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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.
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.
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