#177: Omnibus Questions Bravo Bravo


Absence, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder, which I believe was an aphorism coined about a gamer’s relationship with their prized game collection. Mark finds himself separated against his will from his many many boxes, which makes Walker’s occasional reminders of games he left behind all the more painful. Fortunately, Mark has his stable of insect rikishi to keep him company.

01:18 AYURIS: Last Bastion (Antoine Bauza, Repos Production, 2019)

Games Played Last Week:
03:19 -Spire’s End (Greg Favro, Self-Published, 2019)
05:41 -Regicide (Paul Abrahams, Luke Badger, & Andy Richdale, Badgers from Mars, 2020)
05:55 -Race for the Galaxy (Thomas Lehmann, Rio Grande Games, 2007)
06:00 -Imperium: Classics and Imperium: Legends (Nigel Buckle & Dávid Turczi, Osprey Games, 2021)
07:33 -Orleans (Reiner Stockhausen, dlp Games, 2014)
09:30 -The Quacks of Quedlinburg (Wolfgang Warsch, Scmidt Spiele, 2018)
11:36 -Sleeping Gods (Ryan Laukat, Red Raven Games, 2021)
17:08 -Pan Am (Prospero Hall, Funko Games, 2020)
21:24 -Imperium: The Contention (Gary Dworetsky, Contention Games, 2021)
22:00 -Wingspan (Elizabeth Hargrave, Stonemaier Games, 2019)
23:11 -Destinies (Michał Gołębiowski & Filip Miłuński, Lucky Duck Games, 2021)
27:02 -Mind MGMT: The Psychic Espionage “Game.” (Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim, Off the Page Games, 2021)
31:01 -Kabuto Sumo (Tony Miller, BoardGameTables.com, 2021)

News (and why it doesn’t matter):
36:18 Editorial policy on not accepting payment for coverage
37:07 Kingdomino: Origins
37:47 Pandemic: World of Warcraft
38:04 VektoRace
38:39 Fort Cats & Dogs expansion
38:49 Spiel des Jahres: MicroMacro: Crime City, Kennerspiel winner: Paleo
40:34 Queen’s Dilemma
41:12 Carolus Magnus reprint: Eriantys
43:03 Wonder Book: pop-up book game!
43:33 Arena Mortis
44:31 Petersen Games and the Petersen Two-Step

47:24 Topic: Omnibus Questions Bravo Bravo

1:22:07 SVWAG Presents: Masterpiece Theatre: Fast & Furious 6

1 Like

Haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but the Atlantic article is interesting – very basic of course, but it looks as though people in the industry are finally noticing that there’s a significant audience objection, just as they did a few years ago with the portrayal of women.

I read that article last week, I think someone linked it on the Discord. Some…interesting…Twitter responses to it. Since the timestamp mentions Petersen Games, I’m assuming they are discussing it.

Re 36:18. Jamey Stegmaier has removed the relevant comment to his blog post, so for the record:


As usual with Jamey, it might just be linguistic incompetence, or he might have meant to say that contrarianism is the specific reason for those two named reviewers. I think he’s in a particular bind because there are a lot of people who will buy and praise anything by Stonemaier Games, and obviously it’s tempting to listen to them. Meanwhile Stonemaier and many other publishers have been known to withdraw or delay review copies for reviewers who don’t like their games, because why should they pay to have bad things said about them, right? Arguably only SU&SD or maybe Dice Tower are powerful enough to be able to say “we’ve been taken off X’s review copy list” and have an effect.

1 Like

I think he’s a person in an industry where by and large negative criticism doesn’t really exist. For the most part you have reviewers who like the games or at worst will conjure up an audience they can imagine will like the games. In that context is must weird to see negative criticism this alien feeling it creates a bizzare reaction to negativity as an attack.

It’s pretty lame if you ask me to look at those and see them as contrarian. I’m kind of middling on both of NPI and Wrong about games but I never ever get the feeling they review with half an eye on salving the guilt of or pleasing some thin skinned owner.

There’s no IGN or New York Times to pay the bills for reviewers, all the wealth is generated by the people who make games which makes almost all the criticism (by volume) a little suspect.

1 Like

I’m sure we can all think of reviewers who praise everything – in which case, why bother to pay attention to them at all since you know what you’ll get?

From my own experience on the tiny end of the reviewing scale, I’d rather talk about a game I enjoyed than a game I didn’t enjoy. (Though I do try to say things like “the thing I disliked was specifically X, which many people don’t mind at all, so if you’re one of them go for it” rather than “this game was rubbish”.)


I think it’s worth talking about everything. Things that don’t work for you are factually that, but the hard bit is trying to see what bits caused those frictions. Frictions are where we can find spaces for improvements imo and improvements should be the point of criticism.


I’d guess it’s easier to review games you like as you’re more likely to play them a few more times to get a good grasp of what it’s about. Presumably that makes it easier to talk about in enough depth to feel like your review is adding something to the pool.

I’m not wild on NPI so I don’t know if they’re negative. It seems odd to me to call SVWAG very negative. Although if I was Jamey Stegmaier and only looked at what they said about Stonemaier games that might not stack up. Although they have played plenty of Scythe and Walker seems generally keen on it. So maybe he’s remembering more the negative things? As the show contains a lot of first impressions and they try lots of new things there is a chance that overall responses are negative but featured games that get an actual review will skew positive I think.

I will note that both NPI and SVWAG were much more positive in Barrage than any recent SM releases. Do Stonemaier just make games not for them?

1 Like

Yeah. They discuss the cowardly response from Sandy Petersen. The response is basically “I’m an old white man and I don’t see anything wrong in society. Why can I play my games in peace?”. And the reply from SWVAG is excellent

Seems that Jamey got hurt that it was only Scythe that the two enjoyed, while the rest of his publishing house’s catalogue are either bad or average. And they dunked on Tapestry too (and rightfully so)


Speaking specifically of Stegmaier, I think that guy has the classic problem of being surrounded by an adoring audience. The boardgaming media space is (seemingly unapologetically) predominantly positive; negativity has never been widely accepted and is often perceived as “attacks”. Whereas Stegmaier has such a loyal following that likely never gives him negative feedback on anything. So the only non-positive feedback he receives is from outside of his “tribe” – which for many people in this position, just further creates a divide between the “tribe” and the rest of the world.

1 Like

That is what I thought when his games are playtested badly. He got a bunch of YesMen as his playtesters