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

Thursday, March 18, 2010

BGTG 103 - SR & Feedback (Pandemic On the Brink, Caylus Magna Carta, Patrician)

First of all, please consider bidding in my latest Geeklist auction. It ends mid-day on March 24, and has some great, unusual, and/or out-of-print games. Titles like Zoff in Buffalo, Basari (the good version!), Krieg und Frieden, and a pair of games from an original Chinese publisher & designer.

I'm back with another session report & feedback show. These episodes are usually only about some games I've played recently. However, in this one I found another common thread between all of the games discussed, which makes this sort of a themed podcast, as well. In this case, the common thread is boardgame expansions. You may have heard me say before that I generally don't care for expansions...or at least I find them unnecessary. Here are three titles played with expansions that include that reaction, but also some others. I found it interesting to consider, and I hope you enjoy listening to it.

If you want to read Jeff Myers boardgame blog Play2Relax, you can find it here. I'd forgotten about his excellent subtitle to the blog, "Play a game. You'll feel better." Be sure to share with me other recommendations for boardgame blogs, and someday I'll do a podcast about those.



Anonymous davebo said...

Wow! Two podcasts so close to each other, what a treat! Will listen to it during my commute.

(Better have my feedback on it, that's all I'm saying....)

9:52 AM  
Blogger SoFrankly said...

Just finished listening on my way home, and was surprised to hear my name. Thanks for listening to, well, you listeners!

Like you, I am not a big fan of expansions. I would rather spend my money and time on a larger variety of gaming experience.

That said, I have two or three of the better expansions for Carcassonne, lots of stuff for Zooloretto, and several versions of Ticket to Ride. There is one simple reason for this - variety. When all of our non-gaming friends are asking for one of these games, I can add a little variety for myself without making the game more complicated for them.

Frank Feldmann
Dayton, OH

1:27 PM  
Blogger Justus said...

Thanks for the heads up of On the Brink! I've been considering that expansion but like you I've been pretty down on expansions (after a munchkin buying craze 5 years ago). I've realized that if a base game doesn't hit the spot, odds are very low that an expansion will fix the problems.

In other BGTG related news, I finally finished all your podcasts and thanks again for all your great work! I do have one question - Isphahan(sp?) I've heard you mention this game a few times and I have yet to find it on BGG (or from googling of your site). Could you maybe post a link to this game?

And finally, I found a great 2P auction game - Scripts and Scribes. Unfortunately it was a very small print-run game, but since it is a card game, I made a homebrew set and have had fun playing it with my girlfriend. I hope their reprint comes out soon. Its full of tough choices that you have to make along the way, but still a filler and short enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome.

6:16 AM  
Anonymous davebo said...

Not regarding this podcast, but an older one. Here's an interesting session report on "Harry's Grand Slam Baseball". It's an interesting take on the theme. Mark, you should do a podcast comparing game themes. Maybe comparing "narrative" to "metaphor"?

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Davebo said...

Ah... my feedback. Well, no one forces Mark to do anything, eh? I guess it's what I get. I'm curious, did you bounce the idea off the wife before leaving it in there?

Gotta say, I haven't laughed so hard in a LONG TIME as I did when I'd heard my feedback with the "adult" word left in. Too funny.

12:28 AM  
Blogger Chris B said...


6:54 AM  
Blogger Chris B said...

@davidbo I think it says a lot about you and Mark's character that you both think of the medical term for female reproduction as the 'adult' word. :D

Another great show. You're going to make me feel spoiled by having two of these so close together!

6:57 AM  
Anonymous davebo said...

Haha Chris, yes, I intentionally picked a word that shocked but yet was of questionable acceptability.

An insider has told me that more podcasts are in the can. Maybe Mark will exceed last year's production in the first four months of this year?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Iain said...

Great show. The best ones all have @davebo...

3:19 PM  
Anonymous Fresno Jeff said...

I was driving when I heard davebo's comment, so I must have looked pretty silly laughing that hard all by myself in the car.

I haven't played the Pandemic expansion, but I will do that soon. Same with Caylus Magna Carta.

It was really great to get a chance to explore Patrician this month, with Mark's help. I have chosen one of his faves for next month's GotM, Reef Encounter!

Great episode, as always. Thanks so much for taking the time to record more episodes. You rock Mark! (You rock too, Dave)

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Sturm said...

Thanks for the shoutout Mark! As a podcaster who is still working to get off the ground in a sea of podcasts its great to get some positive publicity from the original gaming podcaster. I really appreciate it!

5:22 PM  
Blogger agent easy said...

It was a bit of a shock to hear our blog mentioned on your podcast, but it's nice to know somebody's reading!

We've been doing weekly session reports/ capsule reviews for over 5 years, but it's mostly something we do for ourselves to keep a memory of all the games we play.

If you are interested, you can find us at:

7:10 PM  
Anonymous jason said...

Of the expansions you discuss I have only played Pandemic: On the Brink. I just review it on my blog play board games.

I totally agree on your gushing about the expansion in general and specifically the cosmetic things added. I too enjoy the petri dishes and just the variety the scenarios add to the game.

I was just thinking of doing a post about the Top 10 game expansions. I am not sure I have played enough though as my reaction to expansions is similar to yours.

Great podcast. I enjoyed listening very much!

9:04 PM  
Blogger Justus said...

I finally got OTB for pandemic and we love it! Its a great expansion, especially if you play it 2P - it adds just an element of randomness that gets your blood pumping with a little extra threat! Thanks again for your principled stance against expansions...and your occasional exceptisons!

Going "way back" to a question a few episode ago, I also finally made a quick can't stop set and its most likely the best push your luck game for 2 that we've tried. Thanks for the heads upon this fun little filler and for everything else also!

5:22 AM  
Anonymous gucci said...

Thanks for the heads up of On the Brink! I've been considering that expansion but like you I've been pretty down on expansions .

2:55 AM  
Blogger Bri said...

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6:42 AM  

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