Thursday, September 26, 2013

Loaded Dice Supplement: The Boozeroom

This is a new experiment for us!  Loaded Dice's first supplemental podcast, an in depth review and analysis of Season 2 of Dubs and Kevin's favorite escape into intellectual snootiness, Ivory Tower hindsight sniping, delightfully unrealistic and witty dialogue, and manys the booze reference, HBO and Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom".  In true Loaded Dice fashion, there's only one name this splinter cell podcast could have:  The Boozeroom

Fair Warning:  This is a review of the second season.  Here Thar Be Spoilers!

Dubs and Kevin kick it Charlie Skinner style, with a glass of brown liquor and some high brow conversation laced with profanity for effect.  

Subjects tackled include:

Stories gone bad:  How does news go wrong, and how is it made right?  The thematic thrust of Season 2.
The Failures and Improvements of the Treatment of Female Characters in Season 2
Character Arcs, Particularly Maggie
No, Seriously, How Awesome are Charlie Skinner and Sloan Sabbith.  (There's an I in there, right/)
What did Leona's Big Scene Mean?
Will and Mac: What Does it Really Mean?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loaded Dice Cast Season 3 Episode 5: A Cold Day in Hell!

Loaded Dice is back with a story to tell! In this week's episode, Kevin, Evan and Dubs welcome brand new castman, and noted nerdsman, Ryan to the group, not only because he is an excellent and thoughtful speaker, but boy howdy has he played his fair share of Diablo. Which brings us to our main topic of the night. Blizzard announces the closure of the Diablo Auction houses, most notably their somewhat groundbreaking Real Money Auction House. We discuss the implications to gamers, consumers, publishers, and the mortality rate of loot pinatas in the guise of demonic creatures.

The topic this week is complemented by a draft featuring the most coveted of all Diablo lootz: The Most Splendid Trousers of Them All! We draft the attributes of these trousers and how they are used to alleviate our petty frustrations and personal failings.

Kevin provided a review of not only Warmachine, but the experience of attending a Warmachine League at his Friendly Local Gaming Store.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cool Beans 9/2

So this week's Cool Beans was going to start with a hilarious video of a prank that Simon Pegg pulled on the cast of Into Darkness. Then Paramount was a bunch of dill weeds and pulled it.
But, the Internet is a big place. Enjoy

Continuing with the theme: hilarity in space.
Here is Space Drunk, the first alcohol inspired sci-fi flick.

Pax is over, but Rev3 is this releasing their coverage.
Which includes this pretty funny video featuring everyone's favorite question.

One of the coolest games that I saw from Pax is Super TIME Force.
A hyper-pixel Contra style game from Cappy.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

In Games of Boards, You Teach or You Die

Edit: Many readers have voiced concerns over my portrayal of Sansa Stark and the kind of gamer she would be in real life. After taking a step back and looking at the article, I think those concerns are justified. I don’t stand by misogyny in any form, and most certainly wasn’t trying to make it an issue with this article. In my fervor to link my article’s main idea to Game of Thrones , I didn’t realize the problems I could cause. Please know that they weren’t intended. Our podcast has been known to decry the sexist attitudes prevalent in the gaming community and it is certainly not my intent to contradict that. I’m sincerely grateful for everyone’s honest feedback – it helps me get better at this. I apologize for the mistake. -Vince LoadedDice

Teaching a board game to a group is not easy. Different people learn in different ways, and to successfully communicate the rules of a new game, it is critical to accommodate the various learning styles present at your table. If you don’t, you’ll end up with bored, cranky, and upset players who will end up hating your game (and possibly you). In this article, I will present a hypothetical scenario and walk you through it. It’s like one of those “choose your own adventure” books you loved so much back in the days before you discovered masturbation.


You’re sitting down to play Dominion with three friends. They have never played the game before and are depending on you to teach them. Before we do anything else, let’s take a look at our players.

The Kinesthetic Learner - this person learns best by doing things. He will get bored if you try to lecture him on how to complete a task or require him to read directions. He would much rather get his hands dirty. In fact, he excels at on-the-job training. Let’s call him...Jon.

The Auditory Learner - this person learns best by listening. He would be perfectly happy if you told him everything he needed to know about a task before he attempted it. This player is very good at remembering things people say. Let’s call him...Tyrion.

The Board Game Newbie - this person is a bit of a wild card. Her learning style is not as important as her previous experience, or lack thereof. All she has to go on is her knowledge of simple games like checkers, Sorry!, Candyland, Monsters and Maidens, Come-into-my-castle, etc. She is famously bad at games with complex rules. Let’s call her...Sansa.

Quite the assortment. Well guess what-you need to teach them the rules of Dominion, get them playing AND having fun in a very short period of time. Let’s go over the Do’s and Don’t’s of teaching this game.
(Note: knowledge of the rules of Dominion is not necessary to understand the rest of this article. In fact, if you pay attention, you might end up learn a few rules along the way.)

DON’T start by reading the rules out loud. This will appeal to only one player at this table. Can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint. He’s short and loves to fuck. While Tyrion might learn a lot from listening to you babble on about Action phases and Buy phases, the rest of the table may actually get dumber. Imagine watching a PowerPoint presentation where the presenter reads every slide word for motherfucking word. Not only is this boring, but it's an insult to player's intelligence. Do the same thing to your playgroup, and Jon will quickly get bored of your jargon, while Sansa will be intimidated by all the big words you’re using. Nice job. Now half the table is angry and frustrated.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

3D Print My Loves: Why 3D Printers Are A Not Too Distant Geeky Savior

Recently, I have been tossing through different 3D printer models, and communities - even though I don't own a 3D printer yet (despite desperately wanting one for a few years now). The catalyst for my parousing? The Friday Makerbot Mystery Builds, from the gang at Tested. The Loaded Dice crew have also been talking about geeking on a budget, our most evergreen topic, since we are a bunch of dudes who will sometimes break the bank for our nerdy passions. This reminded me of some thoughts I had months ago about the future of toys, and gaming.
So I try to be a stickler when it comes to keeping all of the tiny plastic pieces of my board games together. Though it seems inevitable that some Napoleonic soldier from Risk always goes AWOL, or a Ticket To Ride train never makes it's way the final destination, Boxville. Every time it happens I wish I could replace that runaway piece. That's when I started thinking "Well damn, a 3D printer would be awesome for that. Too bad I don't have the cheddar to won one." Then I thought about how so many small board game companies have to opt to spend a lot of money on manufacturing game pieces, or use generic ones for economic reasons. From there I began my dive into the 3D printed nexus, and holy crap is there a lot of brilliant stuff out there. Like this Catan board, these Star Wars: X-Wing minis bases, or this set of freaking rad Torn Dice. Trouble is the printers still go for a high price - the cheapest being more than $1,000 (Well out of my price range). You also have to pay for the raw plastic to print which adds up.

So what's the up side?