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Review: Cockroach Poker Royal

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By Quintin Smith on July 1, 2015

Quinns: Catch Team SU&SD at our most tired and soul-blasted, when we’re done walking the halls of a giant convention, and there’s a single game we'll always still be able to play. It’s Skull.

It's the arsenic-laced wafer thin mint of board gaming, and there’s always room for its lies and laughter. The one thing more impressive than Asmodee daring to call Skull "the very quintessence of bluffing” is that actually, I don’t think they’re wrong.

Two months ago I was in a pub with a friend who I trust completely. “If you like Skull,” he said, “Then write this down. ‘Cockroach Poker’. Best £10 you’ll ever spend.”

Today I’m the proud owner of one “Cockroach Poker Royal”, the en-complicated 2012 sequel to 2004’s Cockroach Poker. And I’ll tell you what! It’s not just a great game of lying to your friends. It’s a great game of lying with your friends.

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Games News! 29/06/15

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By Quintin Smith on June 29, 2015

Quinns: This weekend was a Party Weekend for the Quinns household. The good news is that we got to try out both Cockroach Poker AND Spyfall, and you can expect some very funny, positive reviews of those later this week. The bad news is that I'm so hungover that I'm having trouble focusing my eyes. I offer my sincerest apologies for what might be a distinct lack of humour, accuracy, bravery, words, truth or news in this week's news.

Don't worry! It's all good news, at least. We never played Gale Force Nine's Firefly board game (that'd be the team behind the innovative but wanting Spurticus tie-in game), because we heard Firefly was still wanting but a little less innovative.

That hasn't stopped the game gathering quite the following, though, with GFN this week announcing three expansions! Firefly: The Game – Kalidasa is a big box offering a new sector of space and a wad of new cards, and the two miniature expansions will add new Fireflies (Fireflii?).

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Review: Specter Ops

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By Paul Dean on June 26, 2015

What's this, sneaking into Friday's schedule? Why, it's a review of Plaid Hat's hotly anticipated Specter Ops, a hidden movement game from one of the industry's most renowned publishers.

Paul takes a long, hard look at the game and... well, has anyone taken a long hard look for Paul recently? Actually, it's probably best not to. He appears to have both gone missing and gone a little... mournfully malfunctional. This is the first time that's happened since last time. Do let us know if you spot him, or even any part of him. Probably don't approach him, mind.

Best not dwell on that. Have a lovely weekend!

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Miniatures Game Review: Infinity

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By SU&SD on June 25, 2015

[Introducing another new series of articles! Eric Tonjes is professional Nebraskan and miniatures gamer who's agreed to review some of 2015's most popular miniatures games. You guys were so sweet to Hilary yesterday, so please give Eric the same welcome!]

Eric: So you've played a lot of games. You've gone from the simple family stuff to the weightiest Euro, and it still isn't satisfying. You're looking for something more. Lately, maybe you've been eyeing those hunched figures in the back of the game shop, pushing around their armies of painted men and orcs and arguing about byzantine rules. You're looking, and you're wondering... Has it perhaps come to this? Dare I become a *gulp* miniatures gamer?

Or maybe you've just noticed those boxes with gloriously painted figurines on the covers and wondered what they're all about.

In the coming months I'll be serving as your guide to the dark world of tabletop miniatures gaming. More than that, I'll be trying to tell you what makes the very best ones sing – what about each one makes them unique, and why people spend huge amounts of money and even larger amounts of time assembling and painting little soldiers.

Up first, let's take a gander at Infinity, the phenomenal flagship game of Corvus Belli.

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RPG Review: Kaleidoscope

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By SU&SD on June 24, 2015

[SU&SD's coverage of the growing, amazing story games scene has ranged from sporadic to non-existent. Introducing Hilary McNaughton, a writer and gamer from the land of "Canada" who'll be helping us out with regular reviews! Please give her a warm welcome.]

Hilary: I don't watch a ton of movies, so I generally assume if I've seen something, everybody's seen it. But it turns out I've watched a higher-than-average number of weird foreign films. I've even seen a couple I just did not get. At all.

Maybe you know the kind? Things start out sort of intelligible, then dissolve into weird symbolism and visual effects about halfway through. Or there's no plot, at least that you can find. Or everything seems normal, except for some reason the director shot the whole thing from a bird's eye view and you never see anyone’s face.

Sometimes the very best thing about a film like that is picking through it afterwards with your friends. What was with the giant hand in the background of that scene at the park? Why didn't anyone in the movie comment on the fact the sets were obviously all made of cardboard? Did everyone hate the long shot inside the revolving door, or just me?

Kaleidoscope is a game that brings you all the joy and frustration of discussing an opaque foreign art film, without actually having to sit through one. You and your friends invent the details of a fictitious movie in the same time or less than it would have taken to watch.

But how? you ask. I'll tell you how!

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Games News! 22/06/15

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By SU&SD on June 22, 2015

Paul: Atop a distant hill, reaching up toward the last, fading stars of the velvet night, barely visible in the pre-dawn glow, stands the temple to Games News.

Here, sat amongst the heavy and heady odours of swirling incense, stepping between the gigantic columns erected in times long forgotten, Shut Up & Sit Down’s many devoted acolytes cast bones, call out prayers and perform blood sacrifices in the hope of discovering what cardboard miracles will be delivered unto us in the weeks and months ahead.

Quinns: Join with us now as we row out over a briny waves toward those distant chants, as we step onto that rocky promontory and weave amongst the hairless worshippers as they perform their secret and arcane rites. Tread soft and bring no light, for this is a holy land which we all despoil when our sinful tongues even mention its name.

"Don't be scared," you hear me cry, straining over the oars. "It's been a long journey, but you'll get your Zombicide news soon enough."

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Review: Forbidden Stars

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By Quintin Smith on June 19, 2015

Quinns: I don’t really like the Warhammer universes. When I was a kid I couldn’t get enough of them. “In the grim darkness of the future there is only war”? Holy shit!

These days I find them a little tired. Conflict is exciting, but not without peace to contrast it with, and not when you siphon all the humanity out of it. Where's the ego and romance? Where are the themes and mysteries? And obviously: Where are the women?

Let me wrap this up before people start sending me photos of Sisters of Battle, or pointing out that the expanded universe is awesome (I know!). My point is I was a little grouchy when I opened up of Forbidden Stars, Fantasy Flight’s new, striking war game set in the Warhammer 40K universe.

I'm happy to say that Forbidden Stars defrosted my icy heart. This game is sensational.

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Review: Machi Koro's Harbor Expansion

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By SU&SD on June 18, 2015

Quinns: Today I’m joined by Matt, who’s finally played Machi Koro!

Matt: What does "Machi Koro" mean in English, Quinns?

Quinns: “Give Me a 4 You Useless Sodding Dice or I’m Melting You In the Microwave.” But I don’t just want to talk about Machi Koro today! I want to talk about the new Harbor expansion.

Matt: What does "Harbour" mean in English, Quinns?

Quinns: It doesn’t have a direct translation, but you could say “Den of Lost Souls.” But let’s start with a quick reminder of why the base game is so delightful, and why people should think about buying it if they haven’t already.

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