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July 15, 2019 @ 10:38 pm

Ep 54: Vital Lacerda

Vital Lacerda is one of the most significant eurogame designers of the last decade, delivering consistently high quality complex games others can rarely match. In this episode Orion and Marc go through each of Lacerda's games chronologically, evaluating them individually and as part of a larger body of work. What design aspects stand out as particularly "Lacerdian"? What trends have emerged in recent games, and what do we predict for the future?

2:48 - Vinhos
17:33 - CO2
27:34 - Kanban
33:56 - The Gallerist
48:40 - Lisboa
55:50 - Escape Plan
1:07:56 - Tangent about some sci-fi book
1:13:00 - Design consistencies

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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June 19, 2019 @ 11:03 pm

Ep 53: Magic the Gathering

Marc and Matt have started playing Magic again, so they're going to talk about the game itself, its impact in the gaming community, and the new online implementation -- "Arena".

2:15 - MtG as a game
21:18 - MtG as a drafting game
26:42 - Theme
46:28 - MtG as an institution
1:00:59 - MtG Arena

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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June 1, 2019 @ 1:00 am

Ep 52: A Journey Into 18xx

We've finally taken the plunge into 18xx train games, and guess what? They're awesome! Marc and Orion talk about what makes a game an 18xx game, what the appeal is, and some of their favorite experiences yet.

1:14 - It's not that intimidating, we promise
3:07 - Overview and history of 18xx
7:04 - Fundamental principles of 18xx
14:24 - Brutal indirect conflict
17:51 - Two design philosophies/emphases in different 18xx games -- operational and financial
27:19 - Why having friends is good
28:32 - Emergent strategic exploration
35:48 - 18xx as narrative-creating experiences
50:08 - Barriers to getting into 18xx
57:16 - Amina the cat voices her opinions

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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May 21, 2019 @ 3:11 pm

Ep 51: Best (And Worst) of 2018

I arbitrarily set a deadline for declaring the best games of 2018, and now is that time. I haven't played all of the games from last year that I wanted to, but I did play a good number, and these are my favorites. It's kind of a weird list! I think I was a bit anti-popular opinion this year, so if you want some eclectic choices, here you go. As usual, Matt and Orion join in with their comments and mockery. Don't look at the timestamps if you want to avoid SPOILERS.

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5:58 - Reprints of Note
7:49 - #10: Hardback
8:46 - #9: Dr. Esker's Notebook
9:38 - #8: Teotihuacan
11:14 - #7: Passtally
12:39 - #6: Decrypto
15:32 - #5: Coimbra
19:35 - #4: Gugong
23:58 - #3: Let's Make a Bus Route
27:21 - #2: Sprawlopolis
31:09 - #1: 1822CA
37:29 - Games we played the most in 2018
38:55 - Games of note for Orion and Matt
42:20 - A spectacularly bad idea is developed
44:47 - Most disappointing 2018 games
51:51 - Notable new-to-us games of 2018
55:13 - Memories

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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May 15, 2019 @ 6:53 pm

A Conversation With Cassie Friedman And Dan Letzring About “Matryoshka”

Matryoshka is available on Kickstarter right now! 

I sit down with Cassie and Dan to talk about Matryoshka, a trading and bluffing card game about those Russian nesting dolls I didn't know the name of until I heard about this game. It's the first of hopefully many localization projects Cassie is organizing for Letiman Games. Their enthusiasm is infectious as they talk about this project, some of the rad art they've commissioned, and what's in store for the future of Letiman. I even pitch my own idea for a game that needs a North American printing, because I'm shameless like that.

Click to see more about Letiman Games and Cassie

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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May 7, 2019 @ 5:44 pm

Book Discussion: The Three Body Problem Part 3: Death’s End

We're back talking about books! After navigating schedules, we've finally managed to reconvene to talk about the third and final installment of the Three Body Problem series: Death's End. The scope of this book is truly immense, even as the main themes distill and come to a head. Remember, there are full spoilers here, so we recommend you read these fantastic books first.

1:41 - An unusual beginning
9:22 - The swordholder and the male/female metaphor
16:24 - Post-deterrence and 4D chess
21:42 - Fairy tales
25:44 - c
28:48 - Bunkering down
32:24 - The museum
34:21 - The final decision
42:08 - Circling back to the beginning

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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April 26, 2019 @ 8:07 pm

Ep 50: Granite Game Summit 2019 - Die Macher, Wingspan, And More!

G2S is a great weekend of gaming for those in the New England area. Marc and Orion attended this year and we're here to tell you all about it. We've got ugly games, beautiful games, and aesthetically controversial games. Also, Matt's not here so we get to briefly mention a sport superior to hockey. But mostly games still, don't worry.

2:04 - The Bloody Inn
4:49 - Let's Make A Bus Route
9:54 - Sidereal Confluence
19:29 - Die Macher
35:19 - Glory To Rome
37:27 - Wingspan
45:10 - Gaia Project

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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April 4, 2019 @ 10:15 am

Ep 49: PAX East 2019

We played a whole bunch of new games at PAX East and you're going to hear about them! Marc, Matt, and a SECOND Marc bring you the lowdown on every single one of them. This is a mega episode with some mega games (but not megagames, sadly). One of them is easily leading GOTY contention for 2019. We've got euros, we've got dexterity games, we've got train games, and one that kinda looks like a children's construction set. Don't even get me started on Trollfjord.

Spoilers below if you don't want to know our rankings.

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3:07 - MtG Sealed
9:50 - Video Game Highlight: Lemnis Gate
11:26 - #17: Blood on the Clocktower
18:45 - #16: Ceylon
21:08 - #15: Solenia
23:47 - #14: Trollfjord
30:36 - Dexterity Game Interlude
37:20 - #13: Majolica (introduction)
38:19 - #12: The Climbers
43:12 - #11: The Quest For El Dorado
49:36 - #10: Passtally
53:50 - #9: Welcome To...
1:01:11 - #8: Noctiluca (and more Majolica)
1:09:17 - #7: Symphony #9
1:16:30 - #6: 1906 San Francisco
1:21:26 - #5: Coimbra
1:30:03 - #4: Arboretum
1:33:18 - #3: Irish Gauge
1:40:15 - #2: Pax Pamir
1:49:45 - #1: Pipeline

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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March 18, 2019 @ 11:35 am

Ep 48: Small-ish 2 Player Games

Orion and Marc talk about some of the 2 player games they've been playing recently. There's a good mix of popular and obscure, good and bad here. What makes a great 2 player experience, and what are some of the dynamics created when you make a 2 player game vs. a multiplayer game? Also, Marc rants for a bit.

1:25 - Broader themes with 2p games
7:53 - 7 Wonders Duel
15:50 - Hanamikoji
22:29 - Anthelion
26:29 - Master Of Wills
29:39 - IT'S TANGENT TIME!
36:13 - Targi
46:56 - Innovation
58:24 - 13 Days
1:04:44 - Dual Powers
1:09:37 - Keyforge

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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February 23, 2019 @ 4:27 am

A Conversation With Adam Rehberg About “Thrive”

NOTE: The Kickstarter date for Thrive has been pushed back to March 5th instead of February 26th as mentioned in the audio.

I sit down with Adam Rehberg to discuss the upcoming abstract game Thrive where the pieces adapt and grow stronger as the game progresses. I also ask him about his start with modern board gaming and becoming a designer and publisher. Thrive will be up on Kickstarter on March 5th. 

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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