Games News! 17/11/14

wave your stumps, bellimania, throat-crushing, anybody want a peanut?
Paul: Hello, viewers, and welcome to another edition of Games News! On this week’s show, our contestants are Sven, Lucia and Juanita! Let’s also welcome back Henry, who is returning from last week’s show mostly intact. Wave your stumps, Henry!

All right, everyone, you know how the show goes. Let’s get things started with the Quickfire Round! First question: What’s the new game from Love Letter creator Seiji Kanai that we should be getting all amorous about?

BZZT. Lucia! That’s right, it’s Secret Moon, which puts between five and eight players on either Team Minister or, wait for it, Team Princess. Inspired by duplicitous hidden-role games like Werewolf and The Resistance, Kanai has put his own spin on things by making a game where players don’t talk or bluff nearly as much. In fact, they barely talk at all.

Secret Moon

Instead, as palace guards search for a wayward Princess who might be running off in the night with a handsome Wanderer, players simply call out to each other. Team Princess wants to capture the Minister, Team Minister wants to capture the Princess or reveal both the Princess and the Wanderer, but complicating it all is the kind-hearted Priestess, who can pretend to be part of Team Minister, but is really on the side of the young lovers.

Lucia! Chance to score a follow-up here: What’s the one phrase players call out to each other as their characters stumble through the darkness? No? Anyone else? That’s right, Juanita! It’s “Who are you?” It’ll be intriguing to see how this plays out, with players only communicating with their midnight cries.

Next question! What’s the first set of expansions for Star Wars: Armada called?

BZZT. Henry! Quite right, it’s simply titled Wave One, and excellent work there mashing your face on the buzzer.

Wave One, announced just after we finished Games News last week, features two new Rebel frigates, a Gladiator-class Star Destroyer (something I’ve never heard of) and lots of fighter squadrons. There’s also a Corellian Corvette blasting its way onto our tables, so now both Armada and X-Wing can boast the first Star Wars vessel we ever saw on screen, though in two very different sizes.

Star Wars vessel

I want to get all anal here and remind people that, technically speaking, many of the capital ships in the Star Wars universe were used by both sides in the Galactic Civil War. Everyone had Corellian Corvettes and the Nebulon-B Frigates also served on both sides. The Rebels were flying (or stealing) whatever they could, so had a real mish-mash of the old and new, but this is often glossed over for narrative convenience and consigned to the ever-growing heap of Star Wars miscellanea. Did you know, for example, that women pilots were edited out of Return of the Jedi?

Time for another follow-up! Which throat-crushed Captain features in Wave One? Anyone? No? It’s Captain Antilles, who Darth Vader flings into a wall!

Speaking of throat-crushing, that’s the end of the Quickfire Round! Sven, I’m afraid you scored no points, so you’re consigned to the Quickfire, our unique combination of quicksand and fire. Let’s see how you do in there!

Oh. Oh dear. Oh that’s not good. What a shame.

On with the show! Now for our Spin the Wheel round. Lucia, would you spin the wheel for me please, but watch out for the blades and the blasts!

Exciting! Oh! Almost! Nearly! Yes! No! Fantastic! So let’s see. The Answer Prong points towards “French-to-English translation” so Lucia, can you tell me how that’s significant before you bleed out?

Tactics & Strategy Guide for Memoir '44

Correct! The official Tactics & Strategy Guide for Memoir ’44 is being translated into English at last. Can you hold up your fingers to tell us just how old it is, Lucia? No? You’re… you’re right, you no longer have that many. Well, it’s five years old, five hundred pages long and finally within the grasp of English-language players. Except you, Lucia. You won’t be grasping anything. Better luck next time!

Finally, Henry and Juanita, will you join me in the Kickstarter Corner? Lovely! All right, folks, what’s Kickstarter success Roots all about? Remember, the correct answer is written somewhere on your opponent, so swing the Kicker-Licker right at it!

Juanita, you’re dead on! Roots is a game that allows players to create new words out of parts of old ones or, to put it more accurately, by combining established prefixes and suffixes, which they then must justify the existence of. It’s got one of those wonderfully simple concepts that you immediately understand and which presents all sorts of clever and perhaps even hilarious possibilities. The first example in the video, “Bellimania,” really could mean an obsession with war. But not only do you create new words, as you put these new words down, you build word trees from them. It’s just like our very own Tree of Pain.


Roots has already trundled way past its target and, if you want to be in on all this, it has just three days left in which you can pledge. What’s a word for pledging quickly? Numisagility? Wait, I’m terrible at this game. Sure, you can keep using that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

Oh, that reminds me! The brilliant Daniel Solis, who is forever tweeting concise and clever ideas for game mechanics, is one of the team behind this Princess Bride Kickstarter for not one, but three games that are all light, but still more interesting than that one about storming the castle. The initial goal of $100 is bizarrely low, so I’m not quite sure what GameSalute are doing setting their sights there, but they seem to have raised a practical amount for modest print run and I like the idea of there being more Princess Bride games out there, particularly ones that look like they reflect the playful tone of the film.

Well, that’s about all we have time for, so let’s total up the scores…

Judith! Congratulations! You’re this week’s Games News Guru. You win a complimentary vase and six months of counselling. Henry, you’ve come second once more, which means you’ll get another chance next week, which I make your fourth consecutive appearance! We’ll see what we can do for your kidneys in the meantime. Why not sooth yourself watching videos of the Terrain Tech games system, with its glowing dungeons and playing pieces? After all, “It’s More Fun To Play In The Dark!”

See you next week for another edition of the Shut Up & Sit Down’s Games News. Goodbye, everybody!