Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Podcasts

Derk and Aldie over at BoardGameGeek did me a huge favor when they started up their podcast, then known as GeekSpeak. It was a radio show on MP3 all about boardgames. Now I knew nothing about Adam Curry or the whole podcasting thing at that point, but the new car I had been given at work had a CD player that had an MP3 decoder, so I tried it out. I downloaded the first installment, burned it onto a CD, and have listened to every episode ever since. I even began doing a log of the shows as a Geeklist. (The list is no longer up-to-date, unfortunately. I may update it at some point in the future.)

Podcasts have now replaced radio and audio CDs as my companions during my hour-long drive to work. Several podcasts with boardgame content have joined GeekSpeak, now renamed BoardGameSpeak, on my car stereo. I thought I'd say a few words about each.

The Dice Tower (TDT) is hosted by those two funny boardgame-playing Americans based in Korea, Tom and Joe. TDT is a spiritual sibling to GeekSpeak in that you have two guys who play well off each other. Well, ok, I think Tom and Joe do it better as Aldie tends to disappear a lot during shows. Granted, GeekSpeak usually has a guest, while TDT is usually just Tom and Joe. The hook here is that Joe is primarily a wargamer, and Tom is primarily a Eurogamer. Warning - this show is not for newbies. Game titles are mentioned at an alarming rate, especially during the weekly Top 10 lists. Have BGG up and ready to search to figure out what games the guys are talking about. Recently, TDT has been running contests to give away games. So far, they've given away Conquest of the Empire, Santiago/Primordial Soup, and a couple of wargames from Wellington. That's more than enough reason to listen and participate!

Boardgames To Go (BGTG) is Mark Johnson's show. He started out with a one-voice format, and that still is his default show type, but lately he's been having various second voices on his show, from fellow gamers to his wife and kids. I found Mark's earlier shows to be rather boring, but since I could relate to the content, I kept downloading and listening. Lucky for me, as the quality of the shows has been improving rapidly to the point that BGTG is now the first show I listen to when I have a freshly-burned CD of podcasts in the car. Mark's recent innovation - whole shows focusing on just one game, are now the podcast I look out for. The first two, on Entdecker and Medici, were all about two games I haven't played and don't own. The Medici show that had Dave Arnott as co-host was outstanding, and I've placed Medici on my "will definitely buy" list as soon as the RGG reprint appears. I just downloaded the newer show, on Verrater, a game I just acquired last week and have played a bit on BrettSpielWelt, and I'm looking forward to hearing that one. Mark's shows are now can't-miss programming as far as I'm concerned.

BoardGameSpeak (BGS) has suffered a bit in its recent shows as Aldie and Derk concentrate on getting BGG.CON organized. The last few shows have been interviews with various persons during a convention, so the sound quality has been poorer than the studio-recorded shows. One weakness of the BGS format is that the show is only as good as the guest, and sometimes the guest tanks the whole show. I haven't been interested all that much in the last two guests, Friedeman Freiese and Andrea Meyer, so I skipped large chunks of those shows. Still, BGS has produced some excellent shows in the past, especially the ones that had Reiner Knizia, Alan Moon and Mark Jackson on as guests.

Have Games Will Travel (HGWT) is a newish podcast from Paul Tevis. This is a hybrid show that features both boardgames and RPGs, but the boardgame coverage is suited for people new to the hobby. (Unlike the three previous entries here.) Most experienced Eurogamers won't really care about a review on Carcassonne or Ticket to Ride, but for those who just happen on Paul's show, it's a good way to become familiar with the base games of the hobby. Paul uses a single-voice format. His latest show, which I haven't listened to yet, has a review of Reiner's mighty Euphrat & Tigris. That's going to be an interesting listen.

Geek Fu Action Grip (GFAG) is barely boardgame related. Host Mur Lafferty's background seems to be primarily in RPGs, but her husband Jim Van Verth is an old-school game designer. Mur adores James Ernest and his Cheapass Games, and crayon rail games. Not much for Eurogamers or wargamers here in terms of game content, but Mur is entertaining and her "being a geek essays" are fun to listen to so I keep tuning in.

Roll 2d6 (2d6) is a new podcast which also encompasses RPGs. They talk mostly about American-style boardgames and RPGs, but the last episode had a mention for Settlers of Catan so I'll keep listening until the content I follow runs dry.

All Games Considered (AGC) is a show I listened to when it first came out. Not only were the first few shows rather devoid of boardgame content, but the hosts were overly self-referential and there was far too little content delivered for the time the podcasts were taking. I no longer listen to this show.

6 Comments:

At Thursday, September 22, 2005 3:43:00 AM, Blogger Coldfoot said...

Thanks, I knew about the "big three" and I had heard that there were a couple other game podcasts out there. I'd been hoping someone would list them.

 
At Thursday, September 22, 2005 7:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ogrecave (http://www.ogrecave.com/audio/) isn't bad either.

 
At Saturday, October 01, 2005 2:19:00 PM, Blogger Chris Brooks said...

I also dropped All Games Considered. One of the background guys just started to annoy me too much.

 
At Tuesday, October 04, 2005 4:08:00 AM, Blogger Mark Johnson said...

Glad to have you as a listener, Rick. I've just started reading your blog and appreciate the pull-no-punches content.

 
At Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.pulpgamer.com/ aren't bad either

 
At Monday, December 19, 2005 8:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

AGC seem to have lifted their game recently. Their recent shows seem much better than their earlier ones...

 

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