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#59: Ain't Nothing Like It
Some games offer an experience so unique, so unlike anything else, that you can't help but take notice. It might be a bold thematic setting, or a set of mechanics that you've never seen before. This week, we're counting down our favourite games that do something ... a little bit different. Before we stand out from the crowd, we also talk about Looting London, and Chimera.
01:05 - Looting London
|Mar 14, 2019|
#58: Game Board Confessional
Time to 'fess up. We're admitting to all the transgressions we've made in the world of board gaming. We're not proud of it, but there are a lot of games we haven't played that we should have. There are Kickstarters we've overspent on, and some we regret backing. And what would a good confessional be without owning up to our guilty pleasures? Before we ask forgiveness, we also talk about Excape, Race for the Galaxy, and Biblios Dice.
01:30 - Excape
|Mar 07, 2019|
#57: Where There's a Will, There's a Gateway
Gateway games are an often requested topic, but we wouldn't be us without a big old debate about them first. Are they important? Should you be trying to convert your friends at all? Isn't every game a gateway game if you just talk slowly enough? Before we raise the portcullis, we also talk about Targi, and Catan.
|Feb 28, 2019|
#56: Shelf of Shape Up or Ship Out
It's always sad to see a game go. But sometimes it's just time to move on, to let it be free, to let someone else enjoy its esoteric rules and quirky components. Games leave our collections for many reasons, so let's take a look at some of them. Before we spark joy, we talk about Big Dig, Trains, and The River.
01:18 - Big Dig
|Feb 21, 2019|
One year, baby! We did it. It's our first anniversary, and we're celebrating by ... putting out an episode of the podcast. We got a couple of reader questions that we thought would be especially pertinent for this occasion, as we look back on the impact Board Game Barrage has had on us. Before we pop the champagne, we talk about The Quacks of Quedlinburg, Forum Trajanum, and Narabi.
04:37 - The Quacks of Quedlinburg
|Feb 14, 2019|
#54: 2019: An Up and Coming Year
2019 is well underway, but with so many amazing games on the horizon, it's hard to know what to look out for. Fear not, listener, that's what we're here for. Join us as we count down our most anticipated games of the year. Before we cast our eyes ahead, we talk about New Frontiers: The Race for the Galaxy Board Game, and Hansa Teutonica.
02:33 - New Frontiers: The Race for the Galaxy Board Game
|Feb 07, 2019|
Objectivity is a nice goal, but what does it mean for board game criticism? Are there elements of board game design that we can have factual conversations about, without invoking our personal biases? We debate this in the only way we know how. Before we start shouting, we talk about Hyperspace, Gùgōng, and Wingspan.
|Jan 31, 2019|
#52: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Theme
Sometimes you're not looking to win or lose, you're looking for an experience. A lot of games promise to deliver thematic gameplay, but what does that mean for the mechanics? Does it have to be one without the other? Before we set the mood, we talk about Nusfjord, Paper Tales, and Nemesis.
03:25 - Nusfjord
|Jan 24, 2019|
#51: The Best of Times
We throw back to our very first episode, with our biggest surprises and disappointments of the year gone by. 2018 was a year of highs and lows, but sometimes you just don't see them coming. The difference between expectation and the final product is what this week's episode is all about. Before we gaze back wistfully, we talk about Akrotiri, Blue Moon City, and This Guilty Land.
01:56 - Akrotiri
|Jan 17, 2019|
#50: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 10-1
Top ten, baby! We finally made it. And thus concludes our five part series of our favourite games of all-time. Frankly, we were changed by the experience, and will never be the same again. We hope you were too.
01:35 - Kalen #10 - Coloretto
|Jan 10, 2019|
#49: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 20-11
The end is nigh! If you squint just right you can see it from here. We're almost done counting down our favourite fifty games of all time, so join us in the penultimate part of our five part series.
01:20 - Mark #20 - Caverna
|Jan 03, 2019|
#48: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 30-21
Okay, we're past the middle. It's all downhill from here, but the good sort of downhill. We're counting down our fifty favourite board games, in part three of what the world is calling our most ambitious endeavour yet! Well, we're calling it that.
01:01 - Neilan #30 - Grand Austria Hotel
|Dec 27, 2018|
#47: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 40-31
Ten down, forty to go ... It's part two of our all-time top fifty lists! What surprises await us in this, the second installment of our historic feature?! Find out with us as we celebrate some fantastic board games!
Kalen #40 – For Sale
|Dec 20, 2018|
#46: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 50-41
We're counting down to our 50th episode, and what better way than to give our definitive lists of our 50 favourite games of all time?! You've been asking for it, so we've only gone and done it. Brace yourselves, we're just getting started.
01:11 - Mark #50 - Dungeon Fighter
|Dec 13, 2018|
#45: Green Letter Episode?
It's question time again! After last week's massive success, we couldn't resist the urge to have you, loyal listener, once more do all the work for us. Before we turn the microphones around, we also talk about Brass: Birmingham, Exodus: Paris Nouveau, and Werewords.
01:52 - Brass: Birmingham
|Dec 06, 2018|
#44: Red Letter Episode
It's your time to shine! We field questions from you, our adoring fans, in our first ever Q&A episode. You sent us the important topical issues you've been yearning for our take on, and takes ye shall receive. Before we line up in front of the mic, we also talk about Blokus, Brass: Lancashire, and Teotihucan: City of Gods.
01:42 - Blokus
|Nov 29, 2018|
#43: My Triumphs, My Mistakes
We're getting introspective this week, weighing up the mistakes we've made in our collections, and reflecting on our earlier selves. Would you reset your board game collection? What games might you not buy if you had to do it all over again? Before we turn back time, we also talk about Between Two Castles Of Mad King Ludwig, Claustrophobia, and KeyForge: Call of the Archons.
01:39 - Between Two Castles Of Mad King Ludwig
|Nov 22, 2018|
#42: We've Been Co-opted
Not everything has to be a competition, because this week we're talking about cooperation. I know, it's weird, in some games, you're not actually trying to beat the other players! We're counting down our favourite co-op games, "favourite" of course being a relative term in Kalen's case. Before we put our heads together, we also talk about SSH, Just One, and Hamsterrolle.
01:44 - SHH
|Nov 15, 2018|
#41: The First Cut Is the Deepest
There's no love like your first love, and this week we're talking about our early board game crushes. These are the games that first got us into the hobby, that made us want to shout our love for board games to all who'd care to hear. Before we walk down memory lane, we also talk about Key to the City: London, Empires, and Guards of Atlantis.
03:31 - Key to the City: London
|Nov 08, 2018|
#40: Bling It On
We're doing some upgrades this episode, because we're talking about improving and enhancing the board games we already own through accessories, new components, and fancy inserts. Before we sleeve our cards, we also talk about Keyflower, The Palaces of Carrara, Welcome To...'s Halloween Expansion, and That's Not Lemonade!
01:41 - Keyflower
|Nov 01, 2018|
#39: Essen SPIEL 2018 Preview
Essen SPIEL 2018! Okay, we're not technically at Essen SPIEL, but we've got that Essen FEEL. We're each counting down the five games that we most wish we were in Germany to play this weekend. Before we hand over our Euros, we talk about SPQF, Le Havre, and Scythe: The Rise of Fenris.
02:09 - SPQF
|Oct 25, 2018|
#38: Six Things I Hate About You
Board game dealbreakers, we all have them, and they're enough to dissuade us from buying or even playing some otherwise great games. This week, we go around the table and talk about two things each that put us off in board games. Before we start looking elsewhere, we talk about Illusion, and Food Chain Magnate.
02:16 - Illusion
|Oct 18, 2018|
#37: Origin Story
How do you meet other board game enthusiasts? Just loving and owning board games isn't enough if you don't have anyone to play them with! It's not always easy to turn your friends into board gamers, so what are your other options? Well, sit back, as we cast our minds far, far back into the past, when the Board Game Barrage trio was just three separate unos. This is where it all began. Before we gather round the campfire, we talk about Crypt, Fool's Gold, and War Chest.
01:01 - Crypt
|Oct 11, 2018|
#36: Your Unfulfilled Potential
What’s your white whale? The one game you’ve been itching to get to the table for ages, but for whatever reason, just never have? Well, call me Ishmael, ’cause we’re counting down not just one, not five, but ten games each that we haven’t played, but really want to. Maybe this’ll be the kick in the pants we need … but probably not. Before we dust off our shelves of shame, we talk about CIV: Carta Impera Victoria, Raxxon, and Scythe: The Rise of Fenris.
01:36 - Carta Impera Victoria
|Oct 04, 2018|
#35: The Power of Balance
Asymmetry is a powerful tool for game design, if done right. There's a lot of replayability right out of the box, and finding a playstyle that works for you can be very satisfying. But this dark alchemy has a darker byproduct: imbalance. When so much is different between each player, how do you ensure that things stay fair? Before we nerf plz, we discuss Container, and more Root.
01:40 - Container
|Sep 27, 2018|
#34: You Know the Rules and So Do I
Board game rules, unlike other rules, were not made to be broken. They're to be strictly adhered to, trust me, this is going to be totally fun, there's just a few more things to go over and then we can start. Sometimes remembering and teaching rules can feel like a burden, so where's the line? Before we explain the turn structure, we discuss Dairyman, Riff Raff, and Lords of Hellas.
03:30 - Dairyman
|Sep 20, 2018|
#33: You Can't Win 'Em All
Look, sometimes we lose games. I know. It's weird. It's hard to talk about, to be frank, but it's important to realize that your heroes can have flaws. So, this week, we're counting down our top five games we're bad at! Before we admit defeat, we also discuss Yogi, Orléans, and Blue Lagoon.
01:38 - Yogi
|Sep 13, 2018|
#32: Are We Having Fun Yet?
In this week's fun episode, we talk gaming etiquette, or the unspoken rules that surface when you're playing a board game. They often have nothing to do with the game itself, but what's appropriate? Should you deliberately help and hinder others at the table? Before we let the Wookiee win, we also discuss Let's Make a Bus Route, Sailing Toward Osiris, Fleet, and Founders of Gloomhaven.
01:45 - Let's Make a Bus Route
|Sep 06, 2018|
#31: Logged and Loaded
Just when you thought we couldn't get nerdier, this episode is all about logging plays and collecting statistics on your games. It turns out it's actually a pretty fun way to look back on your gaming history. We also discuss Fast Forward: FORTRESS, The Captain Is Dead, and Schummel Hummel.
02:38 - Fast Forward: FORTRESS
|Aug 30, 2018|
#30: Party Party Party
We're staying up all night to count down our favourite party games! You know the feeling. Everyone's at your place, no one's talking, it's a little bit awkward ... but then you break out some of these fifteen amazing party games, and suddenly everyone's back in, talking, laughing and shouting until the early hours. We also talk about JamSumo, Isle of Trains, and Root.
02:24 - JamSumo
|Aug 23, 2018|
#29: Cult of the You Do You
Shiny and new! Everyone online is talking about the latest, greatest thing, and you can't help but feel that you're missing out. How important is it to keep up with the cult of the new? We also talk about Cthulhu Wars, World Championship Russian Roulette, Kubb, and Word Slam.
01:38 - Cthulhu Wars
|Aug 16, 2018|
#28: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
In the wake of Gen Con, we return home invigorated about just how grand and diverse the hobby is. We celebrate the games that we might not otherwise have thought to play, and encourage you to do the same! We also talk about Lift it!, The Estates, and Cat Lady.
01:57 - Gen Con Final Thoughts
|Aug 09, 2018|
#27: Gen Con 2018 Day Three
Day three of Gen Con is over, and that's a wrap for our coverage from Indianapolis! Enjoy our final thoughts from the show floor (at least for this week), while we trudge back to the west coast with as many games as we can carry. We talk about Istanbul: The Dice Game, Wendake, One Week Ultimate Werewolf, Show & Tile, Coimbra, and Trade on the Tigris.
|Aug 05, 2018|
#26: Gen Con 2018 Day Two
We're halfway through Gen Con, and we wrap up day two of the show with our thoughts from the floors and tables and beds (?!) of Indianapolis. We talk about Crusader Kings, Scarabya, Petrichor, Zogan, Flotsam Fight, Welcome To..., and Dice Fishing: Roll and Catch!
|Aug 04, 2018|
#25: Gen Con 2018 Day One
Gen Con! It's here at last, and we run through our quick impressions of the first day of the show. We talk about Exodus: Paris Nouveau, Reef, Nyctophobia, and Illusion.
|Aug 03, 2018|
#24: Gen Con 2018 Preview
Gen Con 2018 is almost upon us, and we're counting down the games we're most excited to check out! We also talk about Vikings, and Navegador.
01:43 - Spiel des Jahres
|Jul 26, 2018|
#23: Are You Feeling Lucky?
Luck is an element of almost every board game there is, but it's still a major point of contention. Whether it's the roll of dice, or the draw of a card, randomness can make or break a game. We also talk about Lowlands, Bilder, In the Year of the Dragon, and revisit Space Base.
00:54 - Lowlands
|Jul 19, 2018|
#22: Baby's First Social Interaction
Multiplayer Solitaire doesn't have to be a bad thing! Sometimes we're just not always looking for high interaction, high conflict games, and that's okay. We break down some games with low interaction, and what makes them great. We also talk about Joraku, Impulse, and Wyatt Earp.
01:36 - Joraku
|Jul 12, 2018|
#21: The Beautiful Game
World Cup fever sweeps the podcast, as we consider the analogies between board gaming and sport. We also talk about Harvest, Caylus, Exit: The Game, and Trajan.
2:07 - Harvest
|Jul 05, 2018|
#20: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
We're counting down games that replace other games in our collections! We also talk about Chimera Station.
01:31 - Chimera Station
|Jun 28, 2018|
#19: What Are You Made Of?
What would a board game be without components? Just rules and a box, I guess. Before we pick up our pieces, we talk about Wildcatters, Bärenpark, Chimera, Star Cartel, and Council of 4.
01:20 - Wildcatters
|Jun 21, 2018|
#18: You Get What You Give
Skill and experience should be important parts of determining the winner of a game, but what about new players? Accessibility is important too, so, where's the balance? We also talk about High Society, Rising 5: Runes of Asteros, The Tea Dragon Society Card Game, and Inkognito.
03:42 - High Society
|Jun 14, 2018|
#17: The Best Things in Life Are $20 or Less
What games can you get for $20? Quite a few really good ones, it turns out. We also discuss Scythe, Watson & Holmes, and Mansions of Madness: Second Edition.
01:34 - Scythe
|Jun 07, 2018|
#16: How to Win Friends & Area Control People
We wrap up the mechanics trilogy with Kalen's pick, area control. We also talk about Herbaceous Sprouts, Fae, Explorers of the North Sea, Wiz-War, and Imperial 2030.
02:40 - Herbaceous Sprouts
|May 31, 2018|
#15: Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Week two of our favourite mechanics in board games is Mark's pick, hand management. We also talk about Ascending Empires, Funky Chicken, Felicity: The Cat in the Sack, and New Corp Order.
01:47 - Ascending Empires
|May 24, 2018|
#14: Do You Want to Know a Secret?
We kick off three weeks of our favourite mechanics in board games with Neilan's pick, hidden information. We also talk about Omen: Fires in the East, Gaia Project, and Pioneer Days.
|May 17, 2018|
#13: We're Still Right
We return to BGG's top list, but we're flipping it on its head. That's right, we're talking about much loved games that we don't much love. We're also giving away a copy of Drop It!
01:05 - Drop It
|May 10, 2018|
#12: More Isn't Always Better
This week, we explain and expound our experiences with expansions. Improvements, tweaks, variability: the benefits are clear, but what does tacking more onto a game mean for all your players? Is it always a good thing? How much is too much? Before we get there, we discuss Altiplano, Omen: A Reign of War, Felicity: The Cat in the Sack, and A Feast for Odin.
01:41 - Omen: A Reign of War
|May 03, 2018|
#11: Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown
Why is everything so heavy? Well, we all played Dominant Species together, and so we're in a heavy sort of mood. There's a very vocal subset of the community that'll insist a game isn't worth playing unless it's mechanics are punching above a certain weight. But, surely there's room in a collection for the light games, the easy games, the so-called gateway games? We hash it out, but before we get into Dominant Species and games of its ilk, we revisit Codenames, Pictomania, Clank! and take a first look at The 7th Continent.
01:37 - Codenames
|Apr 26, 2018|
#10: Everyone is Wrong and We are Right
Did you know that sometimes the internet is wrong? Thankfully we're here to tell you what's up, and right the wrongs that BoardGameGeek hath wrought. You see, there are some games in their database that are just ranked way too low for how good they are. So, to fix these injustices, we each count down our top five games that BoardGameGeek got wrong, and we got right. Skip the timecodes if you don't want spoilers!
00:46 - Azul Contest
|Apr 19, 2018|
#9: PhD in Legacy
Legacy. What is a legacy? It's podcasting in a studio you don't get to see. And now that I've drawn in all the Hamilton fans, let's talk about board games! Specifically, board games that have campaigns or legacy components. Is it a gimmicky trend, or does it add something meaningful to an experience? We also talk about Alchemists, Inis, and Through The Desert ... and on top of all that, we have a special announcement!
00:18 - Contest!
|Apr 12, 2018|
#8: Just Deserts
Trapped on a desert island and forced to bring only five board games? We've all been there. And we're going back. To the island. The board game island. It's a question as old as time itself, a favourite philosophical discussion of great minds immemorial; if you had to pare your collection down to just five board games, to play for a very long time, which would they be? Avert your eyes from the timecodes if you want to listen unspoiled, but let's just say that you might be able to guess one or two.
02:25 - Cthulhu Wars
|Apr 05, 2018|
#7: Kicking and Screaming
Kickstarters. Can't live with 'em, can't rampantly overspend on incomplete unorthodox game designs without 'em. They're clearly a major force in the board game hobby, but are they a force for good, or for evil? Before we wrestle with that, we talk about the games we've been playing, namely, Imperius, A Tale of Pirates, and Heroes of Land, Air & Sea.
01:23 - A Tale of Pirates
|Mar 28, 2018|
#6: Today's Theme: Pronunciation
Our feature topic this week is theme. How important is the theme of a board game to you? Does it affect your enjoyment of a game? What games best utilize their theme to put a neat little bow on their mechanics? We talk about all this (and more!!!) after a quick look at our week in games, which includes Tash Kalar, Krazy Wordz, Kanban, and The Mind.
01:04 - Tash Kalar
|Mar 22, 2018|
#5: It's Good To Be Kingmaker
Kingmaking is our feature topic this week. If you can't win, what's your responsibility as a good player? It's a complex, divisive topic, but then, we're complex, divisive people. We also talk about Wyatt Earp, Coffee Roaster, and El Grande.
01:24 - Wyatt Earp
|Mar 16, 2018|
#4: Buy Buy Buy
How many board games do you need? If you're Mark, you need them all. Before we get there though, we also talk about what we've been playing, namely, John Company, Coffee Roaster, Adrenaline and Innovation.
01:03 - John Company
|Mar 08, 2018|
#3: Double Dragonfly
Rising Sun! Everyone's talking about it, and so must we. It's our feature topic this week, but first, a brief look at what else we've been playing: Spirit Island, Hardback and Decrypto. We close the show with a look ahead to what we're hoping to play.
00:58 - Spirit Island
|Feb 28, 2018|
#2: Catching Trains and Mathing Trades
We talk about what we've been playing (1830, Archipelago and Gaia Project), we dive deep into math trading for board games, and close out with what we're looking forward to in the weeks ahead.
Games and topics discussed:
1:10 - 1830
|Feb 22, 2018|
#1: I'm Not Upset, I'm Just Disappointed
We each talk about a game we liked from 2017, a game that let us down, and what we're looking forward to in 2018, including When I Dream, Gloomhaven, Charterstone, Battle For Rokugan, and more.
01:55 – When I Dream
|Feb 15, 2018|