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Board Games by Phil Eklund

These are the board games designed by Phil Eklund.
Pax Porfiriana board game
Rank: 845
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Pax Renaissance board game
Rank: 1061
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Neanderthal board game
Rank: 1270
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High Frontier 4 All board game
Rank: N/A
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Pax Renaissance: 2nd edition board game
Rank: N/A
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Pax Viking board game
Rank: N/A
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Pax Emancipation board game
Rank: N/A
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Bios: Origins (Second Edition) board game
Bios: Genesis board game
Rank: N/A
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Pax Pamir board game
Rank: N/A
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Forum Posts

Art: Can the medium be seperated from it's creator? Should it be? Like| 19 comments | [+]
Hiew's Boardgame Blog: Pax Renaissance image
ReviewHiew's Boardgame Blog: Pax Renaissance ( [Pax Renaissance]Like| 0 comments | [+]
Renegade Review | Board Game Quest image
ReviewRenegade Review | Board Game Quest ( [Renegade]Like| 0 comments | [+]
What is your favorite game by (insert designer here) and why? Like| 16 comments | [+]
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User Activity Feed

It's times like these I'm glad I'm not on BGG any more. :)

Short answer: I don't care.

Nothing is going to keep me from listening to Michael Jackson. And I don't care if Phil Eklund eats babies - I'm still going to play #Pax Renaissance.

I don't believe anyone outside of the direct situation bears any responsibility. How one handles it is completely up to the individual. I, for one, enjoy their game designs (being someone who really enjoys mid to heavyweight games). Their personal thoughts/politics/beliefs/etc hold no bearing on my desire to own or play one of their games. Funagain is a bit of a different situation in that it's a place I don't generally buy from to begin with except when they have something in stock and no one else does or they are having a really good sale. If I chose to not consume media based on those involved having different thoughts/beliefs than me or doing or saying stupid things, there would be precious little for me to enjoy.

Now, all that said, that's me. Yes, I separate the art from the artist so to speak. However, I hold no fault with anyone else who wishes to use such things to inform their purchasing decisions or even to then cull things from their collection. That's up to each person. I don't think anyone should be criticized for deciding that such things should lead them to remove games by those designers from their collection. I also dont think people should be criticized for still buying games by them either.

As a matter of fact, if anyone is wanting to get rid of any Phil Eklund or Tascini games, let me know. I'll take them off your hands. 

These would be my picks…

Scott Almes: I have played a few of his Tiny Epic Games, but I would have to go with #Claim. This trick-taker keeps the player on their toes due to each suit (race) having a different ability. With each expansion/standalone the variety and replay ability increases.

Ted Alspach: I would go with #Castles of Mad King Ludwig (#Suburbia is second for me). Nothing like bidding on the next crazy addition of this work in progress castle. I’m sure I am not alone when I say I can’t wait for a deluxe version of this.

Antoine Bauza: #Ghost Stories. My favorite co-op. Love the theme and its brutal difficulty. Damn those hopping vampires.

Bernd Brunnhofer: probably best known for #Stone Age, but for my pick I would have to go with the engine/tableau builder #St. Petersburg. The last time this was reprinted by ZMAN which added some extras (like the market), but I would have loved to have picked up the older version with the artwork that was closer ascetically to the time period when the game was set.

Richard Borg: Honestly, I haven’t played many from Borg. I owned and played the rummy variant #Wyatt Earp and #Thunder & Lightning. I no longer own either.

Inka & Markus Brand: Lots of admiration goes to this power couple. For my money, #Village is their best. What other game allows you to kill off your workers? People say Euros are not thematic, I say check out Village.

Tony Boydell: #Snowdonia hands down. It is one of the few games where the dummy player is not limited to two players. Plus the weather mechanic is nifty. I admit I wanted to like #Guilds of London, but the iconography made it a bear to learn and teach.

Richard Breese: Can’t think of a standout here.

Bruno Cathala: Strangely I feel that this designer does his best work with others. For my pick it would have to be #Abyss which was co-designed with Charles Chevallier. Aside from the artwork, the game does have a lot of neat mechanisms attached to it (press your luck, hand management, and set collection). I will say the game needs the #Abyss: Leviathan to cover what I feel is its weakest points (monster track).

Matthias Cramer: #Rococo which Kind of cheating because it was a co-design with Stephan and Louis Malz. Deckbuilding with area majority. My masculinity is not threatened by dress making. I kinda of regret getting rid of my first printing, but grad school is expensive and I have kids to feed. I did pick up the deluxe version.

Carl Chudyk: I feel like every one of his designs attempts to be like #Glory To Rome. Glory to Rome was the first game after playing CCG/TCG that got me hooked. Every card in this game seems overpowered and the lead follow mechanism is brilliant.

John Clowdus: Known for his small card games, which often seem a bit too similar in my opinion. I will have pick #Omen: A Reign of War. Game is a tug of war race that feels close to a CCG/TCG.

John D. Clair: I’ve played two of his designs: #Mystic Vale and #Space Base. I played a lot of vale via app. I did think it was a gimmicky deck builder at first (card crafting), but the press your luck aspect of corruption is quite fun. I will say that Space Base fixes what I hated about Machi Koro.

Rüdiger Dorn: #Istanbul (not Constantinople). Pick up and deliver mixed with wheelbarrow racing. Favorite aspect is the family member that is constantly incarcerated.

Stefan Dorra: Probably best known #For Sale. For my pick I’ll go with the abstract #Medina (second edition). Basically the most interesting thing about this is how each player plays a game of chicken regarding claiming parts of the city.

Phil Eklund: Haven’t played a ton from him, but I do like #Pax Porfiriana. The Eklunds have a knack for building games that can make a historian swoon.

Steve Finn: King of the fillers. #Biblios is my favorite here. Mix drafting and an auction and you get this game. Will note that is the first game I played with my (now) wife before we started going out. This game also made me realize that I am terrible at teaching rules.

Stephan Feld: I am a stickler for multi-use card games like #Bruges, but for this I have to go with #The Castles of Burgundy. Probably my favorite dice placement game and the very definition of point salad. Genius of how every aspect is so integrated.

Friedemann Friese: To be honest, I was not a huge fan of #Power Grid. Maybe because I was tired the first time I played it, maybe it was the people I played with. Played #Friday quite a bit. Honestly, I don’t think I ever won a game.

Jacob Fryxelius: n/a

Mac Gerdts: #Concordia. Honestly when this pandemic is over with I can’t wait to play this and Ra.

Hisashi Hayashi: Only played a few, but will have to say #Yokohama is our favorite. It is kinda like worker placement mixed with a mancala.

Steve Jackson: #Munchkin. I haven’t played a game of it in years, but I will say that #Munchkin Cthulhu is the best because of its alternate win/end condition. Game does have the tendency to go on like a bad rash.

Wolfgang Kramer: #El Grande. Pound for pound the best area control game. Needs 4 people to be playable.

Reiner Knizia: #Ra. Such a clever auction game with press your luck and set collection. This is a hard one for me as Knizia has a bunch of great designs.

Michael Kiesling: One of my grail games is #The Palaces of Carrara btw. I haven’t played #Azul enough, so my pick would be #Vikings. Haven’t played it in a bit, but how the auction wheel will move as tiles/Vikings are bought.

Richard Launius: I’ve played #Elder Sign a lot, but nothing else from him. Part of the appeal is the Lovecraftian lore (I am from RI after all). Co-op #Yahtzee is what this is. Game does need either the omen expansions like #Elder Sign: Omens of the Pharaoh Expansion or the #Elder Sign: Gates of Arkham Expansion to shine. Probably the only games we house rule as well. Game is technically over when all of the investigators die. Yeah, not doing that…

Scott Lang: Haven’t played enough to pick here.

Vital Lacerda: I own #Vinhos Deluxe, but have yet to play it. Mainly bought one of his titles due to Portuguese pride to be honest.

Daniele Tascini & Simone Luciani: #Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. I was ready to chalk up the gears as a gimmick, but they are really an ingenious way to plan when and what a worker will get.

Thomas Lehmann: Much like Chudyk, I feel like most of his games are tableau builders like #Race for the Galaxy. I will say that this game works best with 2 and requires a bit of a commitment to get good at (I’ve played this over a 1000 times and I still suck at it). Common complaint about this one is its iconography.

Paulo Mori: #Via Magica/ #Rise of Augustus. Bingo with a little extras. First game I was able to play with our 2.5 year old.

Corné van Moorsel: Will have to go with #Habitats. Probably his best known title to begin with. Honestly it is an easy tile laying game that requires a little planning. Who does like building their very own ecosystem? Also. If you have the 1st printing, you have those cute handmade ceramic animals as well… or you can do what I did and buy some Red Rose Tea figurines.

Shem Phillips: I own #Raiders of Scythia, but haven’t played it yet. Can’t pick a favorite here.

Alexander Pfister: #Port Royal since I haven’t played #Great Western Trail trail yet. Port Royal is a simple card game with press your luck.

Uwe Rosenberg: Hard choice here as well. #At the Gates of Loyang followed by #Caverna: The Cave Farmers / #Agricola (Revised Edition).

Vladimír Suchý: What I love about this designer is that he rarely designs expansions. I haven’t played #Underwater Cities enough to say that it is his best. I have played #Last Will will a few times and will say that the theme and gameplay are unlike anything else. The entire premise is to blow all of your money to win and the ways that you can part with that cash is outlandish.

Andreas Schmidt: Own #Heaven & Ale, but haven’t played it yet aside from solo. N/A

Reiner Stockhausen: #Orléans. Not sure if this was the first “bag builder”. Orleans is kinda point salad. Probably favorite aspect of this is the travel aspect that reminds me of another favorite, #Village. One expansion can also make this a solo or co-op game as well.

Jamey Stegmaier: #Viticulture: Essential Edition w/  #Tuscany: Essential Edition. Very simple and streamlined worker placement. I used to help my grandpa (Avo) make wine so this always reminds me of him and that time. Lovely production quality.

Ignacy Trzewiczek: I would pick the #51st State: Master Set over #Imperial Settlers. They are similar, mainly because both were modeled after the original #51st State. I think where state has the edge is how the game will end at a set point value. Almost every game of Settlers ends with a blowout and has a set amount of turns.

Justin De Witt: The only game I really played from him is #Castle Panic. The game is akin to those tower defensive games. Simple co-op that is a great entry point into the genre. The game does feel like the #Castle Panic: The Wizard's Tower expansion should have been included from the start. Was curious about the failed kickstarter that was going to be a deluxe version.

Martin Wallace: Only played a few from him, but I would pick #London Second Edition.

Cole Wehrle: N/a

WoW! I was just thinking about this topic on my way home. Basically, I was thinking about #Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization. According to BGG, it has a weight of 4.41 which I would agree with.

This weekend, my 7 year old son completed the tutorial on the app on his own and we then played a hot-seat game with very minimal guidance from my part. I won, but he played very competently and played all turns with a goal in mind and making rational decissions, unlike when we play chess, for example.

So, what does this say about the game's weight? How much of the 4.41 is related to fiddlines and rules overhead? Once you get rid of that, the actual decisions of the game aren't complex and the app is a much more approachable game than games like #Century: Golem Edition or other simple optimization games where children have a much harder time competing with adults.

In short, I think that weight is a very abstract term and that we should try to steer away from it and use two different stats: rules complexity and game depth. There are deep games with simple rules, like Go. Simple games with complex rules, like, in my opinion, Through the Ages or many wargames. Simple games with simple rules and complex games with complex rules, like, I guess 18XX games, Phil Eklund's games or some Lacerda games. This is only an assumption, since I haven't played any of those games.

PS: my example about Through the Ages can be extended to almost any videogame. At 9 I was playing some videogames that, if made into boardgames, would be a 11 in BGG's weight rating. This goes to show how important a good UI is for games and this, that the videogame industry has known for decades, is only now starting to make it's way into boardgames.