ll be examine the game’s major systems, the rules underlying them, and the emotions they create. Continue reading