Con season is winding down, but there was one last little hurrah to make before the long, cold winter: GrandCon in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GR is a hotbed of boardgaming enthusiasts and designers, much like the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area – plus, they also have great beer, just like we do! So despite the 12 hour drive, it was pretty much a win/win situation with board games, beers, and some of the best darn people in the hobby.
Sometimes on the podcast we talk about so many different things that it’s nearly impossible to describe it all with one simple title. This is one of those times. This one was almost called The One About More Naked People and Naked Games but we figured no on would know what we were talking about. No matter the name, though, we have a great time discussing prototypes and strippers. This podcast is a bit like a box of chocolates on most days. Enjoy!
GenCon is the biggest gaming convention of the year for North America, and that means lots and lots to see and do! As is the custom here on Dice Hate Me, I make sure to take lots of photos to share with all of you, dear readers, so that if you didn’t get a chance to go to the big show you’ll at least get a taste of what you missed – and can make plans to head there next year! Enjoy!
It’s no secret – we at Dice Hate Me LOVE going to gaming conventions, and the biggest show of the year is GenCon in Indianapolis! Three of our four intrepid podcasters traveled to Indy for the big show, played lots of games, bought lots of games, and generally enjoyed our time seeing old friends and making new ones! It was an awesome show – a big show – and this podcast is equally big. Enjoy!
Possibly one of the most hotly-contested topics in board gaming is theme, and with good reason – many gamers want to feel as though they are immersed in a game as they thwart their opponents and come up with a winning strategy. But is theme everything? Can you enjoy a game that has no apparent theme? And what, exactly, creates that immersive experience? It is these questions, and more, that lie within the heart of this podcast.
From time to time here on Dice Hate Me, I see or play a game that has a story that intrigues me. This time around it’s Portal Games’ upcoming release Imperial Settlers, designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek. Imperial Settlers is an empire game that reimplements ideas and concepts first introduced in another of Ignacy’s titles, 51st State. I loved the game so much when I played that I just had to get to the bottom of things. Luckily, Ignacy was all too happy to answer a few questions.
DHM: Very briefly, in your own words, what is Imperial Settlers all about?
Ignacy: It’s about building your very own little Empire. Each card in the game represents a location – you have Forest, then you build Carpenter Hut, and then you build Village, and then Small Town, and then Tavern and… With every round you see your small Empire is growing and you add more locations and gain new abilities and your Empire or Kingdom work smooth. Forest gives you wood, Village gives you people, Carpenter can change wood into Victory Points as soon as you have people…
In terms of mechanism, it is a card game of optimization and engine building. In terms of theme it is all about your Kingdom and how you will develop it. Whenever you win or loose, you will have fun just by putting all these buildings into play and imagining how it would work if it is real…
There are certain times when being bad is really, really good. That applies to B-Movies, richly decadent desserts and certain TV shows of the mostly-reality variety. Depending on your gaming circles, and gaming culture in general, this can also apply to board games. There are some days when you want to tell your Mediterranean trading game-loving circle of friends that they’re just going to have to trudge through Twilight Imperium for 10 hours – and this is our love song to just such a time.