This week we celebrate the triple-threat designer, artist and publisher, Ryan Lauket of Red Raven games. Ryan is responsible for hit games like Near and Far and Above and Below. He has a fascinating story of how he started in the board game industry as an artist, then a designer. We dig into all of that goodness and go on to gush over our favourite Red Raven games. While we’ve only played a small sampling of his games, the art, mechanics, narrative and world-building at play has left us craving more.
We are here for the vikings. In particular we are here for the Champions of Midgard. A game by Ole Steiness game from 2015 that combined worker placement and combat dice into a beautiful rich thematic gem of a table top adventure. The games central mechanic has players using workers rushing about their viking village running errands to get their warrior pals ready to battle Trolls and Draugr, and packing supplies to head over the sea on heroic journeys to fight mythical monsters.
In this episode we try and tackle deck-building but it is such a vast topic that we really just scratch a small itch on the surface. A brief time-line from the explosive force that was Magic: The Gathering to the emergence of a new mechanic through Donald X Vaccarino’s Dominion. There is so much to love with deck-building and so little time in our show to give it the attention it deserves.
As the world settles itself into this strange time Steve and I use the magic of the interwebs to reach out to each other in from our respective game bunkers to keep the conversation going. This page will expand as we go and we will try and keep things up to date for links.
We joked we would call it the co-op episode but that's really a bit of a misnomer. While we do focus on the Ravensburger game Horrified, which is a beautiful family weight, gateway co-op. And we do spend a lot of time talking about the benefits of playing co-op games...
In Episode 10 we spend a lot of time chatting about some of our favourites games. I’m looking at you Raiders of the North Sea. I introduce Steve to geekgroup.app a web app that links to your BGG (Board Game Geek) account and visualizes your collection data in so many fun ways. This leads us to discover what is considered the worst games in our collections based on the BGG ranking system. Of course, being the lowest-ranked may not actually make them the worst.
For episode 9 I get a bit excited about the book Eurogames by Stewart Woods and try and explain to Steve what I find fascinating about the world before Catan.
In this episode we chat about how board games tell stories. Designers have a lot of tools to work with when attempting to weave a story into their game. The components, the artwork, the mechanics and of course, the actual written narrative are all ways to convey a story to players.
Steve and I got together again to talk about board games. Surprised? This time we decided to get in on the house-rules conversation. Everybody gets around to this topic eventually so why not? Naturally, you can’t talk about house-rules without the nod to the hot mess that is Monopoly.