149 – Origins Preview with the Kirbys – The Family Gamers Podcast

Randy and Ellen Kirby

Our special guests are Ellen and Randy Kirby, of We Game Together. They do 2-3 minute mini-reviews for the Dice Tower as part of Board Game Breakfast, as well as streaming live playthroughs. The live streams are a little challenging with kids running around, and they tell us a story of one of their first streams.

How do they afford so many board games? “We don’t spend money on much of anything else.” Board games is how they spend time together – sounds good to us!

Randy and Andrew relate about how hard it is to cull games that they don’t play any more. We think it’s mentally easier to trade games than to sell them.

Ellen Kirby shares some wisdom for “content creators” – don’t let your hobby turn into a chore.

We all share how we love seeing our kids play games. So awesome when they choose to do it instead of screen time! Awesome themes and short play times are key to getting kids (or adults!) interested in games.

Ellen shares her love for Castles of Burgundy – and the deluxe edition will be available at Origins!

What We’ve Been Playing

The Kirbys recently picked up Cat Lady, Res Arcana, Gates of Lojang, and Tiny Towns.

Ellen has been pushing to revisit games they already have, like Istanbul, Castles of Burgundy, and Downforce.

Res Arcana leads us into a conversation about digital game play vs physical game play, especially with heavier games.

Andrew’s hoping to play Teotihuacan when he goes to Dice Tower Con next month.

The Smiths recently played A Fake Artist Goes to New York – think Spyfall combined with Pictionary. Everyone is trying to figure out who’s faking while you’re collectively drawing a picture that everyone else knows. We had a great time playing this at a restaurant with extended family. Only downside? You need a minimum of 5 people to play.

Ellen recommends Just One as a similar restaurant-friendly party game. One person covers their eyes, everyone else writes down a clue to the common word. But if two (or more) people write the same clue, those have to be erased before the guesser opens their eyes.

Andrew tells us about Gunkimono (which we mentioned last week).

Randy tells us more about Cat Lady – 3×3 grid, pick a row or column. Put out cats as you acquire them, but you have to feed them (with other cards). Collect sets of costumes and toys for your cats too!

Andrew tells us about War Chest (played for the first time this week) – bag building with tiles that can also be played out onto the board to control various areas of the board.


Who’s going to Origins? Anitra and Randy. The Kirbys both wanted to go, but prioritized some other conventions instead… and then Randy got invited by a friend. Andrew shares his sob story – maybe we should have planned this trip better.

What We’re Excited For

Anitra: new roll-and-writes from Renegade Games: Hex Roller & Lanterns Dice

Family game with a super long name: The Little Monster that Came for Lunch and Stayed for Tea – from Strawberry Studio (they also published Strawberry Ninja and What’s Up)

Randy has a crisis over how to best use his time, since he really wants to demo Teotihuacan expansion – but he already knows he will definitely buy it when it’s available.

Quacks of Quedlinburg expansion will be demonstrated too (which all of us are pretty excited for). The Kirbys try to sell us on plastic token-protectors for the game. Apparently the cardboard tokens tend to stick to each other and also get stuck in the corners of the bag.

Anitra is also really excited for The Grimm Masquerade – an identity deduction game with the same beautiful art (from Mr. Cuddington) as The Grimm Forest. We aren’t shy that we love teaching our kids logical deduction, and we’re hoping that the light social aspect will work well for our family.

Our conversation side tracks to talk about theme and art in games.

Randy is looking forward to The Artemis Project (we talked to Marc Specter about this a while ago). Dice as worker placement sounds awesome.

And… another side track to talk about war gaming (which NONE of us have done).

Find the Randy and Ellen Kirby online:

Youtube: We Game Together

Twitch: We Board Game Together (simulcast with Youtube)

And they’re active in The Dice Tower Facebook group.

Instagram: @wegametogether

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This week’s opening and closing music is Orchid by You Bred Raptors?.