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Boardgames To Go

Mark Johnson's occasional and opinionated podcast, Boardgames To Go, now has its own blog on Boardgamegeek.

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Spiel des Jahres 2015 favorites & predictions

Mark Johnson
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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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With a little luck, I may get to be a guest on others' podcasts or videocasts during my time away from BGTG. When that happens, I'll post something here on my blog. It's obviously not MY show, but if you like hearing what I have to say about games, you can get some of it here. This year, I was again lucky enough to be part of the Game Night! crew's avalanche of episodes for the Spiel des Jahres, Kennerspiel des Jahres, and Kinderspiel des Jahres. The latter was posted a couple weeks ago, while the main & Kenner award shows were just posted now. Sometimes I feel like the curmudgeon when I get to be on Game Night!, since that videocast is about sharing the enjoyment & appreciation of our games, while I can't get out of critic mode. Working in my favor, though, is the fact that I'm getting to play games with friends I don't see often enough. So it's a fun time regardless.


Lincoln Damerst
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GameNight!
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Arkham Horror, Amun Re, R-ECO, Ora Et Labora, Napoleonic Wars
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(Can anyone geekmail me how to CENTER this row of user avatars in BGG formatting?!)


First up is the summary show about the Spiel des Jahres and Kennerspiel des Jahres. Lincoln, Nikki, Dave, Aaron, and I share our opinions about all six nominees, then go on record with our predictions & favorites. A while ago we did the same in a different episode featuring the Kinderspiel nominees.






Here are links to the other episodes where the nominated games were actually played. I was on a few of these, too.

Spiel des Jahres
Machi Koro
Colt Express
The Game I'm on this episode

Kennerspiel des Jahres
Broom Service I'm on this episode
Orléans
Elysium

Kinderspiel des Jahres
Spinderella I'm on this episode
Push-a-Monster I'm on this episode
Schatz-Rabatz I'm on this episode

If you're so inclined, please subscribe to the YouTube channel for Boardgamegeek. Lincoln always says that the more subscribers they get, the more control YouTube gives them over how their content is managed & displayed.

Thanks to the entire Game Night! gang, especially hosts Lincoln & Nikki for letting me crash their studio and pontificate with them about some fantastic games.

-Mark




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Wed Jul 1, 2015 11:36 pm
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How to subscribe to this (or any other) blog on BGG

Mark Johnson
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I wish I would've included these instructions years ago, when I first moved my blog over to BGG. I only just learned myself that blog subscriptions don't automatically include their comment subscriptions--those require an adjustment to the default settings. Read on.


Since I moved the blog to BGG that's been a little hard for folks to figure out. But really, it's simple. In the top right on the blog page (any blog on BGG, not just mine), there's both an RSS and Subscribe link. Use the RSS one for a blogreader like Feedly, Google Reader, etc. The Subscribe link is more for people who like to live their life completely within Boardgamegeek. Clicking that will add my blog to your list of items you get notified internally here on BGG (and via email, if you like) when they're updated.




Now you're subscribed to my entries in the blog. But you also want to know when listeners & I enter a conversation in the feedback comments, don't you? For that you need to do a few more steps.

Go to the BGTG blog here on Boardgamegeek. Click the Subscribe link on the right side if you haven't already. Once that's done, you also need to click on the down arrow next to the UNsubscribe button, which allows you access to the Edit Subscription link.



That takes you to another screen where there's a dropdown selector that permits switching your blog comment subscription to Yes, instead of the default (No). Don't forget to hit the Save button to finish this process!



(Now that I have my podcast season geeklists, commenting on the blog may go the way of the dodo. But for now, this is how you keep up with the feedback.)

-Mark
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Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:41 am
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BGTG 160 - Reflections on my Podcast (with Greg Pettit)

Mark Johnson
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Ok, now I'm finally on my break from the podcast. I wanted this one last, odd episode as a chance to reflect on the 10 years I've been doing the show. (And as longtime listeners remember, I never really think of it as a "show." I like to think of it more as an "audioblog.")

To answer the question that keeps coming up, my break/hiatus/sabbatical won't last forever. I'm not quitting, I'm just taking a year off. Maybe it won't be that long, but the point is to take a significant break while I recharge my batteries and think about some other things. Also, I'll still be boardgaming the whole time I'm on this break, and I'll keep posting to BGG. I've enjoyed posting my Recent Gaming geeklists, and hope some of my listeners read & respond to those. I've also been having fun talking with the boardgame community on Twitter (@BoardgamesToGo). Come join us! You may even spy on the occasional episode of Game Night!

On this episode you'll hear me talk about envying the way other podcasts and videocasts have taken the idea of "seasons" from television and used it to frame their broadcasts. That never occurred to me in the old days, but I wish it had. Well, I've decided to retroactively apply annual seasons to all of my episodes, and put them all up on BGG in a series of geeklists. I'm really happy with how it all came out. Whether new listeners discover my old episodes, or you go back and re-listen to part of one you remember, it should now be easier. They were always on the podcast feed, but now they've got an easy place to find on the web. Also, the geeklist format has proved useful and robust for so many purposes. They're easier to subscribe to, and they're a good place for comments. I even cut & pasted my accompanying blog entries for those old episodes, putting them in the geeklist entries. I may even look into porting over some of the notable comments/discussion from those old episodes.



Yes, this may mean that the focus for writing & feedback shifts to these geeklists instead of this blog. That's ok. Blogs on BGG are nice, but they're just not as convenient for everyone as geeklists. I think the geeklists will work better for everyone.

As I've said many times, my original impetus for creating Boardgames To Go was demonstrating how do-able an amateur podcast could be. I hoped there would be more boardgame podcasts available for me to listen to on my drive, run, or whatever. It worked! Well, I know for a fact that these podcasts would've come along anyway. But if I did my small part to create some to arrive a few months earlier than they otherwise would've, then I take some small pride in that. Geekspeak/Boardgamespeak was first (Aldie is always on the leading edge!), but I'm pleased to be the Avis of boardgame podcasts. Although Aldie let Boardgamespeak lapse as he moved on to other projects, there are other podcasts besides mine that have been chugging along for years & years. Tom Vasel & Doug Garrett have each racked up over 400 hundred episodes, Eric marches to the beat of his own drummer, and Dave & Stephen have recorded over one million hours. Congrats to all! I'm happy to be in this club.


-Mark


P.S. When you listen to the end of the show, mentally replace my answer of "Pergamon" with "Tigris & Euphrates." Much better choice.


Links
Learning about history from boardgames discussion
Peter Sarrett's Review Manifesto
Boardgames To Go archives





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Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:22 am
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BGTG 159 - 100 Great Games, Epilogue (with Stephen Glenn & Mark Jackson)

Mark Johnson
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Stephen Glenn and Mark Jackson rejoin me (Mark JOHNson) to continue this series. In 2012, these two guys polled a number of experienced gamers (a few designers, many reviewers, all enthusiasts) for their top games, consolidated their answers, and asked to come on my podcast to count down the results. I was pleased to be part of the poll, and doubly pleased to have them on Boardgames To Go. I really like how Stephen describes this:

"a fun list to discuss over coffee & pie."


The poll was for our favorite games, not necessarily the best games. We even got to submit a top fifteen, which took the usual tough request for a top ten and gave us the breathing room for five more titles. I know in my case, it made it easier to add some very recent games to my longstanding favorites. On each podcast we're counting down a bunch of titles until we get to a final show with the Top Ten. I'll be interspersing 100 Great Games countdown episodes with my other podcast episodes.



...



As you may recall, Stephen, Mark, and I already finished our countdown of 100 Great Games in an earlier episode. However, for a long while we'd planned to do one more episode together--this one--where we talk about our own picks, surprises, disappointments, trends, and so on. I foolishly thought this would be posted before Christmas! Will I never learn?!
whistle


Our Picks

We started by going over our own individual picks, listed below. I've highlighted the ones on our lists that never made it into the 100 Great Games list, and we each get a little time to trumpet our appreciation for these favorites.


Mark Johnson's picks
1. Entdecker
2. A Few Acres of Snow
3. Pandemic
4. Brass
5. Settlers of Catan
6. Vinci
7. Bohnanza
8. Crokinole
9. For Sale
10. Thebes
11. Africa
12. Magic: The Gathering
13. Dominion
14. Medici
15. Harry's Grand Slam Baseball





Mark Jackson's picks
1. Memoir '44
2. Race for the Galaxy
3. A Brief History of the World
4. Summoner Wars
5. Settlers of Catan
6. Fast Food Franchise
7. Heroscape
8. Dungeonquest
9. Risk Legacy
10. Puerto Rico
11. Princes of Florence
12. Um Reifenbreite
13. Zooloretto
14. Lord of the Rings
15. The Rivals for Catan




Stephen Glenn's picks
1. Acquire
2. Euphrat & Tigris
3. Dominion
4. Navia Dratp
5. Werewolf
6. Settlers of Catan
7. Montage
8. TZAAR
9. Ticket to Ride
10. GIPF
11. Through the Desert
12. 6 Nimmt!
13. Midnight Party
14. Ra
15. Verflixxt



==================================================



Gold, Silver, Bronze

With all of this data, it's only natural to look at them and count up which designer featured most prominently in the 100 Great Games. We can also look at the most popular years of publication, and the publishers. In this case I simply counted up the number of mentions for each. One could make a good argument that there should be more consideration for appearances near the top of the list instead of the bottom. Nonetheless, I think the "awards" look right, and am pleased by the outcomes.9

(If anyone wants to crunch the data and provide alternate results, it's here on Google Docs.)






==================================================



Then & Now

We also compared this list (compiled in 2012) to the earlier edition Mark & Stephen did (in 2005). Which games appeared on both lists and made the biggest jumps forward? Which went the other direction? Again, the position on the list should really be factored in here (but wasn't). It takes a lot more oomph to climb from #12 into the Top Ten than it does to climb from #92 into the 80s. Nonetheless, more interesting topics for your second cup of coffee, and slice of pie.




Big gainers: Vinci/Small World, 6 Nimmt!, War of the Ring, Ave Caesar, Can't Stop, Mystery Rummy, Wallenstein, Carcassonne, Lost Cities

Big drops: Too many! So many good games are published every year that many other good ones get pushed off a list like this. The guys did the first list seven years before this new one we discussed on the podcast. A full 44 new games entered the list, pushing out an equal number of old favorites. That's what happened to some classics like Union Pacific, I'm The Boss, Smarty Party, San Marco, Taboo, Chinatown, and many more.


==================================================



What might have been

In the Top Ten episode I posted a poll that asked my listeners for the recent (post 2012) games that might have joined the 100 Great Games list if we'd conducted the survey a short time ago. Are there any instant classics to make their way onto the list? No doubt there are. I was surprised to find the listeners only settling on a couple, however (and no one suggested a write-in I might have missed in the poll). Those two newcomers would be Android Netunner & Terra Mystica.



One a related note, the guys & I considered what recent games we might have been tempted to put on our individual lists, above. We spared ourselves the difficult choice of deciding which personal favorites would've been pushed out. (It's not always the bottom of our lists, since some of these games "take the place" of established ones. Or, at least, they could.)

Mark Jackson thought he might have to make room for Clash of Cultures. Stephen suggested Tash-Kalar and Machi Koro. I think I would have to make room for Hanabi and possibly Pergamon.




==================================================



The End

And that, finally, brings the 100 Great Games project to a close. I felt honored to be asked my favorites as part of the first time Stephen & Mark did this a decade ago, and again in 2012. The chance to discuss it all on my podcast was a big endeavor, one that probably took too long for everyone involved, but was also great fun. I can tell from the download stats & comments that it was a favorite for my listeners, too. For all of these things, I'm grateful to Stephen & Mark, to those listeners, and to our wonderful hobby. The list project on the podcast has really been a kind of celebration for all of us. Thanks for listening.

(It's also my second-to-last episode before my big break. One more to go, and that's scheduled to be recorded tonight...)


-Mark (Johnson)










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Mon May 4, 2015 6:51 am
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BGTG 158 - Boardgame Road Trip 2 (with Dave Arnott)

Mark Johnson
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I'm not dead yet!

Yes, I'm still going on a "sabbatical" from this podcast. But no, that hasn't happened yet! In fact, I still have three more episodes to post before I go quiet on you. This one, the 100 Great Games epilogue, and then my "goodbye for now" episode. Two of those are already recorded, and the final one will be soon. Soon!



Road trip!


The one you've got before you is a sequel, of sorts. Back in 2013 I went on a boardgaming road trip to Dave Arnott to visit Jeff, Mark, Joe, and John in Fresno. On the way back we recorded an episode (#135)--in the car--where we talked about the games we played, and the weekend in general. Now Dave & I have done that again, but this time we talk about the games and something else: Dave's role as one of the hosts of BGG's video show GameNight!, as well as a couple word game apps he produces with some partners, Noodle Doodle and Tuklu. Since this is recorded in the car, on a smartphone, there's quite a bit of background noise. I did some post-processing on it to remove some of that, while hopefully keeping Dave & I sounding like human beings...not cyborgs having a conversation in a steel pipe.


We played a lot of great games that weekend, not all of which get discussed in the podcast. Jeff is working on his 10x10 challenge for 2015, so it was fun to help him get in some of those plays with games like Basari, Jäger und Sammler, Port Royal, and Industrial Waste. We also played 5ive Straight, XCOM: The Board Game, Res Publica, and Potato Man. Most of those are my kind of game. XCom really isn't, but we all wanted to try. Wouldn't you know, although my boardgames experience was just so-so with this one, it prompted me to re-install XCOM: Enemy Unknown on my computer. I've played it for a few weeks, but am again reaching that point where I may need to delete the thing because it's such a timesuck. Either that or develop more self-control and just quit the game sooner!


GameNight! has been steadily gaining a larger & larger audience, no doubt fueled by Lincoln's amazing production schedule and the obvious on-screen camaraderie of the four main hosts: Lincoln, Nikki, Aaron, and Dave. (Me, I love the intro credit sequence & catchy song. Normally I watch that, some of the intro, then skip the rules & most of the play to get to the post-game discussion. That's my favorite part.) I wanted to see how much Dave could tell us about the behind-the-scenes aspects of this awesome video show. At the time we recorded the third season for GameNight! had not started yet, but now it has.




GameNight! on boardgamegeektv
Episode geeklist
Season 1 YouTube playlist
Season 2 YouTube playlist
Season 3 YouTube playlist



Dave's also been working with his puzzle-designing partner, Aaron Weissblum, as well as app developer Eric Snider on a couple of addicting word game apps. These are clever & fun little puzzles that scratch that word game/party game itch. We got to talk a little bit about what goes into creating those, too.





-Mark


P.S. We didn't really even talk about it on the podcast this time, but just like two years ago we worked in some Letterboxing on this road trip. It was fun driving through some little towns in "California's heartland." I've driven the I-5 and CA-99 farmland corridors through the middle of the San Joaquin Valley my whole life, but this was one of the few times I went more than a dozen miles lateral to those arteries to find little places like Ducor in the southeastern valley.







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Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:56 pm
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Boardgames To Go is 10 years old!

Mark Johnson
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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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You're hearing Boardgames To Go, a podcast about family strategy boardgames. I'm your host, Mark Johnson, coming to you from Santa Clarita, California...


It happened a week ago, actually. On March 3, 2015, my podcast has officially been running for 10 years. Never on a regular schedule (as my listeners know!), but slowly chugging along. As I think I said in at least one of those many episodes, I never expected to be doing this so long. However, the feedback I've received has been so rewarding, it's been a joy to record & publish every episode.

My plan is to produce three more, then take a break (my sabbatical, as I like to call it!). Two of those episodes are already recorded, then the third will be my wrapup of BGTG's first decade. I don't know who first thought of the concept of "seasons" for podcasts (it didn't exist back when I started), but I wish I had! I'm not exactly sure in what form Boardgames To Go will return--probably something remarkably identical to what you've been hearing all these years. That's what I'm going to go off & think about. Those three episodes still-to-come are

• another road trip show,
• the 100 Great Games epilogue, and
• my "first decade" retrospective about the podcast & hobby

I just checked my stats. There have been over half a million downloads of my little podcast that I always preferred to think of as an "audioblog" more than a "show." There have been meta analyses, session report & feedback episodes, All About... discussions, lots of friends, a few conventions, some "interesting" audio quality, a defunct voicemail number, a companion blog, and always tons of that amazing feedback.

Even while I'm off "the air," I'm still going to be around, posting here on BGG, responding to email, showing up at SoCal games days and BGG.con in Dallas. In fact, it's been fun to anticipate my time away from the microphone, and I've been posting more on my Twitter feed & Facebook page, as well as the BGTG guild and some geeklists about my recent gaming.


Thanks for listening,

-Mark



P.S. That MP3 above is my first episode, posted way back in 2005. Ouch, I hadn't listened to it in a very long time. It's flat in sound, short in duration, and covers an odd mix of games. I took a shot at "thematic games" in my first episode! Sheesh...

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Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:03 am
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BGTG 157 - Games Played in 2014 (with Martin Griffiths)

Mark Johnson
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Like a lot of you, I keep track of the games I play, mostly to look back on and contemplate. The end of the year is the perfect time to do that, and I've been doing it since 1996. I don't track wins or much else--mere reflecting on the games played last year (total plays & unique titles) is what I enjoy. Even though I'd like to focus on my favorites, there are just so many new, interesting games that make their way to the table. You know I'm not a Cult of the New guy, but that's not true of all of my friends.

However, this year I'm joined by someone who really DOES rack up a lot of plays of his favorites. Martin Griffiths, better known here on BGG by his username qwertymartin, plays a LOT of short card games and quite a few of his meatier favorites, too. In fact, he flat-out plays a TON of games. Unlike me, he's not including online plays, either--these are all face-to-face plays (like Davebo will respect!).

That's not the only reason I asked Martin to join me, though. He thinks deeply about games, and writes in-depth analyses of them. Besides the conversations he & his insightful buddies have on their GameChat League, Martin keeps a blog you should be reading, QWERTYUIOP, and has recently re-launched his contest for the best written game reviews, Voice of Experience. If that's not enough, check out the Cult of the Critical guild, where I believe he's a charter member.

It comes through in his writing, and Martin's own user profile has several key elements that resonate with me. Knizian elegance, Chicago Express over Le Havre, and shorter card games? Sign me up! When you get to his mini-editorial about his dissatisfaction with recent 'mainstream' euros, I feel I've found a kindred spirit! Too bad he lives halfway around the world from me.

Quote:
I got into the hobby when a friend introduced me to Carcassonne and directed me to Playin' Games (a London FLGS) for more of the same. A whole new world opened up! I've always loved games but had no idea ones this good existed.

ThreeFourFiveSixSeven years on, my collection has grown to over 507090120130120, I'm (former) co-organiser of one of the biggest games clubs in the world (meetup.com/LondonOnBoard), and I seem to spend half my life on the 'geek. A familiar story I'm sure!

My gaming favourites fall mainly into three categories:

d10-1 Reiner Knizia! I've played over 304050 of Knizia's games now and there are very few I don't like. Tigris & Euphrates is my all-time favourite, with Ra, Taj Mahal, Stephenson's Rocket and Winner's Circle close behind. Also games by other designers that I consider to have the 'Knizian' sense of elegance: China, King of Siam, San Marco for three.

d10-2 Economic games that give players an interactive system to explore and exploit. I'm not talking about tedious optimisation/resource conversion games like Caylus or Le Havre, I'm talking about Brass, Container, Chicago Express. Martin Wallace is a key designer in this field, though his games are quite hit-and-miss for me.

d10-3 Cards cards cards. I love card games, and particularly those in which card combinations can do unexpected and wonderful things. Race for the Galaxy, Innovation, Tichu, several of the Adlung-Spiele games... Cosmic Encounter and Twilight Struggle fit here too, even if they come with more accoutrements.
Martin G
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My top 10 lists my highest-rated games, while my hot 10 is the most recent games that I have rated 8 or higher. Oh, and my avatar is the cover of the album 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields, one of my favourites.

In October 2013, I made this geeklist: Qwertymartin's top 60 games. I'll probably update it in a year or two.

Swedish Meatballs
I've been a member of the GameChatLeague Swedish Meatballs Division since it was founded in May 2011, and consider it to be my home on the 'geek. Wonderful as the wider community is, there's something really cool about getting to know a small group of gamers around the world so well. I wrote this article about my gaming tastes for one of the early Meatball lists.

Quote:
I've learnt a lot about my gaming tastes and where they differ from the BGG consensus by playing around 10 new-to-me games per month for the last three years. At first I took the BGG ranking as gospel (much like my teenage years when I was guided to new music by 'top 100 albums' guides in magazines), but now I know what I'm looking for, I can pick out favourites from way down the rankings on the basis of reading a review or the rules.

While I'm more a Eurogamer than anything else, I'm not a fan of a lot of recent 'mainstream' Euros. I find worker placement a lazy mechanic, I generally dislike games with individual player boards and no shared space, nor do I like games where you spend more time optimising your own sequence of moves than thinking about what the other players are doing. I no longer particularly see 'multiple paths to victory' as a virtue, when they feel more like Easter eggs put in by the designer than emergent properties of the design ("Oh, you discovered the starvation strategy, congratulations").

Knizia came to be my favourite designer because his best games are the opposite of this. As far as I know he's never used worker placement, and his games are almost always about interaction not optimisation. I'm also a big fan of elegant rules and risk management, two Knizia hallmarks. Having played most of the Knizias on my hit list, I'm always looking out for 'Knizian' games from other designers.

Lately I'm more and more appreciating direct conflict and rough edges. I'm wary of games described as 'streamlined' or having good catch-up mechanisms. I like unexpected, laughter-provoking screw-you moves. I also appreciate unusual, modern-day themes over yet more medieval yawnsomeness. For example, recent games that have caught my fancy are Lords of Vegas, Tammany Hall and Power Struggle.

Another thing I tend to like is hand management and card interactions. I have always liked classic card games, and that's led me to modern versions like Haggis and Battle Line. I also like a lot of recent card-combo games like Race for the Galaxy, Glory to Rome and Innovation.


Martin plays SO many games (173 different titles for 600 total plays!), that by the time we added my totals (195 different titles for a total of 400 total plays), we had PLENTY to discuss just covering our "Five & Dime" titles. It was a great conversation and just scratched the surface of more talks I'd enjoy having with Martin.

...But those other conversations will have to wait until after my break from podcasting. I'm now calling it my "sabbatical," since it's intended to be a substantial length of time when I can recharge my mental batteries. It also reinforces the fact that it won't last forever--I fully intend to return to the podcast after this break.

Martin's BGG summary for 2014 (and Extended Stats for 2014)

Mark's BGG summary for 2014 (and Extended Stats for 2014)



-Mark



Games Discussed (our collective Five & Dime lists)








P.S. Games Played--by all of Boardgamegeek--in 2014

Want to see what game plays were logged by all users of Boardgamegeek for 2014? It's here. What do you think? Dominated by the Cult of the New, only short games, evergreen classics, or something else? To me, anything older than three years doesn't feel like Cult of the New anymore. Though I'm not sure it's "classic" for a few more years. Also keep in mind that this is not what the entire hobby is playing. Just the subset of the hobby that is crazy enough to log their plays on a website...

1. Magic: The Gathering (20,114,694) - Insane number of plays, but it IS M:tG, after all! A classic.

2. Poker (1,003,035) - I'm guessing these include a lot of online plays. Classic.

3. Android: Netrunner (70,676) - First Cult of the New (CotN) title (ignoring the fact that the original was released in 1996!)

4. Dominion (48929) - Spiel des Jahres (SdJ) winner from 2009. Classic.

5. Love Letter (47643) - Still CotN, still hot. Also helps to be short.

6. Coup (43692) - CotN & short

7. Race for the Galaxy (38785) - From 2007, a modern classic.

8. Chess (38619) - From 1475 (acc. to BGG), a classic classic.

9. Splendor (37080) - Definitely CotN, and recent Golden Geek winner and SdJ nominee

10. King of Tokyo (35836) - Still feels new, but actually from 2011. Is that classic?

11. 7 Wonders (34744) - Kennerspiel des Jahres winner from 2011, just past the new/old boundary

12. One Night Ultimate Werewolf (30826) - CotN, though "parent" game Werewolf is a classic

13. Hanabi (30460) - CotN, and SdJ winner from 2013

14. Star Realms (28629) - CotN, and a Kickstarter success, right?

15. Carcassonne (27767) - A "golden age" euro, and SdJ winner from 2001. Classic.

16. Pandemic (24153) - SdJ nominee from 2009, more of a modern classic now?

17. Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (23566) - A 2013 release, still CotN

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (21928) - A 2011 release, so now a perennial classic?

19. The Resistance (19183) - Dates from 2009, but was it widely known then?

20. The Resistance: Avalon (19125) - If this 2012 title were combined with above, would place just behind Chess

21. Ticket to Ride (19064) - SdJ winner from 2004, and definitely a modern classic

22. Lords of Waterdeep (17822) - From 2012, is this transitioning to modern classic?

23. Settlers of Catan (17724) - Landmark SdJ winner from 1995, the defining modern classic

24. Agricola (17100) - Released in 2007, and English in 2009(?). That makes it a modern classic.

25. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game (16729) - From 2012, still CotN, still hot



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Mark Johnson
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Do you subscribe to this blog? What about the Boardgames To Go guild? You should! Read on...



You'll hear more about this in upcoming episodes, but after I make it across the "finish line" of my podcast's 10-year anniversary, I plan to take a break. I'm not sure how long, but it will be several months, at least. To be clear--I'm not quitting, I'm just taking a break. In the years since I started, other podcasts have figured out the value of "seasons" that allow for some downtime to recharge. I wish I'd thought of that!

Before anyone gets any wise idea, Greg Pettit already made the joke at my expense: A break from BGTG? How will anybody know?

Yeah, yeah. I realize I've taken breaks before. But those were unintended breaks, and it always gnawed at me that I wasn't publishing podcasts. This time will be different. Like I said, a time for recharging. Also, 2015 may prove to be a year when my time is not my own. (Nothing alarming, just the usual stuff associated with work and aging parents.) For what it's worth, I do think I'll keep Wargames To Go podcasts going, because those are different in nature--fewer & farther between.

I still want to "talk" with everyone about boardgaming, though. I'm still going to be playing as many games as ever. The BGTG guild should be an excellent place to do that! If you haven't joined, please do! I encourage you to Subscribe over there, too. It's one of the usual subscribe links that are all over Boardgamegeek, and it means you'll get notifications when there are discussions going on. Unlike my blog, anyone can post something on the guild. I thought about creating a mailing list for this kind of discussion, and though I like that 1990s approach, I imagine guild messages here on BGG are what most people would prefer.

It's easy to do. Just click any of the links to the guild (#867) that are peppered in this blog, and click the Join This Guild and Subscribe links that you'll find on that page.




-Mark





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BGTG 156 - Games of BGG.con 2014 (with Greg Pettit)

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Button giveaway winners!
(I'll contact you to get your mailing addresses)
I've also learned that in the UK these are called badges, not buttons.

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Pierce Ostrander
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ANOTHER episode related to BGG.con?! Well...yeah. But really, this is about a bunch of new games. In fact, this is as close as I get to joining the Cult of the New! Listeners know that's not really my style or preference, yet every year after Essen I would interview Greg Pettit about the new titles he played at BGG.con. This time, of course, I get to contribute to the conversation, too. (Actually I always do--we've been doing these shows for years--this year I just to say more.)

With both of us having plenty to say, this is a longer episode. Lots of very topical games to discuss. At the very end, though, we also do one of my favorite segments, a "where are they now?" look back at the games discussed 12 months ago. Are we still excited about them? Are you?


-Mark







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BGTG 155 - BGG.con 2014 Planning For NEXT Year, plus button giveaways (with Davebo Gullett)

Mark Johnson
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I'm glad I've received good feedback about all of these BGG.con episodes, because I have TWO more. There's this one with Davebo, a look back on the con after I'd been home for a while (which also serves as a look forward to next year--I hope to return). Then a little later I'll record my traditional post-BGG.con episode with Greg Pettit where we talk about the new Essen titles we played. We kind of did that already in the daily episodes during the con, but we've each had more time to play other titles, refine our opinions, and also look back a year to consider what happened to the 2013 titles.

In this one, Dave & I reflect on what we enjoyed, what we want to do again next year, and what we would wish to do differently. Some of those I have a clear idea about, and others I'm still not sure about. In particular, I can't quite figure out what I want to do about meeting new, random people and playing new games with them. Perhaps old games with new people can be a good combo (like the Entdecker-with-BGTG-listeners idea), and new games with old friends (who can do the teaching) can also be good. I'm not sure I'll do new games with new people again. Maybe.


Hey! I'm really asking for feedback this time. Dave & I asked several questions, and we want your feedback. I'm giving away podcast buttons as little prizes. If you win, you get a Boardgames To Go button, a Wargames To Go button, or both if you want!

Button giveaways!!
1. Best answer: What game SHOULD I have played (geeklist)
2. Best answer: Suggestions for the upcoming (March!) BGTG 10-year anniversary (geeklist)
3. Randomly chosen: A commenter on this blog (below)
4. Randomly chosen: A commenter on Facebook (facebook.com/BoardgamesToGo)
5. Randomly chosen: A commenter on Twitter (@BoardgamesToGo)

Plus a couple more for Dave's questions:
a. Best answer: How did you make the convention shuttle work for you? (comment below)
b. Randomly chosen: When did you listen to the daily episodes? Right away or later? (geekmail to Dave)




-Mark


Links
How to get started on "free" Frequent Flyer miles
Geeklists for games Mark and Dave played at BGG.con 2014
Geeklist for games you think Mark should've played
Geeklist for BGTG 10-year anniversary suggestions




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