The Esoteric Order of Gamers


Esoteric Order of Gamers

Some gamers may know that I’ve uploaded some 200 rules summary and reference sheets to Boardgamegeek over the last 8 years which have proved very popular, and those sheets were gathered together at this blog.

When I was younger, I used to carry around my collection of games in cardboard boxes from share house to share house, and apart from a few fledgling attempts at foamcore box inserts and some figure painting, I didn’t lavish too much attention on them or care about their condition too much. But as I’ve got older I began to cherish my ever-growing collection more and more. It started with designing rules summary sheets so I didn’t have to read through the whole rulebook everytime I’d forgotten how to play a game. I began making foamore box inserts for every game box. They were even developed to double as trays that could be used during the play of the game. Any miniatures had to be painted to a high standard. I inked the edges of counters with a black marker to make them look better. In the meantime I was uploading the sheets to Boardgamegeek for other people to use. And eventually, work met hobby and I began finding clients among the major boardgame publishers and designing for games like Tales of the Arabian Nights, Aztlán and Ninjato. All in all, you could say tabletop gaming has become a big part of my life.

Now, I’ve finally created a stand-alone site to host not only all my sheets, but articles, reviews, and lots of stuff to help gamers enhance and enjoy the kind of thematic games I love.

The Esoteric Order of Gamers ( is a place for the few who, in a world of ephemeral, digitally-driven entertainment, still revel in the feeling of tearing the shrinkwrap off a new game; of breathing in the sweet smell of fresh ink; of the weight of quality gaming components as they sit heavily in the hand. Those people who are strangely impelled to improve their gaming experience by dint of hard graft coupled with the sensitive touch of a master craftsman, and who continually seek to beautify these precious objects.

In short, those dedicated to high standards in their tabletop gaming!

In the months to come I’ll be adding instruction sheets for build-your-own foamcore box inserts; articles and photographs to help paint your game figures; more reviews and blog posts of interest; and of course always expanding and perfecting the huge collection of premium summary sheets that help you get into and enjoy your gaming faster. Players can comment on each game and make suggestions or corrections for the sheets, and of course engage in discussions about the articles.

The EOG is all about high quality, useful content for the kind of gamer who really loves immersive, thematic games. And there are many more plans on the horizon …

But for now, allow me to extend an invitation and a profound welcome: join us at The Esoteric Order of Gamers!

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Matt
    May 07, 2013 @ 00:52:26

    I love your player aids and the new site looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see the updates as they come.

  2. universalhead
    May 07, 2013 @ 07:14:08

    Thanks Matt!

  3. Chris
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 05:50:33

    In your EOG logo above, are you sure about the use of “lusum” rather than “ludendum”?

  4. universalhead
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 08:35:51

    Not at all! But a Latin teacher corrected my original attempt of ‘Operibus duris ludo amplio’ to ‘Labor Lusum Meliorat’ and I assumed he was correct. I’d be most interested if you can prove otherwise Chris, as of course I’d like the motto to be absolutely correct.

    • Chris
      Jul 05, 2016 @ 17:02:41

      I don’t know if I can prove it, since I can’t be certain of what you’d intended it to say; but if my interpretation of what you’d intended it to say is correct, then the gerund “ludendum” would make more sense than either the perfect passive participle “lusum” or the supine “lusum”.

    • Chris
      Jul 05, 2016 @ 17:10:38

      Alternatively, “ludum”, the accusative form of “ludus”, would be another possibility that would make more sense than “lusum”.

  5. universalhead
    Jul 05, 2016 @ 18:36:41

    Sorry, the phrase is supposed to be ‘Toil Makes Play Better’ basically. So what would be correct?

    • Chris
      Jul 06, 2016 @ 01:18:24

      The noun “play” is “lusio”, so you’d need its accusative form “lusionem”. (I’d first interpreted it as “Effort improves playing”, which is why I’d suggested the gerund “ludendum”. I then thought that “Effort improves the game” might have been possible, which would lead to “ludum”; since a Latin teacher suggested “lusum” to you, I thought that that might have been a typographic error for “ludum”, since S and D are adjacent on keyboards. Otherwise, I can’t explain why “lusum” was offered.)

      On an unrelated matter, I have a question about something on your site. Should I ask it here? Or is your preference that questions be asked there through its forum?

    • Chris
      Jul 06, 2016 @ 07:27:50

      I had a look in the Oxford Latin Dictionary, and there is a noun “lusus” (which has the accusative form “lusum”); its first listed meaning is “the action of playing, sport; (specifically) gambling”. For comparison, it gives “play, sport; a particular sport, amusement” as the first listed meaning of “lusio” (accusative “lusionem”).

  6. universalhead
    Jul 06, 2016 @ 08:26:39

    Argh! 🙂 So for someone who knows nothing about Latin, I’m still not sure where to go – to be honest, ‘effort improves the game’ is closer to what I was after than ‘hard work makes sport better’! 🙂 The general idea is ‘Work makes play better’ I guess. Actually I’ve now forgotten the original English phrase I started with!

    Google translate is certainly worse than useless when it comes to Latin, obviously.

    Ask away. has been lying fallow for a while, but here’s as good a place as any to ask me a question.

    • Chris
      Jul 06, 2016 @ 16:52:09

      “Labor ludum meliorat” would be fine for “Effort improves the game”. Latin “labor” can be translated as “labor”, “toil”, “exertion”, “effort”, “work”, &c., but if you have a particular sense of “work” in mind for “Work makes play better”, there might be a more specific Latin word for that sense.

      My question is regarding the Letter from Mirusíya shown at — is there a larger version of the illustration available? I’d like to be able to decipher the name of the “worthless scribe” at the end of the Letter.

  7. universalhead
    Jul 06, 2016 @ 17:30:08

    I have a version about double the size – email on ‘head’ before the name of this blog.