This episode is jam packed with exciting board games and has a reference to clotted cream - that’s right - it’s the scone episode! A tasty delicious dessert for your ears full of rich indulgent cardboard. What’s especially exciting is that we’ve got a little bit of everything for everyone - from very light to very heavy, all pretty great in their own ways so if you’re looking to enrich your collection - this week is definitely full of good recs. Enjoy!
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On to the timestamps:
4:00 Audience correspondence - Historical Wargames and MILDA MATILDA
A realisation as I listen to this: I knew a few teachers when Harry Potter was coming out, and their reactions were along the lines of “OK, it’s a bit rubbish, but at least the kids are reading”. But that didn’t turn into kids reading lots of stuff: instead a lot of them read more magical school stories, and often fanfic in that particular setting. (Which is fair enough, but limiting.)
And I think the new-gamer/licenced-game experience may be the same. If I or Efka and Elaine, or I suspect most people here, play Star Wars Deckbuilding, we’ll think “OK, it’s a zippier version of Star Realms”. We have some idea of boardgaming rules-space and we can say that it’s this mechanic with a bit of that one, and it’s quite like this game but not very like that one. But a new player doesn’t know that: they know they played a Star Wars game and they like Star Wars so that’s great, but they don’t know they’ve played a deckbuilding game and other games in a similar vein might be X and Y. They have no guidance beyond the IP and the publisher. If they’re really lucky they’ll look up Caleb Grace and find Marvel Champions and LotRCG.
Beyond that, I don’t think many non-gamers realise what makes mechanics fun. Mention a game and the first question is what it’s about rather than what you do. If a subject is boring, that’s instantly a turn off. If you tell someone a star wars game they like is actually quite a lot like a train game, they are not going to appreciate it. They’re unable to separate the enjoyment of a game from its theme, which can only be acquired by experience.