News Digest 129

This is a copy of the “script” we used to organise Brainwaves Episode 127. It is not a full transcript but should give you an overview of the news as we reported it. Quotes are in italics.

Brainwaves Episode 129


No Rolls Barred host accused of sexual harassment

  • In comments posted to a video on the YouTube channel GnarleyCarleyGaming, Carley Reinhard, the owner of the channel, makes allegations that Adam Blampied is:
    • ”an individual that I know to be problematic and predatory”
  • Both, Carley and Adam, are part of No Rolls Barred (NRB), a YouTube channel that aims to bring more people into the board game hobby and that features playthroughs of games.
  • In the YouTube video comments, Carley confirms that she will not return to NRB until:
    • “they [NRB] have fixed their systems that allowed for abuse in the first place.”
  • In a reply to Carley’s comment, YouTube account 0LunarEclipse0 confirms that they were aware of issue with an individual at NRB. When 0LunarEclipse0 asks if there has been a relapse in problematic behaviour, Carley replies:
    • “I did at one point believe that words of change that were uttered to me. Unfortunately, if you’re familiar with Adam’s history, it is more or less and [sic] copy and paste of problematic behavior. NRB is fully aware of this, and has stated to me that they intend to pursue better systems for protecting folks and some element of discipline, but, I do not believe they will address it head on, publicly, or put safety and human decency ahead of protecting the face of their channel. It is all incredibly sad, and makes me sick as seeing abuse within a community I adore is very very hard to stomach.”
  • This refers to accusations against Adam raised when he was on Wrestletalk, a Wrestling focused Youtube show. We will come back to that. 
  • In a Patreon post dated 21st August, NRB addresses the situation by saying:
    • “We are fully aware of the concerns that are being shared on social media. We take all such matters incredibly seriously. We can confirm that when this was first brought to our attention we immediately began an investigative process. We have been diligently working with a number of leading companies including, but not limited to, those that specialise in human resources and internet law. The fact finding part of that investigative process is still ongoing.”
  • NRB continues by saying that they are unable to share much more information while the process is ongoing, but that they will provide updates as and when they can.
  • NRB also goes on to say that several members of the team, who are not involved in the allegations, have been subjected to harassment on social media. These members of the team have been offered access to therapy sessions.
  • At the time of recording on Friday the 1st of September, there has been no statement from NRB as to whether the matters are in regards to Adam Blampied or whether Adam has been suspended.
  • However, the most recent video published on the NRB YouTube channel late on Tuesday the 29th of August does not feature Adam, who is the show’s host.
  • The story of NRB doesn’t end here though. Shut Up and Sit Down member Matt Lees posted a thread on Twitter where he had looked into the background of NRB. We looked into the information Matt dug up and came to the same conclusions he did
  • No Rolls Barred is a subsidiary of a company called Trident Digital Media. Trident is owned by Alex Shane and Oli Davis. Alex Shane is also known as Alex Spilling, that is how it is listed on Companies House, the UK company register. Alex Shane had accusations of predatory behaviour during the #metoo movement while he was producer of the Wrestletalk Youtube show. When that happened, Alex stepped back from the producer role but remained an owner of Trident Digital. Wrestletalk was also the show that Adam stepped down from when he was accused of predatory behaviour in 2018. 
  • So we have a company with a history of ignoring predatory and abusive behaviour from one of its team, saying it will investigate a member of its team for predatory and abusive behaviour. 
  • One more thing…
  • Just after the accusations against Adam when he was on Wrestletalk, he wrote a piece for the Independent newspaper in the UK in 2018 apologising for his behaviour and saying he deserved to be found out. I am not going to read you the whole thing, but Adam finishes with this paragraph
    • Harassment and abuse excused by “immaturity” or “ignorance” can no longer be a quirk of our gender. We are faced with a choice: behave with decency and respect, and pursue only proper consent, or face the consequences and deserve them.

Tabletop News hiring, but not if you are part of a Union

  • Back in April of 2023 an organisation called Tabletop News just squeaked over the line on Kickstarter.
  • They advertise themselves on Twitter as ‘The one stop for all things tabletop’. They said they were going to be covering all the news of the hobby but what that seems to mean from all the trailers for the show is that they will mostly be covering new releases and announcements of new products. 
  • The company is now hiring for people to help out on the show. However a detail in the job description raised a few eyebrows as they insist on you being non-union.
  • If you are not aware there are strikes ongoing in the US at the moment from SAG -AFTRA, that is the combined union of the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. This strikes are to get a better deal for all members in terms of pay and residual pay, the latter being the amount actors and writers get from shows being shown possibly years after they have been made. 
  • While the strike is in force there are various jobs that members are not allowed to take on a list of which we will link to but includes all work covered by TV and Theatre agreements so things like acting or singing on camera. It also includes things like even auditioning for shows. We will link to PDFs of what SAG-AFTRA permits and what it doesn’t.
  • Michelle Nguyen, one of the hosts of Tabletop News, posted this on twitter on the 13th of July
    • WILD AS HELL.I stand with the WGA and SAG. Go get ’em friends. This is absurd and evil.
      • This was in response to news that the studios wanted to scan actors for digital insertion in the background of films indefinitely. 
      • WGA is the Writer’s Guild of America
  • Another member of the Tabletop News team, Katie Wilson, posted support for the strikes by showing photos of the tiny residuals she got from shows and posting the PDFs we are sharing of what you can and can’t work on. 
  • When Tabletop News posted the job search to twitter, someone asked if they were union. Tabletop News replied
    • Hi! Our show is a non-union show, which means all of our contracts are non-union. (smiley face)
  • We’ve reached out to Tabletop News to get some clarification on the issue, and they got in touch with us. From that email
    • Thank you so much for reaching out, we really appreciate you taking the time. There’s a lot of misinformation spreading about this topic so we hope your podcast helps shed some light.
      First and foremost, Tabletop News is in full support of the WGA & SAG strikes and stands in solidarity with all striking performers. Members of the team are actually attending a picket today.
      We have done our due diligence in taking time to talk directly with the WGA as well as SAG to ask how to properly proceed with our production, while remaining in full support of our fellow striking performers. Both have told us that as long as our channel isn’t promoting a struck company or promoting any work by a struck company, we are able to continue production. 
  • A struck company is one that was a signatory to the 2020 Minimum Basic Agreement that agreed the minimum wage, working conditions, royalties and residuals, amongst other legal issues. They go onto say:
    • When submitting an entertainment job breakdown it is standard to add whether it is affiliated with a union or not. Not everyone is in a union, and not everyone can just join a union. Our YouTube channel and social media does not fall under any form of union affiliation, therefore is considered non-union. That does not mean only non-union members can apply, but if our job posting had indeed said “union,” then only union members would have been able to apply, excluding a large portion of the tabletop gaming community who are not affiliated with a union whatsoever.
      Additionally for clarification, being non-union does not mean anti union. It is a tag that is used industry wide to provide the union status of the project.
  • They shared with us a screenshot from a site called Actor’s Access by way of example but asked us not to share that image due to it being a paid professional service and containing projects unrelated to Tabletop News. Iain has looked at it and can confirm what they say is the case, that projects are declared Union or Non-Union.
  • Tabletop News finishes their email by saying
    • We understand this can be a bit confusing which is why we highly encourage anyone with specific questions regarding YouTube channels and strike rules to reach out directly to the WGA and/or SAG. They also provide amazing resources and FAQs on their sites
    • We also hope you’ll encourage your listeners to show their support for the strikes by donating to the Entertainment Community Fund.

Handiwork games hit by theft

  • Handiwork Games is a Scottish games publisher mostly focused on roleplaying games like Beowulf and the new edition of cult classic A-State.
  • We caught up with them at the recent Tabletop Scotland convention in Perth. 
  • During the convention, Geek Native reported that the company had recently been hit by a theft. 
  • A shipment of the company’s recent Kickstarter “Trials of the Twin Seas” for Beowulf went missing in the United States. 
  • Jon Hodgson, head of Handiwork Games, posted this in a press release
    • We unexpectedly found we had some extra time to devote to KING BEOWULF, and it’s a bittersweet tale. The shipment of BEOWULF books was lost en route to our Trials of the Twin Seas backers in the US, costing us a great deal of money to deal with. We’ve recently discovered that they were not just lost, but actually stolen, which was a hard blow for us to endure. Law enforcement are involved, but if you see copies of a|state, The Twin Seas or BEOWULF on sale from US eBay accounts with multiple copies? They’re stolen goods.
  • The company has posted a recent update to backers letting them know of the theft and pledging to get books to the US backers as soon as possible. 
  • From that update Jon says
    • This is a real blow for us – the stock is on sale right now on eBay. Law enforcement is involved, but I don’t hold out much hope for that actually helping us. But hopefully they will be shut down. It was real blow, personally, to discover the books weren’t just lost, but were actually taken, and are now being sold in direct competition to our own store.
    • (And of course these books are being sold before you have your copies in the US)
    • I’m extremely angry, but if I’m honest it was just really, really depressing. I’ve worked so hard to make up the lost funds, and it feels like such a slap in the face to all of us.
  • Thankfully it seems that the team at Handiwork have managed to survive this theft. In the press release the company sent out Jon says
    • We’re just a small operation and the loss of some £25,000 of stock when the pallet was just “lost” was very hard to survive. But we dug deep, we worked hard, we took on extra jobs, and have managed to recoup enough of the lost funds to replace the stock and money spent on shipping.
  • We urge our listeners to not buy any of this product off eBay or similar auction sites. 


Chess Cheating Saga

  • In November of last year, in episode 110, we reported that Hans Niemann was suing the then world champion Magnus Carlsen and both of whom had implied that he had cheated in some of his recent games. 
  • This scandal rocked the chess world for a good few months last year culminating in Niemann suing the world champion and the website when they published a report in October about Niemann’s alleged cheating. The conspiracy theories around the incident got as ridiculous as people implying that Niemann had used vibrating Anal Beads to receive tips on how to play. 
  • Things had fizzled out and we thought the story had just come to nought. 
  • Gaming website Kotaku, posted on the 29th of August that, Magnus Carlsen, and streamer Hikaru Nakamura have settled with Hans Niemann who was suing them for over $100 million dollars over the ‘civil conspiracy’ to defame him. 
  •, Magnus, and Hans have released statements as the saga came to an end. This is all on’s site
  • First
    • “We are pleased to report that we have reached an agreement with Hans Niemann to put our differences behind us and move forward together without further litigation. At this time, Hans has been fully reinstated to, and we look forward to his participation in our events. We would also like to reaffirm that we stand by the findings in our October 2022 public report regarding Hans, including that we found no determinative evidence that he has cheated in any in-person games. We all love chess and appreciate all of the passionate fans and community members who allow us to do what we do.” – 
  • Next from Magnus Carlsen
    • “I acknowledge and understand’s report, including its statement that there is no determinative evidence that Niemann cheated in his game against me at the Sinquefield Cup. I am willing to play Niemann in future events, should we be paired together.” – 
  • And finally from Hans Niemann
    • “I am pleased that my lawsuit against Magnus Carlsen and has been resolved in a mutually acceptable manner, and that I am returning to I look forward to competing against Magnus in chess rather than in court and am grateful to my attorneys at Oved & Oved for believing in me and helping me resolve the case.”
  • The post on finishes by making it clear that Hans will be able to play in any and all events and be treated no differently from any other player.

Gencon Theft 

Stock retrieved, no news of arrests

  • On the last cast we reported on the theft of $300,000 of magic:the gathering cards from the annual gaming show Gencon in Indianapolis. 
  • It now seems like this case is coming to a conclusion. While no arrests have been made as yet, the stock that was stolen has been recovered. The suspects in the case were Thomas Dunbar and Andrew Pearson Giaume, both residents of New York City. 
  • Police say that charges are likely to be filed by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Marion county is in Florida, maybe implying where the company that the cards were stolen from is based. New York State Police were employed in the retrieval of the cards. 


Tabletop Scotland numbers and move

  • Over last weekend, the 25 to the 27th of August, the Giant Brain team made the trip up to Tabletop Scotland, the biggest annual gaming event in Scotland. 
  • The con announced their numbers on Monday the 28th. They had an 18% uptick in unique visitors bringing in 2,233 folk against the 2022 numbers of 1889. They also had a 38% increase in turnstile numbers, 3873 this year vs 2808 last year. The latter means that if you attended all 3 days you would count as 3 towards that number.
  • The con has grown considerably since its inaugural year in 2018. So much so that next year they are moving the whole convention.
  • Announced on Monday the 28th, the Tabletop Scotland team posted this to Twitter
    • The Dewar’s centre team are the hidden heroes of the convention, and since 2017 they have provided us with amazing support. 
    • As the convention continues to grow, we have taken the hard decision to leave Perth.  
    • Whilst we are sad to leave, we are excited to announce that 2024’s event will be held on 6th to 8th of September 2024 at the Royal Highland Centre Ingilston.
  • This is an events venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh to the west of the city. The team links to a full breakdown of their reasons for leaving. The major reason they give is uncertainty over the future of the Dewar’s centre, which narrowly avoided being closed this year. Without that certainty the team made the decision to secure a venue that would give them stability for a few years. 

Deutscher Spiele Preis 2023 reveals short-list

  • The Deutsche Spiele Preis (DSP) is an award “by gamers for gamers”, as the Merz Verlag, owners and organizers of the annual board game fair Spiel in Essen, Germany, put it.
  • The DSP started in 1990 and is Germany’s biggest audience award. It is open to anyone living in Germany, Austria or Switzerland who vote for the best board or card games, as well as the best children’s game. Any game that was published in German between 1st of May 2022 and 30th April 2023 is eligible for the award. 
  • Now, the finalists for the Deutsche Spiele Preis 2023 have been announced.
  • In the category Family and Grown-Up Games, there are 10 games in total, three of which are up for the award, while the other seven are on the longlist. The three finalists are:
    • Dorfromantik (Michael Palm und Lukas Zach, Pegasus Spiele)
    • Heat (Asgar Harding Granerud und Daniel Skjold Pedersen, Days of Wonder/Asmodee)
    • Planet Unknown (Ryan Lambert und Adam Rehberg, Strohmann Games)
  • In the Children’s Games category, only three finalists have been announced, as follows:
    • Carla Caramel (Sara Zarian, Hutter/Loki)
    • Gigamon (Karim Aouidad und Johann  Roussel, Mirakulus/Studio H)
    • Mysterium Kids (Antonin Boccara und Yves Hirschfeld, Libellud/Space Cow/Asmodee)
  • The winners will be announced at a press conference during this year’s Spiel Essen fair and of course, we’ll cover them on our cast afterwards.
  • Discussion: It’s nice to see there is another German award. It’s also nice to see that what the audience voted for has a good overlap with the games announced by the jury of Spiel des Jahres. The only exception here is Heat. I suppose it’s a vindication that Spiel des Jahres are choosing games that appeal to a wider audience, or maybe people were influenced by the Spiel des Jahres winners?


  • Although GenCon is done and dusted for another year, there is still news from it that we missed from last episode.
  • The Ennie RPG awards were announced at the event 
  • There were 23 categories and we aren’t going to go through them all because I’m afraid we don’t have the time. Some we’d like to highlight are: Anodyne Printware’s Rimspace Planet Generator winning Gold at Best Aid/Accessory – Digital; Brindlewood Bay from the Gauntlet Gaming Company winning Gold in Best Electronic Book; a double win for Free League’s Blade Runner RPG with the core rulebook winning Gold in Best Layout and Design and the Starter Set winning Gold in Best Cartography. 
  • Another winner was Linda Codega’s io9 RPG reporting winning Gold in Best Online Content. As if we need to repeat it, Linda’s work has been stellar and we’re indebted to them as we’ve featured their work as the basis for several of our stories over this year. Iain did you interview them? 

Millie Lavelle move

  • On the 25th of August, UK Games Expo, the largest hobby games convention in the UK, have announced that Millie Lavelle, known to some as Geek on Radio or Millie the GM, will join the team as Community Manager on 1st of September.
  • Millie has been involved with UK Games Expo since 2015 and is well known in the community. If you ever applied to run an event or seminar at the convention, you will have come across Millie.
  • Speaking about the appointment, Millie said:
    • “It’s been really cool to look back and see how seminars and events have grown since 2015, and I’m really looking forward to more events, more tournaments, more RPGs and overall more UKGE!”
  • Discussion: I (Oliver) have personally been in touch with Millie many years ago when I tried to book a live event. She has always been very friendly and helpful and is one of those people who is hugely important to the smooth running of a convention like UKGE, but who is always just there in the background. It’s great to see her be appointed to the role.


The Gaming Goat gets new owners

  • The Gaming Goat, a controversial company that had insulted, (??)pissed off(??), and angered many in the tabletop gaming world, is under new management. The Gaming Goat was a publisher, did distribution and also owned a number of physical game stores. 
  • We’ve covered this company many times before, when they put out games with barely concealed right wing symbols, insulted other companies, and were just generally horrible. If you want a complete breakdown of all the ways they were awful, we will link to a helpful BGG thread so you can read for yourself.
  • The new owners have been on an ‘apology tour’ as they put it in a recent Facebook update to the The Gaming Goat Facebook page
  • We aren’t going to read out the whole statement but they start it like this.
    • Publishers: On behalf of the brand, in the years prior to the new ownership of The Gaming Goat, we sincerely apologize.
    • For the last several months, we’ve been on an apology tour speaking to many of you directly one on one. And while I can’t publicly get into the specifics, you know exactly where we stand and that we stand 100% with you! Period.
  • The new owners go onto apologise to several publishers by name including Jamey Stegmaier, Cephalofair Games, CMON, Asmodee, Steve Jackson Games, and Japanime Games to name a few. 
  • The new owners were at Gencon this year where they apologised to many of these publishers in person on behalf of the brand. 
  • They finish this apology by saying this:
    • So in that spirit, I want to make it very clear what we stand for moving forward:
    • 1). Our brand will never air our grievances in a public setting.
    • 2). We will conduct ourselves in a professional manner.
    • 3). We will always treat every publisher fairly.
    • 4). Under no condition will we troll brands or their representatives online.
    • 5). We will never level personal attacks towards representatives of any publisher.
    • 6). All business transactions will be completed on time and as agreed to by both parties. Always.
    • 7). All MAPP agreements will be honored at all times. Forever.
    • As the NEW owners of the brand, these are the things we can control. We can’t control the past as weren’t involved in any way because we didn’t work for, work with, nor own the brand, we can certainly steer the ship in the right direction moving forward.
    • And if you’ve read all of this, thank you. You have our sincere gratitude.
    • We promise great things to come that we believe you will love to see! All the best to you.
  • A little taste of why they are doing this is in the comments below this post. Chief Operating Officer of Cephalofair Games, Price Johnson posted this
    • Thank you for the apology.
    • Unfortunately The Gaming Goat – Las Vegas BLVD has targeted too many friends, family, staff, community members, and stirred far too much hate in this industry as a whole, for us to remove them from Cephalofair Games‘ “Do Not Sell” List.
  • There has been some speculation as to whether Jeff Bergen, the previous owner, was still getting money from the company. In a video posted to facebook he made it clear that he has sold the company outright to the new owners. 

Jobs, Opportunities, and Events

Tabletop Jobs Facebook Group

Playtest London 23

  • Venue: Queen Mary University of London
  • Date/Time: 9th of September 2023 from 10am until 6pm
  • Tickets
  • Designer: 2 hour playtesting slot – £10
  • Playtester: All-day gaming – FREE
  • Scott Lowe-James is the organiser, creator of Swatch and head of Minerva Tabletop Games

Hasbro Women Innovators Event

  • We saw this next event originally shared by Elizabeth Hargrave, the design of Wingspan. 
  • Hasbro Women Innovators of Play, is a global virtual event happening on the 12th of September from 10am-12:30pm Eastern Time, about 5 hours behind us in the UK. 
  • This event will be
    • centered on women’s leadership, women innovators, and women-led creativity.
  • Hasbro says of the event
    • You will have the opportunity to learn from women leaders about their experiences, the process of pitching a new idea, what makes an idea right for mass market, and the journey of a product through the Hasbro pipeline. We’re excited for you to join Hasbro in this unprecedented FREE VIRTUAL event!
  • Elizabeth Hargrave will be involved in the event alongside Cynthia Williams, President of Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro Gaming, Azhelle Wade, CEO & Founder of The Toy Coach, alongside other women who hold positions of authority in the Hasbro company. 

Patreon Shoutouts

Kevin Bertram

Fort Circle Games

James Naylor

Shaun Newan

Our Patreon

Support Us

Metallic Dice Games


Sir Meeple



  • Back to the world of Monopoly you lucky devils, and if you are a fan of wholesale products, oh boy do I have a product for you.
  • Costo Monopoly has just been released in Japan. Travel around and own twenty two of the world’s Costco stores, from Auckland to Reykjavik and the home of Costo in Seattle, Washington state, USA, also Edinburgh but not Glasgow.
  • You can build Food Court Tables which then upgrade to Warehouses, whilst drawing from the Gold Star Member or Executive Member decks.
  • Playing pieces include a pallet lifter, a teddy bear, a slice of pizza and the famous Hot Dog & Soda combo.
  • Walk, don’t run, to find it. 

Our Links

Thanks very much for listening. If you like what you’ve listened to then the best way to help us out is to share the podcast and drop us a review and rating on itunes.  You can also follow us on







Email: [email protected]

Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. 4 Sep 2023

    […] News Digest 129 – All the stories in note format, not a full transcript. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: