GAMES NEWS! 20/10/20

a lump of history, a reverse turing test, a lick of locality
Quintin Smith 67 comment(s)

Ava: Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom, Tom.

Tom: Aaaah. Stop poking me. I’m awake, I’m awake. I thought it was meant to be worm month??

Ava: Tom. It’s TUESDAY. We SLEPT THROUGH THE NEWS. And anyway, worm month was a lie sold to you by the greedy greeting card companies after they accidentally acquired thirty tonnes of sentimental worms after a spelling mistake on their annual words order.

Tom: I’m feel betrayed! But I sympathise. We’ve had similar issues with the Games Newts. Onwards!

Ava: Let’s talk about a little game you’ve probably never heard of called… Lawyer Up.

Tom: In AwSHUX tradition, we shall convey all information in regards to Lawyer Up through the medium of mime.



Ava: Okay, obviously that was a beautiful mime and a very clever reference to our technical difficulties this weekend, but maybe our audience should watch the video below. This is an asymmetric lawyer simulator that accidentally got thrust into the AwSHUX limelight after it autoplayed about 40 times on our Stream this weekend.

This is mostly here as an excuse to point you at all the previews that we created in the run up to AwSHUX. There are a whole load of games that we’ve not got round to covering in the games news, along with some bits we’re already fully hyped up for. Each video collects together previews and rules explanations on a particular theme so you can drink a whole barrel full of news in several satisfying glugs.

I’m currently pretty curious about The Red Cathedral on the basis of some pleasing mechanics and a nice big round thing in the middle. More obviously exciting fare includes New York Zoo and Renature, though in secret, I’m mostly hype for those because Tom keeps talking about them in ways that make me excited.

Tom: Both of those games are lovely, gentle, but slightly bitey things – I can’t wait to give them a little more coverage on the site. Out of the very limited window of previews I took a peek at, The Transcontinental and Legendary: A 007 Deckbuilder stuck out to me – the former because it looks like a lovely little game with gorgeous art and a smattering of odd mechanics… and the latter because it lets you frolic amongst whatever bonkers headcanon you so desire. More of that one on this week’s podcast!

Ava: Just as a little extra info-nudge for our readers, the AwSHUX shop is still open for business, if you want to buy some games in a way that’s good for both SU&SD and the publishers themselves. You can also please both your torso and us by buying some lovely t-shirts at the merch stand. Not to mention that Tabletopia is still free until Wednesday with the code AWSHUX! There’s just a lot of scope for keeping the lovely buzz of the weekend going a little longer.

I absolutely obliterated my sleep schedule, but I’m so glad to have got a chance to hang out with so many lovely people, playing games and being silly and then getting really, really heartfelt in the late night Q&A. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend, and I’m assured that tonnes of the stuff will be up on YouTube for perusal in the near future, so don’t fret if you missed it!

Tom: I would also like to say thank you to everyone that attended and made that event unbelievably special. The energy, passion and excitement in chat kept everyone going behind the scenes, and made the whole event a joy from start to finish. On a personal note, it was seeing that energy and positivity that’s made me a whole lot less nervous about the possibility of REAL SHUX next year. It’s going to be a blast.

Ava: These lovely new folklore editions of Patchwork look gorgeous!

Patchwork is a nearly perfect piece of puzzling positionery that’s getting new editions for China and Taiwan. Those versions got a new lick of paint in the form of local artists providing illustrations based on their own national folklore. It’s so lovely that there’s a limited European release of these versions, alongside a decidedly less satisfying Christmas version.

I’m really tempted by a second copy of this, just so that I can be a bit more generous with lending it out. It’s such a great game that I can’t bear to part with it, but I also want to put it in front of as many people as possible! Now I’ve just got to do some reading up on Chinese and Taiwanese folklore to figure out which I like more.

Cartographers: Heroes is on Kickstarter! This is a follow up to a game that Matt definitely enjoyed in his bit of our recent roll and write round up, and now it wants you to make a bet, with your money, that the sequel will be good.

Tom: Croupier! I’m putting all my money on ‘Nebblis: Plane of Flame’! I really shouldn’t talk about betting – it’ll give Matt flashbacks to not understanding odds in that Wits and Wagers stream.

There’s an absolutely ferocious amount of information in this Kickstarter, so let me help pilot your brain through this asteroid field of words and noises. Cartographers: Heroes is the new standalone expansion to the original (the boxes even snap together in a way that’s pleasing and will also never happen). In this new box you’ve got new monsters and new scoring cards, as well as hero cards – which are a new mechanic that enables you to whack the monsters that are all over your nice kingdom. There’s also two new map sheets that give you new locales to fill in with forests, rivers and et ceteras.

HOWEVER. If you want to get extra fancy, you can get the meatiest collector’s edition known to humankind, which is crammed with expansion materials great and small, and backing at different levels will give you access to different bonuses, map packs and mini-expansions.


It’s very straightforward – if you back at the ‘Hero of Nalos’ level you’ll get the Heroes expansion, and the skills mini expansion 2, but you’ll need to back at the ‘New Recruit Cartographer’ level if you want the skills mini expansion 1, which also gives you everything else, but if you don’t want the big expensive box you’ll have to back at the ‘Explorer of the Plains’ level, but you will miss out on ambush promos, and the 20 coloured pencils.

Ava: Ooh. There’s a couple of nice designer diaries over on boardgamegeek news at the moment. We covered Praga Caput Regni a while back, a game about building a bridge to impress a the holy roman emperor, which tickles all my ‘very specific history’ buttons.

Meanwhile Kitara looks like an interesting take on a fantastical version of 14th century Africa, or more specifically the breakdown of the Kitara Empire. Designer Eric Vogel writes about trying to dig into all of this while not being of African descent. It makes for an interesting read, whether you think they succeeded or not. Honestly, I learnt a big lump of stuff about African history I’d never heard of before, so I’m increasingly intrigued.

Everybody hates chess! Which is why even the people who love it are actually cheating at it.

Tom ‘Computer doping’ is a phrase I never thought I’d be reading in relation to chess, and certainly not as frequently as it appears in the article. My mind immediately turns to cramming a joint into a USB port, or tossing a baggie of something suspect into a disk drive. Chris Morris turns to the camera and says ‘this computer is absolutely drugged out of its digi-mind’. Good times.

Ava: For me, the weirdest and most 2020 wrinkle of all this is that is employing a specialist to design a computer model that checks whether an ‘honest human’ is likely to have made a set of moves without being aided by a computer’s brute force technology. This means we’ve got a computer running a reverse Voigt-Kampff or Turing test on a load of human beings playing a game, and making an assessment of whether they are human enough to be allowed to play.

Tom: That’s fascinating and terrifying all at once.

Ava: Sounds like something a robot would say, Brewbot3000.