With yesterday’s post about the Dice Tower, I have to now talk about my second (and probably more important to my style) blogging inspiration, Shut Up & Sit Down. You can even see the inspiration from them in the name of my blog, that irreverent tone which is just so fun to read or listen to. Though I guarantee I won’t make anybody laugh as hard as they make me laugh.
These guys do wonderful video board game reviews as well as written reviews. They have their own site with a very large fan community that is active in the forums there (I’m a proud member now). In fact, I have to give a shout-out to the community there as well, which is so welcoming and fun to discuss things with.
I had heard of Shut Up & Sit Down a few years ago, but didn’t really check them out until a few months ago when I was in search of videos to watch. And I was entranced, except when my sides were hurting from laughing so hard.
I do all of my podcast listening in the car to and from work, and sometimes at work. Since I was on vacation last week, I didn’t get a chance to listen to the 500th episode of the Dice Tower podcast when it came out.
I’m almost done with it now, and I have to say what a wonderful celebration of 500 episodes; what a sense of history that this provides, and what a lot of hard work that I’m sure has gone into making the podcast as good as it is.
The Dice Tower started in 2005, but I only started listening to it around episode #275 or so (I can’t quite remember). That was a little over four years ago. The only reason I remember even that closely is because it was early in my listening career that the whole “is Eric going to take over the podcast?” running joke culminated in episode #300.
Over those 4+ years, Tom Vasel, Eric Summerer, and the large number of contributors have made my commutes very pleasurable, listening to such knowledgeable people talking about one of my favourite topics: board games. I don’t get much of a chance to watch videos until recently, so the video channel didn’t do as much for me. But the podcast has been a mainstay, and one of the few podcasts that I never even considered culling when I started cutting down on the number of podcasts I listen to.
The 500th episode has been really neat, hearing all the history behind the podcast, the old clips that I had never heard before, so many of the ending-credits puns from Eric, and so much more.
I’m looking forward to the new direction the podcast takes, without the contributors and with some format changes. It will be interesting to see what Tom and Eric have come up with. Not that I minded the contributors. Some of them were quite good. But the format changes are intriguing.
Kudos to you, Tom, for starting this wonderful thing. And thank you to everybody who has contributed over the years for making the Dice Tower podcast what it is.
It’s even been one of the inspirations for me starting this blog.
I am greatly anticipating listening to episode #1000 in 12 more years.
Onirim is a solo/cooperative card game that I had never heard of before. You’re trapped in a dream world and you have to find the 8 doors that will let you out before your deck runs out.
This week, Asmodee Digital released the mobile version of the game for the initial price of $0.99 in the US store (it’s $1.39 CDN up here in the Great White North). The buzz for the game was so great, and the price point so low, that I had to try it out. It is only single-player in the app, which makes sense.
And it’s a fun game! I have been enjoying it so far.
The problem is that I can see it becoming a bit boring after a few tries. Ten, maybe twenty games (most of which I lose) and it could easily end up being in my “maybe play again one day” folder on my iPad.
I’m a big fan of deckbuilding card games, especially since Ascension was my introduction to the modern boardgaming scene.
There are a lot of deckbuilders out there, so many that newer ones need to have some sort of hook in order to draw me in. Some new mechanism, some additional stuff in addition to the cards themselves.
Arctic Scavengers is one of those games that just struck me hard when I first played it, forcing me to play it again because the concept was just so cool. The theme of it is outstanding because it’s relatively fresh; sure, it’s a post-apocalyptic survival game, but it’s about a never-ending winter instead of some lame zombies.
One of the great appeals of board games is the social aspect. You’re sitting around the table with a bunch of friends (or maybe not so much friends as “somebody from the group who I don’t know but who has agreed to play this game”), playing a game but also getting some social time in. You’re communicating with somebody who isn’t just something posted on your Facebook page.
There’s something to be said for physical contact (and by that I don’t mean just touching, but also inhabiting the same space as somebody and talking by using your mouth and not your keyboard).
But what happens if one of your gaming buddies moves across the continent? What if you have some friends on Boardgame Geek, but you’re in California and they’re in Great Britain?
That’s when gaming online can be such a godsend.
Castles of Burgundy, Takenoko, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and so many other games are available to be played online, either asynchronously or live.
(The Castles of Burgundy, in case you don’t read German and it’s not otherwise obvious)
March was actually a very good month for “new to me” games, and I even managed to hit three 2017 games in there!
The year is off to a good start.
Pretty much everything was light, filler stuff (which is never a bad thing for me), except for one game that’s fun, but a bit longer than it really needs to be.
Beginning with a stellar card game.
In yesterday’s Q&A, Bezier Games social media manager Phoebe Wild mentioned the Quantic Foundry boardgaming profile.
I had never heard of it, so I felt I had to check it out and see just what my profile is.
Not surprisingly, it’s quite a bit opposite of Phoebe’s (99% motivated by Strategy).
I do really enjoy the strategic element of games, and am greatly looking forward to sinking my teeth into a heavy strategy game this weekend.
But I do love my deck-building card games and dice games (Pandemic: the Cure is to die for), so my Chance rating really brought down my Strategy rating a great deal.
Interested in seeing what your profile is?
Why not take the test and find out?
In some of my social media postings, I have mentioned that Potion Explosion worked better for me in app form because it was too fiddly on the table.
This brings to mind something that I’ve thought about quite a bit.
What other board games have apps (either on iOS or Steam) that are preferable to playing the board game?
The crown jewel of that, for me, is Ascension. Deckbuilders in general work great as apps because you have no cards to wreck while shuffling and all of the shuffling/dealing is done for you. And you don’t have to put out more money for sleeves.
What’s not to like?
But there’s one game that I really think of when I think of board games that I have no interest in playing on the table but will easily play the electronic version.
That game is the Games Workshop classic, Talisman.
First, the app is just phenomenal and Nomad Games has done a marvelous job with it. They support it, put out plenty of bug fixes, and are working diligently at putting out all of the expansions. To date, they’ve released three of the big box expansions (expansions that add to the board) as well as four or five small box expansions (expansions that just add characters and cards).
This is the story of how I recently backed, and am greatly looking forward to, the new expansion for the game The Pursuit of Happiness. Called Community, it has a pledge level that allows you to get the base game as well.
I’m not normally a backer of Kickstarter board games. Hell, I think I’ve backed two video games and that’s it.
However, I’ve been recently rethinking that stance. I started playing some games that had originally been funded on Kickstarter and found that they were actually pretty cool games.
Then two things happened within hours of each other. First, I kept reading about how good this game was. I then was browsing the board game section of Kickstarter and found the Community expansion’s page there. I started thinking about it.
Then my friend and co-blogger wrote the great post about deciding what to crowdfund. The combination of those two things, plus a bit of heavy thinking, and suddenly I’m backing my first Kickstarter board game.
And I’m happy to do it.