Sorcerer’s greatest trick? Shrinking a CCG experience into a single box

Sorcerer’s greatest trick? Shrinking a CCG experience into a single box

Enlarge / From the animist deck. I hope you like spiders…

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.quickbitetech.com.

Card battle games are a cornerstone of analog gaming. From the venerable Magic: The Gathering to the recently departed Android: Netrunner, their addictive blend of brainy strategy and beautiful artwork have brought millions of players to the table. Their other big draw? The potential for personalization—players can spend hours honing and perfecting their decks, tweaking tactics and hunting for powerful card combinations.

It’s a rich, engrossing process, but it’s not for everyone. If recent releases are anything to go by, a substantial audience of gamers would rather just skip it. Keyforge, the recent game from Magic creator Richard Garfield, removed custom decks from the equation, instead handing players pre-assembled, algorithmically generated collections of cards. And now there’s

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Here are the finalists for 2019’s “Board game of the year” award

Here are the finalists for 2019’s “Board game of the year” award

Enlarge (credit: Spiel des Jahres)

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.quickbitetech.com.

The nominees for board gaming’s biggest award, the German “Spiel des Jahres” trophy, were announced this week and feature a total absence of entries from designers Wolfgang Warsch and Michael Kiesling. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, those two absolutely dominated last year’s awards).

This year, the jury of German critics went with light, easy-to-teach games for the family-friendly “Spiel des Jahres” award. Just One and Werwörter (Werewords in English) are word-based party games, while L.A.M.A. is a card-shedding game from design legend Reiner Knizia. All three play in under 20 minutes (!).

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Star Wars: Outer Rim review—Piloting as Han or Boba Fett could use more thrills

Star Wars: Outer Rim review—Piloting as Han or Boba Fett could use more thrills

Enlarge / The game’s player board.

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage at cardboard.quickbitetech.com.

One of the defining aspects of Star Wars is its dramatic sense of adventure. Hopping from planet to planet, quarreling with local cultures, and getting swept up in something greater than yourself are all essential to the property’s Midichlorian-infused DNA. That’s why it’s surprising to realize that we’ve never had a proper Star Wars adventure game.

But the new Star Wars: Outer Rim is just that, a star-hopping frolic in the vein of classic titles Talisman and Runebound. You select your pilot from an eclectic mix drawn from both the big and small screen. Favorites such as Boba Fett and Han Solo are of course included, but we’re also offered Ketsu Onyo from the Rebels television show and Doctor Aphra from a beloved

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