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The Board Room: A Retrospective Part 2 - Torres & Tikal by Wolfgang Kramer & Michael Kiesling

Scott Alden
United States
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This is part 2 of my retrospective on The Board Room - an internet based video show that ran from 1999-2001. Check out my initial post for more info about the show.

I'd like to feature two games that had quite an impact on my life. Once I found the joy of modern board gaming, I also found the Spiel Des Jahres (Game of the Year) award in Germany. In 1999 & 2000,Tikal and Torres by the design team of Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling won the prestigious award respectively. In the early days of gaming, we looked to see what this mysterious jury of journalists from Germany would award the honor to each year (I still do!).

I found Tikal in a Dallas game store and was blown away by its use of action points, a mechanism that I'd never seen presented this way before. You get a menu of actions & point costs and you can pretty much do anything you want within those limits. I think the open nature of the action point system is a little hard for new players to grasp - usually you want to perform many more actions than just 10 points allow.

Both of these game episodes featured Drew Kail, a co-host that appeared regularly with Bob Schwartz. Drew offered up a soft-spoken, friendly voice that Bob could bounce thoughts off. One thing I liked about the show was that both Bob and Drew were in the same game group and it sounded like they had recently played the games. They offered up some interesting commentary on their recent game that was fresh in their memory.

Greg Schloesser
United States
Jefferson City
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In the episode featuring Torres - they invited Greg Schloesser on a call-in to provide quite a detailed amount of strategy talk about the game. I know that Torres is one of Greg's favorite games of all time.

Dave Bernazzani
United States
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In this 2-part episode featuring Tikal, Bob and Drew invite call-in guest Dave Bernazzani to discuss an overview of the game and some strategy tips in part 2. Bob & Drew also offer up their "volcano house rule" to avoid getting blocked in. I also agree with their sentiments on playing "vanilla" Tikal without the auction to speed up the game and enforce the theme a bit more.

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