Emma, Gil, and Scott discuss the idea of complexity in a board game. We explore 6 types of complexity, and discuss their effects on the games we play and design.


0m51s: Pete Seeger was an American folk singer, known for songs like “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

2m04s: Our list of complexities:

  • Spatial complexity
  • Arithmetical complexity
  • Zone complexity
  • Planning complexity
  • Rules/mechanism complexity
  • Component complexity

2m45s: Barenpark, New York Zoo

3m44s: The SAT is a standardized test in the United States that is a major factor in a college’s admission of a prospective student.

4m16s: Number 9

4m32s: Bosk

5m31s: Photosynthesis

6m30s: Treasure Island, Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space, Specter Ops, Tigris & Euphrates

7m14s: Checking the rules, an Internal Conflict in Tigris & Euphrates happens when a Leader is moved to a Kingdom where there is already a Leader of the same color belonging to another player.

8m00s: Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game. Check out Scott’s Biography of a Board Game on the Flight Path family of games, including X-Wing and Wings of War.

8m25s: The Warhammer family of games is absolutely massive. The flagship game, Warhammer 40,000, is in its 9th edition. 

10m18s: The Funkoverse Strategy Game. We chatted with Chris Rowlands, one of its designers, in Ludology 224: Putting the Fun in Funko.

11m01s: Heroclix, Heroscape

13m23s: Set

15m17s: Power Grid, Russian Railroads, and Gil’s own The Networks

16m26s: The term “Goumbaud’s Law” was coined by Jesse Schell in his book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.

21m12s: Sticheln (the pronunciation of which Gil has completely butchered) was recently re-released by Capstone Games as Stick ‘Em. Smartphone Inc.

22m46s: Sushi Go, Disney: The Haunted Mansion – Call of the Spirits Game

25m38s: Search for Planet X, Zendo (Kory Heath’s design diary for Zendo remains a fantastic look at how hard it is to design a seemingly simple game.)

26m40s: Mastermind

28m12s: Here’s a description of the XYZ Wing solve technique for Sudoku.

28m33s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg21M2zwG9Q (explicit language warning)

28m59s: Hey, That’s My Fish, graph theory, and the Traveling Salesman problem.

29m33s: Scott first proposed the 6 Zones of Play in Ludology 209 – The 6 Zones of Play.

32m28s: Formula D

33m27s: Seafall, the Betrayal family of games.

41m21s: Ra

43m53s: A Feast for Odin

44m22s: A Few Acres of Snow

46m45s: Nielsen Media Research is best known for its Nielsen TV ratings, that offer the TV industry in the United States metrics into the number of viewers a TV show enjoys.

48m06s: Advanced Squad Leader, The Campaign for North Africa

50m13s: We discussed the futility of 1:1 models with Volko Ruhnke in Ludology 178 – COIN Operated. Gil also brings up the “Map-territory relation” problem.

50m29s: Food Chain Magnate, Feudum, Cloudspire, Kanban

54m48s: Two designers who work in complex games: Vital Lacerda and Dávid Turczi. You can hear our chat with Dávid about complex games in Ludology 234 – Playing with Time.

55m34s: Brass: Lancashire

57m27s: Fresco

1h00m20s: Gil discussed his doomed auction mechanism most recently in Ludology 235 – Rise to the Challenge.

1h01m45s: Samurai, Steel Driver, For Sale. Here’s Samurai’s scoring system:

  • If one player has the most figures of 2 or 3 of the types of figures, they win.
  • If no one has won in the previous step, only players who have the most of a single type of figure can win. All other players are eliminated.
  • The remaining players set aside the figures they have of which they have the most of a certain type. The player with the most remaining figures wins.
  • In case of a tie, the tied players re-collect all their figures and count their total number of figures. Highest total wins, all remaining ties are shared.

1h02m30s: Nomic, Fluxx

1h09m23s: Descent: Journeys in the Dark

1h10m45s: Geoff and Gil discussed “tight coupling” in Ludology 172 – Odd Coupling.

1h12m04s: Carcassonne (the type Gil was thinking of is Monk)

1h13m25s: The Betrayal family of games (again)

1h14m46s: GameTrayz

1h16m20s: Mike Selinker uttered this now-legendary quote in Ludology 189 – The Missing Selinker.

1h17m47s: Gil’s announcements: BGG@Home, Weird Stories pregen settings, High Rise pre-orders opening soon, Rival Networks

1h20m02s: Battling Tops, and the legendary BGG Battling Tops tournament.

1h20m22s: Tabletopia

1h20m44s: Emma, Gil, and Scott recorded Ludology 215 – Table Topics live at BGG.CON 2019.

1h21m06s: Scott’s announcements: Treats, Xeno Command, Comic Book Crisis, The Pitch Project.

1h24m06s: Emma’s announcements: Game Maker’s Guild panel, Dutch and Hungarian versions of Abandon All Artichokes.

1h25m26s: Our contact info: Emma (Twitter, Instagram, Web), Gil (Twitter, Facebook, Web), Scott (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook)

Originally posted at Ludology