In today’s episode, Matt and Dave consider all of the games they played in 2014 and name their favorites.

Favorite games:

Expansions

 

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This week, Dave sits down with guest Darren Moser of Dr. Sci-Fi and Trek.fm’s Earl Grey podcast to discuss vintage games based in the Star Trek universe.

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It’s Monday and Matt and Dave are wrapping up their four-part series on family games to buy or give over the holidays. Let’s get to it.

Classic Games and their alternatives:

Battleship and Guess Who. Alts: Martinique and Mr. Jack.

Our recommendations for contemporary family games to check out:

Other things we mentioned:

 

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Cards mentioned this week:

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It’s family games part three! Join Matt and Dave in another discussion of fantastic games to buy for or play with your family this holiday season. We’ve got classic games (and contemporary alternatives) plus modern titles you’re sure to love. Enjoy!

 Classic games and modern alternatives

Meanwhile, the guys are both eager to get their hands on the special edition of Tokaido.

Contemporary suggestions:

Matt suggests Castle Panic Wizard’s Tower, a nice expansion to the family-friendly Castle Panic.

Dave lists two games for the youngest gamers on your list, including Gubs and Feed the Kitty.

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It’s Friday, so it’s time for a little Magic: The Gathering. Aaron and Dave discuss the trails and tribulations of drafting Kahnks, as well as…

How Hearthstone is succeeding where Magic: The Gathering Online failed, an interesting article from The Verge. TL;DL*: well-established incumbent vs. young and perky new guy.

A handy strategy for drafting Khans of Tarkir. TL;DL: Ferocious.

Decked Builder is an app for iOS, Mac, Android and Windows that we both like. TL;DL: It’s useful but ugly.

Cards mentioned this week:

*Too Long, Didn’t Listen.

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The conversation starts with the guys’ recent experience at their respective game stores, and Dave plans to adjust his Standard deck a bit. Then the discuss why any parent ought to be thrilled that their kid were playing Magic. Dave has been playing with his son, and Aaron looks forward to introducing his girls to the game in a few years.

Dave’s deck adjustment

After playing his Abzan Reanimator Standard deck a bit, Dave is going to move his two Reclamation Sages to the sideboard, and replace them with a pair of Banishing Lights. The thought being that the Sage is best against a deck that’s heavy on enchantments and artifacts, while Banishing Light can give his deck a bit of time to kick off.

Kids and Magic

The guys talk about Magic and kids. There’s math, planning and thoughtful turn-taking. A great video from Tolarian Community College about this very topic got their attention, and Dave and Aaron liked it quite a bit.

Other details

 

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Dave is joined by guest Scott McNulty of the Random Trek podcast to discuss some of the fictional games that appear in Star Trek. From the original series to Voyager, we’ve got you covered.

Honorary mention goes to Anbo-jyutsu, the space martial art that was invented just so Will Riker could beat up his dad with a Q-Tip.

The Original Series

1. Fizzbin. Captain Kirk invents this fully weaponized card game on the spot.

2. Three-dimensional chess. The classic Star Trek game, and a favorite of Mr. Spock.

Deep Space Nine

1. Dabo. Yeah, you can’t trust those Ferengi and their crazy space roulette wheels.

2. Tongo. The Dabo wheel not complex enough for you? Toss in some cards for added “fun.”

The Next Generation

1. Dom-jot. “Play Dom-jot, hu-man!” Space billiards is just the ticket for anyone who wants to get stabbed in the chest.

2. Strategema. A tw0-player game in which players wear sensors on their fingers which they must manipulate to make a display turn a solid color.

Voyager

1. Kadis-kot. This colorful board game for two or more players was a favorite of Seven of Nine.

2. Kal-Toh. A Vulcan game of great complexity.

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Matt and Dave are back with more games your should buy or play during the holiday. In part two (part one is here), we list two classic games and contemporary alternatives, plus Dave and Matt have four more games to consider when sitting down with friends.

Classics and contemporaries

  1. Dave lists Monopoly as a classic game, and Matt suggests Ticket to Ride as a contemporary alternative. Also, Matt gives Dave a hard time for disparaging the thimble piece.
  2. Dave lists Sorry as a classic game, and Matt suggests I’m The Boss! as a contemporary alternative, with an honorable mention going to Diplomacy.

Games to play or buy this holiday

  1. Legend of Drizzt, with a caveat: WizKids have announced that it’ll be publishing future D&D board games. If having the latest and greatest is important to you, maybe hold off on that purchase (though we have no idea what WizKids’ release schedule is). Otherwise, buy Drizzt. It’s a fine game that you’ll enjoy for a long time.
  2. Morphology. This great little family game divides players into two teams. One person in each team must get her teammates to say a secret word by using the included pieces to make something that will tip them off. It’s hilarious and fun.
  3. The Adventurers. Both Pyramid of Horus and Temple of Chac are great, though Horus is a little easier to understand.

A question from Twitter

We got a question from Matt Smith on Twitter: “Any recommendations for fantasy card games with appropriate themes for 7-9 yr olds?” Why yes, we do have some.

  1. Fluxx, the card game that’s as simple as “draw a card, play a card.” There are several iterations available, including at least one with a fantasy theme.
  2. Munchkin. Talk about “several iterations.” Basic Munchkin has a fantasy theme and is fun. Just note there’s a “take that” component that some young ones might not like (unless they’re on the giving end, not the receiving).
  3. Finally, it’s not fantasy, but Sushi Go! is excellent for this age group. Here’s our full review.