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March 1, 2018 - March-ing along with TCbH
Happy March everyone, Spring is almost here! TCbH has been cranking out sausage in full swing, and it's been a relief to finish up a lot of projects in the making. Turns out, accepting a bunch of review copies at once can be a really stressful endeavor, especially when you want to fit in several plays of each game you are reviewing...
Anyway, as you can expect in each issue of our newsletter going forward (with this being only our 2nd one ever), included you'll find hot gaming strats, designer wisdom, updates on what we've been playing, new TCbH features, announcements, and additional thoughts. Thanks for tagging along, hope you convince at least 5 other people to sign up for this newsletter (who will convince 5 more, who will convince 5 more, etc...)!
Tips & Tricks for the hottest of games
Building on the diagonal; This is more of a defensive move, but it's important to watch the diagonal. When the player builds that third level, it's often the build from a diagonal that is left open or wasn't seen - this can cap the third level and stop the win! Building on the diagonal is often less obvious and hence powerful.
This War of Mine:
Take The Shovel; It's a bit of a trick, but in the first scavenging round you might think about taking the shovel with you. Yes it's helpful if you meet rubble at the location you are searching, but more importantly this can help ensure that if you get raided on the first night, you don't lose the shovel! You need the shovel for at least the first two days to clear a meaningful amount of the house!
This month's strategy tips were provided by Robert Crowter-Jones of The Elusive Meepl, where you can find his full reviews and strategy breakdowns of This War of Mine and Santorini, as well as a ton of other games.
Where designer homies of TCbH give you some tips from the pros.
Do a little bit of game design practice every day, even if it's taking one note, making one doodle, reading on page from a theory book. It's so easy to think you're keeping up, then suddenly realize a week or a month has passed without any forward progress. Every little step moves you closer to your game design goals, but you have to keep moving!"
"Fail fast, find the fun, make your MVP (Minimum Viable Product)"
Stuff that came to TCbH in Jan 2018
Interviews with creative gamers & game creators
Feb 28 - No Siestas for Andreas "Ode." Odendahl
Feb 21 - Tony Miller, The Bearded Rogue of Breaking Into Board Games
Feb 14 - Eddy Webb, creator of Pugmire
Feb 07 - Jackson Pope of Eurydice Games
Friends & Contributors of TCbH hanging out, talking games & creativity
Feb 13 - Ep. 002 - What's Your Bit? Ft. Eric Streed & Andy Zeller
Feb 26 - Charterstone - (mostly) Spoiler Free Review
Feb 22 - Rook & Record - Eclipse
Feb 08 - Catacombs - Wyverns of Wylemuir Expansion Review
Feb 06 - Rook & Record - Sheriff of Nottingham
Feb 01 - Dragon Dice Review
Whats up with us
Games We've Been Playing -
I've been mixing in a little bit of everything these days, but the two biggest standouts have been Grand Austria Hotel and Catacombs Conquest; the latter of which is for a review. So far, i've only played one game of Grand Austria Hotel, but already I completely see why people love this game. Though I lost, I felt like I had lots of choices along the way of how I could do things better, the theme is really pleasant, and while the artwork isn't great, the presentation itself looks good as a showpiece on the table. The one element that I'm not sold on is the dice; don't get me wrong, i'm not saying it's imbalanced or anything, and I can see it's merit, it just felt especially punitive if I was going 3rd/4th per turn, but then again I suppose it's not as bad as going last. I think this is one of those games where I have to be able to better anticipate what future turns could look like, and be more adaptive to what the options at hand are.
Catacombs Conquest is awesome, but you'll hear more about that during my review. The biggest drawback to Catacombs is that it is such a production to set up and get on the table. Now I can easily bring this sucker to coffee shops and knock a game or two out and still have time to finish up my coffee at lunch. I also really dig the card system involved, it's an interesting way of distilling catacombs into something familiar yet completely unique. In a lot of ways, it feels much more tactical than any Catacombs game before it. I wouldn't trade the other games away, but as an easy to teach option that plays in 20 minutes, Conquest is pretty slick.
Other games I've been playing include Spirit Island, Scythe, Charterstone, Ex Libris, King of Tokyo, and Shadow Hunters.
Upcoming Interviews -
-Chris & Lindsey of Behind the Box
-Aron West of Elzra Games
-Sam Bailey, designer of (the now cancelled) Deep
-Tristan Hall & Mark Chaplin coming on to talk about
Be sure to tweet / email us with any listener questions you want us to tackle on air!
No big announcements this month, other than congratulations to contributor, friend of the show, and official TCBH Strike Force member Chris Douglas on the birth of your daughter Kyra!
Parting Thoughts -
Still just trying to figure out how to harness the collective energy of all the things TCbH is doing and condense it in some streamlined format available to all of you people out there. This newsletter is an attempt to do so, but then it's figuring out HOW to sign someone up for a newsletter. So bottom line, if you found any of this entertaining, interesting, enlightening, or even a tad erotic, please share with everyone under the sun. I want to make this newsletter something worth reading, and I think you believe in that too.
Thanks for hanging out, talk to you in April!