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Catacombs - Grant's Game Recs

Podcasts & Videos

Tyrants of the Underdark and High Society - It Came From the Tabletop!

JL Updated
Tyrants of the Underdark and High Society - It Came From the Tabletop!

Podcast/Video Details

Episode #
Tyrants of the Underdark and High Society

Game Information

There Will Be Games

Josh and Al wade through a veritable sea of consonants and apostrophes in the excellent deckbuilding/area control game Tyrants of the Underdark!  After paying their respects to Lolth the Queen of Spiders, they head out to the auction only to find they forgot all their 5 dollar bills in the Reiner Knizia classic High Society.

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Intro/Outro music by Minibosses!

There Will Be Games

Josh Look (He/Him)
Staff Podcaster

One night during the summer of 1997, Josh Look's cool uncle who owned a comic shop taught him how to play Magic the Gathering. The game set off his imagination in a way that he could not sleep that night, and he's been fascinated by games ever since. He spent many afternoons during his high school years skipping homework to play Dungeons & Dragons and paint Warhammer minatures, going on to discover hobby board games in his early 20s. He's been a writer for ThereWillBe.Games and is the creator and co-host of the geek culture podcast, The Wolfman's Lounge. He enjoys games that encourage a heavy amount of table talk and those that explore their themes beyond just their settings.


Articles & Poscasts by Josh

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WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #307540 27 Feb 2020 11:11
Another great episode. Josh may be holding to his 5 new games but he keeps adding games to my list!
engineer Al's Avatar
engineer Al replied the topic: #307580 29 Feb 2020 22:55
Thanks, Wade! Yeah, these are two truly great games. I already added High Society to my collection. I mean, it was only like $17!

And I STILL say there is no way Josh is going to limit himself to five games this year!
mc's Avatar
mc replied the topic: #307597 02 Mar 2020 01:18
I've been played Quo Vadis a bit the last couple of weeks, it's this quite old Knizia game. I don't know how easy it is to get hold of a copy but it just came to mind because of what Josh said about Intrigue.

So, in it, you have to get your Roman senators up through these different committees to the very top of the tree kind of thing. There are 5 places at the top, and if you don't get any senators in there, you are automatically out, can't win. Of those who make it, it's down to who has picked up the most influence. So - High Society-esque. Thing is, to get your dudes up there, you have to get votes from other players before you can move a dude from one committee to another. Which you do by bribing them with your influence or with promises to vote for them later. So it's got a similar kind of feel - not spending too much in those bribes, but, you have to get there somehow otherwise you've got no chance. And how much can you extract from others when they need your vote. Good times. I've been playing with teenagers who just eat this kind of stuff up (HIgh Society has also been a hit).
engineer Al's Avatar
engineer Al replied the topic: #307616 02 Mar 2020 18:24

mc wrote: I've been played Quo Vadis a bit the last couple of weeks . . .

Wow, this sounds incredibly cool. Unfortunately, it seems like it's hard to find a reasonably priced copy out there. I'm going to keep my eyes open for this one. . .
Greg Aleknevicus's Avatar
Greg Aleknevicus replied the topic: #307630 03 Mar 2020 02:35
Quo Vadis is great, but better with five players than with fewer. (The entirety of the game is making deals with others and this works much better with more players. It also makes the "elimination" rule more meaningful.)

It's also a very "pure" game in that it distills negotiation games down to the bare minimum. (To me, it's similar to how TransAmerica is a very "pure" track-laying game.) However, this does have the effect that each turn is very much like every other turn and so can feel monotonous. (It helps to play quickly.)

The components are simple enough that you could fashion a home-made version if you'd like to try it before you search for a real copy.
mc's Avatar
mc replied the topic: #307631 03 Mar 2020 03:26
Yep, well said Greg, that's pretty much my take.
Like I think I said I've been playing it with teenagers, who get into the spirit of things very quickly - our games are quick and shouty. i think they've all been 5 players and we smash through it in half an hour easily.
There's only so much you can negotiate with it's true, but there's enough there to have kept things interesting so far - a little bit of meta developing (don't trust him!), a bit of a feeling for how much a vote might be worth depending on the situation.
There are optional rules but they didn't look so great, will have to look a little closer though.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #307877 11 Mar 2020 15:22
I wanted to support you for $5 a month, but I'd need two friends of Al to go in with me.
Sagrilarus's Avatar
Sagrilarus replied the topic: #307918 12 Mar 2020 09:27
I'm listening to your Downforce episode right now and I got a beef with racing games that aren't really racing games. Games with betting and bidding and the like strike me as having more in common with Cosmic Encounter and Coup than "legit" racing games.

I understood what Downforce was before you guys got into the details so this wasn't a surprise. I've learned to put a jaundiced eye on titles with the setting before getting excited.

So yeah, there's racing in it. But, I can hear Al's excitement in other games that maybe have more focus on the go-fast aspect of the genre. That's more what I'm looking for.

So I'll throw the question out to the crowd -- what's the best game that's about making a car go fast? I have a couple of candidates (that I own) but I'd like to hear what else is out there. I really like the setting.