Episodes
Published 07/16/21
Two almost too coincidental announcements happened recently - Magic announced the end of "Pro Magic", including the Pro Tour, while Flesh and Blood announced its new Organized Play structure, which included pathways to its own Pro Tour and World Championship. It's a fascinating moment, and one that may well be formative for the industry when we're looking back in a decade; so let's dive into it.
Published 06/30/21
We originally asked this question in Episode 32 of the cast, when Six Packs Six Weeks was announced for L5R. Now that Arkham Horror has transitioned from 7 SKUs to 2 SKUs, with Investigator and Campaign Expansions, we're back asking the eternal question - what does Living Card Game even mean?
Published 06/11/21
Recent announcements that major publishers - Asmodee, Paizo, Ultra Pro - will not be attending Gen Con 2021 fulfills an assertion from Episode 136 of the cast: breaking habits like convention attendance gives publishers an opportunity to determine what really impacts their bottom line. If sales are unmoved or improved without convention attendance, the logical move is not to return. The upside? A less commercially-centered Gen Con may well be the best Gen Con to date.
Published 06/01/21
During the ongoing research and planning process for our next local store, we've consistently run into paradoxical perspectives about what a store should be (free tables, well-staffed, well-stocked, plentiful events, warehouse pricing) and what is worth paying for (almost nothing). These kinds of paradoxes run up and down the chain, and have for a long time. Isn't it time to be more realistic?
Published 05/14/21
By the end of last week's episode, it had become clear that there was a lot more to explore on this topic of passion, innovation, and disruption in tabletop games. Are local game stores the next "Blockbuster", or will they drive the next major development in the industry - along with the publishers promoting them? Join us for another tiny sliver of an immense conversation.
Published 05/07/21
It's a classic, near-eternal tale - passion launches something wonderful, and then a shift from those early priorities leaves it vulnerable to disruption. We see this across all industries, from restaurants, to films, to music, and of course right now in tabletop games. Are the titans capable of adapting in time, or is this the beginning of a new era?
Published 05/03/21
In the midst of a "seller's market" for a good number of games, it's all too easy to curse yourself for selling too soon, or not buying in soon enough, or selling at the wrong price. How far are you willing to push? Retailers and players can quickly find themselves in a devastating spiral, one that applies to every facet of life, and one that we are keen to discuss on this week's episode.
Published 04/26/21
Tabletop games have relied on a number of promotional tools throughout their history, and content previews are at the top of the list. Having now experienced the Flesh and Blood approach of a big "preview season" right before release, we discuss when this tactic works, why it works, and the more general tabletop marketing considerations that publishers and retailers should consider.
Published 04/16/21
After years of watching release dates get delayed, confused, and broken (even by publishers themselves), it's worth backing up and really asking - what's the point of release dates for the majority of tabletop products?
Published 04/07/21
In our "How to Ruin a Game" series, we talked a lot about balancing a game and sticking to foundational principles instead of throwing things at the wall and banning whatever created problems. Flesh and Blood, Ashes, and Skytear are all demonstrating "principle-first" design in their own way, and it is wonderful to see. Join us for a conversation spurred by the first FAB ban, Drone of Brutality.
Published 03/31/21
With the announcement of KeyForge Adventures and Flesh and Blood rumored to be testing a PvE variant of the game (as well as Skytear having a similarly positioned new offering on the horizon), we can't help but discuss the possibilities of head to head games giving players an opportunity to cooperate against a common enemy. Aren't those the best experiences anyway?
Published 03/24/21
How is it possible that the least amount of in-person play, maybe ever, is creating an unbelievable surge in demand for collectible games? We try to make sense of the current seller's market and unexpectedly veer into a discussion that would make Chidi proud...hopefully.
Published 03/16/21
With the recent announcement that Legend of the Five Rings is reaching its end, an era of competitive games in the LCG format comes to a close. Starting with Game of Thrones, Living Card Games promised a reprieve from the costs of collectible games and a monthly injection of excitement for players. But given they've all ended, we have to ask - does this format even work?
Published 03/05/21
The pandemic has brought many new changes to the tabletop landscape, and like other industries, those changes are likely here to stay (and perhaps overdue, in retrospect). One incredible shift, particularly for card games, is playing over web cam. As it becomes normalized, we may well see larger, more connected audiences for games that play to this new paradigm. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com
Published 02/23/21
We certainly never expected a pandemic to be the event that re-opened the door to competitive games, but with Skytear, Ashes Reborn, and Flesh and Blood all hitting the scene in 2020, it was, in retrospect, unavoidable. Join us as we talk about re-discovering that competitive spark, and the undeniable energy and excitement that comes with the genre. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com
Published 02/07/21
We've grown up in a world of our favorite games being discontinued (and the majority of players moving on). Going from game to game, hoping that your current obsession keeps getting published, so that you can keep playing, is the result of community building and retail sales being connected - a retail store has no incentive to build community around a game it can't sell. It certainly makes sense, but does it have to be this way? And wouldn't we all be better off if it wasn't?
Published 01/31/21
Watching Flesh and Blood has brought up numerous questions about the strengths and frustrations of collectible games among players, investors, and collectors. But more than that, it demands inquiry into the deeper question of how and why collectibility exists, and whether it should be promoted or prevented. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com
Published 01/15/21
Having looked back at this year - and what a notable year it has been - we discuss what it will be like to move on in 2021. More games? Less games? More social engagement? Less social engagement? Calling it right is an unrivaled opportunity. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com
Published 12/29/20
Having talked to a number of guests about how they adapted to such an exceptional year, we thought it best to do the same. Join us for a look back, often way back, on challenges faced and lessons learned. Find all previous casts, as well as products, subscriptions, and blogs, on our website: https://teamcovenant.com
Published 12/16/20
In a "strategic realignment" by Asmodee, all current FFG miniatures games (that, importantly, also happen to be Star Wars games) have moved to Atomic Mass, the Asmodee-owned studio responsible for Marvel: Crisis Protocol. What does it all mean? Join us for an episode of pure speculation.
Published 12/08/20
James White started Legend Story Studios to launch the Flesh and Blood TCG in 2019, after over seven years of development. But like so many publishers, 2020 became a crucible of determination and adaptation. Surprisingly, though, the game is now growing by leaps and bounds - and according to James, the next set, Monarch, is when the system becomes fully realized for the first time. Join us for a fascinating discussion with the driving force behind what may be the next big TCG.
Published 11/22/20
Last week's Ashes stream was filled with an excitement that is familiar to most of us - the moment when you see behind the curtain, when your understanding of a game is catapulted into new territory that reveals previously unknown possibilities. The best games find ways to create those moments over, and over, and over, while others lose steam before those eureka moments can take place. Join us for a discussion about these breakthroughs, and how they happen.
Published 11/17/20
We've seen so many card games come and go over the years - but we've never seen an explosion quite like Flesh and Blood over this past month. New partnerships, $1,000 boxes, a thriving singles market, and a migration of disenchanted Magic players - join us as we ask the never-ending question: is this the next one?
Published 11/10/20