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


2016 Reviewed and a Look Ahead

Posted by Chris Aylott

It's almost the new year, and a good time to take a step back. How did 2016 stack up for the San Marcos Board Gamers?


Learn Catan at Our Library Meetup!

Posted by Chris Aylott

Our next library meetup is this Sunday, September 19, and we're trying out something new. In addition to our usual open gaming, we're teaching a featured game: Catan!


Busy September!

Posted by Chris Aylott


Earlier this year, I asked what the group should be doing more of. Based on our September events, it looks like the answer is: lots!

We're halfway through the month we've had plenty of meet-ups, including special game nights devoted to Settlers of Catan and chess. There's even momentum building up for gatherings built around Dungeons & Dragons and the Pathfinder roleplaying games.

The Hungry Gamer deserves a lot of credit for this activity. They've been proactive about organizing a variety of game nights, and their efforts have paid off. Hopefully this partnership will continue to benefit both local gamers and their mission of selling delicious sandwiches.

More September Fun

We've also got our monthly library meet-up chugging along, and we did our first Playtest Prototypes meet-up at the end of August. This playtest was a big help to me and another local designer, and it looks like there's interest in doing more.

We've also gotten a opportunity to playtest an upcoming game from two of the hobby's hottest designers. We'll be focusing on this game during our September playtest session and running some special sessions over the next few weeks.

Finally, I'm looking into the Envoy program. This marketing program partners with publishers, retailers, and game groups to set up game demonstrations. If the program is as good as it looks, then it could be a fun way to explore new games from some of the medium-sized publishers in the hobby.

Overall, September is looking like a great month. Let's keep the fun rolling throughout the fall!


Tokaido Review

Posted by Chris Aylott

When I wrote up last week's list of great summer vacation games, I dug into the archives for a past review of Tokaido. Alas! There was none, which is an injustice to one of the better light games of the last few years. Let's fix that now with a little trip down the Tokaido Road.


Racing and Settling at Our May Library Meetup!

Posted by Chris Aylott

We had a great turnout for our May Library meetup, so things were just a little bit cozy when a piano recital put us into the San Marcos Public Library's smaller conference room. That said, the big conference table was the perfect size for the whole group to gather and put down a couple of good-sized games.

On the left side of the table, we had a hard-fought game of Settlers of Catan: Cities and Knights. I saw a lot of cities rising and didn't hear any cries of rage, so I figure the knights were out in full force and the barbarians were kept in check.

Cities & Knights: the serious Settlers variant for serious settlers.

Cities & Knights: the serious Settlers variant
for serious-looking settlers.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group was racing around Monaco in Formula De. This old favorite is a roll and move game with a twist: each of your car's six gears is represented by a different die, from a four-sider with 1s and 2s on it to a thirty-sider with 21 through 30 on it. Players who want to win have to think carefully and hit the right gears in the tricky parts of the track. Players like me just roll and shout and crash a lot.

Three close contenders -- and a crash -- near the end of the race.

Three close contenders -- and a crash -- near the end of the race.

Both games ran fairly long, so the afternoon ended with a quick game of Munchkin: Axe Cop. I joined in and confirmed once again that no, I don't like Munchkin -- but the company was good, and good company can make any game fun. Our next Hungry Gamer meetup is May 27, and our next library meetup is June 22, so come keep us company then!


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.

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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?

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


Friday Night in the Dungeon!

Posted by Chris Aylott

We have a new event lined up for this Friday evening! Member Vincent would like to get together at Mochas and Javas for longer game; he proposes Settlers of Catan or (if available) Dungeon!


Dungeon! sought for dungeon-crawling fun.

We visited Mochas and Javas for our first event, and it's a lovely place to play games. It's quiet, the staff were very friendly, and there's a comfortable nook near the back where you can draw up a couch and chairs and play. I can also testify that the gelato is delicious.

Space is a little bit limited for this event, since Vincent is looking to get together for a specific game that accommodates only a limited number of players. On the other hand, if a bunch of people show up and there's another set on hand to play, there's no reason everyone can't get in on the game. Either way, this is a good one to sign up in advance at our Meetup site.

One more note: playing Dungeon! depends on someone having a copy available to play. Can anybody help out?