Because board games age so goddamn well, running a board game site can be a bit like running a daycare centre. Those guys can’t rest because it might mean a kid getting stuck behind a radiator or someone eating a rock. We can’t rest because even if we stay on top of new games, we’re writing under the weight of every awesome game we’ve never played.
Shadows over Camelot is one such older game we need to tell you about. One of HUNDREDS. It never ends, but all the same we’re going to talk about it with the good humour of men throwing a shiny penny into a wishing well.
Mission: Red Planet is a game of racing to colonise Mars in a congenial, steampunk fashion.
3-5 players jostle to load their tiny astronauts into ships on the launchpad board, these land them on the planet board, and you all try and dominate regions and fulfill secret objectives in a game of area
Quinns: PAUL. THE GAME.
Paul: Right! As is proper, we played a board game for Hallowe’en. Something a bit different. A game that’s both a trick and a treat.
Quinns: A shiny new game called City of Horror. This game made our Hallowe’en. And it’s going to make every Hallowe’en after that.
Paul: That’s right Quinns, and-
Quinns: That’s right!
Paul: …so the best thing we can say about Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is that it’s equal parts family friendly and utter chaos, so it’s perfect for a Discworld game. Two to four players are trying to gain control of the 12 districts of the city of Ankh-Morpork, clutching at power with their clumsily, pudgy hands as if they’re all trying to model clay on the same pottery wheel.
Quinns: Fingers slipping over oily fingers, all of you swearing, someone’s got clay in their eye, until finally the thing comes to a stop and all you’ve made is a mess.
That is me singing the STAR WARS theme. I am singing it for you. It is a special treat.
Fantasy Flight’s owned the Star Wars license for more than a year now,
but all that’s meant for us is one passable card game. Until today. The X-Wing Miniatures Game is THE release this month. Tiny, pre-painted spaceships, jinking past lasers that could reduce them to a sneeze in less time than it takes an extra to scream “I’M HIT".
But SHOULD YOU BUY IT? Short answer: “Yes.” Long answer: “Yeeeeeeeeeeaaaaah," followed by a thoughtful pause and a speech like this…
you shout down the telephone to your GP, sweaty hand gripping the receiver.
Quinns: Paul, telephones are all mobile nowadays, and your GP will just tell you that Hive is a two player board game without a board.
Paul: And then I would faint.
Quinns: We’ll recommend it to anyone. Spartan rules envelope a design where everything anyone does is tragic, comic or heroic. The self-contained islands you duel across means any attack will wrest control of a territory from someone else (exciting!), or see the aggressor getting kicked back into the water (EXCITING!). But doing anything means bidding for the affection one of the game’s four Gods, an auction that’s every bit as vicious as the main board.
Hold on. The Castles of Burgundy, which casts 2-4 players as the holders of estates in medieval France, has the whole board game community bleating with quiet joy. We absolutely had to get hold of a copy and try it out. You know what? I actually think it’s quite special, too, although I appreciate it’s such a placid, thoughtful, deeply European game that it won’t be Quinns’s kind of thing. Still-
Quinns: No, no, I really like it.
Paul: You do?
Quinns: Yeah, it’s excellent.
Quinns: And here’s why!
All you’re paying for here is a very thin, very affordable book. And with this book, you and some of your friends are going to roleplay your evening away. And you’ll laugh like garbage disposal units doing it.
Paul: It’s what’s for dessert, surely, especially if it’s about excess. The Mines of Zavandor is just the kind of cash-clutching economy management we can put all of our pasty weight behind. That’s because it treats running a business
with the same giddy lack of dignity as J.K. Rowling gave to the arcane.
The Dwarf king is dead. Two to four players control Dwarf clans attending his interminable funeral procession, winding through an entire mountain. Yet what you’re doing isn’t mourning, but receiving gems from back home and using them to buy, buy, BUY at the many auctions of useful or decorative tat you’re passing by. That’s because at the end of the procession (game) the richest clan is the new king (winner)!