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Monday, March 14, 2016

Boards & Brews 1st Blogiversary!

Welcome faithful readers to our one year anniversary of our blog!  One year ago today we began our official introductory post to the blog.  This first post was not a review, but rather a brief, yet detailed introduction into who we are and our intentions behind creating the blog.  Today's post will actually cover a few additional things that we've received questions about such as why we started this blog, why we only review our own games, the process I go through when reviewing and rating our games, our favorite games of the last year that we've reviewed, and finally, the epic giveaway contest!  Read on to learn more about us and how you can enter the contest.

How Does the Contest Work?
As of this post, the contest has officially begun, and will remain open until the 31st of this month at 9PM eastern standard time.  Don't feel pressured to submit this very second, because everyone has 17 days (nearly 3 weeks) as of this posting and the registration process will take literally less than a minute.  At that point your name goes into a pool of other contestants and we thoroughly mix everyone's names up and finally draw the winner from the bag.  Once we have the winner drawn, we will announce the winner at 9:30 on our Blog and via email.  Our quick and basic registration form below will require your name, email address and a few other quick answers to make sure you are qualified for the contest.  Whoever wins the draw on the 31st, we will contact you via email and get your mailing address so we know where to send the game.  That's it!  Just fill it out and submit it, then you're all done and at that point you just wait to see if you've won a brand new copy of Star Realms Colony Wars!  See registration form below.

Over the course of our first year, we've had a few questions that people have sent us through email.  Below is our Q & A section to address some of the inquiries from our readers.  

Why Did You Start a Board Gaming Blog?
Because tabletop gaming is an amazing, educational, challenging, sociable, and fun hobby that we love and the world should be educated as much as possible about the modern board games that are releasing nowadays.  Another reason is that by having a consistent board gaming blog, I and in some instances both my wife and I receive press badges which gets us into any board gaming conventions for free.  No one is going to argue with free admission and additional behind the scenes access.  This year, we've already been granted our press badges for Origins and Gen Con.

Why Do You Only Review Your Own Games?
During this first year of our blog being online, most people who have followed us for a while, know that the games we review (with the exception of game conventions) are only games we own.  I've had several people ask me why we do this and why not review all games.  By reviewing our own games, we're actually hitting several birds with one stone.  The first reason is that we knew once we built a larger gaming group we wanted to have detailed information of our games in a convenient location in the event that anyone wanted to see, and learn about them.  The second reason is to practice good security in a public place. The nature of our blog is to visit other public places with our games, some of which already own some tabletop games.  It's very important that you keep things on record like this so that no one feels you are leaving with their stuff.  The third reason which also coincides with the second one is for insurance purposes.  This is a very important lesson for all people who own tabletop games to practice.  Whether you take them out of your home or not, you should be getting pictures of every single game you own.  This is if you experience flooding, smoke & fire, or theft.  You need to be keeping track of your games by taking pictures of them.  We figured we're starting the blog anyway, so we may as well take care of pictures of our games for insurance purposes.

How Do You Review and Rate Your Games?
I take our reviews and rating system very seriously.  I don't ever want to steer a reader in the wrong direction, and I don't intend to.  Our general rule when we're reviewing a new game, is that we've played that game at least 6 times before giving an adequate and informative review of said game.  Since the games we review are only games we own, it's normally not a problem, but there are games that we do have that we have not played yet.  Yes, we have that many games.  Not every game that we review will fall under the following circumstances, but for the most part, the vast majority will.  My rating system criteria that I use is as follows:
1) Theme or setting of the game
2) Quality of artwork (if applicable)
3) Quality of the box (externally & storage)
4) Size of the box
5) Timeline of gameplay
6) Execution and or flow of general gameplay
7) Instructions and layout
8) Actions necessary/unnecessary
9) Creativity and strategy execution
10) Age-neutrality 
11) Originality
12) Quality of components

What's the Deal With that Little Stuffed Animal You Have in Your Game Reviews? 
That's our mascot Steve.  Steve is a white mamegoma who loves tabletop games and being involved any chance he can get.  We brought him on board the blog back in July.  He brings joy with him wherever he goes and we love having him as apart of the blog. 

What Are Your Favorite Games that You've Reviewed? 
These are our top 5 games that we've reviewed to date starting with our favorites:
Chad                            Claire
1) Pandemic                 1) Ticket to Ride
2) Thunderstone           2) Viticulture
3) Tiny Epic Galaxies   3) Tiny Epic Galaxies
4) Star Realms             4) Biblios
5) Biblios                      5) Coup


As for registration for the contest, please fill out this form and submit it to us so you can be placed in the contest.  Best of luck!




Well that's it for this post!  Thank you to everyone who has supported us and visited our blog for our first year.  For this next year we hope our readers will only continue to grow and educate themselves on these great games that are releasing to tabletop fans everywhere.  Follow our blog, become a member to be placed into additional contests, as well as Twitter and Instagram at boardsbrewsblog.  If you have any further questions or thoughts you may leave a comment or email us at boardsandbrewsblog@gmail.com
Here's to another great year of board game blogging!

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