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Behind The Bloggers – Pete Bartlam

Behind the Bloggers - Pete - Camel Up

It’s back - everyone’s favourite look behind the blogs, at the bloggers who write them. Of course we all like board games, but I like asking the hard hitting questions here! This time we are finding out all about Pete Bartlam in Behind the Bloggers.

What Is Your Favourite Board Game?

ZATU Bloggers contribute to a Top 50 games list compiled by David Denton each year. Last year my top game was Camel Up! but this year it’s Terraforming Mars. This highlights the difficulty in choosing one favourite game. A lot depends on what mood you are in, who you are playing with and how much time you’ve got. At the moment I’m playing a lot of Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth. I'm playing Multi-Player Solo as a party of four characters but I’m going to go for Terraforming Mars. It scales up well with player count but has a great solo version. Terraforming Mars has many excellent expansions for variety. It also has almost infinite amount of card combinations to get you to your goal and it’s environmentally sound.

Go turn that Red Planet Green!

What Game Would You Recommend To Get Someone Into Gaming?

This is the easiest to answer it is unequivocally Camel Up. This is one of my all time favourites, but it has several advantages to get new people involved. This game has gaily coloured wooden camels racing around a desert pyramid. It’s USP is that a camel that lands on another can get carried further forward when that camel moves. This leads to dramatic swings in fortune in each leg of the race and the overall result. So one advantage is, it’s not over until it’s over. Also players don’t “own” individual camels, your interest is betting on the winner. There’s no personal nastiness and everyone is involved all the time. And the camels are lovely what’s not to like?

The proof of the pudding is I chose this as the inaugural game to my U3A Board Games Group. They liked it so much that they chose it themselves for the following session when I wasn’t there!

What Three Board Games Would You Play For The Rest Of Your Life?

I’m in a slightly different position here to the other interviewees. Being in my 8th decade I’ve already lived most of my life! So looking back means I’d have to consider a wargame. I’ve been playing wargames since I was a teenager. At the moment, I’d say the Flames of War system with its’ infinite flexibility and replayability. It should last plus there’s all the model building and painting. Is it strictly a Board Game? I don’t know but that’s what I’m having.

I would, of course, go for either of the two games in the first two sections. If I was to pick one until they develop Terraforming Camels Up on Mars I’d go for Terraforming Mars as it is great solo as well.

And, finally, for a change of pace and those lighter, dare I say “inebriated”, moments there’s the Top of the Pops Party Game. The game is good and the kazoo solos are magnificent! My rendering of Bohemian Rhapsody is already legendary in my family and by that I mean they will do everything to stop me getting the Queen card!

Footnote: I can’t let this pass without mentioning Sid Meier’s Civilization. I know it’s a computer game but it’s fabulous. I’ve played every version from the first to Civ V and Civ VI. I see on my log I’ve played 7,680 Hours on the last two versions alone!

So there you have it, some fantastic choices from Pete. Terraforming Mars is one of the favourites in our household so I have played quite a lot of it. It is a great game if you are looking for something a bit more meaty to play. Although I haven’t played Camel Up Pete’s mention of it has made me want to take a look at this. I think it would go down really well as a fun game to play with my family.

Next time on Behind the Bloggers, I am chatting to Craig, so come back in a couple of weeks to find out his favourite game.