Our Top 8 Board Games from Origins ’17!

clinical immortality, a cranky wonder, sweet sweet telenets, hot hot birbs
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Cynthia: Date: June, 2017. Subject: Origins Game Fair.

Known in the United States, at least, as Gen Con's quiet but friendly little sibling who lives in Columbus, Ohio. Also known for revealing major summer releases well in advance of Gen Con.

But what really goes on at Origins? Shut Up & Sit Down was curious, so I donned my best black hoodie and infiltrated the scene. Slipping past the bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger that guards the convention center, I entered a bustling space filled with thousands of gamers. Fortunately I seemed to blend in, and… oh, alright. It was just a great con.

Locals and industry people were open and nice, it was easy to get into events or find gaming space at the last minute and, above all, the Columbus Convention Center is a quick walk from the North Market, where there's all kinds of good, nutritious food like Vietnamese noodle bowls and donuts and gourmet ice cream.


Games News! 26/06/2017

retired canadians, packed bladders, a labour of love, yakkity snax
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Paul: For the 90% of the Earth’s population that lives in the Northern Hemisphere, we are now well into HOT SUMMER FUN. Maybe. Probably. Unless you’re somewhere that doesn’t tend to have so much HOT SUMMER FUN, like maybe Greenland or a part of Russia where there is just a yak.

Quinns: Yaks can be pretty important, you know. When I was backpacking in Tibet they were a cornerstone of agriculture. Yak dumplings. Yak-stuffed bread. Yak butter tea.

Paul: Yak butter tea. What was that like?

Quinns: Well, try to imagine what something called “yak butter tea” might taste like.

Paul: OK.

Quinns: It tasted exactly like that.

Paul: Is this yak anecdote going anywhere?

Quinns: No, I think I just slept funny

Paul: Should I get on with the news?

Quinns: NEWWWS


Review: Tigris & Euphrates

Everybody, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! We of course refer to the Annual Summer Goodtime Tile-Based Reinerstravaganza, and this year the star of the show is the new Windrider edition of Reiner’s 1997 classic, Tigris & Euphrates.

Don’t know who Reiner is? Don’t like tigers? Allergic to tiles? Well frankly, that’s just not good enough. This box is a bulwark against boredom, a titan of the table, and the new edition deserves just a little more love.


Review: Fields of Arle

Cow compression, campestral candy, for peat’s sake
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Paul: I’m not sure what it is about all this grit and graft that hooks me. Uwe Rosenberg keeps making games about hard work and manual labour and there I am again, scraping at the soil or sweating at the forge as I worry if we have enough food for the winter. My servile son shoves another horse into the stables, while my wife trudges through the fetid, bubbling peat bog that marks the edge of our land. There is so much that needs doing. Fields of Arle is the greatest farming challenge I've ever taken on and… is it weird that I relish that?

Games News! 19/06/2017

vigilante folding, quilliams for president, look at my lambs, pumped 4 gems
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Paul: Right then. That’s another whole heap of stories loaded into the Games News trebuchet and ready to be launched into the world. What do we have this time? Seems like Vikings, rampant global sickness, gem hoarding and…?

Quinns: Murder.

Paul: Oh yes. Murder. Seems there’s always a lot of murder in board games.

Quinns: Gotta give the public what they want. Shall we fire this thing, then? We should let loose the news that Fantasy Flight Games are releasing the new Whitehall Mystery, a standalone cousin to SU&SD hidden movement favourite Letters from Whitechapel.


Podcast #61: Lazer Pizza from Mars

pro-pepperoni propaganda, the god expansion, get me some goddamn chives
Who's hungry? The 61st ever SU&SD podcast is here, and it's an uncomplicated buffet of board games. Do you like it when we talk about board games? Then this is the podcast for you!

You can start by letting Matt, Pip and Quinns whet your appetite with talk of the questionable New York Slice and the evocative chaos of Kitchen Rush, and afterwards they can spill the beans on the excellent Secrets, the spicy NMBR 9, and the first expansion for Not Alone. For the cheese course, you can listen to them discuss the beauty of Lazer Ryderz and the silliness of Four Elements.

But I hope you left room for dessert, because the gang also played the new game from Vlaada Chvátil. It's called That's a Question, and (dare we say it?) it's his most divisive game yet, and not always in a good way...


Podcast #60: The Godfather’s Animal Champion

blood and viscera, squirrels and duct tape, fun and malaria
You told us the three games that you were most excited about at the UK Games Expo, and we listened. Now it's time for you to listen as Matt, Pip and Quinns discuss their early impressions of all three: The Godfather: Corleone's Empire, First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet and Barenpark.

But that's not all! Straining the very limits of what can be squeezed into 60 minutes of chat such that this podcast threatens to split open like an overstuffed sausage, you'll also find discussions of Catch the Moon and Costa Rica, as well as the world's first "actual play" of The Champion of the Wild. If you too would like to joust on the back of a kangaroo or nudge an otter up Mt. Everest, that game will be coming to Kickstarter later this year.

Sorry about the imperfect audio quality on this one! By way of apology, we're uploading our 61st podcast in just a few hours. It's an audiostravaganza!


Miniatures Game Review: Bushido

mount your turtles, biting risks, bloated samurai, tasty details
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Eric: I'm standing here, what feels like a katana in my chest, the bodies of my soldiers piled around me. I'm standing here defeated and absolutely delighted, a big grin on my face, trying to figure out what it's doing there.

That was the end of my second play of Bushido by GCT Games - the actual impaling being only metaphorical, if you're the queasy sort, but the defeat and delight being real. From my first encounter, what intrigued me about Bushido was that I found it immensely pleasurable even when I lost horribly. Let me try to explain why.

If the name and picture don't make it apparent, Bushido is a tabletop skirmish game set in a world inspired by Japanese folklore, or at least a western, Tolkein-filtered riff on Japanese folklore. Elves and Dwarves are replaced by Tengu and Oni, the heroes include snake-people and warrior pandas, and the outfits look like the result of a raid on a Kurosawa film's prop closet. All in the best possible way.


Games News! 12/06/2017

pasta money, architectural aluminium, from horses to robots, why
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Quinns: Morning everybody! We've got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that during last week's "Stream of Annihilation" where Wizards of the Coast announced a whole load of new Dungeons & Dragons products via Twitch, we found out that dinosaurs are coming to the D&D world!

The bad news is that they seem to have zero interest in renaming the brand "Dungeons, Dragons & Dinosaurs", or DD&D. Imagine! After a few more years of announcements they could be selling Dungeons, Dragons, Dinosaurs, Diplomats, Dinghies, Derby's and Dancers, or DDDDDD&D.

Paul: A couple of board games came out of this announcement. We're getting the Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Board Game, which can be combined with all those D&D board games that came out in 2011, and we're also getting Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate. Which is--

Quinns: Oh no

Paul: Which is a Dungeons & Dragons-themed version of fabled box of nonsense Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

Quinns: Oh, no.


Review: Imperial 2030

Money! Money makes the world go round. Money also makes factories, fleets and armies that around that world and bash each other to bits, at least that’s according to Imperial 2030! But is it really all about war? Just because it looks like Risk and even smells like Risk, that doesn’t mean you should make risky assumptions.

Paul has been learning the ever-twisting dance of the supercapitalist, twirling his way in and out of continental conflicts just as long as it’s profitable. In between buying various generous chunks of the globe, he’s discovered that war is only sometimes good