Episode 47 Geek Apocalypse podcast with Andrew Hackard/ why tabletop gaming is awesome!


andrew show

Doing the Geek Apocalypse Podcast is pretty amazing and last may I got the opportunity to go to uk games expo in birmingham which was literally like walking in lego land for board game fans like myself. I had the biggest nerdgasm walking around getting to see all the toys available to play and get to share my passion with other like minded people who were just as enthuasistic. That’s what’s so great about being a geek or nerd, you can be open about what you love and find people that share the same passions, fears and insecurities as you do. but the biggest thing is that it is ok to be who you are, as long as your the normal things we want people to be, kind , honest, grateful etc

Anyway I digress! I met several great people and interviewed people for episode 15 and 16 of uk games expo and top of my list was Mr Andrew Hackard. I wanted on here to explain that the reason for this was because of two things, munchkin and tabletop. I played munchkin for the first time something like 10 years ago and it was one of those pillows of geekiness that shifted me from pretending to be someone else, but focus on being who I actually was, a geek that was afraid of being one, like several other people I knew. Also, Andrew was on tabletop, the show by wil wheaton and felicia day that finally kicked me up the arse to say, ‘look you like this, why are you ignoring this?’ so I started going to board game clubs and explored making it a hobby that I loved.

Andrew was super nice that day, I sat through his seminar and was gracious in giving me time to talk to him before it on the podcast. but what meant a lot to me, was later that day. I had came on my own to that convention for financial reasons, and was waiting for my train, and Andrew came over to me and I spent the whole time talking to me till I left, about half an hour, and it was so nice of him to do that. I said at the time that board game guys are really the nicest people I have met and they generally are!

so fast forward to this week, and Andrew agreed to do a full podcast with me! we talk meeting at uk games expo, working for Steve Jackson, Andrews experience being on the great board game web series Tabletop, his friendship with Wil Wheaton and thoughts on Geek and Sundry! We also talk the Munchkin franchise, conventions, new upcoming games such as ogre and its upcoming expansion, as well as upcoming games Munchkin Adventure Time and the remake of car wars! and really everything else board games related! super fun podcast and a real interesting guest!

we recommend you have a look at www.sjgames.com to find more info on everything Steve Jackson games is up to! You can also follow Andrew on twitter @RedPenOfDoom !

you can find the podcast here at http://www.geekapocalypse.com/shows or on itunes here https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/geek-apocalypse/id626098673?mt=2  or simply search for geek apocalypse!




being a geek=being yourself

I watched a interview recently with fellow Geek Wil Wheaton today where he talked about the great film Stand by me  and I felt a strong sense of emotion. In the first few minutes he said such a simply profound thing of that if your a geek chances are your a very insecure person. To be totally frank, it affected me because he is absolutely right. And I wanted to say why here for whatever reason and find other ways to bore you I haven’t previously explored.

Well firstly, it pretty much underlines that I am insecure, and I do not pretend otherwise. But What I think is key in saying that is that I am very much insecure because I am aware of the mortality that I face as a human being. I think that conveys what geeks are like, because of their curiousity and intrigue, you know the bad facts in life as well as the good ones. To give you an example of what I’ve done today other than work, watched family guy episodes including the star wars triology, read three books Nerdist way and long way down and a book on titanic, watched two Neil Degrass Tyson lectures on physics, listened to two albums and two episodes of the nerdist podcast, watched two episodes of bill Maher’s including one comedy special and played two hours of dragon age RPG as well as played two video games and played guitar. My brain still does not feel nourished.  The feeling to me is that it never will, because geeks always want to learn.

And that in a nutshell l is really why we are all geeks. We even in a basic sense learn something everyday, are interested in something beyond someone you knows understanding and whether we like it or not, we re in some way or another insecure about something. The difference is Geek’s admit it because the truth is far more important and bearable that living a lie.

Its one of the few things that keeps me going, learning and being curious, and just like me being a geek, that will never change…….I’m proud of that.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

award winning game designer Matt Leacock(pandemic, forbidden island) on Geek Apocalypse podcast!

new logoI know there will some people who will read this and quite rightly question my sincerity, but I really am so unbelievably shocked at the amount of great guests I’ve had on the show since I started Geek Apocalypse! And this week is no exception as we have the fabulous Matt Leacock on the show! He genuinely has designed some of my favourite games, pandemic is one of my favourite games of all time and the fact that he does primarily co-op games makes me very happy! imagine playing an awesome game where the object is to beat the board as opposed to beating each other? so I can definately regard this as a ticky box moment, which ironically is a name I used to dance under….

In order to be able to record the podcast I had to get up on 6am with the time difference and Matt’s availability the reason why. So I decided to work on my web series script 2013-03-30 11.57.11while I waited rather than doing the sensible thing of sleeping beforehand (told you I’m not clever). I highly recommend not doing that and trying to sleep at 7.30 am, body clock still hasn’t reset properly as I’m writing this! but as i said on the podcast it wasn’t a burden at all, I got the chance to talk to some of my favourite designers, by simply asking him via email! Sometimes the simplest thing to do is ask and not over think it! Also his games have been featured on the web series show tabletop with wil wheaton! if you dont believe me he is last episode 2 weeks ago!

so please do check out the podcast if you havent already at www.geekapocalypse.com/shows and on itunes a few hours after this post! during the podcast we meantioned that his daughter had made him a looking for players flag, well here is a picture of what he showed me on video call!


its awesome being a geek :)!

uk expo 2013 the bits you didn’t see or hear part two

SAMSUNGSo where was I? (always wanted to say that!) staying at jaszmines was fun and I really need to thank her for walking me back to the train station! those who read part one and the red dwarf blog will know that my sense of direction is somewhat….missing. even with a map I can get lost, thats how bad i am. Anyway,I had agreed the day before to interview Andrew Hackard at 10.30 and I just made it! as in, i was late, again classic Steven never seems to disappoint!


What needs to be known is, I was super excited to meet him and theres was a few reasons why!  In regards to games, my first discovery of the wide variety of games was playing munchkin around 10 years ago! it was basically my infection vector into board games that now are a fun part of my life, because board games have created new friendships as well as maintained ones I’ve had for years. So I owe Steve Jackson Games a lot for that because They made a fantastic game that Andrew maintains to this day! Also, as we discussed in the podcast that andrew knows Wil Wheaton and has done for years and appeared on his board game show Tabletop which is awesome. So in a weird way, he is the catalyst to two things that influenced me to be involved in board games that I’m so happy I am a part of. Muchkin being the game that got me interested and tabletop for reinvigorating me to play games again. I played regularly at university and I owe tabletop for getting me re involved into board games after I left. I also owe wil for inpsiring me again to write by saying in an interview ‘no one told you you couldn’t and write what makes you laugh’ that made me realise I really wasn’t trying hard enough! if you haven’t seen tabletop heres the episode Andrew was in!

SAMSUNGI then sat in the major publishers seminar which was awesome, Sitting listening to mark, Andrew etc talk to about the gaming industry. A funny thing happened that they nicknamed me the guy with the beautiful hair which could only happen at a gaming convention that I am regarded as cool. but i enjoyed it all the same! I asked them if other industries can learn from how helpful you guys are to each other, which Larry Roznai from mayfair games  replied by saying ‘They would like to, but they wont’. Larry actually goes into detail about the board game industry and mayfairs position on the Geek Apocalypse podcast ,he was so unbelievably nice about it and gave me more than enough time to talk to him! which really was the case for everyone I met at uk expo! Seriously, no bribes involved they were super nice!


As i said in part one of this blog, It sucked that I didnt have enough time to play more games throughout the expo, as after the seminar I spent the time interviewing for my podcast (which ofcourse i love so I’m not complaining!). I got some unbelievably brilliant guests though, after Andrew Hackard i spoke to Chris birch who I had been to his kickstarter seminar and gave me so much advice in regards to setting one up and was such a nice guy! his act of cthulhu stuff sounds great and a highly recommend you check his stuff out! Him and Angus who knew each other were incredibly nice ot me so it was great that they let me talk to them and again, really friendly and approachable! I then got a chance to speak to Petr Mormak who makes one of Newcastle Gamers (my board game club) favourite games Galaxy Trucker, and being from czech republic it was really fun geting his perspective on loads of different subjects! what amuses me is that really this podcast became a battle of the accents have a geordie host, an american and czech on the show! but if that doesnt show the influence worldwide that games has then I don’t know what does! I then talked to the governor  Mr Mayfair himself Larry Roznei who was a pleasure to talk to with his years of experience and being a ceo of such a huge gaming company!

SAMSUNGI then finally got the chance to play a game, i got asked to play a large version of the game ticket to ride! which is an awesome game so it gave me the opportunity to relax and kind of sit and absorb the event for the first time! and I really enjoyed it! although as I said in part one I continued my role of the nearly man by coming in second. damn randoms! I highly recommend though that if they are any families wanting a game to play that something like ticket to ride would be awesome! but it was fun playing with giant pieces and was a good way to end the event for me, as I really wanted to see if I could absorb the event before I left and I finally felt i did that. Uk expo was just a brilliant experience and i would totally do it again next year if i got the chance to do it because, these are my people! 🙂


I have to end the blog on the best part of the convention for me, and I know  he will hate this if he does see this as I said it to him at the time, but Andrew Hackard made the expo for me. It wasn’t that I was a fan and that I loved the game he was a part

of, but I had half an hour to wait before my train and he sat with me and talked to me about loads of different things and signed my Munchkin apocalypse box. And that was so awesome! he didn’t have to do any of it and he gave me far more than I ever expected so huge thanks to him for making my day! I then left the expo, went to catch my train and the only thing I could think of, is watching tabletop to help me pass the time!

So I got home at 12 midnight on Sunday around 40 hours after I left, my back was hurting, I had barely slept, I smelled of convention and I had a multitude of editing to do! so would I change any of it?

not a chance! :):) heres to next year!

you can find Geek Apocalypse podcast part 1 and now  part 2 online at http://www.geekapocalypse.com/shows as well as itunes!

also I did an interview about Geek Apocalypse on our youtube channel, part one is online now:

my tabletop day experience: why I love geeks and gaming

After t2013-03-30 12.43.09he 16th hour of games, I took the cucumber slices of my eyes and soathing creams of my face(even I find that image ridiculous, because I’m obviously kidding), and with how much I knew this fantastic day was over, I knew It was time to leave and go home. For those that have no clue what I am on about, I was part of yesterdays brilliant international tabletop day devised by my fellow geek’s at Geek and Sundry.the idea was to get everyone around the world to host an event, wherever they can and with whoever they can, and play board games all day, which is frigging awesome.So me and my new friends from Newcastle gamers decided to do just that, and we decided to do it for charity i.e all the money that’s raised from it is going to a local charity here in Newcastle England.

tabletop day on the service is such a simple idea, yet something like 3300 events in 50 countries participated in the simple act of playing board games with strangers, friends, family, all to embrace and enjoy the brilliant, coming together of people that gaming can create. It generally gives me hope that we can take the word geek and gaming, and mean it as abstractly as I do, that  its about being interested, and appreciate the things that we love not to discriminate against for liking things, whether they are differentSAMSUNG or not. That’s why gaming is beautiful and this idea is so awesome, because it gets together people for all ages, with all different ideas or varying levels of relationships/friendships and gets to know someone more while playing something fun, engaging and enjoyable.

What other thing does that so effectively? how many times have you fought members of your family for the remote and lost? sitting painlessly through a show that you really didn’t want to watch? well, we played for 16 hours and not one time did someone request not to play something. The great thing is that even if your shit at something, which I am for most games, then you still have the advantage of talking and enjoying the company, in a sense the game doesn’t matter if the company is good. With gamers, the majority are interested, keen to try something new and you find that if you play something they want to play, they’ll play a game of yours. this is due to games being playable more so than ever right to the end, so you don’t feel alienated, and TV regardless of what people say, is practically becoming a solo activity, because there’s so much stuff to watch and its hard to find something for everyone. in games, so much choice, but you literally can’t play without cooperation and you still get the end result: bags of geeky fun stuff! which ironically is a name I used to dance under.

2013-03-30 15.36.23

as I said earlier the great thing about games , and tabletop day was a great example of this, is that the time fame of games is so diverse that whatever your in the mood for you can play. like i brought food from home so while some peeps went out for food, we played zombie dice, in which the dice were literally trying to kill me! as you’ll see in the photo, the idea is to avoid the bullet symbols and i rolled 5! this is really hard to suck that bad, its really rare. as in if i poked myself in the eye, while wearing an eye patch on the other eye, or including not playing the game in the first place, i still could roll better than i did then! but as luck would have it, I won in the next turns! but its simple and can be a two player game, so while we were waiting there was still something to play that was great. for your hilarity I’d never won in 2 months since going to my club, but the strange thing about it is its a very short term effect in actually winning. the first feeling I have is ”That’s awesome can we play again’, or ‘lets play another game’. If you look at the first photo of this blog for example, that’s part of a game called war on terror, where you wear the evil hat if your evil, now i know i look like a dick (i do anyway and some think I’m evil anyway) but the thing is, it really didn’t matter. I wasn’t bullied for it, it was all in good spirit! And I hope that one of the things that tabletop does is that it brings people who are worried about being humiliated or picked on , that it really isn’t the case and that they try coming along like people did at the event. free hugs for everyone!

Its funny as i say that because it reminded me that ever since I’ve learnt to accept who I am and what I like, far less people attack me for being who I am. and the irony is, it was more when I wasn’t doing geeky things that people attacked me for liking the things I liked that I wasn’t letting myself like in the first place. in gaming circles 99% of the time your accepted instantly and you’ll find people in there you really like. and it really isn’t a competitive environment so the idea of losing is not anywhere near as humiliating as the douche bag lack of real spirited gamers that attack you online for being supposedly shit at something. This is why board games in particular are awesome, because its underpinnings are promoting cooperation between the players, whether your playing 2013-03-30 12.47.20against each other, or not. That’s why in particular games like castle panic  or pandemic, lord of the rings and other co-operative games are great for people who are unsure, because its all of you versus the board. of course you may get someone with more experience playing the game, but in general they are all for hearing what you think we should do, that’s why its a much more enjoyable experience! us gamers want you there!

That’s why I really like someone if they say, yeah ill play, ill play anything, rather than someone that goes ‘dude that doesn’t sound like something id like’. how the feck do you know? if you  like games, then i generally would like you (i would like to hug you too for 2013-03-30 11.57.11being awesome), because i do think your more likely to be open minded, imaginative, interested in the same things as me. or not interested in anything I like, and that’s the point, games gets us together to talk about and enjoy anything. look at a game we played on tabletop day like pandemic(photo picture on the right), your going to get beat by it, but we tried, and we nearly beat it on legendary! we were 2 steps away from curing all the disease. for those that don’t know the game you have to stop a world wide pandemic by working together to cure all 4 viruses that are affecting the world. if you play on legendary, you never win, but we had the cure, we only had one card in the deck that could kill us, and it came out! I really wanted to raSAMSUNGge quit! but we spent most of the day bringing it up how awesome it was playing together, and I didn’t know the guys I was playing with but I liked playing the game with them. Isn’t that great? Peeps I didn’t know and we already have a story about us playing a game we lost at. that’s the point, whether you win or not, its fun, you laugh, you enjoy yourself. which is good cos i usually win fuck all 🙂

That’s why i love being a geek as well as a gamer, the openness to accept people and allow people to show how much they like things.I saw an article with Simon Pegg recently that said exactly the same thing about geeks. Being a geek is not only having an interested, a love, but it allows you to be that way for everything. Its such a better existance to love what you love because it makes you happy, because you’ll find that it makes other people around you more comfortable within themselves, which is exactly what being a geek as done for me. in a sense I’m not being anything, geek is not a group, its in many ways an ideology of just being interested about people, and not letting anyone who doesn’t, stop you from loving the things you do. I played 16 hours worth of games during the event, and all it felt like was getting to know people, and loving the hell out of it because we were playing awesome games!

So if someone does take anything from tabletop day, I hope its their love of games and that it’s ok to like the things you like, because if we can collectively be 3300 events in one day around the world, we really aren’t alone in thinking the way we do!

and all for just picking up a board games and playing it? thats why gaming is beautiful and important.

play more games 🙂

i did a podcast at the event which you can find here www.geekapocalypse.com/shows

and there’s a you tube diary of me throughout the day and thank you I did for Geek and Sundry that you can find below 🙂