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

Friday, March 06, 2009

BGTG 90 - Veto-Proof Game Night (with Ryan Wheeler)

My buddy Ryan Wheeler is part of our local game group, the Santa Clarita Boardgamers. In fact, he's the driving force of the group, hosting most of the game nights, always adding to his collection, and infecting the rest of us with his enthusiasm and sense of humor. When schedules conflicts led to only two of us showing up for games one night, I pressured him into recording another podcast with me. (Later that night we played Risiko Express and Ice Flow, which we don't talk about on the podcast.)

The topic I chose was a recent, successful experiment in the group: veto-proof game night. It was the idea of Ryan's wife, Erin, who occasionally plays games with us. That label (and the title of this BGTG episode) isn't what Ryan & Erin called it, and doesn't quite describe what she had in mind. But it was the only name I had for it. Basically, she suggested that each of us gets one week's game group session in the month of December to pick a game from our collection that we really wanted to play, probably one we haven't gotten to the table yet, and as a "gift" everyone would happily play it--no questions asked.

It was great. Three of us picked games on successive weeks--games that probably wouldn't have seen play otherwise--and everyone was onboard with just jumping right in. What was interesting for the podcast was the different nature of the three games. I think it made for some interesting discussion, together with side points about session reports and game group dynamics, in general.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh... where's the podcast?

(and LOL, my authentication word for this post is "moot"

4:58 PM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Sorry about that--fixed now. (The podcast was always there, and the iTunes people got it.)

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great podcast Mark. My favorite type, just people talking about games instead of going into deep detail about a game I've never played.

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great show as ususal. What do you know about your Swedish heritage? Do you now where in Sweden your family lived?

Nice to hear about your interest in Svea Rike. I do think it is the highest rated Swedish game on the geek. Since it is regarded as quite complicated it's often found in flee-markets in Sweden - I have two copies but have not yet played it. I also managed to get hol of two unplayed copies of the expansion Batalj - but since it's not supposed to be any good I sold it on ebay and made some money - it's supposed to be quite rare. The designer of Svea Rike is nowadays mainly interested in poker as can be seen in todays article

Doug Garret mentioned that he stored his games in BONDE shelves from IKEA. Well BONDE means FARMER in Swedish so it's a popular theme nowadays.

Peter, Gotheburg Boardgames Sweden

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really liked this episode, especially starting when the conversation turned to Cosmic Encounter and thence to personalities in gaming (BTW, I think you should have talked more about werewolf). Cosmic Encounter was a rough game on our first play -- we did not understand the "attitude" with which this game should be played.

I like the idea of the veto free game night, and hey, Manifest Destiny is one of my unplayed games (and I bought it as a P500 pre-order from GMT!) - I agree that the production quality (esp. artwork) left MUCH to be desired.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Peter, all I can remember right now is that my great-grandfather came to the US from Småland. At one time I knew the name of the town, but I don't recall just now. Is that a notable area for boardgaming in Sweden? :-)

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well Småland does not have any major cities so I don't know how much gaming is going on there. Småland is actually famous for the Swedish dialect they speak,deep forests and that people for some reason are considered cheap. I don't know if this dates back to the rough times when a major part of Småland emigrated to the US. I don't know if you read The emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg? Great read anyway.
Also our hero author Astrid Lindgren who wrote books like Pippi Longstocking and Emil came from Småland not to mention IKEAs founder and still owner Ingvar Kamprad famous for being not only very rich but also quite cheap.

12:14 PM  

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