Matt Pavlovich is a graduate student in chemical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. When he’s not studying novel disinfection strategies, Matt can be found playing the trumpet, brewing wine, and of course gaming.
During my undergraduate career at Georgia Tech, I had a number of friends who introduced me to a breed of strategic gaming completely unlike anything I had played before. Through card games like Saboteur, two-player tactical games like Blood Bowl, and board games like Around the World in 80 Days, I began to appreciate gaming on a new level. In my first week of grad school at Berkeley, I played both Settlers of Catan and Dominion for the first time, which was the last push I needed to get hooked on Euro-style games for good.
One of my favorite motifs in strategy gaming is a healthy dose of variance that requires players to form creative, reactive strategies. I especially appreciate games with unique player interaction mechanics that reward adapting to what the other players are doing but don’t prevent you from pursuing your own line of play. Some of my personal favorite games that fit into one or both of those categories include Pandemic, Race for the Galaxy, Power Grid, and 7 Wonders.
Outside of pure strategy games, I’m a fan of trivia and word games of all sorts. Two great examples are Taboo and Wits and Wagers, which take simple word-association and numerical trivia mechanics and turn them into engaging gaming experiences.
I’ve been blogging consistently since 2006, starting with a personal blog that spanned everything from music reviews to amusing narrative anecdotes. After realizing that I wanted a more focused blogging experience, I started a gaming blog with Alex in 2012. Games Precipice is in some ways an even more focused reboot of that blog. We plan to examine different angles of game mechanics and design, from commonly addressed topics like balance and theme to slightly more nuanced and advanced ideas including approachability and complexity. We’re looking forward to discussing games and their design and hope you join in the discussion.
Yep–my friend Walter from freshman year was a big fan of the Warhammer/40k tactical games, which I had never seen before until I got to know him. I was pretty terrible at Blood Bowl but had a great time with it.
I had no idea you had played Blood Bowl early on – very nice.