Episode 10: Kingdom Builder, The Next Edition of Dungeons & Dragons and Randomness vs. Skill in Board Games

In episode #10, the founders bust out the new Donald X Vaccarino game, Kingdom Builder and give you their thoughts.  Then Tony T brings you all the hot and juicy news items that he's collected for the last two weeks ending with the biggest news, Wizards of the Coast announced development of the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons and we have a round table...

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In episode #10, the founders bust out the new Donald X Vaccarino game, Kingdom Builder and give you their thoughts.  Then Tony T brings you all the hot and juicy news items that he's collected for the last two weeks ending with the biggest news, Wizards of the Coast announced development of the next edition of Dungeons and Dragons and we have a round table discussion about the announcement and what we might like to see in the new ruleset.  Then the founders shift gears and discuss randomness versus skill in board games (Tony would prefer "Randomness versus No Randomness).


Episode Timeline:

  • Kingdom Builder Walkthrough: 00:32
  • Kingdom Builder Review: 00:39
  • Gaming News with Tony Topper: 01:00
  • The Next Edition of D&D: 01:18
  • Randomness Versus Skill in Board Games: 02:00

Thank you to the guys at The Dice Tower :

Over the holidays we were contacted by the folks at The Dice Tower, a show hosted by Tom Vasel and Eric Summerer,  to participate in their Best of 2011 series. The founders here at The Secret Cabal just wanted to express our gratitude and appreciation for allowing us to participate. We had a blast putting together the lists and doing the recording. For those that follow us, please stop by The Dice Tower home page and, if you're not already a listener, give them try. If you enjoy us, you'll love these guys. We can only hope that as the years roll by we have the dedication to continue putting together a show with as much enthusiasm and quality as these guys do. Our hats are off to you. Til next year!

Opening Banter Topics:

  • Chris and Jamie got through 3 games on their game night, Kingdom Builder, Quarriers, and Witch of Salem
  • The founders discuss the 2d6.org 10 Most Disappointing Games of 2011 list
  • The founders talk about a conflict in game between players in their Savage Worlds tabletop
  • Jamie talks about his Tyranid models he painted for use in the founders Savage Worlds campaign
  • For X-mas, Jamie received Pegasus Hobbies Gothic City Building that he's painting, he talks about Terra Clips as a tabletop alternative
  • Tony has been working on his Vampire Counts army
  • The founders talk about branching out more at Origins this year and banter about previous years and the various events they took part in

Kingdom Builder Walkthrough and Review:

Walkthrough: 00:32 Review: 00:39 In Kingdom Builder, the players create their own kingdoms by skillfully building their settlements, aiming to earn the most gold at the end of the game. Nine different kinds of terrain are on the variable game board, including locations and castles. During his turn, a player plays his terrain card and builds three settlements on three hexes of this kind. If possible, a new settlement must be built next to one of that player’s existing settlements. When building next to a location, the player may seize an extra action tile that he may use from his next turn on. These extra actions allow extraordinary actions such as moving your settlements. By building next to a castle, the player will earn gold at the end of the game, but the most gold will be earned by meeting the conditions of the three Kingdom Builder cards; these three cards (from a total of ten in the game) specify the conditions that must be met in order to earn the much-desired gold, such as earning gold for your settlements built next to water hexes or having the majority of settlements in a sector of the board. Each game, players will use a random set of Kingdom Builder cards (3 of 10), special actions (4 of 8), and terrain sectors to build the map (4 of 8), ensuring you won't play the same game twice! Check it out on Board Game Geek!

Gaming News with Tony Topper:

The Next Edition of D&D:

01:18 The founders start off with the quote from the announcement article, "how can we reboot the franchise?" From there we talk about the new things that came about during D&D 4.0, those being powers, magic items tied heavily to powers and feats of classes, very tactical combat, risiduum, etc. The founders discuss why D&D 4.0 was developed geared towards video game players, based on a D6G interview. Then the founders talk about how companies in the past have rebooted franchises based on player feedback. Jamie cites two, one that went very well and one that fared poorly. The founders devote a significant amount of time discussing whether powers had a positive or negative impact on D&D. Jamie expresses his interest in seeing a core game with modular components that players can choose to play with that layers powers over the base game system. Tony talks about his desire for generic powers and a good multiclass system. Chris talks about speeding up combat. Brian shares his love of old campaign settings and how old settings and the setting books weren't updated or were rewritten (Age of Mortals for Dragonlance) which destroyed his interest in those settings.

Randomness vs. Skill in Board Games:

02:00 Brian starts off by sharing that he doesn't enjoy games where randomization (i.e. luck) determine how well he does instead of how he plays. The founders compare gameplay of games like chess and poker. Tony looks at game with random elements (hands of cards, dice rolls) as an element of skill, how well does a player handle having a good or bad hand. Chris says he enjoys random games because they make up for his bad strategies. Then he goes on to discuss the interplayer strategy of politics, trading, bluffing, and reading motivations. The founders then go into how games blend skill and randomization in various games. The founders discuss games such as Warmachine, Kingsburg, Agricola, Le Havre. Tony makes the point that how much of an impact that randomization has on the game determines whether it's good or bad randomization. Jamie expresses that theme has a huge impact on how serious players take the game and cites Galaxy Trucker and Dungeon Lord.

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