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Jumping the Shark Podcast #119

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I missed this week’s show and have yet to listen in, so the description for this week comes to you courtesy of Brandon: “No Todd this week but Michael Barnes joins us to talk about Lords of Waterdeep, the iPad as a board game device and the joy of Dark Souls. More importantly, The Straw takes the hosting reins, ushering in a new era of podcast history. He also talks a lot about The Witcher 2 on the 360.”

I am told Bill hosted this show. Be afraid. Be very f***ing afraid.

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Todd Brakke

Todd was born in Ann Arbor with a Michigan helmet in one hand and a mouse in the other. (Never you mind the logistics of this.) He grew, vertically anyway, and proceeded to spend over 16 years as a development editor for Pearson Education, publishing books, videos, and digital learning products under the Que and Sams Publishing imprints. Because that wasn't enough of a challenge, Todd has also been a 20-year part-time snob about video games, writing reviews, features, and more for multiple outlets. Follow him on Twitter @ubrakto or check it out his website at

18 thoughts to “Jumping the Shark Podcast #119”

  1. Nice to see Mike on. I thought it was strange when he showed up on the Qt3 podcast, but was never seen around here. The Straw taking over must’ve scared him straight. 😉

    1. QT3 offered me a dumptruck full of imaginary money. Abner and co. offered me my choice of day-old Little Debbie cakes, a partially used hamburger eraser, and a chance to talk about Dark Souls. So QT3 got first dibs on my soulful, mellifluous voice.

  2. Loved Barnes’ “shout out” to me (jtmontgo) in the podcast. Totally made my day, along with being recognized as a “regular” in addition to a “arch enemy.”

    Barnes, duels with you are always epic. I make a point to always bring my A-game when I’m playing against you, because I consider a worthy foe. Our Ascension matches were always tense and close.

    1. Oh & Barnes, if it’s any consolation, inthenet (David) and rainynight65 (Alex) whip my butt in every game.

      1. Not true. I think you and me have a pretty even record against each other. I have yet to see how I perform against you in Nightfall.

    2. So it’s you! My arch-nemesis!

      I actually don’t have an A game, really just a B+ game…but yeah, I was starting to catch up to you in Ascension.

      I’m just TERRIBLE at Nightfall for some reason…xmiyux just put like all the wounds in the deck on me last night in one game. In one turn.

  3. I installed Nightfall just over a week ago. By now I think I’m getting the hang of it, but the medium AI still wipes he floor with me every other game. This game definitely has way more depth and strategy than Ascension.

    The biggest problem I found with the tutorial was that it explained how the mechanics worked, but not why. Especially the wounds mechanic and the winning condition were not explained well at all. Add to that the fact that by dealt, wounds are invisible in the AI games, it may confuse beginners for a while as to how and why they won or lost a game. Once I turned wounds visible, it was easier for me both to strategise and to determine why a game had a specific outcome.

    Oh, and Brandon, those promo cards can be unlocked with certain achievements. BGG has the info somewhere. Should be right up you alley…

    1. That is exactly my problem with it right now, I’m still not fully comfortable with the way the cards interact. Nor have I figured out any useful combos. In fact the level 1 AI can still whip me, so when I issue you a challenge don’t fear… yet… I hope.

  4. In all honesty, I’m struggling with Nightfall. Both to really figure out a strategy and to really get into it. It’s just not catching me the same way that Ascension did. Having to struggle to figure out just how to play doesn’t help either.

    1. …and that is the reason I haven’t gotten Nightfall yet. Well, aside from being extremely busy. I just haven’t had the time to put aside to learn a new game, and if it is that difficult to learn….
      Anyways, here’s to hoping that the wave of excitement for Nightfall doesn’t fade before I get the chance to play it.

      1. Don’t worry, I just installed it over the weekend, and am still coming to grips with the game (have yet to try a multiplayer game) so feel free to give me a challenge when you grab it.

        falcon059, you know me well I think 😉

  5. Good show, guys. The constant change of hosts is unsettling. I need stability in my life. 😉
    Can’t wait to get Witcher 2… just another month, after the exams, once I have upgraded my rig!
    I didn’t get into Ascension, but got Nightfall now and quite enjoying the first few games I had against the AI. Enjoyed it a lot more than the Magic game I played on PC (note: I am a complete deckbuilding noob).
    Since I have no friends – on Gamecenter, that is – I sent a couple friends requests out, but if anyone needs an opponent I am PlanktonPrime.

  6. Great to hear Mr. Barnes on the podcast, even though I couldn’t really follow the 50 minutes of board game talk. The Dark Souls stuff made up for it though.

    1. The intent wasn’t to get too heavy ito the BG stuff but with all the ipad stuff out it was unavoidable.

      Dark Souls makes up for everything.

  7. So I finally caved and bought my first IPad. Seems like for deckbuilding and strategy gaming this was where I had to go and with the Nightfall and Ascension talk I kept hearing and Kickstarter projects I’m backing promising IPad support I could no longer resist.

    Looking forward to getting crushed by some people around here once I finally get everything set up and figure out what the heck I’m doing. Is it okay if I blame you guys for making me buy it?

  8. It’s funny that you mention the similarity to Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné character and then the unavailability of the Sapkowski books in the US, Bill. Word is that they’re related, because Moorcock has the whole matter tied up in court over legal infringement for the past three years.

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