Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Monday, June 27, 2005

BGTG - June 27, 2005 SR: Grand Canyon, Victory & Honor, Tonga Bonga, Pylos

I wonder how long it will be until I feel like I know what I'm doing?! Seems like every podcast I learn a little something new. This time it's as simple as making the podcast and blog post title with the games listed NOT in the order we played them. Otherwise, Tonga Bonga leads every audio SR this month, and at first glance it looks like I'm podcasting about the same thing. In a way, I guess I am. But now you know why my show titles may not list the games in the order played--just an order that might catch your eye.

This entire podcast (except the canned intro/outro music) was recorded on a portable device, my Treo running Personal Audio Recorder. I tried that once before, but this time I had the recording settings adjusted correctly. I think it worked much better. You can hear some background noise (cars, skateboarders, even crickets and wind near the end), which is only natural considering I recorded this while at a park! Sam was inside the rec center for his karate class while Molly and I were outside. I recorded the podcast, and she played at the playground. Life in the 21st century...

I even remembered to paste in and answer the audio feedback question submitted by "William in Japan." (Sorry I didn't remember your name during the podcast!) Later I realized I didn't even answer William's question entirely appropriately--his example of a light miniatures game does use discrete movement on a mapboard, not the traditional freeform movement of minis. (I think that's right, anyway--his example was Blood Bowl.) So, more like Memoir '44/Battle Cry as miniatures games go. Well, the answer still works--I haven't played those and don't have much desire. But thanks for the feedback.

Speaking of feedback, I'm going to try reading/replying to only a few select comments on a subsequent podcast. The rest of them I'll answer via email or the comment forms on this website, as appropriate. As much as I enjoy reading the feedback, I think it went a bit too long the last couple times. This should be a good middle ground.


Tonga Bonga
Grand Canyon
Victory & Honor


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry too much about my name; William isn't the most memorable. (If I had given my last name, McDuff, that probably would have stuck, as it twigs memories of high school Shakespeare, the Simpsons, or golf, depending on the person. :)

Given the games in your history (Warhammer 40K & Mechwarrior), and your dislike of discrete movement and preference for 'lighter' games, it's kind of no wonder you shy from the genre. Those two are perhaps the exact wrong ones for you to play. (Perhaps Warmaster would be worse from GW, but they're both pretty bad compared to your preferences.)

If you do want to try miniatures again, I would suggest board game-style miniature games, Heroclix ( from the Wiz Kids line, or Blood Bowl ( (online at if you want to give the rules a try) from GW, though Blood Bowl might be perhaps a bit long for your tastes. (About 90 minutes a game, longer if you have slow players or if it's your first time.)

For discrete movement games, which you dislike, you might still want to take a look at WizKids "Pirates of..." series ( Plastic card ships that you punch out and assemble, then play. It's very quick and light, perhaps 15-20 minutes in length, and reasonably priced for a collectable game.

Just if you're on the lookout for something new to try. Still, I'm sure there's lots of real board games that you'd prefer to try first.

William from Japan

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really have to agree with just about everything you said concerning Victory & Honor. I've played it twice now, and have really enjoyed it. But both times involved players new to the game, and the first hands in each game were rather painful as we tried to understand everything going on. And you're right: a translation to "bridge-speak", as it were, would probably be most useful. Hmm... Regardless of the rules difficulties, the game is a lot of fun, with lots of room for creativity -- play a scout left and force a play across to fill out your opponents' board, for example -- and thought. In fact, I've also just recently gotten Mü to the table, and between the two of them I've begun to itch for a "card game night": with four players play V&H, and play Mü with five.

Oh, and as for the mobile recording, IMO there was a quality degradation I noticed. I thought I picked up a little fuzztone to your words. It was certainly tolerable, though when the bus drove by on my walk to work it was a little tough making out your words. The kids, skateboarders, etc., in the background didn't bother me, though. There was nothing really going on in this recording that would make me ask you to change anything, so go for it.

9:39 AM  

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