Carnagecast 42: Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar

Carnagecast logo.In episode 42 of Carnagecast, after a teaching session at the Green Mountain Gamers’ spring game day, Rod and Sarah discuss Tzolk’in: The Mayan Calendar, a worker placement game which draws inspiration for its mechanics from none other than the titular Mayan calendar, particularly interlocking wheels that move pieces around the board. In addition to the usual crunch of never enough resource and actions for players to do everything they’d like to, the discussion touches upon how the addition of something so spatially and visually oriented as the wheels affect how players think about the game.

Who do Sarah and Rod think should give Tzolk’in a try? Listen in — and check out the show notes behind the cut. Continue reading

Carnagecast 38: Unity Games XIX

In episode thirty-eight of Carnagecast, Sarah brings tidings from Unity Games, a one day board game extravaganza held annually in Massachusetts. Highlights of the day include teaching Power Grid: The First Sparks, learning Hansa Teutonica and Stone Age, plus the chance to meet up with Carnage friends outside the Carnage convention itself.

We also talk a bit about teaching games, Sarah’s particular techniques for doing so, and finding the balance between achieving fluency in games one already likes versus trying every new title that comes out of Essen. Continue reading

Carnagecast Extrasode 4: Escape from PAX East

In extrasode 4 of Carnagecast, Sarah and Tyler talk about their PAX East 2012 experiences while heading north to Vermont. They talk about what they did and didn’t get to do, the games they played, the scale of PAX East and the thrill of that much energy and buzz filling a convention center.

It turns out that both Sarah and Tyler are getting to that stage in their lives where they’re more appreciative of handsome, well-made furniture than they are the latest game releases. Furthermore, Sarah was most interested by the Chevrolet display in the exhibition hall than anything else . . . Continue reading

Carnagecast Extrasode 3: On the Road to PAX East

In extrasode three of Carnagecast, Sarah and Tyler are on the road to PAX East 2012. Driving down Interstate 89 from Vermont to Boston the night before the convention, they talk about what they’re looking forward to check out this weekend. Aside from wanting to scope out the tabletop gaming area and pick-up play opportunities, Sarah is astonishingly well organized with a whopping four panels marked in her Guidebook app, while Tyler can’t remember the name of the single panel he’s interested in.

Conversational diversions include the comparative mental acuity of Euro- and Amerigamers, the inclusion of transgender individuals in video games and whether an audiologist can distinguish modern sculpture from giant stompy robots. Continue reading

Carnagecast 12: Going Cardboard and Le Havre

In episode 12 of Carnagecast, the director of Going Cardboard tells us about creating the documentary that delves into designer board games. Then Autopsy of a Game gets into the economics of wharfside entrepreneurship as Chuck, Rod and Sarah talk Le Havre. Continue reading

Carnagecast 10: TotalCon and The Resistance

In episode 10 of Carnagecast, Interview with a Gamer talks TotalCon with Angelia Heroux, the event’s media director. The Massachusetts convention includes movies, discussion panels and tournaments in addition to the traditional role-playing and board game fare.

Then, in Autopsy of a Game, Rod, Chuck and Sarah talk about The Resistance, a social game in which players are either resistance members trying to succeed at missions or undercover spies working to thwart the resistance’s efforts. Rod thinks The Resistance is good for non- and casual gamers with its high strong social interactions, but still meaty enough for hardcore, strategy-oriented gamers to get into.

But then, Rod is always a Cylon. Continue reading

Carnagecast 6: James Carpio of Chapter 13 Press and Sekigahara

In episode 6 of Carnagecast, Interview with the Gamer catches up with James Carpio. When not running role-playing games, James also designs and publishes them, with such diverse titles as Death Race Z and Spookybeans.

Sekigahara comes under the knife in Autopsy of a Game. This episode’s subject is a war game covering the campaign that gave rise to the Tokugawa shogunate in 16th century Japan. Chuck rates it “delightful” while Sarah would agree to play it. Continue reading