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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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February 15, 2019 @ 5:02 pm

Ep 47: A Conversation With Elizabeth Hargrave

Who could have guessed that birds would be an exciting part of early 2019 among gamers? Elizabeth Hargrave might have been able to predict it, as her new game Wingspan, published by Stonemaier, is both mechanically interesting and lavished with a beautiful production. I sit down with her to talk about her design philosophy, what it's like to see her first published design do so well, and, of course, birds. Because birds are great!

0:44 - Wingspan and birds
21:29 - Tussie-Mussie
26:24 - Elizabeth's history with gaming
30:36 - Different themes and the designing community
39:34 - The pitching and publishing process

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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February 6, 2019 @ 10:09 pm

Ep 46: Abstract Games

We've been playing abstract games all month and we're here to tell you about it! Marc, Matt, and Orion go in depth about five different abstract games, both classic and new. We've all fallen in love with Go, and Tak was a pleasant surprise. What's so compelling about these games that some have survived for millennia? We've gotten a taste of it.

3:57 - What actually is an abstract game?
10:28 - Go
26:52 - Chess
46:30 - Santorini
55:01 - Onitama
1:01:18 - Tak
1:13:28 - Lines of play
1:16:46 - The unique beauty of abstract games

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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January 29, 2019 @ 5:27 pm

Book Discussion: The Three Body Problem Part 2: The Dark Forest

Marc, Orion, and Matt continue their discussion of this incredible sci-fi trilogy. This time they're talking about the 2nd book, which is probably the most divisive but also the most tightly constructed. As always, major SPOILER WARNING! We're spoiling it all. If you have any interest, we recommend you read the books first. There's sci-fi concepts in here as good as anything Asimov ever did.

1:36 - Translation differences
3:14 - Cinematic feelings
6:21 - Not for the last time, we bring up scope
8:00 - Wallfacers
17:59 - Cosmic sociology
22:32 - Human sociology
28:00 - Droplet
33:50 - Dead man's switch
35:54 - Matt's gripes
41:21 - The dark forest

Music: Sailing The Solar Wind by Abstraction

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