Is anything cornier than the phrase "Audience Engagement"?

I’ve been thinking a ton about “audience engagement” recently, how to get that sweet, sweet participation of people watching, reading, and listening to TCbH. Then it dawned on me, WHY? Is it for validation? Feedback? Money? All three of those are legitimate things, and can be incredibly important for content creators, TCbH included. But I think that for me, more than anything, it’s for the conversation.

Since I was but a wee babe, I’ve been creating stuff. Drawing, music, designing poorly reskinned versions of Heroquest, you name it. But I don’t think I ever imagined a world where I was fully supporting myself doing these things, it’s that I just loved it when someone totally got where I was coming from and responded, and we could then just geek out. Whether it was the obscure track we decided to cover at a punk show, or someone seeing that I was sketching ancelary Thundercats characters, I loved engaging with people.

In a way, you could call that validation, but it’s not so much the validation of quality as it is the recognition of authenticity. Or maybe that’s what I tell myself so I can get to sleep at night.

Anyway, I really appreciate everyone out there on reddit, bgg, twitter, youtube, and elsewhere spreading the word about what we do, giving feedback, and more than anything, just starting some conversations. We have a few more projects going on these days where you can make your voices heard, too.

About once a month, contributors and friends of the show get together to record “TCbH Hangouts”, a more game focussed discussion podcast which usually has a particular question attached. If listeners contribute answers, we also bring them up there. Then we are also posting our rough draft reviews to the patreon, and asking patrons (and twitter followers, but patrons get 2 votes) to vote on upcoming reviews, Rook & Records, etc…

In other news we got a ton of new stuff on the horizon, including interviews with Ben Rossett, Carla Kopp, Jamey Stegmaier, and R. Eric Reuss. Reviews of Orbis, Root, Imperial Assault, My Little Scythe, Tiny Epic Zombies, and more. Oh, and Rook & Records of Abyss, My Little Scythe, Terraforming Mars, Clans of Caledonia.

Shoot… We just got a lot of stuff going.

dreams of tomorrow.png

Oh, speaking of which. Carla Kopp of Weird Giraffe Games has been a frequent guest and longtime supporter of TCbH. Their latest kickstarter just launched, “Dreams of Tomorrow”, which I recommend you check out this week’s interview. You can find the kickstarter here. I have not played the game, but it sounds awesome.

Recent Stuff on TCbH:



Written Reviews

Friday at the Herald - A rag tag group of vagabonds

I don’t think I’ve really codified it here, but I wanted everyone to know what’s up with TCbH these days. You may be seeing that we are putting out way more stuff than in the past, and hardly a week goes by without 2-3 more publications, between writing, podcast and video.

The reason? We’re a team. You may not realize, but the TCbH family has grown substantially, particularly in the last few months with more contributors both on the front lines and behind the scenes. Between Luke Muench, Chris Douglas, Andrew Birkett, Joshua Simons, and Rob Conley, we have a fantastic cast of core contributors, and we even have a wider array of guest contributors that round out the “flavor” of TCbH.

That said, I also wanted to talk about games. We’ve been thinking about doing a “games we are playing” section of the site. I don’t know how this would work, maybe it’d just go up here in the blog, but for my part, I’ve been playing a ton of Scythe: The Rise of Fenris and Istanbul: The Dice Game. On top of that, the two latest Terraforming Mars expansions and Fist of Dragonstones from Stronghold Games has been seeing some play. I’ll have more official thoughts on all of those going forward, but I more or less like all of them. Well, some (Prelude and Rise of Fenris) significantly more than others.

Anyway, stay cool, stay strong, stay real. Have a great weekend!



Oh, and album recommendation - Everyone go out and listen to Neil Young’s “Harvest” like 100 times.

The Latest & Greatest

My dearest friends! It's been a while since I've posted here, but things have been so busy and I've been trying to keep up with this beast that is TCbH. Don't get me wrong, I'm still all in, but it is a very different beast than it started as, and continually I've been trying to innovate, continue with the elements that work the best or are most creatively fulfilling, and doing away with the stuff that just turns out to be more work than it's worth.


But that said, we have an exciting few months planned for TCbH. First off, I want everyone to know that I'll be attending PAX Unplugged in Philly this year, joined by TCbH Crew Members Rob Conley and Luke Muench. You can hear those jokers regularly on TCbH Hangouts these days.

Speaking of which, isn't Chris doing a great job hosting those? If only Luke and I could occasionally learn to shut up!

A couple other updates, too. Thanks to the Patreon support as well as the incredible support of a loving wife, I now have an awesome camera & mic combo that is steadily improving our video quality. Don't get me wrong, some of the learning curve has been rough, but the rate of advancement with this is much faster than it ever was with the iPhone. I hope that between both instruments, I'll be able to make some really exciting music (this metaphor is becoming more tenuous by the second) for ya'll. In the meantime, you can see the BEAUTY of the camera, with albeit it kind of crappy sound because of the wrong mic settings in our recent Whims of the Sultan review. Once I adjusted the sound, it was much better, so don't worry about that in future stuff.

Another development since I last talked to you is that I've somehow become the face of Dragon Dice online. SFR, Inc, the makers of DD, reached out to me and asked if I could do the official how to play series, which I graciously accepted. I've been both praising and critical of the game since my time with TCbH, but it's one of those games that really had a monumental impact on me as a kid and I'm so honored to now be part of it's legacy. I have 3 videos in the series already up, and more in the works. Here's the primary overview:

Lastly, I wanted to mention that I'm leaning more heavily on our friends and supporters around here. I want TCbH to be a true platform for creative people passionate about board games, and you may have noticed a greater involvement by awesome people Luke Muench of Budget Board Gamer, now a regular on Hangouts, doing regular written reviews, and also cooking up some videos and upcoming interview episodes. Similarly, Chris Douglas is one of my longtime friends who has a knack for thoughtful conversation and moderation with a passion for games and I'm excited to see what he has down the road. You may have also heard me talk to Andrew of Atheris Games on the most recent interview episode where I talk about podcasting equipment, recording, and technique, as he will soon be doing some guest hosting on our interview channel.

Speaking of Luke, we have a couple of recent written reviews you should check out here:

Anyway, thrilled to be back in the swing of giving these updates again. I'm probably just going to do them as I see fit rather than keep it on a formal schedule. Hope ya'll are well, and we'd love to hear about whats going on in your gaming lives.



"I must have dreamed a thousand dreams, haunted by a million screams"

Figuring Stuff Out

I gotta bunch of new ideas for cool stuff on the horizon for TCbH, so stay tuned for news (speaking of which, I really need to make a news letter, huh?). 

Anyway, for now please enjoy our review of Catacombs: Cavern of Soloth!