Year-by-year categorized listings of Mechanics & Meeples articles & Shannon’s RPGnet board game reviews.
- 2005 Article Index [12/31/05]
- 2006 Article Index [1/1/07]
- 2012 Article Index [12/31/12]
- 2013 Article Index [12/30/13]
- 2014 Article Index [12/31/14]
- 2015 Article Index [12/31/15]
This is a listing of all the continuing articles series on Mechanics & Meeples
A multi-part look at the adventure gaming genre of board games.
- Overview: Worlds of Adventure [4/10/07]
- Fantasy Flight’s Adventure Games & That Old-Time Roleplaying [6/26/06]
- Adventure Games, Part Two: In the Cards [7/26/06]
- Adventure Games, Part Three: Dungeon Delving [8/10/06]
- Adventure Games, Part Four: Talisman vs Runebound [9/27/07]
- Part One: Ra (#1), Chinatown (#2), Taj Mahal (#3) [8/6/12]
- Part Two: Princes of Florence (#4), Adel Verpflichtet (#5), Traders of Genoa (#6) [11/19/12]
- Part Three: Wyatt Earp (S#1), Royal Turf (S#2), Puerto Rico (#7) [2/25/13]
- Part Four: Die Sieben Weisen (S#3), Edel, Stein & Reich (S#4), Mammoth Hunters (#8) [8/19/13]
- Part Five: San Juan (S#5), Fifth Avenue (#9), Louis XIV (M#1) [6/23/14]
- Part Six: Palazzo (M#2), Augsburg 1520 (M#3), Rum & Pirates (#10) [2/2/15]
- Part Seven: Notre Dame (#11), In The Year of the Dragon (#12), Witch’s Brew (M#4) [6/15/15]
A look at the game design of the expansions in the Alea Treasure Chest — and how they changed the original games.
- Part One: Louis XIV & San Juan [9/16/10]
- Part Two: Witch’s Brew [6/25/12]
- Part Three: Puerto Rico [10/15/12]
- Part Four: Princes of Florence [10/29/12]
Anatomy of a Game
Shorter looks at individual games or even genres of games, to examine how they’re put together.
- Anatomy of a Game: Blue Moon [2/23/06]
- Anatomy of a Game: Catan [9/14/15]
- Anatomy of a Revision: Caverna [5/18/15]
- Anatomy of a Reimagination: Eldritch Horror [6/29/15]
Anatomy of a Game: Carcassonne
- Overview: Carcassonne: Not Just a City in France [1/2/07]
- Carcassonne, Part One: The Original Game [3/30/06]
- Carcassonne, Part Two: Balance & Tiles [4/6/06]
- Carcassonne, Part Three: Cooperation & Competition [4/20/06]
- Carcassonne, Part Four: Complexity & The Rivers [5/11/06]
- The Carcassonne Standalones, Part One: Tiles & Scores [3/15/07]
- The Carcassonne Standalones, Part Two: Rules Changes [3/29/07]
Anatomy of a Genre
An examination of specific genres of play.
Anatomy of a Genre: Card Games
A look at card games, including some previous overviews, and a more specific anatomy article.
- Overview: Clubs, Spades … and Orange Chameleons?! [8/20/06]
- Anatomy of a Genre: Card Games & Randomness [9/13/07]
Anatomy of a Genre: Role Civilization
Analysis of the small fall of games that originated with San Juan and Race for the Galaxy.
- Part One: An Introduction [11/9/15]
- Part Two: The Empires [11/23/15]
- Part Three: The Galaxy [12/21/15]
Anatomy of a Genre: Train Games
A discussion of train games, focusing on the three major mechanics that make up the category of play.
- Part One: Connections [9/9/13]
- Part Two: Pickup and Delivery [9/16/13]
- Part Three: Stock Holding [10/7/13]
Board Game History
These are short, isolated looks at various historical periods of game playing & publishing. They’re arranged in the chronological order of the histories here.
- The Birth of the Modern Board Game: 1820-1869 [1/14/13]
- The American Board Gaming Century Begins: 1883-1935 [4/1/13]
- Shannon’s Christmas ’12 Gift-Giving Guide [12/10/12]
- Shannon’s Christmas ’13 Gift-Giving Guide [12/2/13]
- Cathala, Bruno & Serge Laget [11/4/13]
- Knizia, Reiner — Lord of the Rings [2/17/11]
- Konieczka, Corey [8/5/13]
- Launius, Richard — Arkham Horror [11/25/10]
- Leacock, Matt [4/29/13]
- Leacock, Matt — Thunderbirds [3/10/15]
- Dominion, Part One: The Original Game [9/10/12]
- 3012 [4/15/13]
- Arctic Scavengers [5/13/13]
- Ascension [7/27/11]
- Asgard’s Chosen [11/18/13]
- Copycat [6/10/13]
- Cthulhu Realms [10/26/15]
- DC Comics [4/14/14]
- Demonslayer [11/24/14]
- Don’t Turn Your Back [9/28/15]
- Eaten By Zombies [9/24/12]
- Eminent Domain [6/15/12]
- A Few Acres of Snow [7/30/12]
- Flip City [12/7/15]
- Lewis & Clark [7/28/14]
- Lord of the Rings [1/11/16]
- Nightfall [3/17/11]
- Pathfinder Adventure Card Game [5/12/14]
- Return to Pathfinder Adventure Card Game [3/23/15]
- Penny Arcade [7/16/12]
- Pergamemnon [8/13/12]
- Resident Evil [4/28/11]
- Quarriors [8/30/11]
- Star Realms [9/22/14]
- A Study in Emerald [2/24/14]
- Tanto Cuore [10/18/11]
- Thunderstone [5/13/10]
- Trains [12/22/14]
- Zeppelin Attack! [8/25/14]
Discussions with deckbuilding designers
- Seegert, Alf — Fantastiqa [7/2/13]
- Vogel, Eric B. — Don’t Turn Your Back [2/9/15]
- Vogel, Eric B. — Zeppelin Attack! [2/3/14]
Essen & Nurnberg (P)reviews
In Ye Olde Days I used to preview and review the most exciting games from the Essen and Nurnberg game conventions each year. It quickly proved too hard to track down German games ever year, so for more recent looks at new games, instead see New to Me, below.
- Games to Watch for: Essen ’05 [10/27/05]
- Games to Watch for: Nurnberg ’06 [2/9/06]
- A Top Ten from Essen ’05, Part One [4/27/06]
- A Top Ten from Essen ’05, Part Two [5/4/06]
- Games to Watch for: Essen ’06 [10/26/06]
- A Top Ten (or so) from Nurnberg ’06 [1/18/07]
The Expansion Game
- Expansive Theories (or: The Horror! The Horror!) [11/23/06]
- The Expansion Game, Part One: The History [1/31/08]
- The Expansion Game, Part Two: Boon or Bane? [2/28/08]
- A Second Look at Expansions (or: The Expansion Expansion) [1/27/14]
These are exhaustive looks at a single genre of theming.
IP, Morality & The Gaming Industry
Some discussions of moral issues in game design, development, and production. Only loosely connected as a series.
- IP, Morality, and the Gaming Industry [8/28/06]
- IP, Morality, and the Gaming Industry Part Two: Developers [2/15/07]
- Economics, Technology, Philosophy, and the Law [6/5/07]
- Bang! — New Copyright Decisions [9/29/14]
iPhone Game Design
These articles were each written after I’d completed the design of an iPhone game adapted from a eurogame either by Reiner Knizia or Michael Schacht. Each one addresses some unique problems raised by that particular game.
- Turning Reiner Knizia’s Money into an iPhone Game [1/21/10]
- Reiner Knizia’s High Society: Making Computers Think like Auction Players [7/22/10]
- Reiner Knizia’s Kingdoms: What Makes a Great MobileEuroGame? [10/28/10]
- Michael Schacht’s Gold!: Sweating the Details for iPhone Card Games [2/10/11]
- Game Decisions & AI: A Look at Modern Art: The Card Game [5/26/11]
- Developing Web of Power Card Game: The Duel [7/23/12]
The Italian Design Scene
These were early looks at games then coming out on Kickstarter. This isn’t something I’m usually interested in, but these games caught my eye for whatever reason.
A few articles inspired by my year of playing Knizia games, supplemented by some later works focusing on Knizia games.
- Knizia-Thon, Part One: Marco Polo Expedition v. Blue Moon City [10/25/07]
- Knizia-Thon, Part Two: Obscurity & Palazzo [11/08/07]
- Reiner Knizia’s Amun-Re: Still Innovative After All These Years [4/13/11]
Knucklebones Magazine Articles
- Bruno Faidutti: Professor of Chaos [5/22/06]
- Clubs, Spades … and Orange Chameleons!? [8/20/06]
- Auctions: Bidding on Fun, Part One [10/30/06]
- Auctions: Bidding on Fun, Part Two [10/31/06]
- Carcassonne: Not Just a City in France [1/2/07]
- Competitive Fun: It’s Now Whether You Win or Lose … Or Is It? [2/27/07]
- Worlds of Adventure [4/10/07]
- Yo Ho! Yo Ho! A Pirate’s Game for Me! [5/28/07]
- He’s Z-Man: Catching Up with Zev Shlasinger and Z-Man Games [6/17/07]
- Can’t We All Just Get Along: Cooperative Gaming [10/21/07]
- Review: Winds of Plunder [10/22/07]
- Role-Playing Games: A Primer [12/17/07]
Mathematics & Game Design
A look at math — used for good or evil — in board games.
New to Me
These are mini-reviews of games that I’d played the first time in the last 3 or 6 months before I wrote my article. Also see Essen & Nurnberg (P)reviews, above, for some systematic looks at new games in more olden days.
- New to Me: Winter & Spring 2012 [7/9/12]
- New to Me: Summer 2012 [10/8/12]
- New to Me: Fall 2012 [2/11/13]
- New to Me: Winter & Spring 2013 [7/8/13]
- New to Me: Summer 2013 [10/21/13]
- New to Me: Fall 2013 [1/14/14]
- New to Me: Winter 2014 — The Season of the City [3/31/14]
- New to Me: Spring 2014 [7/7/14]
- New to Me: Summer 2014 — The Season of Very Good [10/6/14]
- New to Me: Fall 2014 — The Season of the Mediocre [1/5/15]
- New to Me: Winter 2015 — The Season of Feld [4/6/15]
- New to Me: Spring 2015 — Resources & More [7/13/15]
- New to Me: Summer 2015 — A Lot of Good [10/12/15]
- New to Me: Fall 2015 — A Really Great Season [1/4/16]
Nickels and Dimes
An occasional look at my most-played games in a year.
The Problem with …
A series of rants on various topics that people tend to complain about (or complement!) in board games. I’ve written many more rants than these, but these are at least somewhat thematically consistent.
- The Problem with Indie Games [8/13/05]
- The Problem with Game Boxes [8/25/05]
- The Problem with Colors [9/25/05]
- The Problem with Luck [11/17/05]
- The Problem with Player Numbers [1/26/06]
- The Problem with Luck II [3/16/06]
- The Problem with Blind Bidding [4/6/06]
- The Problem with Horror Games [10/30/08]
- The Problem with Naked Aggression [8/27/12]
- Talkin’ ’bout My Degeneration [7/27/15]
Psychology of Gaming
Applying the science of psychology to game design.
- Loss Aversion [5/28/13]
Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror
A little at these genres and their use in board games.
Six Degrees of Collaboration
Strategy of a Game: Blue Moon
This was intended to be a longer series, but I burned out in my playing of the Blue Moon card game. As is, it offers a strategic look at the first four decks.
- Overview: Anatomy of a Game: Blue Moon [2/23/06]
- Part One: Hoax & Vulca [6/15/06]
- Part Two: Flix & Mimix [7/13/06]
The Tao of Board Gaming
- The Tao of Board Gaming I [12/24/09]
- “The Student of Catan”
- “The Unlucky Player”
- “The Newcomers to Puerto Rico”
- The Tao of Board Gaming II [4/1/10]
- “The New Release That Went Up in Smoke”
- “The Fivefold Path of Gaming”
- “The Buddhist Nature of Gaming”
- The Tao of Board Gaming III [10/22/12]
- “The Tao Master Plays a Game”
- “The True Nature of the Award”
- “Deckbuilding & The Art of War”
- The Tao of Board Gaming IV [3/17/14]
- “The Serious Gamer and the Silly Game”
- “The Worthy Fear”
- “The Spirit of the Game”
- The Tao of Board Gaming V [12/8/14]
- “The Problems of the World”
- “The Nature of the Strategy (and Tactics)”
- “What We Do”
Each article offers a brief overview of the work of three different designers.
- Three Designers: Knizia, Kramer & Teuber [12/15/05]
- Three Collaborative Designers: Faidutti, Colovini & Schacht [2/16/06]
A list of companies that (at the time) were up and coming in the board game industry.
When I was heavily playing Martin Wallace games for a few years, I wrote up some analytical strategy articles about them.
- Brass Tacks [1/7/08]
The Year in Review
A yearly look at how the board game industry changed year by year.
Also see my yearly looks at the history of the roleplaying industry, which appear over on my Designers & Dragons blog.
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2008 [12/13/11]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2009 [12/20/11]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2010 [12/27/11]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2011 [1/2/12]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2012 [1/1/13]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2013 [1/1/14]
- The Year in Roleplaying: 2014 [1/1/15]
If you prefer, my RPG looks from 2008-2014 have also been collected in the Designers & Dragons: Platinum Appendix, a more attractive PDF.