Transcript Brainwaves Episode 112

Podbean Link

iTunes Link

Spotfiy Link

Jamie: Hello and welcome to Brainwaves bringing you the best in tabletop gaming news.

I’m Jamie Adams 

Oliver: I’m Oliver Kinne 

Iain: and I’m Iain McAllister and this is Brainwaves episode 112. These are the headlines for the week of the 12th of December 2022. 

AI turns its mind to Stratego. 

Games industry conference cancelled. 

Wizards and Hasbro pushed back against criticism. 

 All this and more on this episode of Brainwaves.

Oliver: Yeah this week we can start with another digital AI game and I’m leading the charge here because I seem to be the I.T person. So this time we’re talking about an AI that has mastered Stratego. Deep Nash, the next technological development from AI company Deepmind, has been designed to play and win Stratego. 

Deepmind was also the company behind Alpha-Go that rocked the Go playing World by beating nine dan go player Lee Sedol. Stratego for those of you who don’t know is the classic two-player Capture the Flag board game from 1946. It’s a bit like chess but all the pieces are hidden from the other player so traditional machine learning approaches that work well for perfect information games obviously aren’t easily transferred to Stratego. There’s also the potential for bluffing because the opponent doesn’t know which piece is which, making the game more akin to Texas hold’em poker. 

Deep Nash employs the new AI techniques to deal with the challenges that Stratego poses. It has learned the game from scratch by playing against itself now Deep Nash has reached the top three ranking among human players on the world’s biggest online stratego platform Gravon

Deepmind’s press release says that, and I quote, “in matches against the best stratego Bots including several winners of the computer Stratego World Championship deep Nash’s win rate topped 97 and was frequently 100 percent. Against the top expert human players on the Gravon games platform Deep Nash achieved a win rate of 84 percent”. 

To help beat his opponents Deep Nash employs a number of techniques it varies the setup of its pieces so in Stratego you can actually set up the pieces in different ways so opponents can’t spot patterns over several games. During the game the AI randomly chooses between two equivalent actions so other players can’t predict what option it might have chosen. Deep Nash is also quite happy to sacrifice the valuable pieces to keep information about the remaining pieces secret. 

So in the last episode we heard about the AI that was playing the social deduction game Diplomacy or was dealing with social deduction in the game of Diplomacy and now you can see that I AIs are playing Stratego and using bluffing and other mechanisms to keep its cards close to chest. So I’m wondering what might be the next game that they I can master and use some sort of human activities that um you know are not the sort of standards of things like you find in Chess or Go.

Jamie: Risk?

Oliver: Risk? Good idea.

Iain: I mean maybe Oliver’s AI because I can see Jamie tonight while we’re recording but I can’t see Oliver because he’s having “video problems” as he says yeah so maybe Oliver is actually just an AI and that’s why that’s why he’s so into AI stories. 

Oliver: I’m actually a computer [Laughter] 

Jamie: So are we we thinking is it gonna go for more classical games because there’s more of a background that’s more experience with it or do you think it would go into what we would now term modern board games? 

Oliver: Well I reckon it’s probably gone for all the classics because more people know them you know Diplomacy and Stratego are well-known games outside the hobby so that’s probably why they’ve chosen those but eventually I can see them playing other games as well that he just sort of human types of interactions that we were not normally used from Ai and computer. 

Iain: I mean someone’s got someone’s got to be training an AI on like Magic The Gathering:Arena or Hearthstone or one of those online card games right? Someone must be doing that. 

Oliver: I wouldn’t be surprised yeah yeah 

Iain: That’d be the obvious place to go because at least those digital platforms exist already so it’d be quite easy to get an AI trained on the game 

Jamie: And the grand plan is an AI that can play and win at Twilight Imperium whatever Edition they choose 

Oliver: is that when we get just AIS playing against each other because it just takes too long to play 

Iain: probably yeah. We will just watch and enjoy the play by osmosis. 

Jamie: now back in episode 104 we informed you of the formation of a new convention on the UK scene the games industry conference was meant for industry professionals Distributors Publishers and reviewers Etc to meet and chat out of the glare of the public eye. 

Now I’m using the past tense which may give you an indication of why this is a news story. The conference has been cancelled for next year after it seems like there wasn’t enough interest from those the event was marketed at. From the conference’s website I’ll read a statement: 

“The games industry Conference Team regret to announce that we are postponing our 2023 event. We know this will come as a disappointment to all of our exhibitors and delegates and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. We’re grateful that so many members of the industry have been keen to register for delegate passes. 

However despite some great early sales of the exhibition space the unfortunate reality is the uptake from exhibitors has not been as strong as we anticipated. While we could go ahead with the event anyway doing so would mean compromising on the vision we promised our partners and those who had already signed up to attend. That is something we will not do. 

By postponing we’ll be able to offer a longer lead time for exhibitors to factor the event into their budget during this period of economic uncertainty. Pushing the date back also allows us to generate even more signups for retailers so that there’s less risk with coming to a brand new event. We’re also speaking with the venue to identify our options for changing the date While we await clarity on the situation we will continue talking with our current exhibitors about the options of refunds or rollovers on their bookings. Of course we still welcome inquiries about exhibitor booths and registration for delegate passes for the 2024 event. “

I do believe that when we covered this in episode 104 we mentioned that it was going on at a very similar time to the, let’s say, well-known Nuremberg toy and games fair. Is it possible that is poaching a couple of uh customers a couple of interests? Maybe a different time of year might be better?

Iain: I think that last paragraph is saying the quiet out loud “we’re also speaking with the venue to identify our options for changing the date.”   I think that’s the major problem there really isn’t it? Too close to Nuremburg Toy Fair.

Oliver:  yeah 

Iain: which a lot of those companies are going to go to. And yeah it would be nice to see a sort of Industry event in the UK it’s a good idea I think in principle but yeah it has to be away from other bits of the event calendar for the year. 

Oliver: I was going to say I think the conference idea that they put together is sound and definitely they should push ahead but trying to compete with a large International event that is hobby game related at least, I mean toy end games, that is always going to be difficult. So yeah change the date and keep going because I’m behind it I think this is a great idea and we should you know see those conferences happening. Definitely in the UK as well. 

Iain: For sure. 

In our last cast we reported on how Hasbro looked like it was overly saturating the Magic the Gathering Market with too many what they call ‘tent pole” releases alongside various expansions being released in between those sets. Hasbro Executives have recently pushed back against those accusations in a fireside chat that featured Hasbro CEO Chris Cox and Wizards of the Coast president Cynthia Williams. The chat was hosted by Arpine Kocharyan an analyst from UBS which is an investment Bank. 

Arpine asked Williams what she thought about accusations the company is printing too many cards to which she replied: 

Our average post-launch sales quantities for our tentpole, premiere sets remained unchanged in 2022 compared to 2021. In aggregate, there is no evidence that Magic is overprinted, and the sentiment of “Magic needs to cut print runs to support prices” — that’s a misunderstanding of our business and our customers. If our prices for a potential product rise significantly soon after our launch, that simply means that we’re not adequately meeting customer demand and we are making millions of players unhappy at their lack of ability to acquire the card they want to play.

Later in the interview Williams pushes back against the accusation that falling prices on the second hand Market are evidence that Hasbro is releasing too many sets of cards. She says:

We do understand that some players focus on the collectible trading aspects of our product, and we are always thrilled to see players enjoying and valuing our products for years after the initial release. But we don’t participate in secondary market activity for Magic products, nor do we derive any revenue from trading or selling. What we do hear from some of our [Wizard’s Play Network-affiliated local game] stores that trade and sell cards after an initial sale, is that like any market for any other collectible products, some products and individual cards do become more collectible than others, and values can change over time due to a multitude of external factors — many entirely unrelated to the number of cards printed. We have no indication that there [have] been any broad negative changes to interest in trading or post-purchase selling of Magic products.

Williams goes on to say that players should expect a similar number of tent pole releases in 2023, about six sets last year, but they will be more spread out over the year. She blames supply issues on the recent slate of releases being so close together. 

Over the course of the chat the topic turned to that of Dungeons and Dragons and here there were some interesting tidbits to pay attention to. Williams expressed the idea that Dungeons and Dragons was severely under-monetized and that some of the changes that have led to the success of magic in recent years will be applied to the Dungeons and Dragons brand. Exactly what this means at the moment remains unclear but she did say 

“Dungeon Masters […] only make up about 20% of the audience, but they are the largest share of our paying players [today].For the rest of the players at the table, we believe digital will allow us to offer a lot more options to create a rewarding experience.”

It’s worth noting that Williams has previously worked at Microsoft as a general manager and vice president of its gaming ecosystem commercial team i.e making money through selling digital games. 

So chaps what are the changes do you think this is going to bring to DnD obviously we’ve had a lot of talk about One DnD over the last little while they’ve been pushing what’s going to be coming in terms of their digital efforts. a sort of online portal that you’ll be able to play DND through. Sounds like they’re planning to monetize that in some way. What do you think?

Jamie:  right so they said it’s under monetized how are you able to monetize how are you going to over monetize DnD without basically it’s doing you have to play it online you have to use our you know our Hasbro only or wizard of the coast only system and you have to download pretty much everything which will cost extra money. Because if you do it like at the table one person needs to buy the books. Say three books your standard three books for Dungeons and Dragons which cost about 30 to 40 pounds each so you’re talking about 120 pounds max. Then you need people to buy dice yeah maybe a fiver or a tenner  each so you’re looking at 140 to 150 pounds but then you can keep playing for as long as you like.

Iain: now see now I’m in agreement with you I mean that’s how I played role-playing games for my entire GMing career if you can call it that

Jamie: I mean that’s our privilege that we’re able to do that.

Iain: yeah but but I’ve got some friends who run DnD down south and they’ve been playing with new players and those new players are much more into using digital tools at the table like the stuff that exists right now like DND Beyond and that kind of thing they are much more integrated into that digital ecosystem. And while there’s not a lot of money to be made there right now Wizards could change that. So I think I think that there’s one way they’re going to go is like that integration of DnD Beyond into the sort of at the table experience as a way to make money.

Jamie: uh going back very quickly to the comments on Magic the Gathering uh as there was the 30th Anniversary this year and there was the 30th Anniversary set which was a series of booster packs full of non-legal reprints from the game first first years of production, that was 999 dollars. Now that wasn’t guaranteed to get you you know non-legal reprints of of you know the Black Lotus or something like that it was just potential and she did say the scaling back the stock was not a good short-term financial decision but definitely the right call on the long-term health of the brand. Aha. 

Iain: oh yeah I mean they want it to be a billion dollar brand Magic: The Gathering they’re going to be looking at dungeon dragons in a similar way and yeah they’re going to be looking to monetize those players so watch out I guess. Watch this space we’ll bring you more if we hear it we’ll see what happens but yeah. 

Jamie: Sorry Oliver sorry I kind of ran over anything you wanted to say.

Oliver  no I don’t really know much about DnD at all, or Magic: The Gathering for that matter but I mean the only only two options I see for DnD is you know you print more books or bring out more you know settings for the DnD world or something like that so you know you monetize it that way and and push it you know ram it down to people’s throats, or as you say you go down the digital route and make it a lot more integrated and yeah you know online as we know as a matter of subscriptions you know you pay monthly fee and then you use it as much as you like and you know that’s a nice model because you have a sort of consistent income stream as a business you know what you’re getting each month um so yeah who knows. 

Iain: Anyway let’s go to a couple of updates before we move on to the rest of the news.

Jamie: Dicebreaker the industry news and critics site announced their Award nominees for the inaugural tabletop Awards 2022 recently. They held their awards ceremony at Pax Unplugged in Philadelphia two weekends ago announcing the winners. 

Best board game is won by Flamecraft. 

Best RPG, coyote and Crow 

Best ongoing card game, Flesh and Blood: Everfest

Best Designer of the Year, Banana Chan

Best Publisher of the Year, Free League Publishing 

The rising star designer was won by Lottie and Jack Hazel, designer of dog park board game 

The rising star publisher was Coyote and Crow LLC 

and the People’s Choice Award Was Won by Beam Saber 

It’s also worth noting that the owners of pax unplugged also own Dicebreaker. Well done to all those who won. I know Iain you recently picked up Flamecraft and you are really enjoying it I know you quite like Free League Publishing quite like some of the stuff they do 

Iain: yeah absolutely and I’ve heard a lot about the Coyote & Crew RPG that’s a sort of sci-fi inflected RPG with uh Native American storytelling elements in it and uh put together by a group who include a lot of Native American Writers and artists that kind of thing so it sounds like a really interesting entry into the RPG genre which is really nice. 

Jamie: yes and Coyote & Crow has come up a couple of times over this year which is great to see.

Iain:  Yeah Beam Sabre sounds interesting as well it’s a blades in the dark powered so it’s a forged in the dark game about um gigantic mechs and the sad people who pilot them.

Oliver:  so lots of RPGs doing well nice to hear yeah yeah flamecraft I’ve heard Lots about and I want to get a copy at some point as well so. I haven’t played any of the others. 

Iain: it’s real good it’s really cheap as well it’s like 35 quid. 

Oliver: nice okay. 

Jamie: I like I like how that is really cheap by gaming standards we’re like oh that sounds really good forgetting it not forgetting but it’s 35 pounds still.

Oliver:  to get to a few hours worth of play gameplay with a few people I mean divided by two or three people you know it’s a 10 or 15 quid each for a couple of hours of fun you know.

Iain: not much more than like a Cinema ticket at that point but yeah Fair Point.

Jamie:  no no I know what you mean but it’s always worth remembering that when we talk about board game prices the fact it is a luxury item this is a luxury hobby it is still oh I’m paying 35 pounds that’s very reasonable compared to let’s say the 120 pounds or something like that for Frosthaven which you could beat someone to death with the Box, I can’t remember if Frost Haven was more expensive or not I’m sorry. 

Iain: Or the 170 Euros of the product we’re about to talk about.

Oliver: yeah I like it. What we’re talking about next is teburu.Now there was much excitement in some quarters of the board gaming world on the initial announcement of teberu some two to three years ago. 

This was, in quotes, a “board game console” with integrated dice holders for Miniatures etc. It’s basically a digital implementation where you can or as a promise at the time was that you can play basically any game with it as long as it has sort of the interfaces there it will record where things are it might even respond to actions might read out cards and things like that so it was supposed to help you combining the digital world with the analog world in in one situation. 

Unfortunately it all sort of died down has been bubbling away in the background ever since and now it seems to be back question mark. Recently announced for a Gamefound campaign um and I quote:

“Vampire: The Masquerade – Milan Uprising is a cooperative boardgame experience set in the World of Darkness, only available on the Teburu System

The last game to use the Teburu system was called the Bad Karma’s and funded to the tune of 3,111,497 euros and is due to deliver in April 2023. The Pledge that got you the console was 170 euros. 

So we’re looking at basically you know a version of a board game console and it sort of takes me back to the old days where to buy cartridges for for my Atari games console this is the same sort of idea so you buy the hardware um and you then obviously need games to play on it. So like any traditional games console if you don’t have games to play with it then it’s not really doing much and so far as we’ve seen you know one is supposed to come out in April next year the other one is going on Gamefound soon. You know two games maybe three if there’s some others that’s not really enough to play.

Iain: no I mean there’s been two or three attempts that I can think of off the top my head to make a board game console and I’ve seen them in the flesh a couple of times they’re the the previous ones were basically just sort of giant um iPads effectively. They were fine but yeah it had exactly the same problem where there’s just not enough software. 

I mean this is a more interesting piece of tech for sure like it’s it’s a sort of the way it looks is like you basically can put sort of pieces on it with RFID disks in the bottom of Miniatures so they can be detected and also there’s all sorts of cool tech here for sure but you need games to play on it and it yeah no there are no games to play on it. There’s a swords and sorcery one maybe coming perhaps they’ve got an agreement with the folks who make swords & sorcery to make a game for it but other than that that’s it. I mean I guess they could put away some chess things and that sort of stuff but. 

Jamie: I remember talking with folk at Tabletop Scotland 2019 when I think it had been announced fairly recently then and we said the same thing back then which was it’s only going to be as good and as useful as its launch lineup. I think at the time it was zombicide was being trumpeted because there was a big cool mini or not um partnership I don’t know if that’s still in place I don’t know if that development is still going on but as we said not only is the launch lineup important it’s the rapidity of what you can put out. If you have four games you bring out that are really good great. When’s the next one or two or even three coming out? Are they gonna keep up with the industry? Are they going to be ones coming out that maybe people haven’t either played yet or they’re going to be released alongside newly released games is that going to be you know maybe a crowd-funded stretch goal that they get a teburu

Oliver: integration?

Jamie: integration, thank you Oliver.

Oliver: I was going to say it all comes down to the Partnerships if you have you know lots of Publishers who want to produce for Teburu then absolutely you can say all right we’ve got these 10 games coming in the next 12 months or whatever we’re producing our own and then yeah people buy into it and as you say it’s it’s fine if you have a good amount of games to start with but you want to keep using it it’s not one of those things that you buy once play a few times and then put away and then sell on it’s the idea is that this is something you keep using for game after game after game for forever basically and that’s not happening.

Iain: no and the CMON mention is kind of interesting there because on teburu’s current site there is no mention of that hookup and I don’t see it on CMONs site either so I don’t know what happened there. 

Jamie: It’s very possible that I know that Cool Mini or Not has had some financial troubles recently uh and maybe they’ve had to just dissolve their partnership. 

Iain: Very possible 

Jamie: Now with those updates done it’s on to the rest of the news.

Iain: We have a sad one at the top of this little bit of section of our cast.

Reaper Miniatures have announced the sad passing of their CEO Ed Pugh. From the Reaper website

We are deeply grieved to announce that after a brief illness Reaper president and CEO Ed Pugh has passed away. In his life Ed took on many roles 







Ed’s life’s work was spreading creativity and Joy by producing Miniatures and building a strong and enduring Community. He always sought to lift those people around him by fostering an environment of learning, kindness, and self-expression. In his passing Ed leaves a void that nobody will ever be able to adequately fill, but we hope to do honor to his memory and his legacy. In his memory please donate to the animal shelter of your choice. 

ICV2, one of the industry websites, has got a nice article on the changes Ed brought to the industry. They draw attention to his foundation of a Miniatures company that did not rely on licenses and his work in bringing affordable Resin Miniatures to market through the Bones campaigns. In addition he pioneered making it more acceptable for stores to back kickstarters with many retail stores backing the bones kickstarters over the years.

The thoughts of the entire brainwave’s team are with Ed’s friends family and colleagues at this difficult time.

Jamie: Back in episodes 103 and 104 we covered the controversy surrounding Mythic games darkest dungeon Kickstarter. 

At the time the company was asking for more money from backers to get their games to them with those unwilling or unable to stump up the cash effectively going to the back of the queue in terms of delivery schedules. Now the company is once again angering backers with a recent Black Friday promotion. 

They put up much of the darkest dungeon game at a discounted price for apparently immediate delivery. Although this does happen on a regular basis with crowdfunding campaigns it feels particularly egregious to some in this case.

Iain: Once companies have got the stock in the country that isn’t promised to backers should do you think guys think they should be allowed to sell it. It happens quite frequently with kickstarters I know it can aggrieve backers as it has done in this case should they be allowed to sell it or what’s the alternative? 

Jamie: well you print 200 games for people that you know you’re going to get to them they’re somehow going to get to know you put a thousand games going this is for me and I’ll sell it on I think they should be able to but I think there is still the impetus and you have you know you’ve people have given money to them to go can I get my game please? 

Oliver: yeah 

Jamie: now are they going to take money that they’ve earned from this and get it towards getting to people that need it? 

Iain: yeah like you would hope so at least when yeah I think it mostly comes down to communication this it feels like that got sprung on backers quite as a surprise. If Mythic had been upfront a little bit about it and said look we’ve got stock in the country that isn’t backer assigned we’re going to do a Black Friday sale on that we just wanted to let you know you’re still going to get some angry people but at least it’s not like out of nowhere.

Oliver: yeah it always comes back down to communication

Iain:  yeah every single time

Oliver: I think when wrong things happen you have to explain that to your backers or to your customers in general doesn’t have to be just kickstarter backers this you know can happen to anything .

Jamie: Kickstarter backers are still customers 

Oliver: yeah so just make sure that they’re aware you know we are troubled we’re trying to recoup some of our losses or whatever it may be just explain the reasons and I’m sure people are fine with it as long as everyone gets their game in the end um they’re paid for yeah so talk talk to your people.

Iain: Indeed. Oliver more board games are being optioned for films? 

Oliver: Apparently so! We’ve discussed many times on the cast the cultural expansion of the tabletop hobby as it encroaches onto other areas of our societal landscape. So now it seems that one of the big games of the last decade has caught the attention of the Hollywood Studios and has been optioned for a film. That’s right, it’s time for Terraforming Mars to make its way to the big screen. It’s not like there have been numerous other Mars films before now have there? 

So yeah it’s nice to see that a big game and and a popular game Terraforming Mars has now been spun into lots of subsequent you know sequel games of various ways and I think Terraforming Mars basically I think you’ve probably heard in many ways recently as kickstarters and Terraforming Mars the card game and this. 

So it’s nice to see that Hollywood obviously has jumped onto this and and once well has optioned for film and we have to remember that means nothing just means that they can decide to make a film out of it and no one else can until they’ve decided that they maybe don’t want to make a film out of it. So this is just now going to sit somewhere in a drawer for a while until we hear hopefully further things um that maybe this is going to be made into film so yeah what do you guys think. 

How is gonna, how are we gonna see Terraforming Mars hit the big screen what it would look like?

Jamie: They said any plans and they said the proposed film anyway would highlight “class struggle, colonialism, and ecological collapse” 

Oliver: okay? 

Jamie: Exactly 

Iain: It will presumably have terrible production values as well just like the board game

Jamie: yeah 

Oliver: very good 

Iain: really really cheap effects

Oliver: is it going to be a 3D for dual layer boards anyway um yeah 

Jamie: class struggle colonialism and ecological collapse I mean I can understand I can understand the class struggle with you know those who initially go to Mars you know are pretty much going to be there almost like in a kind of indentured servitude because they are building the things that people that will probably come after them. 

Colonialism I mean is is that is that native martians is that 

Oliver: who knows?

Jamie:  uh people who have left and are never going back do they now see themselves as martians and the people from Earth coming and destroying the way of life that they’ve only had for a couple of weeks I don’t know. 

Ecological collapse I mean you are literally terraforming the planet. I yeah i don’t know. I mean we’ve also had on the BBC recently traitors, or the traitors, which appears to be I’ve not watched it a couple of my friends have said I might like it but it appears to be werewolf kind of the resistance

Iain: in a Scottish Castle 

Jamie: pardon

Iain: in a Scottish Castle

Jamie: all right cool okay 

Iain: Ardross I think it is apparently 

Oliver: well I think we’ll just have to wait and see um whether this film comes out and if it does is it gonna win an award Jamie.

Jamie: I see what you did there sorry I forgot what my next thing was. Uh I don’t know we’ll have to see. Now Iain’s favorite UK tabletop magazine Senate has added another feather to its cap. 

James Hunter the art director for Senate won best art director for a consumer magazine at the recent British Society of magazine editors awards. Senate is a publication that reviews games, interviews big names in the industry, and always has some fascinating pieces on the state of design in the industry. We thoroughly recommend it. 

Congratulations to the team 

Oliver: congratulations yeah 

Iain: Senates real good

Oliver:  yeah I’ve got a subscription I love the production quality I love the writing because obviously um you know big names in there um from from you know other blogs and things and yeah just seeing that the art director is recognized as well and you always forget that visual this thing is important for these things there’s not just graphic design but you know just generally the layout images. 

It’s a beautiful production just as a piece of art in itself almost let alone the the content the writing and all that so it’s nice to see that that’s been recognized as well

Iain: I got an email from them recently saying they’re because they’re three times a year at the moment but they’re going to go quarterly instead so yeah they’ve got more magazines they’re obviously doing well enough to support that so that’s great to see. Good stuff.

If you’re looking for a job in the industry then we’ve got a couple of things for you coming up. Dungeons and Dragons is looking for a new art director to join the team and I think they’re also looking for a new creative director as well for for the sort of overall vision of Dungeons and Dragons you can go and check that out on Wizards website. We’ll put a link down in the show notes. 

If you’re an aspiring game designer you can have a look at Protospiel Online which will be running from Friday January 13th at noon US Eastern to Sunday the 15th of January at midnight US Eastern. It’s all online uh you can sign up on their website and there’s lots of instructions on how to go about and doing things on there. It’s a great event and uh there should be lots of designers and lots of people to help you out forward your game design and get it polished up. Hope you check those out. 

We would just like to take a moment to give a big shout out to our patrons especially our executive producers James Naylor and Shaun Newman thank you so much for continuing to support the cast in these difficult times. You can join up as well on our patreon for just one dollar a month you get behind the scenes letter as well as access to other some bits and pieces behind the scenes. You can support us in a variety of different ways on the website uh it’s especially buying nice through metallic dice games or t-shirts through sir meeple you can put our logo in your chest and give us a little bit of money towards the cast and who’s seen as well

But Jamie it’s that time of year when you want to sit around you know light a candle and read an nice board game. 

Jamie: well you say you want to light a candle that’s because heating bills are so expensive now. 

Iain: well yeah you gotta warm up somehow 

Jamie: oh you could burn the board games. That’s right I said it. 

Some people love the new game smell. Not me particularly but we don’t discriminate on this cast. Now you can have it in your house without buying new games. I know calm down.

Iain: what?

Jamie:  well according to Dicebreaker publisher CMYK, known for the party game monikers, created the new board game smell candle because the company wanted to. They created it in partnership with the fragrance Studio Joya and apparently it smells of paper, ink, and cardboard with a supposed burn time of 50 to 60 hours. All this for forty dollars or 33 pounds 

Iain:that’s an expensive candle 

Jamie: exactly 

Oliver: Can I have one now please I like it 

Iain: I mean it’s keeping you upload with some sort of like board games are expensive kind of thing there I guess like even even the smell of board games is expensive to buy 

Oliver: yeah fresh out of shrink uh game

Jamie: I mean this is this is a quite a trite question but what other smells do you think could be marketed from the tabletop industry that people I’d like to point out people would like to smell again we don’t discriminate but let’s put it on the the bent of things that might be pleasant to smell. 

Oliver: I reckon wooden components you know the smell of wood components 

Jamie: yeah okay yeah yeah that’s good 

Iain: maybe the smell of a new newly opened booster pack for like magic: the gathering 

Jamie: again that’s going to be very similar this could be very similar. I’m gonna make uh laser cut MDF. 

Oliver: oh yeah nice yeah 

Iain: whenever you pass by the TT combat stalls in the UK Games Expo you just smell all the stuff 

Jamie: that smell is gorgeous anyway enough of my reminiscing 

Thank you very much for listening. 

If you like what you listen to then the best way to help us out is to share the podcast drop us a review and a rating on iTunes or the platform of your choice you can also follow us on Oliver first of all how can we find you

Oliver:  yeah you can reach me at the website and everything you’ll see on there 

Jamie: you can follow us on our Discord, on our Twitter at the is @thegiantbrain which is mostly Iain who runs that our Instagram is the giantbrainuk our Facebook is the giant brain our website is our email is [email protected] if you want to send us any messages keep it clean uh please do 

Oliver’s Links:






Email: [email protected]

Iain: or don’t we’ll just ignore it 

Jamie:I mean yeah but still anyway look after yourselves everyone 

um very quickly is this the last one of the year? 

Iain: no 

Jamie: okay probably will not be the last one of the year 

Oliver so we won’t wish you Merry Christmas just yet.

Jamie: no have a terrible Christmas have, an awful Hanukkah

Oliver: see you in two weeks time

Jamie: have a Despicable Kwanzaa bah humbug 

Iain: bye 

Oliver: bye 

Jamie: I don’t mean all that bye-bye