Twitter Thread 03: Annoying Box Fix

In this Twitter Thread, Jeff addresses a game problem that he finds particularly vexing: games that ship in boxes where the box itself is plain white, and all of the color artwork is on a cardstock sleeve that slides over the closed box.  Not only do these boxes take longer to open and close, but if it happens to be a game with expansion material, the box design frequently prevents you from storing the expansion stuff in the box with the core game (the sleeve doesn't fit over the box if the box is overstuffed).  This is a short-but-sweet Twitter thread in which Jeff walks you through a quick, easy method to transform those annoying game boxes into almost-normal, more-functional boxes. 

Follow Mark on Twitter at @GameopolisMark, and follow Jeff at @GameopolisJeff.   To find posts related to this thread, search Twitter for #GameopolisBoxFix.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:32pm EDT
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Twitter Thread 02: Print & Play High Jinx

It’s Mark’s turn at a twitter thread, and he’s chosen to tweet his foray into the world of print & play gaming. He will assemble a working copy of The Galaxy Corporate: Star Traders, the science fiction pick-up and deliver game by Christopher Mayer.  Not particularly skilled in the paper and gluing arts, Mark anticipates a real challenge.  Follow his trials and tribulations as he searches for material, assembles, and (hopefully) plays this game of trading and piracy across the galaxy. 

Follow Mark on Twitter at @GameopolisMark, and follow Jeff at @GameopolisJeff.   To find posts related to this thread, search Twitter for #GameopolisPnP.

Related links:

 

Category:general -- posted at: 8:59pm EDT
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Twitter Thread 01: WWII Microarmor

It's the first Gameopolis Twitter thread!  Going forward, Mark and Jeff will be posting some threads on Twitter on various topics.  In this thread, Jeff documents the construction and painting of a pair of WWII era tanks: a German Panzer IIIG and a Soviet T-26S.  Both of these miniatures are in 1:285 scale, and Jeff hopes to show that you can produce nicely detailed minis in this cost-effective, yet oft-neglected scale.  Jeff's Twitter posts will show stepwise photos of the work, with text explaining the technique(s) and materials used.  This twitter thread is intended to suit the neophyte as well as the established minis painter.  

Follow Jeff on Twitter at @GameopolisJeff, and follow Mark at @GameopolisMark. 

To find posts related to this thread, search for #GameopolisTanks.  Jeff will also post more detailed info to this blog post as comments.  

Category:general -- posted at: 10:37pm EDT
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CarCast 01: Pirates vs Witches, RPGs vs Action Figures

This is the first of a spin-off series that we are calling the Gameopolis CarCast. The idea behind the CarCast is that whenever Mark and Jeff are commuting in the car together (talking about games and related topics, as always) we'll record the conversation --AND, if it sounds like a discussion we think our listeners would be interested in, we'll post it up here as a CarCast. Our CarCasts are completely independent of the regular Gameopolis podcasts, and are brought to you totally unplanned, and largely unedited (we only cut out the part where we argued about whether to go straight here and circle around the park, OR hang a left at this intersection and then turn right at the Gas Station). Also, there won't be any schedule for releasing the CarCasts, so you may detect some anachronisms in dates we refer to in the CarCasts relative to the shows' release dates.

We'll be back with the next regular installment of Gameopolis --Show 17.5-- very soon. Until then, we hope you enjoy the random musings of the Gameopolis CarCast!

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

 

Direct download: Gameopolis_CarCast01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:21am EDT
Comments[3]

Show #16.5 Session Report: Kill Dr. Lucky

In this session report, Marks talks about a three-game evening of Kill Doctor Lucky (and His Little Dog Too) with his daughter and her friend. This turns out to be a clash of three very different strategies and play styles, with balanced and yet unexpected results.

As always, we'd LOVE to hear from you, so please post a comment to this blog entry (at www.gameopolis.org or gameopolis.libsyn.com), or send us an email at info@gameopolis.org!

Stay tuned for Show 17.0, on its way very soon.

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

 

Direct download: Gameopolis_16_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58pm EDT
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Show #16: Kill Doctor Lucky, and Commands and Colors Ancients

Our Halloween Episode! Since it's a whole number episode, we start off as always by opening up a Dusty Old Box. This Dusty Old Box turns out to be a blast from BOTH Mark's Past AND Jeff's Past. After the Dusty Old Box, Mark and Jeff dig into their main topics. Marks starts us off with a humorously scary Halloweeny treat: Kill Doctor Lucky (and His Little Dog Too): a lighthearted game of murderous intent. Afterwards, Jeff provides some Halloween-free fun with his coverage of Commands and Colors Ancients --which he miraculously does WITHOUT making a single "Borg assimilation" joke!

As always, we LOVE to hear from our listeners, so please post a comment to this blog entry (at www.gameopolis.org or gameopolis.libsyn.com), or send us an email at info@gameopolis.org!

  • 00:00:00 Prelude
  • 00:02:35 Dusty Old Box
  • 00:13:37 Kill Doctor Lucky
  • 00:33:35 Commands and Colors Ancients
  • 01:09:35 Signoff

Related links:

Stay tuned for Show 16.5 -coming very soon!

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

 

Direct download: Gameopolis_16_0.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04pm EDT
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Show #15.5 Session Report: Cube Farm

In this belated Talk-Like-A-Pirate-Day tribute show, Mark and Jeff (AKA Capt Stinky Tom and Keelhaul Col) do a session report on a game we briefly discussed in show 15: Cheapass Games' Cube Farm! We briefly expand on some rules that we didn't take the time to cover in show 15, and then go over our impressions and general strategies. This is a quick, easy game with one or two layers of strategy that you don't necessarily see on the first pass.

As always, we LOVE to hear from our listeners --our beloved podcast nation-- so please post a comment to this blog entry (at www.gameopolis.org or gameopolis.libsyn.com), or send us an email at info@gameopolis.org!

  • 00:00:00 Prelude
  • 00:01:54 Session Report: Cube Farm
  • 00:10:21 Signoff

Stay tuned for Show 16.0 -our Halloween show- coming real soon!

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy. 

Direct download: Gameopolis_15_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm EDT
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Show #15: Podcast of Hate, and Cube Farm

It's finally here! Our long awaited Podcast of Hate! In this show, Mark and Jeff field listener comments about the things they hate, dislike, or otherwise do not savor in the gaming world. Before we dive into the cauldron of embitterment, our Dusty Old Box segment features an unusual --a VERY unusual game that is "kinda-sorta" like some other games but is really unique in many ways. In actuality, today's Dusty Old Box is not a box, but...a Dusty Old Thing.

Once Mark and Jeff dive into the hate, they cover discussion topics ranging from poor sportsmanship to game company publishing practices, to game group dynamics.

Before signing off, Jeff does a quick segment to describe the game Cube Fame, published by Cheapass Games. This is a very high-level description of the game, and gives us something to "Point-Five" next time, and so we'll dig into Cube Farm a bit more deeply the next time we plug-in our headset mics!

Lastly, Mark surprises everyone --including Jeff-- by spontaneously introducing a new show segment: Mark's Personal Game Trivia, which is certain to inspire many a wrinkled brow.

If you have any comments that you would like to share, please feel free to write in via email or blog entry. We'd love to hear from you!

  • 00:00:00 Prelude
  • 00:01:56 Dusty Old Thing
  • 00:09:56 Podcast of Hate
  • 00:42:42 Cube Farm by Cheapass Games
  • 00:48:55 Mark's Personal Game Trivia
  • 00:50:35 Signoff

Related links:

  • 1 Cube Farm by Cheapass Games on Boardgamegeek

Stay tuned for Show 15.5 -our Session Report on Cheapass Games' Cube Farm!

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

 

Direct download: Gameopolis_15_0.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:01pm EDT
Comments[0]

Show #14.5 Session Report: Race for the Galaxy and Dracula

At long last, Mark and Jeff shake-off those summertime blues to don the ole headset mics, for a double-header session report. We start off with Rio Grande's Race for the Galaxy. We have some high level discussion of which civilizations -and which overall strategies- we played, and our overall impressions of the game. From there, we move onto a session report of Kosmos' and Rio Grande's Dracula. Once again, we stick to the overall flow and feel of the game. Additionally, we discuss a couple aspects of game play that surprised us upon our first play.

Lastly, we send out one last reminder for our listeners to send-in discussion topics for the upcoming Podcast of Hate (companion podcast to last year's Podcast of Love). You can post your thoughts to this show's comments or email to info@gameopolis.org.

Even if you don't have any suggestions for the Podcast of Hate, we'd still LOVE to hear from you, so please post a comment to this blog entry, or send an email to info@gameopolis.org!

  • 00:00:00 Prelude
  • 00:02:17 Session Report: Race for the Galaxy
  • 00:11:06 Session Report: Dracula
  • 00:24:23 Last Call for topics for The Podcast of Hate --and signoff

Stay tuned for Show 15.0 -the Podcast of Hate- coming real soon!

NOTE: To download, right-click on the "POD" icon above, and choose "Save Target As..." Select a download location on your computer, and save. After saving, play the file from your downloaded copy.

Direct download: Gameopolis_14_5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15am EDT
Comments[0]

Jeff's new M.O.: From now on, the kid's rolling my dice for me.

This evening, I (Jeff) had the joy that all parent/gamers look forward to: I played my first entire, complete, start-to-finish game with my older (4-year-old) son.  This event was remarkable --and holds Gamer interest that goes beyond the mere "doting dad story"-- for a few reasons, detailed below.

Now, in full disclosure, this was not the first time I had played a game with my older boy.  We have many partial games of Chutes and Ladders and Candyland under our collective belts.  Tonight was different.  My FIRST surprise of the evening was that tonight, the game was my son's idea!  In the past, it was always I that was trying to encourage my son into a game-of-something.  In contrast, my son told ME that he want to play a game! So we went into the family play room and started scanning the shelves of assorted toddler games, but as I ran my pointing hand past the Candyland, the Chutes and Ladders, and the Hi Ho Cherry-O, my son said, "No! Daddy Games!" --and this was my SECOND surprise of the night-- My son pushed my pointing hand up to the highest shelf that is home to all of my boardgames from when I was a kid: my original Battleship set, my original Monopoly and Clue games are on this shelf.  Tonight it was NOT going to be Candyland or Chutes and Ladders; it was going to be Dungeon Dice.  While this game is not a deep well of strategy, it is not a toddler game by any means.  The box reads "Ages 8 and up".  "Okay", I said, "we can play Dungeon Dice."  My son followed me proudly as we carried the game to the dining room to set it up, all the while saying "Boardgame Night! Boardgame Night!"  (As an aside, one night  a month, I host my gaming group for boardgame night --which I hold in the dining room-- so my son was apparently very excited about having his own Boardgame Night with daddy.)

Now before I tell you about my third and final surprise of the evening, a quick word about Dungeon Dice as a game.  This is basically a dice rolling game as you'd guess from the title.  Each player represents a prisoner in a dungeon trying to dig their way to freedom.  You extend your escape tunnel by rolling matching sets of symbols on the game dice --which are 6-sided dice whose 6 sides depict symbols of five different types of escape tools (shovels, lanterns, daggers, etc) or the Guard!  The Guard is bad; more on the Guard later.  You collect tunnel cards by rolling 3-of-a-kind or higher: 1 tunnel card for 3-of-a-kind; 2 tunnel cards for 4-of-a-kind; 3 tunnel cards for 5-of-a-kind, etc.  Build a tunnel of 8 tunnel cards and you win.  Very simple.  There are a few additional rules that force a bit a light strategy into the dice rolling, but you get the picture.  This is basically Yatzee-Lite-with-fantasy-chrome.

Now, this sets the stage for my THIRD revelation of the evening: this kid can SERIOUSLY roll dice!!!  The first game (we played twice, and my son won both games) my son took his first turn rolling the six dice and right-off-the-bat rolled four daggers!  As per the game rules, those four dagger dice are set aside and he gets the option to re-roll the remaining dice to try to better his score.  He took the remaining two dice and rerolled them producing a fifth dagger!  One turn; three cards!  This kept up, and I think in four or five turns, he won the game.  The top picture shows the game board at the end of play.

My son then told me he wanted to play again! Maybe he really enjoyed it, or maybe he thought he was forestalling bedtime.  Anyway, the second game was much closer.  In fact, on two consecute turns, my son rolled 3 Guards and ended his turn without collecting any tunnel cards, which allowed me to take the lead. Then, my son took the dice and rolled...yep, you guessed it... Five-of-a-kind, and won the game (bottom picture).

So, as I reflect on this evening, I am very glad that my son has finally taken to gaming (before bedtime, he asked for assurance that we can play again tomorrow, which as many of you can appreciate, will be one of the things that I will dream of tonight).  I am also glad that my son apparently does not share his dad's misfortune with the dice (I have got to have the worst dice rolling abilities of anyone I know, and I am glad that my son is not stricken by the same affliction). 

Now, I need to check the regs of any tournaments that I consider entering to see if they make provisions for "Designated Rollers".  If it is at all possible, I want my son to do my dice rolling for me!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:05pm EDT
Comments[2]

Stay Tuned for the First-Ever Gameopolis Give-Away!!!

YES!!! It's our first official "Give-Away".  Sometime in a near-future show, we will announce the details of our first give-away.  We can't tell you the detail now because... well... honestly, we don't know the details yet.  But we can tell you that five lucky-and-skillful listeners will receive a Gameopolis coffee mug (I guess to be totally neutral I should say "hot beverage mug" --we receive no money from the Coffee Growers' Association).  We can also tell you that entry will involve some sort of gaming-related, Gameopolis-related quiz.

As always, we want to say "thank you" for listening, and also thanks for writing-in to our email (info@gameopolis.org) or comments sections!!!

 

Category:general -- posted at: 11:47pm EDT
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Mark and I are away from the microphones for a couple weeks for "real life" issues (family stuff...travel stuff...all kind-o-stuff), so I thought I would take this opportunity to update our Gameopolis Flickr account which has fallen sadly out-of-date.  Click Here to see recent photos related to Shows 5.5, 6.5, and 7.

Category:general -- posted at: 11:37pm EDT
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Take our "Stereo versus Mono" Survey

We are calling out to all our listeners because we'd like your feedback.  In Show 6.5, we experimented with Stereo sound --Mark's in your left ear, while Jeff is in your right ear.

We are interested in knowing how all of you like the change from mono to stereo.  We realize that while stereo sound is nice and can give you that realistic, "actually-in-Gameopolis" feeling, it is not always practical.  Maybe you normally listen to podcasts with a single earpiece and are only hearing one side of the conversation...maybe you listen in busy, noisy places and like having the steady, unchanging sound of a mono recording.  Or, maybe you are embracing the change to stereo, and are anxiously awaiting the day when we will switch to surround 5.1 and will offer 3D holographic video so Mark and Jeff will appear right there in your own living room!!!

Please take a moment (trust us --it really is one moment...it is only one question) to visit our survey and let us know what you prefer for future Gameopolis episodes. 

Clicking on the survey link will take you away from www.gameopolis.org to the SurveyMonkey web site.

Click HERE to take the survey.

Thanks in advance.  We look forward to hearing your responses!

 

Category:general -- posted at: 6:38pm EDT
Comments[3]

The Podcast of Love

 

 

This is the "suggestion box" for our upcoming ‘Podcast of Love’ episode, as discussed in show 5.5 and in show 6.0.  

Here’s what we are thinking: you –our listeners, our Podcast Nation— already know what Mark and Jeff love about gaming.  You already know about Mark's love of a really well-designed and well-rendered game board with plenty of room for all of the pieces, cards, etc.  You already know about Jeff’s love of Zombie games.  Now we want to know what YOU all love about gaming.  This is REALLY open-ended, and can be about ANYTHING you love about gaming.  It can be about anything that makes you recall some instance of games or gaming with fondness.  Your old gaming group…your favorite color of dice…your favorite brand of beef jerky.  Post a comment here to add your thoughts to ours, and we will discuss all of these submissions in a future show  --that would be the "Podcast of Love" episode!!!

Click on "comments" below to let us know what YOU love about gaming.  Thanks.

 

Category:general -- posted at: 10:05pm EDT
Comments[4]

International Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Day be-a-Comin' Arghhh!

Just givin' yee all notice, that Mark and me be preparin ta send y'all a tall tale o' the sea, 'specially fer Talk Like a Pirate Day, arghhhhhh.  We be sendin' y'all down ta Davie Jones' locker if yee be not careful!

September 19th be-a International Talk-Like-a Pirate Day, and this be thee one day o' the year that we all kin let go and talk like the pirate that be in all of us.

So ahoy, maitees!!!! Keep yer eyes on Gameopolis.org fer ahr Talk Like a Pirate Day Podcast.

...okay, I can't do that any more.  Mark and I will be recording a special Talk-Like-a-Pirate-Day Podcast soon, which will feature me and Mark talking a bit (not throughout the whole show --so don't worry) like pirates.  All the while we will be dressed --as always-- like cowboys.   We may touch a bit upon a pirate-themed game or two, so stay tuned...more Gameopolis is coming!!!!  Thanks for listening.

And thanks to Freakygaming.com for the borrowed pirate ship image!!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 11:18pm EDT
Comments[4]

Extreme Parcheesi

I started thinking about this project when my 3 1/2 year old son (not quite ready for structured boardgames) insisted on a family game of Parcheesi. Now just a little background info...my son is extremely high energy --even for a 3 year-old. He also has a long standing fascination with dice, and so to preserve dad's dice collection I have gotten my son his own dice pouch with his own collection of polyhedrals (big ones, so not a choking hazard).

With my son's current attention span, any game that we attempt lasts for maybe 2 or 3 turns, after which it quickly degenerates into bouts of: a) dice being thrown to intentionally knock over pawns; b) pawns being picked up stuffed into my son's pants pockets; or c) my son grabbing and rolling any polyhedral dice that strike his fancy rather than the dice that come with the game. It was in this degenerative phase of our family Parcheesi game that it occurred to me that this entropy could be harnessed for cause of Good. And so I started considering how one might mod Parcheesi into what (for the moment) I am calling "Extreme Parcheesi". Here is what I have so far.

1. Dice: Each turn one player is designated the "leader", and the role of leader rotates clockwise each turn. (Use a special unique token, marker, banner, funny hat, or viking hemlet to designate who is the current leader.) At the start of each turn, the leader decides what type of dice will be rolled that turn for movement (any two dice as a combination of d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, or d20 --no "tens" d10s marked "10", "20", etc are allowed). All standard Parcheesi die rolling conventions apply. So if you have entered all of your pawns and you want to minimize your opponents' chances of entering their pawns, declare 2d20 when you are leader and your opponents have much lower odds of rolling a 5.

2. Blocking spaces: This standard Parcheesi rule --that you can block a space by positioning two of your own pawns on it-- is removed and replaced with Combat rules (below)

3. Stacking limits: There is now no limit to the number of your pawns that may occupy a space, and no limit to the number of different players that may occupy a space.

4. Combat: Whenever you land a pawn on a space containing one or more opponent pawns, combat is initiated. Every player with one or more pawns on the contested space rolls one d20 for every pawn they have on the space. The attacker --the player that most recently entered the space-- gets one bonus d20 to roll. The player who has the high roll (that is, the single d20 showing the highest result) gets to send one opponent pawn of the winner's choice back to its starting space. If combat is between only two players and the high roll is tied, the defender automatically wins. If >2 players occupy the space and the high roll is a tie, then there is a roll-off to determine the winner. NOTES: Combat ALWAYS uses d20s regardless of what die combination the leader has declared for the current turn. Combat lasts only one round, not until all opponent pawns are eliminated. If pawns of >1 player occupy the same space at the beginning of any player's turn, no combat ensues unless a new pawn enters the shared space.

5. Species enemy (optional). Each player has a "natural enemy", and he/she will always get an extra bonus die (d20) to roll in combat when that natural enemy occupies the contested space. This option is more intuitive when you are playing the 2001 Milton Bradley  release that uses animal miniatures as pawns. If you are playing with a traditional Parcheesi set, then refer to the colors in parentheses.

Tiger (red) gets a bonus against Water Buffalo (green)
Water Buffalo (green) gets a bonus against Camel (yellow)
Camel (yellow) gets a bonus against Elephant (blue)
Elephant (blue) gets a bonus against Tiger (red)

If you are using a set with colors different than the ones I list here, just come up with a combination that all players can agree on.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:53pm EDT
Comments[9]

Welcome to Gameopolis -The Gaming Podcast with Mark and Jeff!  This project is in its infancy.  Mark and I are putting together our show notes, our intro and outtro audio, and figuring out some final details.  As soon as we get our first show together, we'll have it up here, and we will get the word out among the gaming podcast community. 

For now, if you have found this site, please check back often.

If you are interested in what this podcast will be about, we are planning a podcast focusing on boardgames, strategy games, role-playing games, and maybe some card-based games as well.  We will likely touch occasionally on some computer games, but this will not be the focus of this podcast, and since Mark and I tend to lean toward fantasy and strategy computer games, the occasional computer game topic will likely be within these genera.

Mark and I are both family guys, and we strongly support gaming as a family activity.  Therefore, we'll make sure our MP3 files are suitable for a general audience.  I am NOT implying that we are planning any shows on the topic of "Candyland" or "Chutes and Ladders", just that Mark and I want this podcast to be one that you could listen to with children present if you wanted to.

In Show #1, Mark and I will visit a topic that is commonly discussed in gaming podcasts: the formative games in both of our gaming-lives.  Stay tuned, Gameopolis is coming!!!

Category:general -- posted at: 2:10pm EDT
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