show episodes
 
We’ve spent over a decade in the tabletop gaming space, as content creators, local store owners, and online retailers. Now it’s time to answer your questions, dive into complex topics, and have an incredible amount of fun along the way -- featuring exclusive updates, candid dialogue, and fascinating interviews with designers, publishers, and visionaries.
 
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show series
 
The second publisher featured on our Industry Insight series, Jamey Stegmaier (Viticulture, Scythe) of Stonemaier Games (Wingspan, Pendulum) discusses the lead up to COVID, the adaptations made in 2020, and where things go from here - for both publishing and retail. Nothing is off the table. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptio…
 
We've kept up with Brenda and Paraic of Knight Watch Games since they won the Power Retailer Award at GAMA (after which we interviewed the former), watching their space improve and their vision come to life. What happens, though, when COVID injects uncertainty into those long term plans? How can retailers adapt? Let's find out. Find all previous ca…
 
If you've been in this hobby for any amount of time, you've probably seen a video from Rodney's iconic Watch It Played YouTube channel. In this continuation of our Industry Insight series, join us for a closer look at content creation in the age of COVID, and the impact it might have on the future of tabletop. Find all previous casts, as well as pr…
 
"The only way to stop us is to kill us." Kicking off our Industry Insight series, Giacomo and Riccardo share the inspiring (and terrifying) story of PvP Geeks' first foray into tabletop games - right as COVID-19 shut down the world. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
In our final episode of the "How to Ruin a Game" series, and our final episode of Season 3, we embrace one of the most sacred necessities of any modern business - what to say, how to say it, and perhaps most importantly, when to say it. It's particularly relevant for community-driven games, where even a day of silence can compromise everything. We'…
 
The ultimate buzzword for any business, marketing is yet another way that tabletop games can fail - and effective marketing is a particularly unique quandary in this industry. Join us for an exploration of marketing considerations for every publisher, from our perspective as an online and local retailer. Find all previous casts, as well as learning…
 
There's a hard reality behind every expandable game. The system can be perfectly designed without extraneous, floating information and rules bloat. The content can stick to first principles while adding exciting new decision points. The organized play program can be robust and focused on the right things. But if production is erratic, delayed, and …
 
Expandable card games thread the middle ground between the fixed costs of board games and the evolving meta of collectible games, but non-cooperative titles have struggled to survive in the standard three tier system. Join us for a discussion about the fundamental reasons for this difficulty, and a potential solution to them - one we're pioneering …
 
Organized play is so much more than tournaments, and so often a tremendous source of dysfunction for the long-term health of an expandable game. It's incredibly important, and surprisingly simple - but few publishers understand that it's as critical as the content being printed. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on …
 
On our second installment of this hyperbolically titled mini-series, we spotlight how information can build during the course of a game - or even before it begins - to the point that meaningful decisions cease to exist. Stacking an ever-growing burden of need-to-remember information does not give a game more depth, just as taxing a computer's RAM i…
 
So you get excited for an expandable game, buy in, and fall in love. Each new expansion opens up new, unexplored ways to play. Time passes, players come and go, and then suddenly you find yourself sitting down to play and realizing that you don't really enjoy it much anymore. Something about the game just isn't what it used to be, and you long for …
 
Collectibility is usually a divisive topic - with some claiming the format is predatory and ethically dubious. But what happens when you view the model as something more productive than a convoluted and expensive way to get everything? Lessons from the past may well cause a realignment of expectations, and a much more enjoyable - and sustainable - …
 
Earlier this week, Origins Online was cancelled after a significant number of content creators and hosts walked away from the event. We discuss what happened, what it means, and what it teaches about the greater realities of tabletop gaming culture. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on our website: https://teamcoven…
 
The Star Wars LCG, with one of the innovative Eric Lang designs shaking up the scene at the time, instantly threw Star Wars fans into yet another furious debate about the proper way to recreate the "magic of Star Wars". For some, it was too abstract. For others, it was an entirely fresh way to experience a card game. After revisiting it this week o…
 
Games from all genres thrive when they provide players a point of connection when not playing with others - whether through solo play, deck-building, painting, or even collecting. These elements might be more important than any of us fully realize, especially as COVID has forced us to appreciate them. Find all previous casts, as well as learning co…
 
Following in the footsteps of Origins and others, Gen Con has officially canceled their in-person convention, replacing it with an online variant. What could these kinds of disruptions mean for businesses and players who viewed Gen Con as a "no-brainer" every year? Forced reflection and introspection abounds in the age of COVID. Find all previous c…
 
When we say a game is "complex", that really doesn't tell us much. Simple decision trees with complex mechanics can lead to beautifully thematic experiences. Complex decision trees with simple mechanics can lead to incredibly satisfying gameplay. We look at the Middle Earth CCG, Legend of the Five Rings LCG, and Skytear - among others - to dig deep…
 
Having now streamed over 100 hours from a diverse catalog of games in the past month, we crack open the eternal topic - why do some games stand the test of time while others fall away? Great design is a mixture of mechanics and expectations, and there is no better framing device for this discussion than the recently played classic, Star Wars: Epic …
 
Just as we finalized a months-long effort to bring clarity to the online component of Covenant, the perfect candidate for our new mission arrived on our doorstep. Join us for a discussion about Skytear, a tremendous game that ushers in a new way for us to help publishers, players, and local stores. Find all previous casts, as well as learning conte…
 
Nothing could be more disruptive or important to address than the COVID-19 pandemic - it's impact on people, games, and the world. As tabletop retail stores close their doors and mass unemployment looms heavily on the horizon, we're certain that things will never be the same. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products, on our…
 
With a livestream of Star Wars CCG on the horizon, we talk about why the game has such a tremendous level of adoration - even now - and question whether there are lessons to be learned from Decipher's classic system. With Skytear and Flesh and Blood on our minds, we can't help but wonder if these games are capturing some of this old game design mag…
 
We're joined by Jamey Stegmaier, founder of Stonemaier Games, to get a publisher's perspective on direct sales, allocation, and product certainty - particularly in light of the recent Wrecking Crew supply issues. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
Former Head of Studio for Fantasy Flight Games, Andrew Navaro, joins us for a chat about his growth at FFG, how creative output can dissipate with advancement, and the future of the industry and his place within it. Disclaimer: We have no interest in pressing Andrew to dish on the current state of FFG, and this interview is not that. Find all previ…
 
After many years of a frustrating "two steps forward, one step back" approach, Fantasy Flight Games announced the end of Star Wars: Destiny. We discuss what that might mean for us, for FFG, and for the future of the expandable format. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant.com…
 
Unofficial sources have confirmed that Fantasy Flight Games experienced significant layoffs this week, mainly affecting the RPG, Digital, and Board Games teams. We discuss the potential reasons for this move, and what it might mean for the future. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https://teamcovenant…
 
Godtear utilizes excellent starter products, pre-assembled models, and a streamlined rulebook to get players to the table almost instantly - and what awaits them, perhaps unexpectedly, is a heavy strategy game. Is that a problem? Using Arena Rex, Crisis Protocol, and X-Wing as examples, we do our best to find the answer. Find all previous casts, as…
 
Right from Covenant Tulsa, where Michael Boggs is attending our Marvel Champions Celebration Weekend event, we take a moment to chat about his journey from South Korea, to Netrunner, to being on the design team of arguably the biggest title of the year - the Marvel Champions LCG. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on …
 
Marvel Champions, Crisis Protocol, and KeyForge point to an underlying evolution in product development and distribution. Champions shows a new way for LCGs, Crisis Protocol breaks out of complexity and faction-specificity, and KeyForge shows a long tail on unique games. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our websi…
 
KeyForge sees its third set, Worlds Collide, this weekend, and we reflect on the journey from Call of the Archons, through Age of Ascension, to Worlds Collide - in the context of KeyForge occupying a very special place in the hobby. With FFG providing a solid foundation for design and OP, and continuing to build it in an intentional way, KeyForge h…
 
We're so ready for the upcoming Marvel games. Things kick off with Crisis Protocol a week after the Move Set videos, continue into the Champions chaos with early and non-existent release dates, and conclude with a recap of Zach's experience at Star Wars Worlds. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: https:…
 
Fresh off of an 8 hour live play of the Marvel: Crisis Protocol miniatures game, we give our first impressions of the game - including both its relevance to the industry and an evaluation of the system itself. We expect these views to evolve and develop over time as we gain experience with Crisis Protocol, and look forward to sharing more as we go …
 
With Zach fresh off of a Destiny Prime Championship, the evolving discussion about tournaments, prizes, winning, and self realization re-emerges. This time, an unexpected depth is explored - one that deals more with human psychology than tabletop gaming tournaments. Find all previous casts, as well as learning content and products on our website: h…
 
With Stonemaier's latest in-demand game, the same conversations and disappointments have erupted from every part of the publisher-distributor-retailer chain. Tapestry continues where Wingspan left off, and both reveal systemic problems - but shouldn't that be expected when the systems were never built to accommodate these kinds of titles? There is …
 
The tabletop game store environment continues to shift, with new and veteran retailers asking how best to capitalize on their space. Some say play space is the way forward. Others find success stocking a diversity of products and focusing on traditional retail. After a trip to New York City and witnessing a few stores with the latter model, Zach re…
 
An oft-cited critique of tabletop games, particularly board games, is that tracking all of the necessary variables is an unneeded burden. As a response, various digital integrations and simplified rulesets are pitched as removing this element from the experience and liberating players from the clunky and fiddly moments that "get in the way" of the …
 
Marvel: Crisis Protocol embraces the fundamental divider of a hobby miniatures game - highly detailed models that must be fully assembled and painted. We discuss whether or not the game has a shot at breaking through the "industry" bubble and reaching a level of ubiquity previously unattained by the likes of Warhammer: 40k. Visit our website at htt…
 
Marvel Champions does a lot of things right, but its most important features may well be found in the nuts and bolts of packaging and distribution. We dive into that, using examples from past LCGs, and also spend a bit of time discussing the surprising number of design and deck building levers hidden in the system - because we can't help it. Visit …
 
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