The Village Square: February 23, 2015


It seems someone stirred up a little panic at the end of the week when he said we were shutting down. As you can see we are in fact still here.


Not to worry! We had some upgrades to do and now we’re back and better than ever.

You mean this kind of GRAPHICAL UPGRADE?!!

Woah, thanks FutureWolfie!

That guy’s the best!

He sure is, time to head into town.

Community Talk

Have you ever wanted to get the inside scope from a big shot publisher? Look no further than Tasty Minstrel Games’ Founder/CEO Michael Mindes!

Have any questions about publishing games? I am ready to answer them now!

TMG Answers Questions on Twitter
Tasty Minstrel Games

And speaking of people who ask a lot of questions… I heard Ryan over at The Inquisitive Meeple is celebrating something.

We just wanted to say, Thank You to all our followers and supporters of The Inquisitive Meeple as we turn 1 years old today!

Thank you for reading and supporting and stay inquisitive!

The Inquisitive Meeple Turns One
The Inquisitive Meeple

Happy birthday to one of the best (and most tireless) interviewers around! What do you have in store for us in the coming year?

Starting this Friday (which also happens to be the 1 Year Anniversary of The Inquisitive Meeple) until the end of March, things are going to be extremely busy as we really get into the swing of Board Game Kickstarting Season.

“How much is extremely busy?” you may ask. Well, we have around 22/23 interviews publishing out of the 31 days of March.

That sure is a lot, make sure not to work too hard! Here to share a more balanced perspective is someone that took a little break and is finally back to share his thoughtful writing with us once again, Filip Wiltgren.

Expectations. I’ve written about that before, that when you start to add pressure to something fun it stops being fun and starts being hard. That’s what work is for – I go to work five days a week, I do my job, I deliver on time and on spec and I get paid for it.

I started Playtesting as a way away from that. I wanted to write about gaming because it’s my hobby, the thing that I love doing. But when I started putting pressure on myself to deliver there was suddenly no room for failure. And with no room for failure there’s no room for experimentations, for play, or for enjoyment.

I think that’s important for an hobby writer to hear. We’re all doing this for our love of board games after all, make sure you’re enjoying it!

Now it’s time for something a bit more serious. The Political Gamer has created some of the best writing on morality and controversial themes in board games. He continues the discussion this week by bringing in a guest writer to expand on the topic.

If games are an aesthetic thing, why and when do some topics cause us moral anxiety and offense?

To put it differently: Nobody would think it’s wrong to write a book or make a movie about the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. By contrast, something about making the 1948 Arab-Israeli War into a game is offensive to some people no matter what you end up with.

Sure, a director could do a bad job of it and create something offensive, but that’s not the point. In art and literature and movies, the specific thing might be offensive, but the general idea isn’t offensive. In games, the general idea itself can be offensive.

Games & Troublesome Themes
The Political Gamer

Another hotly debated topic in the board game world is how European board games are vastly superior to their American brethren. The rest of the dragon slayers may disagree with me on this (except the wise FarmerLenny) but we’re not here to discuss how right I am. Instead we’ll head over to the folks at NSKN Games to hear about the subtle evolution of American games.

Recently I have been invited to sit in the guest chair of a Polish videocast called Rozmowy ZnadPlanszy to talk about Ameritrash games (if by any chance you understand spoken Polish, here’s a direct link to the episode). We talked about obvious differences between American and European games, about recent blurring of the lines, and about the evolution of the Ameritrash genre. Little did I know that I would stumble upon a very small but probably also a very important step only a few days later, while comparing the Decent 2.0 and the Imperial Assault dice.

Before we wrap things up we’ve got one more stop to make. Grant shares a little bit about inspiring publishers in the board gaming world and his own goals.

Every good company should have a secret power, something they do better than anyone else. Every good company should also have a code, or set of values that define their mission. This answers the question of why they deserve to stand out in the market.

(My) Start Up

That’s it for this week. Make sure to take some time to check out our new and improved site thanks to the tireless work of our fearless leader, FutureWolfie!

Games On Our Table

Andrew’s Game Plays

Play 2015-Feb-23 - Roll For The GalaxyRoll For The Galaxy – Nothing too exciting this week but I am making steady progress on my 1 x 100 challenge. Yeah, you heard me right – I’m attempting to play Roll For The Galaxy 100 times in 2015. Then I guess I’ll review it or something. I’m 29 games in so far and feeling pretty confident!

I played some games too!


Mysterium – I can’t spell the polish version so I’m going with the as-yet-unreleased english title of Portal’s hit cooperative deduction game. It’s DIXIT meets Clue in this bizarre experience that pits ghosts with the challenge of communicating to the living players a weapon, location, and suspect using only very abstract paintings. We played with an excessively large group and the ghosts comiserated as we chose our brilliant clues only to have the living players zero in on obscure details and totally pick up the wrong thing. COME ON GUYS. It’s not that hard! It’s a brilliantly fun design and I had a blast.

King of New York – Things were all going well until I stayed in Manhattan hoping to roll some Destruction on my dice. If I had, I would have been able to knock over some buildings and regain health; unfortunately, I didn’t, and the next player rolled enough claws to finish me off. The joke’s on them, though, as a few rounds later another player rolled Ouches to get the Military to attack everyone on the board… and accidentally killed themselves (along with everyone else on the board) so great job guys.

Colt Express – Schemin’ and Stealin’ is the name of the game, as players are tasked with robbing innocents on a speeding western steam-powered train better than their other robbin’ buddies. You plan each round out one card at a time but things don’t resolve til everything card in the round is played… then you watch it all unravel completely off track of what you planned! The gameplay itself is riotous with enough players, although we felt like the scoring was lackluster. Everything came down to money bags, which felt pretty random as far as who actually snagged something. If there were more “achievements” or secret missions or collectible combos to let players go after different things, it might really escalate the game.  More plays will give me a chance to see if experience helps, but hey, it was fun to be a bandit.

XCOM – Hey, XCOM! You’ve heard me talk about it. I’m mostly putting it here to mention my 1×50 challenge. It may look like I’m copying Andrew but in truth, I put out the idea first and he picked up on the challenge. 1×100 may sound more difficult than 1×50, but you have to take into account that XCOM takes 1-2hrs to play whereas RftG is what, 30 minutes? Still, I’ve had the game for about 3 weeks and I’m 5 plays into my challenge. HERE WE COME VICTORY. Also, this game is hard. But i’ve only played it on easy and with really only 1 legit victory. Can’t wait to try normal, and then Hard.

I love optimization and engine games with tableau builders and card driven ones being my favorite. This usually means medium-heavy euros and medium-light card games.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Today in Board Games Issue #252 - Star Wars: Imperial Assault Giveaway! - Today in Board Games

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