Because making board games is hard, it’s not enough just to have some solid mechanics – the best games have a production that coheres with the design. We look at some examples of games where production considerations (or lack thereof) have helped or hurt how they play. Before we executively produce, we talk about The King is Dead: Second Edition, Equinox, and Enchanted Plumes.
Mark’s trying to get us all into something he calls “sports”, so as a compromise, we’re doing a fantasy board game draft! We’re going to pick games from the BoardGameGeek Top 100, until we each have five. Then YOU get to vote on whose draft is best, for a chance to win $50! Before we play to the crowds, we talk about Azul: Summer Pavilion, Roads & Boats, Ruthless, and Cthulhu: Death May Die.
We played a double feature of legacy games for Cinco de Ocho Dos, which got us thinking about how our thoughts on legacy mechanics might have changed since the heady days of young Board Game Barrage. Before we open that box, we talk about Bonfire, Nidavellir, and The King’s Dilemma.
There are two good ways to create engagement in a board game: One is to let the player feel like they’re achieving something constantly, the other is to keep them feeling like any wrong move could tank their game. We’re dubbing this the “thriving to barely surviving” spectrum, but first, we need to figure out where some of our favourite games fit on it. Before we surthrive, we talk about Carnegie, Divvy Dice, and Underwater Cities.
We’re moving into the terrible teens of the Board Game Barrage Top 50 Games of All Time. I learned all I know about American teenagers from TV, so I assume this is where all the sex and drugs come in. Let’s get to it then, forty (roughly) more games that we simply adore. As the list goes on, they only get better and better. That is, after all, the premise.
Some board games (and board game podcasts) thrive on chaos, which absolutely isn’t the same thing as randomness. All of this has happened for a reason, it’s just … hard to tell what those reasons are exactly. Before we blame the butterfly, we talk about Path of Light and Shadow, Jixia Academy, and Chaos in the Old World.
Monique from Before You Play is with us to get heavy. We’re discussing the allure of heavy games, and who better to talk us through them than a Vital Lacerda fan who loves to not just play them, but teach them? We dig into why we enjoy the occasional heavy game, and why you should too! Before we play, we talk about DURIAN, Animal Kingdoms, and Brass: Birmingham.
What could be a more important topic than importance itself? This week, we’re talking about the most important board games of the last decade, and what it even means for a board game to be worthy of the label. To us, at least. Before being earnest, we talk about Prêt-à-Porter, Riff Raff, Adventure Games: The Dungeon, and Innovation: Echoes of the Past.
Area control is the first subject of our new recurring feature, “What we love, what we hate”, where we deep dive into a single mechanic and describe … well, exactly that! We tend to enjoy games that have you fighting over territory, but what is it that specifically gets us excited about them? And what are the downsides? Before we assume direct control, we talk about The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine, Stay Cool, and Mezo.
Here it is, the episode you’ve all been waiting for, the grand finale, the culmination of five weeks of episodes. These are our top ten favourite board games of all-time, games that we absolutely adore, and would happily play at a moment’s notice. Heck, we’d even play the games on each others’ lists … on, you know, birthdays and special occasions. That’s how good they are.