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Perfect Information

A podcast where the information, like the hosts, is perfect in every way.
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If you can read this, nothing has changed.

Oct 16, 2017

Ben Maddox trapped Patrick Hillier & Eric Buscemi into a virtual elevator and got them talking about Punchboard Media. What it is, who it punches and why you want to pay attention to what they do.

And if that got you chomping at the bits: you want to go here.

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Oct 13, 2017

Thanks to the generosity, might and virility of our Patreon backers, we are now able to offer you the first installment of a new series:

Perfect Information News!

Hear our hot takes - both good and bad - on some news item that's been making the rounds in our hobby. Notice our fancy ability to almost - but not quite - stay on topic. Find out what's in store in the weeks and/or months to come.

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Oct 9, 2017

As Spiel approaches surely and inevitably, so does the anticipation of diving into the halls in Essen again. What better time to ask ourselves: what makes us fall in love with a game exactly?

We spend some time in the guild to talk about your answers to last week's question: what can the growth of the hobby be attributed to?

And finally, we review Fields of Green by Vangelis Bagiartakis, and published by Artipia Games. Is it merely a re-skin of Among The Stars? Does it improve on it?

And then there are some links to things that may or may not have been alluded to on the show.

Georgios' AMA on Reddit can be found here.

Ben's stint as Geek-of-the-Week on BGG.

And to tide you over Nick's absence this month, here is a document to his time as Geek-of-the-Week.

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Oct 2, 2017

Today Ben interviews Sarah Erikson of Renegade Game Studios about her gamer history, the changes the hobby is facing, being at Spiel in Essen and of course Renegade Game Studios' new games.

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Sep 25, 2017

The 51st episode of this podcast finds your amicable hosts taking in their surroundings and wondering: why is the hobby where it is right now? 

The guild opens with an all-too-necessary recap of past events and sheds light on pressing questions. Namely us asking for your favourite moments of episodes past. (40:03)

Everybody's favourite podcast personality Nick Mariner dazzles and vajazzles us all with his thoughts on ethics. Not in games journalism luckily, but Among the Stars. (52:00)

And finally, we go way out into the bayou to talk about Sweet Lemon's little cardgame that could: Terrible Monster. (1:06:39)

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Sep 18, 2017

Just as the warm lull of consensus threatens to turn the internet into a sea of sharing agreeable opinions with one another, and acknowledging individual experience... the Contrarian valiantly climbs upon the highest horse he can find to loudly declare his edicts of the school of Nuh-uh!

Namely, reviews & reviewers. Quite possibly the talkiest of all D&D-supplements.

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Sep 11, 2017

Put on some Kool & The Gang, turn your stereo up to 11... we have reached episode number 50. And put out all the stops. Literally. This is the longest episodes we've ever released.

Naturally, we use this achievement to rest on our laurels and instead of coming up with questions, we spend an extraordinate amount of time answering yours. Find out everything you want to know about the two hosts you've uncritically listened to for the last two years.

The great T.C. Petty III. returns at 1:13:50 to let you all in on what he has been up to, when he has not been in it. And by it I mean the recent episodes.

Sober and with new-found purpose we return to the guild at 1:21:31, and talk about the things that matter most to you: is the one-hour-euro a gift or a curse to this hobby?

The board game professor Nick Mariner returns at 1:37:35 to spread the word(s) about his 50 favourite board games of all time. You will not believe what's on number 6! Or maybe you will. It's hard to read minds over the internet.

Our review this week is all about looking back at the past, and there is no bigger highlight in our gaming past than Chaos in the Old World. So today you get to hear why.

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Sep 4, 2017

As this podcast stands at the dawn of its middle-age, Ben Maddox grabs the mic to speak of his vision of the future, and the purpose that drives him to keep talking.  

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Aug 28, 2017

Hurry up, we don't have much time.. this is the schedule for this week's show... don't get left behind!

This week's topic is game length: what happens when games last as long as they do?

Our shout-outs to Patreon backers start at 35:30.

A visit to the Guild at 41:15 to hear us speak about your take on punishing games.

The Boardgame Professor speaks at 1:00:24 about Twilight Struggle and Les Lieux de Mémoire (Pierre Nora).

Our review of Flatline starts at 1:15:51 with thanks to Brettspielgeschäft for their support.

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Aug 21, 2017

Whenever there is a gamer voicing his opinion, whenever a hapless player argues a point, he is there to voice his rebuttal. He is...

THE CONTRARIAN!

Today's overflowing cup of "nuh-uh" comes in response to Meeple Like Us. and the nature of game criticism. 

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Aug 14, 2017

In today's contentious new episode we talk about punishment. But not the fun kind with whips, clamps and wax candles, but the weird and creepy kind with VP loss, resource denial and blocking. Is it really punishment? Or is thinking of it as punishment just leading us astray? Also, Nietzsche.

Ben would like to remind you of Gamechangers.org and how you can help young people in Uganda. It's really worth it. You owe it to yourself to go and have a look yourself, and if some small donation makes its way into that campaign... it's a small contribution to making this world a little better. Also, games.

We return to our beloved establishment of ludic or luscious extravagance and look at what you think are the games most dependant on the "right" group. Also, jealousy.

And finally, we review Arkham Horror: The Card Game. It is a card game. In case sleuthing skills didn't lead you to that conclusion already. It also set in Arkham. Horrible as the place may be. (Please clap. We worked until 4 a.m. to come up with this joke.)

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Aug 7, 2017

What do you do when a local game cafe answers the call for a new publishing imprint in Germany's capital and scores design giant Uwe Rosenberg's newest smaller offer (Cottage Garden) before following it up with a surprisingly playable take on Memory (Memoarrr!)?

You sent Ben Maddox to ask them questions, that's what.

So we did.

Jul 31, 2017

Have you ever sat down after a successful game night and asked yourself: did the game let us have fun, or did we make the game fun? Well, so did we. And for your enjoyment our thoughts on this question have been recorded here for future reference.

New adventures await in the guild as Ben grapples with a harrowing fear. Also we talk about your takes on this year's Spiel des Jahres winner. 

Finally, we boldly propel ourselves into the future to bring you the patented Perfect Information take (patent pending) on FFG's newest entry into the Android universe: New Angeles.

All this in less time than it takes for you to write the definitive novel on the death of the American pastoral. 

If you'd like to support this podcast, why not visit our Patreon page?

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Jul 24, 2017

Never one to fail spotting a star rising, Ben caught up with Juma Al Jou Jou at Berlin-Con and talked about Clans of Caldonia and more.

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Jul 17, 2017

All the excitement and wild partying you would expect from Berlin. We leave the overtly familiar displays of Perfect Information towers to venture out into the world. But not too far away, as there is a convention to go to and games to test. We talk about Kingdomino, Magic Maze and The Quest for El Dorado. We also have a few words to say about Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne and Memoarrr

25:35 - Things are looking up in the guild. Something like stability is returning to charming little nightclub we call our home away from home. Let's hear what you had to say about genres.

45:16 - The Board Game Professor takes on Niccolò Machiavelli and "The Prince". Find out how and why! And most of all... who comes out on top!

 

01:03:01 - Spiel des Jahres press event. All the excitement and the loud noises that a bunch of designers, publishers, gaming press people and hanger-ons can generate. For you enjoyment. Find out what it's like to be in the thick of it. (Malcolm Tucker has once again declined to join the celebrations in his familiar and colourful manner.)

We also get a few words with all the nominated designers. Yes, all of them. That's Shem Phillips, Rainer Knizia, Jacob Fryxelius, Kasper Lapp, Bruno Cathala and Inka & Markus Brand.

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Jul 10, 2017

Modern life is challenging. It is an everchanging maze of social cues and personal prediclictions. But fear not fellow travellers, for the Maddox Diaries have buried within them the very pages with which you will be guided towards the light of salvation*.

* Salvation being your ability to not make a complete ass of yourself in front of your friends. 

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Jul 3, 2017

Before you outgrabe any uffishness, or worse get gimbled in any of the general frabjousity... make sure to listen to this week's topic all about genre in board games. We will talk about the terms we use, their meaning (ambiguous as it is) and the words that our hobby may or may not still lack to figure out just what kind of game we're playing. Or want to.

T.C. Petty III. (40:13) uses his magic words to make the complexity of playtesting seem easy. Like juggling three live octopi while riding a unicycle. Through a hail storm. Listening to Skrillex.

Unexpected changes await us in the guild (54:56) and some of us have an easier time dealing with them than others. But we manage to still talk about what causes aggression in you or your games. 

This week's review takes into Hungary's past (at least figuratively... ludically?) with Days of Ire: Budapest 1956. An Essen release that almost flew under our radar, until it landed on our table with enough noise... to make us want to make noise on this podcast about it. Find out why from 1:19:37 onwards.

And finally, let us give you some gentle reminders about our podcast before you finally go to bed. You're all listening to this in bed, I assume? (01:53:18)

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Jun 26, 2017

Summer is coming. It might not always look that way but the encroaching heat wave is near. What better time to spent thinking about board games!

Today's lecture will be about the ever-present F-Word that board games invariably bring out at the table.

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Jun 19, 2017

Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad... other things just make you swear and curse. 

Yes, today we are talking about aggression. That thing that people routinely and often loudly reject exhibiting, and which in turn many people claim will not stand. Like an Ikea shelf made of pudding. 

We return to lazy, crazy, hazy days of the Guild (36:34) and struggle with your verbose answers as to whether gateway games exist, and whether they're a good thing. 

The always insightful Boardgame Professor (aka Nick Mariner) returns to speak about ethics some more. And this time he will also slag off Friedrich Nietzsche while praising Secret Hitler. (51:58)

And finally, we tackle the newest Paolo Mori release: Ethnos by CMON. Should you be as excited about it as its look suggests?

 

Jun 12, 2017

Before you dive into this week's interview with Ben and more guys from the Chrysalis Youth Empowerment Network - Uganda, give this uplifting video a go. It will not only introduce you to the people you'll hear talk, but will also show you a budding board gaming scene getting started in Uganda. 

Because that is who Ben is talking to this week. 

If you want to know more and learn more about the game collection mentioned at the end: you can go to our Facebook page or the forums of our guild.

Jun 5, 2017

Steps. 

Not only a relic of a bygone era when being pretty and moving your hips to the beat was enough to get you a publisher-sponsored vacation in Ibiza... it is also something we take. Often. But we all started somewhere. And it is those elusive first steps that are the topic of this installment of the Perfect Information podcast. 

What is it about those games that we look back at as our first steps into the hobby? Are they truly a gateway into being infinitely cooler than the rest of Goosebumps reading club.

We return to the guild to talk about what you think qualifies a game as being "played out". Everything else is perfectly normal. There is nothing unusual happening. May you rest in a deep and dreamless slumber.

And finally, Ben and I sit down to argue the pros and cons of 13 Days. And you will happy to know that not one of us slips into a bad Bostonian accent in an attempt to beat Kevin Costner at his own game.

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May 29, 2017

The world is a confusing and terrifying place. But have no fear, for your gracious hosts of the Perfect Information podcast are here to take you by the hand and guide you through the maze that is the Spiel des Jahres nominations of 2017.

Kingdomino

Magic Maze

Wettlauf nach Eldorado

and for the Kennerspiel

Exit - The Game

Raiders of the North Sea

Terraforming Mars

Hear what two of the most us-like podcasters of the world think and say about this year's creme de la creme.

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May 22, 2017

Mortality. It is not - as it turns out - an old-fashioned word for taking far too long to finish a thought or sentence for that matter. It is in fact the realisation that lifetimes are finite. Maybe even those of board games. What does that mean exactly? We probably won't answer it in this podcast.. but we do talk about games and how long they stay with you. Or at least in your collection.

38:01 - The reliable visit to the guild has to be postponed for a quick sojourn at Ben's place. Wherein we list all your replies to our guild question: Can gaming bring us together?. Maybe not all replies, though, because we take a rather sudden and wide-ranging detour towards... eh... just listen.. it's definitely something.

1:04:32 - The Boardgame Professor has been let loose once more and delights us all with his invaluable insight into The Manhattan Project. Naturally, he also has a few things to say about what the game says about the things that it inadvertedly says something about: FX.

1:21:02 - We didn't lock ourselves in our studio, you locked yourself in your studio! But while we're here, we review Exit - The Game. (And if you're wondering which game I've so expertly mangled the name of... it was: Escape The Room: Mystery at the Stargazer Manor.)

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May 15, 2017

Eclectic Italian house of fun Horrible Games were gracious enough to let Alessandro Pra talk to Ben about their upcoming Kickstarter: Alone.

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May 8, 2017

Math. It's a difficult subject. For most of us. But there is one thing that seems to come naturally to us these days: division. 

Ben argues that even among board gamers there are divisive issues, that pitch us against each other. What are they? Do they have us in their thrall? Or can we reach out and overcome them?

TC Petty III (48:01) jumps in to remind us, not only is he still around, but he also has some choice words to say about reaching out to new gamers by being an ambassador for games.

The guild sees us temporarily relocated into the wing of local hospital (1:00:20) where the results of Ben's elective surgery bring about... "interesting".... ideas.

And finally (1:27:20) we tackle a long-overdue big box game from our Essen 2016 heap (remember that one?): Unicornus Knights.

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