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Subject: BGWS 019 - Video exploration of Thurn and Taxis rss

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Scott Nicholson
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming
BGWS 019 - Video exploration of Thurn and Taxis
This 17-minute episode of Board Games with Scott is about Thurn and Taxis, a light strategy game created by the same person who created Puerto Rico.




You can watch or listen to the episode at

http://www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=34

 
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Jim Cote
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Anyone willing to take the HUGE mov file and convert it into a relatively TINY avi? Should be about 1/4 the size for the same quality.
 
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Scott Nicholson
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ekted wrote:
Anyone willing to take the HUGE mov file and convert it into a relatively TINY avi? Should be about 1/4 the size for the same quality.


Yes, the Quicktime files are bigger that what some of the AVI codecs can create.

I've played with Dvix and Xvid and various other tools. The problem with these other tools is that I've got a number of .avi files on my computer, and I don't have one program that can play them all. Not even the excellent VLC media player can play all of the .avis I've made over the years in an attempt to save space. A standard .avi file will not be much smaller than whatever I'm producing; the file savings you discuss come from using a special codec to encode the video.

I teach online courses and create videos for those courses. I've put up videos in many different formats and have found that Quicktime videos require no support from my end. Assuming they can download the file, most people can play the file. That's not true for .avi files - people without the right codec can't play the newest file created in whatever super-compression-codec-of-the-year you are thinking of.

So, while the file is bigger, it works. I don't have to do tech support trying to teach someone how to download a codec.

I'm already making 4 versions of each episode, and I've hit my limit as to the time I spend post-processing these videos. I don't want to add _even more_ time to this subhobby of processing another file, eating up more space, and then supporting people who can't see it.

Finally, in order to aid those people on dial-up or those who just want to sit in front of the TV and watch, I'm going to start releasing DVDs of compilations of episodes along with some special episodes.

 
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JP LaChance
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Scott.
Good job AGAIN!

This is another game that I have ordered (pre - ordered in this case)because of YOUR hard work.

Great job, keep up the good work

A little off topic but I was wondering if your Mickey watch have arms that tell time and an alarm?

JP
 
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Scott Nicholson
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custom golf clubs wrote:

A little off topic but I was wondering if your Mickey watch have arms that tell time and an alarm?


No alarm, just time and date. I use my cell phone for alarms now.

Over the last year, I did a tour of the top schools in my field (library and information science) talking about my research (bibliomining), and had that watch. It was amazing how many comments it drew throughout my tour.

(I guess when you watch me for 3 hours talking about data mining in libraries, you find things to stare at...)

Scott
 
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Mike Siggins
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Nice episode, as usual.

I was just wondering what role, if any, Mrs Seyfarth played in the design to earn her credit.
 
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Kyle S
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Thanks so much! I've been wanting to purchase this game, so it was really nice to see a video review prior to purchase. My only concern is that it is too similar to Ticket to Ride for both games to hold our attention.
 
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Scott Nicholson
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kilarney wrote:
Thanks so much! I've been wanting to purchase this game, so it was really nice to see a video review prior to purchase. My only concern is that it is too similar to Ticket to Ride for both games to hold our attention.


It had a similar feel to Ticket to Ride - Marklin in the bonus chips and the tensions in the game. Instead of drawing trains, you are drawing cities. The choice of roles was usually pretty obvious based upon your greatest need.

In my opinion, T&T is a lighter game, and given that you don't want to look at the cards until it's your turn, there is more time for socialization and chat. You need to decide if you like that.

 
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Mario Aguila
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Thanks for your videos Scott. I think this is the future for the review of games.
A video is worth more than a thousand words!
 
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Jeremy Carlson
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First, Scott, let me say, that was freakin' brilliant.

Now, on to what I think of what I saw in your video, which again, awesome.

During you review, really the rules in video form, I was really loving what this game is. The role choosing is great, the way to get points and how you play your cards, also good. But...by the end of the video, I was left thinking like the above post. This is just another version of TtR, isn't? And I answered my own question. Yes, it is. The production value is high and it seems an interesting game.

The problem: I own TtR. And now I wish I didn't, because this seems better. I would play Thurn & Taxis any time anyone wanted to. But would I buy it? Arrrggghhh....probably not after watching your video. Not because you did a bad job, on the contrary, like I stated above, it was great. But owning TtR, I just can't make myself spend the money to get what I consider a rethemed version of it.

If I didn't own TtR, I would make the purchase because of your video. So keep up the video reviews, because when you hit one that I like, I will definitly write the publishers like you are asking.

If you are looking for suggestions, which I hope you are, I would like to see one on these games: Caylus...plus some of the games that have been out for some time, but a bunch of us don't have: E&T, El Grande, Goa, Ra... you know the popular stuff that some geeks always read about but have never played.

Thanks again for the video!
 
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Jake Di Toro
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Quote:
I've played with Dvix and Xvid and various other tools. The problem with these other tools is that I've got a number of .avi files on my computer, and I don't have one program that can play them all. Not even the excellent VLC media player can play all of the .avis I've made over the years in an attempt to save space.


I've seen you say this before, and it bothers me. I don't create a lot of video, but I do watch a lot of it, and so do my daughters. And the video I do watch comes from many different sources, encoded with many different codes, and from years back at times. While I have a prefered video player other than VLC, I have the occasion where I don't have the codec installed directly on my compter and VLC has never failed me. The one time I though it had failed me (on my daughters computer) I realised it was because I had failed to have a recent version of VLC on her computer. A quick update and she was back in buisness.

What codec do you use that VLC 0.8.5 has not covered?

Oh and a small bit of irony, quicktime is not supported by my normal viewer. So what do I watch BGWS in... VLC.
 
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Scott Nicholson
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[q="karrde"]
Quote:

What codec do you use that VLC 0.8.5 has not covered?


I'm not sure what codec it was, but I can play it fine in the newest Divx player, but can't play it in VLC (I only get audio). I'd guess it's some form of Divx/Xvid that was some beta version of the codec at the time.




 
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Scott Nicholson
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ekted wrote:
Anyone willing to take the HUGE mov file and convert it into a relatively TINY avi? Should be about 1/4 the size for the same quality.


Can you tell me what codec I should use to do this? I'm using Bink converter now and the Divx 6 codec, and it's making the HUGE 337 MB file into a TINY 158 MB file.

That is a savings, but not the 1/4 size that you claim can be created.

How can I do this?

 
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Jake Di Toro
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Quote:
Can you tell me what codec I should use to do this? I'm using Bink converter now and the Divx 6 codec, and it's making the HUGE 337 MB file into a TINY 158 MB file.

That is a savings, but not the 1/4 size that you claim can be created.


I didn't believe the 1/4 even though I support the concept. But >50% with likely equivalent video quality is significant. Given the speed in which the internet archive serves up the files (I usually get about 50Kb/s), this makes the files watchable much quicker.

I'll ask the stupid side question, was that compressed from the .mov or from your originals?
 
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Scott Nicholson
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karrde wrote:

I'll ask the stupid side question, was that compressed from the .mov or from your originals?


That was from the .mov. The originals are in Final Cut Pro. Should there be another interim step that I should try? (I am new to a lot of this.)

(also, I should say that the quality is downgraded to get this compression, but it's still acceptable).

 
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Jake Di Toro
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snicholson wrote:
That was from the .mov. The originals are in Final Cut Pro. Should there be another interim step that I should try? (I am new to a lot of this.)

(also, I should say that the quality is downgraded to get this compression, but it's still acceptable).


Yes, from the .mov I would expect the quality to be a bit downgraded, lossy compression --> lossy compression is always a bad thing. If FCP can't utilise the compression codec directly, can it output uncompressed .avi. It should be very quick and will take a chunk of space (2GB per 10min) but as an interem step can be tossed after the compressed one is made.
 
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Ian MacInnes
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I have nothing to add to the codec discussion but I would like to address the similarity with Ticket to Ride. Yes, you draft cards and you build routes and there is the Marklin style descending scoring values but that is it. Even though it shares some mechanics that does not mean that the game has the same feel.

Thurn und Taxis is all about efficiency (avoid forced discard and route choices that do not earn stations for example) and managing card probabilities. The best routes are the ones where you don't have a station in any of the cities and each is in a different coloured region. The role choices serve to speed up (e.g. when you have too many cards), slow down, or find a critical card. It is mostly a solitaire race game although there is a small amount of player interaction if you limit yourself to two players. In this case it occasionally makes sense to take or flush cards that your opponent wants.

With more than 2 people TuT is quite weak and only serves as a lighter social game for chatting in between moves. Looking at the cards available during other turns is only helpful if you are measuring probabilities of a particular card appearing (and that doesn’t require much concentration).

For my tastes there are much better games available but I would be willing to play someone else’s copy occasionally.
 
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Matthew Frederick
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I agree with Ian that the game doesn't actually feel like TTR much at all, that the decisions you make are quite different.

I disagree on pretty much every other point, however. TuT is at least as heavy as TTR, maybe a bit heavier. I think it works great with 4 players, and every game of it was fun.

Great overview and review, Scott, nicely done as usual. I do greatly disagree with your "not looking" strategy, though. In my opinion that greatly hurts your chance of winning.

You need to watch the card board for two reasons: to see if the cards you need are being pushed off into the discard pile (making them unavailable until the deck runs out, such that you'll need to rejigger your route in a different direction), and to see what other players are collecting.

While interaction isn't terribly direct, there's still a fair bit of it. It's essential that I be closely watching what the player to my right is drawing because I absolutely don't want to be building in the same area right now. I need to be watching what the player to my left is building so that if there's no card on the display that I want (or no second card that I want), I can either take one of the ones my left-hand player is likely to want for a future build (and to make it tough on him) or if I see that there's more than one card on display that he's likely to need (best yet is two or three of the same city that I think he needs) and nothing too hot for me, I can wipe the cards before I draw, working to drive him to failure.

There's no question that you can play the game as multiplayer solitaire, just as you can TTR. I just don't recommend it if you want to win.
 
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Ian MacInnes
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I actually agree with much of what you say Matthew, particularly the point of not being in the same area of the map as the person on your right. I don't think this is a light game for 2 but each player you add reduces the amount of interaction. I disagree with your idea of screwing the person on your left. I suspect that will do you more harm than it would to the other player. Just about the worst that you can do to him is to force him to flush. Unless he is doing something strange like starting in Lodz without Pilsen there is little benefit to targeting him. The main point though is that we probably have different tastes. The games I like the most have high levels of tactical interaction. While there is SOME interaction in TuT it is not enough for me to rate it highly.
 
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Matthew Frederick
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I don't disagree that the interaction isn't huge, and I agree that we probably have somewhat different tastes. I must say, though, that games with very little interaction are rarely fun for me at all. Maybe there's something about TuT that makes it an exception.
 
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Ian MacInnes
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You are right that there is something compelling in the game. I was willing to play it a bunch of times online in spite of the fact that I wasn't hot on it in person. It is another decent 10 minute 2er game for BSW.
 
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