Cover image of The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast

Five old friends of more than 20 years come together to produce a high quality, bi-weekly podcast about tabletop gaming of all kinds: board games, card games, miniatures, role-playing games and much more. In each episode you can expect board game reviews, gaming industry news and round-table discussions. The Founders, Jamie, Tony, Chris, Steve and Brian, each have varying tastes in gaming to provide a variety of viewpoints. Since 2011, over 100 full length episodes and now more with our new additional show, The Secret Cabal Express, The Secret Cabal has grown to one of the most successful tabletop gaming podcasts in the community. The Founders continue striving to offer irreverent entertainment, thoughtful commentary and enthusiasm about a hobby we love. Topics include discussion of games from publishers such as Asmodee, Cool Mini or Not, Fantasy Fight Games, Wizards of the Coast, Z-Man Games, Days of Wonder, Games Workshop, Plaid Hat Games and more.

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Episode 180: Wingspan, The Pursuit of Happiness and Our Favorite Game Designers

Hey Now Cabalists! Today is the big day, our 2019 Kickstarter is live! First, stop the podcast, jump over to Kickstarter and support the Cabal for another year of podcasts and video goodies. Now that you did that, press play again. Today the gang talks about Wingspan and how crazy expensive this game is right now. Then after we go though a bunch of the games we've been playing we take a deep dive look at Wingspan and look back at The Pursuit of Happiness one year later. Tony T picks all the best news stories and presents them to you as the rest of the Founders chirp in the background. Then finally the guys talk about each of their favorite game designers, why they like them and some of their favorite games by the designer. Wingspan Overview 01:01:26, Wingspan Review 01:06:05, The Pursuit of Happiness Look Back 01:27:45, News with Tony T 01:33:38, Our Favorite Game Designers 02:26:37

3hr 8mins

3 Apr 2019

Rank #1

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Episode 182: Star Wars Outer Rim, Thanos Rising and That Junkie Feeling We Feel

You have 3 more days to get in on our 2019 Kickstarter to help the Cabal continue for another year! Jump over the Kickstarter now to support! First off we talk about the Great Chicken Wing Scandal, cow manure interrupting a game day and the $160 miniature presentation. Then we give a feature review of Fantasy Flights newest game, Star Wars Outer Rim and look back at Thanos Rising one year later. After Tony T blasts the tabletop gaming news all over us, we get down and dirty with That Junkie Feeling We Feel including why we love games, what makes us back Kickstarters, collectible card games, miniatures games, and all sorts of wacky junkie rituals we do. Star Wars Outer Rim Overview 01:02:37, Star Wars Outer Rim Review 01:07:35, Thanos Rising Look Back 01:32:35, News with Tony T 01:41:02, That Junkie Feeling We Feel 02:26:21

3hr 10mins

1 May 2019

Rank #2

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Episode 195: Batman Gotham City Chronicles and a Short Topic Extravaganza

The Founders are back for another episode chocked full of crazy gaming nonsense! Today the gang takes a look at Batman Gotham City Chronicles from Monolith Editions. Tony T goes ape hooking you up with the best gaming news in the biz while the rest of guy monkey around in teh background. Then finally the founders discuss the golden age of gaming, what games they would stock in a game store and Master Classes for board game design. Batman Gotham City Chronicles Overview 01:05:28, Batman Gotham City Chronicles Review 01:09:55, News with Tony T 01:44:41, Short Topic Extravaganza 02:29:06

3hr 12mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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Express 60: The Golden Age of Intellectual Properties in Board Games

In episode 60, Chris, Steve, Don, Tony and Jamie sit down to talk about what seems to be the golden age of intellectual properties in board games. Games using movies, tv shows, video games, books and more are becoming more and more thoughtful and well developed and many publishers are thriving from developing quality hobby minded board games developing games in this space. The Founders discuss this and pitch some ideas for IP board games that they would love to see happen.

1hr 13mins

27 May 2020

Rank #4

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Episode 207: Charterstone, Star Wars Outer Rim and A Short Topic Extravaganza

The Secret Cabal's 2020 Fundraiser is live on Kickstarter right now! Jump over to Kickstarter and search The Secret Cabal 2020 now or head over to www.thesecretcabal.com and click the banner! In today's episode the Founders start out by talking about some games they've been playing including: Star Trek Conflick in the Neutral Zone, Chronicles of Crime: Welcome to Review, On Mars, Chrono-Trek, Star Realms, and Among the Stars. Then Tony, Aaron and Jamie jump right into a feature review of Charterstone, specifically the Steam digital edition designed by Jamey Stegmier and published by Stonemier Games and look back at Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars Outer Rim. Then Tony T goes ape with some important news from all around the gaming industry while the gang chatters in the background. Then the Founders end the episode with another Short Topic Extravaganza including discussion about Expansions, Dungeon Crawl Games and who would play us in the movies. Charterstone Overview 00:48:18, Charterstone Non-Spoiler Section Review 00:53:18, Charterstone Spoiler Section Review 01:16:20, Charterstone Non-Spoiler Final Thoughts 01:25:05, Star Wars Outer Rim Look Back 01:30:47, News with Tony T 01:36:27, Short Topic Extravaganza 02:27:00

3hr 9mins

20 May 2020

Rank #5

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Lords of the Dungeon 38: Online Gaming and Star Trek Adventures

In episode 38, the Lords finally return for a new episode! The gang managed to get at least some recording ability at their homes, and we hope that all of you will bear with us as we figure out this new style of recording. We start off the episode by discussing what we've been doing over the past few months and how we've been gaming. We've started a new Star Trek Adventures and are doing it online first the first time. Then we go into our thoughts of Star Trek Adventures from Modiphius.


13 May 2020

Rank #6

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Episode 206: Star Trek Ascendency and The Founders Feud with Rodney Smith

The Secret Cabal's 2020 Fundraiser is live on Kickstarter right now! Jump over to Kickstarter and search The Secret Cabal 2020 now! In other news, today the founder's welcome Rodney Smith of Watch It Played to talk about some board games including Labyrinth Adventures, Evolution, Oceans, Cloudspire, Codenames, The Grizzled Armistice and Lasers and Feelings! Then Don, Jamie and Aaron give you a feature review of Star Trek Ascendency and a look back at Kingsport Festival. Then after Tony T runs down the most important news in all of the tabletop gaming world, Rodney joins the Founders for the 4th installment of their world famous game show, The Founder's Feud! Star Trek Ascendency Overview 01:02:28, Star Trek Ascendency Review 01:08:30, Kingsport Festival Look Back 01:32:48, News with Tony T 01:36:29, The Founder's Feud 02:15:19

3hr 9mins

6 May 2020

Rank #7

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Express 59: Influential Game Mechanisms

In episode 59, Don and Jamie sit down to talk about a series of essential and influential board game mechanisms that were game changers of our hobby. Mechanisms that, when first arriving on the scene, shook up the way games were designed and added a new tool to the game design toolbox.

1hr 4mins

29 Apr 2020

Rank #8

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Bonus Episode 02: Our Love of Video Games with Matt Evans of Board Game Replay

Today Steve, Don, Aaron and Jamie sit down with Honorary Founder Matt Evans of Board Game Replay to talk about all the video games they've been playing during the quarentine and go back in time and discuss some of their favorite video games and video game memories of the past.

1hr 6mins

23 Apr 2020

Rank #9

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Episode 205: Chimera Station, Wingspan and A Short Topic Extravaganza

The gang is back again for another episode of The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast and today we talk about Steve's encounter with a backyard snake, Tony's standing desk, and take a look at a slew of games we've played including: Brook City, Street Masters, Dinogenics, The Liberation of Rietburg, Archmage, Clinic, Kitchen Rush, Race for the Galaxy and Star Trek Panic. Then we throw down a feature review of Chimera Station from Tasty Minstrel Games and a look back at Wingspan from Stonemaier Games. And finally, After Tony T's award-winning news segment, we host a short topic extravaganza including questions about games with new rounds, if we'd play games even though we're cursed to lose and the awkward moments after a game ends. Chimera Station Overview 01:07:13, Chimera Station Review 01:12:30, Wingspan Look Back 01:36:54, News with Tony T 01:41:19, Short Topic Extravaganza 02:43:10

3hr 23mins

15 Apr 2020

Rank #10

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Bonus Episode 01: Hanging Out With The Founders

Today was supposed to be a Lords of the Dungeon day but due to Social Distancing and the lack of remote recording abilities, Jamie, Steve, Don and Chris do an impromptu recording talking about whatever comes to mind. No plan. No notes. We just hit the record button and talked chase the rabbit down it's hole. We hit topics including TV shows, Movies, Grocery Stores, The Lack of Toilet Paper and How They're Handling The Quarantine.


8 Apr 2020

Rank #11

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Episode 204: Viticulture, Vindication, Shadows of Brimstone, Wendake and Living without a Game Group

The Founders are sheltered in place, but the Secret Cabal will go on! Today we talk about some awesome games including Everdell Pearlbrook, Doctor Who Time of the Daleks, Europe Divided, Arkham Noir, Funkoverse, Monumental and Chronicles of Crime: Noir. Then we give you a feature review of Viticulture Essentials Edition from Stonemaier Games and look back at Vindication, Shadows of Brimstone and Wendake. Then after Tony T enlightens you with all the most important news items from around the board gaming world, we host a discussion about how to continue gaming even though you're stuck in your house during quarantine. Viticulture Overview 00:57:41, Viticulture Review 01:00:43, Vindication Look Back 01:29:25, Shadows of Brimstone Look Back 01:33:25, Wendake Look Back 01:39:11, News with Tony T 01:44:29, Living without a Game Group 02:29:09

3hr 7mins

1 Apr 2020

Rank #12

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Express 58: Questions, Misconceptions and WTFs of Board Game Publishing with Stephen Buonocore

In episode 58, We start out today's episode with a special message to the Cabalists and then right into the episode proper. Today the Chris, Don and Jamie are joined by their very good friend Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games to discuss the board game publishing industry. Stephen answers all of our and the Cabalists questions about what it takes to publish a board game in today's industry. If you want to hear more about publishing, check out Stephen's podcast called Board Games Insider at BoardGamesInsider.com and all the wonderful games he publishes at StrongholdGames.com

1hr 12mins

25 Mar 2020

Rank #13

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Episode 203: Underwater City and Win Loss Attribution

Hey Now Cabalists! Today we open but announcing the date of our next Kickstarter which will be May 1st, 2020. Then we jump into talking about a bunch of games we've been playing including On Mars, CO2: Second Chance, Feudum, In the Hall of the Mountain King, Fast Sloths, Bruges and Terror in Meeple City. Then we jump into a feature review of Underwater City designed by Vladimír Suchý and published by Rio Grande Games. Then after Tony T gives us his wild and crazy News segment, we discuss Win/Loss Attribution in board gaming. Underwater City Overview 01:14:39, Underwater City Review 01:18:49, News with Tony T 01:42:53, Win/Loss Attribution Discussion 02:31:08

3hr 17mins

18 Mar 2020

Rank #14

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Episode 202: Clinic: Deluxe Edition and a Short Topic Extravaganza

Alrighty Cabalists! It's time for another jam-packed episode of The Secret Cabal starting off with a new Chris Movie Review this time featuring the new Lovecraft adaptation of Color Out of Space. Then we jump into the games we've been playing including: Undaunted, Charterstone, Aftershock San Francisco and Venice, Cooper Island, Terraforming Mars, Ettin, Last Will and Castles of Burgundy. Then the gang gets into a feature review of Clinic: Deluxe Edition designed by Alban Viard, published by AVStudioGames and featuring artwork by the great Ian O'Toole. Tony T gives us his ever-popular news segment filled with gaming related nonsense and the rest of the gang gives their valuable commentary. And finally, the Founders talk about buzzkill gamers, making noises during the game, are mats better than boards and the annoying things about Kickstarter projects in our Short Topic Extravaganza. Clinic Overview 01:23:27, Clinic Review 01:28:47, News with Tony T 01:57:10, Short Topic Extravaganza 02:49:38

3hr 44mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #15

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Express 57: Replayability with Honorary Founder Dan King The Game Boy Geek

In episode 57, Jamie, Steve and Don welcome longtime friend and Honorary Founder, Dan King, The Game Boy Geek. Dan starts out by giving Jamie some recommendations for great casual games to take back to his family and then we talk about Dan's currently running Kickstarter to fun his YouTube review channel. Then the gang goes deep into a discussion about replayability and lists some games that they feel are extremely replayable.

1hr 10mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #16

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Episode 201: Chronicles of Crime, Dinogenics and The Effect of Complexity on Your Fun

Hey Now Cabalists! In episode 201 the gang gets back to basics after our raucous 200th episode celebration. Today we talk about all sorts of great games including Empires of the Void 2, Barrage, Sorcerer City, Underwater Cities, Bunny Kingdom, Backgammon, Celestia, Blood Rage and Caylus 1303. Then Don, Steve and Jamie throw a feature review of Chronicles of Crime from Lucky Duck Games at you, followed up by a look back at DinoGenics from Ninth Haven Games. Then after Tony T's legendary news segment featuring many off the rails conversations, the guys discuss the effect of complexity on your fun when playing board games. Chronicles of Crime Overview 01:03:30, Chronicles of Crime Review 01:08:00, Dinogenics Look Back 01:33:13, News with Tony T 01:37:10, The Effect of Complexity on Your Fun 02:11:20

2hr 50mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #17

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Lords of the Dungeon 36: Altered Carbon and High vs Low Level Campaigns

In episode 36, the Lords start out by talking about trying a new game for a few months and discuss the new Altered Carbon RPG raising funds on Kickstarter now. Then the gang takes a question from a listener regarding if magic were real. Then finally the Lords talks about playing in high and low level campaigns and how to make them fun.

1hr 13mins

12 Feb 2020

Rank #18

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Episode 200: Puerto Rico, Our Favorite Games We've Reviewed and A Look Back at the Past 8 Years

Today the Founders celebrate their 200th episode anniversary by going over the past 8 years and each giving two of their favorite games they've ever reviewed - think of it like a giant-sized Games of Yesteryear mixed with 10 Look Back segments. Then Don, Tony and Jamie go back to review a legendary board game that defined a genre, Puerto Rico. Then after Tony T's news segment, the guys take a look back at the past 8 years of The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast and discuss what they've build and retell some of their favorite moments throughout the life of the show. AND the Founders are visited by some old friends throughout the show too! Puerto Rico Overview 01:24:05, Puerto Rico Review 01:27:12, News with Tony T 01:52:04, A Look Back of the Past 8 Years 02:48:52

3hr 43mins

5 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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Express 56: Our Early Days of Gaming and the Top 5 Games that Shaped us as Board Gamers

In episode 56, Chris and Jamie start out by talking about their early days of gaming. The games and friends they experienced that made them hobbyists. Then they list the top 5 board games that shaped them and turned them into the serious hobby board games they are today.

1hr 11mins

29 Jan 2020

Rank #20