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Welcome to Ludology, an analytical discussion of the hows and whys of the world of board games. Rather than news and reviews, Ludology explores a variety of topics about games from a wider lens, as well as discuss game history, game design and game players.

We post a new Ludology episode every other week. In these episodes, hosts Erica Bouyouris, Gil Hova, Scott Rogers, and Sen-Foong Lim deep-dive into a single topic within game design, often with a well-regarded guest from the game industry. We generally focus on tabletop game design (mainly board games and RPGs), but we often pull in experts from all forms of games, from video games to escape rooms to slot machines.

On weeks where there is no flagship Ludology episode, we will alternate between two smaller mini-sodes.

GameTek is a long-running feature from the Dice Tower podcast by Ludology co-founder Geoff Engelstein that explores the math and science behind games.  GameTek Classic episodes were once broadcast on The Dice Tower podcast, while other GameTek episodes were recorded specially for Ludology.

Biography of a Board Game is a series hosted by Scott Rogers that explores the history behind classic and modern board games. It was once on The Dice Tower, but has since moved full-time to Ludology.

We aim for most Ludology episodes to be timeless, so you are welcome to explore our entire catalog. Most of it should age quite well. The podcast was started in 2011 by Geoff Engelstein and Ryan Sturm, with Mike Fitzgerald taking over for Ryan in 2015. Gil joined the show in 2017 when Mike stepped aside, and Emma joined in 2019 when Geoff ended his tenure as host. Emma left in 2021, and Erica and Sen joined us.

Have your own thoughts about our topics? We encourage you to visit us at our guild on Boardgamegeek to get involved in a continuing discussion.

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Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.

Aug 22, 2021

Geoff (making a one-off Ludology return) and Gil chat with Al Leonardi, designer of the legendary picture-book game Ace of Aces, and a legion of spinoffs using the same brilliant first-person system.


4m19s: Richthofen’s War 

8m18s: If you're interested about Ace of Ace's mathematical underpinnings, and its true nature as a hex-grid game, here's Geoff's article.

9m52s: There were two Star Wars games Al worked on: Star Wars: Starfighter Battle Book, and Star Wars Lightsaber Dueling (which was based on Lost Worlds, which we discuss later in the episode). Also: Dragonriders of Pern: The Book Game, Bounty Hunter: Shootout at the Saloon, and Ace of Aces: Wingleader.

11m11s: The Immelman turn, in World War I, was a difficult maneuver that allowed a skilled pilot to turn their aircraft around quickly. In modern aerobatics, it now refers to a type of half-loop.

16m58s: "Ditto sheets," known in the UK as a "Banda machine," refers to a method of print duplication used for much of the 20th century, and very popular in American schools at the time. People of a certain age will recall paper quizzes with a distinctive blue ink on the paper.

22m16s: Two more aerial maneuvers: the wingover, and the snap roll.

25m32s: Lost Worlds

27m48s: The Society for Creative Anachronism.

39m15s: TransAmerica, Ticket To Ride