A couple of weeks ago, Cards Against Humanity published the final episode of Tabletop Deathmatch — an independent game design contest and web show where the winner gets a retail display at Card Kingdom, a booth at GenCon 2015, and their first print run paid for by Cards Against Humanity. I was a huge fan of the first season and, now having finished the second, this year’s is even better. If you’re at all interested in board games you should give the show a try.
I do want to suggest an alternative watching strategy than just going in sequential order, though. The show spends the first eight episodes talking about each of the games and having a play test session with people who don’t affect the outcome of the contest. The second eight episodes (9-16) has each of the game designers introducing their game to the judges and then doing a play-through with them. And, the final episode shows the judges arguing the reletive merits of each game and ultimately deciding the winner.
Once I realized that the season was constructed in this way I decided to watch both episodes about the same game back to back before moving on to the next one. I felt it flowed a bit better and spread out my favorite part of the show, the judges. I’m not sure if I would have stuck through until the end of the season if not for watching it this way.
Watching gamers game is fun, but the opinions of the players in the first half of the season are inconsequential to the outcome of the contest. And, it was a bit of a mixed bag in terms of entertainment as the show is heavily reliant on how interesting the people on screen are. And, the judges are by far the most interesting and entertaining people on the show.
If I was going to rewatch the show I’d watch in the following order: 1, 9, 2, 10, 3, 11, 4, 12, 5, 13, 6, 14, 7, 15, 8, 16, 17.