Zoe Bee, Race to the Raft, Ra, Obsession



It’s time to get schooled! Always wanted to say that and finally I have a good reason because today’s guest on the show is none other than Zoe Bee who’ll teach us about board games as educational tools.

Oh but wait, there’s also board game reviews. A hot new release that asks us to save cats (again) - Race to the Raft, a hot old classic that’s got a shiny new coat - Ra, and a hot hidden gem that we finally got around to playing - Obsession.

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On to the timestamps:

00:00 Cold Open

3:01 Audience Correspondence - NPI Geometry

8:28 Race to the Raft

31:08 Audience Correspondence - Hidden Movement

33:24 Ra

45:59 Board Game Education with Zoe Bee

1:12:47 Obsession: Pride, Intrigue, and Prejudice in Victorian England

Could people who own a copy of Obsession let me know what it says about the period it’s set in? I’ve assumed from the style (e.g. photographs) and subject matter (including rich Americans marrying into the peerage) that it’s early 20th century, your Downton Abbey and such like; but E&E talked about it as though it were Jane Austen…

it is supposed to be more austenesque i think. but with the focus on the servants as workers i would also not discount DA (only saw a couple of seasons) influences. it is very much about match making… as the bigger picture for the whole game. but turn by turn you have events on your estates locations with guests and servants to organize and serve and so maybe both?

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Mid-1800s, according to the rulebook.

It does keep a lot of the Austen themes, because although you start as quite rich, in P&P if you don’t marry well you literally won’t be able to support your multiple daughters etc. So there’s an air of desperation to the marriage parts - yes, it’s in a fun way to increase your status, but there’s an underlying horror of losing respectability because it can actually ruin you out of society.

I really like the game, the one thing I’d say is that the photos are almost all bad - they nearly all look American instead of English, and some could be from after 1900. The writing on the cards and the game itself is great though.

It’s focused on marrying the super-eligible newcomers to the area, by expanding your estate / status in ways that they like so that they choose you after the final round. You’re usually trying to set things up to host reputable people and increase your numbers, but you can also invite the super-rich but scandalous aunt so that you can benefit from her money but take a huge hit in reputation.

The round before the end is a National Holiday when suddenly the limits on who you can invite to your estate are dropped, resulting in a total frenzy just before the final step.

Yes, it’s about rich folk trying to be richer, but in a way that’s knowingly fun and pretend for the players. And because it’s solely about entertaining and building, there’s no war or business, so it keeps the fun feeling without drawing the real world in at all. When I play it with people their reaction completely depends on whether they like the theme - if they do, they tend to love the gameplay as well.


That was my reaction too, but I guess there are a lot of people who haven’t seen enough old pictures from different countries to make that obvious.

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