Fast Train to Funville – A First Class Review

Unexpectedly discovering something precious among the mundane must be one of life’s universal joys. It can happen anywhere – wandering into an unknown restaurant and being served a delicious meal without once checking Yelp, randomly popping into a thrift store to find a complete mint set of Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew comics, or, even more rare, strolling into your friendly local game store and buying a mystery game without once checking BoardGameGeek. The latter is what happened to me one Saturday this January in Atomic Empire. I spied a non-descript box spine that I didn’t recognize, pulled it from the shelf, and looked... Read More

The Crowded Table – Shmoecon Edition!

Hello, dear Shmoes! Some of you that follow @dicehateme on Twitter or listen to The State of Games and The Geek All-Stars podcasts have heard mysterious mentions of Shmoes and Shmoecon over the past few weeks. What exactly is a Shmoe and what does it have to do with a con? Well, a Shmoe is just a regular gamer who wants to play games with other Shmoes – so if you love playing games, you’re already a Shmoe! More specific to our gaming group here in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, the Shmoes came together for the first official time this past weekend at Shmoecon 0.5. Some Shmoes were invited to a local con while other Shmoes... Read More

The Crowded Table – Spring 2012 Edition

I’m not sure what it is about spring, exactly, but board games tend to multiply in this season like a certain cotton-tailed carrot eater that likes to deliver painted eggs. That usually means that more games start hitting the table and more games need to be reviewed – because hey, it’s what I do, and all of you dear readers deserve it. So let’s ditch the dallying dialogue and hop straight to the heart. Dragon Valley I’ll be completely honest – when designer C.W. Karstens first contacted me about Dragon Valley during its Kickstarter campaign last year, I was a bit trepidatious. The combination of art and main... Read More

They Built This City on Solid Gold – A Belfort Review

As Linus van Pelt once so aptly conveyed: “Happiness is a warm blanket.” There’s a lot of subtle, yet strong subtext in that sentiment; we humans often have a base desire to be wrapped tightly in comforting familiarity, and while so wrapped, have no wish to do much more than remain so, content and without need or care of the slipping of time. In certain gaming circles – and, indeed, in the Dice Hate Me household – that emotional conveyance could often be repurposed, with no loss of power or sentiment, to “happiness is a long Euro.” And, so, this is how the latest release from Tasty Minstrel Games –... Read More