Episode 28 - Scott Almes - Show Notes

New episode is up, and it was one of my favorite so far. Not only did I feel like I'm getting closer to the heart of what I'm trying to do around here, Scott was a very gracious guest who has made some of my favorite games in my collection. 

Here are a few things we talked about during the interview that you should check out. 

First off, just check out the kickstarter for Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea. Not only is it a really cool game, it's Scott and Gamelyn trying to defy the expectations that their audience has of them. Creativity should always be encouraged, and I'm hoping this game delivers on the promise of their best game yet. Personally, I find it hard to imagine something topping Tiny Epic Kingdoms, but I guess it's not trying to be TEK.

Also, I talk about some of my favorite Scott Almes games and favorite non-Scott Almes games that deliver a big game punch in under an hour. Here are the games and links to their BGG profiles.

3 Fave Scott Almes Games:

Tiny Epic Kingdoms, the game that started the Gamelyn & Almes collabo. I love the punch this game delivers while still broadly being an economic game. I bring it up in the interview, but this shares a shockingly high number of concepts as Scythe, though with a very different implementation. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148951/tiny-epic-kingdoms

Tiny Epic Kingdoms, the game that started the Gamelyn & Almes collabo. I love the punch this game delivers while still broadly being an economic game. I bring it up in the interview, but this shares a shockingly high number of concepts as Scythe, though with a very different implementation.
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148951/tiny-epic-kingdoms

My go to lunchtime economic game. Again, I love the playful twists on classic fantasy themes, and the central mechanic is elegant, smart, and fun. And damnit Jerry, why'd you have to go and ship cows!? https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/155969/harbour

My go to lunchtime economic game. Again, I love the playful twists on classic fantasy themes, and the central mechanic is elegant, smart, and fun. And damnit Jerry, why'd you have to go and ship cows!?
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/155969/harbour

While I don't think Tiny Epic Defenders is the most inventive coop game available, it delivers a fast, easily repeatable experience that is fun, strategic, and man do I love seeing those big bads show up at the end.  https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/155708/tiny-epic-defenders

While I don't think Tiny Epic Defenders is the most inventive coop game available, it delivers a fast, easily repeatable experience that is fun, strategic, and man do I love seeing those big bads show up at the end. 
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/155708/tiny-epic-defenders


3 Fave NON-SA Games for lunch-breaks:

The flexibility of 7 Wonders at player counts from 3-7 are unparalleled. Some people also love the 2 player variant, but if you are going to play 2 player, just get 7 Wonders Duel instead. The original makes the cut on the list though because so few games feel this strategic yet have this much flow at high player counts. Invite the whole team to lunch! https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68448/7-wonders

The flexibility of 7 Wonders at player counts from 3-7 are unparalleled. Some people also love the 2 player variant, but if you are going to play 2 player, just get 7 Wonders Duel instead. The original makes the cut on the list though because so few games feel this strategic yet have this much flow at high player counts. Invite the whole team to lunch!
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/68448/7-wonders

I know I'm going to get flak for this, but I think Splendor imitates much bigger traditional euro concepts in a distilled, fast playing form. The weight of the chips, the progressive economy... This is a perfect game for lunch time. https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148228/splendor

I know I'm going to get flak for this, but I think Splendor imitates much bigger traditional euro concepts in a distilled, fast playing form. The weight of the chips, the progressive economy... This is a perfect game for lunch time.
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/148228/splendor

One of those classics that stays evergreen. Both incredibly approachable and yet so brutally cutthroat at high levels of play, I think Carcassonne is one of the most versatile games in my collection.  https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/822/carcassonne

One of those classics that stays evergreen. Both incredibly approachable and yet so brutally cutthroat at high levels of play, I think Carcassonne is one of the most versatile games in my collection. 
https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/822/carcassonne


Lastly, while you are at it, you should also check out Podcast Episode 21 featuring Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games. We talk about Scott and Michael's relationship, the foundation of the company, the original theming for TEK and TED, and why he felt it was so important to take down the initial kickstarter(s) for Heroes of Land, Air, and Sea (I'm never gonna drop that oxford comma!) 

Episode 27 - Reiner Knizia - Show notes

Hey everyone! Just thought I'd give a visual companion to some things on the latest episode. 

The man himself! Reiner Knizia is the most published board game designer of all time, with many iconic games that had a monumental impact on our industry, like:

The man himself! Reiner Knizia is the most published board game designer of all time, with many iconic games that had a monumental impact on our industry, like:

FFG's recent "Euro Classic" line features 3 of Knizia's most influential designs, Ra, Tigris & Euphrates, and Samurai. But to me, it'll always be...

The Reiner Knizia co-op classic "The Lord of the Rings" features my favorite game piece of all time (left), a wooden obelisk abstraction of barad-dur. This rad piece has some serious heft, but it was woefully replaced with a terrible standee in later Fantasy Flight Games releases (boo!)

The Reiner Knizia co-op classic "The Lord of the Rings" features my favorite game piece of all time (left), a wooden obelisk abstraction of barad-dur. This rad piece has some serious heft, but it was woefully replaced with a terrible standee in later Fantasy Flight Games releases (boo!)

6 Months of Creative Gamers and Game Creators

Hey everyone! It's been a crazy few weeks here. As we swiftly approach 6 months of The Cardboard Herald, I've been thinking a lot about the nature of this site. Originally my goal was to exercise my creative writing skills more, and to host an informational/personality based podcast that would have ~100 or so listeners. What I did not expect is that I would so quickly gain access to tons of incredible people in this hobby and industry and be able to sustain weekly in-depth interviews. So at some point, the site became the podcast, rather than the podcast being about the site. 

...And I think it's better for it. 

Don't get me wrong, I miss creative writing. Reviews and critical analysis are near and dear to me. Not only do I enjoy writing them, I can actually see where I improve over time, what skills I develop, how I find my voice, and all around become a better writer. But this podcast thing feels more important somehow. Like, I know that there will be thousands and thousands of gaming interviews people can pour over in years to come, but rarely do I see interviews focussed on the creative endeavor as art, rather than being about just the game itself. I don't know, it has value to me at least, and I hope it does to you too. 

Speaking of writing though, I did make my way through some major writer's block the other day and killed it in writing a draft of my 7 Wonders review in one fell swoop. I'll give it a couple new drafts and publish soon, with more 7 years of 7 Wonders pieces to come. I'm also excited to be trying some new, short "impressions" videos which I think will be better suited to my personality and skillset. Gotta use that youtube channel anyhow. 

And of course, the podcast. I interviewed some amazing people who worked on some of the biggest games... well... ever. And those are coming up soon. I'm still having fun, and I'm finding meaning in my work. And it looks like more than a few of you have found meaning in it too. I hope you are enjoying being along for the ride, and enjoying seeing me stumble every step of the way, only to pick myself back up, learn from my mistakes, and grow. 

Take care, and happy 6 months of TCbH!

-Jack

Review videos, cows, and a pair of awesome interviews

Wow, it's been busy around here lately. But first, the most important news. I remain the champion cattle boy in The Great Western Trail!

The game was much smoother the second time. I'm still not a fan of the pacing in the game, someone becoming slower but also break-neck fast in the final third of the game. But overall at 3 players it went by pretty quick, it was easier to derive theme from your actions, and the winning strategy was completely different than that of the last game. Very refreshing! Still not my favorite type of game, but a good game none-the-less. 

Oh, you are actually here for Cardboard Herald related stuff? Well I got good news for you! First off, I posted an interview with Andrew Birkett of Atheris Games last week. It was great to talk to him about his entry point into the world of gaming, his business plan, and how his education, heritage, and love of gaming is all starting to overlap. THEN this coming week I'll be posting an interview with Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games. This was possibly my favorite interview up until this point. I just really related to Michael, the decisions he's made in his life, his passions, and where he's going from here. Also we got the scoop on the future of one of my favorite Tiny Epic Games. As always, you can find our podcasts on the podcast tab, or search for us on iTunes and Stitcher. 

Speaking of finding our old podcasts, I'm starting to upload our old episodes to youtube. And speaking of youtube, I did a thing! The Broken Token sent me an insert for 7 Wonders as part of my 2017 "7 Years of 7 Wonders" retrospective, so I did a video. Check it out on our youtube channel, I think it came out really well! (be kind, I'm new at this video editing thing). I still prefer written reviews, but stay tuned for lots more video stuff on youtube. For now, I'll embed the video here:

For tonight, I'm trying to decide what to play once Christina gets back in... Suburbia or Viticulture? decisions, decisions...


"Long distance information, give me Memphis Tennessee
Help me find the party trying to get in touch with me"

New Stuff!

It's a new week, a new month, a new era. An era of actual haircuts. While editing the most recent interview with Marc Paquien, I noticed that my mane was getting a little out of control.

So I made some quick work of the hair and The Cardboard Herald is back in top shape!

To celebrate your role in this new era, you should go check out the BGG Golden Geek Awards and cast your vote, make sure the games and creative people in the industry get properly recognized for their awesome work. 

As I said earlier, I just posted an interview with Marc Paquien, co-designer of Yamatai. This was the first time where I talked with a designer and just felt completely at home with them. In spite of the language barriers and a world between us, I totally just got this dude. He seems like he could be someone in my friend group, just living his life and making some games. I'm super excited for him as 2017 will be pretty amazing. Maybe he can find a way of making his love of Starcraft translate into a new Starcraft board game release... Marc's BGG profile can be found here.

Winners of our contest will be announced soon. In the meantime, work continues to bring new reviews and articles, but honestly I may just instead drown in the glut of amazing new video games coming out this year... Horizon Zero Dawn, Zelda, and Mass Effect, here I come!

Interview with Greg Spence of The Broken Token, Scythe Invaders from Afar, and more

Good morning world! As I sit here, coffee in hand, gazing at the boxed up Castles of Burgundy that spelled out my doom last night (Christina was on fire!), I thought I'd share some updates. 

I got a chance to talk with Greg Spence of The Broken Token. It was great to talk with someone who is firmly embedded in this industry, but completely uninvolved in the making of games. Check out the podcast tab for that and other interviews. 

Also up this week is a review of Scythe: Invaders from Afar. I'm trying to do more of these expansion mini-reviews. The format is really fun. Sometimes adding constraints makes it much more challenging yet rewarding to write. Also, did you know that all of our reviews are up on BGG too? 

Speaking of BGG... The Golden Geek award nominations were just posted and a certain podcast wasn't listed. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! A SCANDAL, I TELL YOU! *ahem* sorry... Ha! I'm certain it's only because we started in late 2016. We'll show them. We'll show them all! Seriously though, go vote for your favorite games and podcasts, and congrats to all the nominees. I wouldn't be doing this if I weren't so inspired by such amazing icons. I like to think we are doing something a little different though. 

Last, just some housekeeping stuff. You still have a couple days to tweet #oldgamesnewhomes to @cardboardherald to enter our contest for Boss Monster 1 & 2. We'll also be posting an interview with Marc Paquien, up and coming designer whose first release is the new Days of Wonder game Yamatai. 

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned. I'm going to try and keep up with more games news and casual blogging as time permits.