Episode 18 – Locked Down Gaming

In episode 18, we want to talk about how we play games during lockdown. Music: Black Moons by The 126er on YouTube


Games List

3 Replies to “Episode 18 – Locked Down Gaming”

  1. RogerBW

    Classic Eurogame: stern-looking man in mediaeval garb. New Eurogame: several stern-looking men in the background of a landscape, and maybe even a woman.

    I’m usually terrible at card-counting, so you’d think I’d be bad at Quacks. and yet I’ve done reasonably well both times I’ve played. On problem, though: I’ve played with the really nice resin bits that you can get from the BGG Store, and until I can get them I don’t really want a copy. (And postage is terrible, of course; I had planned to pick some up at Essen.)

    Quite often I’d rather play two or three fillers than one longer game. Yes, I lose the deep long-term strategy, but I like the junk-food decision intensity of a short filler.

    It’s very easy for a (video, audio) call to turn into “let’s get down to business”, and I think it’s important to do some socialising too. These days many PCs can cope with a video or audio call and an emulated boardgame at the same time, and if I’m playing with friends I’ll often do that rather than using the site’s built-in text chat. (I had to learn to do this before, because Tabletop Simulator’s built-in voice has been broken for Linux users for about a year now.)

    (Tabletopia isn’t available at all on Linux.)

    Every publisher I’ve talked to about TTS is entirely happy to have their games implemented there – except Games Workshop, Steve Jackson Games, and now the Asmodée conglomerate. TTS is also a great prototyping platform, because whipping up a basic board and pieces into playable form is really easy.

    Boardgame purchases can go both ways. On the one hand, many people have lost their jobs (particularly in the USA); on the other hand, many people who still have money also have lots of leisure. Here in the UK, of course, many people were doing disaster preparedness because of certain political events well before all this started, so now we’re just rotating our stocks.

    I’ve never been a big fan of the “hours of entertainment” principle, because I don’t do any of the really expensive things like computer games and cinema trips. (Pubs, on the other hand…)

    Like Antoinette, I didn’t play much online at first, but now I’m doing rather more – on yucata.de, and even more on BoardGameArena, which I was surprised you didn’t mention. It’s more like Yucata in that it’s 2D and fully programmed; it tends to be real-time rather than turn-based, so you get a lot of quick games like Can’t Stop or 6 Nimmt!, but you can set up turn-based games too (and then play as fast as you all want to, obviously). BGA’s premium games only need one person to be a paying member to start them.

    Yucata does have a rules tab on most games, but each one is basically a different program with a different interface, and it can be tricky to pick something up in a hurry…

    Between the two, I’m learning a bunch of new games: K2, Can’t Stop, Kahuna, VOLT (of which I’ve now bought a physical copy)…

    For RPGs, we just use video chat (Jitsi, because I’m a tech professional and I don’t run spyware), but the games we play tend not to involve maps.

    Since the Shut Up and Sit Down forum was shut down suddenly, that community has come to join me on a forum I was already running. One thing we’ve got there is a list of boardgame web sites and other ways of playing online.

    I’ll probably keep playing online now that I’ve joined the sites, but one of the reasons I play boardgames rather than computer games is that I like the tactility of them.

    • Oliver

      Hello Roger. Apologies, but I only saw your comment just now. I think it didn’t like the links in your comments, but I approved it now, so everyone can see it. Thank you for your comments. There is a lot there, but let me answer one of the points you raise specifically. I didn’t mention Board Game Arena, because I’ve not used it much at the time, and I know there are other platforms out there too, such as Happy Meeple, which I also haven’t used much. I did do a live stream of K2 on BGA since then though and am using it more. So thank you again for your comment and I’m glad our episode chimed with you so much.

    • Antoinette Mason

      I’m so glad your comment made it here, woo hoo! You’ve lots of great insights and it’s amazing to see how quickly the board game world responded to Lockdown. There are so many new ways to play games with people and more importantly people willing to play. I’m glad it’s been working out so well for you 🙂

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