Paul: Games news, is it? You’d better step this way.
I hope you have a strong stomach.
I’m sorry that you have to see this. There’s no way to make this easy. We’re still trying to piece together what happened. Maybe you can help?
Games News was last seen at 0950 hours, bringing in the paper and bleating excitedly on the phone with one free hand. As far as I can understand, there was a lot of talk about WarQuest. WarQuest? It sounds like a pretty ridiculous name, to be honest. From what we can gather, designer Glen Drover is working on a huge fantasy wargame of some sort. Drove has put together some pretty heavy board games like Age of Mythology, The American Civil War and Napoleon in Europe, all things with lots of tokens and little plastic pieces and three hour play times. Sort of like sexier risk.
“Recruit wood elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs and beast-men to fill the ranks of your armies and engage in epic battles. Travel across the tormented lands in an effort to drive back chaos by completing desperate quests,” says the blurb. A little derivative? Maybe. Still, this could potentially be big, exciting and involving. Keep your eyes peeled for more information, because Drover’s our prime suspect right now. Why? Well, as you can see, the subject first fell here, just inside the door, and we think it was due to massive blunt force trauma, the sort of thing that a heavy wargame could easily inflict.
As we understand it, Games News tried to make its way up the stairs, either to hide in the bathroom or grab something for defense. We think that what happened next was the paper falling open and the enormous distraction of an Orcs Must Die! board game throwing the subject entirely off-balance. There was a serious fall.
Y’see, the Orcs Must Die! series of video games have been a big success, but nobody – careful where you step, that’s still wet – nobody could’ve imagined an Orcs Must Die! board game turning up. That’s out of left-field. The surprises keep coming, because designer Sandy Petersen is behind it. Petersen’s been involved in all sorts of projects, from the early 80s Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game through to the legendary video game Doom and on to the hugely successful Cthulhu Wars, a board game Kickstarted to the grand old tune of $1.4m. Could money have been a motive here?
Publisher Robot Entertainment have been telling us that OMD: TB (which is what we’re going to call it for short) is going to be a game of building fortresses using tile-based systems, with dozens of plastic miniatures scurrying about the place. They also claim that OMD: TB actually consists of two entirely stand-alone games which can be combined to make a giant 8-player affair. It sounds interesting, but I’d like to see more. Apparently, all will be revealed on Kickstarter very soon, though in the meantime there’s a pretty good summary on Petersen’s website. He may have incriminated himself. When I spoke to him at BGG Con last year I could almost smell the guilt.
It was a slow death, bleeding from both the head and the wallet, the cause of which we believe was the inevitable turn toward yet another Fantasy Flight expansion. This time, it was Rebel soldiers and Royal Guards coming for Imperial Assault. Why do we all get so excited about these X-Wing or Armada or Whatever Else add-ons? They’re just more wee plastic things! They’re just manipulating our helpless, pliable disposable income. They’re just real-world DLC.
And yet look at them. Look at those lil’ dudes. You can imagine those Rebel soldiers aiming their blasters at a hatch, or the red Royal Guards sort of… I don’t know. What did they do in Return of the Jedi? Standing. Standing a lot. Or I guess they waved their sticks in that deleted scene we never got to see.
At this point, we’re looking at a delirious subject who even wants to talk about Razorwings coming to Battlelore. I have to admit, Razorwings are a personal favourite of mine. I don’t even know what they are or what they do, except that they keep causing me trouble in DungeonQuest. And I like to do impersonations of them.
Ahem. Moving on. At this point I understand Games News was usually talking a little about Kickstarter projects, so ubiquitous they are now, but everything was happening quickly. There was going to be something to do with Hands in the Sea or Blood Rage, but this time both were so far gone in their funding there was little to be done. Games News was helpless. A neighbour says they think they heard someone shouting about how Blood Rage, XCOM designer Eric Lang’s game of card-drafting viking warfare, was funded within minutes of going live and is currently at nine times its original goal. Or maybe it was something about how the deckbuilder Hands in the Sea, which mixes elements of A Few Acres of Snow with Roman history, also features a pitch video of a man endlessly, endlessly rotating around and around inside the Pantheon, looking a bit like one of your Civilization II advisors spinning in their desk chair.
As I understand, it all ends here, on the landing, paper still in one hand, wallet almost empty, cries going unanswered and strange, half-legible messages scratched in the wall. One teases a forthcoming expansion for Abyss, featuring smugglers, dirty money in the form of black pearls and shipwrecks. Another says that Donald X. Vaccarino’s forthcoming Temporum, mentioned by Leigh and Quinns in one of the best Games News roundups ever last year, is slated for release at the end of this month and…
Wait, what’s this? Well, that’s a heck of a claim by Rio Grande Games: “This game is perfect.”
You heard it her first, folks. Let’s hope Vaccarino’s alibi is perfect too, eh?