The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

The 40 Tabletop Games you Must Play

Presented at PAX East 2018 on Sunday morning in the Arachnid Theatre!

These may not be the top 40 board games ever designed, nor is it the top 40 influential or otherwise important games. If you aspire to really understand tabletop, or if you have visions of designing your own games, these are the 40 games that, if you play them, will give you the widest possible perspective on what it means to make a good game (and what "good" even means). Join the GeekNights crew for an exploration of the boundaries of tabletop gaming. There are some gems in there.

Learn and WIN: Carcassonne

PAX Unplugged 2017
Learn and WIN: Carcassonne

Go deep on the strategy of Carcassonne with a lecture from Rym and Scott, hosts of the GeekNights podcast. Then stick around for a special single-elimination Carcassonne tournament and put those tips to work.

We begin by teaching the full rules of Carcassonne, with visual aides and examples. We then dive deep into the strategy of Carcassonne, teaching players not just now to play, but how to WIN.

Play (Dirty) to Win - PAX East 2017

Play (Dirty) to Win: PAX East 2017

Ostensibly, you play games to win. (Assuming we're talking about competitive games: you're not playing to "win" Dungeons & Dragons… are you?) But are really? Shouldn't you be winning a lot more often? Maybe you should try that cheap strategy you've heard about. Punch below the belt. Memorize the deck. Read the FAQ. What's the line between playing to win and cheating? Is "playing dirty" even really a thing? Come for the degenerate strategies, stay for the soul-crushing revelations on winning.

Presented by GeekNights at PAX East 2017.

The History of Losing

The History of Losing
PAX Australia 2014

I presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture covering, essentially, single player videogames. From Super Meat Boy to Silver Surfer, Don't Shit Your Pants to The Stanley Parable, Five Nights at Freddy's to Gone Home, I consider Narratives of Victory, and Narratives of Failure.

Is Gone Home a Game?

Is "Gone Home" a Game?
PAX Australia

Rym presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture concerning the definition of the word game. Particularly, I consider "Gome Home" and the widespread "debate" over whether or not it is a game. (Spoilers: Gone Home is a game).

PAX Australia - Death in Shadowgate

Death in Shadowgate
PAX Australia

Rym presented "Losing" at PAX Australia 2014. This is an excerpt from that lecture concerning the ridiculous deaths in Shadowgate and how, in a sense, they allow us to explore a narrative not of victory, but of failure.

Beyond Dungeons & Dragons - PAX Aus

PAX Australia 2013
Beyond Dungeons & Dragons

D&D is a great way to get into tabletop role playing games, and for most of us, it was our first foray into that world. As classic and dear to us as it is, however, it has certain limitations. If all you have is a hammer, then suddenly everything starts to look like a nail. Role playing systems are no different. The system that handles a raucous dungeon crawl is probably not well tuned for a cyberpunk procedural or modern romantic comedy.

GeekNights has flown here all the way from New York, and we'd love for you to join us for a discussion of the role mechanics play in role playing games. They have more of an effect than you might realize. If D&D was your first venture, then we're here to give you your next. Broaden your gaming horizons, flex your role-playing muscles, and learn what lies beyond Dungeons & Dragons.

This was performed at the first PAX Australia in 2013. Friday in the Wombat Theatre.

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