Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror, Part One: A History and Ten Top Games

In my real life I work for Skotos Tech, an online gaming company that’s increasingly becoming an online entertainment company. Our newest site, which I launched last week, is Xenagia, a community site all about fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Thus far we’ve got a forum and a book index, with plans to add reviews in a couple of weeks.

(And, if you’re interested in the topics, please stop on by, as we’re working hard to create a community, particularly on the forums.)

Because of my work on Xenagia, I’ve been largely immersed in these three genres over the last couple of weeks, and that’s what led to this article, talking about science-fiction and fantasy (and to a lesser extent, horror) in gaming.

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Nickels and Dimes: 2006

There are any number of ways to review games and say which are best. I regularly write gameplay reviews at RPGnet. Here on Gone Gaming, I’ve written previewsyearly lists, and more.

However ultimately I think one of the best guides of “what’s good” (or, at least, “what’s good for me”) is what gets played. No matter how beautiful and elegant a game is, if it never gets played because it’s ten hours long, it’s hard to count it as a good game. Hence the yearly “nickel and dime” lists where people talk about what games they’ve played at least five or ten times.

In past years my nickel and dime lists have been somewhat uninteresting. They tended to focus on the 2-player games that I played with my wife. Alas, my wife has largely stopped playing games this year, but on the upside my 5&10 list is a more accurate reflection of my gaming tastes (with perhaps too much emphasis on fillers).

Here’s what 2006 brought:

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Strategy of a Game: Blue Moon, Part Two — Flix & Mimix

Blue Moon: The Flit & The MimixThis is the second in a series of strategy articles about Blue Moon, which I’ll be publishing about once a month here at Gone Gaming. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to read my original discussions of the game and my strategy notes about The Hoax & The Vulca.

This time around I’ll be moving on to cover the first two standalone decks, The Flit andThe Mimix. These notes originally appeared at RPGnet in a slightly different form, but have been revised, expanded, and edited for inclusion here.

As before, I’ll be starting out with some looks at card counts in the decks. I’m building on my listings from the last article to put everything into perspective.
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Strategy of a Game: Blue Moon, Part One — Hoax & Vulca

Blue MoonOver at RPGnet these last few months I’ve been writing a series of reviews of the Blue Moon expansions. Each review has also included some strategy notes on the deck. Since I know folks aren’t necessarily reading reviews for strategy, I’ve decided to collect those strategy notes here, at Gone Gaming, along with some additional card counts and other info. Each of these articles will cover two of the Blue Moon decks, and I expect you’ll see about one a month until I hit them all.

I’m starting off with two decks that I haven’t discussed before: the inhabitants of the original game, the Hoax and the Vulca.

You may also want to take a look at the general strategy notes I included in my article Anatomy of a Game : Blue Moon.

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Anatomy of a Game: Blue Moon

Blue MoonTwo weeks ago, Joe Gola published a review of Blue Moon, Reiner Knizia’s customizable card game. It’s been a game that’s been on my mind lately too. This week I ‘d like to take a step beyond Joe’s introduction (for which, see his article, or else my own review of the game), and instead dig a little deeper to discover what really makes Blue Moon tick, starting with a look at how it really is acustomizable auction game, not a CCG.

Blue Moon as an Auction

In my overview of Reiner Knizia I made the contention that most of his games are actually auction games, but from the comments on that article I could tell that my point wasn’t entirely clear. Fortunately, Blue Moon offers a terrific example of how an otherwise unique-looking game can be based on pure auction mechanics.

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