There are an awful lot of podcasts out there about board gaming. Before I started doing The Little Metal Dog Show, I listened to loads of them (and indeed, I still do). After having the guys from The Dice Tower on Episode 7 of the podcast, I thought it could be good to recommend a few different shows from around the internet that I enjoy and why I like them. Who knows? You may stumble across something you’ve not encountered before – give them a listen! Click on the titles to be whisked away to their home pages.
The Daddy of them all! Presented by Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer, The Dice Tower has something for everyone. It’s a well put together collection of reviews, news items, features from contributors around the world on a variety of subjects and – of course – the legendary Top Ten Lists. These cover everything from the best pick-up-and-deliver games to releases from specific companies, and often throw out some interesting contributions to the proceedings. While they’ve previously done a fortnightly release of a long show, they’ve recently switched to a weekly episode scehdule. There are two versions of the show – the enhanced one (with pictures of all the games they cover) is well worth your time, but can sometimes come up a little late. Tom and Eric are a great pair of hosts, sparking off each other well making The Dice Tower very easy to listen to.
A video podcast presented by the excellent Scott Nicholson. Originally Scott would take an incredibly detailed look at a single game, giving viewers an insight into how it played, what you got in the box, strategies to consider and (of course) Scott’s opinions. After doing it for a while, Scott has now slightly changed the format of the show, but this is not bad at all – he now focuses on an aspect that covers a range of games instead of a solitary title. The latest episodes have looked at horse racing games, simultaneous auctions and using dice for resources, giving interesting insights and some great suggestions of stuff you can play.
Another long-form show, filled with informative chat. Each episode sees the hosts (Stephen and David) focus on a couple of games, really getting deep into what they’ve been playing recently. The show is well produced and the guys have had some great ideas in recent episodes; I really enjoyed their coverage of A Game Of Thrones which was pre-empted with a detailed review of the book, something they’re looking to do again in future.
One of the most chilled out podcasts available, the husband and wife team of Doug and Shelley deliver a weekly show where they discuss what they’ve played that week. They often have guests over as well (be they designers or folk from other podcasts – their recent Meeplefest shows were excellent) and the conversation is always fuelled by a decent wine! It’s been running for a long time, and though many shows could be accused of getting into a rut, GG&G always entertains. A more mature look at gaming, it’s certainly worth your time.
Robert Florence is a busy guy. I first came across his excellent Consolevania (probably the best video games show in history) a few years back, and was really pleased to discover he liked board games too – Downtime Town shows his passion for a wide selection of games, with in-depth video reviews: each episode focuses solely on one title; some old, some new. While it’s infrequently released – Robert is currently working on writing a new TV series – Downtime Town is well worth watching.
If you’re looking for a lot of content, you should go no further than The D6 Generation. With each episode clocking in at around three hours (or more!), D6G covers lots or different bases – there’s a lot of focus on miniatures, but board games get a good look in too. The presenting team work well together, and you get extra features from guest presenters. Their interviews are always good value with the team taking their time with guests, making them feel welcome and really getting into deep discussions. Probably not one to listen to in one sitting, but that’s why your iPod remembers where it left off…
Another well made show, they’ve just passed their 50th episode. Presented – shockingly enough – by Cody and John, these two knowledgeable gents combine reviews, opinions and general random chat in a really enjoyable show. They have a great rapport and, as with all these shows, really show their passion for playing games and have a top time while doing it.
Very much what it says, Ryan Sturm’s incredibly informative podcast tells you how to play a good range of games. Each episode has a very detailed run-through of a specific game’s rules, ideas for strategies you can attempt, discussions on what you actually get in the box and much more. Ryan has chosen an excellent variety of games so far, from the popular (like Agricola) to the obscure (such as Magic Realm) and also produces occasional special episodes of a more topical nature, such as teaching games. One of the most informative shows out there.
Something of a new addition to the world of podcasts, but quickly becoming one of my favourites. Presented by Mike and Brian, these two chat with each other about a single game in each episode, recording their banter as they play. Their choices are… interesting – there’s not many shows that will cover Twilight: The Game, for example – but you can tell they love to play and have a great relationship with each other. I’d like to see them tackle something a bit more geeky in future episodes – something like Carcassonne would be grand, for example – but for now, just enjoy their chat.
And that’s about it for my recommendations. There are many other great podcasts out there – just head to the Other Games section on iTunes for hundreds of others. Some may not entirely up your alley, some you may love – just give them a shot and see what you think! Of course, if you have a suggestion of your own, link it up in the comments under here or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – cheers for reading!