On Sunday we were visited by our friends from Switzerland and France. They stayed with us for Easter and couple days after Easter. We spent 4 days gaming like crazy. We played Matagot prototype. We played Portal Games prototype. We played dry like Sahara euro games (Orleans!) and we played party games (Bausack!). We had trick taking games in play (Abluxxen!) and abstract games (Okiya), we had family games on the table (Takenoko) and we had gamers games (Nefretiti). I did not record our plays, but I’d say we played more than 40 games these past few days.
Last game night. The very last game of this breathtaking game marathon. 1812: The Invasion of Canada. Me and Merry against three of them. Team play like no other. We command American forces and talk with Merry in Polish to discuss movement of our forces and how to outsmart opponents. They command Natives, Canadians and British forces. They talk in French discussing how to crush us. We use English only for two purposes: to banter and to lower morale of the opponent. Well, Hicham (CEO of Matagot) uses English for something more. He uses it to pretend he is English officer. And I bet you can’t imagine how person with strong French accent sounds trying to speak like noble Englishman.
It was 90 minutes of pure joy. Amazing summary of great game marathon. 5 people from different parts of Europe. One table, one board, one passion.
So, just in case you didn’t know it yet… I love board games and I love you, gamers, people who share this passion with me.
When we were preparing to publish Neuroshima Hex back then in 2005, we didn’t expect that ten years later the game will be still in print. Bestseller in Poland for the past 10 years, with 9 additional armies, with IOS app, with many local editions including French, Italian, Russian, Spanish and many more it just blew up our expectations. We did believe in the game, but man, it grew much bigger than we could dream.
Now, 10 years later English rights for Neuroshima Hex came back to Portal. One could say: „Hey, Ignacy don’t waste your time on marketing old game and you better focus on your new releases!”
I say: „Neuroshima Hex is not an old game. It’s an old classic. It’s one of our most important releases in the past few years for me. I’ll make you play the game because I know you should at least try it!”
Just few days ago I wrote an article about brainstorming, about designers developing and improving other designers ideas and creating new games based on the older ones. What’s interesting, it’s hard for me to point out games that are Neuroshima Hex’s successors, games that used Neuroshima’s mechanisms and grew into something new. The game is still super unique, just like not discovered gem. It’s strange. I can’t explain this.
As Zee Garcia points out in his review (below) Neuroshima Hex is an unique blend of abstract tactical game and thematic game. The same conclusions were presented by Joel Eddy in his review. He called Neuroshima Hex Abstract Trash game, meaning that it has abstract, very clear rules and at the same time it is so much thematic! Yeah, water and fire, abstract rules and thematic experience.
It’s hard to explain, it’s hard to understand how Michał Oracz, designer of the game managed to do this. What is clear, this is a game like no other.
If the game is on the market for 10 years. If the game has 9 great expansions. If the game has active tournament scene. If the game has it’s own, dedicated site run by fans, with regular updates (neuroshimahex.pl). If the game…
It means, this game has something.
I strongly recommend you to try it. I would not promote a title if I don’t believe in it with my whole heart. I promote NS HEX and recommend it because I do belive. With my whole heart.
Most of you know Citadels by Bruno Faidutti, old classic game that so many gamers love. Brilliant character selection rules that let us bluff, outsmart opponents and what is most important – have lots of laught. Not all of you know that actually this brilliant piece of mechanism was invented few years earlier by Marcel-André Casasola Merkle and introduced in a small card game called Verrater.
So many of you love Battlestar Galactica. Released in 2008 was a blast right from the very first day. It’s been a while since the first print and yet the game is alive, the game is played over and over, every week I see it when I look through my Instagram feed. Gamers love this great game of betrayal and hidden agendas. I am eager to know how many players who enjoy Battlestar Galactica know that actually traitor mechanism was invented three years earlier by Bruno Cathalha and Serge Laget in 2005. The game is called Shadows over Camelot and was first coop game that introduced traitor mechanism.
Two or three years ago Francis Drake got a tremendous buzz among US players. So many reviewers where pointing how cool the port mechanism is and how great choices it delivers. Invented by group of Italian designers, introduced to European players in 2009. Called Egizia. Super elegant and smart, very popular in Poland eurogame.
Unlike in any other industries, board game industry is friendly place. It’s not only friendly in terms of social aspect, in terms of us being kind to each other, us inviting new people to the table and being welcome to other people. It is friendly also on this other level, on the level of creation. Nor Marcel-Andre Casasole sued Faidutti. Cathalha did not sue Konieczka… There is no patent war. In a fact, there is quite the opposite. There is ongoing brainstorming, ongoing process of creativity, process of taking great ideas from other designers and creating something new. Adding value to our hobby. There is no stealing. There is adding. Improving. Developing. Worldwide brainstorming.
That’s why board games get better.
That’s why we see better and better games each year.
It’s a community of designers using each other ideas to bring more value.
I wish it’s true for other industries and other aspects of our life. We give great example to the world.
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