Quinns: Happy Monday, everybody! Are we well? What games are we playing? Hopefully the lovely ones made from cardstock, and not the troubling mind games that emerge from failing relationships. That would be awful.
The big news this week is that comedy board gaming series Board With Life released their first episode! We feel a profound kinship with these guys. Like us, they’re working with no money, an awful lot of heart and they’re all startlingly handsome. In fact, I like it so much I’ve embedded it after the jump.
Look! There’s even a shot where someone puts a game component in their mouth. We’ve found our soulmates.
If you like these guys, give ’em a cheeky little Facebook like or a wee follow on the Twitter. In all seriousness, I think part of improving board gaming’s PR problem will be coaxing the hobby into contact with other culture, which these guys are doing admirably ANYWAY games!
This is shaping up to be uniquely selfish Games News. See, the new edition of Expedition: Northwest Passage isn’t strictly news, per se, but I’ve just remembered it’s coming this year and am pumped like an inflatable mattress.
What you’re looking at is a game of players commanding ships, searching for a trace of Sir John Franklin’s 1845 expedition to find the titular Northwest Passage through the arctic ocean. And look! You can dispatch your men on tiny wooden sleds! Pretty sure cardstock that thick is illegal, too.
The game proper sounds like a mix of carefully splitting your manpower between your sled and ship, and meticulous placing of tiles to guide your ship onwards while blocking your opponents in a maze of slowly freezing ice. Could be really quite interesting. More games where mankind battles the elements, plz.
You know what else I think looks good? Galapagos. A game of rolling dice, and then using them to stagger around an island in the noble pursuit of collecting turtles. Lots of nice simultaneous play. Everyone rolls their dice, then whoever decides on the order of their dice first picks up a sand timer to rush the other players. Sand timers! Brilliant.
There’s nothing about this game that doesn’t look awesome. Roll a dice! Turn some sand. Walk onto a thing. Pick up a turtle. I don’t know. I haven’t been sleeping well recently. What day is it?
Alright, so I’m not awake enough to do my usual sales pitch. Let’s look at a new announcement with a bit more pizazz.
White Goblin Games are a Dutch publisher perhaps most famous for Revolver, an asymmetrical 2 player Wild West card game. One player controls a deck representing the forces of law and order, the other plays outlaw Jack Colty, “a man so mean he’d steal a fly from a blind spider.”
This week, White Goblin announced Invaders. Another appealingly asymmetrical game, but this time bigger, bolder, with an actual board and a setting where someone gets to play sexy sexy aliens, and the other plays a whole world’s worth of humans.
But it also didn’t feel like the card game format was quite right for White Goblin. These are designers who clearly love working with really strong themes. I’m curious about Invasion because a big box board game sounds like a better fit. Give these guys a glossy board and a ton of tokens! Give them what they need to capture our imagination. Then, I think, we’ll see what they can really do.
AND FINALLY, speaking of publishers hitting their stride, wargame factory GMT games have announced the fourth title in their COIN series, which models COunterINsurgency (do you see?) and guerrilla warfare, titled Fire in the Lake. A game where 1-4 players control 4 wildly different factions in the Vietnam war: The United States and the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, taking on the Vietnam People’s Army and Viet Cong.
Now, see, this just isn’t fair. Last year GMT sent us a copy of the excellent Labyrinth: War on Terror, and we still haven’t played enough of it for a review. Then they announced Andean Abyss, the first game in the COIN series, and I lost my shit.
There’s the board. This game is out right now and sounds incredible. A wargame modelling 1990s Colombia where 1-4 players either control the Colombian government, right wing rebels, left wing rebels or the drug cartels, each player’s allegiances swapping wildly as one faction emerges as a leader.
“Oh, my god!” I shouted aloud to my empty bedroom. “We’re getting Labyrinth reviewed, then getting that played immediately.”
Then GMT announced Cuba Libre. COIN game #2, set during Cuban’s communist revolution as US-funded gangsters struggle to keep Castro from power.
And THEN GMT announced A Distant Plain, snapping the COIN rules effortlessly onto a contemporary Afghanistan setting. And now comes news of Fire in the Lake. Are they joking. I haven’t played one of these games, and now the fourth is on its way. Help.
There’s only one thing for it. At some point in the near future we’re doing a GMT week here on Shut Up & Sit Down. Who’s with me? Paul? Matt? …guys?