GWJ Conference Call Episode 328

Conference Call

A Show From rabbitcon!, Boardgames, RPGs, other stories and more!

This week is our show was recorded at rabbitcon! Lots of boardgames and RPGs discussed, we'll get back to video games next week!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
Rabbitcon Part I
00.01.46 City of Remnants
00.05.00 Zombicide
00.09.48 Designers talk board game trends
00.12.46 The joy of prototyping
00.16.38 Magic draft tournament
00.19.50 Role-playing and what it takes to act
00.23.24 Kobolds ate my Baby
00.26.09 This week's sponsor: Choremonster.com!

Rabbitcon Part II
00.27.24 Board game discussions continue!
00.30.18 Dread
00.32.07 Alex's full-body Batman snuggie
00.33.08 Spartacus
00.36.54 Outbreak

Rabbitcon Part III - Corey Banks and his Mötley Crüe
00.47.50 Escape: The Curse of the Temple
00.49.23 Space Team
00.52.33 Zombicide
00.59.08 Graham Rowat dives into Dread

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Big Gay Water Fight - Plushgoolash - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Pl... - 26:57

Please Mind the Dubstep - Bitbasic - http://www.bitbasic.co.uk/ - 45:45

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Comments

Can't wait to try out Spartacus at PAX East.

Bah, no talk about Android: Netrunner according to the notes But, Escape is listed so it's all good. Looking forward to hearing the discussions!

EDIT:

padriec wrote:

Can't wait to try out Spartacus at PAX East.

I'm game for this. Robert Florence had some high praise for it at Cardboard Children.

EDIT 2: Was Escape played with the expansion? The curses make the game a complete riot.

So, I bought Android: Netrunner JUST to play and I never even got a game in. 2 player games often don't get a lot of table time. We only have about 6 play-surfaces and with close to 50 people, there's a kind of unspoken rule about bogarting them for a long 2 player game while 6 people end up on the floor. Hope I get to try it soon.

Spartacus is a blast, although I got DESTROYED in my one game. It's more fun with real coins.

shoptroll wrote:

Bah, no talk about Android: Netrunner according to the notes But, Escape is listed so it's all good. Looking forward to hearing the discussions!

EDIT:

padriec wrote:

Can't wait to try out Spartacus at PAX East.

I'm game for this. Robert Florence had some high praise for it at Cardboard Children.

EDIT 2: Was Escape played with the expansion? The curses make the game a complete riot.

I know Michael Zenke and Hedgewizard got a game of Netrunner in. We'll get some details.

rabbit wrote:

So, I bought Android: Netrunner JUST to play and I never even got a game in. 2 player games often don't get a lot of table time. We only have about 6 play-surfaces and with close to 50 people, there's a kind of unspoken rule about bogarting them for a long 2 player game while 6 people end up on the floor. Hope I get to try it soon.

Wow, and I thought I had it bad trying to figure out if we could ever run multiple games between a dinette and coffee table if I ever had more than 6 guests for game night.

Demiurge wrote:
shoptroll wrote:

Bah, no talk about Android: Netrunner according to the notes But, Escape is listed so it's all good. Looking forward to hearing the discussions!

EDIT:

padriec wrote:

Can't wait to try out Spartacus at PAX East.

I'm game for this. Robert Florence had some high praise for it at Cardboard Children.

EDIT 2: Was Escape played with the expansion? The curses make the game a complete riot.

I know Michael Zenke and Hedgewizard got a game of Netrunner in. We'll get some details.

Hedge mentioned in the board game thread he played it at RabbitCon. I was hoping he wasn't the only one who played it since he said in the thread he didn't get a chance to talk about it during his segment.

I've been playing it a bit, but I'm always interested to hear what other people have to say about it.

padriec wrote:

Can't wait to try out Spartacus at PAX East.

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

Per the podcast, sounds like it's quite audience friendly

Tanglebones wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

Per the podcast, sounds like it's quite audience friendly

I wonder if the 2x4's they used for giant jenga in the Omegathon a couple years back are still around somewhere.

Dread is, for the most part, a serious, horror themed experience. I'd think it very hard to do without quiet. We play in the basement with the lights low, and anyone watching, as we said on the 'cast, is SILENT.

Agreed. I'm the guy who ran the Rabbitcon Dread game, and if you're using it for a horror scenario I think it helps to have things quieter. With rules tweaks I've seen Dread used for other types of games -- naval warfare, Shadowrun, even Paranoia -- so it all depends on the scenario.

That said? Highly entertaining to watch. I've run it at cons before, and people at nearby tables stop what they're doing and turn around to watch whenever there's a difficult pull.

shoptroll wrote:

Hedge mentioned in the board game thread he played it at RabbitCon. I was hoping he wasn't the only one who played it since he said in the thread he didn't get a chance to talk about it during his segment.

I've been playing it a bit, but I'm always interested to hear what other people have to say about it.

Yeah; I don't have anything really to add to the comments I left in the board game thread.

I only got the one game in, and between the rules and lexicon of the game, the start was nigh impenetrable. As the person who didn't read the rules the night before, I didn't fully grok my options or the flow of play until we'd gone through a number of turns and cards. I had a hard time understanding the synergy between my cards & options. As with most *CG games, it rewards continued play where you know and ultimately customize your decks, so it isn't as much fun at first blush.

But I am not afraid of jumping into a moderate-to-complex games blind, and Zenke and I were able to puzzle out the rules together.

Suddenly, about what proved to be 2/3rds of the way through, it totally clicked for both us. Play sped up and we were making smart and fun tactical choices. I found the game to be both meaty and crunchy. What I mean by "meaty" is that there is a lot of depth to the cards - many choices, many ways to link cards together, etc. It's "crunchy" in the sense that you're rewarded for thinking through your synergy options, playing smartly to build momentum and releasing that at the right time.

It was a fun game and I would like to play again before I forget how!

City of Remnants sounded fun to me. Then when the price was stated for $65, i staggered a bit. Then Andrich said that was, 'very reasonable.' Then I realized I know so little about board-gaming. I'll pick it up if my friends show interest in playing.

I swear you guys sell me something I would have never even known about otherwise at least once a month.

S0LIDARITY wrote:

City of Remnants sounded fun to me. Then when the price was stated for $65, i staggered a bit. Then Andrich said that was, 'very reasonable.' Then I realized I know so little about board-gaming. I'll pick it up if my friends show interest in playing.

I swear you guys sell me something I would have never even known about otherwise at least once a month.

A few realities of the current board game market -- Plastic from China has gotten very expensive. Everything, actually, has gotten pretty expensive. There was a fair amount of discussion about game costing going on among the various folks play testing this weekend, and it was a revelation. For example, here's the part count for a few games at different price points:

City of Remnants ($65)
1 Game Board
4 Player Mats
53 Development Tiles
18 Development Draft Cards
40 Gang Leader Starter Cards
31 Gang member Unit Cards
30 Black Market Cards
20 YCU Coordinate Cards
1 YCU Alert Reference Card
1 Cloth YCU Token Bag
20 YCU Tokens
37 Renown Tokens
60 Product Tokens
86 ARC Tokens
4 Turn Tracker Tokens
4 Influence Tracker Tokens
64 Plastic Figures
10 Battle Dice
1 Six-Sided Die
1 First Player Token
1 Rulebook

Zombicide ($90)
omponents:

9 double-sided tiles
71 miniatures
110 cards
6 dice
6 character sheets
1 token board (doors, noise, cars, objectives, etc.)

Spartacus ($40)
Components:

1 Game Board
4 Gladiator figures
4 House cards
62 Market Deck cards
104 Intrigue Deck cards
148 tokens
9 Red Attack six-sided dice
9 Black Defense six-sided dice
8 Blue Speed six-sided dice
Rulebook

The difference, really, is mini-count. Zombicide's minis are also large and highly detailed. CoR's are smaller, but the cardboard content is high-precision and voluminous, vs, say, Spartacus & Zombicide, which is fairly benign.

Thanks Rabbit. I didn't realize City of Remnants came with 64 miniatures, that justifies a large portion of the cost to me. The website makes them look Risk-sized to me but that's okay.

Rabbit wrote:

Everything, actually, has gotten pretty expensive.

Do you wonder why all the hosts always makes the age jokes?

S0LIDARITY wrote:

Thanks Rabbit. I didn't realize City of Remnants came with 64 miniatures, that justifies a large portion of the cost to me. The website makes them look Risk-sized to me but that's okay.

They're bigger than Risk-sized. And pretty well done, actually. It's unfortunate that I didn't get to play this until late at night, when it was harder to learn. Really good game.

Yeah, the pieces are somewhere between a risk piece and a normal 25mm mini (like say Mice and Mystics). Technically they're high-quality 15mms.

shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

Per the podcast, sounds like it's quite audience friendly

I wonder if the 2x4's they used for giant jenga in the Omegathon a couple years back are still around somewhere.

I built my own 2x4 jenga tower a while back. I'm not sure if it would fit in the back of the van and it weighs about 500 lbs. A regular size jenga tower would probably be more appropriate for PAX.

Tangle: if we do a board game party this spring/summer a Dread game outside on the patio with the big jenga tower might be cool.

padriec wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

Per the podcast, sounds like it's quite audience friendly

I wonder if the 2x4's they used for giant jenga in the Omegathon a couple years back are still around somewhere.

I built my own 2x4 jenga tower a while back. I'm not sure if it would fit in the back of the van and it weighs about 500 lbs. A regular size jenga tower would probably be more appropriate for PAX.

Tangle: if we do a board game party this spring/summer a Dread game outside on the patio with the big jenga tower might be cool.

AKA - when will Watson kill off all the PCs?

@Padriec, did you sand the 2x4's down to varying degrees of smoothness?

S0LIDARITY wrote:

@Padriec, did you sand the 2x4's down to varying degrees of smoothness?

I tried to sand them down to a uniform smoothness but honestly they should probably be treated with some wood oil a few days before play for maximum slidyness.

Tanglebones wrote:
padriec wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:
shoptroll wrote:
Tanglebones wrote:

Likewise. I'd love to get in a game of Dread as well, if there's a quiet corner to be had. Failing that, a reprise of last year's Fiasco would be awesome

How audience friendly is Dread? Fiasco sounds like it's just as fun to watch as play, I would be interested in checking out a session of either of them this year.

Per the podcast, sounds like it's quite audience friendly

I wonder if the 2x4's they used for giant jenga in the Omegathon a couple years back are still around somewhere.

I built my own 2x4 jenga tower a while back. I'm not sure if it would fit in the back of the van and it weighs about 500 lbs. A regular size jenga tower would probably be more appropriate for PAX.

Tangle: if we do a board game party this spring/summer a Dread game outside on the patio with the big jenga tower might be cool.

AKA - when will Watson kill off all the PCs?

You know him too well. Also, when this thing topples it might actually take out a player. It's huge!

padriec wrote:
S0LIDARITY wrote:

@Padriec, did you sand the 2x4's down to varying degrees of smoothness?

I tried to sand them down to a uniform smoothness but honestly they should probably be treated with some wood oil a few days before play for maximum slidyness.

It's been a while since I've played Jenga, but it always felt like some pieces were smoother than others. Although, I suppose that'll happen anyway due to grain patterns and warping.

I believe I was once told by someone at the company that something like 20% of the pieces were deliberately smaller than the others.

rabbit wrote:

I believe I was once told by someone at the company that something like 20% of the pieces were deliberately smaller than the others.

Those fiends!

The first time I went to buy a Jenga set they were out, so I bought "Solid Wood Jumbling Blocks" from China instead. My players did not thank me. Wusses.

HedgeWizard wrote:

I found the game to be both meaty and crunchy. What I mean by "meaty" is that there is a lot of depth to the cards - many choices, many ways to link cards together, etc. It's "crunchy" in the sense that you're rewarded for thinking through your synergy options, playing smartly to build momentum and releasing that at the right time.

It was a fun game and I would like to play again before I forget how!

Glad to hear you were able to enjoy it enough to want to play again. Definitely agree about the meat and crunch, there's a lot of options with the cards and FFG did a great job removing a lot of the cruft from the CCG. I think some of that meat/crunch feeling is due to the original design of a CCG where you're usually trying to optimize your deck's efficiency by designing around combos and tuning the deck so they appear more frequently.

Shop, I ...uh... have a set. Used 2x3s cut to proper dimensions. A full stack of 72 blocks is about 5 feet high

As for sanding, I did hit all the sides just enough to deburr the rough edges. And I could probably fit it into the car to get it down to PAX East...

S0LIDARITY wrote:

City of Remnants sounded fun to me. Then when the price was stated for $65, i staggered a bit. Then Andrich said that was, 'very reasonable.' Then I realized I know so little about board-gaming. I'll pick it up if my friends show interest in playing.

I swear you guys sell me something I would have never even known about otherwise at least once a month.

I keep eyeing Super Dungeon Explore, partly because I love Soda Pop's minis, and partly because I love co-op games - but I just haven't pulled the trigger because of the $100 price point, (even though it comes with dozens of high quality resin models).