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Rooky Errors: A Story of Chess

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By Brendan Caldwell on Feb. 25, 2015

After discovering everything he was taught about chess to be wrong, Brendan goes on a quest to learn the game properly, in this special feature on the ancient pastime.

Brendan: Amar moves his knight to c6 and I feel my lungs seize up. It is my first game of chess against another human being in over 10 years and remembering to breathe has become a problem.

When I first arrived at the chess club, hidden away on the shadowy second floor of an old school hall, like some secret society, Amar greeted me with a kind smile and a friendly handshake. He had a soft voice and an Einstein moustache. Now he is moving his knight to c6. Sometimes Amar makes his moves slowly, thoughtfully. Other times, he takes seconds, as if the order of play was pre-ordained and he was just there in some formal capacity as piecemover. What else can I say about Amar? Oh yes. He is destroying me.

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Games News! 23/02/15

By Quintin Smith on Feb. 23, 2015

Quinns: Ships! Like streets that float.

In a curious reminder of our hobby's boxy lil' nature, 29 United States west coast ports were shut down this week, delaying countless board game shipments. Spare a thought for the many games were stranded at sea this weekend, as well as containers of less important stuff like shoes and food.

Rumours that SU&SD's newly-formed American division were behind the delay have been grossly exaggerated. It's all down to a dispute between shipping companies and dockworkers.

Gizmodo has the details here. But if you were wondering why the new 6th Wave of X-Wing miniatures is taking longer than anticipated, this is why.

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Review: Doomtown: Reloaded

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By Quintin Smith on Feb. 20, 2015

Following on from XCOM, it's time for our second big review of the year. Doomtown: Reloaded is a portable game with some big ideas. It's a generous box with a golden future. It is, in fact, the first real competitor to the awesome Android: Netrunner.

Is this town big enough for the both of 'em?

You can read Quinns' extended impressions on Doomtown's combat system here, and get your own fancy Netrunner tokens right here.

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Shut Up & Sit Down's Tales of Betrayal!

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By SU&SD on Feb. 19, 2015

(Some images courtesy of BoardGameGeek.com)

Pip: Shut Up and Sit down – despite the confrontational name – is almost always a hive of lovely cardboardy activity. That's why I started playing games with them and that's why I'm working with them now.

Almost always.

But sometimes in gaming there are acts of betrayal, of contrarian buttheadedness, so large they cannot be forgotten. Instead they lurk in your mental back pocket, ready to be drawn out at a moments notice – reminders that these glorious friends and colleague care as much about boardgames as you do and will do almost anything for a few victory points. Or a cheap laugh.

I'm not talking about the lower level stuff here. This isn't about how Quinns will fail to tell you a rule until partway through the game ("Oh! Did I tell you about [rule which suddenly advantages what Quinns has been doing and nullifies any and all Pip-strats]?"). No. This is about Brendan and this is about City of Horror.

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Games News! 16/02/15

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By Quintin Smith on Feb. 16, 2015

Quinns: Ah, you're here! Take a seat behind the screen while I wash my hands. Injection of table gaming news direct to the brain, was it?

Not a problem. Relax and close your eyes just as I... insert the needle down your ear canal... Done! Wasn't that easy. Now, the news will begin in just a moment.

...What's that? You can only see Kickstarters?

Oh no. This might have been the wrong syringe. Nurse! NURSE?! Look, just stay calm. Everything's probably going to be ok.

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Review: San Juan

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By SU&SD on Feb. 13, 2015

With spring's sunshine is still weeks away, Paul decides to review the classic card game San Juan, packing sugar and indigo off to make money.

Sent abroad to set up SU&SD's (North) American office, with a rather unclear remit he also laments the limited nature of board game printings and distribution.

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Review: Mascarade Expansion

i'm the princessno you're notyes i amno reallyno i'm seriousno seriously

By SU&SD on Feb. 12, 2015

Matt: Remember those hot hot nights when we wore those masks, and danced as if our legs might melt any moment? I don't remember that time either - just wanted to make sure we were all on the same page. Mascarade was a fun game with sexy art that forcibly entered my heart last year when I covered it for The Opener. The premise is simple: nobody knows what's going on, it'll only get worse as things go on, and you're almost definitely not the queen but nobody else seems to have clocked that.

There are tons of hidden identity thingers to choose from these days, but what sets Mascarade apart from the crowd is the fact that you're often not sure of who YOU are, let alone who everyone else might be. Taking a look at your card takes your whole turn so I'M THE BLOODY KING becomes I'M THE BLOODY KING, PROBABLY.

The general gist of all this chaotic magic is probably best expressed in my aforementioned video, so if you're totally clueless seep that into your face and then come back to absorb my thoughts on the new, first expansion - because for reasons I'll make clear shortly this may be a good time to go all-in and buy both.

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Games News! 09/02/15

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By Quintin Smith on Feb. 9, 2015

Quinns: Very rarely do we flaunt our being English on this site, so I think we've earned the following:

THUNDERBIIIIIIRDS BOARD GAME BOX ART REVEALED! And it's got Thunderbird 2 dropping a little Thunderbird 4! F*** yes!

Back off, America! This box is ours. Oh, I vooow to theeee, my coountry, that I will buuuy this booox...

If you don't know what Thunderbirds is (or if you know it by its name in the Czech Republic, "International Phallus Patrol"), I explained it in detail here, when this board game was first announced. And let's be clear, this isn't some cheap tie-in for the 50th Anniversary of Thunderbirds. It's being designed by Matt Leacock, designer of amazing co-op games like Pandemic, Forbidden Island and Forbidden Desert. It might not be shit!

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