Sunday, October 7, 2007

A "Must Buy" Book if You Love Tabletop Games

A few months ago, I heard about the pending publication of a book that got me so excited, that I went right out and pre-ordered it from Amazon. The book is called Hobby Games: The 100 Best by Green Ronin Publishing.

The book, edited by James Lowder, contains numerous essays written by scores of the best and most famous game designers in the hobby games industry. These folks offer their views on what they feel are the 100 best and most fun to play board games, miniatures games, wargames, card games, and role-playing games of the past 50 years. Among some of the authors who contributed essays to this book are:
  • Gary Gygax (co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Richard Garfield (creator of Magic: the Gathering)
  • Larry Harris (creator of Axis & Allies)
  • Alan Moon (creator of Ticket to Ride and Elfenland)
  • Reiner Knizia (creator of 100's of famous board games)
  • Bruno Faidutti (creator of Citadels, Mystery of the Abbey)
  • Ian Livingstone & Steve Jackson (Games Workshop founders)
  • Christian Petersen (CEO of Fantasy Flight Games)
  • Martin Wallace (creator of Age of Steam, Runebound, Perikles)
  • Jordan Weisman (WizKids creator of MageKnight & HeroClix)
  • R.A. Salvatore (author of Drizzt Do'Urden fantasy novels)
  • Tom Jolly (creator of Drakon, Cave Troll, Wiz-War, etc.)

And there are many, many more famous designers and authors in this All-Star lineup as well that I haven't listed. For those who are familiar with the hobby games industry, the list is truly impressive.

The really cool thing about this book is that the authors don't write specifically about the games that they designed, but rather, the games that inspired them, that they find most fun to play, and that they feel are shining lights of stellar & clever design in the industry. So in effect, this book is a celebration of the best that our hobby has to offer.

I'm sure there will be plenty of debate over games that were NOT included in this book. I can easily forsee dozens of rants on BoardGame Geek and The Miniatures Page cropping up over perceived injustices to some people's favorite games. Heck, it wouldn't surprise me to see a 2nd volume of this book be created (something like 100 More Hobby Game Classics) if this book is as well received as I expect it will be. There are LOTS of wonderful games out there in my humble opinion!

What's also terrific about this book is that it has the potential to expose many casual gamers to the wide variety of great & engrossing hobby games out there, as well as the designers who create them. It will also be a way for long-time gamers to rediscover classic games that they've overlooked. In this world of video-game mania, it's refreshing to see a book that covers the world of traditional, face-to-face, tabletop games. It's a world that has been around a long time and is currently enjoying a renaissance. Thank goodness for that; it's about time.

You can purchase Hobby Games: The 100 Best from these places:

I haven't gotten my copy yet. Once I get it and read it, I'll be sure to share some insights about the book on this blog. I strongly encourage anyone who loves games to go out and order a copy of this book immediately. It seems destined to be a classic.

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