Hansa Teutonica

Tonight on GeekNights, we review the fantastic 2009 board game Hansa Teutonica, designed by Andreas Steding. It's stood up to repeated play among skilled gamers, and provides a deeply interactive experience while minimizing the effect of politics. Ignore the awfully written rules (get someone to teach it to you) and their awful terminology ("merchants" vs "traders" and "supply" vs "stockpile").

In the news, WotC is releasing basic Dungeons & Dragons as a free PDF. making us wonder at the actual future of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition or even the franchise as a whole. Nintendo is lashing out against fans streaming their games with new monetization options (for them, not the fans, in most cases), which is extra worrying now that Youtube has purchased Twitch.

FTL Advanced and Flash Point: Fire Rescue

Tonight on GeekNights, back from Zenkaikon, we briefly review FTL Advanced (which makes FTL definitely worth revisiting) and Flash Point: Fire Rescue, which solves many of the co-op board game problems we have previously discussed. In the news, PAX South, newly announced for San Antonio, is the last new PAX, and it coincides sadly with Magfest 2014. Tell us which one we should attend! Games may well be able to diagnose you with diseases like Alzheimer's (opening a whole ethical, moral, and legal can of worms), and Nintendo is holding a pro Super Smash Brothers Wii U tournament for E3 3014 (in lieu of a press conference).

Why No One Will Game With You

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider why no one will game with you. Why is it so hard to form gaming groups? Why won't anyone play Air Hockey with me? Isn't this the panel Rym and Scott are presenting at PAX East? In the news, there's some old Game Boy Megaman coming to the 3DS virtual console (along with GBA Advance Wars on the Wii-U), and they're even having a completely meaningless vote on nothing! Also, our good friend Conrad Kreyling is making waves in the dating game scene. (He's been on GeekNights before).

Phases of Games

Tonight on GeekNights, in light of a fascinating article on whether or not the first decision one can make in a Civ V game matters, we discuss the phases of games and how decision trees evolve. Most games break down to three fairly distinct phases: the early, mid, and late game. Why is this the case? In the news, Rym runs afoul of an out of date Civilopedia and Jungle Speed's 20th anniversary comes with a new release.

Twitch Plays Pokemon

Tonight on GeekNights, we discuss the Internet and its fascination with, well, itself playing Pokemon... collectively. It's Action Pokemon. It's amazing to behold. It's Saltybet 2.0. It's unbearable to watch, yet captivating not unlike a trainwreck in slow motion. Five days in, and it already has its own fandom, its own fan culture, and its own fan merch. Twitch Plays Pokemon. In other news, the videogame industry is as it's always been with Ken Levine shutting down Irrational , and Rym tries a single-day variant of Mafia.

Stakes in Games

Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about what it means to add stakes to games. Do they just remove intrinsic enjoyment? Can the old fashioned "arm slap" add anything to games like Dobble? Antes and wagering have existed for a long time (e.g., in Magic the Gathering), but we don't think of them in other gaming contexts. We also discuss Arthur Chu, the Jeopardy hero, not without precedent in his desire to win games (and money). Hint: you should always play to win. Rym describes what he would change in Nidhogg (it's not perfect).

Be sure to check out the Book Club (Idoru), the forum (an Ivory Tower of discourse), and the new episode of GeekNights Presents!

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