The long-awaited sequel to the medium-bending, limits-shattering and sense-defying entry that was our first Appurtenance Archive is finally upon us. Or rather upon you, PIPL.
We have once more gathered all our mental faculties to bring you the most hard-hitting piece of review journalism ever to grace the podcast format. Today we review a calendar!
But not just any calendar, but the German sensation sure to sweep the nation (so long as that nation is Germany)... Frosted Games' Brettspielkalender.
Is it truly as rectangular as the legends say?
Are the dates actually sorted by ascending number?
And which games have been selected to grace the pages of each month?
Listen, and ye shall be enlightened
There are two unassailable truths about existence: first: there is an unbridgable gap between knowing the self and knowing others; and second: I definitely left my keys right here and now they're gone.
While we can never fully grasp the implications of the latter, the first is reasonably easy to deal with. In our case we are going to look at board games (this being a board game podcast it seemed somewhat appropriate) and talk about the discrepancy between perception and reality. In other words, what do non-gamers see in this hobby as opposed to us.
A few words for our sponsor: Spielpro.com (39:33)
Our stay at the guild is short, yet fruitful as we talk about unsalvagable rules and mechanics according to the most discerning listenership in all of boardgaming, and the one that is far too clever to be taken in by cheap flattery. (41:20)
A few words from our new sponsor: Vengeful Games (01:06:21)
The board game professor (commonly known as Nick Mariner) has come to bury Mombasa, not to praise it. Or at the very least talk about the good and the bad of it. (01:08:40)
This episode's review (01:22:18) looks at a game that sets out to tackle questions of ethics, morality and metaphysics... by way of killing a bunch of things for fun and profit. We talk about one of the many recently released Eric Lang games: The Others.
We always hear of and about Asmodee doing one thing or another. Merging, investing, publishing... and setting new sales policies.
Ben set out to talk to the owner of a gaming store to hear their side of things. Especially as far as sales policies and their effect on brick & mortar stores is concerned.
This is an interview with Marko Miladinovich, owner of Markorama Games.
Something's rotten in the state of Denmark... allegedly... we can't find any evidence for it really, except for some dusty old folios in Ye Olde English Library... but what Ben did find during his northern adventures were 30 minutes with Danish designer Asger Granerud.
Also... learn about his sordid past with GW.
Over the course of gaming history some ideas have been banished into the wilderness, to be forgotten... or at the very least ridiculed and dismissed as superstitions of an older, less civilized time.
But not everything old is bad. (Although, admittedly it might as well be.) There are some things worth rescuing. And if not that, we can at least recognise that certain practices served a purpose then and may still serve a purpose now. What am I babbling about?... well this week's topic of course: the ostracized rules mechanisms of yesteryear.
A few words for our sponsor: spielpro.com (35:17)
In our guild we look at your guidance as to whether evangelising the hobby is a good or bad thing, and whether we even should. (36:25)
And finally we review Barcelona: The Rose of Fire (01:05:05). A beautiful game of property expansion, people coming to a city to make a future for themselves and something about the growing threat of anarchy breaking out. I'm not telling if it's at the table or in the game... and which one of those two may be preferable.
Games are full of decisions. Some are trivial like picking a colour to play. Some are less so. But why? And how?
Decrying a game for its lack of meaningful decisions is easy, but how do we recognise when a decision is actually meaningful? What is the metric?
As it turns out, there are four metrics... and they lie at the heart of this lecture at Perfect University.
We've spared no expense to get some of our biggest and most famous fans onto this podcast simply to remind you to nominate us for the Golden Geek Awards.
After that bit of shameful self-promotion, we dive into our topic... ominously (or confusingly) named: The Board Game Encyclical. All about the unique cultural traits and dynamics of this hobby, and maybe what to do about them?
The great TC Petty III. once more spews wisdom, hard-earned experience and at least one naughty word in Deep Design (38:56) all about The Hook. Which contrary to common belief is not the porn name of anybody on the show... any longer... but that magic quality of a game that makes it click. Shouldn't it then be called the Switch? (Although that IS the porn name, one of us currently uses... so... moving on.)
Some words for our sponsor Yolo-Games.com (52:01)
A quick stop at the guild (54:23) allows us to talk about your cures for gaming burnout. Also the long-awaited update on the potent aphrodisiac that is baked potato & beans.
A few more words for our sponsor Spielpro.com (1:13:30)
Comrade Nick introduces you all to Marxism by way of talking about the socio-political commentary buried within Euphoria: Build A Better Dystopia. All this is of course done in the name of higher learning as he is The Boardgame Professor. (1:15:35)
And finally we review a successfully concluded Kickstarter: Perdition's Mouth - Abyssal Rift. A grim, dark and bloody dungeoncrawler that is fully cooperative and comes with more darkness than Charlie Murphy. (1:29:35)
Always the deep and ponderous thinker, Ben welcomes you on his mind's journey as to the question why we want theme, and what we get out of wildly fantastical game settings.
February has to start on a somewhat dour note as we tackle the big question of how to keep going, when you feel burned out.
A few words for our sponsor: Spielpro.com (36:50)
This week's stay at the guild is shaped by the vibrant and exciting discussions happening on our forums. Particularly your replies to our question of conflict in gaming. (38:10)
A few more words for our sponsor: Yolo-Games.com (1:01:00)
And finally, we review When I Dream by Chris Darsaklis. A small, gimmicky-seeming party game that is much more satisfying than it seems at first. Not least of all because you get to wear a naughty blindfold. Though, possibly not for the reasons you might assume (01:03:51)
In unrelated news, we can neither confirm nor deny that the absence of our regular contributors Nick Mariner and TC Petty III. in this episode has to do with their involvement in a top secret counter-counter-counter espionage mission to get two infamous political leaders, code-named "Man Boobies" and "Puppet", to play Munchkin until they utterly despise each other.
Negotiation is a skill. In some cases it is even an art. Negotiation in board games on the other hand is something of an unanswered question mark. Today's lecture will touch upon how board games incorporate negotiation and how to recognise it.
(There is also mention of the best negotiation game currently on the market. And it's probably not the one you're thinking of right now.)
We are leaping headfirst into the unknown... like that Assassin's Creed guy Fassbender... and boldly throw out episode 34 of this fancy podcast. This time Ben & I talk about conflict in board games. Inevitable and ubiquitous as it may seem, there is still something about being at cross purposes that is cause for friction and unease. So why not bring it out into the open?
Then T.C. Petty III voices his unique take on dominance in Deep Design, touching on the Prisoner's Dilemma and how to deal with dominant strategies (35:35).
A short commercial break for our sponsor yolo-games.com (47:47).
We then return to the guild (48:44) and it has been quite busy in our absence. Ben asked if professionalism in board games is a good or bad thing, and the replies have been as enlightening as ever.
Another short commercial break for our sponsor Spielpro.com (1:09:07).
The ever eloquent Nick Mariner speaks as The Boardgame Professor and delights, excites and educumirificates for your and all our betterment (1:10:42). And more importantly draws his blinding analytical gaze to Penny Press.
And finally we review Kreo (or Kreus) by Cooi Mini or Not & Sweet Games. A cooperative card game that may run the risk of being overlooked in the oncoming deluge of heavy hitters. Does it deserve a closer look? We know and we aren't telling!
Alright... maybe we are telling.
In this week's slice, Ben makes with the speaky-speaky using the wordsy-smordsy and asks himself: what is the point of gaming?
The new year brings minute differences... so let's not dwell on what has been but instead on what awaits you, dear listener, in this fancy new episode.
We open up on a spirited (if most likely alarmingly ignorant) discussion on the amateurist nature of the board gaming industry. Does it exist? Is it good? Is it bad? What is a sentence construction?
We remind you of our sponsor spiel-pro.com and all the great things they offer.
Our sojourn at the guild is tragically cut short.
Then we offer a few words for our sponsor yolo-games.com.
Nick Mariner, he of laconic intonation, unveils his new segment "The Boardgame Professor" in which he fixes his edumucationalary gaze on "Lewis & Clark".
Our review game is the drinking extravaganza Raise Your Goblets.
For ease of consumption Georgios' short message is now also available as its own entry on the feed.
Before the show starts in earnest next week, here are two short and somber messages about... well... life.
Gather 'round, PIPL!
It is the very last release of 2016 and we still have a few things to tick off of our "to do"-list. (Sadly, Ryan Gosling still won't return our calls, so no change on that front.)
Instead we look giddily at the very best games that 2016 had to offer, and then pick the very best of those. Just because lists are a great talking piece at our New Year's eve party, and arguing about our choices just tells you everything you need to know about us as people.
We also drop by the guild and talk about what YOU look forward to in 2017.
And we reveal the winners, and grand winner of our What's Your Game competition. The video of which can be found on our facebook page, and the highlights can be listened to in here.
Finally, if you want to look up our specific best-of-the-year picks, here is a handy list of links:
And with that we say goodbye dumpster fire and hello 2017!
A little Christmas poem to make the festivities just a little bit gamier.
Never one to dabble in self-awareness, the end of the etiquette series makes way for a new series in which spurious insights are laid out with the conviction of a man who has not yet realised he is four drinks past his limit.
Today... trading in board games. And how it inevitably fails.
(Hint: there's a tiny chance it might actually be about something else, though.)
Gather round everybody, the festive season is in full swing and we here at Perfect Information are happy to talk about the ostensibly happiest time of the year.
03:00 - In an attempt to bring together board games and Christmas in as awkward a way as possible, we wonder: how can we make board games embody Christmas values and ideals. Like getting drunk on eggnog and arguing with your racist uncle about everything that went wrong with Cuba.
36:10 - T.C. Petty III swings his stick of knowledge and delivers a stunning lecture on the history of dice in Deep Design.
48:19 - A few words for our sponsor Spielpro.com
50:24 - The long-awaited return to the guild sees us reminisce about your formative gaming memories.
01:09:55 - A few more words for our sponsor Yolo-Games.com
01:11:39 - The rightfully lauded and revered Dr. Nick Mariner lays out his wishlist for Christmas.
01:22:12 - This week's review sees Ben & I tackle the things we're most capable of handling: Crisis.
01:48:40 - Finally, we unveil the Perfect Information Christmas Buying Guide. A not-to-be-missed help to maneuver the notoriously overwhelming and excessive holiday season like a board gamer should.
Once more we return to Ben's cabin in the woods. This time he is joined by a man who's more intricately linked with the American West in board games than John Wayne.
Making a big splash - or rather a tightly wound engine that propelled him forward - with Lewis & Clark, he has a few things to say in the inimitable way that only a French accent can. The development history of Lewis & Clark gets unpacked over a steaming glass of virtual Glühwein and you are more than welcome to join.
In a sudden and unexpected twist of fate we find ourselves in episode 30 of the Perfect Information podcast. But not to worry, after a few meandering words of welcome we dive headfirst into this show's topic: moments that made us fall in love with this hobby (05:10). The answers may surprise you. (But they probably won't.)
TC goes with his gut.. or his head... or maybe he hints at going with his gut because he thought it through first... I am not entirely sure what is happening.. anyway: intuition and counter-intuitive design seems to be a corner stone of this week's Deep Design (38:24), which once again scores highly on the Lakoff-Varoufakis scale for insightfulness.
Our competition is still going strong and is in fact going stronger as we speak. Make sure you get in on this and win some tremendously epic prizes. Courtesy of What's Your Game?'s warehouse. (51:19)
And to calm our nerves after that bit of monkey business, we return to the guild to have words. With thee. (54:30)
A few words for our sponsor Yolo-Games.com (01:17:15)
Fresh off the high of BGG-Con, Nick Mariner talks all about the games he passionately endorses after playing them. He's fancy that way. (01:23:15).
Our review this week is about that small little dice game that could: Mondrian The Dice Game. Some of the most colourful fun you can have with dice. (01:35:42)
And then it is time to say farewell in the verbose and disoriented manner in which we usually leave all the listeners who make it to the end. (02:02:20)
And now we finally draw a curtain on this etiquette series with the final installment of me sitting in a café pontificating about something or other.
Namely: other. And in this case suggesting we should maybe not hold on to mistakes or errors of judgement too much.
It is rule #10 - Be gracious when others make mistakes and accept your own.
About as coherent a note to end on as 2016 would allow.
That sure felt like far longer than just two weeks without an episode..
Anyway, this week we talk about things inexplicably falling out of favour and try to explic them. While this seems to be happening everywhere right now, we try to limit our gaze to games.
Our guild section comes to us from an allegedly alternate future, where things don't seem to have turned out as rosy and uplifting as our present clearly suggests. Fancy that... we talk about forgivable gaming sins. (37:15)
We also have a competition. Yes, a competition! We're giving something away for free. Por nada. رایگان. חינם .Für nüschte. A highly sought-after game from WYG is on the table. How to get it into your hands? Listen to find out! (51:54)
Nick Mariner comments on current events. (56:56)
Spiel is slowly receding from memory, we know. Which is why we bring one last hurrah.. of interviews with some of the illustrious heads (and other body parts) of this very hobby.
Ben interviews 2 Tomatoes, a Spanish game studio with a knack for games with a political undercurrent. But more importantly... TWO TALKING TOMATOES!!! (Also, technically... Lord of the PIGS and Peak Oil)
We also have a nice chat with Polish publisher Board & Dice and their love of beer(-themed games). A topic that is of particular interest to Ben, who usually does not partake of the alcoholic beverage as I understand it.
That interest quickly leads to one of the finest moments of boardgame journalism during the interview with Pini Shekhter. Long-time Perfect Information listener by day, household name of the Israeli gaming scene by night! (As in, I presume that he lives in some kind of household.) A game designer in his own right, he is happy to talk about games. With US! Which is really fortunate, since this is a board game podcast. And we did record this interview in Essen during Spiel.
And finally - though possibly not chronologically - we present an interview with the minds behind one of the most METAL!!1! dungeon crawl experiences on KS in recent memory: Perdition's Mouth. Learn more about the game that is sure to make your mailman curse you and your family until the end of time.