Essen 2015 - Portal Games

Release Date: Oct. 21, 2015

Running Time:  25 min.

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Polish designer Ignacy Trewiczek chats about treasure trove of new games from Portal. 

First we talk about a new edition of Stronghold, an asymmetrical game about a castle under siege. Since Stronghold was Ignacy's first design, this chance to revisit the game enabled him to streamline the rules and enhance the components which allows the tension and story of this pitched battle to shine through even more.

Convoy is a 2 player card duel game in the post apocalyptic Neuroshima Hex universe. One side commands a Moloch robot army bent on destroying New York. The other controls the Outpost trying to attack the convoy and slow them down.

Legacy: Five Families is an expansion to the base game where players build a family tree in 18th century France. New to the game are Favors which can be granted in exchange for trading family members between players. 

We close with a discussion of Tides of Time, an elegant, strategic 18 card drafting game that depicts the rise and fall of civilizations in 20 minutes.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - 504

Release Date: Oct. 20, 2015

Running Time:  20 min.

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Designer Friedemann Friese chats about the inspiration behind and development of 504, a modular game system that can be combined to create 504 different games.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Pacal's Rocket

Release Date: Oct. 20, 2015

Running Time:  15 min.

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Dieter Strehl from Piatnik chats about Pacal's Rocket, a family game based on the notion that Mayan civlization was built by alien technology. Move your starship around the city in order to place energy stones in a pattern to build pyramids and score.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Hans im Gluck

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  10 min.

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Moritz Brunnhofer chats about several new releases including two new editions of Carcassonne.

Star Wars Carcassonne adds factions and dice based combat to the classic tile laying game.

Carcasonne: Over Hill & Dale was commissioned by the Bavarian Ministry of Health. Send your meeples on hikes and harvest food tokens to score.

We also discuss Skyliners, a light pattern building game with 3D buildings, and expansions for Marco Polo and Russian Railroads.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Board Game Advent Calendar

Release Date: Oct. 20, 2015

Running Time:  20 min.

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Matthias Nagy is the creative force behind the Board Game Advent Calendar. This calendar is a big box with 24 doors. Behind each door is an original mini-expansion for a popular board or card game. 21 different publishers contributed to this ambitious project, including Colt Express, the winner of the Spiel des Jahres (Germany's Game of the Year). Matthias discusses how he was able to make his vision for the calendar a reality in less than one year.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Nippon

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2015

Running Time:  17 min.

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Portuguese designers Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade chat about the inspiration, research and development behind Nippon, a game that depicts the rapid industrialization of Japan in the late 19th century. 

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Essen 2015 - Deinko

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2015

Running Time:  21 min.

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Minwoo An from Korean board game publisher Deinko chats about the growth of gaming in Korea from a purely educational activity for children to the spread of game cafes as a way to spend time with friends. 

We also discuss two new titles from Deinko: Chronicler and Double Mission: Beyond the Object.

Chronicler is a 20 minute civilization building card game with two different modes of play.

Double Mission is a dice based heist game where players compete to steal precious items to gain fame and fortune.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Big Fun Games

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2015

Running Time:  21 min.

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Big Fun Games is a publisher from Taiwan. We chat with Yang and CC about the state of games and gaming in Taiwan

We also discuss two new titles from Bug Fun: one serious and one silly. 

Butts Away Heroes is a dice game where players are 8-bit villains trying to shout away annoying heroes.

EU: The Board Game is a game of strategy and negotiation modeled after the actual political procedures used by the European Union.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Japon Brand

Release Date: Oct. 19, 2015

Running Time:  31 min.

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Japon Brand offers many different games from Japanese designers but is not a traditional publisher in the European or American sense of the word. It is an alliance of many small publishers brought together by practical necessity - pooling their resources in order to bring more games to market

We chat with the founder of Japon Brand, Takerube Nobuaki, noted game designer Seiji Kanai and translator Simon Lundstrom about Hanafuda (Flower Cards), a classic Japanese card game. Hanafuda has a fascinating history including Portuguese missionaries, gambling and the founding of Nintendo.  

We also discuss the influence of traditional board and card games like Hanafuda and Shogi or Go on modern game designers and players in Japan.

Finally, we conclude with a chat about the recent micro-game craze, inspired in part by the global success of Seiji's game Love Letter.

Links and show notes continue after the break.

Essen 2015 - Mike Elliott

Release Date: Oct. 18, 2015

Running Time:  29 min.

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From Magic: The Gathering and dozens of media licensed games to Thunderstone, Quarriors and Dice Masters, Mike Elliott has been a proilfic game designer for the past twenty years. Starting with his early days at Wizards of the Coast , we chat with Mike about his career in games. 

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