Shaun Austin often runs solo challenges for Star Realms, which is one of my favorite games. The challenge for this month is especially good. Or I was really in the mood for a great game, which I got when I played it. I'm anxious to give it another go very soon.
About a month or so ago, I discovered an interesting deck of cards and I've been a bit obsessed with it ever since. It's called The Decktet. It's a little hard to explain what it's like. It has a very unique structure which you can read about the here but I'll give you an overview:
- There are 36 cards and 6 suits
- The cards are ranked with Ace (1), 2-9, and Crown.
- Cards of rank 2-9 have two suits each and suits are not repeated
- Aces and Crowns only have one suit
- Each card has a picture and a name (very much like Tarot)
- There is also an extended deck -- one of those cards has no suit, while the others have three.
The cards themselves are colorful and unique. Just take a look. Click to embiggen.
The icons just below the rank is the suits that card belongs to. Yeah, those aren't the suits you are used to -- instead they are suns, moons, waves, leaves, wyrms, and knots.
Like our standard deck of 52 cards, The Decktet isn't for one game but a system to build other games on. The characteristics of this unique deck leads to some interesting possibilities in games that would be hard or impossible to make in a standard 52-card deck.
All the games I've tried have been solitaire games or solitaire variants of other games. I've been playing some solo games to get a feel for the deck and I've been very happy with it. The games I've tried is:
- Jacynth -- an area control game, with the areas designated by the suits on the cards. This will probably be the game I'll try first as a multi-player.
- Adaman -- an interesting take on solitaire. Try to assert influence over people in power. This is very tough to beat.
- Quincunx -- A really interesting tableau game but with somewhat difficult scoring. But once you get used to the scoring, it's fun and a bit of brain-burner.
So how do you get this crazy deck of cards? Probably the easiest way is The Game Crafter. I actually ordered mine from ArtsCow which may be cheaper if you get on their free shipping deals. That said, I've heard Game Crafter's quality is better. I have also saw them listed at DriveThruCards but I don't know anything about the quality there either.
More to come on the Decktet front.
It's funny to me that I really haven't blogged about boardgames. Because in my spare time, if I'm not playing board games, I'm thinking about them -- and I'd much rather be playing them.
Board Game Geek is my most visited website in my browser history. Yes, it's a horrible looking website and the front page is perhaps the worst. But when you dive in you see a lot of content -- rule explanations for each game, questions, reviews, ratings, etc., etc. You can even find compatriots for any type of game you like. Or people who like to get games at thrift store or people who play games by themselves. Not to mention a forum for every boardgame under the sun, including rules explanations and clarifications. It's also fun when the designer of the game gets involved in the discussion which is the case in one of my favorite games
So I'm going to be blogging more and more about boardgames. Note that I have a widget on the side for my recent boardgame plays so you can always keep up -- if you want.
I have been thinking for a while about why I'm so into boardgames. It's not really all of a sudden -- I've always been interested but haven't been sure how to get started. Then I got started... and, well, I just kept going. What I like about is several things:
- Board games tend to exercise the mind. As someone who's brain is the main thing in his career, it's a good thing to keep in shape.
- It's a social thing. You get to see how people thing, so you get to know more about them. You also get to learn new ways to approach the problem.
- I don't always play with people -- I tend to play a solo game or two over lunch or at home when the TV is on something I don't want to watch. I do it to relax.... and to keep my mind sharper.