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

Monday, October 31, 2005

BGTG 41 - Oct. 31, 2005 - SR: Hansa, Roller Coaster Tycoon (plus Feedback)

A bit of a delay last week, with family visiting and a conference. Just time enough to squeeze in one more show before BGG.con, which is in three days! This session report show enabled me to work through my backlog of feedback, positioned at the end of the show as always.

Hansa is a game that might not be for everyone, but I still think is somewhat overlooked. (Was it really released in 2004? I would've sworn it was 2003. Oh, I forgot to mention the freebie "expansion" of the extra victory point bonus card. I can't recall if we actually played it last year and thought it unnecessary . . . or if we just figured that out by reading it. At best, it's harmless. (At worst, it might fiddle with some balance and flow of the original game.)

Rollercoaster Tycoon has that mass market stigma working against it when it comes to serious gamers, but I think it's a pretty fair game in its own right. Not amazing, but worth a look. Worth an immediate purchase if you've got kids around. I do, and one of them joined me on part of this podcast. Not only that, but Molly also contributed her own BGTG logo, which you see here. :-)


P.S. Yes, later I remembered that the elections for Venetian Doge aren't the same as for the Pope. Sheesh.

(including their German-language boardgame podcast)
Hansa (and Wikipedia's entry on the Hanseatic League)
Jonathan Degann's article on "The Bomb" in The Games Journal archives
Die Hanse (even prettier, but as problemmatic as Siggins said way back when)
Roller Coaster Tycoon
Modern Art
Beyond the Storm (New Orleans RPG sourcebook/Hurricane Katrina Relief fundraiser)
Caylus (I missed the hype!)
Skype me!
Online background on Santiago, Puerto Rico, Princes of Florence, Tikal
Robo Rally podcast (sort of a proto All About show)
Bob Scherer-Hoock's article on The Evolution of German Games 1980-1997
Alan R. Moon's Geeklist about his days at Avalon Hill
Napoleon, Napolean at Waterloo (inc. Hexwar), Victory at Waterloo
Have Games, Will Travel podcast
Podcast interview software: Skype, Total Recorder, Audacity
Series 120 games by GDW
Sac Noir/Bandu, Hamsterrolle, Kapitän Wackelpudding, Villa Paletti, Bamboleo, Saturn


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The link to Degann's excellent article is messed up. The correct link is:

1:52 AM  
Blogger Game Over said...

I'd love to see you do an annual Essen roundup with predictions for what will still be hot in a year and an Essen lookback at what was hot at last years Essen...

Be real interesting to see how many of the hyped games last the distance over the course of a year.

Really enjoying the podcast. Keep up the good work.

2:12 AM  
Blogger Jasen said...

Interesting observation about the Halloween theme nights. Heather and I decided to have a couple people over for dinner and games last Saturday, hoping that we'd end up playing something Halloween-ish. 2 of our guests ended up having to leave early (bedtime for their 18-month-old) and the rest of us weren't all that keen to take out "Zombies". So we ended up playing Tichu much for our theme night. ;)

Another great show Mark. Hopefully our paths will cross this weekend. I know I'm very excited about being in Dallas for BGG.con. I'll keep an eye out for you and your BGTG t-shirt.

PS. When is Candy going to post another podcast at A Good Read? Heather and I both really enjoyed her 1st three.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some other relatively new podcasts:

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just listened to your October 31st show -- nice job.

You need not worry that our show together had anything to do with my decision to shut down The Games Journal -- it didn't.

The decision was based almost entirely on the level of contributions that I received. It should be noted however, that this was a problem that was nearly constant throughout our five-year run. I had a very strong desire to keep things going but there comes a time when you simply tire of fighting the elements. After five years of existence I had hoped that the number of letters, articles and reviews would be on the rise but they weren't. In fact, they were on a steady decline. I made a number of attempts to address and reverse this trend but ultimately, none were successful.

The idea of shutting things down was never a serious possibility until after our June 2005 issue. (Which marked the completion of five years of publication -- a personal goal of mine.) At that point I planned to continue publishing until the new year and then evaluate in earnest whether or not to continue. Although I had truly not made a decision, I was not particularly optimistic.

So, even though shutting down was a possibility when we recorded our episode of Boardgames To Go, it was far from certain. This was the primary reason that I did not want to mention it "on-air" although I also did not want to distract from the focus of the show, Verrater.

In any case, events conspired to make my decision for me. By the end of September I had received only a single article and a single review -- far less than sufficient for even a short issue. I took this as a sign that it was indeed time to close our doors.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't heard the whole show yet, but I did get through the session reports. I'll admit I had some difficulty following the Hansa segment. Now, I have never played the game, and I don't *think* it's terribly difficult, but it seemed to me that you weren't able to describe that game as clearly as the others.

Any particular reason, or was it just me?

Put it on a fun spectrum of other trading games. What's better than it, but what's worse, in your opinion?

5:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I just thought I'd chime in even though I haven't played the game in quite a while: I don't think Hansa is really a trading game. Sure, it represents the Hanseatic League, but the gameplay is nothing like Chinatown, or Traders of Genoa, or even Settlers (I think you have to play it as a trading game to keep it from just being a dicefest). Hansa is more a logistical game of positioning and area-influence. The trading is very generically represented.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

oh, and mark: thanks for the mention in the show! However, please don't feel like you need to read every post verbatim! For example, you could skip this one:)

Anyway, for those folks reading these comments as well as listening to the show: I have recorded a few rules - very boring, unless perhaps you plan to play the particular game and don't want to read the rules yourself. I've been posting them to BGG, but I also made a little podcast here to conveniently deliver the files where needed (click on my name above if you're interested).

7:57 PM  
Blogger Kiki said...

Hey Mark!
I was rather chuffed to hear you rad not one, but TWO comments of mine on your show! ^_^
I'm with snoozefest here in wondering if you read every comment though...

Anyways, a recent discussion with a friend I used to play boardgames with has led me to an intersting question: Do male and female gamers approach games differently? I'm not just talking s/o of gamers, but gamers in their own rights. Maybe this would be an ida for a future show with a guest host. You could get a female gamer on the show and discuss different opinions and preferences in gaming, games, the group, etc.
I know we girl gamers are still in the minority at most gatherings, but hey, so far you haven't had a female co-host that wasn't also your family member...

Keep up the great work.


6:33 PM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

I have been reading something like 90% of the feedback "on the air," but after this show I've decided I need to cut that back. I'm also going to make some adjustments to my session reports, which have creeped into being more involved, more like reviews. So I guess this particular show was a watershed for me, highliting some directions the show has gone that I want to correct slightly.


8:16 PM  

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