Take a seat and break out the popcorn for a video that's both a review and... a little something extra, courtesy of a very special guest. Have a terrific weekend!
Pip: CHRIS! You know how I've always wanted to go mushrooming but was afraid I would kill us all by accident? Well, GOOD NEWS! With Fungi we can now do this from the safety of the living room table and no-one needs to die at all.
Chris: Nobody needs to die, but somebody needs to win. This is because mushrooming is an intensely passive-aggressive competitive exercise, obviously.
Pip: Only when someone decides to take all of the frying pans. Well, the joke's on you this time because I brought my own frying pan which I found in the kitchen. There is literally nothing in the rules that says I can't.
Chris: This is because everybody starts with a pan. One pan. On a card. You can sub in your (my, actually) real pan if you like, but that would be purely an act of roleplay. And this is no time for roleplay, Pip. This is time for passive-aggressive competitive mushroom maths.
If you missed our extensive coverage of this frosty classic you'll find Quinns' original video review here and his investigation of 2015's Recon expansion here. And remember, you can now get the base game and the Recon expansion in a single box! You scream, I scream, we all scream for icy warfare.
This time around we're reviewing the "deluxe" 10th anniversary edition, as well as the new The Stock Companies expansion that's compatible with either edition of the game. Has this classic still got what it takes, or is it fossil fuel?
(That blast of dance music half-way through the video is Showdown by F.O.O.L.)
Games covered include A Feast to Die For, Quadropolis, Fairy Tale, Pandemic: Contagion and Dear Leader, as well as the long-awaited second half of our spoiler-filled Pandemic Legacy chat! Don't worry about that particular minefield. It's very clearly signposted at the end of the podcast. Following a startlingly unprofessional link from Paul, we eventually manage to produce a folk game and some fan mail, too.
Anyway! Let’s kick off with some good old-fashioned wooden chunks.
Intrigued? You bet you are! We took our two most experienced druids, Quinns and Matt (Paul is a bard), and we put them in a room with cards and crystals and radiant peaks. We asked them not only how it compares with our two very favourite card games, Trains and Arctic Scavengers, but if it's capable of being as beautifully magical as the luscious Seasons.
Unfortunately, there was too much conjuration energy in that room.
WELL, I've got a game for you with none of that! It's called Conflict of Heroes: Awakening the Bear (a series you might remember from my primer on wargames or my article on the best introductory wargames) and Academy Games made it just for you. Yes, you. The publisher even said so on its sister game, Storms of Steel. "The historical wargame that Eurogamers love to play," was the actual marketing copy!
You can smell the difference between CoH and typical wargames the second you open the lid. It's the faint scent of solvents from the decadent, multi-coloured printing used on the mounted boards and fat counters. Oddly-named German tanks rumble around in the box. You can even see a flamethrower doing what flamethrowers do in slightly more detail than you probably want. Alas, in spite of the name, there are no actual bears.
As for the spicy slivers of news I'll be dishing up like a powerful dad, we begin with the announcement of 2016’s Spiel des Jahres nominations! A shadowy council of German board gamers has once again met to hand out board gaming’s most prestigious award, and the only one that can multiply a game’s sales 100 times over. But this year we’ve played all the nominees!
I wonder what we shall think...
I am writing this from the UK Games Expo we just did a live podcast and I’ve got no energy left at all. Does anyone even read these text descriptions? There’s no way we can know. Unless you guys were to tell us somehow? I don’t know how you could do that though
We’re all going to go and eat some food now, and drink a beer. Beer is real good. Shut Up & Sit Down Recommends: Beer