Games News! 13/10/14

unholy airborne babies, quinns the bad sniper, grumpy conan, bluffsome japan
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Quinns: Morning everybody! Can you feel it? Halloween has officially begun. Yesterday Paul and I recorded a spooky podcast announcing the game we’ll review at the end of the month, and in the evening I went to see long-running London play Ghost Stories. Which, if you’ve got a free evening in our city and felt like peeing yourself a little bit, I can’t recommend highly enough.

So naturally we begin our news with forthcoming board game Planes! Scariest of all the modes of transport. Imagine opening your bedroom curtains at night and seeing a plane right there, staring in at you! It doesn’t bear thinking about.

And yes, according to this new design diary the rumours were true. Planes really is about guiding your family of cubes through a crowded airport to catch their flight in time. And we all thought Trains was radioactive in its boringness.

The game itself sees everybody playing double-sided cards to affect the airport, perhaps shuttling their families around and ignoring crowds, or moving backwards, maybe drawing new cards. That kind of thing. As if the game were some unholy baby of a race game, Wiz-War and… planes.

I could not be more baffled. But I’ll play it!


One other quick design diary before we move on to the announcements you all crave. Remember a couple of weeks ago when we were getting so excited about Colt Express’ forthcoming 3D trains? On cue, we now have a design diary talking about what a pain that was.

I swear, the longer I do this the more “So when will SU&SD design a board game?” becomes an insane question. You might as well ask a war reporter when he’s going to stop this reporting lark and become a sniper.

Come to think of it, I’ve had offers from people who work in publishing saying if we ever wanted to design a game, they’d publish it. Which is an awful lot like being offered the actual sniper rifle. “We can have the gun and ammo all mailed out to you by the end of the day!” “No! What?! How did you get this number! Leave me alone!”

So, new games! Here’s an extensive preview video from BoardGameGeekTV for El Gaucho. A hefty-looking game where players run competing cattle rustling businesses. At least, I assume that’s what you’re doing. The game doesn’t mention rustling but the cows are apparently just hanging around outside town, and you just… take them? There’s also a dice corral in another corner of the board where dice are allowed to roam free. Skip to the 1 minute mark in the video to see the whole board.

Did you know that in the early 20th century the American congress was seriously considering hippo ranching in Louisiana? They called it river bacon and there’s an episode of This American Life about it.

Planes? Trains? Hippo ranches? This is all much heavier than I’d planned. Let’s try something lighter.


Kobayakawa is a forthcoming Japanese bluffing game that, as we’ve come to expect from the region, packs as much as possible into a teeny box. God, what must they think of American and European board games? I’m trying to imagine if there was a country that produced board game boxes which were all ten times the size of ours.

The game here reminds me of SU&SD favourite Love Letter. Players each have one card, then you go around the table once with each player either drawing a second card and discarding one of these two cards, or revealing a new card to replace the one sitting in the middle of the table. Finally, players all decide whether they’re in or out for the round, placing one of their coins into a central pot.

The player with the highest number wins. However, before that the player with the LOWEST card adds the value of the central card. The winners takes all the coins that round.

That’s all. Bluffy, risky, mathsy card stuff with shiny metal coins. Why are metal coins so exciting in games and so boring in real life, eh?

Conan: Hyborian Quests

AND FINALLY! Last week we mentioned that we loved the sound of upcoming miniatures combat game Conan: Hyborian Quests, but it turns out that an older Conan game, 2009 strategy title Age of Conan, is getting a new lease of life on Kickstarter.

You should care about this because as part of the Kickstarter the game’s new publishers are creating a new, boxed expansion, Age of Conan: Adventures in Hyboria. And you should care about that because the expansion will come with a mood wheel, determining whether Conan himself is happy, melancholic, angry or that one mood where your friends want you to come out but you can’t be arsed but you KNOW that if you do go out you’ll have a good time*.

The easiest way to learn about Age of Conan itself is probably still on the old publisher’s description page. Nothing in there particularly grabs me, but maybe that’s an appeal in and of itself. A game where players don’t have to worry about working together or teleporting their armies around. There’s just dice and the joy of tiny plastic men.

A good understanding

And double-finally, we’ve got another newly-opened American Megagame society that’s looking for attendees! On November 23rd the Cleveland Megagame Council will be running a game based on the Cold War and they’re looking for participants. If you haven’t seen our own Megagame video yet, do take a look. It’s among the most wonderfully mad things we’ve ever done.

*One of these moods is made up by me and will not feature in Age of Conan: Adventures in Hyboria.