Boardgames To Go - Season 10 (2014)
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Recommend
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Subscribe
Blog
Guild
Archives
Contact






Episodes
BGTG 144 - Gaming with Regular People (with David Gullett)
BGTG 145 - 100 Great Games, part 5 (with Stephen Glenn and Mark Jackson)
BGTG 146 - SR and Feedback (AbluXXen, Walking Dead Card Games, Where's Bob's Hat)
BGTG 147 - A Look Back at 2013 (with David Gullett)
BGTG 148 - 100 Great Games, part 6 (with Stephen Glenn & Mark Jackson)
BGTG 149 - Modern Microgames (with Jeff Myers)
BGTG 150 - 100 Great Games, part 7 (with Stephen Glenn and Mark Jackson)
BGTG 151 - Mark Hates Games (with Brian Murray and David Gullett)
BGTG 152 - Essen (and BGGcon) Anticipation 2014
BGTG 153 - 100 Great Games, the Top Ten (with Stephen Glenn & Mark Jackson)
BGTG 154 - BGG.con 2014 (with Greg Pettit & Dave Gullett)
BGTG 155 - BGG.con 2014 Planning For NEXT Year, plus button giveaways (with Davebo Gullett)
Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
  • [+] Dice rolls
1. Board Game: Bunco [Average Rating:2.95 Overall Rank:14591]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Jan 13, 2014
 

Have you ever played Bunco? I'm now in a couples Bunco group, a new thing for me. It goes without saying that this is not the kind of gaming group I normally have, and talk about on the show. These are not hobby gamers. They aren't even party gamers. They're just regular folks, all empty nest-ers (or close to it, like me), who get together to talk, have dinner & drinks. That we play a game or two at the end of the night for a few bucks' stakes is purely a social activity, absolutely not intended to be competitive. After Bunco kind of wore off, the group switched to LCR. Yikes!

Here's my Catch-22: I want a game that's more fun for me because it has a little bit of strategy, but everyone else wants a game that is so easy & automatic that it doesn't pressure anyone or limit conversation. Almost by definition, this is a no-man's land since it's looking for a game that has decision-making yet requires no thought.

Well, gamers often make suggestions about titles they think are light enough, but really aren't. Or we consider party games. In this podcast I cover that very topic with Dave Gullett, who is the rare gamer who understands my dilemma! In the show we go through a lot of ideas, and I proceed to basically shoot them all down for one reason or another. Am I the problem? Or is it basically un-solvable with the constraints I've given myself?

Look at all the types of games we consider, and please give me your own ideas. Particularly if you've had some success in similar situations, tell me about the games you played as well as describing that situation and its other players.

-Mark


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
2. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:72]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb




Jan 30, 2014

Stephen Glenn
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

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.


Here are #31-40 on the list, counted down in reverse order as we discuss them on the podcast.

This show was especially fun because BGG had gone down for maintenance when we did our recording! That meant that we had to go on our own knowledge and memories of the games' designers, publishers, and years, in addition to usual opinions about how they play. Fortunately, we're getting so high up in the list now that the games are very notable. I think we did pretty well without our normal reference material...but you tell me!

Note: we had a little audio problem with Mark Jackson halfway through the podcast, but stick with us! I edited around it as best I could, and it gets better after the Ave Caesar/Ausgebremst/Q-Jet discussion.

-Mark


]
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
3. Board Game: Linko! [Average Rating:7.07 Overall Rank:682]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


(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.)


May 2, 2014

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.)

But that's for later. In this episode I'm still talking about modern, euro card games with their unique decks, rules, and mechanisms. First up is 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.


Next up is 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.


The game that sort of started all of this discussion about card games was my rediscovery of 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
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
4. Board Game: Timeline: Music & Cinema [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:1078] [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Jul 8, 2014

It's a little crazy to finally publish this long-delayed episode, but I'm doing it nonetheless. A look back at 2013 is kind of ridiculous in July of 2014, but I think it's interesting nonetheless because we also talk about broader topics like gaming statistics (personal & community), gaming trends, and looks forward into the "new" year (that's now half-over!).

Year-end stats often start with number of plays, and number of games. In my case, those numbers include online plays--which aggravates Dave!--but we're both beyond actually arguing about that. My numbers have remained remarkably consistent for many years: right around 300 plays, 150 titles. The actual numbers were 342 plays, 155 titles, 60 new-to-me. Dave's are somewhat higher (325 plays, 126 titles), but NOTABLY higher when you realize he's a purist that only includes face-to-face plays. However, I prove my point with a story about a game of Timeline: Music & Cinema that the two of us played online just prior to recording the podcast.

Another well-worn statistic within our hobby are the "Fives & Dimes," which even predate BGG and Mark Jackson's tally of this data. Sure, it always skews toward the shorter games, but even I get a good feeling when I see a beefier title like Brass show up.


Mark's dimes


Mark's nickels


Dave's dimes


Dave's nickels



Keeping basic stats is about all I do. I know some people keep more detailed game journals about their plays (either here on BGG or elsewhere, such as a physical notebook). I really love that concept, and even did it for a time several years ago, but didn't stick with it. Do you record data? I'd love to hear about that. I'll post a poll at the bottom, and encourage you to leave feedback.

Dave & I also have an opinion or two to share about these titles that were released in 2013. Not a whole lot, so don't get your hopes up, but no review of 2013 should omit this part. I'll really get into the 2013 games in about 2015, knowing me...



2013 games




Last is a touchy-feely part (but fun for me!) to reflect on the year that passed, and the year ahead. More than just statistics or new titles, now I'm thinking about more holistic, meta, or memorable aspects of the hobby. Still with me? Ha! Between the two of us, we mention things like wargaming, online plays, family gaming, a boardgame road trip (that you heard here on this podcast!), and getting old favorites back to the table. Looking ahead, I'm very much looking forward to attending BGG.con this year, and hope to meet some of my listeners!

-Mark
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
5. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.78 Overall Rank:669]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Aug 15, 2014

Stephen Glenn
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

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.


Here are #21-30 on the list, counted down in reverse order as we discuss them on the podcast.

After the previous episode of 100 Great Games, we received some (ahem) feedback regarding the games we didn’t like (I’m looking at you, Taj Majal), or didn’t know much about (such as War of the Ring). I’m pleased to say we don’t have that issue this time. I get to look over the still-secret list going all the way to Number One, and I can safely say that we’re familiar with all of the remaining games. Which is as you’d expect, right? As we get near the top we’re getting into even more of the modern classics that every self-respecting gamer should seek out & play. But, since you’re only hearing three voices from a survey of many more people, we may not all LOVE the remaining games. But we certainly respect them. (And as you’ll hear, in many cases we do love them!)

We’re nearing the end, only two shows left after this one to finish the countdown! We’ve already had suggestion for a supplemental episode, and it’s under consideration. Other ideas are welcome.

Finally, taking a page from Geek Weekly, I’m going to try adding a poll to each of my podcast episodes. I’d like folks to check out the blog (perhaps comment below), and there’s always a good question to pose after a podcast. Be sure to listen to the episode first, to get the context for the question. In this case, it’s about the theming (or not) in Knizia’s Lord of the Rings.

-Mark



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
6. Board Game: Famous 500: The World's Smallest Car Racing Game [Average Rating:6.47 Overall Rank:7505]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Aug 27, 2014



Jeff Myers
United States
Fresno
California
flag msg tools
badge
gameguythinks.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Microgames are hot right now. It all "started" with Love Letter, when it burst onto the scene at Essen two years ago. Here was an game that was so inexpensive as to be an impulse-buy, so small it could fit in your pocket, so simple it was easy to teach anyone, and so quick it invited games whenever you had some spare time & friends onhand, like at a restaurant. Suddenly the game was everywhere, re-themes were ubiquitous, and other small games inevitably followed.

The problem with that explanation, of course, is that Love Letter wasn't the first incarnation of a microgame. Far from it. In the days before euros (almost before RPGs), the term "microgame" appeared to describe small format wargames. In fact, I have an early BGTG episode all about those! For some diehards, that term still starts in the late 1970s with pocket-sized hex & counter wargames. Even if that was way before your time, you probably know one example from that era, because Steve Jackson recently republished his landmark title, Ogre. Besides the Kickstarter behemoth, he proudly re-issued the original microgame version of the game, and at the same price! $2.95!

But putting aside the history lesson (and soapbox), it's still true that Love Letter got a lot of attention, and has sparked interest in gamers, designers, and publishers, for new boardgames in a small format. Jeff Myers, of the excellent GameGuyThinks blog, joins me to discuss this topic. This time, I try my best to avoid the trap I usually make for myself: definitions. Though we try to define what microgame means in 2014 a little bit, we don't get bogged down or philosophical on that point. It's more fun to talk about some examples we've played, as well as reconsider some earlier games that might now appear to be microgames. Or are they? To be honest, I don't see a big difference between what we've long called Filler Games and this new crop of Microgames. Not unless there's something magical about having only sixteen cards. Also, the ever-increasing field of Print-n-Play games crosses over to this topic, too. (If you really want to discuss/argue about the definition of microgames, go see manchuwok's geeklist.)

We talk about the new line of modern micros from Chris Handy (his Pack O Game series) and Rob Bartel (his Famous/World's Smallest Sports Games series). There are some good ones in there (I particularly recommend Famous 500, the car-racing game).


-Mark


Links
Rob Bartel's Famous/World's Smallest Sports Games series
Chris Handy's Pack O Game series
BGTG 26 - Microgames
Microgame HQ - the database of older, wargame-style microgames that I worked on in the 90s
Pack O Game kickstarter (ends Aug 30)
Classic Microgames Museum
Crazy Squirrel - Fresno's awesome game store.
GameGuyThinks blog


So...what about these? Microgames?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
7. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.04 Overall Rank:15]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Sep 3, 2014

Stephen Glenn
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

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.


Here are #11-20 on the list, counted down in reverse order as we discuss them on the podcast. I thought we'd have nothing but praise for all of these highly-ranked games...but perhaps I should've known that that the three of us would take turns expressing reservations about even these amazing games. (It's going to make my upcoming "Mark Hates Games" episode all the more relevant.)

In my poll associated with the last installment of 100 Great Games, I asked about the theming--or lack thereof--in Knizia's landmark cooperative game, Lord of the Rings. The smallest portion felt this was a mechanical, pasted-on theme kind of game. Instead, most felt that the theme does come through from the cooperative gameplay (mechanisms), while several more credited the amazing artwork for evoking the theme.

This time I'm returning to Knizia for the poll. It just worked out that way. We discussed Medici in a previous episode (and I recently played the unfortunately-ugly latest edition), and now Ra has come up. We used to ask ourselves which of Knizia's "auction trilogy" was our favorite (these plus Modern Art). That's what I'm asking here, only Mark Jackson suggested I widen it to include several more of Knizia's excellent auction-based games (including Mark's favorite, as you can hear in the episode). Did I forget to include your favorite? Tell me so in a comment, below.

-Mark


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
8. Board Game: Eldritch Horror [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:43]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb



"Mark hates games."

Sep 18, 2014


Brian Murray
United States
Moorpark
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Is that true? No, but it's a comment I've heard secondhand...more than once! Brian Murray is a great gamer I've met at SoCal Games Days, and through our shared friend Davebo. He's the one who hears me critique a game, or just be completely lukewarm on it, or pick it apart, and thinks that I just don't know how to relax and have a good time with boardgames. Or something like that. I'm probably putting words (the wrong words) in his mouth, but that quote above is 100% from Brian.

So it was time to have him on the podcast. Then his words can come out of his own mouth, and you all can decide what you think about it!

(We recorded this at Dave's house, sitting in his living room during a Sunday in July. Partway through the recording a raven squawks outside, and keeps going for a while. But he eventually stops. Nevermore! Perhaps a more serious concern about the audio is that all three of our voices sound pretty similar. Good luck with that.)

I've never been a Cult of the New guy, but Brian clearly is. Or, as he clarifies, he's a Cult of the New-to-Me guy. Lots of boardgamers are that way. Maybe that's you, too. Not me. I'd much rather play an old favorite. Despite that, I still play a lot of new games. And no matter what Brian says, I love some of them. Lots more are perfectly fine, just ok, but nothing more. I'd probably rate them a 6 on BGG and have no need to play them again. Brian is more likely to enjoy the experience of playing a new game just for its own sake. The excitement of seeing something new, how it's produced, the way it plays, new rules, and all the rest.

The conversation inevitably crosses over into Kickstarter. You can imagine why. If you're excited by the newness of a game, then Kickstarter is heaven. There are so many new games there! But if you're like me, and prefer to wait until a consensus emerges through the community (& marketplace) about the tiny subset of "keeper" games, then Kickstarter doesn't really offer much. Honestly, I'm looking forward to the first "modern classic" that comes out of Kickstarter that even I need to own. It just hasn't happened yet. Call me up in 2016.


On the air, Brian coins a phrase that should enter the standard lexicon of our hobby: Family Math. I love it! The mathematical rationalization a gamer-parent does in his head to justify the expense of a new game. I'll play it with my wife, or with my kids...

What fills our hobby isn't a bunch of people who enjoy playing games. Instead, we're a bunch of people (even old curmudgeons like me) who enjoy learning games. Part of that is the novelty alone, seeing something new. Another big part is the mental challenge/enjoyment of your first chance to figure out a strategy for the new rules & mechanisms of a game. However, sometimes even Cult of New gamers want a chance to dig deeper into a game that rewards repeated play. Exploring more avenues to victory, seeing more of what the game has to offer, or even just the pleasure of starting a game without having to teach the rules. On the subject of newness versus repeated play, Brian and Dave are in one of those groups that started the 10x10 challenge at the start of the year: pick 10 games that your group "commits" to playing 10 times each. Even though they didn't stick with it, they explain how it was a useful thing for their group to attempt.

By the way, the games we played together just before turning on the recorder were Timeline: Music & Cinema, Ave Caesar, Powerboats, and 7 Wonders.

-Mark


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
9. Board Game: Pandemic: The Cure [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:240]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Oct 14, 2014

I don't even know how long I've been doing this. My window-shopping the Essen lists predates this podcast of nine years. Who else fondly remembers Mik Svellov's Brett'n'Board, Ken Tidwell's Game Cabinet, or all the other places we learned about Essen before, during, and after the fair? Now, of course Eric Martin does an amazing job here at BGG with the annual Essen Preview. It has nearly six hundred items when I finally stopped looking on Friday. Wow!

It took me two passes to get through these lists. For some reason, I found a LOT more games that interest me this year. Is that because there are more of the shorter, family strategy games that I like? That might be true. Not that there were a lot of the 45-minute "superfillers," but I think there were more filler/microgames at the low end--under 20 euros, under 30 minutes. The ones that are still Love Letter derivatives about bluffing & hidden identity don't interest me, but there several others. As before, we see more and more offerings from other countries, especially Japan, Korea, and Poland.

My first pass through that megalist came up with 30 I was really excited/curious about, and another 50 that had something that sparked my interest. Though that's 80 games (waaaay too many to discuss on the podcast), that's culling out more than 80% of the titles in the full preview. Then I squeezed it down to ten I put in my companion geeklist, and discuss on this episode, plus several other titles that work their way into the discussion. Wow!



Want to comment about any of these games? Check out the listen-along geeklist I have to accompany this episode.


Also, I can't resist some meta-analysis of the entire list, and how well my previous years' anticipation lists matched what became my keepers from those years.

Finally, this episode anticipates something else, too--my return to BGG.con! I'm so excited about this. I went to the first BGG.con a decade ago, but it's grown & changed quite a bit since that time. I'm coming up to speed with what to expect, doing some planning, but not TOO much. Hopefully I'll meet some listeners and play some games with them when I'm there next month.

-Mark



Links
BGTG 152 Essen anticipation 2014 geeklist
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
10. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:61] [Average Rating:7.68 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb





Nov 13, 2014
Stephen Glenn
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmb
Mark Jackson
United States
Goodlettsville
Tennessee
flag msg tools
badge
Am I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
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.


...

At long last, here are the Top Ten! As we count them down in reverse order, we stay true to form--having a few personal grumbles about these amazing titles. At the same time, we're honestly respectful and enthusiastic for all of these games. Several of them are in our personal top ten lists, too.

Though this is the end of the list of 100 Great Games, it's not quite the end of this podcast series. We promise to come back one more time for an epilogue episode, one that shares some analysis of the overall list, considers what games only missed the list because they were released post-2012, and what our own votes were. Remember, this list is a compilation of many experienced gamers' input. By now it's pretty obvious that we each have our own personal tastes that differ somewhat. If you have topics you'd like us to cover in the epilogue, let us know.

In my poll associated with the last installment of 100 Great Games, I asked for your favorite Knizia auction game. Of the many options available Ra came out as the clear favorite. As you may have heard last time, Stephen preferred Ra, I went with Medici, and Jackson picked Traumfabrik.

Now that we've reached the top of the list of 100 Great Games, are there ones you thought we missed? Of course that will be true--everyone has different tastes. However, any game released after 2012 didn't even get a chance to be on this list because that's when the project started. Below I've put together a poll of notable titles less than two years old that might have made it onto the 100 Great Games list. It's a tough choice, but which one do you think would've made it on the list? As always, if you've got a good suggestion that's not included in the poll, write it in the comments below. Thanks.

-Mark



 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
11. Board Game: Isaribi [Average Rating:6.37 Overall Rank:6285]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nov 18-23, 2014
United States
Houston
Texas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
David G.
United States
Moorpark
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Back in 2005 I made it to the very first BGG.con. It was smaller then, and I really enjoyed myself, but it's been a long drought without a return for me. Something about it being so close to Thanksgiving seemed to get in my way when I had kids in the house. Now they've gone to college, and I felt like I could go back. That logic may not entirely make sense, but regardless I booked my tickets and made my way back to Dallas for the convention in 2014.

On the podcast I'd often talked to Greg Pettit about his experiences at the convention, since he always goes. (At the event he got to wear the badge ribbon "Every Timer," while I was a "2 Timer"!) This time I'm doing the same thing, only I get to include my own impressions. Greg was my roommate at the con, and most nights we recorded a short-ish episode to capture our impressions of the day. One of those times I had another buddy, Davebo Gullett, who joined me on the mic.

-Mark

P.S. Here's a geeklist with the games I played & some opinions about them.




Nov 18, 2014 (Tuesday)

Ok, this first one is just a test recording. If it works, I'll be doing more recordings, with other people, when I actually get to the convention. Maybe I can even snap a few pics and post them here on the blog.





Nov 19, 2014 (Wednesday)

A long day, starting with a 4am alarm clock in Santa Clarita, California, ending with a 2am bedtime in Dallas, Texas. I'm here, and taking it in. My roommate is Gregarius, the same Greg Pettit you've heard on the podcast. He's a native Texan (Houston), and has made it to EVERY BGG.con. Besides my roommate, he's also my able guide for this event.

On my plane I saw Dave Arnott, Mike Schwerdtfeger, and met some other SoCal gamers. Maybe next year(!) I'll plan to sit by someone. I thought about playing a game on the flight, but decided I'd have more than enough when I go to DFW.

I got registered, Greg toured me around the various ballrooms, library, and other venues. Today I played La Granja, Rolling Japan, Pandemic: The Cure, Spinball, and Port Royal.





Nov 20, 2014 (Thursday)


My first full day at BGG.con, and it was a good one. This was the only day I had several scheduled activities, some wargame-ish titles early in the day (Gunslinger, then Pax Porfiriana), as well as the Virtual Flea Market, a Spiel des Jahres seminar by jury chairman Tom Felber, and finally (for me) a game of Panamax. Greg & I recorded this episode, and I'm about to collapse at 1am. I am not a late-night gamer. Meanwhile, Greg headed back down to the convention for the Werewolf games...




Nov 21, 2014 (Friday)

Today was a full day where I'd planned almost nothing ahead of time. A full day of gaming, right? Actually, it turned out that I played very FEW games today, but had a whole day of fun nonetheless. We had our little BGTG/WGTG lunch at the hotel, I watched Artemis, went out for Texas BBQ dinner, watched the "World Series," and spent some time relaxing with friends at the hotel bar. Oh, and I also got to play Deus, Doodle City, Port Royal, and almost a game of Isaribi. (Hope to get in a real of game of that last one tomorrow.)




Nov 22, 2014 (Saturday)

Last full day of BGG.con. Last day at all, really, since tomorrow I check out of the hotel & head to my airport terminal/gate around noon. Apparently the Library will be closed. Though I have a few games of my own on-hand, it may not work out for me to play any games. Might just be saying my goodbyes and having last conversations with friends.

Today, though, started & ended (for me) with big events. At the start of the day was the Flea Market. Greg had 4+ tubs of games to sell there, and I got to be his assistant. We were up relatively early (alarm clock required) in order to set up in the hour before the doors were opened to buyers. Then THEY have one hour to shop, haggle, and purchase before everything has to be closed up again.

The end of the day had the "closing ceremonies" for BGG.con, including lots of well-earned thank-yous, prize giveaways, and some announcements for BGG.con's future. You've probably seen this already. In addition to BGG.con (which will continue unchanged for next year & beyond, when I hope to return), they've now added BGG<3FAM--meaning something like BGG Loves Families)--a family-friendly (spouses & kids) version of the convention. The first one of these is next Memorial Day Weekend. This is in addition to the previously announced BGG game cruise, BGG@SEA. The empire grows...


In between, I got to play some more games and go out for BBQ one more time. Greg & I were finally able to successfully play Isaribi. Still thinking about it, but I think I like it quite a bit. I already like Hayashi's Sail to India, so he's definitely a designer for me to watch. Also, I wanted to get some recent Knizia titles to the table, which we did with both Orongo and Rondo. I think the latter is a pleasant pastime or family game (for two), while Orongo is an unfortunate miss for me. We also played the older (but still good!) title, Yspahan.





Nov 23, 2014 (Sunday)

Today isn't even really a "day" at BGG.con. Most people sleep in (after late nights), then wake up, check out, and are heading home. That might have been me, too. The thing is, I'm not really a late night/sleep in kind of person. Definitely not the up-til-5am, sleep-til-noon variety. Not even the 2am/9am type of gamer, which was my pattern for most of the week. This time, on the last day, I wanted to try two new things, as a trial run for how I'd try to do more of BGG.con next year, if I'm lucky enough to return.

First, I got up "early." At a convention, that means 8am. I was in the main game room by 8:30, where a small subset of gamers were already playing games. (Some guessed they were STILL playing games, but this didn't look like the allnighter crowd.)

Second, I sat down at a table, set my game up (Hellweg westfalicus), and put up one of those "players wanted" flags the convention provides to help you get a game started. Within 5 minutes I had one player, and before I'd even really started the rules explanation we had a third. That was a good number, so off we went. I'm sure we could've gotten a fourth to fill out the game if we'd wanted to, but three is usually a good number for Schacht's games. Neither guy knew me or my podcast, we just sat down to learn a game together. I liked it quite a bit, another liked it, too, while our third player was less enthused. I think of it as a cousin to Hansa, overland in theme, and with a little more going on. (I really love Hansa, but understand how it can be pretty spare for some folks.)

In this last episode from the actual BGG.con, Greg prompted me to write down five things that I felt were highlights of the event. My own personal highlights. If you've been listening over the past few days, they probably won't surprise you. Thinking about it (and in no particular order), I thought mine were

1. The friends
2. The library
3. The BBQ
4. The Flea Markets (both kinds)
5. The Spiel des Jahres seminar

I hope to go back again! Thanks to all who told me they enjoyed my podcasts. That really meant a lot to me. Thanks to those NOT at BGG.con that listened and/or commented during the week. It's no exaggeration to say that feedback from listeners is the reason I'm still doing this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
12. Board Game: Apples to Apples [Average Rating:5.92 Overall Rank:2917] [Average Rating:5.92 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
flag msg tools
designer
That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
badge
http://www.WargamesToGo.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Dec 23, 2014

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.

-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
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Loading... | Locked Hide Show Unlock Lock Comment     View Previous {{limitCount(numprevitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
{{error.message}}
{{comment.error.message}}
    View More Comments {{limitCount(numnextitems_calculated,commentParams.showcount)}} / {{numnextitems_calculated}} 1 « Pg. {{commentParams.pageid}} » {{data.config.endpage}}
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.