My name is Nate Owens, and I love me some board games. I've written a bunch of essays and reviews on Fortress: Ameritrash
and my blog, The Rumpus Room
. Life circumstances and grad school have pushed me toward a far more infrequent update schedule on the blog, but I am a regular contributor to the Miniature Market Review Corner
. We post new articles every week, and a couple of them each month are mine.
I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and I try to make it out to DFW Nerd Nights on the Dallas end time permitting.
I am blessed with a wonderful wife and two boys. We all like games, and there are few things my sons enjoy as much as playing with daddy's games. The last few months I've been a stay-at-home dad, which is a pretty great gig actually.
I'm a gaming omnivore with my tastes. I love old-style Ameritrash games, quick and goofy. I also really like 1990's German-style designs, and longer thematic experiences too. I'm not as big on modern "efficiency" Eurogames, but sometimes I'm surprised there too. Basically I value interaction and rulesets that get out of the way and let the players actually play. More than that I like games that let me enjoy the company of the people with whom I play.
As I mentioned already, I'm working on grad school right now. That means my hobbies are all kind of taking a back seat. When I get the chance I love musical and dramatic performance, and in general I love to be on stage. I like video games a lot, but I'm almost exclusively a Nintendo gamer. That means I love local multi-player sessions of Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros., almost as much as any board game.
Oh, and I do a music podcast with four of my friends. You should go listen to The Takedown Notice
. You'll thank us when you share our opinions.
I use a five-point rating system in my ratings. Here's a rundown:
- One of my very favorite games. Any complaints are mostly irrelevant to my enjoyment.8
- Very good, and highly recommended. Not what I would call flawless, but my complaints aren't major enough to keep me from playing.6
- A game that's close to being good, but has a couple of major issues that keep me from really embracing it. Alternately, it might be a game that I admire, but don't really like that much.4
- Not good, but also not painful. You won't generally persuade me to play these ones, but I might be able to scare up something positive to say if you lean on me.2
- Generally a waste of my time. I think we all have better things to do, don't you?
A lot of my comments need to be revamped, but that'll be a slow process. I update my Top 10 annually, and my Hot 10 probably less than that. I'll try to do better, I promise. Note that the Hot 10 order is basically arbitrary.