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

Friday, November 11, 2011

BGTG 117 - Long Games (with Ryan Wheeler)

First of all, welcome to anyone who discovered (or re-discovered?) my show after hearing my guest appearance on boardgame podcast, Ludology. I joined Ryan Sturm over Skype (when Geoff Engelstein was snowed in) to discuss the difference between 2-player and multiplayer games. There's also been some good follow-up discussion on Ludology's guild over at Boardgamegeek.

But back here, on my own show, I'm talking with a different Ryan--this is Ryan Wheeler, the former cornerstone of my local game group. He moved away, though, all the way to Mobridge, South Dakota (population: 3,400). He and I always had different attitudes about long games, especially when anything beyond three hours was long for me. I always wanted to explore that topic in a podcast with him, and now we've done that.

However, since he's a good friend I hadn't spoken with for a while, I enjoyed letting the conversation wander into other interesting topics, like what sort of gaming he does in South Dakota, analysis paralysis, and online games. Some of those relate to long games, others don't. It's all interesting.



Anonymous Bill Stoll said...

Hi Mark,

I enjoyed the podcast about long games.

One flaw in some long games is that a player can get behind and have no real chance of catching up. Or perhaps worse, the lagging player may have a lot less to do on their turns, or be eliminated, so they mostly just sit and watch the others play.

That said, I think the 18xx mechanics are fascinating and I really enjoy playing whether I win or lose.

Mark, you've often talked about what makes a game good, or what you personally like in a game. I really enjoy that conversation.

For example, you mentioned enjoying an online game of Through the Ages, but it sounds like you would not enjoy playing it FTF. I may be projecting a bit, but it sounds like what you don't like is games where you do a lot of waiting. Your time is precious, and you want your experience to be to be rich and varied. For example, if you play chess, you probably much prefer speed chess.

Or, perhaps it all depends on who you're with. For myself, I like the challenge of a deep game with many possible strategies, any one of which could be good. I only enjoy light games when playing with good friends - when the time is less about the game than laughing and talking with friends.

Thanks for doing these podcasts.


4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there!

This episode was my first of your podcast that I've listened to and I was really fascinated by the amount of thoughts you put into that topic.

While you are discussing fairly casual most of the time, your conclusions and opinions become somewhat poetic - and I found that to be unexpected on a topic like boardgames, and that's a good thing.

Also one can really feel that you two have quite a history and obviously got a good friendship going on, hearing the way you talk, you dont interrupt and although you feel differently about some things you accept and respect each other's opinion a lot.

I guess what I'm trying to say: Thanks for sharing this :) Got a lot out of it.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Thanks for the feedback.

Bill, you're absolutely right that I don't like waiting around. Furthermore, I consider games that are more prone to that sort of waiting flawed. They may still have other features that make them worthwhile (enough to offset the waiting?), but it's a flaw nonetheless.

Daniel, you're absolutely right that Ryan & I are friends, and I'm glad to hear that comes through in the podcast.

2:57 AM  

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