I had a board game first this summer: I read an entire series of novels in preparation for playing a board game. When Jamey Stegmaier announced he was designing a new game with Alex Schmidt based on the award winning Red Rising series by Pierce Brown, his excitement was so palpable that I wanted to understand the draw of the saga held for him. I checked my local library and the first book was already reserved, with a long waiting list in line before me. So I took the plunge and purchased the whole series from Amazon, hoping it would captivate me as it seemed to have done for Jamey. Start with a narrative universe politically ordered by a tightly controlled color coded caste system; pull in the concept of a boarding school with quirky teachers (like Hogwarts from Harry Potter) but introduce some structural changes to the school so that only the most socioeconomic elite in the caste system are permitted to attend; have the students compete in fight to the death brutal competitions (ev
Years ago, on a snowy winter excursion to Bavaria, I took a tour of King Ludwig (Mad King Ludwig) II's castles. I really feel for the poor chap Ludwig II. He was very excited to be king and wanted to be a *real* king of the old order with power and dominion. Alas, he was born much to late in Germany’s evolution for such things and was reduced constitutionally to being a mere figurehead (such as Queen Elizabeth II is in England today). So he consoled himself by building castles throughout the countryside where he would escape and fully immerse himself in his pretend kingdom where all subjects worshipped him and did as they were told. Linderhof was one of the first castles he built and it was pretty modest so the taxpayers didn’t really bat an eye. This was the first stop on our tour. The same could not be said for his next building project: Castle Neuschwanstein. This grand and glorious castle (just up the hill from his parents’ country castle) was the castle to end all castles.