This Issue

Issue #76 (April 2017) is now available for download from the BoardGameGeek store:

Counter Magazine

Issue #76 is jam-packed with over 130 pages of reviews, articles, commentary, discussion and more…all in full color!  You don’t want to miss Trip Godel’s outstanding article honoring the 30th anniversary of Auf Achse, 1987’s Spiel des Jahre.  This issue also contains contributor’s Top 5 of 2016 lists, Mitch Thomashow’s excellent article on Tak and Connection games, as well as nearly two dozen reviews.

Here is a peek at the brilliant cover designed by Timothy Weaver and featuring the outstanding artwork from The Colonists:



So, what is included in this issue?  The following is just a brief overview of the nearly two dozen reviews, the Top 5 of 2016 lists, and some truly amazing articles.



Aurimentic:  Everyone talks about the weather, but only Simmy Peerutin provides a detailed explanation and review!  Aurimentic is a new Essen release that challenges players to plant and grow crops and take control of islands. However, the nasty weather can often foil the best laid plans.  Is it worth a trip to these islands?  Find out!

Concoridia Expansions:  Concordia from renown designer Mac Gerdts proved quite popular with gamers, but what about the expansions?  Do they measure-up to the original and improve the gaming experience?  Simon Weinberg takes us on the journey of the latest two expansions.

The Dragon & Flagon:  Everyone loves a good barroom brawl…don’t they?  Well, as long as you don’t get hit by anything heavy!  The Dragon & Flagon allows players to bash their opponents with chairs, beer mugs, tables and more … without ever getting physical!  Simon Neale tells us just how much fun a brawl can be.

First Class:  Helmut Ohley has gained quite the reputation for designing rail games, including the popular Russian Railroads.  First Class is his latest rail game, but this one is quite different from any of his previous creations.  Stuart Dagger takes us on this ride and reveals whether it is a journey worth taking.

Flamme Rouge:  Get on your bikes and ride!  There have been numerous bicycle racing games in the past, but many are saying that this may well be the best.  Dr. Steve Owen saddles-up and lets us know if this game crosses the finish line or crashes.

The Flow of History:  Gamers love civilization-style games, and this Japanese design generated a significant buzz at the Spiel in Essen.  Tasty Minstrel is offering it as a Kickstarter and sales appear to be booming.  Is the game worth it?  The esteemed Paul Evans tells us if this game will make history or vanish quickly.

Inis:  Matagot has developed a loyal following, and why not?  They have produced some intriguing games.  The latest is Inis, and it is a quasi-territorial conquest affair.  Ben Baldanza gives us the skinny on this new release.

Mea Culpa:  One certainly cannot complain about the lack of originality regarding the theme of Mea Culpa.  The theme is based on the proclamation of the Catholic Church in the 15th Century that souls could be saved from hell by being both pious and generous in their offerings to the Church.  So, players try to bribe their way to salvation, but often succumb to the fleshly lures of the world.  Simon Weinberg tells us if this game is closer to heaven or hell.

Rhodes:  Farming, shipping and trade on the famous Greek isle.  Game Masters offers us Rhodes, which is a middle-weight European-style design.  Is it worth visiting this island?  Greg Schloesser gives the game a thumbs-up and explains why.

Sea Fall:  “Legacy” series games are all the rage.  Rob Daviau, the creator of the Legacy concept, offers us Sea Fall, a standalone design that is not a cooperative game.  Grand journeys of exploration are undertaken by the players.  Mike Clifford explains and critiques the game without revealing any secrets.

Ulm:  Gunter Burkhardt is back with a solid, traditional European-style game.  Players are taken on a journey of Ulm’s districts, with a bit of history thrown into the mix.  John Humphries takes us on the journey.


In addition to all of these reviews, there are nearly a dozen other articles, including:

Two Massive Games: A Feast for Odin and The Colonists:  Simon Weinberg provides a detailed look at these two epic games that were recently released.  The games not only weigh a ton, but also can tax a player’s brain power and table weight capacity.  Are these long and detailed games worth the time?  Find out here!

Auf Achse:  History’s Definitive Trucking Game:  2017 is the 30th anniversary of Auf Achse, the Wolfgang Kramer classic that won the 1987 Spiel des Jahre.  Trip Godel provides an amazingly in-depth look at the game, including its history, development and potential future.  This article is not to be missed!

Connection Games: How Tak links the Future:  Dr. Mitchell Thomashow provides us with a history of connection-style games and how the game Tak provides a vital link between the genre’s past and future.

The Genius:  The Genius is a Korean television show that places contestants in a challenging game of wits, bluff and tactics.  Eric Edens explains how elements of the show are of importance to gamers.


In addition to these and other articles, our contributors have compiled their Top 5 of 2016 lists.

These are just a few of the many articles and reviews that are included in Issue 76 of Counter.  Intrigued?  Then make sure you visit the BoardGameGeek store and download Issue #76.  It is only $5!

Counter Magazine