The Reddit Report: Wooden Gems, Human Risk, & Judging a Game by its Name

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I’m not going to try to explain Reddit, just as I wouldn’t try to explain Board Game Geek (BGG). Both sites host fun-loving communities that are passionate about what I’m passionate about: table-top gaming. However, the outpouring of information from both sites is overwhelming for the part-time gamer.

I happen to be fond of Reddit’s /r/boardgame group because they’re more casual than what you’ll find on BGG. For example, they talk a awful lot about Risk, something that’s out of favor among the EuroGeeks, Miniaturists and Card sharks dominating BGG.

So, I’m going to make an attempt at curating some of Reddit’s posts from the /r/boardgame subdomain. It’s easier to follow than BGG, but the signal-to-noise ratio is worse, meaning there are a lot of posts that experienced gamers would have to wade through to find what’s choice. (The most popular type of post on Reddit is labeled WSIG: What Should I Get?)

Starting next week, I’ll give it the full-length treatment, picking out the 4 most interesting threads of the previous week. Today I’ll give you a little taste of Reddit, with four fab posts from just one day, Friday, June 27th. These four highlight what’s most interesting about Reddit’s posts, their do-it-yourself practicality and their lighthearted take on tabletop gaming.

First, the practical,

Risk coffee table I made with my wife this past week, Risk tablesubmitted by jcan07

What a beautiful piece of work!

You’ll find a link to the whole photo album in the thread.

Create gems for your board games. Zero crafting ability required., submitted by name_with_a_y

The information on making DIY ‘gemstones’ came from an outside site, but I never would have found out about it without Reddit. Here’s the link to craft site Fabric Paper Glue’s article, “Try This: Wooden Gems.”

The key is in painting with 6 subtly-different shades of one color, to give each wooden chip a three-dimensional trump l’oeil effect.

And now, the lighthearted…

Has anyone played a human version of Risk?, submitted by psykulor

You know, like those Living Chess games we see at Ren Faires… I can visualize that version of Risk, where people take the place of the small wooden cubes.

There were actually 3 practical (but not always serious) suggestions in the thread. They all seem to work best with kids, maybe at summer camp?

  1. Assign a few players to take the lead, and arm everyone else with Nerf guns. Instead of using dice, pick the same number of kids as there are armies and let them fight it out. (suggested by Stickfigure91x)
  2. From David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest comes the game of Eschaton, a Risk-type game of world domination that somehow involves lobbing tennis balls. I’m not going to explain the game (see this article in Outside), but as long as the tennis balls are lobbed and not rifled at someone, I’d love to see Risk played this way! (suggested by ekans606830)
  3. The best solution is to pare the board down to one continent (North America?) so it will be more manageable. Create just two teams, headed by 3 generals per side (to build communication and teamwork), and settle the battles with giant dice. (suggested by disastrophy)

What misconceptions have you had about a game based on just its title?, submitted by glecurio

According to the OP, “For a long, long time I thought that Space Hulk was a Marvel-licensed game about Bruce Banner in space. … I guess he would have had some sort of stretchable space suit?”

Other Redittors contributed…

For the longest time, I thought Twilight Struggle was the prequel to Twilight Imperium. (Chessiecat)

I thought Arkham Horror had to do with Batman. (SharkbaitOhAhhAhh)

Wait, you mean Yardmaster isn’t about lawn mowing? (timotab)

Finally, with just a hint of bitter disappointment…

I figured Power Grid would have something to do with operating a power plant instead of just being a generic economy game with pictures of power plants on the cards. (caongladius)

Are you a Redditor, too? Have I missed something interesting from Reddit that you want to share? Please let us know in the Comments!

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About Author

Drew is a contributor to the Board Gamers Anonymous podcast. He's a curator by nature, compulsively reading and obsessively organizing what he's read. He's also been a gamer since the age of 3, which means he's been playing board games for... let's just say more than 40 years, and leave it at that...