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Mark Johnson's occasional and opinionated podcast, Boardgames To Go, now has its own blog on Boardgamegeek.
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BGTG #137 - SR & Feedback (Vinci II, TransAmerica/Vexation, Eclipse on iOS)

Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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I've been doing this podcast now for more than eight years! I can't quite believe it myself. In the beginning, more than a handful of shows were audio session reports, which I then combined with feedback that I read "on-air." These are simple episodes, inevitably solo shows, and I often used them to go between episodes with a guest about a particular subject. Especially as those shows are getting more and more meta about the hobby itself, a simple "session report & feedback" episode is kind of a relief. I hope you like them, also. I particularly like reading feedback on the podcast, as it reminds me of the Letters section in Sumo, Counter, or other boardgame zines. Those were always the best part.

Naturally I've been playing all sorts of games since my last SR & Feedback episode many months ago. Even some relatively new stuff like Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar and Terra Mystica, two recommended games on the Kennerspiel list this year. But I'm not talking about those yet. They're not really my kind of game, being more "2010's euro" than "1990's German," if you know what I mean. Instead, I talk about Vinci II, TransAmerica (with Vexation), and Eclipse on iOS.

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Board Game: Vexation
Video Game: Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy



Vinci II are a set of variants or expansions to my beloved, original Vinci that are available online at [url="http://yucata.de"]Yucata.de[/url], the website that has established itself as the premier play-by-web site for boardgames. (There are others, and I like them, too, but Yucata is now the king.) I'd probably be drawn to any Vinci site or good variant, but this is even better because original designer Philippe Keyaerts is involved. You can hear how he takes some of the ideas (improvements?) from Small World, but still keeps this game grounded in the history of real civilizations and where they come from. I enjoy it, and hope these ideas are someday issued as a new edition of the boardgame.

TransAmerica has been a good pick for our lunch group, something I bet is true of others' lunch hour game groups, too. Have you tried the micro-expansion, Vexation? I've had it for years, but didn't try it until last week. It adds another layer--including the opportunity for some confrontation that my work buddies enjoy. Recommended.

As I type this, I'm losing a 2-player game of Eclipse, which I'm playing against BGTG listener Chris Ross on the iPad. He's in my same time zone, but that's as close as it gets. We're a few hundred miles apart. That's one of the beauties of a digital version that supports multiplayer: the chance to play with someone far away. Not only that, but I get to play the game far more often than I would otherwise. I've played the physical copy of the game twice, but don't own it myself. On the other hand, several of my friends & I each own the iPad version, and I've played many games against the AI and a few online multiplayer. The implementation of the game is pretty great. What about the game itself? As I said on the previous podcast, I like it, but don't love it. Still, there are good reasons to keep playing games like that.

The feedback section includes some good suggestions to help me rationalize the screwy economics of train games. Remember how I'm bugged about earning more for "inefficient" networks that transport colored cubes further than necessary? Also some good ideas for future episodes

Oh, and though I don't really say too much about this yet, here's a hint at something else I'm working on...
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Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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