Space-Cast! #5. Arguments with Cole


You’ve probably heard of Cole Wehrle. But have you heard Cole Wehrle arguing? On today’s episode of the Space-Biff! Space-Cast!, join Dan and Cole as we talk about argument and simulation in board games, explore a few deeply accusatory questions about second editions, and settle the conundrum of how Rome fell. Or did it?

Listen over here or download here. Timestamps can be found after the jump.


1:21 — Cole’s evolving position on second editions
12:28 — argument and simulation
41:00 — arguments in Pax Pamir’s different editions
50:33 — inception of an argument
59:00 — arguments in Oath
1:09:23 — sweeping changes in prototyping
1:14:00 — how do you know when you’re done?
1:29:41 — designing in a commercial vacuum
1:38:42 — why did Rome fall?

Next time, we’ll be talking to a designer about his confusingly titled real-time asymmetrical science fiction trade game.


(If what I’m doing at Space-Biff! is valuable to you in some way, please consider dropping by my Patreon campaign or Ko-fi.)

Posted on June 18, 2020, in Podcast and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Excellent timing! Going to listen to it tonight while assembling my pnp copy of An Infamous Traffic =)

  2. It is always fun how even indie boardgame reviewers slowly, perceptibly, become corrupted by the lure of high-profile access

  3. Some great thinking out loud going on there. Wonderful interview, highly enjoyed it.

    And here’s my non-historian question that came up hearing the historians talk about Rome… when did people at all start talking about Rome as an entity that had “fallen”? Whose and what need was/is being fulfilled by thinking of Rome that way? If you can discuss that in the next podcast, I’ll listen!

    • Glad you enjoyed it! And that’s a good question — the history of how people talk about the history of Rome is as varied as the history of the Republic and Empire. Pretty much every epoch has had their own interpretation of the ways Rome mattered.

  4. Wonderful interview, thanks Dan!

  5. Glad I listened to the podcast! I do hope to see Cole’s Reconstruction game in light of recent events. I’m only modestly read about Reconstruction, mostly it played a larger and longer role in my home city of Beaufort than most other places in the south.

    If I had to propose an argument about Reconstruction as a whole though, it might be that it was a important endeavor that didn’t have the will to match its task or the violence deployed against it. Through direct terror, coup, and disenfranchisement southern whites were able to reassert much of their status quo- the pockets that persisted with black participation (see Robert Smalls’ civic career) eventually faced demographic shifts from the Great Migration during WWI that dislodged any power southern republicans might’ve still had.

    Basically history as survival horror

  6. Thanks for another great episode! A small request, is it possible to also put the timestamp in notes on Apple podcast and/or other platforms? As I use Pocketcast to subscribe to your podcast (which downloads from Apple Podcast), I can jump to specific sections when I press the timestamps.

  7. A great discussion (though not nearly as much arguing as I expected!). I think there’s an interesting tension, though, between a designer exerting authorial controls over the intended argument vis a vis the degree to which the players are given the latitude to come up with their own interpretations and conclusions. In other words, if the players find in the playing that they’re grappling with the designer’s argument, that’s good; if they find they’re dancing to marionette strings to illustrate the argument, that’s (probably) bad. But either way the game should lead them to think, not compel them to agree. I am pretty sure Cole agrees with this from other writings of his.

    The next episode, I am sure, is going to be great; I was a playtester for that game, and am friends with the designer, and I am 100% certain that there is no one, not a single designer, who has ever put as much thought and care into a game as went into that particular game. It’s going to be a great interview.

  1. Pingback: You Turncoat Me Right Round Baby | SPACE-BIFF!

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