San Marcos Board Gamers More fun than you can shake a meeple at


Dominion Online Relaunches

Posted by Chris Aylott

Dominion Online has had a checkered history. First announced almost three years ago, the game went through delays, missed released dates, and a beta that can charitably described as troubled. Then a new publisher stepped in, and the game relaunched a few weeks ago in tablet and web version. So how is it looking now?


Board Game Bash 2015 Registration Push

Posted by Chris Aylott

Board Game Bash 2015 is just a couple of months away, and it's looking for a few good members! They know their audience, too, because they're planning to give away some games if they get enough signups.


September Meetup Roundup

Posted by Chris Aylott

New families, new games... it was a busy September meetup at the San Marcos Public Library last week.


Old and New Games at Our June Library Meetup

Posted by Chris Aylott

We had a great turnout at our June library meetup! Lots of Fun People Who Like Games in attendance, lots of games played, and one of our broadest age ranges in both the games and the people.

On the people front, I have to give props to eight-year-old Brandon, who took on the task of learning Smash Up with gusto. I hear he later proclaimed it to be his new favorite game, which is understandable since he got to play Dinosaurs AND Zombies. (He also got in a lot of reading practice figuring out what all the cards did, but he doesn't have to know that games are good for you.)

On the games front, we had several new games hitting the table. I brought in Sail to India, a 2013 entry among the Japanese micro-games that have been making their way across the Pacific. This is a surprisingly deep economic game built around 26 cards and 52 little wooden cubes; I'll have a more detailed review soon.

Eight Minute Empire -- a lot of game in a little box.

Eight Minute Empire -- a lot of game in a little box.

I enjoyed Sail to India, but Eight Minute Empire outshines it in speed and elegance. Designer Ryan Laukat crammed most of the best mechanics from civilization games and area control games into a tiny box and a blazingly fast game. You set up, you buy eight cards and do what they say, and the game is over, but there is a lot to think about in that simple procedure. Eight Minute Empire and its younger brother Eight Minute Empire Legends were played several times over the afternoon, a testament to both its speed and fun value.

I didn't get the camera close enough to do justice to this Sopwith set.

I didn't get the camera close enough to do justice to this Sopwith set.

New games aren't the only games, though. Dominion and Zombie Dice were on the table, but the Old Master of the afternoon was Sopwith, a 1978 game that can claim Air Force / Dauntless, Wings of War, and X-Wing among its descendants. Sopwith has the pre-planned movement, firing arcs, and progressive damage that we've come to expect from flying games and (based on my look-overs from another table), still plays remarkably smoothly for a mid-seventies wargame. It also didn't hurt that the game was beautiful, thanks to David's lovingly constructed miniatures and playing aids.

A good time was had by all at the June library meetup, and there are plenty more to come this summer. Look for our next meetup on July 27, and don't forget our meetups every other Tuesday at the Hungry Gamer!



February Meetup Pictures

Posted by Chris Aylott

Our February meetup at the San Marcos Public Library went off without a hitch, but work issues have kept me from posting the photos for now. (Never fear, though, the workload should lighten up a bit in coming weeks -- either because the game I've been working on will be out or the whole team will have collapsed from exhaustion. Or both!)

We had a good crowd, though, and a bunch of fun games hit the table. One happy surprise was an classic from 1986: Fireball Island!

The brave adventurers race to the jewel on Fireball Island!

The brave adventurers race to the jewel
on Fireball Island!

This game is beloved to every gamer who was eight when it first came out, and a pretty good play for everyone else. It's a roll-and-move race game at heart, but you can play cards to mess up your opponents. Even better, you can trigger red marble "fireballs" to roll over your opponents. There's plenty of mayhem and just enough strategy to keep you interested between the disasters.

I also got Robo Rally on the table, though I chose the checkpoint flags poorly. I kept them close together (always a good idea), but started the race on an extremely difficult section of the board. Much robot destruction ensued, but there were a fair amount of laughs along the way.



Puzzling over Robo Rally.

Also played: Kingdom Builder, Dominion, and I may have gotten distracted by fireballs and missed something along the way. Overall, our February meetup had good turnout and great games, and we're looking forward to getting together again on March 23!




6 Months, 50 Members, 8 Meetups, Not Bad!

Posted by Chris Aylott

Exactly 6 months ago, I hit the "go" button and launched the Meetup group for the San Marcos Board Gamers. How have things stacked up in this time? Well, the headline says it all: "Not bad."

A few days ago, we passed the 50 member mark -- thanks for joining, Stephanie! We've met at least once a month, usually at the San Marcos Public Library. We've played a lot of great games from a lot of different styles and eras, including:

There are also a few things that haven't been accomplished yet, mostly because this has been a very busy winter for me at work. The Facebook page I've wanted to do hasn't happened yet, and I haven't been able to do much other promotion. Attendance is good, but it hasn't settled down to a steady, self-sustaining group of regulars, and we haven't had much chance to play outside of the library meetups. I would love to get together for an evening-long game like Battlestar Galactica or a full campaign of Risk Legacy, but it just hasn't happened yet.

Overall, though, it's been a good first 6 months. There is a lot of work to do yet, but we've met regularly and enjoyed games.

And really, that's what it's all about.

And really, that's what it's all about.



Alert! September Library Meetup Roundup!

Posted by Chris Aylott

Things got a little raucous at yesterday's September Library Meetup! One of our members brought a copy of Space Alert, the real-time cooperative survival game of sailing through space while a CD soundtrack warns you that you're about to get blown up by aliens. Each game runs about ten minutes, and while I didn't get the details, it sounds like the intrepid space explorers did pretty well.

SMBG 0913_03

I didn't get a picture of the Space Alert game, but I did get this Star Munchkin picture instead. That's in space too!

Turnout was excellent, with about fifteen players and lot of classic games on the table. One group took on the Africa board for Ticket to Ride, while I found out just how successful a no-brick strategy is in Settlers of Catan. (Answer: not very.)

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Intrepidly exploring Africa, which is not in Space.

Other games played included 7 Wonders, Carcassonne, Dominion, Star Munchkin, and Zombie Dice. A good time was (hopefully) had by all, and our next library meetup is just a few weeks away on October 27! Spooky games, anyone?

SMBG 0913_01

My kingdom for some bricks. Seriously, what's a guy gotta do to get some bricks around here?!?!?