Month: October 2009

Quick Bites – The Spiel #87, Boardgame Babylon #71, The Durham 3 #66, Canon Puncture – Inspectres part 2


Ok, here some feedback/reviews that have been sitting around for a while.

First, Boardgame Babylon #71 – Interview with Tasty Minstrel Games.

I have been aware of Tasty Minstrel Games for a while now.  I remember an interview from GenCon ’08 with The Spiel I believe.  Anyway, Eric Burgess (of Boardgame Babylon) interviews Michael Mindes and Seth Jaffee about how Tasty got started, what they are doing, and where they are going.  It is an interesting interview on how to build a game company.  They discuss Terra Prime and Homesteaders, Tasty’s first two games which premiere at BGGCon this November.  The interview was fun and I learned some things should I ever want to start a gaming company.  As to the games, Terra Prime sounds a lot like Starfarers of Catan but I haven’t played it yet.  Homesteaders sounds pretty good too.  Lastly, they talked about upcoming games.  Of those there was one chemistry based game that sounded interesting.

Next up, The Spiel #87 – Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

This episode is about dice.  All kinds of dice and dice games are discussed.  First let me say that I like the music for News & Notes.  The Durham 3 also uses this.  What is it?  Also, the newish format of using bumpers between the segments is good.  Do I see Pulp Gamer’s influence here?  Last non-game thing – Pip is a very good name for a cat.

So what games did they talk about?  Dice Town by Asmodee was one.  It sounds like a hit.  It has been a while since I listened to the episode so I don’t remember any of the details about Dice Town.  But I did note that it sounded great.  I need to investigate this one more.   Next was Ra – The Dice Game.  I haven’t played Ra yet (shock!) so I have no point of reference for this game.  But from the way the guys talk about it, I don’t think I’ll pick this one up.  Truckloads of Goober contained Tumblin’ Dice.  I have heard good things about this dexterity game.  And Stephen and Dave continue the good words.  This one goes on the Buy List.    I want to mention the Spiel-a-thon and The Spiel Foundation.  Spiel-a-thon is the annual fundraiser for The Spiel Foundation.  The Spiel Foundation is the charity set up by The Spiel to provide quality games to children’s hospitals and senior centers.  I think this is a fantastic idea and more people should do something like this.  Perhaps an RPG version for the seniors.  Hmmm…

Canon Puncture Actual Play 9 – Inspectres part 2

I am a fledgling indie gamer/designer.  I have hung out on the fringes of the indie game community for about 2 years now.  I regularly visit Story Games and The Forge as well as a couple of other indie focused sites.  As a result I’ve become aware of a lot of very cool games, people, and podcasts.  The Durham 3 is/are one.  Canon Puncture is another and Inspectres is one of those legendary games.  Inspectres is described as a horror/comedy rpg.  From the AP it lives up to that reputation.  This is one that my group would like.  It goes on The Buy List.  The podcast itself is very funny.  The guys have quick wits and a lot of fun with each other.

Lastly, The Durham 3 – episode 66 – Frost Devils

The Durham 3 has a unique format – they introduce what they are going to play, go play it, then come back and report on the session.  I very much like this.  We get the fresh, just played comments and emotion that is in an actual play without all the boring parts. They also discuss mechanics and talk about what they liked and disliked about the games they play.  And how they might drift them.  The crew is made up of Clinton R. Nixon of The Shadow of Yesterday fame, Remi Treuer, one of the top playtesters around, Jason Morningstar of Grey Ranks and Shab-al-Hiri Roach fame, and Joel (whom I’ve met but don’t know exactly what he is famous for yet).  The guys are a lot of fun to listen to and I have learned a bit from them too.  They are all quite pleasant and intense in person and play also.

I’m actually going to go back and condense the preceding episodes and comment on them first.  They played Mouseguard.  It convinced me that I must own this game.  A very excellent sounding game that I can play with my children.  Top of the RPG Buy List.  Now episode 66 deals with their Dust Devils game.  Jason  is running the game and set it in late 1800’s Alaska for a twist.  From their reactions, the game was much fun.  There is some discussion of the mechanics and they sound very interesting.  I would like to play this game.  Part the next is on the way.

That’s all.

Go Forth and Game.

tomg

The Spiel – Episode 88 Small Press PowWow


The Spiel is one of the podcasts that I listen to regularly.  I enjoy listening to Stephen and Dave talk about games.  And I really like their show notes.  Lots of detail with links to the games and subjects discussed included.  Very impressive.  Here is feedback on Episode 88 – Small Press Powwow.

I really like the idea behind this episode.  Giving small press publishers some attention is great and is one of the things I hope to do with this blog.  More on that later.  The show covered several games – Kachina by Bucephalus Games, The Great Potlatch from Smal Box Games, Quackery by Tangent Games, and Captain Treasure Boots by Cheapass Games.

News and Notes discussed several games – Macao, Dungeon Lords, Jaipur, and Tobago.  Each is linked on the episode site if you are interested.  Of these up coming games, Dungeon Lords sounds the most interesting to me.  One – it has a fantasy theme.  I like fantasy.  And this game hits my GMing spot.  Check it out.  Tobago sounds fun too.  Treasure hunting in a jungle almost always catches my attention.  The guys do a good job of bringing these new games to our attention.  Also mentioned are the International Gamer Awards winners Le Havre and Day & Night.  While Le Havre sounds interesting the time frame most people are talking about with this game (3-4hours) is too much for me.   And I don’t think I could get anyone in my group to play it.  Day & Night has potential.  I like abstract strategy games.  Hive and the Gipf series are among my favorite games.  Day & Night is a game I need to look into more.

The List – First let me say that I like The List segment.  They go into a fair amount of detail on each game each episode.  I appreciate this.  Not many podcasts are spending this much time on the games they review.  So what came off the List this time – Kachina and The Great Potlatch.  Kachina is from Bucephalus Games.  The guys discuss Bucephalus and their track record so far a bit.  Then on to the game itself.  It’s theme is Native American mythos.   Stephen gives a good overview and some history of the theme.  I really like it when he does this.  I appreciate the extra time he takes to do this.  Keep it up Stephen.  The game has some interesting mechanics coupled to an entertaining theme.  This one goes on the Buy List.  Check it out.

Next up is The Great Potlatch.  Now, the name puts me off at first.  It does not sound appealing at all.  But after listening to their review I want to play this game.   Another Native American themed game – that’s cool.  Again Stephen gives us a good history lesson on the background of the theme.  It was interesting.  The Great Potlatch has a neat idea of multi-use cards.  The cards in the game can have multiple uses at various times during the game.  When to use them most effectively is one of the neat mechanics and leads to hard decisions.  I like that.  So, while it doesn’t make the Buy List yet, it does make the ‘I want to play this’ list.

The Backshelf Spotlight focused on one of the many Cheapass games – Captain Treasure Boots.  I haven’t played this one but it sounds like fun.  It’s your basic treasure hunt game with fighting.

Truckloads of Goober was about Cheapass Games again.  It went into their idea of you supply the game pieces – pawns, dice, etc..    This was a revolutionary idea at the time James Ernest started Cheapass.  So the guys talk about ways to enhance your games with things around the house or cannibalized from other games.    This reminded me of a Cheapass game that we own, Bitin’ Off Heads.  It’s a roll and move game of dinosaurs fighting to jump into the volcano first.  We use small plastic dinos with ours.  One of the guys mentioned school supply stores as a great place to get components.  I very much agree.  My wife works at the local homeschool store so we get lots of small doodads and erasers of various shapes and sizes.  Again there are dinosaurs ones, other types of animals, cars, lots of different types.  Lastly I was reminded of Run For Your Life Candyman, Smirk and Dagger’s game with the best component of all – actual gingerbread men.  And part of the game is eating them.  Sweet.

With the advent of print and play games, this is an economical way to buy/get games.  Speaking of print and play, you should head over to printandplay.blogspot.com.  Lots of cool games.

So that was Episode 88 – Small Press PowWow from The Spiel.

That is all for now.

Go Forth and Game.

tomg