Sunday, January 24, 2016

I've Been Diced! episode 71: Mutants, game studies, and 2015 in review

Our first episode of 2016 is a whopper! We start with an interview with Gordon Calleja, designer of Posthuman, and associate professor and head of the Institute of Digital Games at the University Of Malta. Yes, not only does he design games, but he also teaches game design! Gordon and I talk about professional game studies, whether boardgames can be immersive, our deep fascination with apocalyptic stories, and, of course, his game. After that interview, our regular panel talks about 2015 in gaming: the highs, the lows, the pleasant surprises, and the deep regrets. (c) 2016 Tom Grant


  1. Since Kevin Sudy was stuck in traffic the night we recorded the 2015 in review discussion, he wasn't able to participate. Here are the games he would have cited.

    Best gaming experience
    Triumph and Tragedy
    Cthulhu Wars (in the dark)
    Call of Cthulhu (mumbus jumbus)

    Worst gaming experience
    Holy Roman Empire
    Cave Evil

    Most nostalgic moment
    All: AD&D, El Grande, Goa
    Jason: War of the Ring
    TJ: Netrunner
    Tom: Up Front, Space Hulk (Tom)

    Best translation of a boardgame to an electronic format
    Hybrid game/soundtrack
    One Night Werewolf
    Space Alert

    Best tie-in game (based on some franchise)
    Imperial Assault

    Biggest pleasant surprise
    Quartermaster General (post-con; six-player)
    Among Nobles
    Colt Express

    Biggest unpleasant surprise/disappointment
    Nations the Dice Game
    The Dice Must Flow
    Churchill (second game)

    Game that will last the longest in your collection
    New: Castles of Mad King Ludwig
    Existing: The Napoleonic Wars

    The game that got away (wish we had played it)
    Moderated many-player fog-of-war Napoleonic
    Battle For Baghdad
    Legion Of Honor
    Moongha Invaders
    Theseus: The Dark Orbit

    The game that got away (wish I had bought it)
    Code Names
    Colt Express

    Game of the year (the one that most impressed you)
    Triumph & Tragedy
    Code Names

    Game of the year (the one I had the most fun playing)
    Fast games providing an alternative to King of Tokyo
    Code Names
    Welcome to the Dungeon
    Battlestar Galactica
    The Napoleonic Wars (89+ games: 55 with Ed and John, 18 with Ed, 16 others)

  2. A hot topic during the podcast were the conditions in Churchill for a victory over Japan. When does Japan surrender, and how do you score the situation. If you need further clarification, here are some helpful links:

    Interview with Mark Herman on this podcast, in which Mark outlines the logic behind the victory and surrender conditions.

    Mark's explanation of the victory conditions:

    Mark's advice on defeating the Axis in Churchill:

    Also, check out the latest C3i for a detailed playthrough by Mark Herman versus two bots, with very helpful commentary throughout.

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