High Society

Thurston Howell III: “Gentlemen. I am Thurston Howell III and this of course is my wife, Mrs. Thurston Howell III.”

Mrs. Lovey Howell: “Charmed.”

Igor: “Capitalist! Exploiter!”

Thurston Howell III: “Capitalist? Exploiter? I was wrong Lovey. They’re very friendly!”

– Gilligan’s Island

These days there are a few thousand new boardgames released every year. Most of us are not rich. I can’t afford the time or money to play anything more than the tiniest fraction of these titles. It’s easy for a game to get lost in the shuffle, even if you’re a well regarded card game from a well respected designer. Such is the case for me and Reiner Knizia’s High Society. First released in 1995 in German, it was the 2003 Uberplay edition that introduced the game to the English speaking world, and quite possibly the 2008 Gryphon Games edition that popularized the game in English. I had heard about the game many times, but it wasn’t until Osprey’s gorgeous 2018 edition that I acquired a copy. It was a full year later before I had a chance to finally play it, and fall in love.

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Going, Going, GONE!

I’ve been playing games for a long time, but my reintroduction to modern designer board games only happened in the fall of 2012. At that time, Agricola was the hot game, and when I finally picked up my own copy of the game, I went online to try and learn it. This was my introduction to Scott Nicholson, who ran a Youtube channel devoted to board games called “Board Games With Scott“. Beginning with a silly Ricola advert parody, Scott taught me how to play Agricola, step by step, and I immediately knew that this was a smart guy with a silly edge of wit.

Sadly, by that time, Scott had already moved on from his video channel, spending more time on his studies of transformative games and the process of gamification. He was also working on a game of his own.

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