While playing board games face-to-face is the best, you can learn a lot of games online versus various opponents, especially when you can't get a group together.
Play real time strategy with gamers around the world
Published on December 26, 2007 By kdevine In Real-Time
GameTable Online is a nice website that allows registered users to play a number of strategy boardgames online. Titles include Battle of the Bands, Nuclear War, Ten Days in Africa, Kill Dr. Lucky, Igel Argern, New England, Bosworth, Condottierre, Cosmic Wimpout, Creepy Freaks, Euphrat and Tigris, Lord of the Fries and Vampire. I have been able to play Battle of the Bands, Nuclear War, Ten Days in Africa, Kill Dr. Lucky and Euphrat and Tigris, so I cannot comment on the rest of the games they have.

The interface is all written in Java, with each game being a separate module. Fortunately, there is a central meeting room where all players can meet and decide what to play. TDIA and E&T seems particularly popular. What really surprised me was how easy it was to get in and play a game. None of the games are that complicated and most can be completed in less than an hour, which is ideal for playing over a lunch break or a quick diversion at home.

Games
Euphrat and Tigris - This game looks and feels like the real thing. I have played quite a few games of this at game clubs and the look is spot on, the gameplay is very nice and the almost ease of calculating conflicts makes this worthwhile to play. One of the advantages of playing online is the computer's ability to give you the math instead of relying on the skill of the players to calculate correctly.

Kill Dr. Lucky - Looks a bit better than the original Cheapass version (but what doesn't?) and plays pretty smoothly. Some of the buttons for actions seem oddly placed and not obvious, but after a few minutes of play, it becomes easier. I am hoping that GTO is able to get some of the expansions, but time will tell.

Nuclear War - From what I can recall, this was one of the first games designed for GTO but it has been maintained well. It includes Nuke War, I believe, but no expansions, which I would love as an option sometime down the road, but I know additional programming will be required for the MX missile and other odd cards. This version uses the updated graphics for the cards, so you aren't looking at the old graphics from the original game.

Battle of the Bands - I had only played a few demo games of this at Origins, so it was nice to get in a couple of full games. It is a simple card game that involves a lot of backstabbing. If I have to criticize, it would be the fact that the cards are small on the screen and the text isn't always legible, so a few times, something happened and I lost a band member and I couldn't figure out what card play caused it. A more detailed log for this game might be warranted.

In conclusion, GTO is a nice diversion to play a couple of games a day so, go to gametableonline.com and check out the games. I am WarFrog, feel free to ask me for a game...


Comments
on Dec 26, 2007

Ooooh, I have friends that like board gaming.  I wonder if they'll find this article and check out the referred to site (or if they already know about same).

Either way, cool site.

on Dec 27, 2007
The thing about people who like board gaming is that they like board gaming because they get to play with other people, people in front of them who they can taunt again and again as they grind their chances and hopes of winning into the ground.

That said, I think internet board-gaming is a good thing for me, because I can only rarely get out of the house to the game store to play. But I'd much rather do it in person. I find that the online versions are almost completely lacking in my favorite part of board games - after-game discussion. What was your opponent thinking when he did that bonehead move? On the internet, it's obviously just a newb. In real life, you know this person isn't a complete idiot - they just beat you at that other game.

Or you know they are.

Nevertheless, thanks for the site! I'll check it out, I'm sure, when I'm not playing on BSW.
on Apr 26, 2008

The thing about people who like board gaming is that they like board gaming because they get to play with other people, people in front of them who they can taunt again and again as they grind their chances and hopes of winning into the ground.


Oh, absolutely, and that was the main objection to my podcast I got from people...  "I don't advocate playing online when I could be playing in person."  However, there are times when you cannot get together with others (in my case, I watch my kid a lot in the evening while my wife works), so I started exploring what was available online.  Would I rather play in-person?  Absolutely!  It just isn't feasible for me that often (I get one day a month to play all day with others...)

on Apr 26, 2008
I gave this site a show, they allowed me to play for free. There is a special option that 500 people get to play free so they can form a community. While the attempts at these games are great, the user interface and the way games are set are terrible. You can see who is in the games. You have to have multiple windows open. I had to quit on the site. The community was getting there, but the interface got to me.
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