Monthly Archives: May 2022

Leadership’s Like a Game Reflection

In a lot of games, you are on a team working to achieve a common goal. Being on a leadership team is a very similar experience. Everyone on both teams is usually assigned to a role and given specific tasks to complete. In games players typically have special abilities to help fulfill their role. On a real-life team people have real life skills that they excel in, making them better in certain positions. In both scenarios team members can help and support each other as needed.

Leadership and games also both include a lot of management. In many games you must manage what resources you have to avoid running out and accomplish goals within a time limit. As a leader you often are scheduling dates for events and keeping up with deadlines. Leaders also manage funds, deciding what to purchase or not, much like the resource management in games. Giving people orders and keeping them happy are goals that exist both in some games and for real leaders.

Another similarity between leadership and games is that you get better at them the more you practice. As you play games more you level up and learn better strategies to grow stronger. As a leader you must have practical experience leading to get better. Much like any other skill leadership can be improved with time and effort. So don’t avoid being a leader just because you think you’re bad at it. No one starts out as the perfect leader and you’ll never have a chance to improve if you don’t start.

Magic: The Gathering Color Leadership Quiz Results

Link to the quiz.

My idea for a quiz was to relate the five colors in Magic: The Gathering to different styles of leadership. Every color in magic has an identity not just for gameplay mechanics but also thematic flavor. White is associated with government, using rules and laws to keep peace and order. So, for leadership I based the questions on a person who takes charge to create a structure and order to the group. Blue pursues knowledge and logic to solve problems. As a leader I created questions about making plans and strategies to approach the situation. Black was tricky as it has a heavy negative connotation. I attempted to keep the portrayal neutral with a desire for success and being unafraid to take risks. I still feel like I could have improved on making the choices feel positive. Red is quick to action and values freedom. This type of leader prefers setting a positive example through their own actions instead of ordering others what to do. Green was another challenging color as its desire for peace is like white. I decided to put in emphasis on a mediator who makes sure all the members of the group get along.

Of the ten responses I collected, counting ties as both colors, there was: one white, two blue, one black, two red, and six green leaders. The first and last white options were never picked, possibly because they were too generic compared to the others. The third and fourth blue options were never picked, maybe because they were too complex compared to the simpler alternatives. The second and fourth black answers weren’t selected and likely were seen as too selfish and mean. Every single red option was selected at least once and is probably the best written options that I wrote. Strangely the first green option, studying as a group, was never picked. The third and fourth green options were picked way too often and caused way more people to be green leaders than any other. These answers are probably seen as the nicest or most effective of all the options available. The first change I would make to my quiz is make the black options more appealing. Then I would give a few of the shared qualities of green to white.

Despite the problems of balance in responses people were generally satisfied with their results. Not all of them were familiar with the different colors in Magic so their response was based on the summary I wrote. I personally agree with most if not all the results as well. This could just mean the sample of people who took the quiz were biased towards green. Also, the five colors aren’t designed to equally represent all people so something like black probably is naturally less common than others. A flaw with the BuzzFeed website is ties always get the same result and there is no indication of how much you match with the other options. If I had designed a more advanced quiz, I could have included all ten color pairs as answers instead of just the five one color options. The issue of certain colors being less common in real people would only because worse though. I doubt many people would fit into green black or red black for example. Overall learning about the design philosophy for colors in Magic and creating leader types for them was an interesting assignment.

Attend & Reflect on a Campus Gaming Event-Recon

The on-campus gaming event I went to this semester was Recon from March 4th through March 6th. On Friday during Recon the first event I did was the geek seek scavenger hunt. The riddles were easy to solve and the final code being recon was a bit obvious after the second letter, but it was helpful to see all the different rooms events were being held in. I then participated in two rounds of werewolf legacy. In the first round I was one of the werewolves and we won. For the second round I was a villager and we unfortunately lost. For the end of the night, I was on a team for trivia, and we started off strong. For the first half of trivia, we stayed in the top 3 or so, but at the end we fell to fourth place and just barely missed winning a prize.

On Saturday I played in the Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Magic: The Gathering draft. For the draft I played a white and green enchantment-based deck and opened some nice cards. The best one was Boseiju, Who Endures, which sells for around $25-$30, which was the second most expensive card any got from the draft. Of the six rounds I played I won three and lost three. However, when split between opponents I won my second match (2-0) and lost the first (0-2) and third (1-2). After having dinner, I tried D&D beat the geek against Grayson. While the trivia was fun not enough questions were written ahead of time and the 30 minutes wasn’t enough for how many people wanted to do beat the geek.

I then played in the last 2 rounds of werewolf legacy. The final round was awesome. Daniel claimed to be the Chupacabra trying to kill werewolves. I lived till close to the end and decided to shoot Daniel since there either was no werewolves left and he needed to die for town to live or there would only be one more werewolf. That left only 4 players, one of which was cleared of being the werewolf by the seer. Ian had a special ability that if he died both people next to him also would. He suggested being voted out so only the one player cleared by the seer would be left. As the only survivor she won the game…as the Chupacabra! It turned out that Daniel was a werewolf trying to avoid being voted out by claiming a neutral role. The Chupacabra can’t be found by the seer and since everyone thought it was gone the end came as a huge shock to everyone. I then joined a game of normal ultimate werewolf. We were short on time and sadly had to rush the game to play it at all. It didn’t matter to much though as the apprentice seer immediately found all 3 werewolves and there was nothing they could have done to come back from that.

On Sunday, during my birthday, I played Two Rooms and a Boom. While fun the games were a bit small and not as good as the rounds we played during class. I then watched the officer swearing in ceremony for the new/returning League of Geeks officers. Finally, I used the tickets I got throughout the event to try to win a prize. I ended up winning a poster of Jessica Jones with the tickets. There was also the play-to-win board games which I had played a lot of them. From those I also won the board game Mare Nostrum: Empires, which was probably my favorite of all the ones I played.

My Top 25 Board Games

25. Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards

Cryptozoic Entertainment

Designer: Rob Heinsoo, Cory Jones

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Epic Spell Wars has a fun combat system where you cast spells by combining different types of cards from your hand. Finding the right synergy for spells to deal lots of damage is satisfying. The main thing holding the game back is its NSFW humor.

Who may like it: People who like finding combos and fans of adult swim type of humor.

24. Tsuro

Calliope Games

Designer: Tom McMurchie

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: I’m still unsure if there’s actually a way to strategize in Tsuro. Each player takes turn playing a tile that moves their dragon to another spot on the board. Any player who falls off the board is eliminated until only one player remains. The structure the board ends up at the end of the game is so complex that I find it difficult to plan ahead, the game is always a blast to play regardless.

Who may like it: People who enjoy chaotic and unpredictable games.

23. Coup

Indie Boards & Cards

Designer: Rikki Tahta

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: There are plenty of hidden role games based on deception. Where Coup distinguishes itself is bluffing to perform role actions that you don’t have. There is large risk versus reward system that feels different from just hiding which team you’re on. Another benefit is that games are fairly short so you can easily play multiple rounds.

Who may like it: Fans of hidden role and deception games looking for a shorter game.

22. Specter Ops

Plaid Hat Games

Designer: Emerson Matsuuchi

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Specter Ops is the only hidden movement game I’ve played so far but I found it very interesting. Both hiding yourself from other players and trying to find the hidden player are really cool mechanics for a game.

Who may like it: Fans of stealth games.

21. The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine


Designer: Thomas Sing

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: The Crew is a trick taking game that is completely co-op. Each mission gives different objectives to complete but the players have very limited communication. I haven’t had a chance to play the new version yet but I could see this game jumping a few spots if the improvements allow for better variation in gameplay.

Who may like it: Fans of card games like Euchre and limited communication team games.

20. Moonrakers

IV Games

Designers: Austin Harrison, Max Anderson, Zac Dixon

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Moonrakers is a deckbuilder where you are a mercenary upgrading your ship and crew. The aspect I prefer over other deckbuilders is the in-game politics. In order to complete missions you can team up with other players and then split the rewards, however they can then sabotage the check instead making you fail. This extra dynamic adds another layer to the game.

Who may like it: Fans of deckbuilders and in-game politics.

19. Unstable Unicorns

Unstable Games

Designer: Ramy Badie

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This is more of a guilty pleasure of mine that I’ve played a surprising amount of. While the game appears to be a simple party game at first actually winning the game takes quite a bit of strategy to combo your cards. Plus the art is really fun.

Who may like it: Fans of silly card games and cute artwork.

18. Azul

Next Move Games

Designer: Michael Kiesling

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Azul is one of the few game I enjoy that doesn’t have a very strong theme to it. The game more than makes up for it with very solid mechanics. The tile drafting gives players many different strategies to go for. Do you play slowly and optimize your picks, or do you quickly complete rows but lose some points for having extra tiles. The tiles themselves are also well made components that are nice to look at.

Who may like it: Players who prefer good mechanics over theme.

17. Between Two Cities

Stonemaier Games

Designer: Matthew O’Malley, Ben Rosset

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: In Between Two Cities you must build two different cities with the person on either side of you. While Between Two Castles is probably a more advanced version of this game I somewhat prefer the limitations of Cities. Often in Castles the highest scoring team just built a tower with every piece in one line, while Cities requires the tiles to be in a 4 by 4 square.

Who may like it: Fans of tile placement and drafting games.

16. Trapwords

Czech Games Edition

Designer: Jan Březina, Martin Hrabálek, Michal Požárek

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: There are lots of popular word guessing party games like Codenames but Trapwords is my personal favorite. Not only does it have a D&D theming to it but the mechanic to set ‘traps’ that the other team can’t say is great. Clue givers end up describing clues in very creative ways to avoid saying anything that could be a trap.

Who may like it: Fans of word guessing party games.

15. Tiny Epic Dungeons

Gamelyn Games

Designer: Sam Aho

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Tiny Epic Dungeons is a dungeon that is rather difficult but a lot of fun. The tiles for the dungeon are placed randomly so the layout is different each time. There is also a large selection of characters to pick to play as which all have a unique ability or two.

Who may like it: Fans of dungeon crawlers and team games.

14. Picture Perfect

Corax Games

Designer: Anthony Nouveau

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Picture Perfect is a very unique and intriguing game. You gain points by placing figures in a family photo according to the desires of each person. Players only start with the info for a few people and have to try to trade for the others.

Who may like it: Something unique and different.

13. The Castles of Burgundy


Designer: Stefan Feld

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: In Castles of Burgundy you buy tiles in order to build a kingdom to earn the most points. Which tiles you can buy is determined by rolling dice but the game does have mechanics to manipulate the number. I enjoy attempting to build the best kingdom with limited places to put tiles.

Who may like it: Fans of tile placement and euro games.

12. Deception: Murder in Hong Kong

Jolly Thinkers

Designer: Tobey Ho

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: The major different in Deception to other hidden role games is the forensic scientist is giving hints of who the traitor is. However there are limitations on what hints they can give allowing the traitor to shift blame towards others. I prefer this over games like Avalon because there is much clearer evidence to figure out the traitor.

Who may like it: Fans of hidden role games and limited communication.

11. Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

Avalon Hill Games, Inc.

Designer: Chris Dupuis

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Betrayal is one of the first two games on this list I played. The Betrayal mechanic gives the game so much replayability. The Baldur’s Gate version of the game is both more refined and flavored more to my interests.

Who may like it: Fans of D&D(or horror movies for the original) and games that play different every time.

10. Vagrantsong

Wyrd Miniatures

Designer: Matt Carter, Justin Gibbs, Kyle Rowan

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Out of everything on this list Vagrantsong is the one I desperately need to play more of. It is a co-op campaign game where you move through a train fighting off ghosts. The artwork and style for the game is phenomenal and drew me into the game immediately.

Who may like it: Fans of team based games and amazing artwork.

9. Viticulture

Stonemaier Games

Designer: Jamey Stegmaier, Alan Stone

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Of the worker placement games I’ve tried Viticulture has been the most impressive. The game covers every aspect of winemaking from planting to fulfilling specific orders. There are many different locations to place workers separated into seasons, so planning ahead each turn is important. There are also several decks of cards that each do different things which I like for replayability. There is even a fun and unique mechanic for determining turn order each round.

Who may like it: Fans of worker placement games and wineries.

8. Mare Nostrum: Empires


Designer: Serge Laget

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: In Mare Nostrum each player controls an ancient empire competing to rule the Mediterranean. At first glance it appears very combat focused, but its mostly about building up your economy. While attacking allows for stealing resources or slowing down other players victory is mostly achieved by building the best economy.

Who may like it: Fans of ancient history and asymmetric factions.

7. Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power


Designer: Prospero Hall

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Villainous is an asymmetrical game where you attempt to complete a villain’s evil plan before the other players. Each villain plays very differently which is great for replayability. While there is an argument that the Disney version has better mechanics(it certainly has more expansions) I’m enough of a die hard Marvel fan to prefer that version of the game.

Who may like it: Fans of Marvel and asymmetric win conditions.

6. Ultimate Werewolf: Deluxe Edition

Bézier Games

Designer: Ted Alspach

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: Another classic that I couldn’t resist leaving off my list. There’s a reason this game is played so often at League of Geeks events. Both trying to figure out who is a werewolf and staying hidden as a werewolf is exhilarating. While dying early is disappointing there is still plenty of entertainment in watching how the rest of the game plays out.

Who may like it: Fans of hidden role and social deception games.

5. Nemesis

Awaken Realms

Designer: Adam Kwapiński

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: In Nemesis the players are trying to repair their spaceship while hiding from the aliens hiding aboard. Most of the rooms are randomized allowing for some exploration like Betrayal. The traitor objective also has a nice twist, part way through the game each players selects one of two personal objectives to complete which may or may not interfere with the other players. This allows players to somewhat pick for themselves to be a team player or a traitor. There is also a setting to play purely co-op as well.

Who may like it: Fans of Alien and hidden role games.

4. Cosmic Encounter

Fantasy Flight Games

Designer: Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Bill Norton, Peter Olotka, Kevin Wilson

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Cosmic Encounter is a wild game with tons of variability even without the expansions. The uniqueness of each alien race ensures no two games ever feel the same. The politics of convincing other players to help you and even being able to win together adds a lot too.

Who may like it: Fans of silly game breaking abilities and in-game politics.

3. Spirit Island

Fabled Nexus

Designer: R. Eric Reuss

Owned: No

Why it is on the list: In Spirit Island the players are spirits protecting an island and its natives from colonial invaders. There are plenty of different spirits to pick from and play very differently. There are a lot of moving parts in the game that make you feel like you’ll be overrun immediately but as you grow stronger it feels great to wipe the island free of invaders.

Who may like it: Fans of difficult team games.

2. Cryptid

Osprey Games

Designer: Hal Duncan, Ruth Veevers

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: Playing Cryptid feels a lot like trying to solve to solve a logic puzzle. Each player has one hint that when combined allows you to win the game. The trick is figuring them all out without revealing your own.

Who may like it: Fans of Clue and other deduction based puzzles.

1. Sentinels of the Multiverse

Greater Than Games, LLC

Designer: Christopher Badell, Paul Bender, Adam Rebottaro

Owned: Yes

Why it is on the list: This list has a lot of co-op games on it but my favorite is Sentinels of the Multiverse. With all the expansions there is an impressive number of heroes to play as that all feel unique and plenty of villains to overcome. There is also a surprising amount of lore that I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading about as well that deepened my appreciation of the game and characters.

Who may like it: Fans of superheroes and team based games.

Creating a City in Carcassonne

Because my group decided not to continue playing T.I.M.E Stories, we decided to play Carcassonne this week. Carcassonne is modeled after a real French city, and you play the game by building a puzzle and claiming cities, roads, land, rivers, and monasteries. As one person lays down a tile on the game, it will have different aspects of the game on it and you must place it strategically so that you can build in ways that will create the most points for yourself because the person with the most points at the end of the game wins. It’s a very simple game and I found it almost relaxing to play because it’s slightly strategic but doesn’t really require a lot of skill or concentration. I feel like this game would be nice to play on a rainy day with music or a movie on in the background and with a nice hot cup of tea in hand. This was Claudia’s game so she was the most familiar with it and she won both times we played, unsurprisingly. 

I like that this game can be played with just 2 people or up to 5 players. I feel like it’s hard to find fun 2 player games but this game would definitely be fun with just a few people, but I really enjoyed the dynamic of playing the game with 4 players. The most challenging part of the game was trying to figure out how to build rivers because they’re a little less common in the game and hard to workaround. I really enjoyed the challenge of building large cities, it can be tough because there’s not a guarantee you’ll be able to find the right pieces to complete the city but it’s a nice challenge. Roads can be interesting to build as well because they are tough to make really long but you never really know where the roads will lead next. I also thought the artwork in the game is very pretty, I think the artist did such a great job creating a nice scene to play with.

My mom is very particular about which types of games she likes to play, but I think she might actually really enjoy this game. I can see us sitting at the kitchen table playing this on a chill Sunday afternoon. Out of all the games we’ve played this semester, I think this one I would be most likely to buy for that reason. I think this game is so simple that it’s almost difficult to relate to leadership but I do think it can vaguely relate. In Carcassonne, you need to take ownership of the progress you’ve made and things you are building, and this is true in leadership as well. It’s important to give yourself some grace and give credit where credit is due. Sometimes the tiles you get in the game aren’t really beneficial for what you’re working towards, so you might not have a choice but to help someone else’s mission and use your tile for their benefit. In leadership, it’s important to be supportive of other people, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you because you can still take something valuable from that interaction. 

Trying Out T.I.M.E Stories

This game seems to have so much potential and I would love to play it again, but hopefully with people that have played it before. My favorite thing about this game is the artwork and the mystery aspect. I felt like I was somewhat in a video game or a movie. I wish that I would have watched more educational videos on how to play before playing because I would have had a better understanding. The people in my group also did not seem to have a good understanding of how to play, and with such a complex game, it’s important for everyone to be on the same page. This game taught me that it’s important to not rely on other people to know what is going on because someone has to take on the leadership responsibility/ role and instruct others in that situation. If there’s not someone who understands enough to explain, everyone is just lost. I think we figured the game out to the best of our ability, and what missions we did complete were fun. There are still a few questions that I have about how to play, most of which have to do with the tokens and symbols.

Another question that I had while playing the game was since there are 4 people playing, what do people do if they’re in the same room? Who gets to pick up the card with the clue on it and who gets to receive the object? I also feel unsure about what the different characters really mean and how our character choice impacts the story. I know each character has strengths and weaknesses but we didn’t use the characters enough to fully understand how that impacts things. Lastly, I think the end of the game confuses me as well. It sounds like there’s a built-in story so I would like to know what about the game is different each time it’s played and what incentive there is to play the game again if returning players already know what happens. I definitely still have a few questions but hopefully, those could be answered if I ever have the opportunity to play the game again. 

To be honest, I don’t think most of my friends would be able to sit through an entire game of Time Stories, I think it would be too complicated and too much of a time commitment. However, my friend Josh might enjoy the game because he enjoys video games and I feel like this game demonstrates some video game-like qualities. Josh also likes to fully commit to things he’s doing and doesn’t like giving up and also does not like losing, so I feel like he would be more likely to sit through this game than other people because of the challenge. At the end of the day, I hope that I get another opportunity to play this game and I was a little bummed that my group did not want to continue playing.