Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
SubscribeBlogGuildArchivesContact(Somehow, even though I've been recording this podcast for almost a decade, I made a rookie mistake. I positioned my mic too close and the audio gets a little fuzzy/clipped now & then. Sorry about that, and I hope it isn't too much of a distraction or drawback.)
Remember when I used to do "Session Report & Feedback" episodes? Me neither. These are when I'd just talk about some games I've played recently (not part of a meta topic, just a session report), and tack a segment on the end where I read & respond to some listener feedback. In theory these should be a show that's easy for me bang out every once in a while. They also have the potential of being shorter episodes.
At any rate, this time I stitched together some accounts of recent card games I've had on the table. The coincidence of a couple euro card games on the table recently sparked an idea for a future game group session that focuses on traditional card games. We haven't done that yet, but we're excited to try some titles like Euchre, Spades, 1000 (the marriage game), Cribbage, Pinochle, and so on. (I've also just joined an Up & Down the River card game group at lunch.)
Linko!, a clever card game from veteran designers Kramer & Keisling. I can't quite figure out what kind of card game it is. It's not a traditional trick-taker, nor a ladder-climbing game. You primarily want to "go out" by playing all of your cards, because when someone else does that you take penalties for cards still held. But you also want to play lots of cards in (mostly) escalating sets to the table in front of you, because that's how your score positive points. The clever bit is that there's a way that the set you just played can overtake sets that other players (one or several) have played. Though you take cards into your hand, this "capture" lets you play more cards later. Early in the game it's pretty clear that this is a good, strong move. Later, though, I found it was a more subtle decision. I only played it once, but that was enough to seek out a copy of my own immediately.
Also, Wolfgang Kramer maintains an interesting website of his own that sometimes includes designer diaries that aren't posted to BGG...they aren't even translated into English. So, just like in the dark ages of our hobby (the mid-90s), I fire up an internet translator, paste the German language in, and try to make sense of the babelfish oddities that come out as "English" on the other end. For example, what do you think this sentence is trying to say: "This led me to a specific situation, which I had not yet experienced the mirror blank Find to date." I'm not sure, either.
The Walking Dead Card Game, better known to many of us at 6 Nimmt! (or Slide 5). Stephen, Mark, and I discussed this one on a "recent" (ha!) 100 Great Games episode. It's a Wolfgang Kramer classic card game that's been a hit for a long time. This latest edition is a tie-in to the hit TV show (and graphic novels, I guess). Since I own at least two copies of the original game, there should be no need for me to get this latest one...except that I hoped the superficial theming would be a draw for my family (we're big fans of the show). And it worked! It's the kind of game that sounds weird and mind-boggling (despite the few rules) when it's explained to you, but it all becomes clear through demonstration. In fact, you could do well to play a few hands quickly, then start over once everyone has their ah-ha moment. The theming (card artwork) is really under-utilized, I think, and the one new variant offered (hero mode) was unsatisfying. But those aren't real problems. Get whatever version of this game you want, play the original rules, and have fun with it. And watch out for the 55 card.
Where's Bob's Hat?. It's a trick-taking game with at least one twist, something we used to see a lot more of in this hobby. Even back then, though, this style of game was more familiar than groundbreaking. I just like them. After we played it, I discovered Alan R. Moon's original version called Where's Bob's Hat? takes out one of those twists, leaving the rest and with better game components. Now I want to try Bob's Hat again, but played in the original style (ironically, without the Bob's Hat part). It was fun to remember and rediscover Bob himself, Bob Schwartz and his groundbreaking boardgame video series called The Board Room. Some (all?) of Bob's original shows can now be found on YouTube...even though he recorded them five years before that service even existed.
To round out my discussion of card games, some quick discussions about Coloretto (Russian card art version!), Sushi Go! (recently featured on GameNight!), and Bohnanza (I need to do an All About show covering this gem).
Then I get to dive into a backlog of interesting feedback I've received. I know I've got great listeners because I receive such thought-provoking feedback. I really enjoy that. (The Essen Geek Mini website mentioned in the feedback is at http://essengeek.dssr.ch/register.php)
Mark Johnson's occasional and opinionated podcast, Boardgames To Go, now has its own blog on Boardgamegeek.
- [+] Dice rolls