The Play Boardgames Better podcast is dedicated to improving your play of your favorite (or even less favorite) board games. The focus will be on games that are played in tournaments. Since the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) has over 100 tournaments each year, there won’t be a lack of material.
I’ll also cover games that I think will teach you to play better, even if they aren’t used in competitive events.
When doing a game overview, it will not be about how the game looks or how much fun it is, but what you should know to play competently.
Lastly, there will be coverage and news about competitive events. There will be a calendar of tournaments and certainly coverage of events I attend.
Who am I? I’m Richard M. Shay. I moved past Risk when I was 13 and got a copy of Waterloo from Avalon Hill. Since then, I’ve been a wargamer. I’ve attended Origins since 1973. A few years ago I branched out to Eurogames and non-wargame board (and card) games as a way to play with my son and just because they are fun. In 2007 I attended TotalCon in Massachusetts and was introduced to tournament play. Then I added the WBC and Euroquest to my list of regular events.
I have the pleasure of playing against very competitive and effective players. I realized that playing well and playing against good players makes each game more fun and exciting. As a result, I decided that having a podcast and supporting material dedicated to playing better would be worthwhile. No one else seems to be doing that and I think that I can effectively present useful information. I do not claim to be in the top echelon of players, although I have several tournament wins. I do believe that I can present useful material, ideas and suggestions that will improve your game play. Embarrassingly enough, my most recent tournament win is the WBC Liars’ Dice tournament. While it is the largest (in number attending) event at WBC, winning it is not a tribute to my superior game play and analytical brilliance. But, it was fun!
Playing games better makes gaming more fun. This may seem strange, but my goal is to have fun, not to win at any cost. I just believe that playing well adds to the fun and playing against good players and losing is more satisfying than winning against mediocre play.