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Jason and Katie discuss board games, life and nonsense.


Episode 84 - Top Games of 2018 revisit part 2


  • Beggy Banter!!
  • Reviews of our show 
  • Venmo story


  • Maracaibo, the new strategy game for 1-4 players by Alexander Pfister, is set in the Caribbean during the 17th century. The players try to increase their influence in three nations in four rounds with a play time of 40 minutes per player.  The players sail on a round course through the Caribbean. E.g., you have city tiles where you are able to perform various actions or deliver goods to. One special feature is an implemented quest mode over more and various tiles, which tells the player, who chase after it, a little story.  As a player, you move with your ship around the course, managing it by using cards like in other games from Alexander Pfister.
  • Gangsta by Schmeta Games. $19 with 37 days to go.
  • Rick Loomis (R.I.P.)

Games played:

  • Jason - Trapper Keeper Game
  • Joel - Abomination
  • Jason - Coimbra
  • Joel -  Lords of Vegas 

Revisiting our 2018 top 10 part 2: 

Jason: 5 - Rise to Nobility
Joel: 5 - Heroes of Land Air and Sea
Jason: 4 - Masque of the Red Death
Joel: 4 - Empires of the Void 2
Jason: 3 - Symphony # 9
Joel: 3 – Feudum
Jason: 2 – Caper 
Joel: 2 – Coimbra
Jason: 1 - Coimbra
Joel: 1 - AuZtralia


Possible games that could have made the top games of 2018:  Architects of the West Kingdom, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Gugong, Newton

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BGM Blog 10

By Jason

Late to the Party

  • Dedicated to “Travis”

Game nights are precious commodities because scheduling one around people’s busy lives can be challenging. That means when one is scheduled and people agree to attend they should do everything they can to get there on time. Sometimes stuff happens and that is understandable but there are also sometimes when people just manage time poorly and show up late for no reason. These are the people we are addressing here. 

To show up late to a game night that involves other people is the equivalent of stealing their time. Let me explain this a bit more. Say that the game night is four hours long and in that four hours two great Euros can be played. If someone shows up 30 minutes late that puts the game night to 3.5 hours and could make getting those two games played a challenge. Most times the allotted time is barely enough to get games played so starting behind the 8-ball on time makes it almost impossible. 

Maybe this is a non issue for some game groups or maybe my expectations are just too high. I mean it is kind of unfair to expect someone to be places on time when they say they will be there at that time. I know my boss really doesn’t expect me to be at work everyday at 8am...it is more of a suggestion and I can just stroll in whenever I want.  Sometimes people, I think, just get carried away in their own timelines and forget that their actions can have an impact on others.  I guess the long short of this post is of game night starts at 4 let’s all try to get together at 3:45 to get the dice rolling by 4.



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Episode 83 - Top Games of 2018 revisited part 1


  • Zany Banter!!


  • Taxi Derby by Skipshot Games. 14 days to go and $34 - modular board. Players are picking up passengers and trying to deliver them to locations as fast as possible. If cops are alerted the taxis will need to our run the police. Customers require certain upgrades to their taxi before they will be able to be picked up. 
  • Mr. Meeple Board Game Shirts. 2 days to go and $18 for one of the shirts and $34 for two shirts. 
  • Burgle Brothers 2 from Fowers Games
  • Tabeltop Ink - Jillian Schmett
  • Root Digital

Games played:

  • Jason - Lisboa
  • Joel - Rajas of the Ganges
  • Jason - Portals and Prophets
  • Joel -  Horrified
    • Honorable Mention - Black Angel

Revisiting our 2018 top 10 part 1: 

Jason:  10 - Everdell: probably be higher on the list now. One of the few on this portion of the list I have played since we did this list.
Joel: 10 - Villainous- Good, but too weird for most situations

Jason:  9 - Gearworks: this would be off the list. Haven’t played it since and in hindsight probably shouldn’t have been on here.
Joel: 9 - Guardians- Still really good, but my taste in games continues to evolve. 

Jason:  8 - Spirits of the Wild: played this a lot since this list. I still enjoy it. It is a quick and fun 2 player game.
Joel: 8 - Temporal Odyssey- Moved this to a friend’s house. Again, taste in games has changed.

Jason:  7 - Spell Smashers: still agree with this pick. Haven’t played this since the original list was made but definitely want to. 
Joel: 7 - Gizmos

Jason:  6 - Legend of the Cherry Tree: one of my favorite push your luck games. Still under the radar and I love it. I have played this a lot since making this original top 10.
Joel: 6 - Western Legends


Root, Quacks of Quedlinburg, Teotihuacan, Chronicles of Crime, Gugong, Underwater Cities, Newton, Dice Throne Season 1, Imaginarium, Architects of the West Kingdom, Palm Island

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BGM Blog 9

By Jason

How I Teach Board Games

Something that I have been pondering on recently is the best way to teach other players board games.  In most instances (not all, but a lot) I am the person that teaches people games.  This means that I usually set the game up prior to game day and do the following:


  1. Read the rules
  2. Read the rules again
  3. Set up the game according to the rulebook
  4. Play a two player game solo
  5. This will help ensure that I understand the mechanisms and actions to better explain
  6. Learn end game triggers
  7. Learn end game scoring
  8. Review the rulebook for anything that is a bit odd to ensure proper understanding


After I have done all of this I put the game away and am ready to go for game night. 


Fast forward to game night….


When all of the other players show up I bring the game out and set it up as I did previously when taking the game for a test run.  I try to not read from the rule book because I know that it turns some players off so I just explain the game from what I remember of my trial play and initial passes thru the rule book.  This works to give players a full understanding of how the game works.  If they end up having questions that I didn’t happen to explain I will then crack open the rule book to find the answer to their question.  Then we start playing.  I like to use the rule book only for card clarifications and maybe some obscure rules that show their head once or twice over the course of a game.


There are some wrinkles that come up sometimes.  These would simply be players that ask to explain the game while also explaining the theme.  Why are we doing this?  Why does this action do what it does? Why is the art the way that it is?  You guys all know me. I am mechanics over theme all day long so when these players ask me to include them in explanation it trips me up.  It causes me to not be able to explain the game as effectively as I would normally because I am trying to think of thematic ties as to why we are moving this cube from this space to that space when a six is rolled.  Tricky I know.  I do my best and sometimes I think I even do a good job but it is rough.


The way I teach games may not be the way that you would teach a game and that is alright.  It is a personal preference on how we tackle this.  Sometimes it even depends on what types of players that you have in your game group.  It is best to teach them the way that they like to be taught and not the way that you particularly like to teach i.e explaining the thematic ties.  Just some thoughts.


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BGM Blog 8

by Jason


Board Game Media Loves to Complain


Earlier this week I was watching an episode of Chit Chat from a prominent review channel, that has some men and meeples fighting, and they were recapping their GenCon experience. I am always interested to hear what people think the highlights of certain conventions are which is why I clicked on this episode. At the very beginning of the episode these reviewers were talking about how they had to take a week off after GenCon to recoup from the busyness and exhaustion and this got under my skin. It is these reviewers JOB to go to cons (free of charge), play board games, review and preview games and do all things board game related. These certain people don’t have to go to a day job to make ends meet and do their board game stuff after working a full day...THIS IS THEIR JOB. Hearing media complain about a job where they are playing games all day gets under my skin.  I would love to play board games all day including all of the new hotness that is coming out three years from now and then have the nerve to complain. In their defense maybe their butts get tired of sitting at the gaming table or they ran away it of their favorite beverage and that really ruined their day. Or maybe, just maybe, these men are just tired from fighting meeples all day. I know I would be. 

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Episode 82 - Gamer Advice


  • Zany Banter!!

Return of a game…. Pai (asmodee) owns…. 


  • Rune Stones Rudiger Dorn and Queen. 6 days left and $45. Rune Stones is a deck-building, hand management game. In Rune Stones, every card has a unique number on it. Two cards are always played together, and the higher numbered card is removed from the player's deck. You have to be careful which cards you buy and how you play them to not lose your best cards. Players will use their cards to gather gems, forge them into Artifacts, then combine those into Rune Stones, which grants a special ability for the rest of the game. The more artifacts used in making a Rune Stone, the more points it scores, so players must decide whether it is best to gain abilities early or save to score more points.
  • Free Market NYC by Unique Board Games LLC. This is an auction and trading game where players are trying to be the best capitalist. $49 and 4 days left. 
  • Speaking of a free market….. Amodeus errr. Asmodee bought Lion Rampant Games….
  • TIL employees who work for FFG for five years get their likeness in a piece of art for one of their games
  • Tapestry
  • BGG


Games played:

  • Jason - Agra
  • Joel - Edge of Darkness
  • Jason - Queen Bee
  • Joel -  Homebrewers


Gamer Advice: 

  • Joel - If you are new to the hobby, give a game a couple months. 
  • Jason - Playing old games is acceptable. 
  • Joel -  Don’t play with people who need convinced to play. 
  • Jason - No need to be cult of the future. WRONG!!!!!! Kidding. 
  • Joel - Don’t force a game.
  • Jason - Be willing to try games that are outside your wheelhouse. 
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Episode 81 - GenCon Post Mortem


  • Zany Banter!!


  • Sleeping Gods Red Raven. $70 and 20 days left. Seems to be the next game like Above and Below and Near and Far. 
  • Fiasco! 
  • SHASN!
  • Trial by Trolley

Games played:

  • Jason - Skull King
  • Joel - Jambo
  • Jason - Helios
  • Joel -  Balloon Cup 

Joel Recaps GenCon:  

  • Con Cons:  Lines, cosplays, crowds, and mystery boxes. 
  • Homebrewers, Legendary 007, Parks, Terror Below, Obscurio, Cartographers, Foodies, Watergate, Crusoe Crew, Black Angel, Abomination, City of Big Shoulders, Edge of Darkness


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Episode 80 - Disappointments


  • Zany Banter!!
  • Katie takes the co hosting reins because Jason is under the weather. 

This podcast will CHANGE YOUR LIFE All your wildest dreams will come true with this. Unless that dream is to meet Stefan Feld, in which case, sorry.

Games 7,8, and 9. 

1 Root  

2 Anachrony  

3 Harry Potter Battle of Hogwarts  

4 Blackout Hong Kong 

5 Reckoners 

6 Dice Throne (season 1 and 2...but that counts as one)

7 Teen Titans Deckbuilding Game 

8 Chronicle of Crime 

9 Teo…  Tay-oh-tee-wah-cahn


  • Tattoo Brawl: No Paint No Game. $29 13 days left. Hand and resource management game. Players are taking on clients and trying to put the type of tattoo they are wanting in them to earn a pay day. Kind of mean as you can steal stuff from other players. 
  • GWAR vs Time $60 plus; deck builder, add’l merch, bring Gwar to GenCon 2020
  • JOEL- RIP Richard Berg, HEX saga…. Dwarves in Trouble… Yokai City of Crime. 

Games played:

  • Katie - Bohnanza Ladies and Babies expansion
  • Joel - Little Town
  • Katie - Naga Raja Hurrican Asmodee 
  • Joel -  Dizzle 

Top 3 disappointments: 

  • Joel - Descent
  • Katie - World’s Fair 18-whatever (1893)
  • Joel -  Betrayal At the House on the Hill 
  • Katie - Vinhos
  • Joel -  Gearworld: The Borderlands
  • Katie - 7 Wonders/Dominion


Joel - Agents of Smersh, Android and Netrunner, Arkham Horror, Mysterium, Doomtown Reloaded, L5R, Rise of Augustus

Katie - Scythe, Captain Sonar, Dragonsgate College, Star Wars Destiny, Broom Service, Castles of Burgundy

  • Jason - Rialto
  • Jason - Favor of the Pharaoh
  • Jason - Kingdom Builder

Jason - Formula D, Century Eastern Wonders, Letter of Marque, Mombasa

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