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The TGG Show Hits the Internet Waves!

So we took our first shot at a gaming podcast. Yes, yes, yet another podcast about gaming! We know, not the most original idea floating around out there and we certainly aren’t going to come across as experts in the hobby, but we set out to have some fun in a freewheeling style and share some thoughts on a few games. It did take us about half the show to shake off the jitters (and I think it’s pretty obvious early on) but we’ll tighten things up as we put together more shows in the future. Plus you want to keep in mind we’re working on bringing some contributors to the table in the future. We’re really happy James is going to toss in his five cents from here on out on the show so he can help class the act up!

We have reviews of AEG’s The Adventurers and Road Kill Rally from Z-Man Games and a lot more!

Be sure to listen to the end because we have our first TGG contest. Rest assured it’ll be SO easy to enter and win! And the blooper at the show’s very end is sort of funny…

Download the show to take it on the go right here!

And now, detailed show notes! (Sorry, people, that it’s taken me this long to get these posted.-James)

Elliott Miller and Jeff McAleer introduce themselves:
Elliott’s bio [1:10] (A brief scuffle about the term sci fi intrudes [2:30])
Jeff’s bio [2:46] The hosts discuss the shape of the podcast for the future [5:15] Elliott admits that he hasn’t played Twilight Struggle and is mocked for it [6:30] Jeff talks about his new gaming group in Mesa, AZ, how he set that up, and the importance of playing in public [8:50] Forbidden Island and Pandemic are both discussed [15:35] And then Defenders of the Realm [18:40] And then they talk about the whole idea of cooperative games and non-competition in games [19:30], to be contrasted with Tammany Hall (and our own review here) [19:35] Elliott has been watching Chasing Mummies [21:25] So he’s been thinking about Fluch der Mumi [23:30] Elliott reviews The Adventurers from AEG (link is above) [23:45] With a brief digression about the politics of Egyptology [30:45] Jeff reviews Roadkill Rally (link is above) [32:50] And laments his lack of BGG time [33:10] Both guys get to talking about controversial games
War on Terror [46:00] Small World(s) confusion [46:30] They start to wrap up and talk about the future of the podcast [54:30] Oh, a Contest! [55:00] Leave a substantive comment on the website about the podcast!
Out [57]

But then some outtakes…

Show More

Jeff McAleer

Founder/Editor-in-chief of The Gaming Gang website and host of The Gaming Gang Dispatch and other TGG media, Jeff tackles any and all sorts of games but has a special fondness for strategy, conflict sims, and roleplaying games. Plus, he's certainly never at a loss for an opinion...

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  1. I really enjoyed this podcast, and I know this is episode 0 and not a set in stone format but I have to say… I really like the format of the episode. There was in depth talk about games you had experienced, which is something I definitely look for. After listening to this podcast I have a great idea of what Road Kill Rally plays like, and if its for me or not (I already knew about the adventurers).

    I also really enjoyed the talk at the end about controversial games. If I may add a suggestion, it would be to have timestamps for people interested in specific segments. For instance if I already know about the adventurers and don't feel the need to hear your take on it, but want to listen to the rest of the podcast, if you had timestamps like…

    The Adventurers 12:34

    Road Kill Rally 32:04

    Then I could see that to skip the adventurers talk I could seek ahead to 32:04. Just a thought, you obviously dont have to do it just because I said so, and this is mostly only required for longer podcasts and yours is a pretty reasonable length.

    I will certainly tune in to the next episode. Thanks a lot guys 🙂

  2. Hoi Jeff and Elliott, while I'd suggest having the Designer's being part and parcel for discussions on theirs, perhaps through a phone call tie-in? Maybe have a notification displayed on upcoming topics as well, to give anyone a heads-up on what to expect within this on future podcasts. I too, shall concur, that it is very easy to listen along to this as I read over some of what you, or yet another, has for such on those regards. Now, if you can manage it, then how about some conversation with John Bobek ("Wargamer204") on BGG? He is around within the Chicago area and in fact, check into the Gamer Hoopla events. Also, "Go Da Bearsss!" as they're ON the "Monday Night Football" game tonight!

  3. I enjoyed the show. You two work well together and I can tell you were having fun. I'm looking forward to seeing how the format of the show ends up working out. I'd continue reviewing a game or two like you did, the comments and recommendations you gave were great. Please get this working in iTunes so I can just subscribe. That makes it so much easier to get every episode.

  4. Very nice premier episode!

    I like the short-form reviews that get to the heart of how the game plays and what you think about it. So many times, the in-depth rules explanations that a lot of other podcasts do is just boring and unnecessary.

    I especially liked the willingness that you guys showed to get into meta-topics for the gaming hobby. It shows some real depth both to your discussion and your background as gamers, and makes me very interested in seeing what you do in future episodes.

    The only bit of constructive criticism that I’d offer is to watch how much you laugh at your own jokes. You’re pretty funny, but when you’re still laughing once I’ve stopped, it gets kind of old.

    Thanks again for the great podcast!

  5. Hey guys, great show! I would like to ask you if you want to have your current logo redesigned a little. I will be honored to help you with that, no charge of course. I am a full time graphic/web designer and doing small things like that is fun.

    Let me know and i keep looking forward to the next episode!

  6. I liked it. The reviews were a good length and you seemed to work well together conversationally. If anything I'd prefer the reviews be even a little shorter and have more of them. In an audio podcast I'm not looking to be taught exactly how to play a game – I want just enough to understand the main purpose and get different peoples opinions on it. If it sounds like something I want to try I'll end up reading the rules anyways.

  7. I liked the show. I felt that you had a good flow with each other and there was no part that I was ready for you to move on and you still were going on with a topic. As this was Eps. 0 I think you will find your feet and what format works best for you. The only thing that I would ask for this early in the game would be for an RSS feed for the podcast as I don't use I-tuens. (If you have one already and I'm just missing it a call out in the show would be cool)

    Thanks for the show and i'm looking forward to hearing more.

  8. I liked the show. It was just the right length for me. Your review of Road Kill Rally made me more interested in it, as I used to be a big Car Wars nut. Hopefully you guys will do a nostalgia review of Car Wars sometime. The only thing I would add is that it would be nice if I could subscribe to the show via itunes. I also really like your website. I found it easy to read, easy to navigate, and I enjoyed the review of Pizza Box Football.

  9. Thanks for starting the podcast.

    I cannot agree with everything Terror Bull does and I feel you are correct in saying there is a lot of publicity tactics going on with some of the actions. However, I wouldn't refuse to play the game for moral reasons because I believe every one has the right to freedom of speech… but I'd probably refuse to play it for pretty much looking like a bad game. JK. I'd try any game once.

  10. @Willi B – I too believe everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but I don't see how my refusing to play a board game impinges on anyone's freedom of anything. Just because somebody might have the freedom to perform some expressive act doesn't mean I have to endorse it, and in fact I would be exercising my own freedom of speech by condemning it, or my economic freedom and freedom of association by refusing to have anything to do with it or its producers. There is no "freedom of having third parties affirm and countenance ones speech."

    I agree with what was said in the podcast to the effect of everyone having his own limit when it comes to game themes. You may not be offended by War on Terror, but what about a game in which you score for in-game acts of racially motivated violence or child exploitation? How about if it went into graphic detail, rewarding cruelty and prurience? My point is not to say War on Terror is that bad (it's not) but to show that limits exist. The same freedom of speech would protect someone publishing those hypothetical games (at least in the U.S. where there are no "hate speech" caveats) but hopefully people would not be so eager to give them the courtesy of even one play.

  11. Nice podcast (and impressive website).. Thank – The Dice Tower – they mentioned your website/podcast on their latest episode (I hadn't heard of you prior)..

    Nice intro episode..

    Looking forward to Elliot's take on Twilight Struggle – I'm also looking forward to getting this played (long time believer – bought original and now also the deluxe version), but the long rules have scared me off. Will have to sitdown and go thru the rules and example of play someday to teach this to myself and then someone else..

    Also very much interested in Jeff's gaming group (at the Restaurant/Pub) and more details on that. Looking forward to getting 30 people evenutally showing up seems impressive. Who is being invited and how advertised? People order food and drinks – required? I reside in a smaller town, so those numbers seem like dreaming, but getting a game group together is a common gaming subject.. Let us know more on the game group..

    Terror Bulls games – any body should be able to make any game they wish – the market will decide it's success.. Slamming dissenters just seems to be easier in the internet age.

    With the intro's out of the way – looking forward to interviews and game reviews – keep it coming..

    Eric Gustafson

    Belchertown, Mass

  12. P.S.: Couldn't find your podcast on ITunes – any chance it will get there? I max'd the volume and had the speakers at the window while I raked the yard. Don't want to scare the neighbors anymore than I have to)…

  13. Good podcast. It had good content and a good lenght. Hopefully you will get going on ITunes so I can subscribe. Nice Convoy reference.

  14. I enjoyed the show. One bit of constructive criticism I’m might offer is in the way Jeff tended to keep interrupting Elliot early on in the podcast for the sake of being funny. I realize you guys go way back and I’m sure Elliot had no problem with being interrupted, but I’ll admit, it made me a little uncomfortable to the point I started thinking, “Come on, let the guy talk.” Maybe tone that down a bit. Other than that I think you guys are onto something here.

    Knowledgeable, well spoken hosts? Check

    Interesting and informative content? Check

    Hosts don’t take themselves too serious? Check

    Proper length? Check

    I’m looking forward to future episodes. I’ll be back for sure.

    Thank you guys…


    1. I'll quickly point out we had worked on a warm up show the previous week and we sort of let each other talk and then the other person would reply. I really wasn't our bag because it didn't fit with our freewheeling nature. I noticed that I sort of overshadowed Elliott when I edited the first show though. I sure didn't mean to interrupt him but I'm more of a talker than Elliott sometimes…

      I promise you'll hear much more from Elliott on the next program!

  15. Entertaining show, guys. I'm always glad to hear more opinions on my favorite hobby. I have to agree that The Adventurers is a solid game for gamers or non-gamers. I think the one key is just getting the gamers to understand that this is primarily a push-your-luck game. There isn't some really deep meaningful strategy. However the theme is just dripping off of the game and I love the tension. And that moment at the end where you have to roll a certain number to either survive or be crushed by the boulder is one of my favorite parts of the game.

    The relaxed atmosphere you guys present is great. I like that you're comfortable with one another and therefore make me feel comfortable listening. Keep up the good work and I'll keep listening.

  16. Already hooked guys.Loved the show, keep up the good work. Just got Twilight Struggle myself. My gamer gang have enjoyed their first plays. The outtake at the end was a real gag. Looking forward to more of the same.

  17. A great first effort (as I originally posted on the BGG thread announcing the podcast). Don't worry too much about making an hour-long show, I really think the sweet spot is somewhere between 20 and 40 minutes before people just kind of tune out the voices in the background. I really like the dynamic between the hosts, and unlike some of the other guests, I don't mind straying.

    Some people might disagree with this part, but I like the way the Dice Tower has a little music/announcer clip in between segments — it may seem overproduced to some people, but those sounds help "focus" me when I'm driving to work and my mind may have started wandering a bit. Those little segment intros remind me that there's something on the radio that I actually want to listen to.

    My other recommendation from the BGG thread was to record segments or episodes in advance so that you have *something* to put up when life inevitably interferes with your recording time. Record segments for older or less popular/independent games and use those to fill episodes. You can record a short "intro" and "outro" on those busy weeks (~10 minutes long) and then fill the middle with pre-recorded clips.

    An excellent start to the show, and I will be listening regularly. Thanks.

    1. Thanks for chiming in again Tim. Interestingly enough, many of those transitions that you hear on The Dice Tower happen to be Elliott himself. We already plan to have transitions to and from major segments of the show and don't be surprised to hear a few on the next podcast October 11th.

  18. Extremely entertaining…sounded more like a radio talk show than a game podcast. I have heard too many where guys are reading off scripts and they sound like they are giving a speech in front of their 9th grade class….I think some of them should just rename their podcasts to the "Errr and Ummm Show". Love the short form reviews. Perhaps in the future you guys can do "Theme" shows where you talk about nothing but Deck-Building games for one show…and then another show could be about Co-Op games…and then another can be about Games that are popular on Klingon….wait scratch that last one.

    I'll be listening.

    1. Our outlook is to be very freewheeling and conversational because that's how we are. We'll probably will get into "theme" shows as some point in the near future. One thing we're experimenting with is the ability to include the thoughts and opinions or our readers and listeners in a format that isn't simply a letters to the show kind of "same old, same old".

      1. You could always have a pre-screen for listener guests…where they call in and record a response to a question…pick a winner or two and then have them phone in for the actual podcst.

  19. Hi! I really enjoyed Episode #0. I think the rapport was great, some of the comments funny and the way you have arranged the reviews clever. As an example, I appreciate the coordination of speaking on Pandemic, F.I. and then reviewing Defenders of the Realm. All being related in a way, comparative reviews can be very helpful. Also, continue to be as opinionated as possible! 🙂 Too often, reviewers are worried about being "p.c." or afraid of flack and future sponsorship. I, for one, would rather hear a clear-cut feeling on what makes the game good, bad or ugly.

    For future pods, I agree with an above poster, a theme cast would be great. However, you would quickly run out of themes! So, maybe quarterly (every 8th episode?) you could focus on a major theme and do a total comparative review of said game-type?

    I also think it's great that you are trying to satisfy everyone with a broad array of themes/mechanics, but be careful! That's hard to do…

    Hear ya in 2 weeks! Thanks for the opportunity!

  20. Really enjoyed the podcast! The banter about things other than games breaks things up nicely.

    And as someone who can't always take an hour at a time, I love the show notes. I already own Forbidden Island, and I'm seriously considering Defenders of the Realm, so it helped to be able to skip right to the review. I was able to listen to the whole podcast this time and it's def. getting added to my game podcast playlist.

  21. I really look forward to the future of this Podcast. I regularly listen to The Dice Tower and On Board Games and I very much welcome a new voice in my ear that may share a different opinion on games and gaming events.

    Talking about co-op games early in your series was a good choice in my eyes. My gaming group loves co-op games and I love hearing peoples thoughts about games I have played {FI and Pandemic} and well as games I have interest in {Defenders}.

    From here on out, just make sure you are having fun doing your Podcast. I am an improv comedy performer and I know that if I am not having fun on stage that the audience will know and lose interest. So my advice again is to make sure you keep having fun doing this and don't let yourself stress about future episodes or whatever, just enjoy the moment knowing you have an audience who is there to listen.

    1. Thanks Jimmy! One thing you'll find, as we continue onwards with the show, is that we'll be having fun! Since Elliott and I have some experience with previous podcasts so we don't concern ourselves with the fact we're in front of a mic. You'll find the show is conversational and we think that approach is best suited for us. We want the show to come across as if you just happened to stop on by and listened to a chat between two great friends who also happen to love games.

  22. Great show.

    I just started listening to boardgaming podcasts in the last few months, so I can't really offer a whole lot of advice other than to keep the podcasts coming and let it evolve. You guys work as well together as the hosts of Dice Tower and On Boardgaming, so the foundation for the show seems to be solid.

    One thing I'd like to see, not just for the podcast but the site in general is a twitter feed of new content.

  23. Great show guys! You guys have a great sense of humor, and kept the conversation and engaging – a lot of fun to listen to. Keep up the good work!

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