Whose Job Is It? (Or: The Problem with Taj)

Last Saturday I played my best game of Reiner Knizia’s Taj Mahal ever. I finished the game with 63 points, pretty rare in my experience of 5-player games and pretty far ahead of everyone else.

I’d like to think that much of victory came due to good play. I did my best to optimize my hand, built a great set of connections that scored me 1+2+3+4+5+6+7 points over the course of the game, quickly gained the +2 yellow bonus card, and held it for half the game.

However, I also think there was another major factor in my win: No one stopped me.

Continue reading

Bruno Faidutti: Professor of Chaos

Knucklebones CoverThis is a reprint of an article written in May, 2006 for first publication in the November, 2006 issue of the now-defunct Knucklebones magazine. Because of its origins, this article is more introductory and (hopefully) more polished than many of my online writings. Despite the original source of this article, this blog is in no way associated with Jones Publishing or Knucklebones Magazine.

Eurogames have been rocking the U.S. game market for almost a decade now. Most of them have traditionally come from German designers like Reiner Knizia and Klaus Teuber. However an increasing number of Eurogames are being designed by one of Germany’s closest neighbors: France.

Bruno Cathala (Shadows over Camelot), Serge Laget (Mare Nostrum), and Christophe Boelinger (Dungeon Twister) are just a few of the notable French designers whose games are now being published in the United States, thanks primarily to Days of Wonder and Asmodee Editions. However, the vanguard of French game design is Bruno Faidutti, with some 30 gaming titles to his name.

Continue reading