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I talked a couple of weeks ago about winning strategies and about being a better player. I think the best way to do that is with repeated plays, especially if you can get the same group of people together. That’s something I’ve been doing with Egizia. I’m still the worst Egizia player in the world, but I am better than I was before.

One of the easiest ways to practice a game is through a gaming portal like Yucata.de, which is my favorite play-by-web gaming site. All games are played against other human players. There are no AI opponents. Games are usually played over a number of days, since not all players are online at the same time. You can request a fast game where everyone stays online and takes their turns, but I think that is the exception and not the rule. I usually have a few games going at any particular time, and I try to take my turns as soon as I get a notification. If you are going to be offline for a more than a day, it’s a good idea to let the other players know that there will be a delay in the game.

Some of the games are easier to adapt to online play than others, but you can usually get the hang of online play fairly quickly, if you bother to read the rules they provide. I’m notorious for skipping this step. You can establish a profile and create a buddy list of players. You can set up games with random people from around the world, but I usually like playing with folks I know. There is an in-game chat feature, so you can still trash talk.

There are currently more than 80 games available for play on Yucata. Some of my favorites are Stone Age, Egizia, Thurn and Taxis, and Firenze. It is totally free and there are no ads. Seriously. Give it a try. They are adding games all of the time. They just added a version of To Court the King, which is one of my favorite dice games.

2 thoughts on “Yucata”

  1. I feel like I’ve played at all of the play-by-web sites. They all have their pluses and minuses. Some features, like email notification of turns, are must-haves. Others are nice-to-haves. Yucata has grown to have the best overall set of features: free access, good speed, turn emails, and the most games of all.

    In the beginning most of Yucata’s games were smaller, 2-player affairs that had lots of tiny turns. Games like Carcassonne or Tally Ho!. Now, though, that’s been expanded to have a number of bigger, meatier games that I think work better over the web. A Few Acres of Snow and At the Gates of Loyang are examples of those.

    I’m glad you mention the in-game chat feature for trash-talking. In my experience, we don’t do enough of that! It’s great that Yucata has it, but it’s not the best implementation. Spiel-by-web had that, and it was as simple as making the chat window auto-open at the top of the screen (not a separate window), making it the first thing you see and almost prompting you to reply. I really wish Yucata would make this upgrade.

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