Games News! 07/08/2017

cybermats, a tacked-on tyri-on, punic puddings, the Kjasjavikalimm
Quinns: GOOD MORNING. That noise you hear is me cranking the Games News press, pumping out hundreds of thousands of individual copies of this for all of you, our fine and beautiful readers.

Paul: And THAT noise you hear is me pedalling away on my bike, after hurling THIS, your very own copy, onto your doorstep. Look at me ride! A dog is chasing me! You look down at our headline…

Quinns: ANOTHER CLASSIC REBORN: Just like Tigris & Euphrates, Ra and Samurai, Reiner Knizia’s Through the Desert is back in a shinier, sexier incarnation, care of Z-Man Games. Will this be yet another refurbished classic that we fall dramatically in love with?

Paul: There’s no way for us to know just yet, but the odds are good, right?

This fast and ruthless game has you drawing trade routes across the desert, rushing to claim water and block everyone else’s access with your glorious army of camels as you play a desperate and dehydrated version of Blockbusters. It’s wonderful to see classic and mechanically unique games brought back to us in new editions like this and Z-Man games aren’t just re-releasing Through the Desert with all-new art, they’re also furnishing it with a double-sided board and optional rules tweaks.

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Quinns: They’re polishing that pony! They’re combing that camel! Hey, Paul. Pedalling Paul. Did you remember hearing about the Flamme Rouge expansion, Flamme Rouge: Peloton, coming this year?

Paul: I do. There’s more to know now, isn’t there?

Quinns: There’s no reason to get excited about pink cyclists.

Paul: Nor cobblestone streets, or enigmatic “breakaway tiles” or “supply zones.”

Quinns: No.

Paul: THE COBBLESTONE STREETS ARE ONE SPACE WIDE AND MORE BIKES AND-

Quinns: PAUL THERE’S RULES FOR TWELVE PLAYERS. FLAMME ROUGE DRINKING PARTY NIGHT.

Paul: AAAAAAA

Quinns: AAAAAAA

Obviously Matt and I were huge fans of Flamme Rouge in our review, so I’m thrilled to see this appear. Though I’ve also heard a rumour that it might just be the first of several expansions. I sincerely hope that that’s true. Imagine it! Inviting your friends over to play game after game of Flamme Rouge with two expansions, using the app to organise an epic grand tour.

Paul: Wait. We don’t fully know what’s in this expansion and you’re already fantasising about the next one?

Quinns: Don’t judge me

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Paul: It’s fair to say that this site is also very excited about Sidereal Confluence. We got excited when we first heard about a sci-fi negotiation game, we got more excited when Quinns heard an industry notable describe it as “Chinatown on drugs”, and we got more excited when Cynthia called one of her favourite games at Origins.

Quinns: This week the designers posted a fabulous design diary over on Board Game Geek, narrating the long journey from a prototype (featuring an alien race called the Kjasjavikalimm) inspired by a game called Advanced Civilization, to the finished game finding a publisher a short 16 years later. And do you know what Paul?

Paul: You’re so excited.

Quinns: And I just can’t hide it!

Paul: I know. I know. I know. I know.

Quinns: I want it!

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Paul: Bringing us back down to earth, two phrases I never, ever imagined saying together are “Doctor Who” and “miniatures game.”

Quinns: And yet here we are.

Paul: Here we are. If you ever wanted to pitch Daleks and Cybermen against each other, now’s your chance. Warlord Games are going to put a dozen of each into a box and let you skirmish with them. They’re also throwing in things called “Cybermats” which I initially thought were playmats, but I Googled that and discovered they’re sort of a Cyberman pet, saw the first picture on this page and then completely lost it. Of course, expansions are in the works, adding even more Daleks and even more Cybermen.

As you might guess from their name, Warlord are mostly known for historical wargames, though they’re also working on working on the Terminator miniatures game and so time-travel combat might be their new niche. But is a skirmish combat the angle we’d expect a Doctor Who game to take? Absolutely not. Are many wargamers going to want to fight with Cybermen? It seems unlikely.

Certainly not when CMON’s new Game of Thrones miniatures (seen below) are marching toward your tabletop!

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After acquiring the Song of Ice and Fire license (surely much to the chagrin of Fantasy Flight, who own the Game of Thrones license) CMON have put together another big-money Kickstarter that shows off a mix of battlefield action and behind-the-scenes intrigue, with players fighting over political advantages as well as tactical objectives. Strangely, compared to other CMON Kickstarters like Rising Sun, Zombicide and 7 Sins, this one hasn’t done nearly as well. That’s even with a powerful license behind it.

Quinns: Perhaps it’s because this looks… pretty dull, actually? The battlefields look so stark (no pun intended), the political part looks tacked on and the combat as a whole seems nothing special. But Game of Thrones isn’t really about the big fights though, is it?

I’ll tell you what, though. Seeing the lacklustre art design on this game has given me all-new respect for the art team at Fantasy Flight, who I only now realise have been making Game of Thrones seem so vibrant and colourful for all these years. That’s no mean feat!

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If you want a game of swords and slaughter, I’d instead take a look at the new Kickstarter for Hands in the Sea.

Paul: I love the way the cards spin onto the screen! I’m guessing your excitement is in no small part thanks to our own Matt Thrower describing the first edition as “the best game I played last year,” as he rifled through his collection like raccoon in the recycling.

Quinns: We’ve poked fun at ancient world war games before, but the proof is in this Punic pudding and what we have here is like a more sophisticated sequel to the ludicrously good A Few Acres of Snow.

Swerving us away from Kickstarter, there’s a few other very interesting things we should show off this week. First, The Pulse have a story on how medical students in the United States military are using board games as a more interactive and demonstrative teaching method. Then, there’s The Evolution of Trust, a somewhat haunting site that teaches us about how trust occurs in society, how it benefits us, and what causes it to degrade.

Paul: Oh no! I clicked that last link and now I’m sad.

Quinns: Don’t worry, Paul! I trust you.

Paul: GET AWAY FROM ME