The SnakesCast

Bite-sized bits about board games from the game gurus at Snakes and Lattes

The world of tabletop games is a lot bigger than most people realize. In fact it's so big that the idea of investigating it can actually be kind of intimidating. When you see all those games you've never heard of, with rules and concepts and themes you've never seen before in a game, it's hard to know where to start. The answer is: start with the SnakesCast. Every week, we'll bring you ten or fifteen minutes' worth of banter about what makes these games worth playing. With a different theme every episode and a rotating cast of both gurus and non-gurus from Toronto's premiere boardgame café, we'll show you just how much there is to play with out there.

  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Organisational Games, Part 1 - What is an organisational game?

    Organisational Games, Part 1 - What is an organisational game?

    This week, we look at games that feature organisation as part of their theme or mechanisms. Today, we begin by defining what we mean by organisational, and discussing some examples.

    We're getting organised here at the SnakesCast, as we discuss games that feature organisation either as part of their theme or mechanisms. Today, Monday April 9th 2018, we begin by defining organisational games for the purpose of the week's podcasts, and giving some entry-level examples.

    Games discussed: Rush Hour; Tangrams; Blokus; Blokus Duo; Blokus Trigon; Batik; Patchwork

    Published: April 9th, 2018
    Length: 00:08:17

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    Wednesday
    Organisational Games, Part 1 - What is an organisational game?

    Check back on Wednesday!

    Friday
    Organisational Games, Part 1 - What is an organisational game?

    Check back on Friday!

  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 1 - What do our curators do?

    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 1 - What do our curators do?

    This week, we look inward to one of the things that makes the game libraries at Snakes & Lattes work - curating and maintaining them. We begin by talking about the organisation of the games, and the presentation of the game wall.

    The focus of the SnakesCast turns inward this week, as we examine the process of curating and maintaining our board game libraries. Today, Monday April 2nd 2018, we begin by asking what curation is and the importance of maintaining the visual appearance and accessibility of the game walls.

    Published: April 2nd, 2018
    Length: 00:08:48

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    Wednesday
    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 2 - Game selection

    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 2 - Game selection

    This week, we look inward to one of the things that makes the game libraries at Snakes & Lattes work - curating and maintaining them. Today, the discussion turns to game selection, and how we go about culling or adding games to the library.

    The focus of the SnakesCast turns inward this week, as we examine the process of curating and maintaining our board game libraries. Today, Wednesday April 4th 2018, we turn to the subject of game selection, discussing how we go about both culling games from and adding them to the library.

    Games discussed: Dancing Eggs, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Manhattan, Hold That Face, Plague Inc., The Fox in the Forest, Queendomino, Who Should We Eat?, Mysterium, Element, Great Western Trail, Operation


    Published: April 4th, 2018
    Length: 00:12:36

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    Friday
    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 3 - Preparing games for café life

    Curating a Café Game Library, Part 3 - Preparing games for café life

    This week, we look inward to one of the things that makes the game libraries at Snakes & Lattes work - curating and maintaining them. We round out the week by talking about preparing games for café life, with a brief tangent on escape room games.

    The focus of the SnakesCast turns inward this week, as we examine the process of curating and maintaining our board game libraries. Today, Friday April 6th 2018, we round out the week by discussing how we go about preparing games for life at the café, and go on a brief tangent to discuss the success of escape room games in the Snakes environment.

    Games discussed: T.I.M.E. Stories; Escape Room; Unlock; EXIT; Bob Ross: The Art of Chill; Archipelago

    Published: April 6th, 2018
    Length: 00:10:10

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
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    Challenges at the Table, Part 1 - Distracted Gamers

    Challenges at the Table, Part 1 - Distracted Gamers

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. Today, we suggest ways of engaging players who may be distracted during play.

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges that can be faced with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. Today, Monday March 26th 2018, we talk about ways of engaging players who may be distracted while at the table, whether through wandering attention or playing with game pieces.

    Published: March 26th, 2018
    Length: 00:10:34

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    Wednesday
    Challenges at the Table, Part 2 - More distraction, and Analysis Paralysis

    Challenges at the Table, Part 2 - More distraction, and Analysis Paralysis

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. Today, we discuss players who check out during a teach, or those who take forever to take their turn.

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges that can be faced with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. Today, Wednesday March 28th 2018, we look at how to handle players who check out during a teach, including improving your teach to help that, and also players who engage in Analysis Paralysis - taking forever to take their turn while they weigh up every option.

    Published: March 28th, 2018
    Length: 00:14:14

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    Friday
    Challenges at the Table, Part 3 - Alpha Players and Aggression

    Challenges at the Table, Part 3 - Alpha Players and Aggression

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. We finish by talking about Alpha Players, and also those who take an overly aggressive attitude at the table.

    This week, the SnakesCast examines challenges that can be faced with player interactions at the table, and we discuss ways of solving them that have worked for us. Today, Friday March 30th 2018, we end up by discussing Alpha Players - those who take over cooperative games and play them for everyone - and players who become overly aggressive at the game table.

    Published: March 30th, 2018
    Length: 00:15:01

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Resource Management Games, Part 1 - Defining Resource Management

    Resource Management Games, Part 1 - Defining Resource Management

    If you're into managing resources, this is the week for you. The SnakesCast is looking at games using that mechanism this week, and we begin by asking what defines the mechanism.

    This week we are making sure we use our resources as efficiently as we can in games featuring the mechanism of resource management. Today, Monday March 19th 2018, we begin by asking exactly what resource management is, discussing some great examples in games along the way.

    Games discussed: Ticket to Ride; Power Grid; The Game; Splendor; Jaipur; Ethnos; Century: Spice Road

    Published: March 19th, 2018
    Length: 00:13:43

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    Wednesday
    Resource Management Games, Part 2 - Exploring examples

    Resource Management Games, Part 2 - Exploring examples

    If you're into managing resources, this is the week for you. The SnakesCast is looking at games using that mechanism this week, and today we examine three games that use it and see what makes them work.

    This week we are making sure we use our resources as efficiently as we can in games featuring the mechanism of resource management. Today, Wednesday March 21st 2018, we examine three games that use the mechanism and see how resource management interacts with the games as a whole.

    Games discussed: Raiders of the North Sea; Power Grid; Catan

    Published: March 21st, 2018
    Length: 00:14:46

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    Friday
    Resource Management Games, Part 3 - Games that think outside the box

    Resource Management Games, Part 3 - Games that think outside the box

    If you're into managing resources, this is the week for you. The SnakesCast is looking at games using that mechanism this week, and we end up by looking at three more games which use resource management in very different ways.

    This week we are making sure we use our resources as efficiently as we can in games featuring the mechanism of resource management. Today, Friday March 23rd 2018, we look at three games that take the mechanism of resource management, but use it in really interesting ways.

    Games discussed: Bohnanza, Catan, Mystic Vale, Dominion, Splendor, Scythe

    Published: March 23rd, 2018
    Length: 00:13:53

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    The Player Contract, Part 1 - What is the player contract?

    The Player Contract, Part 1 - What is the player contract?

    This week, the SnakesCast examines the player contract that is made when a table sits down to play a game. We begin by asking what the player contract is, and how it affects gameplay.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we sign the metaphorical document known as the Player Contract - the agreement that is made when a group of players sits down to play a game. Today, Monday March 12th 2018, we begin by asking exactly what that contract is, and how it affects the way you approach playing a game.

    Games discussed: Star Wars Imperial Assault; Shadow Hunters; Dune

    Published: March 12th, 2018
    Length: 00:11:09

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    Wednesday
    The Player Contract, Part 2 - Where not playing your best may still be part of the contract

    The Player Contract, Part 2 - Where not playing your best may still be part of the contract

    This week, the SnakesCast examines the player contract that is made when a table sits down to play a game. We continue by looking at the contract further, and also when not playing your best may be the way to fulfill it.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we sign the metaphorical document known as the Player Contract - the agreement that is made when a group of players sits down to play a game. Today, Wednesday March 14th 2018, we continue by looking at the contract in more detail, and discussing examples where you might actually fulfill it by not playing your best.

    Games discussed: Cosmic Encounter; Scythe; Diplomacy; Rising Sun; Dune

    Published: March 14th, 2018
    Length: 00:14:01

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    Friday
    The Player Contract, Part 3 - Games where the player contract can be very different

    The Player Contract, Part 3 - Games where the player contract can be very different

    This week, the SnakesCast examines the player contract that is made when a table sits down to play a game. This last episode looks at games where the contract may be very different, and how that relates to the problem of an alpha player.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we sign the metaphorical document known as the Player Contract - the agreement that is made when a group of players sits down to play a game. Today, Friday March 16th 2018, we look at the fine print for situations where the contract may be completely different - it may even be "don't play your best" - and how that relates to the issue of having an alpha player at the table.

    Games discussed: Scattergories; Magic: The Gathering; Baccarat; Battlestar Galactica; Werewolf; Dead of Winter; Monopoly; Pandemic; Mysterium; Hanabi; The Grizzled; Magic Maze; Space Alert; XCOM: The Board Game; Xenoshyft: Onslaught

    Published: March 16th, 2018
    Length: 00:18:14

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 1 - Chess, it's appeal, and why it is great to riff off

    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 1 - Chess, it's appeal, and why it is great to riff off

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas from Chess. Today, we talk about Chess, and what makes it a game that is good to take ideas from.

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas arising from mechanisms or aesthetics used in Chess. Today, Monday March 5th 2018, we give a rough overview of Chess, and talk about what makes it a game that offers lots of ideas that can be taken and used in other games.

    Games discussed: Chess; Magic: The Gathering; Onitama; Kamisado

    Published: March 5th, 2018
    Length: 00:08:25

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    Wednesday
    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 2 - Excellent games that use some mechanisms from Chess

    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 2 - Excellent games that use some mechanisms from Chess

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas from Chess. Today, we're going to look at some great games that have a couple of mechanisms that they share with Chess.

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas arising from mechanisms or aesthetics used in Chess. Today, Wednesday March 7th 2018, we examine some examples of games that take those ideas and run with them really well.

    Games discussed: Onitama; The Duke; Kamisado; All Queens Chess; Stratego; Confusion

    Published: March 7th, 2018
    Length: 00:12:03

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    Friday
    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 3 - A couple more like Chess, a couple that aren't

    Games Inspired by Chess, Part 3 - A couple more like Chess, a couple that aren't

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas from Chess. Today, we look at a couple more games that are akin to Chess, and a couple that take the ideas a different way.

    The chequered board comes to the fore this week as we discuss games that riff off ideas arising from mechanisms or aesthetics used in Chess. Today, Friday March 9th 2018, we look at a couple more games that are akin to Chess in some ways, and a couple that take ideas from Chess, but enact them in a very different game. CORRECTION: The game Tak was actually introduced in the second book in Patrick Rothfuss' series, "The Wise Man's Fear", and not in "The Name of the Wind".

    Games discussed: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation; Hive; Element; Tak

    Published: March 9th, 2018
    Length: 00:15:18

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    It Came From the Internet, Part 1 - Games about internet culture

    It Came From the Internet, Part 1 - Games about internet culture

    We brave the perils of the internet this week, to look at games related to it in a variety of ways. We start by discussing games based on internet culture.

    The SnakesCast team ventures into the wild world of the internet this week, to look at games that are related to the internet in a variety of ways. Today, Monday February 19th 2018, we begin by discussing games that are based on topics of internet culture.

    Games discussed: Concept; #Hashtags; The Game of Things; Damn You, Autocorrect; What Do You Meme?

    Published: February 19th, 2018
    Length: 00:09:40

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    Wednesday
    It Came From the Internet, Part 2 - Games based on internet properties (aka This Is Fine)

    It Came From the Internet, Part 2 - Games based on internet properties (aka This Is Fine)

    We brave the perils of the internet this week, to look at games related to it in a variety of ways. Today, we talk about games that are based on webcomics and internet properties.

    The SnakesCast team ventures into the wild world of the internet this week, to look at games that are related to the internet in a variety of ways. Today, Wednesday February 21th 2018, we look at games that are based on webcomics and other properties that originated on the internet.

    Games discussed: Exploding Kittens; Exploding Kittens NSFW Version; Bears vs Babies; Joking Hazard; Cards Against Humanity; Order of the Stick Adventure Game; Sex and the City Trivia Game; Awkward Moment; Awkward Family Photos Card Game

    Published: February 21st, 2018
    Length: 00:10:02

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    Friday
    It Came From the Internet, Part 3 - Games that went viral

    It Came From the Internet, Part 3 - Games that went viral

    We brave the perils of the internet this week, to look at games related to it in a variety of ways. We end by discussing games that went viral on the internet, and also how humiliation plays a part in many such games.

    The SnakesCast team ventures into the wild world of the internet this week, to look at games that are related to the internet in a variety of ways. Today, Friday February 23rd 2018, we finish the discussion by looking at games that went viral on the internet, and also examine the ubiquity of humiliation as a component in many games that have found internet popularity.

    Games discussed: Speak Out; Pie Face; Pie Face Showdown; Boom Boom Balloon; Toilet Trouble; Snake Oil; Cards Against Humanity

    Published: February 23rd, 2018
    Length: 00:09:03

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 1 - The popular targets

    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 1 - The popular targets

    The SnakesCast is looking at games that fired other games by doing what they did, but better. We start by taking a look at some of the popular games that we feel have been improved upon since their release.

    The SnakesCast puts games in the firing line this week, as we discuss games that have been fired by other games - that is to say, something has come along which does what the original game does, but better. Today, Monday February 12th 2018, we begin by looking at some popular titles in board gaming, and the games we feel have dethroned them.

    Games discussed: One Night Ultimate Werewolf; Werewolf; The Resistance; Good Cop, Bad Cop; Shadow Hunters; The Resistance: Avalon; Catan; Ticket to Ride; Century: Spice Road

    Published: February 12th, 2018
    Length: 00:11:51

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    Wednesday
    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 2 - Games we'd like to fire

    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 2 - Games we'd like to fire

    The SnakesCast is looking at games that fired other games by doing what they did, but better. In today's episode, we look at the games we would like to fire.

    The SnakesCast puts games in the firing line this week, as we discuss games that have been fired by other games - that is to say, something has come along which does what the original game does, but better. Today, Wednesday February 14th 2018, we take a look at the games that we would like to fire, and the ones we believe have replaced or could replace them. NOTE: Apologies for the late upload of this episode - our producer would like to fire the ice on the pavement, having fallen foul of it.

    Games discussed: Apples 2 Apples, Say Anything, Dirty Minds, Billionaire Banshee, The Game of Life, The Game of Life (CD-ROM Game), CV, Munchkin, Cuthroat Caverns, Boss Monster, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt Skullzfire, Trivial Pursuit, Kwizniac, Timeline

    Published: February 14th, 2018
    Length: 00:13:32

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    Friday
    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 3 - Our last batch of targets (for now...)

    Games That Fire Other Games, Part 3 - Our last batch of targets (for now...)

    The SnakesCast is looking at games that fired other games by doing what they did, but better. We're finishing up with some heavier games that also could be fired, as well as some other entry-level games, and a discussion of different editions.

    The SnakesCast puts games in the firing line this week, as we discuss games that have been fired by other games - that is to say, something has come along which does what the original game does, but better. Today, Friday February 16th 2018, we talk about a few more simpler games and then some heavy hitters that could be or have been fired, including how different editions of the same game can fire each other.

    Games discussed: 5-Second Rule, Geek Out, Anomia, Last Word, Scattergories, Exploding Kittens, Kittens in a Blender, Hive Mind, 7 Wonders, Sushi Go, 7 Wonders Duel, Civilization, Roll Through the Ages, Blood Rage, Ancestree, Fury of Dracula, Specter Ops, Twilight Imperium, Midgard, Dixit, Mysterium, When I Dream, Dreams, Muse, Chess, Bang, Bang: The Dice Game

    Published: February 16th, 2018
    Length: 00:13:10

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Murder Mystery Games, Part 1 - What is the appeal of these games?

    Murder Mystery Games, Part 1 - What is the appeal of these games?

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games about murder mysteries, and we start by discussing the appeal of these games, and mentioning a couple of accessible examples.

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games featuring detectives, criminals and clues, as we turn our attention to games featuring murder mysteries. Today, Monday February 5th 2018, we start by asking why these games appeal to us, and discuss a couple of accessible examples.

    Games discussed: Dark Stories; Dark Stories: Real Crime Edition; Clue; Sleuth

    Published: February 5th, 2018
    Length: 00:09:52

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    Wednesday
    Murder Mystery Games, Part 2 - Elementary, My Dear Poirot

    Murder Mystery Games, Part 2 - Elementary, My Dear Poirot

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games about murder mysteries, and today we are looking at some variations on the theme of Clue, and also discuss why Sherlock Holmes features so heavily.

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games featuring detectives, criminals and clues, as we turn our attention to games featuring murder mysteries. Today, Wednesday February 7th 2018, we look at some variations on the Clue theme that add something different to the game, and which will appeal to Clue fans. We also discuss why Sherlock Holmes is so common in games, while other detectives such as Hercule Poirot might not be.

    Games discussed: Clue; 221B Baker Street; Murder on the Orient Express: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery Game; Mystery of the Abbey; 13 Clues; Code 777

    Published: February 7th, 2018
    Length: 00:14:27

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    Friday
    Murder Mystery Games, Part 3 - Uncovering Mr Jack

    Murder Mystery Games, Part 3 - Uncovering Mr Jack

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games about murder mysteries, and we end the week by looking at some of the games inspired by the story of Jack the Ripper.

    This week, the SnakesCast looks at games featuring detectives, criminals and clues, as we turn our attention to games featuring murder mysteries. Today, Friday February 9th 2018, we finish up this week's discussion by turning to some of the games based upon the story of Jack the Ripper - from the lighter accessible end, to those that dig into the theme and evoked emotion in us as players.

    Games discussed: Mr Jack (and variants); Mr Jack Pocket; Letters from Whitechapel; Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper & West End Adventures

    Published: February 9th, 2018
    Length: 00:17:42

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    2017 Retrospective, Part 1 - Sequels, escapes, consumable games and Mars

    2017 Retrospective, Part 1 - Sequels, escapes, consumable games and Mars

    As we close out 2017, we look back at the year in board games. Today we start by discussing sequels, consumable games, escape room games, and games set on Mars.

    Happy Holidays! 2017 is almost over, and as we see the year out, we are going to look back on the year's board game releases. Today, Monday December 25th 2017, we begin by looking at sequels to existing games, escape room games (including a quick tangent on consumable games), and games set on Mars.

    Games discussed: Codenames: Duet; Spyfall 2; Betrayal at Baldur's Gate; Queendomino; Unlock!; Exit: The Game; Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective; Terraforming Mars; First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet

    Published: December 25th, 2017
    Length: 00:08:46

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    Wednesday
    2017 Retrospective, Part 2 - Café games

    2017 Retrospective, Part 2 - Café games

    As we close out 2017, we look back at the year in board games. We look today at the this year's glut of games that are amazing for board game cafés.

    Happy Holidays! 2017 is almost over, and as we see the year out, we are going to look back on the year's board game releases. Today, Wednesday December 27th 2017, we turn our focus to the games that are our bread and butter - those that are perfect candidates to go on the wall of a board game café.

    Games discussed: Century: Spice Road; Bob Ross: The Art of Chill; Photosynthesis; Flamme Rouge; Sagrada; Cottage Garden; NMBR9; Dice Forge; Magic Maze

    Published: December 27th, 2017
    Length: 00:09:24

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    Friday
    2017 Retrospective, Part 3 - Bringing out the big guns

    2017 Retrospective, Part 3 - Bringing out the big guns

    As we close out 2017, we look back at the year in board games. For our final episode of the year, we look at the bigger games that came out this year.

    Happy Holidays! 2017 is almost over, and as we see the year out, we are going to look back on the year's board game releases. Today, Friday December 29th 2017, we take a look at the bigger games that came out this year, and talk about how some of them caught our eye either by changing things up or being surprisingly familiar. We're taking a week off next week, and will be back after that with new episodes, topics and guests. From all of us here at the SnakesCast, have a very happy New Year, and we'll see you in 2018.

    Games discussed: Gloomhaven; SeaFall; Charterstone; Pandemic Legacy Season 2; Twilight Imperium 4th Edition; Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition; Firefly The Board Game; Wasteland Express Delivery Service

    Published: December 29th, 2017
    Length: 00:13:21

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Games about the Cold, Part 1 - Wintery games for kids

    Games about the Cold, Part 1 - Wintery games for kids

    Winter has set in, and so we're looking at games about the cold this week. Today we begin by looking at games for kids with accessible designs and some common themes.

    Winter has set in, and it is cold outside now, so we're discussing games that have something to do with the cold. Today, Monday December 18th 2017, we start by looking at games for kids that have accessible designs, and in the process we spot some common themes amongst them.

    Games discussed: Hey, That's My Fish!; Don't Break the Ice; Ice Cool; Penguin Pile-Up; Animal Upon Animal Crest Climbers

    Published: December 18th, 2017
    Length: 00:07:38

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    Wednesday
    Games about the Cold, Part 2 - Digging deeper (into the snow?)

    Games about the Cold, Part 2 - Digging deeper (into the snow?)

    Winter has set in, and so we're looking at games about the cold this week. We look at the intermediate games today, including original games and re-skins of existing ones.

    Winter has set in, and it is cold outside now, so we're discussing games that have something to do with the cold. Today, Wednesday December 20th 2017, we continue by looking at intermediate level games, including both original designs and snow-oriented re-skins of existing games.

    Games discussed: Christmas-opoly; Carcassonne: Winter Edition; Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries; K2; Snow Tails; Arctic Scavengers

    Published: December 20th, 2017
    Length: 00:10:33

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    Friday
    Games about the Cold, Part 3 - Into the icy depths

    Games about the Cold, Part 3 - Into the icy depths

    Winter has set in, and so we're looking at games about the cold this week. Today we look at the heavier end of things, and how games have used the theme in ways that either feel cold or just look cold.

    Winter has set in, and it is cold outside now, so we're discussing games that have something to do with the cold. Today, Friday December 22nd 2017, we look at the heavier games that use the theme. Some of them use it well to make you feel the cold as you play, and others have it more as an aesthetic theme. We also discuss Jonathan's own design process for the Frozen Wastes expansion to Runebound. Apologies for the technical difficulties that delayed the posting of this episode.

    Games discussed:Dead of Winter; Evo; Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island; T.I.M.E. Stories: Expedition Endurance; The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31; Runebound (2nd Edition): The Frozen Wastes

    Published: December 22nd, 2017
    Length: 00:14:34

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  • Monday
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    new, start
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    Abstraction and Theme, Part 1 - What's in a theme?

    Abstraction and Theme, Part 1 - What's in a theme?

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we discuss theme in games. Today we begin by asking what theme means, what its purpose is, and who may or may not like it.

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we delve into the concept of theme vs. abstraction in games - or in other words, whether a game has a narrative hook or not. Today, Monday December 11th 2017, we begin by trying to define theme as it relates to games, we ask what its purpose is, and we talk about how it may be viewed by different kinds of player.

    Games discussed: Monopoly; Forbidden Island; Chess; Carcassonne; Qwirkle; Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island; Eldritch Horror; Forbidden Desert; Jenga; Santorini

    Published: December 11th, 2017
    Length: 00:14:09

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    Wednesday
    Abstraction and Theme, Part 2 - A theme by any other name...

    Abstraction and Theme, Part 2 - A theme by any other name...

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we discuss theme in games. We continue the discussion with some examples of excellent theme use in games.

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we delve into the concept of theme vs. abstraction in games - or in other words, whether a game has a narrative hook or not. Today, Wednesday December 13th 2017, we continue by discussing some games that we feel use theme entirely to their benefit.

    Games discussed: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation; Stratego; Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective; Tales of the Arabian Nights; T.I.M.E. Stories

    Published: December 13th, 2017
    Length: 00:12:56

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    Friday
    Abstraction and Theme, Part 3 - ...might be pasted on

    Abstraction and Theme, Part 3 - ...might be pasted on

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we discuss theme in games. We end up by discussing some games that do not use theme well, or have a theme that means nothing to the mechanisms.

    To tell a story or not to tell a story? That is the question the SnakesCast asks this week as we delve into the concept of theme vs. abstraction in games - or in other words, whether a game has a narrative hook or not. Today, Friday December 15th 2017, we end the week by talking about games that do not carry theme off so well, or have a "pasted on" theme, which does not serve the mechanisms or the theme itself.

    Games discussed: Santorini; Holmes: Sherlock & Mycroft; Mysterium; Ginkgopolis; 221B Baker Street; The Game of Life; The Godfather: Corleone's Empire

    Published: December 15th, 2017
    Length: 00:11:47

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Robinson Crusoe, Part 1 - Finding the Island

    Robinson Crusoe, Part 1 - Finding the Island

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at Robinson Crusoe. We start by discussing the scenarios in the game, and offer an idea of the experience.

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at the cooperative game Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island. Today, Monday December 4th 2017, we begin by discussing the experience of playing the game, as well as looking at the scenario-based nature of the game that comes in the box.

    Games discussed: Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island; T.I.M.E. Stories

    Published: December 4th, 2017
    Length: 00:12:26

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    Wednesday
    Robinson Crusoe, Part 2 - Surviving the Island

    Robinson Crusoe, Part 2 - Surviving the Island

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at Robinson Crusoe. Today we discuss the complexities and challenges that the game throws at you as you play it.

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at the cooperative game Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island. Today, Wednesday December 6th 2017, we look at the complexities and the challenges in the game, including the scenario challenges and the game's determination and morale system.

    Games discussed: Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island; Dead of Winter

    Published: December 6th, 2017
    Length: 00:11:27

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    Friday
    Robinson Crusoe, Part 3 - Escaping the Island

    Robinson Crusoe, Part 3 - Escaping the Island

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at Robinson Crusoe. We finish by discussing some of the things we it does or does not do well, and also where the game progressed to.

    Prepare to survive on a cursed island, which may or may not be deserted, as we look at the cooperative game Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island. Today, Friday December 8th 2017, we discuss the things that we do feel the game does well and also the things we think it does not do quite so well, in terms of representation in particular. We also briefly discuss the games that have followed it.

    Games discussed: Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island; Robinson Crusoe - Adventures on the Cursed Island - Voyage of the Beagle; First Martians - Adventures on the Red Planet

    Published: December 8th, 2017
    Length: 00:16:15

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 1 - Tips for the heavier side of gaming

    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 1 - Tips for the heavier side of gaming

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, beginning with the heavier end of gaming, for those who might know a gamer, but don't know the hobby as well.

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere, at least!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, to help you decide what to get the board gamers in your life. Today, Monday November 27th 2017, we reverse our usual order and begin with the heavier end of gaming, looking at some recent titles to help those who might know a serious gamer, but don't know the hobby as well.

    Games discussed: Charterstone; Lords of Waterdeep; Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition; Champions of Midgard; Great Western Trail; Pandemic Legacy: Season 1; Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

    Published: November 27th, 2017
    Length: 00:10:16

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    Wednesday
    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 2 - Family Strategy or

    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 2 - Family Strategy or "Café" Games

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, continuing with accessible strategy games for the family.

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere, at least!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, to help you decide what to get the board gamers in your life. Wednesday November 29th 2017, we continue by discussing accessible strategy games, sometimes called family strategy games, which are also games we find to be excellent for the café environment.

    Games discussed: Century: Spice Road; Cottage Garden; Santorini; Sagrada; Kingdomino; Rhino Hero; Animal Upon Animal; Orinoko Gold; Spinderella; The Magic Labyrinth

    Published: November 29th, 2017
    Length: 00:11:07

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    Friday
    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 3 - Party Games and Stocking Stuffers

    Holiday Gift Ideas, Part 3 - Party Games and Stocking Stuffers

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, and we finish up with those gifting staples: party games and stocking stuffers.

    The Holiday Season is almost upon us, and the air is chilling (if you're in the northern hemisphere, at least!). We offer some gift suggestions this week, to help you decide what to get the board gamers in your life. Today, Friday December 1st 2017, we finish up with the gifting staples that are party games and stocking stuffers - discussing both new games and a few classics.

    Games discussed: Cards Against Humanity; Apples to Apples; What Do You Meme?; Joking Hazard; Telestrations: After Dark; Taboo: Midnight; Codenames: Under Cover; Codenames: Disney; Codenames: Marvel; Codenames: Duet; Dead Last; Timeline; Say Anything; Anomia; Love Letter; Dirigible Disaster; Dark Is The Night


    Published: December 1st, 2017
    Length: 00:12:35

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Campaign Games, Part 1 - The game continues

    Campaign Games, Part 1 - The game continues

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. We start by asking how campaigns work in board games, give a couple of examples, and ask who they're for.

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. This time we're not tearing anything up. Today, Monday November 20th 2017, we start by asking how campaigns can be implemented in board games, give a couple of examples that have excited us, and ask who would like these games and why they're not so great for a gaming café.

    Games discussed: Gloom; Mice & Mystics; Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd Edition); Dungeons & Dragons

    Published: November 20th, 2017
    Length: 00:12:14

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    Wednesday
    Campaign Games, Part 2 - Journey with me, in the dark

    Campaign Games, Part 2 - Journey with me, in the dark

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. Today we delve into Descent: Journeys in the Dark in detail, discuss attachments to characters, and what license these games give you to be creative.

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. This time we're not tearing anything up. Today, Wednesday November 22nd 2017, we look in detail at Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd Edition), as well as examining what it is like to become attached to a character, and discussing the license these games give you to create your own stories around their narrative.

    Games discussed: Descent: Journeys in the Dark (2nd Edition); Star Wars: Imperial Assault; Mice & Mystics

    Published: November 22nd, 2017
    Length: 00:12:41

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    Friday
    Campaign Games, Part 3 - Campaigns for everyone!

    Campaign Games, Part 3 - Campaigns for everyone!

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. We end this week talking about some more great campaigns, a little more about attachments to characters, and the balance of the players.

    We look at stories that continue from game to game this week, examining games with campaigns. This time we're not tearing anything up. Today, Friday November 24th 2017, we look at a couple more excellent campaign games, and we also continue the discussion on character investiture, and talk about the necessary balance of player personalities at the game table.

    Games discussed: Star Wars: Imperial Assault; Arcadia Quest; Gloomhaven

    Published: November 24th, 2017
    Length: 00:13:26

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Solitaire Games, Part 1 - What do you mean you can play board games by yourself?

    Solitaire Games, Part 1 - What do you mean you can play board games by yourself?

    If you're on your own, you can still enjoy board gaming, and the SnakesCast discusses solitaire games this week. We begin by asking why you would play games by yourself.

    On your own? Waiting for friends, or for another game to finish? You can still enjoy board gaming, as the SnakesCast examines this week as we discuss solitaire games. Today, Monday November 13th 2017, we begin by asking why you might play games by yourself, and what kinds of game there are for a single player.

    Games discussed: Arkham Horror; XCOM: The Board Game; Ginkgopolis; Sagrada; Pandemic Legacy: Season 1; Forbidden Island

    Published: November 13th, 2017
    Length: 00:11:52

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    Wednesday
    Solitaire Games, Part 2 - Some great examples of solo games

    Solitaire Games, Part 2 - Some great examples of solo games

    If you're on your own, you can still enjoy board gaming, and the SnakesCast discusses solitaire games this week. Today we discuss some great solitaire games, and talk about mechanisms surrounding them.

    On your own? Waiting for friends, or for another game to finish? You can still enjoy board gaming, as the SnakesCast examines this week as we discuss solitaire games. Today, Wednesday November 15th 2017, we continue by talking about some great games with one-player options. We also discuss the importance of win and loss states, and how solitaire play compares to video gaming.

    Games discussed: Arkham Horror; Dimension; Mansions of Madness: 2nd Edition; Arkham Horror: The Card Game; Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crécy; Ingenious; Dimension; Sagrada

    Published: November 15th, 2017
    Length: 00:15:21

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    Friday
    Solitaire Games, Part 3 - Digging deeper into the solitaire experience

    Solitaire Games, Part 3 - Digging deeper into the solitaire experience

    If you're on your own, you can still enjoy board gaming, and the SnakesCast discusses solitaire games this week. This episode's discussion is more about the culture and perception of solitaire gaming, as we dig a little deeper.

    On your own? Waiting for friends, or for another game to finish? You can still enjoy board gaming, as the SnakesCast examines this week as we discuss solitaire games. Today, Friday November 17th 2018, we look at the culture and perception of solitaire gaming, as well as discussing why some people might like it, and some might not, and why video games might be preferable for many.

    Published: November 17th, 2017
    Length: 00:13:09

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Legacy Games, Part 1 - Everything that happens is your responsibility

    Legacy Games, Part 1 - Everything that happens is your responsibility

    This week we're tearing things up - literally - as we turn our focus to Legacy games! We begin by talking about the first of this new breed of game: Risk Legacy.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we're tearing things up. Literally. We're physically destroying game components... and writing on the board in permanent marker... but we were told to! We are turning our focus to games featuring the new Legacy mechanism. Today, Monday November 6th 2017, we begin by looking at the first game to feature the Legacy system: Risk Legacy.

    Games discussed: Risk Legacy; Pandemic Legacy: Season 1; SeaFall

    Published: November 6th, 2017
    Length: 00:11:31

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    Wednesday
    Legacy Games, Part 2 - Turn this card over at the end of your first game in January

    Legacy Games, Part 2 - Turn this card over at the end of your first game in January

    This week we're tearing things up - literally - as we turn our focus to Legacy games! Today we talk about the game that took the idea and ran with it: Pandemic Legacy.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we're tearing things up. Literally. We're physically destroying game components... and writing on the board in permanent marker... but we were told to! We are turning our focus to games featuring the new Legacy mechanism. Today, Wednesday November 8th 2017, we continue with the game that took the idea and ran with it: Pandemic Legacy. *** SPOILER WARNING: Very mild spoilers for Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 between 4'45" and 5'10". ***

    Games discussed: Risk Legacy; Pandemic Legacy: Season 1; Pandemic Legacy: Season 2

    Published: November 8th, 2017
    Length: 00:14:30

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    Friday
    Legacy Games, Part 3 - Opening up the Legacy

    Legacy Games, Part 3 - Opening up the Legacy

    This week we're tearing things up - literally - as we turn our focus to Legacy games! We finish by discussing the other new Legacy games, and non-Legacy games that may offer a taster of the style.

    This week on the SnakesCast, we're tearing things up. Literally. We're physically destroying game components... and writing on the board in permanent marker... but we were told to! We are turning our focus to games featuring the new Legacy mechanism. Today, Friday November 10th 2017, we finish up by talking about the other Legacy games that are available. We also discuss games that are similar, and whether they can provide a taster of the Legacy idea.

    Games discussed: Gloomhaven; Pandemic Legacy: Season 1; Risk Legacy; SeaFall; Charterstone; 7th Continent; Tragedy Looper

    Published: November 10th, 2017
    Length: 00:17:04

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Fear in games, Part 1 - How do games try to create fear?

    Fear in games, Part 1 - How do games try to create fear?

    The fear takes hold this week, as Halloween is upon us. What better week to discuss fear in board games? We begin by asking how games try to create fear, and discuss some examples.

    Keep the lights on and the curtains closed as the fear takes hold this week. It's Halloween - so what better week to discuss fear in board games? Today, Monday October 30th 2017, we begin by asking how different games attempt to create a sense of fear through theme or mechanisms.

    Games discussed: Pie Face; Poison; Jenga; Dread; Atmosfear; The Others: 7 Sins

    Published: October 30th, 2017
    Length: 00:09:38

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    Wednesday
    Fear in games, Part 2 - Great spooky, cooperative games

    Fear in games, Part 2 - Great spooky, cooperative games

    The fear takes hold this week, as Halloween is upon us. What better week to discuss fear in board games? Today the discussion turns to cooperative games, and how they often make a whole group feel fear.

    Keep the lights on and the curtains closed as the fear takes hold this week. It's Halloween - so what better week to discuss fear in board games? Today, Wednesday November 1st 2017, the discussion turns to how cooperative games often allow for a large group of people to feel fear as the game fights back.

    Games discussed: Dead of Winter; Last Night on Earth; Betrayal at House on the Hill; Betrayal at Baldur's Gate; Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition; Arkham Horror: The Card Game

    Published: November 1st, 2017
    Length: 00:09:15

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    Friday
    Fear in games, Part 3 - What really makes a scary game?

    Fear in games, Part 3 - What really makes a scary game?

    The fear takes hold this week, as Halloween is upon us. What better week to discuss fear in board games? We face our fears today, and talk about what makes a scary game, both in general and for us.

    Keep the lights on and the curtains closed as the fear takes hold this week. It's Halloween - so what better week to discuss fear in board games? Today, Friday November 3rd 2017, we face our fears and talk about both what makes a scary game in general, and what scares us.

    Games discussed: Spyfall; Werewolf; Fake Artist Goes to New York; Bomb Squad; Space Alert; Atmosfear; Not Alone; Dark is the Night; Fiasco; Arkham Horror: The Card Game

    Published: November 3rd, 2017
    Length: 00:13:01

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 1 - What is a Euro game?

    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 1 - What is a Euro game?

    This week, we look at gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. We begin by asking: what defines a Euro game?

    This week, we look at board gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. Today, Monday October 16th 2017, we begin this discussion with a definition as we ask the question: what defines a Euro, or European-style game?

    Games discussed: Catan; Puerto Rico; Agricola; Power Grid

    Published: October 16th, 2017
    Length: 00:16:51

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    Wednesday
    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 2 - Defining Amerithrash (or American-style games)

    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 2 - Defining Amerithrash (or American-style games)

    This week, we look at gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. Today we check out the other side of the coin by defining Amerithrash games.

    This week, we look at board gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. Today, Wednesday October 18th 2017, we check out the other side of the coin and define Amerithrash games - also known as American-style games.

    Games discussed: Risk; Monopoly; Campaign for North Africa

    Published: October 18th, 2017
    Length: 00:12:27

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    Friday
    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 3 - The differences, and coming together

    Euro vs. Amerithrash, Part 3 - The differences, and coming together

    This week, we look at gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. We finish up by looking at the closer differences, and how contemporary hybrid games have come about.

    This week, we look at board gaming's greatest line in the sand, as the SnakesCast examines the difference between Euro and Amerithrash games. Today, Friday October 20th 2017, we finish up the discussion by looking at some of the grey areas and closer differences between the two, and also examine how the contemporary trend of more hybrid-style games came about.

    Games discussed: Dune, Risk, Lords of Waterdeep, Dominion, Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck-Building Game, Inis, Raptor, Pandemic, Lord of the Rings (Knizia)

    Published: October 20th, 2017
    Length: 00:15:49

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  • Monday
    If you're
    new, start
    here!
    Cottage Garden, Part 1 - A Wheelbarrow Full of Cats

    Cottage Garden, Part 1 - A Wheelbarrow Full of Cats

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is. This week the SnakesCast looks at Uwe Rosenburg's latest game, beginning with a discussion about it and Patchwork.

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is, and this week the SnakesCast examines Uwe Rosenburg's latest game. Today, Monday October 9th 2017, we begin by discussing the relationship between Cottage Garden and Patchwork, and some of the initial appeal of Cottage Garden - and there is a surprise thematic guest appearance this episode as well!

    Games discussed: Patchwork; Cottage Garden

    Published: October 9th, 2017
    Length: 00:10:01

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    Wednesday
    Cottage Garden, Part 2 - Flower Pots, Cloches and More Cats!

    Cottage Garden, Part 2 - Flower Pots, Cloches and More Cats!

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is. This week the SnakesCast looks at Uwe Rosenburg's latest game, continuing with talk of completing flower beds and scoring points.

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is, and this week the SnakesCast examines Uwe Rosenburg's latest game. Today, Wednesday October 11th 2017, we continue the discussion by talking about how you complete flower beds, and how points are scored - including some of the complexity involved, and how the visuals help to mitigate that.

    Games discussed: Cottage Garden

    Published: October 11th, 2017
    Length: 00:10:34

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    Friday
    Cottage Garden, Part 3 - Challenges and Obstacles. And Cats.

    Cottage Garden, Part 3 - Challenges and Obstacles. And Cats.

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is. This week the SnakesCast looks at Uwe Rosenburg's latest game, and we end up discussing challenges with it and Patchwork, and how we get around them.

    With Fall upon us, it's time to take a final stroll through our garden - our Cottage Garden, that is, and this week the SnakesCast examines Uwe Rosenburg's latest game. Today, Friday October 13th 2017, we end up by talking about some of the challenges and obstacles that create issues for both Cottage Garden and Patchwork, and how we get around them. We also briefly touch on Uwe Rosenburg's canon of games, including more complicated games with similar mechanisms.

    Games discussed: Cottage Garden; Patchwork; A Feast for Odin; Indian Summer

    Published: October 13th, 2017
    Length: 00:13:45

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