Podcasts

For the win (Topic Discussion)

There are so-called “race” games, where the first player to fulfil certain winning conditions takes the victory and the game ends immediately. These games differ from other games where you play so many rounds and whoever has the most points at the end wins. Most race games are highly competitive and it’s every player for themselves, but in some of these types of games, the situation is a bit more complicated. In this article, I want to look at race games where positive player interaction is a thing.

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Oath: Chronicles of Empire and Exile (Saturday Review)

As the Chancellor, I had the people on my side. The Empire was going to thrive and grow and be beautiful. Yet, there were rumours of Exiles stirring in the Provinces and Hinterland, trying their best to claw back control. They were two visionaries, one stomping through the regions, using brute force to exert their influence and letting the wolves lose on anyone who would get in their way, while the other was biding their time in the Salt Flats, enlisting the help of witches and unnatural powers, trying to glean secrets and waiting for the right moment to strike. Both were intent on taking over the Empire, because they both had sworn an Oath by Cole Wehrle from Leder Games.

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Zenobia Award (Topic Discussion)

I think something that many of us in the hobby feel very bad about, are the many board games that are set against historic events, but that make no attempt to respectfully represent what happened and often sweep under the carpet the atrocities that were committed during the time that the games are set. So it’s very refreshing to see people come together to create an award that tries to redress the situation and encourages the creation of historical games designed by people from marginalized groups. The hope is that these games will be much more representative, respectful and diverse. That’s the Zenobia Award.

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Fluttering Souls (Saturday Review)

Takahama was dying. We were tending to him and tried to make him as comfortable as possible. The windows were wide open and a warm breeze filled the room. Takahama was muttering about how he was too ill to visit his love Akiko’s grave and how she would miss the white rose he brought her every day. We told him that he would visit again as soon as he was better, when suddenly, a pure white butterfly flew in through one of the windows and landed on his pillow. We tried to shoo it away, but to no avail. The butterfly would keep coming back, so we relented and allowed it to stay. Takahama looked at the butterfly, smiled and then his final breath left his lungs, as he died in peace. The butterfly saw this, lifted off the pillow and flew out of one of the windows. We didn’t know this at the time, but it flew all the way to Akiko’s grave and when it landed, it disappeared. The butterfly was one of the Fluttering Souls by Joel Lewis from Good Games Publishing.

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All tied up (Topic Discussion)

Someone once said that board games are basically just a framework to arbitrate a victor. Even though that sounds quite cold, at its heart, it describes how many of us, especially competitive players, feel about board games. There needs to be someone at the end of the game who has won. The emphasis here is on the singular victor rather than winning as a team. In this article, I want to look at what it means not to have a single victor.

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Golems (Saturday Review)

There was darkness everywhere. The surface of the Earth was empty and cold. There was no noise, nothing stirred or moved. It was an arid place, void of everything – a blank canvas – but you would change all that. You would command the energies of the Earth and mould lifeless piles of mud into creatures that would populate the world. It was the time of the Golems by ThunderGryph Games.

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The Metaverse (Topic Discussion)

Learning a new game, playing it for the first time, probably with a few rules mistakes, then playing it again, now with a better understanding of how the game works, then playing it once more, after having formulated a rough strategy and feeling you know what the game wants from you is a lot of fun. We’ve all experienced this, I’m sure, but there is another level to playing games that only becomes apparent after several plays. It is what is often called the “meta” of a game.

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Rebis (Saturday Review)

“Bubble, bubble, my lovely potions,” you cackle gleefully as you carefully stir more solvents into the vial that’s slowly being heated over the Bunsen burner. The library you’re working in is full of old, musty smelling books full of alchemic knowledge, carefully annotated and added to by the many generations of scientists who have come before you. You can’t stop now. You’re so close. The light is fading but your candles still provide enough light. Then you hear the familiar voice of your housekeeper: “It’s time to stop now, Rebis” by Gaetano Cavallaro from Thundergryph Games.

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Carbon-neutral games (Topic Discussion)

With a climate catastrophe looming on the horizon, more and more people do what they can to try and turn things around or at least do their bit to slowly steer things in the right direction. The board game hobby is no different. More and more games now not only try and raise awareness of environmental issues, but the games themselves strive to be more environmentally friendly or even carbon-neutral. In this article, I want to highlight a handful of projects that do what they can to help the planet.

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Board game trailers (Topic Discussion)

We’re used to seeing epic movie-style trailers for video games. They feel like million-pound productions that were directed by a famous Hollywood director with a cast of blockbuster actors. Of course, these are all animated sequences, often showing in-game footage, which makes sense, because modern 3D video games look very realistic and are often set in an epic conflict of some sort. Board games are a bit different though, but because CGI and 3D animation have become so highly accessible these days, many crowdfunding campaigns and some board game marketing campaigns feature these amazing looking videos.

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