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

Monday, January 30, 2006

BGTG 50 - Jan 24, 2006 - A Look Back at Essen (with Mike Siggins)

My fiftieth podcast! Wow, I really wasn't sure I'd ever make it this far when I started last March. The show has morphed a bit over time, mostly in response to some limitatation I want to address or opportunity I want to seize. The feedback has been pretty great the entire time, so I trust that I'm on the right track. In other words, I'm happy that my listeners appreciate the kind of shows I personally want to do!

For this show, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at two past Essens. To do this, I again enlisted the help of gaming luminary Mike Siggins. Mike went to lots of earlier Essens--it was his trip reports that we all read back then to find out about new games and the show in general. After a lengthy hiatus he again returned to Essen last year, and you may remember that I got to go myself in 2003. That gives us two past shows to talk about from firsthand experience. In addition to that, we also use the Fairplay Scout data to frame the discussion, using those lists to reconsider which games were considered the hits and misses of those past Essens. (I thought we might also talk a little more about longevity in modern boardgames, but we ran out of time.)

Naturally, we talk about a lot of different game titles in this show. Rather than list them all in the shownotes, I'm instead including links to two different files you may want to download, print out, and refer to during the podcast. One is the same reformatted list of the Fairplay Scout ratings for Essen 2005, just last year. The other is an Excel spreadsheet with the Fairplay Scout ratings for 2003 . . . as well as some more data. I transmogrified the 1=good/6=bad rating system from Fairplay to the familiar 10-point scale, then included the Boardgamegeek ratings for the same games. Now that a couple years have passed, how do these "settled in" (?) ratings on BGG compare to the initial reaction at the Fairplay booth? What does that tell us about Essen enthusiasm in general?


P.S. This show came out just a bit longer than fits on a single audio CD, but not so long as to make splitting up into two parts (A & B as I've done before) very logical. How much of an inconvenience is it for everyone? Rather than cutting out a good 10 minutes of content, I decided to put this show up as-is for the main link and podcast feed. For those of you who really need the show split, here I've done a quick & dirty job of it for you (part 1, part 2).

Essen 2003, A Look Back (Excel spreadsheet)
Essen 2005, Fairplay Scouting Report (PDF file)


Blogger Flieger said...

Hi Mark,
enjoyed the show.
Zauberschwert means magic sword. And Drachenei, like you said, dragon egg.


2:39 PM  
Blogger Game Over said...

Another great podcast.

I love listening to Mike Siggins. I don't agree with some of his opinions (possibly because I haven't been around the gaming scene as long, because some of what he sees as recycled games are actually fresh and new to me) but they are always interesting.

I'd like to see him as a semi-regular on your podcast.

I have to agree with Big Kini. Major disappointment. The game does feel under-tested. I'm sure there is a good game in there somewhere but it just never quite got finished off.

I'm yet to try Caylus. I'm sure at some stage I will buy it.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent show. Watching the rise of Caylus into the BGG ratings stratosphere has got me thinking about the hype machine in gaming. Looking at what we still play from past Essens is a great way to think about it.

And, I agree with game over, you need to get Mike Siggins as a regular or semi-regular. He has such a wealth of experience and depth of knowledge!

Thanks for the great listen. Keep it up, Mark!

6:04 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Another great show Mark. Alot of interesting tidbits from past Essen shows. I hope someday to be in a position to make it there. It sounds like alot of fun.

Anyway, it's always interesting when Mike is onboard with you. I hope he will return again sometime.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello my friends!

Samarit here from Boardgames (Togo)!

I have found a picture of Starting Lineup Talking Baseball!

Loving the show! We love Mike Siggins, he is so waggish!

Samarit Ojoujobe, Lome, Togo

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on your 50th show! Man, has there been that many already? Seems like such a short time.

Thanks for continuing to produce a great show.

8:47 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home