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Board Game Barrage

292 EpisodesProduced by Board Game BarrageWebsite

Join Kellen, Neilan, Mark, and Christina for a podcast about board games, the latest hotness, and how to have fun with your friends even when you're losing.

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#293: The Great Epochs of Board Gaming

November 23rd, 2023


In what could be our most grandiose episode yet, we attempt to tame the wild history of all of board games. We traverse the timeline, unpacking what …

#292: Lightning Round

November 9th, 2023


Uh oh, is that thunder? That must mean it's time for a lightning round - we're scooping up all the lovely questions and suggestions that just aren't big enough for the main event, and stuffing them in the blender. This …

#291: Fantasy Draft: Reiner Knizia

October 26th, 2023


Drafts are back, baby. And not just any old draft, no, but to celebrate the return of the greatest game, we're drafting none other than the best of …

#290: Stuck in the Mid With You

October 12th, 2023


Are board games stuck? Not to be dramatic or anything, but it does seem like we keep circling the same ideas over and over again, right? We speculate …

#289: Essen SPIEL 2023 Hype List

September 28th, 2023


It's almost time for Essen SPIEL 2023, the great German Mecca of our people - and while we're not going ourselves, that's not going to stop us yearning. We're hear to tell you about all the amazing games available at …

#288: Less is More

September 14th, 2023


A little prune, a little embellish, a nip, a tuck, and a flourish, and we can get this thing just how we like it. We're looking at all the little things that we'd like to see more of, all the things we'd like to see …

#287: There's a Time and Place for Everything

August 31st, 2023


Timing is everything, which is why it's so important that this episode came out when it did. Had we made it too early, it would have felt dated, and …

#286: The Worst Duo, Kellen & Mark

August 17th, 2023


I leave for one episode and these idiots are talking about eating board games. Hard hitting questions for hard hitting board game journalists, Kellen & Mark are on the scene reporting in. Before we claw our way back …

#285: Starting is Easy, Finishing is Hard

August 3rd, 2023


A solid end game trigger can be such an overlooked part of the design of a game. The conventional wisdom for most things is to start strong and …

#284: Gen Con 2023 Preview

July 20th, 2023


It's convention season, and the big one is almost upon us, as board gamers across America prepare to descend on Indiana. Gen Con! We won't be there …

#283: Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal

July 6th, 2023


Not all are as blessed as we are by the gift of truly original thought, and so many turn to others for inspiration. Whether it's Newton standing on …

#282: A Soupçon of Sackson

June 22nd, 2023


After much consternation at his exclusion from our Mount Rushmore of games, we've decided to honour legendary designer Sid Sackson elsewhere - a BGB Designer Spotlight! I think these used to be called BGB DOGs but even …

#281: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 901-1000

June 15th, 2023


We've reached the end of our fantasy draft series, the last in this increasingly dire list of games from which we pluck five gems each, and then get you to vote on your favourites. There's a (potential) $50 gift card in …

#280: Equal and Opposite Interactions

June 8th, 2023


We're veering into the dark roads of board game classification, but this time with a goal in mind - how to best highlight games that feature strong …

#279: Let the Golden Age Begin

June 1st, 2023


Are we living in a golden age of board games? It's a simple question, but there's a lot to unpack - what even qualifies as a golden age, have we …

#278: Check Check Check

May 25th, 2023


We're lucky to have covered wide swathes of the board game world, but there was a time when some of those things were aspirational. Like achievements to cross off on the great board game check list ... or like that …

#277: Definitely Not a Mailbag Episode

May 18th, 2023


It's just two of us, so we turn our attention to the burning questions that you've been asking us, in a feature we're calling Topic Talk Back. This is not to be confused with the format we've used before, mailbags are …

#276: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 801-900

May 11th, 2023


It's the penultimate draft of the BGG Top 1000 series, and all of these games are garbage ... but it's up to us to sift through that garbage, and …

#275: Building and Breaking Conventions

May 4th, 2023


Any creative work is built on a lot of conventions - things that we take as granted, the unspoken rules that must be followed. We get a lot of really …

#274: Guessing Golden Geeks

April 27th, 2023


We can all agree the Golden Geeks peaked last year, but I suppose we can continue the facade if we must. Nominees are out for BoardGameGeek's annual …

#273: Bob Chat

April 20th, 2023


Board games are a social medium, which is a big part of their appeal for us. It's not just about being heads down solving a puzzle, they facilitate …

#272: Cool Story, Bro

April 13th, 2023


Good storytelling isn't easy, and board games seem to struggle with it especially - which makes the ones that do pull it off, all the more memorable. …

#271: The Un-Episode

April 6th, 2023


I mean, I don't know. Before we do whatever, we talk about Circle the Wagons, El Gaucho, Roller Coaster Rush, and Applejack.


01:48 - …

#270: You May Feel a Little Discomfort

March 30th, 2023


Board games are great! Mostly. But as great as they are, we've probably all had a moment where, through no fault of the game itself, things got …

#269: Keep On Rollin', Bob

March 23rd, 2023


BGBBOB's back, and he's rollin' (rollin') rollin' on a river of amazing games, all of which feature some incredible dice play. As is our sacred duty, …

#268: We Played a Slew of Games!

March 16th, 2023


We (well some of us) made it back from Vegas, and what happened there didn't stay there - we're reporting in from Dice Tower West 2023, a fun week of friends, casinos, and all you can eat sushi. To everyone we met, …

#267: Our Listeners’ Top 20 Board Games of All-Time 2023

March 9th, 2023


I always love this one. It's the time of the year where we look at what your favourite games are, and discover whether there are any exciting movers and shakers in what you've been playing! It's the BGB Listener Top 20! …

#266: Don't Mess with Cathala

March 2nd, 2023


Bruna Cathala is the focus of this episode's BGB DOG, the unfortunately acronymed series where we showcase a designer whom we love, and talk through the history of their career and designs. Before we pay tribute to the …

#265: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 701-800

February 23rd, 2023


The draft is back, and while the lists are getting really thin at this point, that's not going to stop us doing our damndest to pick out a killer selection of five games each. Whose is the best? That's up to you - and …

#264: Kellen

February 16th, 2023


We've done deep dives into games before, but really when you get down to it, games are just the medium. The substrate. What it's always been about is people. We hope to pick at the minds of some of the hobby's best with …

#263: Our Most Anticipated Games of 2023

February 9th, 2023


If there's one thing I can say for sure about 2023, it's that it will certainly be a period of time. We're casting our eyes forward to the year ahead, and getting excited about some of the board games that (we hope) …

#262: The Sweet Sound of Mailbag

February 2nd, 2023


Where would we be without the mailbag? We get such lovely questions from you lot, that we rarely get the chance to answer, so when the opportunity …

#261: Resolutions and Ramifications

January 26th, 2023


You know how at the start of the year you make a lot of promises to yourself that you have no chance of holding yourself to? Yeah, this isn't like …

#260: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2022: 10-1

January 19th, 2023


Here it is, the one we've all been waiting for, the Board Game Barrage top ten games of all time! It's been a long road and we'll wrap it up by …

#259: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2022: 20-11

January 12th, 2023


We've reached the penultimate part of our five part series, the great series that is sometimes called our top fifty greatest games of all time! We're …

#258: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2022: 30-21

January 5th, 2023


It's a new year, but the list must go on. The list, that is, of our top fifty greatest games of all time! It's part three, which everyone knows is the dark middle chapter of every pentalogy, so expect some swoops, some …

#257: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2022: 40-31

December 29th, 2022


I hope you all had a good holiday break, but it's time to get back to business. The very serious business that is the top fifty greatest games of all …

#256: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2022: 50-41

December 15th, 2022


It's top fifty season! That's right, it's the time to reflect on every single game we've ever played, and see how we feel about them in the year of our lord, 2022. We sort through the chaff, and from it we weave a …

#255: Kellen Played a Hop of Games!

December 8th, 2022


Kellen won't stop rubbing in that he went to PAX Unplugged without us, but at least he came back with a lot of cool games to talk about. Join us as …

#254: A Celebration of Innovation

December 1st, 2022


One of the greatest things about taking part in this hobby, is seeing new and novel ideas bubble to the surface. We're looking at some our favourite recent innovations - stuff that makes us think, "Huh, why haven't we …

#253: The Ghost of Turkeys Past

November 23rd, 2022


How do you all keep falling for this? The Ghost Turkey moves in mysterious ways, and this year he's moving us to 2019, to atone for our sins. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

04:48 - ICECOOL 06:24 - Meeple Circus 06:49 - …

#252: Digital Killed the Tabletop Star

November 17th, 2022


We all saw this coming. The inevitable digital future has come, and suddenly Mark is a book store owner who just discovered Kindles. It'd be sad if it weren't so inevitable. We discuss the rise of digital gaming, and …

#251: Tabling the Teach

November 10th, 2022


Look, I wasn't there, but my understanding is that Kellen got very mad about certain board game words and decided to change the course of the episode …

#250: The Times They Are a-Changin'

November 3rd, 2022


Two hundred and fifty episodes. That's ... a lot of episodes. That's a lot of time! And, boy, things have changed around here. Well some things. We …

#249: The Essence of Excess

October 27th, 2022


Games are getting bigger and more lavish, especially in the age of crowdfunding, but how far is too far? How many luxury bits, giant boxes of minis, and silk-screened wooden meeples until it's all gone a bit far? Before …

#248: The Need for Theme

October 20th, 2022


The topic of theme has come up intermittently over the course of the podcast, but how important is it? Is it something that makes or breaks a game? …

#247: We Played A Heap of Games!

October 13th, 2022


What good would going to a convention be if we didn't play a lot of games? We're back from our trip, and it was filled to the brim of fine games …

#246: SHUX 2022 Live with Tom Brewster

October 6th, 2022


We're at SHUX! Well, we were, and while we were there, we tricked Tom Brewster of Shut Up & Sit Down to take time away from his busy schedule to …

#245: Essen SPIEL 2022 Hype List

September 29th, 2022


It's convention season, which means we're on the way to one convention, while talking about another. Every year a lot of new games get showed off at Essen SPIEL in Germany, and these are the ones we're most excited to …

#244: Quick Count

September 22nd, 2022


We're in and out quick and breezy, with a h-h-hot question about player counts. All things equally considered, how many people do you want at the table? Before we boot people from the game, we talk about Bitoku, San …

#243: We’re on Each Other’s Team

September 15th, 2022


The best thing about being part of a team is even when things go wrong, your team is there for you. And boy, did things go wrong this week ... but I'm getting ahead of myself. This week we're talking about team games! …

#242: Second Time's the Charm

September 8th, 2022


Not every game makes the best first impression, but some stick in your mind enough to warrant a second try. So fittingly, the first and second best hosts are here to tell you about the games that they think deserve a …

#241: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 601-700

September 1st, 2022


Okay, this end of the BGG top list starts to get weird. Regardless, we must draft. Who's going to end up with the best selection of five games from …

#240: The Pillars of Recreation

August 25th, 2022


The pillars of board gaming are games that are so influential, so ubiquitous, that they're practically the shoulders on which many other board games …

#239: We're Back and We Brought Lots of Games

August 18th, 2022


Well, we've returned, and some of us are a little worse for wear, but if a week off doesn't get us back into gear, nothing will. Gen Con is behind …

#237: Where Are They Now?

August 4th, 2022


Given that we hyped up all those games last week, it's only fair that we prepare ourselves for the aftermath. We look back at some of the most famous and infamous games of yesteryear that were very highly anticipated, …

#236: Gen Con 2022 Preview

July 28th, 2022


Gen Con is a week away! We're headed to Indianapolis (hope to see you there!) but before we do, we're looking down the preview list to get ourselves …

#235: The Twin Game Showdown

July 21st, 2022


There's a phenomenon called twin films, where competing studios release very similar movies at the same time. We imagine the same idea in board game land, and highlight some of the biggest board game grudge matches - …

#234: It's About Family with Ambie Valdés from Board Game Blitz

July 14th, 2022


Ambie Valdés, from the excellent podcast Board Game Blitz, joins us to talk about family games, and possibly also the Fast and the Furious franchise. Ambie actually has kids, so might know a little more about this than …

#233: A Decade of Missed Games: 2010-2019

July 7th, 2022


Well, we can't play everything, and that was probably more true ten years ago than it is now. So we thought we'd look back at the decade past, and highlight some games that we feel like we missed out on. Before we …

#232: Transcontinental Mailbag Express

June 30th, 2022


We're spread across the world and time, so we do the thing we should never do; we put the questions to you. Yes, you! It's a mailbag episode, we're …

#231: Why Fight When You Can Negotiate?

June 23rd, 2022


Yes, you could make the argument that every game is a negotiation game if you try hard enough, but for a lot of games it's more integral to the …

#230: Worth the Weight

June 16th, 2022


While we tend to enjoy games across the whole spectrum, there's something particular about sinking your teeth into a really heavy game. But it's not …

#229: The Positives of Being Negative

June 9th, 2022


There's a lot of discourse lately about the pros and cons of negative board game coverage, and so of course we thought we ought to weigh in. Is there …

#228: Bob Is Beautiful

June 2nd, 2022


It's easy to get lost in mechanical discussions of games, and forget to appreciate them as physical creations. There can be beauty in games, and we're here to get to the heart of it the only way we know, the one on one …

#227: Board Games: The Sequel: Part II: Electric Boogaloo

May 26th, 2022


It doesn't happen as much as it does in other industries, but every so often the people at the top demand serialization. We're talking about sequels in board games, when they work, when they (super) don't, and what we'd …

#226: Metapod

May 19th, 2022


Metagaming is all about the game that exists within (and without) the game - it's everything that's not written in the rules. Whether that's …

#225: Itchy, Tasty

May 12th, 2022


With the middle of the year rapidly approaching, we've acquired our fair share of games that we're really itching to play. We talk about what's …

#224: Golden Geek Awards 2021

May 5th, 2022


The Golden Geek results are in for 2021, and to avoid burying the lede ... we won! We're over the moon, naturally, but we couldn't have done it …

#223: Ye Olden Games with Mark Bigney from So Very Wrong About Games

April 28th, 2022


It's easy to get caught up in the cult of the new, but there are so many amazing games that came out before we were even in the hobby. Mark Bigney of

#222: Are You the Gatekeeper?

April 21st, 2022


There are many ways that we can accidentally contribute to gatekeeping in the hobby - pushing those who want to embrace it away. Whether it's to those outside, or even, bizarrely, to those already in, we break down the …

#221: P-P-P-Party Questions

April 14th, 2022


It doesn't quite work the same, but what do you expect when Neilan's not present? Speaking of presents, it's Mark's birthday so the rest of the crew celebrate with a parade of (don't call them hot) questions, where they …

#220: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 501-600

April 7th, 2022


It's been a little while, but we're back with the next hundred games on BoadGameGeek, and we're drafting a five game collection from them. Who ended …

#219: A Perfect Ten

March 31st, 2022


Does the perfect game exist? Probably not, but is that even the point? This week we discuss the elusive 10/10 rating, whether it makes sense to apply it, and what that means for rating games in general. Before we …

#218: Our Listeners’ Top 20 Board Games of All-Time 2022

March 24th, 2022


Wow, hundreds of you sent in your favourite games, and it was absolute chaos. But we got all the data together, cleaned up the typos, and crunched …

#217: We Got Rid of a Bunch of Games!

March 17th, 2022


There is a joy as equal in receiving a game, as moving it onto another person to enjoy. Especially, if you're Mark, when there's cash involved. We …

#216: We're Doing This Together!

March 10th, 2022


Waiting your turn is so 2021.  Simultaneous play is where it's at now. Fortunately, we got a chance to try A BUNCH of games featuring the mechanism …

#215: Some Like It H-H-Hot

March 3rd, 2022


We're on the way to Dice Tower West, so we're keeping this one easy breezy with just a hot question. How many games on your shelf do you think you …

#214: Bob's Alright (For Fighting)

February 24th, 2022


Return of the Bob! If you don't know what a BGBBOB, boy you've missed out. Twelve games enter, and, well, they all exit, but only once they've been arranged in the appropriate order via a series of one on one fights. …

#213: Approach Without Caution

February 17th, 2022


Approachability and accessibility are incredibly important to a wide swathe of gamers, but for those experienced in the hobby, it can often get overlooked. We investigate how games can aid those both in and especially …

#212: Two Can Play At That Game

February 10th, 2022


It's the triumphant return of the terrific trio - you know exactly who we mean - to talk about games where one of us would have to be left out. …

#211: Our Most Anticipated Games of 2022

February 3rd, 2022


New year, new games, and we're really in it now. We look ahead to the year ahead, and all the games that we're most excited to get our hands on ... …

#210: No One Man Should Have All That Power

January 27th, 2022


Few things feel better than those moments in board games that make you feel powerful. Whether it's playing the perfect card, pulling off a perfectly …

#209: Holiday Hits and Hot Questions

January 20th, 2022


And we're back! The holiday extravaganza is over, and it's back to business as usual around here. And what better way to get back into the swing of …

#208: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2021: 10-1 (ft. Tom Brewster)

January 13th, 2022


It's the grand finale of the event of events that is the BGB Top 50 Games of All-time! These are our ten absolute favourite games, and, fittingly, …

#207: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2021: 20-11 (ft. Ambie Valdés)

January 6th, 2022


The penultimate episode of the grand series is here, it’s the BGB Top 50! As the journey approaches its end, we’re venturing into our 20th to 11th …

#206: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2021: 30-21 (ft. Mike Walker)

December 30th, 2021


What better way to send off the year than part three of the party to end all parties, the BGB Top 50! We're adding thirty more incredible games to the list, with our 30th to 21st favourite picks. This week, we have the …

#205: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2021: 40-31 (ft. Monique & Naveen)

December 23rd, 2021


We're back for the second part of the year's greatest celebration, it's the top fifty! We've got thirty more incredible games to talk about this week, as we get into our games ranked 40th to 31st. This week in the …

#204: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2021: 50-41 (ft. Mike Dilisio)

December 16th, 2021


It's time. The event of the year is upon us, as we begin counting down our FIFTY. FAVOURITE. GAMES. OF. ALL. TIME. We're kicking it off where you kick off all good top 50s, with our games ranked 50th to 41st favourite …

#203: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

December 9th, 2021


It'd be great if we could only ever play our favourites. But sometimes, perhaps more often than not, we have to put up with playing games not because …

#202: Your Fulfilled Potential

December 2nd, 2021


Looking back on the past made us all reflective. For instance, remember 166 episodes ago when we promised to play all those games on our shelves of shame? I thought you might. We're revisiting our crimes of yesteryear, …

#201: I Choose You, Ghost Turkey!

November 24th, 2021


Gobble gobble, gotcha again. What better way to follow up one of our biggest episodes yet, than with one of our stupidest? Happy Thanksgiving, …

#200: The Big 200 Spectacular

November 18th, 2021


We did it! Two hundred episodes later and we're still here. We're so grateful to every single listener, so we wanted to turn the mics back on all of …

#199: Amerigames and Eurotrash

November 11th, 2021


The split between Eurogame and Ameritrash gamers is as old as it it is silly, but in the last ten years it's also become a lot more nebulous. It's …

#198: Making Memories

November 4th, 2021


If you've ever been a board game host, then you know it's not always just about playing games, it's about creating lasting memories for everyone playing. We'd never leave that to chance though, so of course we're often …

#197: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 401-500

October 28th, 2021


It's part five of our venerable draft series, a series so loved that it's now in syndication! We're moving on to the tail end of the BGB Top 500, but the format stays the same: draft five games to build a standalone …

#196: Question Time with Jeremy

October 21st, 2021


We love all of the emails we get from you, our lovely listeners, but without a regular mail segment, we can't often give them the attention they …

#195: Eric, Eric, He's Our Lang

October 14th, 2021


We're always excited for a new Eric Lang game, which makes him an obvious candidate for the absolutely-not-called BGB DOG - our series where we deep …

#194: Essen SPIEL 2021 Hype List

October 7th, 2021


Convention season in the new world continues, and this time it's Germany's turn, with Essen SPIEL just days away from kicking off. But tanks, you say, I don't sprechen Deutsch. We've got you. We're going to highlight …

#193: Three Dimensions of Space

September 30th, 2021


There is one unenviable truth of board game ownership that we're forced to contend with - they occupy space. We've each had to wrestle with this reality in different ways recently, so we offer our thoughts on the …

#192: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 301-400

September 23rd, 2021


A new list of a hundred games to draft, and it only gets harder and harder. We're each picking a standalone collection of five games in a snake draft …

#191: Take Off Every Zig

September 16th, 2021


While one of the appeals of following a specific game designer is the comforting familiarity of what they do best, it’s also really fun to see them …

#190: Why Are You the Way That You Are?

September 9th, 2021


One of the things we love to do, especially if we're playing a game for the first time, is analyse it while we're playing. We're sure this totally …

#189: Uwe Baby

September 2nd, 2021


We love Uwe Rosenberg around these parts, whether it's because of our infatuation with polyominoes, the need to keep workers fed, or the strange …

#188: Whatever It Takes

August 26th, 2021


Sometimes, if you want a game bad enough, you're willing to go to absurd lengths to acquire it. Whether it's because it's out of print, or just hard …

#187: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 201-300

August 19th, 2021


We're back with another fantasy draft, as we keep on moving down the BoardGameGeek top games list. If you're not familiar, we're each picking a …

#186: Don’t Knock It Till You Try It

August 12th, 2021


We all have types of games that, for whatever reason, we steer clear of. Often all that we've been missing is a more suitable introduction to the genre, or a game that's just enough of an outlier. This week, we try to …

#185: The Most Important Meal of the Day

August 5th, 2021


It's board games for dinner, but we're not just throwing whatever we could find on your plate. No, we've got menus. We lay out our ideas for a four …

#184: Science Based Friction

July 29th, 2021


Board game science is a delicate process, but thankfully BOB's here to help, in another BGB Battle of Board (Games)! This week, we're pitting our …

#183: Catch a Falling Wallace ...?

July 22nd, 2021


Martin Wallace, titan of industry, man of steam and brass. He's made a lot of games, often involving trains, but sometimes also Cthulhu. We do a deep …

#182: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek 101-200

July 15th, 2021


If you thought the Euro 2020 final was tense, wait until you listen to this episode. The next match in the world's most anticipated series is now here, as we continue down the BoardGameGeek top games list, drafting a …

#181: Save Dat Money

July 8th, 2021


Look, we know, we don't exactly help matters, but this hobby can be expensive. So, to make up for fueling your FOMO, we're gonna lay out some of the ways that we consciously try to curb our board game spending, while …

#180: The Rules of Investing

July 1st, 2021


We often talk about the burden of rules, and how in some of our favourite games, they just get out of the way. But when is that burden worthwhile; …

#179: Ignorance Is Bliss

June 24th, 2021


Sometimes it's best not to know, right? You've just played a game, and you liked it a lot, but you're not quite sure whether that faction is quite …

#178: The Power of Production

June 17th, 2021


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 …

#177: Fantasy Draft: BoardGameGeek Top 100

June 10th, 2021


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 …

#176: Sweet Summer Lovin'

June 3rd, 2021


We've got a couple of quick questions from listeners that we thought made for some fun talking points. We're trying to figure out what the board game equivalent of black licorice is, and  Before rustle in the mailbag, …

#175: Cute As a Button

May 27th, 2021


As longstanding experts on being cute, we thought we'd finally bring both of our fields of expertise to bear on one topic. It's a return to the classic top five list, and we're counting down the cutest goshdarn board …

#174: Live Your Legacy

May 20th, 2021


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 …

#173: Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Games

May 13th, 2021


We talk about so many good games on this podcast, that it might seem like there aren't enough bad games to balance it out. There's a good reason we don't often play or talk about them, but maybe every so often we ought …

#172: Don't Hate the Player, Hate the Game

May 6th, 2021


After last week's love-fest made us all uncomfortable, we had to get back to what do best, spirited in-fighting. To that end, we've devised three debates around the same core: is that often criticized mechanic a design …

#171: A Complimentary Compilation

April 29th, 2021


We had so many fun ideas for this week that we couldn't settle on just one! It's always great getting topic suggestions from our listeners, but not …

#170: Friedemann Friese Frenzy

April 22nd, 2021


We love Friedemann Friese, so much so that we're devoting a whole episode to the green-haired designer - a comprehensive look back at his …

#169: Our Most Anticipated Games of 2021

April 15th, 2021


We're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and with the exciting possibility of actually being able to play games together again, we …

#168: Board Games Suck with Dan Hughes from Sporadically Board

April 8th, 2021


Dan Hughes from Sporadically Board joins us to flip the podcast on its head. Now that we've spent a hundred and sixty seven episodes raving about board games, it's only fair that we discuss all the reasons they suck. …

#167: Cleanin' Out My Closet

April 1st, 2021


As important as it is to talk about that which we have received, so must we mark the loss of the games whose time has passed. Board games leave our …

#166: You've Got to Iterate to Innovate

March 25th, 2021


Design often builds heavily on what has come before, but some designers, have made an art of iteration, taking their own beloved designs, and frequently reinventing them in new ways. We dig into this practice of …

#165: Thriving or Barely Surviving?

March 18th, 2021


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 …

#164: Get Uncomfortable

March 11th, 2021


It's getting a bit too comfortable around here. Time to put stones in our shoes, tighten our belts, and get out of our comfort zones. We talk about the times that we've found ourselves in unfamiliar or uncomfortable …

#163: Our Listeners' Top 20 Board Games of All-Time 2021

March 4th, 2021


Wow! We asked for your top twenty lists, and boy did you deliver. We've crunched the numbers on the hundreds of submissions, and created what we think is the definitive list of BGB listeners' favourite board games. Now …

#162: God Does Not Play Dice

February 25th, 2021


We're seeing a lot more versions of games that are X: The Dice Game or Y: The Card Game. These are (usually) simplified takes on beloved classics, but often end up changing the feel of the game dramatically. We discuss …

#161: Mechanically Bullish

February 18th, 2021


Sometimes all it takes is a good designer (and the right game) to take what would otherwise be a mechanic we don't like, and utilize it in a way that …

#160: Resolutions and Revisitations

February 11th, 2021


Look, when we made those resolutions in episode 105, how were we to know? The world exploded, and here we are, one year later, sheepishly looking …

#159: Picking Favorites

February 4th, 2021


We've been doing it a lot lately, so we thought we'd reflect on the ways that we evaluate our favourite games. How do you even begin to compare extremely dissimilar games, some party, some strategy? The process of …

#158: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2020: 10-1

January 28th, 2021


It's the big one! We've come at last to the grand finale of the Board Game Barrage Top 50 Games of All Time ... Top. Ten. Baby. These are our …

#157: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2020: 20-11

January 21st, 2021


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 …

#156: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2020: 30-21

January 14th, 2021


It's the dark middle chapter of the Board Game Barrage Top 50 Games of All Time. Time to call in a new director, change things up, and get subversive. Well, if there were any directors who'd still work with us. This …

#155: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2020: 40-31

January 7th, 2021


Now we're getting into the thick of it, in fact some are calling it the most ambitious Part II released in any medium. It's the Board Game Barrage Top 50 Games of All Time! We're in our thirties (even if we wish we …

#154: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2020: 50-41

December 31st, 2020


It's here at last, the big event! Yes, it's the first episode of the yearly ritual we inventively call the Board Game Barrage Top 50 Games of All Time. And this year, for the first time, the Blue Tank, Christina is …

#153: Never Look Back at 2020

December 17th, 2020


Heads set firmly forward, we reflect on what's been a completely wild year. Despite our complete inability to play a lot of them, board games did happen, so we take a bit of time to talk about the biggest surprises and …

#152: Bob's Holiday Gift Guide

December 10th, 2020


'Tis the season, and if you're me, your first thought around this time of year is, "How many people can I just buy board games for?" But not all board game gifts are created equal! No, no, no, we need to find the best. …

#151: Your Attention Please

December 3rd, 2020


There's so much going on in board game land all of the time that it can be hard to know where to focus your attention. So, this week, we each give an example of people, publishers, and sites that we've been keeping an …

#150: Revenge of the Ghost Turkey

November 26th, 2020


Gobble gobble, you got got! We wouldn't leave you hanging when there's important work to be done. Happy Thanksgiving!

02:54 - Marco Pollo: Sultry …

#149: Have You No Shame?

November 19th, 2020


Boy, what a year it's been for accumulating games that we can't play. The shelf of shame, the collection of games we own that are yet to see a single …

#148: Your Comfort Zone

November 12th, 2020


Put on your thick socks, wrap yourself in a blanket, and get comfortable with us in front of the fire. We're using our patent pending formula (aka …

#147: The Great Compromise

November 5th, 2020


At least in some things, you've got to give a little to get a little, but what would you give to get what you want? We're coming up with our big …

#146: Essen SPIEL 2020 Hype List

October 29th, 2020


Essen SPIEL is the latest of the conventions in 2020 to go digital, which is convenient for us, because we weren't about to fly to Germany any time soon. We perused the upcoming games that were showcased as part of the …

#145: Zero to One Hundred: $100 Collection Triple Triumph

October 22nd, 2020


We weren't going to let Kellen have the last word on what makes the perfect $100 collection, so the 139 squad is here to finish it out. Forgot the …

#144: Zero to One Hundred: Red Tank’s $100 Collection

October 15th, 2020


It's an awful notion, but bear with me. What if you lost your entire board game collection, and had to rebuild it from scratch? Here's the catch,

#143: Pace Yourself

October 8th, 2020


Slow and steady might win the race, but it doesn't make for an exciting board game. Pacing is a vital component of most entertainment mediums that doesn't often get applied to board games, so we're going to climb and …

#142: Play Me a Memory

October 1st, 2020


Blessed are the forgetful, because they don't have to play memory games? After all, games with a strong memory component often get a bad rap in the …

#141: Expectations Great and Small

September 24th, 2020


We often build up the idea of what a game will be before we play it, whether for bad or good, and the reality of the game itself might deliver something we weren't expecting. We take a look at what often leads to our …

#140: All About Auctions

September 17th, 2020


We return to our much loved feature from 2018, all about our favourite mechanics. This week, a mere two years later: auctions! We look at the good and bad sides of auction mechanics, and discuss our favourite games …

#139: Bugbear Brawl

September 10th, 2020


It's an unprecedented trio of hosts, but we're no less heated about our biggest board game bugbears. In fact, we're so upset about these little …

#138: Life's Lessons Learned

September 3rd, 2020


It would be hard for us to be as invested in this hobby as we are, if we didn't think there was something important underlying it. We share some of …

#137: Past Its Prime

August 27th, 2020


Some games are built to last, and no, we're not just talking about the ... R-word. For others, the high highs of early games must give way to the dawning realization that all is not well. We look at reasons we might …

#136: H-h-h-hot Hot Hot

August 20th, 2020


Hot days call for hot questions! To counter the California heat wave, we get breezy with a round of hot questions. We take a long hard look at games we love, but don't play, and give our takes on the theme to end all …

#135: Social Climbing

August 13th, 2020


It's a Social Deduction BGBBOB! For those that don't know what that means, it's a Board Game Barrage Battle of (the), where we pit all of the best social deduction games against each other in a fight to …

#134: CHAOS!

August 6th, 2020


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 …

#133: Light It Up

July 30th, 2020


Things got a bit heavy last week, so let's take things down a notch by exploring the other end of the scale. Light games are just as important for a …

#132: Heavy Duty with Monique from Before You Play

July 23rd, 2020


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 …

#131: But At What Cost?

July 16th, 2020


Even if the price is right, it might not be right for you. We all have different thresholds where a board game we're interested in crosses from, …

#130: And the Award Goes To ...

July 9th, 2020


It's award season when we say it is, so we're looking back at the Golden Geek Awards, The Dice Tower Awards, and the Spiel des Jahres nominees. We …

#129: Fight for Your Right to Party

July 2nd, 2020


BGBBOB, party edition! For those not keeping up, that's BGB Best of Board Games, which is definitely not the final name (but also maybe is) for our recurring feature where we duel rank games into an incontestable …

#128: The Means of Production with Richard Simpson

June 25th, 2020


We're joined by Richard Simpson of We're Not Wizards, who is definitely not a magician, Victorian or otherwise, to talk about the line between game …

#127: No Stupid Questions

June 18th, 2020


We asked for your questions, and you provided! Some of you used Instagram, some of you used voicemail, but however you reached out, your voice was heard. We chose only a few to answer (quality notwithstanding), but we'd …

#126: So Very Wrong About Games

June 11th, 2020


I know this is going to come as a shock, but sometimes we get things wrong. As we've worked our way through the hobby, we've discovered that some positions we once held, aren't ones we still do. So it's time to revisit …

#125: REwrite the Stars

June 4th, 2020


Once loved board games will often circle back into the limelight with reprints, but we're also starting to see a lot more get remasters and remakes too. We take a look at this trend, and discuss some re-imaginings our …

#124: Constraints You Can See

May 28th, 2020


While all games have some restrictions, some games are more willing than others to let you go off the rails. For instance, some leave the economy entirely in the hands of the players, free to tank it if they please. We …

#123: Filler Up

May 21st, 2020


Sometimes you have a little gap of time between larger, heavier games, and what you need is a palate cleanser, which brings us to the realm of games we lovingly call "fillers". We kick off the very first Ranked Duel …

#122: Strongest Starter

May 14th, 2020


When you're playing a game for the first time, and barely know what you're even doing, how do you even begin to strategize? That's what we're asking ourselves this week, as we explore some of our approaches to first …

#121: FANTASTIC Four with Mike Walker from So Very Wrong About Games

May 7th, 2020


Mike Walker from So Very Wrong About Games joins us to talk about games that we add to our collection, not for ourselves, but (gasp) for others. …

#120: Light on the Horizon

April 30th, 2020


We all need something to look forward to, so this episode we're eagerly anticipating all the good things in the world of board gaming that are yet to come in 2020. Some of it might be a ways off, but where's the harm in …

#119: The Seven Week Itch

April 23rd, 2020


Look, digital gaming is great and all, but there are some games that either don't lend themselves well to the format, or aren't available. Whatever the reason, there are lots of games that we're itching to play once the …

#118: Of the Utmost Importance

April 16th, 2020


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 …

#117: All Decked Out

April 9th, 2020


It's time for another "What we love, what we hate", and this time we're looking at deck builders! Its been twelve years since Dominion blew things up, and since then you don't have to look very far to see a game that …

#116: The Cyber Reloaded

April 2nd, 2020


To make it through quarantine, we take another look at digital games in a time when it might just be our only option. We've got to get our board game fill somehow! We investigate how our relationship to the electronic …

#115: Gone But Not Forgotten

March 26th, 2020


There's only so much space on our shelves, so games don't always stick around forever, but that doesn't always mean that we don't like them. There are many reasons that a good game might get the boot, so let's talk …

#114: Let It Grow

March 19th, 2020


Some games put their best foot forward on the first play, eager to have most players feel good right out of the box. Other games are content to take their time. This episode we're focusing on the latter, games that …

#113: Trust is Good, Area Control is Better

March 12th, 2020


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 …

#112: We Played a Bunch of Games!

March 5th, 2020


Let me set the scene: It's a late night at a hotel in Nevada, we're sprawled on the floor around a microphone, and we're flexing our tired hands after three days spent playing so many board games. Coming at you from …

#111: Conventional Wisdom

February 27th, 2020


We've learned a thing or two about game nights and conventions over the years. The hobby has changed, and we've had to change with it! This episode, we talk about what's different with how we approach large meetings of …

#110: One Small Thing

February 20th, 2020


Sometimes a game is hitting all the right notes, and you want to recommend it wholeheartedly ... but there's just one tiny blemish you can't …

#109: Harshing My Buzz

February 13th, 2020


We're gluttons for punishment this week, because we're talking about harshness in board games. These are the sort of games where big moves or bad mistakes can be hard to recover from. Harsh games aren't for everyone, so …

#108: We Have to Go Back

February 6th, 2020


We're reflecting on the past this episode, looking back at the things we said - never wise, by the way. The games of 2019 had a lot of promise, but how young and dumb they seem to our aged eyes. Where are they now? Join …

#107: Get It Right the First Time

January 30th, 2020


You only get one chance to play a game for the first time, but sometimes events conspire to make that debut ... less than ideal. We look at some …

#106: Popcorn Time with Mike DiLisio

January 23rd, 2020


Mike DiLisio (of The Dice Tower, and Sporadically Board) makes his BGB podcast debut as the Fandango Tank! Mike's trying to sell us on popcorn games. These are games that may or may not be ... critically sound, but …

#105: Resolutions and Revelations

January 16th, 2020


We're in a post top-fifty world, and it's about time we take this whole 2020 thing seriously. No more looking back, we've got to start looking to the …

#104: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2019: 10-1

January 9th, 2020


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 …

#103: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2019: 20-11

January 1st, 2020


A new year, a new decade, a new podcast, and a new batch of games that we love talking about. It's the fourth in our five part series of our 50 favourite board games of all-time, and appropriately, we're kicking off …

#102: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2019: 30-21

December 25th, 2019


It's the season of giving, so our gift to you is more of our favourite board games of all-time! We're only just halfway, so get comfortable in front of the fire, grab an eggnog, and join us for thirty more incredible …

#101: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2019: 40-31

December 18th, 2019


We're shifting up a gear, the stakes are higher, it's all to play for, and a whole host of other cliches, in the second of our five part series on …

#100: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2019: 50-41

December 12th, 2019


We made it! The big one-oh-oh. That's a thing people say, right? We're starting a five episodes series, working our way down each of our top fifty games of all time. We'll discuss what might make a game move up or down …

#99: Sore Today, Strong Tomorrow

December 5th, 2019


It's getting close now, can you feel it? Or are you just feeling sore from the game you just lost? We're talking sore losers and sore winners: people who are hard to be around when they lose or win a game. What can you …

#98: Thanks, Ghost Turkey!

November 28th, 2019


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We're showing our thanks with a surprise podcast about ... well, maybe we'll just let the episode speak for itself. Gobble gobble.

03:23 - ICECOOL 04:46 - Meeple Circus 06:11 - Root 06:42 - …

#97: Eleven Herbs and Biases

November 21st, 2019


We've all got them, whether we'll care to admit it or not, quirks and and biases that might be irrational, but nevertheless affect our judgement of the games we play. This week we're looking at a few of the little …

#96: The House of Bounce

November 14th, 2019


Uh oh, you're not enjoying the game you're playing. Now what? Is it okay to excuse yourself? Maybe it's better that you just call it rather than continue to have a bad time. This week we're talking about scenarios where …

#95: Holiday Hits

November 7th, 2019


Where has the year gone?! It's almost time to start packing our bags for various family gatherings, and inevitably the most important question becomes ... what games are we taking? Whether it's specific games for …

#94: Even When You're Losing

October 31st, 2019


It took us almost a hundred episodes, but we finally reveal how to have fun with your friends even when you're losing. Specifically, we're talking about games and mechanisms that help us enjoy our losses, because let's …

#93: Tap Tap, No Take-Backs

October 24th, 2019


Blue Tank's back to talk take-backs, so take that to the bank. It's bound to happen, someone makes a mistake on their turn and desperately wants a do-over - but how do you handle it? It's a delicate balance of making …

#92: Chasing the MacGuffin

October 17th, 2019


We're joined by the Blue Tank for a quick look back at SHUX, before we dive into a discussion on games that are better than their mechanics suggest. These are games that we might describe as not very good, but somehow …

#91: SHUX 2019 Live with Quintin Smith

October 10th, 2019


Shut Up & Sit Down's very own Quintin Smith joins us live on stage at SHUX 2019! We play a rousing game of Hundreds of Horses, discuss some games from the convention, and lay out the unspoken truths of board games - …

#90: Timmy, Jenny, Spike

October 3rd, 2019


Mark Rosewater, head designer for Magic: The Gathering, defined three player archetypes back in 2002, and we figured it'd be fun to see how we can apply them to, not just board games, but your three beloved hosts. We …

#89: Classified Information

September 26th, 2019


Inspired by BoardGameGeek's new system for classifying board game mechanisms, we give our thoughts on the changes, as well as talk about classification in general. Somehow it always leads to heated discussions, whether …

#88: Essen SPIEL 2019 Preview

September 19th, 2019


Hello, again, Germany! Well, we don't actually ever go to Essen, but boy do we wish we could. There are always so many games that debut at Essen …

#87: The Game of Life

September 12th, 2019


No, not that game. We're talking about the life cycles of games, how we acquire them, how we end up moving on from them. Where do we generally get our games from, and how do we typically get rid of them? Things get a …

#86: Shame! Shame! Shame!

September 5th, 2019


Look, there's only so much time in the day, so we don't get to play every game we ought to. But some of those missed games hurt more than others, in …

#85: Episode Too: Attack of the Adjectives

August 29th, 2019


Kellen's back, which some might say is too many hosts - apt, because we're an episode of extremes today. We're talking about games that are too simple, too complicated, too short, or too long, that might otherwise have …

#84: Best With Two

August 22nd, 2019


Kellen graces us with his absence, which means it's time for Mark and Neilan to start talking numbers. Specifically, player numbers. We're talking about optimal player counts for games, whether games ever mean what they …

#83: Dexterous Laboratory

August 15th, 2019


We're running components through our fingers this week, because we're ranking our favourite games that require dexterity. Whether it's flicking, stacking, or balancing, dexterity games tend to offer a respite from brain …

#82: Tales from the Tables

August 8th, 2019


We just flew in from Indianapolis, and boy are our arms tired! From carrying all these games. But, more than the games, it's the people you meet that …

#81: Gen Con 2019 Day Three

August 4th, 2019


Our trilogy of Gen Con podcasts concludes with one final foray between the sheets! Join us on the floor of room [redacted] for the last time, with our thoughts from day three. We talk about Sanctum, Potemkin Empire,

#80: Gen Con 2019 Day Two

August 3rd, 2019


Day two is over, but we're just getting started, because it's all about those Gen Con nights. We're up way too late, yet again, to give you the scoops from the floor. We talk about Finger Guns at High Noon, In Front of …

#79: Gen Con 2019 Day One

August 2nd, 2019


Gen Con! It's time yet again for freezer pants, gourmet coffee and going between the sheets. Join us for our quick day one impressions from the floor, and I mean that quite literally. We talk about Gravity Superstar,

#78: You Gotta Get a Gimmick

July 25th, 2019


Gimmicks are elements of a game that are the fundamental selling point, the core attention grabbing mechanic or experience that the game is built around. This episode, we're breaking down gimmicks in board games, …

#77: What You Don’t Know Can’t Hurt You

July 18th, 2019


This week we're talking about hidden trackable information. That is, information about the game state that could be remembered or recorded, but the …

#76: Gen Con 2019 Preview

July 11th, 2019


Gen Con 2019 is mere weeks away, and I bet you don't even know what games are going to be there. Fear not, we've got you covered! We're counting down …

#75: Failing Forward

July 4th, 2019


So, you're coming in last. You could sigh, lean back, mutter to yourself about all the things you should've done better ... or you could get back in …

#74: Story Time with Paula Deming

June 27th, 2019


Special guest Paula Deming joins us this week to tell board game stories! We think back to especially funny times we had playing a board game, that …

#73: Dictionary Attack

June 20th, 2019


You don't need no education, but you're getting one anyway. This week we're going to be explaining the meaning of some common but unclear board game words, for we are nothing if not your humble servants. Before we …

#72: The Long and the Short of It

June 13th, 2019


Time is a precious resource, so let's not waste any; we're talking about game length. How long should a game be? Is it worse if a game is too long or …

#71: A Hate-Love Relationship

June 6th, 2019


There's nothing sweeter than the softening of a heart, that precious feeling when all of the things you thought you'd dislike, suddenly become endearing. We're counting down our favourite games that we thought we were …

#70: Spiel des Jahres! The Games War!

May 30th, 2019


Somewhere in Germany every year, a specialist team assembles to decide on the best board games ... that released in Germany that year ... that no one has ever heard of. Look, the Spiel des Jahres is a bit weird, and no …

#69: Bang for Your Buck

May 23rd, 2019


Everyone likes to get the most out of their hard-earned cash, but what is a board game worth? Maybe it doesn't matter what's inside the box, maybe the real value is the friends we made along the way? Haha, just kidding, …

#68: A Mailbag of Biblical Proportions

May 16th, 2019


Letters! You love writing them, and we love reading them! This week, we look at portable and licensed games, why reviewers love social games, and give advice for your first board game convention. Before we break out the …

#67: Shelf Life

May 9th, 2019


We're well into May, so it's about time we did some spring cleaning. We talk about the games that have recently left our collection, and why it was …

#66: The Only Winning Move

May 2nd, 2019


Dominant strategies can ruin a game; if there's one clear best way to win, why not use it every time? We discuss these optimal strategies, whether they're always problematic, and how to deal with them at your game …

#65: Board Games and Chill

April 25th, 2019


Slow down. Why're you always in such a rush? Kick off your shoes, join us on the couch and enjoy a nice, tall, refreshing ... board game. We're counting down our five favourite relaxing games, the ones we're drawn to at …

#64: Are Games Even Fun?

April 18th, 2019


We're being serious. Are board games a base line level of fun that we ought to take for granted? We're all together, we're all playing a game, that's …

#63: Hype Men

April 11th, 2019


The train's pulling into the station and you've got a ticket, because this week we're talking all about hype. Why do we get irrationally excited …

#62: A Melange of Games to Play Again

April 4th, 2019


It's all well and good playing the newest, hottest games, but that doesn't stop us wanting to go back to some of the old goodies. We're counting down …

#61: Beware of the Cyber

March 28th, 2019


Electronic board games! What will they think of next?! There's been a trend of more and more board games being translated into web and mobile apps, so join us as we make the jump to cyberspace. Before we plug in, we …

#60: Tabling the Discussion

March 21st, 2019


We're at the table talking table talk, all the little things that get said while you're playing a board game. Sure, there's plenty to be said in a social deduction or negotiation game, but what about less talky games? …

#59: Ain't Nothing Like It

March 14th, 2019


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 …

#58: Game Board Confessional

March 7th, 2019


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 …

#57: Where There's a Will, There's a Gateway

February 28th, 2019


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 …

#56: Shelf of Shape Up or Ship Out

February 21st, 2019


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 …

#55: Answerversary

February 14th, 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 …

#54: 2019: An Up and Coming Year

February 7th, 2019


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 …

#53: Objection!

January 31st, 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 …

#52: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Theme

January 24th, 2019


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? …

#51: The Best of Times

January 17th, 2019


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 …

#50: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 10-1

January 10th, 2019


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 - …

#49: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 20-11

January 3rd, 2019


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 …

#48: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 30-21

December 27th, 2018


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! …

#47: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 40-31

December 20th, 2018


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!

#46: Top 50 Games of All-Time 2018: 50-41

December 13th, 2018


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 …

#45: Green Letter Episode?

December 6th, 2018


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 …

#44: Red Letter Episode

November 29th, 2018


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. …

#43: My Triumphs, My Mistakes

November 22nd, 2018


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 …

#42: We've Been Co-opted

November 15th, 2018


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 …

#41: The First Cut Is the Deepest

November 8th, 2018


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 …

#40: Bling It On

November 1st, 2018


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 …

#39: Essen SPIEL 2018 Preview

October 25th, 2018


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 …

#38: Six Things I Hate About You

October 18th, 2018


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 …

#37: Origin Story

October 11th, 2018


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 …

#36: Your Unfulfilled Potential

October 4th, 2018


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 …

#35: The Power of Balance

September 27th, 2018


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 …

#34: You Know the Rules and So Do I

September 20th, 2018


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, …

#33: You Can't Win 'Em All

September 13th, 2018


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! …

#32: Are We Having Fun Yet?

September 6th, 2018


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 …

#31: Logged and Loaded

August 30th, 2018


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 …

#30: Party Party Party

August 23rd, 2018


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 …

#29: Cult of the You Do You

August 16th, 2018


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 …

#28: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

August 9th, 2018


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 …

#27: Gen Con 2018 Day Three

August 5th, 2018


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 …

#26: Gen Con 2018 Day Two

August 4th, 2018


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 …

#25: Gen Con 2018 Day One

August 3rd, 2018


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.

#24: Gen Con 2018 Preview

July 26th, 2018


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 03:10 - Vikings 07:45 - Navegador 10:15 - Gen Con …

#23: Are You Feeling Lucky?

July 19th, 2018


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 …

#22: Baby's First Social Interaction

July 12th, 2018


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 …

#21: The Beautiful Game

July 5th, 2018


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 4:27 - Caylus 9:45 - Exit: The Game 13:39 - …

#20: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

June 28th, 2018


We're counting down games that replace other games in our collections! We also talk about Chimera Station.

01:31 - Chimera Station 05:16 - Games That …

#19: What Are You Made Of?

June 21st, 2018


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,

#18: You Get What You Give

June 14th, 2018


Skill and experience should be important parts of determining the winner of a game, but what about new players? Accessibility is important too, so, …

#17: The Best Things in Life Are $20 or Less

June 7th, 2018


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: …

#16: How to Win Friends & Area Control People

May 31st, 2018


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, …

#15: Keep Your Hands to Yourself

May 24th, 2018


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 05:41 …

#14: Do You Want to Know a Secret?

May 17th, 2018


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. 01:30 - Omen: Fires in the East …

#13: We're Still Right

May 10th, 2018


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 04:53 - Cosmic …

#12: More Isn't Always Better

May 3rd, 2018


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? …

#11: Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown

April 26th, 2018


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 …

#10: Everyone is Wrong and We are Right

April 19th, 2018


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. …

#9: PhD in Legacy

April 12th, 2018


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 …

#8: Just Deserts

April 5th, 2018


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

#7: Kicking and Screaming

March 28th, 2018


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 …

#6: Today's Theme: Pronunciation

March 22nd, 2018


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 …

#5: It's Good To Be Kingmaker

March 16th, 2018


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 …

#4: Buy Buy Buy

March 8th, 2018


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.

Topics …

#3: Double Dragonfly

February 28th, 2018


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 …

#2: Catching Trains and Mathing Trades

February 22nd, 2018


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: I'm Not Upset, I'm Just Disappointed

February 15th, 2018


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.

Games discussed:

01:55 –

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