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Dice Tower Moldy Oldie Observations
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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I am listening to the old Dice Tower episodes in order. Right now I am on episode 150. I will place my musings here along with a game mentioned in the episode and my thoughts on the game.
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1. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:254]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Episode 150. Sam's last episode.

The majority of the Dice Tower episodes I have currently listened to have featured Sam as host. I have only heard 28 or so Joe Steadman episodes because there is that gap in the episodes still. (Classic episodes please...)

Sam was definitely a less abrasive host than Joe. After the first 5 episodes or so I didn't really like Joe Steadman at all due to his constant cut downs of Eurogames, CCG players, other people, etc. After 10 episodes I started to like him, although he still irritated me from time to time.

This ain't about Joe Steadman though.

Sam provided a fun point of view to the show, and though he did annoy me at times, (beans rhyme, disgusting sound effects, hatred of certain games) he was interesting to listen to and complemented Tom well.

I liked the fairwell clips from the contributors, especially Moritz (this guy can do no wrong in my book, if he read from the phone book I would probably still enjoy his segments).

Sam's favorite game Shadows Over Camelot came as a big surprise. Yeah right. This game is probably mentioned on every episode in the Sam Healey era. I have yet to play it because I don't have it and have trouble getting the required number of players, but I am planning to buy it and try to get a group together (possibly conscripted or bribed family members) so I can try out this very interesting sounding game. (Maybe BSG someday too, but that's an even tougher sell among the people I know)

Not too much else happened on this episode, and rightly so. Sam deserved a good send off. I am glad to still see him on the Miami Dice segments and hopefully I will hear some segments from him on the future episodes. (And maybe some from Mr. Steadman, since he seemed to imply he would be doing some when he talked on this episode).
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2. Board Game: 1830: Railways & Robber Barons [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:110]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Episode 151. Top 10 Train Games.

Nice of Tom to bring in Jeff E. for this top 10 list of mostly games that Tom doesn't play. Co-host pro tem, Ben didn't get much Mic time, but I look forward to seeing what he does next episode.

I'll get to the Train games in a second, but first a few other highlights of the show.

The Spiel des Jahres award was discussed, and Dominion was the winner. I agree with Tom that based on previous SdJ winners this was something of a surprise. I don't agree with Tom that Dominion is a particularly complex game, but I just don't see it as being the kind of family that SdJ normally represents.

I know there are a lot of haters of Dominion, but I enjoy the game, and I think it does have a good balance of strategy and tactics, while providing a somewhat restricted set of choices. I don't think it's the perfect game and sometimes I just don't feel like playing it, but when I get the mood for it and play, I always have fun with it.

Train games were the focus of the show, although I didn't get the feeling that they were. The top ten list was somewhat predictable to me based on my overwhelming knowledge of train games. (Note: I have never played a train game, except for a brief solo game of Steam and 18AL to teach myself the rules. Sadly neither one has made the table yet because I need more than just me and my wife to play, and most of my gamer friends probably won't buy into the theme, while my family members probably won't be excited about the mechanics, especially 18XX)

I have paid attention to the different train games and I feel like 18XX is where I really want to go, with Steam/Age of Steam as the area that is second most interesting. Ticket to ride doesn't really interest me, although I wouldn't refuse to play if someone else had the game and asked me to join in.

18XX interests me because of the economic aspects. I am a amateur investor and I follow stocks and options, so I am interested in this as a micro simulation, but also for the "dog-eat-dog" aspects of investing/investment games.

Have to mention Crayon Rails. These games are somewhat interesting, but the components are a big turnoff. I just can't get past my mental block about how chintzy these look. I will have to try one at some point to see if the game draws me in enough to get over this problem, but for now I can find other games to play that don't bother me as much.
 
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3. Board Game: Steam [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:53]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Episode 152. Top 10 Games Played at Origins

So there is this guy that is the self styled "Ameritrash King" or something like that (Steve Weeks). In his segment he was taking some kind of political sniping shot at Skeletor or something like that, which was kind of weird. Tom did make a comment after his review that he should use his time to talk about games. Hopefully this political conflict stuff doesn't get into The Dice Tower. He talked about Star Wars Risk (original trilogy) but he didn't cover much besides that it's Risk, but can take less time than normal Risk. Not sure I would have much to say about a themed Risk either though.

Joe Steadman is back! He talked about Battlestar Galactica. I had a feeling he would like the game, since there is lots of treachery and mistrust, which seem to be his bread and butter (in games).

There was a talk about Dice Town, which seems like a neat game. I like the idea of games that incorporate poker hands. No logical reason for this.

Twilight Struggle was re-released with the upgraded board. Glad I didn't buy it when it was the cheap map.

One of the contributors went out on a limb and spoke against the mighty Tom Vasel (jk) when he trashed Timber Tom. It sounded a bit wonky, so I am not surprised it wasn't universally loved.

Steam v. Age of Steam has been mentioned several times on the last 3 episodes. I know Tom prefers Steam, but seems like many prefer Age of Steam. I already bought Steam on Tom's recommendation, but since I haven't been able to play it yet, and I haven't played Age of Steam, this is still up in the air for me. Tom hasn't led me wrong in the past though, and I think Steam is more likely to go over well with non-gamers, which is probably who I will end up playing it with, so I guess it's all good.
 
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4. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Episode 153. Dice Tower Awards 2008

This episode includes contributor presentations of the Dice Tower Awards for 2008.

Dominion wins both the new Designer Award and game of the year. I am not going to toot my Dominion horn any more, but clearly the game caught people's attention with it's innovative mechanic, despite not winning the innovation award.

Space Alert did win the category for most innovative new game. This game seems to have lost favor in general in a bigger way than Dominion, even though Vlaada Chvatil has become a household name in board gaming with the much loved/hated Dungeon Lords/Petz, Mage Knight, and other recent releases.

Best Art was won by Battlestar Galactica, and I am a bit skeptical. Sure, layout is important, as is look and feel, and I am glad the game fits with people's idea of the feel of the show, but I would like to have seen a game with some drawings/paintings win this award compared to just one with good graphic design. I also wonder how much of the layout was designer driven vs. art team driven. I say this not to malign the art team. I think FFG produces great looking games and the art designers are clearly doing great work, I just don't know whether rating the way that information is represented in the game (e.g. minis vs counters/dials) is rating "art" vs. design (although that's a thin line anyway).

I don't know which game I would have chosen for best Art. I do think that Space Alert has an interesting cover, but not having played it, I haven't really looked at the other components.

I don't know anything about the dog sled game that won best small publisher. If Tom reviewed it at some point I must have snoozed through that video. It sounds interesting, but I am not a big fan of racing games, and I think if I was going to get one, it would be Formula D, which also won best reprint.

By the way, Time's Up Title Recall is not an expansion. If anything it is a re-release of the game. Dominion: Intrigue is an expansion though. I have no reason for going one way on the first and the other way on the latter, but they are what they are.

Edit: Dog sled game = Snow Tails. Didn't want to mistreat the game by not even naming it when it won an award.
 
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5. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:9610]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Episode 154. Top Ten Parker Brothers Games

The Steam v. Age of Steam debate got another contribution this episode, when Greg Schlosser threw his 2 cents in for Age of Steam. Seems like the hardcore gamers seem to prefer Age of Steam over Steam.

I am interested in hearing from people who have played both Age of Steam and the advanced rules version of Steam, as to which one they like better, what the differences are, etc. I am sure this is somewhere on the geek, but I am busy writing this stuff during my break at work so I don't have time to browse for it. Feedback appreciated.

Arctic Scavengers is mentioned, but it is not suggested that this game is an attempt to quickly capitalize off of the deck-building mechanic created by Dominion. Perhaps it's the cautious optimism of the Dice Tower that limited such remarks, but in retrospect it seems like AS was probably an attempt to be the "first-next" deckbuilder in hopes of grabbing some of the cash flowing like milk and honey into the coffers of Donald X, considering the questionable production values and seeming lack of enough playtesting.

Tom mentioned Defenders of the Realm in this episode, and that is a game I have not played, partially because of difficulty getting it to the table with my group, but also because of the hefty price tag. I already have a crapload of Arkham Horror expansions, and I am not sure I need another epic cooperative game. Maybe if I get Shadows Over Camelot and get some of my friends into it, I will venture to get DotR, but who knows when that will be.

Parker Brothers games. Not that exciting to me. Monopoly is okay if (as stated in the episode by both Tom and Eric), it is played by the rules. It's still too long and I feel like I exhausted the strategy choices in the game by the time I was 12.

Mastermind. One word: Boring.

Game of Things is a fun party game with the right group. Say anything might be a little more streamlined and very similar, but I think the game of Things is a good substitute if you can't find Say Anything or are at someone's house that doesn't have any hobby games but has the game of Things.

Risk, it's not as bad as Tom says it is, but I have no reason to play it unless someone really wants to play it with me. (And that will be after I try getting them to play War of the Ring or Twilight Struggle instead)
 
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6. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.21 Overall Rank:219]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Episode 155. Top 10 Filler Games

Lots to talk about here... here we go...

Joe Steadman brags about how his wife plays war games with him, and provides us some useful and some "humorous" ways to get our wives into war games. I immediately thought of Twlight Struggle as a good transition from Euro Games to war games, although personally that's about as far as I would go into war gaming at this point, although I have a feeling I will start playing war games some day...

Sam Healey talked about playing Shadows Over Camelot and Say Anything with the church group, and it gives me a good feeling about introducing Shadows to people I know who are not as into gaming since he got a good reception from people he essentially just met who had mixed backgrounds as far as their gaming knowledge and interest.

Ryan Sturm talked about winning the Age of Empires III tourney. Was this his first appearance on the Dice Tower? I think so. Also, I am wondering when How to Play got started and if Ryan did anything in terms of pod/video casting before that.

Interesting that there was a "Grudge Match" between Formula D and Snow Tails after I just discussed that my preference would be Formula D. Snow Tails does sound interesting, but I just don't know if I can get that excited about a dog sled race, and Tom's characterization of the game as unforgiving made me wonder if this is the kind of thing for family game night, whereas Formula D seems like a great candidate to play with the family.

I would talk about Middle-Earth Quest but I am going longer than normal, so I will get back to it later when it's mentioned on an episode with less stuff I am interested in.

This is not the first mention of the "Cult of the New" label being slapped on the Dice Tower, but seems like the beginning of Tom's effort to incorporate discussion of older games from time to time.

The game discussed was Amun-Re, and it sounds quite interseting. I have heard of it before, but something about this review has convinced me I need to give it a look.

Fairy Tale sounds like a fun game. I am not sure you can get it anywhere these days, but I like card drafting and I may pick it up, unless someone thinks something like 7 Wonders does the job better.

I had no idea that Relationship Tightrope might be a decent game. From the name I assummed it was something like Battle of the Sexes which is a terrible trivia game and not fun in any way. I might have to pick up a cheap copy of this.

Another game I haven't tried to get but kind of assummed is OOP is Zendo. This is going on my wishlist, provided it's something that can be obtained for a decent price.

For Sale seems like a game I need to pick up at some point, but I have too many other games I want to get in the near future. Maybe someday...

I am interested in Pitch Car, but after hearing that it is bulky and heavy, I am not as excited about it, as I have limited space to store games and set them up to play. Not sure if I would like a mini variant either as I am a larger person and don't really like small gaming components, such as small cards ("hobbit cards" as one Dice Tower contributor put it) or the tiny counters in Through the Ages.
 
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7. Board Game: The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo Attacks Townsville Game [Average Rating:6.22 Overall Rank:7157]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Episode 156 – Top 10 Enemies of Gaming

Tom was talking about 18EZ at the beginning of the show and stated that if 18EZ was the easy version of 18XX, then that is as far as he wants to go with 18XX. I am not sure why Tom shys away from these games so much. The rules don't seem overly complicated to me, although there are quite a few things to remember (this is based on my read and test play through of 18AL, which might be the easiest of the 18XX games for all I know).

I plan to attend a learning game of 18XX at Origins this year, so I guess I will find out if my initial impression of the rules is underestimating them.

I didn't know the Ares Project was made by Geoff and his son, Brian (just learned how to spell Geoff's first name so I won't try their last. I enjoyed the segment talking about creating the game together.

Top Ten Lists got positive comments from virtually everyone who sent Tom feedback. Great, I love the top ten lists. Tom, I will break the mold and say that I don't think you will ever run out of ideas for Top Ten Lists!

Tom mentioned mixed reactions to the humor segments. I like most of the humor segments, even the ones that are not laugh out loud funny (although some are, at least for me). From a recent episode, Tom was mentioning that they rarely do the humor segments anymore, and I am hoping this is from lack of good ideas and not lots of hate mail. Games are supposed to be fun, and a show about games needs some humor to remind us that a hobby should be about enjoying yourself, and not be an end in itself.

Moritz got rid of the “Star of the Show” intro. I did laugh out loud the first time I heard it. That's that.

Arima... game on a chess board with rabbits and elephants... maybe save this for a rainy day.

I haven't mentioned Eric much yet, but I observed again another example of how different he is from Joe or Sam. Eric had a “Neener, Neener” moment where he was saying he did better than Tom at something, but he followed it with “which is nice because normally that's not the case”. Class Act.

Attika Eric likes it, Tom hates it. I can't play a game Tom absolutely hates, unless I do.

Giles talked about games where you never have enough time to do everything you want to do, which is pretty much all strategy games. There comes a point in a strategy games where you have to move from setting up your strategy to putting it into practice. Failure to find this point can result in a game where you do a lot, and accomplish little. I think experience helps somewhat, but to a certain extent you just need to control yourself. You only need to win by 1 point after all (in most games) so the key to having enough time is not to play for “overkill” when there is a chance you won't even achieve “kill”.

Mark Z's theme song sung by him was amusing.

Top 10 Enemies of Gaming was interesting. I expected a different sort of top ten entirely, but this was better than what I expected. Eric admits his love for all things PowerPuff Girls, or at least an inclination towards such, possibly for the first time on this episode.
 
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8. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:742]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Episode 157. Top 10 Deduction Games

Sam Healey talked about Revolution. Might be the first Steve Jackson game I pick up outside of GURPS. I like games where you are trying to influence different characters or groups to help you complete your goals, so this one sounds like a good fit for me, especially the secret bidding, which I do like as a mechanic, although the alternate rules might be a good thing if too many players are ending up with a negative play experience due to not winning any bids.

Railways of the World was discussed. I have avoided this, due to the fact that I already have Steam, and that it has a giant board. I like that Steam retains the "jockeying for position" found in Age of Steam, even if it is not as cutthroat about it, so I don't think Railroad Tycoon/of the World is for me, despite pretty plastic pieces.

Not sure on spelling but Swartz Arbeit, a game about game designers hiring people to work illegally for them on the weekends and trying to turn each other in to the feds... Apparently there is some kind of shady subculture behind the game design industry, or this is some kind of weird inside joke. This is my winner for weirdest theme of all time (even beating the one about running outhouses).

Mastermind is still boring, but Gametech talked about np problems among other math I know enough about to be dangerous with my background in Computer Science. Interesting stuff to read about even though most of it is well over my head.

With Tom's new reputation as the Curmudgeon, he had to pan two of Eric's Top 10 list choices to keep up this new reputation.

Mr. Jack always sounded a bit boring to me, and Tom has confirmed it. Although he loves Letters from Whitechapel, which sounds very similar to me...

Timbuktu, I don't know anything about the game, but Timbuktu makes me think of exotic, far away places, that I have no interest in whatsoever. Sounds boring to me too.

Moritz mentioned Here I Stand (argh! Flashback to the Bay of Biscay incident!). That's one gaming horror story that still makes me cringe. I am a big fan and would love to play a game of Here I stand with Moritz, but only if we use someone else's copy...

There was a discussion of the best number of players. I think the best number is, as many as possible. You can always split into two or more groups if it comes to that. I do wish there were some more party games that supported really big groups well for situations where everyone wants to play together though.


I am adding these as lists (for me to refer back to if nothing else) of games mentioned in the show that I now want to check out (and some I might get around to checking out some day).

Want to check out: Revolution, Bang, Shadow Hunters (Good, Evil, Neutral)
Maybe: Sleuth, Mystery of the Abbey

 
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9. Board Game: Wits & Wagers [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:367]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Episode 158. Top 10 Party Games

Another mention of 18XX as Tom plays 18EZ for the first time. Tom confirms his theory that 18XX is a very deep game, possibly too deep for his tastes. I am wondering how likely it is that I will find this game less troubling than Tom when I finally get to play. Still planning to try out 18XX as soon as the opportunity presents itself though.

Giles talked about giving the author of the game credit. I agree their name should be on the box. It says a lot about the faceless corporate machine that are the mass market game companies that they don't credit the designers (unless of course it's Reiner Knizia or someone else they think they can increase sales by using their name). I am all for making money and I think those companies should run their businesses as they see fit. I just think credit where credit is due is a good policy.

The most important point Giles made, as far as I am concerned, is that having the designer's name at least gives you some idea whether you might like the game. Conversely, if you don't like a game you buy by your "favorite" designer, you might scrutinize future games from that designer more carefully. Good for you, bad for the person trying to sell you the game. This might be why the mass market game dealers avoid using their Ghost Designers' names on the cover.

Tom mentioned laws levying fines for people who write reviews and don't disclose if they received promotional considerations from a manufacturer. What a joke in a country with freedom of speech (I am assuming this was a US/European/Free Asian Countries law, if it was from a non-free country, I apologize). Sure I would like to know if someone is a paid shill for a product, but this law is both difficult to enforce, puts words in people's mouths, and may be misleading. Ultimately a review is an opinion. A person gives it, and we are free to take it to heart or ignore it. No one should assume they know the reason a person has an opinion, or force them to reveal their potential motivations for promoting or trashing a game/movie/whatever, when a line can not be clearly drawn between influences and decisions. That is, until we develop the mind reading device or make an alliance with planet Betazed.

The Showdown (Grudge Match) was between Descent and Doom. Thematically the games seem different to me, and having played neither, and based on what was presented here and in previous episodes, I would be more likely to play Descent. After all, Sam and Tom didn't seem quite as enamored with Doom, talking about it in virtually every episode, like they did with Descent.

Nice evocative imagery from Giles of the Powdered Elf and Oiled Barbarian from Descent. Giles did go a bit off his rocker during this segment, but it was amusing.

Wow, it feels like I am going on and on, so now I will present the remainder of the credits er viewpoints in an entirely different format, and at high speed.

Wits and Wagers.Good.What Were You Thinking.Need to Try.Things.Fun.Bye.
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10. Board Game: Marvin Marvel's Marvelous Marble Machine [Average Rating:6.34 Overall Rank:6068]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Episode 159 - Top 10 gimmicks in games

Eric reviewed The Princes of Machu Picchu. Eric seemed enthusiastic about the game, but I have heard Tom talk about this game before and I was not surprised when he labeled the game as boring, with a pasted on theme lacking rhyme or reason.

Age of Conan was mentioned. It was mentioned that the game had a poor rule book, but was a decent game if you could work your way through the rules. I am not interested in a Conan game, really, but I know some people are so I mention it.

Sam talked about the Pegasus Expansion. He seemed to really love the expansion. I have heard from a few of the contributors that they also loved the expansion, but Tom hadn't played it at the time and I think this is one that he still thinks is something we can live without. Not sure of his views on the other expansions though.

Moritz talked about the cool sounding (but I suspect not as good as it sounds) game: Ambush. This is the solitaire game of squad based tactical command. If I ever decide to get into heavier war games, I will probably pick this up to start to get an idea what these heavier tactical simulations have in store for me. Provided I can find a copy.

Aslock was mentioned by Joe and Mark. ASL 24/7 for who knows how many days... not really my cup of tea... that I yet know of...

Marvin Marble's Marvelous Marble Machine was mentioned as a gimmicky game. I don't care about the game itself, but it had a great title.

Tom mentioned Niagara as being a waste of a good concept. Personally I don't want any game where the box is part of the game (sorry, Cleopatra and the Society of Architects). It just looks too crappy to get me excited about the game. Personally I think the game looks bad in general and it has had a lukewarm reception from virtually every reviewer I care about. Meh.

Wallenstein seems like a game with a gimmick that adds to the game in it's cube tower. For those who don't know of it, because they are very new to board games or have been living under a rock: you throw cubes of your and someone else's color in, some get trapped, ones from earlier might get untrapped, the cubes that come out survived the battle. It's a neat game and has a reprint coming out that I have been looking at, especially since the last reprint, Shogun, was said to have a less playable map (due to the narrowness of Japan vs. Germany).
 
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11. Board Game: Descent: The Road to Legend [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.05 Unranked]
Joseph Wisniewski
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Nebraska
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Dice Tower Musings Episodes 1-8

Well, as I have mentioned, I listen to these old podcasts at work, and I don't always have time to take a break and write these quick segments. I am getting hopelessly behind on covering episodes, so I decided to listen to the old "Dice Tower Musings" instead of new episodes yesterday, and cover them all in a brief entry.

I liked Tom's music choices to break up the different segments. It gave it a very relaxed feel, compared to the upbeat and energetic music on the normal podcast. Nice contrast for this much more laid back offering.

Tom talked at one point about his daughter, Amy, falling off a ladder, and how he immediately dropped what he was doing and was focused on family, with no thought to games. He followed with a discussion about how family always comes first for him, and that when the important stuff happens, gaming is the last thing we should worry about. I agree with him on this, and found this to almost be like a non-religious sermon for gamers(although that could just be because Tom is a Pastor and I am stereotyping). I know Tom wasn't trying to give a sermon, but I felt it was a good thing to hear, and something everyone needs to be reminded of from time to time.

Tom interviewed the guy who does the Mensa game awards, and it seems like the Mensa process of having members play the games and vote is a good way to determine who gets the awards (certainly better than those lousy Origins awards, voted on by people who never played most of the games). The unfortunate parts about the awards are that publishers have to actively pursue the awards, which I assume has some costs, and that they don't have time to play a bunch of longer games. Games like Twilight Struggle would likely be quite intriguing to the Mensa gamers, so hopefully they are finding these games on their own and not just playing the games submitted to Mensa.

When Tom says tournament, I am convinced he is from New England.

Tom both does a preview of Origins 2008 and a post show review. I am planning on going to Origins this year, so I have gotten a glimpse of the past, and hopefully the show is still as fun as it was back then, although I know many things have changed over the years.

Want to check out: Key Largo, Krakow 1325 AD
 
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12. Board Game: Climate Game [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
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This is not about a specific episode, but does anyone notice that Tom and the other hosts usually say things are climatic, or anti-climatic instead of climactic or anti-climactic. Maybe this is a hearing problem on my part, but I don't think I am wrong.

Well the Climate Game is climatic, and I am not too excited about anti-climatic games. I think weather is important, and a very serious subject, and I don't want games that are about getting rid of the weather.

Thanks.
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13. Board Game: Junta: Viva el Presidente! [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:1587]
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
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1...2...skip a few...208

Episode 208

A review was done of Junta Viva El Presidente. This game seems like a very fun little game, and I have heard it streamlines the original game nicely, while retaining the core mechanic. I like the idea of a game where you have to try to placate the other players to get them on your side. It seems like an interesting diplomatic simulation.

One topic that was disccussed was CCG cost vs Living Card Game cost. This missed the mark for me. The game treated as a Living Card Game was Dominion. I don't classify Dominion as a living card game. Sure it does have some similarities, but I think if you are going to use Fantasy Flight's term of "Living Card Game" there should at least be some discussion of the LCG's released by fantasy flight. Hopefully this is rectified in a later episode.

Mark & kidz talked about Pokemon. I am impressed again by how articulate Mark's kids are for their ages. I think Pokemon is a decent game to teach kids CCG's, I am just not sure whether teaching kids CCG's is a good thing. I guess it's also a good time to teach them about the economics of hobbies, and how you have to be careful not to let your hobby budget increase at the cost of something more important.

Surfz up dude sounds like a boring game. I will pass on this one.

The reprints of Robo Rally were discussed. This is a depressing topic for me. I have avoided buying the newer American edition of RR, and I am afraid I won't be able to find an original edition or German edition in a price range I can stomach. I'll just have to find someone who has it and wants to play if I feel the need for some chaotic robotic fun.
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14. Board Game: Lord of the Rings [Average Rating:6.82 Overall Rank:497]
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
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Episode 218

Tom goes off about how games are "just games", and he doesn't really care if someone spills something on his games.

Yes, they are just games, but they are mine, I want to keep them nice, and still be able to play them without shelling out cash to get new ones.

Besides they are my precciiouus... (Hence the Lord of the Rings... yep)
 
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15. Board Game: 7 Wonders [Average Rating:7.88 Overall Rank:19]
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
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Episode 219 - (Woot, two consecutive episodes covered)

Dice Tower Awards

Well, 7 Wonders won the award for best art, and the award for best game. I still haven't played the game because I don't think it plays with 2 or doesn't play well, and I try not to get games that don't play with less than 3 unless they are so good I need to get them anyway.

I have seen mixed reviews of 7 Wonders, and I am wondering if the people who voted for it in the 2010 Dice Tower Awards (or 2011, or whatever, the awards for games from 2010) are still as enamored with this game as they were back then, and whether the expansions have been valuable additions to the game.

Alien Frontiers was also prominently featured. It's another game I haven't played. I haven't even seen a copy of it actually. No one around here has it, that I know of, and I don't see it in stores. Maybe I will order it at some point, although I wonder if the bloom is off the rose on this one as well... based on some things I have read.

Wits and Wagers family won best Party Game, and I was questioning this somewhat since it's a sequel and seems like it's not as good for all adult/older kids groups.

Dust Tactics won some award, maybe best components. Makes sense as those components look sweet, although this isn't really my style of game.

Labyrinth: The War on Terror won best war game. I am sure this made some of the die hard wargamers mad since it doesn't sound like a traditional war game. I am just not interested in playing a simulation of the "War on Terror" so it's meh for me. I will stick to Twilight Struggle if I want a global scope "warish" game.

Forbidden Island was best family game. I have thought about getting this but I don't know when I would really play it. It seems too "middle of the road" for me. I would prefer it either lighter so I can play it with anyone, or heavier so it's something I can play with gamers. Granted I haven't played it, so this is just based on a review I watched a long time ago. I might get it, maybe.... I dunno.

Rest of awards not that memorable... to me.

I think it is interesting at this point Tom is still saying how 2011 is looking like one of the best years for games in a long time. I seem to remember from listening to the nice Dice Tower awards from the following year that he felt it was a good year, but maybe not that good, but that many others (such as Ryan Sturm) were doom and gloom about the year as a whole. It will be interested to see how Tom's views change over the remainder of the years episodes.

 
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16. Board Game: Dominion: Prosperity [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.36 Unranked]
 
Joseph Wisniewski
United States
Nebraska
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Episode 221 - Expansionpalooza

Yep expansions are Neat. Ryan Sturm seems to try not to like things that other people like such as expansions (and Power Grid. Quidditch is terrible though, I thought the rules were stupid for exactly the reason Ryan mentions (in a previous episode that I didn't cover, I know I am cheating...))

I like expansions, but my personal preference seems to be that less is better than more. One new facet added to a game is interesting, two is often too many. Exceptions: Dominion, where expansions mainly add variety (I am sure Ryan doesn't like Dominion, it's too popular for his tastes), Arkham Horror: okay I just have a personal compulsion to buy every AH expansion, which is probably a mental illness of some kind, but hey the game is about insanity so it fits.
 
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