Month: May 2016

Sci-Fi TV Shows

Sci-Fi TV Shows

Thought it was time to move away from gaming of different types and back into the world of television. Where even to begin with sci-fi shows? What makes sci-fi shows that have been successful interesting and long-lasting? The biggest reason for me, as to why I […]

Have You Heard Of: Haibane Renmei

Have You Heard Of: Haibane Renmei

Welcome back, friends! It’s time for another round of “Have You Heard Of…”! Today’s topic: Haibane Renmei. As I’ve mentioned in previous anime-related posts, most of the anime series I’ve watched thus far are pretty well-known, at least among other anime enthusiasts. But I have managed to […]

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 28: Friends in the Desert?

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 28: Friends in the Desert?

Tate is able to spot a caravan in the desert after their battle with the giant scorpions. Will they be able to make it there in time before exhaustion over takes them, and are those in the caravan friend or foe?

If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be doing a recap and Q&A every twenty-five episodes.

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The World of Dungeons and Flagons!

The World of Dungeons and Flagons!

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Our players are:

Ashley – Nimrose the Wood Elf Monk

Kristen (@Kefka73) – Finja the Human Paladin

Clint – Tate the Halfling Bard

The DM:

Peder (@TheScando)

 

Please give us reviews and let us know how you listen to the show!

You can find us on iTunes

Or on Stitcher

Reviews help with the algorithms that allow more people to find our show. Every review you give helps, and we thank you for them! We have three reviews currently on iTunes; once we get five, we’ll be able to see them, and properly thank those who have given us reviews.

 

 

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Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
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Board Game Types: Deck-Building Games

Board Game Types: Deck-Building Games

Deck-building games are showing up a whole lot more on Kickstarter these days, and are becoming a more popular style of game. The best-known game of this type is Dominion, in which you build up a deck of cards to gain victory points. A lot of these […]

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 27: Troubles in the Desert

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 27: Troubles in the Desert

What are those creatures who were following them in the desert? And will it get them before they fall from exhaustion in the desert? If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to <a href=”mailto:nerdologists@gmail.com”>nerdologists@gmail.com</a> or find us on Facebook or Twitter! […]

Board Game Types: Classic Games

Board Game Types: Classic Games

Board games have been around for a long time. And while there has been a renaissance in board games, there are many classic games that we know. Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue are some of the best-selling games of all time, and it is pretty common to see at least one of those games in a lot of peoples’ places. So do these games still have a place on a modern board game shelf, or have newer board games passed them up? There are a lot of them to dig through, and how do you know what the good ones are?

Monopoly_pack_logo

Do Classic Board Games have a Spot on Your Shelf?

I think that there is room for those game to show up still. However, it is a select few classic games that I still have on my shelf. Games that come down to random luck and die rolls, such as Monopoly, aren’t all that exciting for me to play anymore. But that is only one style of classic games; some are luck-based and some are strategy-based. On my shelf, we have more of the strategy-based games. I still own Stratego, Risk, and Scrabble. Why do I own those? Because they are generally higher strategy games. There is a downside to this, though — because they are high-strategy games, it is going to be only some people who you can play these games with.

Is This A Good Spot to Find Family Games?

Image Source: How Stuff Works
Image Source: How Stuff Works

Yes and no. There are a lot of Euro-style games that are going to be great for families and families with younger kids. A game like Tsuro can take over for a game like Chutes and Ladders, and would be more entertaining for adults as well. However, there are some games like Scrabble that can work as your kids get older, and Yahtzee makes a lot of sense for a fun family-time game. Classic board games also make a lot of sense if you jump into classic card games as well. Uno, Skip-bo, Dutch Blitz, and Phase 10 are great games to jump into with your kids, and ones that kids can pick up quite quickly.

What Games Should I Get?

There are a few good options, and some to avoid. You’re probably pretty familiar with a lot of them, but the best rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of luck-based classic board games you own, and find games that have more strategy. Games like Yahtzee and Scrabble have enough of both luck and strategy to make them enjoyable games to play over time. And games like Uno, Skip-bo, and other card games are pretty fast and have, again, some level of strategy with a little bit of luck.

Phase 10 or 5 Crowns are both similar card games in which you are trying to complete different sets and runs. They last quite a long time, but they are games that are easy to start playing one day and continue later, as the rounds for both of the games go by pretty quickly, even if the whole game lasts longer. 5 Crowns is probably the one that I’d recommend, as it is a bit simpler and goes faster.

Image Source: LVA
Image Source: LVA

Yahtzee is another really good game. The rolling of the dice creates that random luck-based aspect, so even someone who can’t do the math in their head can do really well in the game. But there are statistics and probability that go into Yahtzee, so if you want to run the numbers and come up with the best strategy, you can do that as well.

Finally, Scrabble is a great word game, and getting a basic Scrabble set is nice. You can play your standard game of Scrabble with it, as well as play Bananagrams without having to get a second game. If you only like Bananagrams, you can just get that version, but getting the base Scrabble game means that you have the flexibility to play either way. And if you don’t like Scrabble all that well because you don’t know long or rare words, remember that sometimes making multiple short words on your turn yields better results than a longer word.

What classic board games do you still have around?

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Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

Email us at nerdologists@gmail.com
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Dungeons and Flagons Episode 26: An Old Friend

Dungeons and Flagons Episode 26: An Old Friend

Tate runs into an old friend of his just before they head into the desert. And what waits for them in the desert? If you have questions for Nerdologists: Dungeons and Flagons emails them to nerdologists@gmail.com or find us on Facebook or Twitter! We’ll be […]

Community Ed: A Hidden Treasure Trove of Nerdiness

Community Ed: A Hidden Treasure Trove of Nerdiness

So you have a new nerdy interest — you’ve heard about it, read up on it, trawled the internet for more information about it, and pretty much fallen in love with it. But despite the excitement a newfound nerdy passion brings, you’ve run into a problem. […]

Board Game Types: Cooperative Games

Board Game Types: Cooperative Games

What has turned into one of my favorite types of games is the cooperative game. A good cooperative game adds a lot of challenge in coming up with the best strategy out there, trying to think several turns ahead, and using the unique abilities of each player to win the game.

Both Pandemic and The Lord of the Rings Board Game are great examples of good cooperative games. They have different roles for the different people that you can play throughout a game. In Lord of the Rings, Frodo, Sam, and the rest of the characters each have unique abilities, which means that you have to play to their strengths. Frodo is very good at playing cards where you need them, and Sam is very good about being slow and steady and not getting too close to the Eye of Sauron. Pandemic builds on the same strategies, where you play different members of the CDC all with different abilities, which can help you remove disease cubes, travel around the world, or build new CDC outposts. Because of these differences, even though the game is the same each time, it plays differently.

pandemic

Does One Person Take Over in a Cooperative Game?

The simple answer would be sometimes.

But many of the cooperative games out there have a simpler set of rules and actions. That means that everyone in the group is going to be apt to pick up on the strategy faster. In Lord of the Rings, you are generally drawing a tile and then either playing or drawing cards. And in Pandemic, you can do four actions on your turn. So this action economy helps everyone understand all that is available to do. There are some games, such as Arkham Horror, that while being cooperative, have enough strategy and probability to them that it takes a while to learn and the people who pick up on that strategy faster are going to lead the turns for other people.

What If I Don’t Want to Play a Game that is Completely Cooperative?

Fortunately — and these are some of my favorites — we are starting to see games that are cooperative for some of the time and then have a surprise traitor. The two that I really enjoy are Dead of Winter, where there is a possibility that someone is a traitor, and Betrayal at the House on the Hill, in which someone will definitely be the traitor, but who it will be is determined randomly partway through the game. This can lead to some people having hurt feelings, because it turns out that someone has been a traitor the whole time, but in all of the semi-cooperative games out there, the traitor is determined randomly, because otherwise you’d know who the traitor is from the start of the game. And as the traitor in Dead of Winter, you are trying not to tip your hand and show that something is up, while also trying to complete your mission.

Betrayal At House On The Hill
Image Source: Wizards of the Coast

What Sort of Group Can Enjoy These Games?

I think that all but the most cutthroat group are going to enjoy a cooperative game. There is a lot of strategy that can go along with these games, and that will keep the more serious players involved in the game. If there is a more serious player in the group, it is important to find a game where they can have their fill of strategy, but a game that is simple enough so that players who pick up on the strategy slower won’t get overshadowed by other players. If you are leading the game and notice that someone isn’t getting as much input as other people, ask them if they have any suggestions or ideas and help get them involved.

What Do You Recommend?

Dead of Winter is probably my top recommendation. I like the semi-cooperative nature of the game. And as compared to some other hidden traitor games, you don’t know for sure that there is a traitor. If there isn’t, have you been suspicious of the people at the table the whole time, because you don’t think the move is the most ideal? And can you survive to see another day, or will the zombies eat you?

Betrayal Characters
Image Source: IGN.com

Pandemic comes in at a close second. There are a lot of different random parts to the game, and that can make it challenging and different every time. The concept of the game is well done, and even though you have six different ways to die (or something around that), you rarely ever feel like you are completely run over. Pandemic Legacy is another fun version of the Pandemic game series, and there are expansions for the original game that can change it up if it ever starts to feel stale.

A simpler cooperative game is Castle Panic. You and the group are trying to defend your castle from goblins, orcs, and other monsters. As they continue to attack, they are going to start knocking down your city walls, and what happens if they get all the way to the castle? This game plays quite quickly, and is easy to show someone how to play and can be picked up in a couple of turns.

There are many more cooperative and semi-cooperative games. I’d highly recommend The Lord of the Rings board game that I’ve mentioned in this post as a very challenging game, where you will die more often than not. Betrayal at the House on the Hill is another great game that changes up every time that you play it. There are other simpler cooperative games as well. Even though I wouldn’t highly recommend it, Forbidden Island would be a good game to play with kids, and Forbidden Desert appears to offer more challenges, but would again be pretty appropriate for play with kids.

What are some cooperative games that you like?
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Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!

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Wheel of Time to TV

Wheel of Time to TV

The news is a bit old, but I just came across it. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones and worried about what sort of epic fantasy will be around to watch once Game of Thrones is done, the Wheel of Time Series […]