GAMES NEWS! 14/11/16

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Paul: Hello hello hello Quinns, what is new with YOU this week? What is new with me is that my phone broke. But then I fixed it again. So it’s fine. It’s like those sitcoms where nothing fundamental ever changes.

ALSO I guess I found a scratch and sniff board game and now I feel funny. Let me tell you about The Perfumer.

You know what? I can’t believe there isn’t actually more stuff like this already out there. The Perfumer isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a game where your sense of smell could actually lead you to victory. Casting players in the role of globetrotting perfumers, collecting ingredients to make the most perfect perfumes. It also demands you sniff carefully enough to distinguish particular ingredients. Can you even distinguish specific notes within a complex perfume, using your nasal skills to work out which ingredients come together to form a secret recipe?

I’ll tell you right now, I probably can’t. Also, did you know that dogs can smell in stereo? That’s not relevant to the game, it’s just a thing I like to tell people.

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Oh oh oh, did you know that Dungeons & Dragons is a toy? Neither did I. Nevertheless, it’s now found its way into the Toy Hall of Fame (yes, there is a Toy Hall of fame and, no, I didn’t know this before last week either), with CBS saying that The Strong Museum see it as “a groundbreaking game that revolutionized the way older children and adults engage in imaginative play.” Toy or not, I can certainly agree with that.

Where I totally, totally lost it was discovering that D&D had been inducted alongside… I can’t deal with this. I can’t. It had been inducted alongside Fisher Price toys and I swear to God oh Christ above alongside the goddamn swing. There are your three new toys of the year. Dungeons & Dragons, choke-safe children’s figures and bloody swings. Bonus points if you can combine all three and OH ABSOLUTELY YOU CAN.

It’s easy. You sit on the swing with your Player’s Handbook, pen and paper. You reach down sometimes to move around your little plastic horse or dog or farm person or whatever, so everyone can keep track of where all the player characters and orcs and whatever are right now. You have a Fisher Price barn to represent the farm you’re defending. You friend Abigail is playing Kyndris Greenleaf the elf mage and her figure is one of those plump, yellow, barely humanoid things. Somebody’s chewed it. It was probably you. That’s fine. It’s non-toxic. Oh God I’m losing it. CONGRATULATIONS WIZARDS OF THE COAST. You’re as good as a swing.

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Do you remember when Quinns and Matt did that wonderful Conan review? Do you remember when they talked about how more dice are coming, among other things? Oof, those were the days. We were young then and all of my limbs were still in the same time zone. Well! Here are more dice. Also, here comes someone called Shubba.

The Kushite Witch Hunters expansion adds four more nasties to the game, in the form of Afari, Ghayoor, Shafiah and Shubba. I’ll be very honest with and say that I have no idea who these people are and if they are cool and pretty famous Conan bad folks (like the Cardassians in Star Trek), or lesser-known, less exciting bad folks (like those 60s people with the black and white faces in Star Trek). I do know more Conan is like more cowbell, except with the sound of skulls being bashed in instead. I think what I’d like to see more is some new boards, rather than just miniatures and characters, but hopefully those will come in time.

Oh LOOK WHO’S HERE

Quinns: I’M HERE NOW, sorry I’m late, I had to see a man about a breakfast.

Those are some lovely looking Conan miniatures, especially Shubba (Shubba!). I’m particularly taken with the idea of the heroes taking on four microbosses at once.

But the people at home should note that there’s still no news about when we’ll get scenarios that use these expansions. Obviously Monolith might release scenarios between now and when the Witch Hunters come out, but they might not? So, er, maybe do a quick ol’ Googlin before you buy them.

Paul: What’s a googlin?

Quinns: It’s a bit like a boglin. Speaking of which, it looks like my petition to get boglins into the Toy Hall of Fame was all for naught. Bloody swing lobbyists.

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Paul: Anyway, Quinns, do you want a die made of metal and set with stones?

Quinns: No I do not.

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Hey look, here are a couple of Kickstarters that aren’t bobbins!

Paul: What’s a bobbins?

Quinns: It’s like a boglin that nobody wants.

So, SU&SD has never reviewed the “Tiny Epic” series of Kickstarted games, which offer big experiences in small boxes, but if you don’t let that stop you then Tiny Epic Quest is now live on Kickstarter. It looks like a straightforward game of travelling, questing and levelling up, a bit like Runebound, though with the excellent gimmick that you can slot equipment into the hands of your little adventurer meeples.

At just $24 it’s almost worth backing this just to get those figures in other games. It’s hard to imagine a game where a single, confused meeple with a boomerang isn’t funny. Mostly I’m thinking of playing Village with them.

“I have the legendary Master Sword!”

“That’s nice, dear. Now, how do you feel about being a cartwright for the rest of your life?”

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Finally, the Kickstarter for Feudum is now live and already thundering past stretch goals. I could have sworn it went live earlier this year and we already covered it, but according to my searches we didn’t… ?

Putting my crippling deja vu to one side, this is a breathtaking box. Like Scythe and Trickerion before it, Feudum is a display of unbridled maximalism. We’ve got so many components, mechanics and ideas, all wrapped up in stunning artwork. That said I also tend not to trust first time designers who are making small games, let alone ones this grand, so I might advise caution before you part with your cash. Remember: If a game’s that good, you’ll always be able to buy it later.

And with that, let’s move on to our reader gallery for the month!

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Reader Daniel Heath writes..

I really appreciated your comments in the last podcast about Conan–the game is so good! The gender politics make me so uncomfortable! I wanted to share our solution to that… I asked my wife for some help making the game something we can have out around other people and our kids, and she came up with some elegant solutions. For the cover of the Heroes’ Book, we just added a well-stocked table spread so that Conan is looming over a well-deserved hearty supper. Gender problems solved!

Cheers,

Daniel and Anna

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While the enigmatic “Richard” sent in the above!

Hi SUSD Gaming Overlords,

Not sure if the attached really count as “art”, but I’ve taken to creating posters of random things I like in my spare time in order to lift the terrible monotony of spreadsheet-based-worklife.

Board games was pretty much the first place I started; with the yellow “Little Plastic Men” poster, which is basically advertising the concept of games involving little men running around on maps on tables, as inspired by your review of the lovely Inis. Quite why this concept would need advertising is beyond me, but I don’t make the brain rules.

Yours appreciatively,

Richard

Paul: Lovely stuff! If you’d like your artwork, mods, or just photos of great game nights to be featured in the news, email them in to [email protected] with the subject “Gallery!”