42 episodes

A monthly podcast dedicated to the history, evolution, present state, and future potential of our favorite board games.

The Ascent of Board Games The Ascent of Board Games

    • Leisure
    • 4.9 • 14 Ratings

A monthly podcast dedicated to the history, evolution, present state, and future potential of our favorite board games.

    Episode 37 - Games You Shouldn‘t Play

    Episode 37 - Games You Shouldn‘t Play

    Hey, you know how we mostly talk about games we like on this show? Well, here's a change of pace for you! That's right, here's an entire episode on games we think you shouldn't play - either because they're unplayable as written, wracked by production errors, or just really, really bad. Don't give up hope, though - we do have recommendations for better games that we think you should play instead. Listen along as:


    None of us can remember which of Fast Food Franchise and Food Chain Magnate is which.

    Mike is very annoyed that he didn't get to play one of the games you should never play.

    The ritual of Throwing A Die, and its origin in...[checks notes]...boring goat-fondling? 

    When the nicest thing you can say about a game company is, "They make really nice bags."

    Was this Kickstarter a troll, a money-laundering scheme, or just a series of really terrible ideas? The world may never know.


    And, of course, we have plenty of other random links and stuff!


    A fascinating video about Tank (Turn) Tactics, a game deemed too divisive to release, as well as a longer one from the Game Developers Conference.

    Jerrycans are amazing.

    This game doesn't work at all? Dice Tower approved!

    Coma Ward's (truncated) retrospective design blog.

    The Dragon's Tomb teaches Jenga!


    We'd love to have you visit our website and let us know what episodes we should record next. You're also more than welcome to comment on the episode page, or our Facebook page, or tag @ascentofgames on Twitter - however you prefer to share your opinions with us. And if you have the time to leave us a review on iTunes, we'd be very grateful indeed!


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Episode 36 - Tech Trees and Skill Trees

    Episode 36 - Tech Trees and Skill Trees

    Hi! It's us again! (Well, "us" minus Mike but plus Sandi.) This month we're talking about tech trees and skill trees, two similar sets of mechanics that Frank has been a little obsessed with lately. There are lots of 4X games and lots of dungeon-crawling campaign games, plus a few others we snuck in here and there. Plus more opinions, sass, and stories about Sandi's crossbow!


    We've added a bunch of new options to our Upcoming Episodes poll at our website, so please swing by and place your votes! Of, of course, you could comment on the episode page, or our Facebook page, or tag @ascentofgames on Twitter - whatever your little social media heart desires. And if it desires to leave us a review on iTunes, our little social media hearts would be very grateful indeed!


    By the way, this is the Sidereal Confluence card Joe is describing at around 25:05, and this is the original (and obviously much clearer) version.


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Episode 35 - Worker Placement Games

    Episode 35 - Worker Placement Games

    It's been a long time, but this episode was recorded with us all live in the same room! In other words, we were all WORKING in the same PLACE, which may give you a hint as to the topic of this episode (if you haven't, you know, read the title already). We learned fun things like what game Sandi would rather bleed from the eyes than play, what game makes Joe feel like "a giant, raging jerk the entire game," and that Brian still can't get his co-hosts' names right.


    Also, have some non-audio content:


    The original Bus board, which is...striking.

    A meme which Brian replicated perfectly during recording - none of you could see it, but trust me, he nailed it.

    Several lovely Tzolk'in wheels painted by the very talented Robyn Tatu.

    Some of the very cool squad bases from Outlive.


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Episode 34 - Out of the Lockdown

    Episode 34 - Out of the Lockdown

    We're playing board games again! In the same physical space as each other! Vaccinations - another win for science! In this episode, we discuss the games that we're most looking forward to playing - on a real physical table in someone's house! Also, we ask timeless questions like:


    What game does Frank describe as "Wheel of Fortune, the legacy board game"? 

    What game does Brian describe as "the most Frank Branham game I've ever heard of"?

    How many different ways can we mispronounce Corey Konieczka's name in one episode?

    How many different ways can we mispronounce Leder Games in one episode?

    And who recorded the best rock cover of a Saturday morning cartoon theme song? The Who? The Ramones? Or someone else entirely?


    In addition:


    Mike has achieved a dubious achievement!

    We take a (mercifully brief) digression into the history of JRPGs.

    Brian reveals his mean side, which he's never actually hidden.

    We add another X and create the first 5X game! (Conceptually, at least.)

    We start a new competition, and Jayson immediately comes up with a way to beat us at it.


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode 33 - Two-Player Games

    Episode 33 - Two-Player Games

    We recorded this back on Valentine's Day, but it's taken us this long to release it, so...well, enjoy some two-player games for Cinco de Mayo, maybe? In this episode:


    Sandi has a crossbow!

    Frank tells us about a game that made him bleed. (This is not related to Sandi having a crossbow...yet.)

    Mike single-handedly revolutionizes the history of agriculture, and thus civilization itself!

    Brian forgets Frank's name.

    Jayson points out a very...European ad for Klask.


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Episode 32 - Roll and Write Games

    Episode 32 - Roll and Write Games

    Roll and Write games! Yet another surprisingly contentious topic, but we went ahead anyway. This definitely wasn't planned as an April Fool's episode, but I have to admit we get a little foolish at a couple points here. (Also, apologies for Mike's audio, as he was fighting with an uncooperative dishwasher.)


    Mike reveals the depth of his Avengers lore when he tells us about Thanos and his "Power Gems of Destiny"

    Frank makes a joke about Hunger Games Yahtzee, only to discover the existence of Battle Yahtzee: Alien vs Predator

    We (again) discuss the amazing Sid Sackson's classic A Gamut of Games

    Joe does math! (Or, rather, makes Wolfram Alpha do math for him)

    We invoke the wrath of mighty Tetrises - a cruel and angry god indeed

    We discuss the surprisingly diverse game designs of Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva

    Frank doesn't know what's wrong with Brian. (How much time do you have, Frank?)


    As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!


    Website: https://www.ascentofboardgames.com

    Email: ascentofboardgames@gmail.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ascentboardgames/

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ascentofgames

    Discord: http://discord.ascentofboardgames.com

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ascentofboardgames/

    And, occasionally, Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ascentofboardgames


    Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.


    The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.


    Thank you for listening!

    • 1 hr 12 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

hofzinsers ,

Qualified and Unique

This quickly became my favorite board game pod. Gamers taking games that have enough experience their perspectives matter. Sprinkled with history and crunch and we have a winner. Great content!!

cstaufer ,

Top notch podcast

I’m a big of fan of the board game content that the Ascent of Boardgames panel produces on a regular basis.

The format is currently a history of x genre of game. What I find fascinating is this groups’ ability to find random games that you’ve probably never heard of relating to the current topic.

Vastly superior to other board gaming podcasts that I listen to.

Definitely worth your time, and a must check out.

paleitman ,

Great podcast with extremely intelligent insight

AoB is my go-to to get a really deep understanding of what makes games work (or not!) The content is very approachable and covers a wide variety of types of games. It helps me understand the underpinnings of the games I love, and has suggestions for more I'd like to try.

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