Games News! 27/03/2017
I know what you’re thinking, because I thought the very same. “Eight hundred and seventy eight vikings? That’s a very precise amount.” HOWEVER, as this beast’s wheels hit the deck, you realise that’s a reference to a year and that 878 Vikings is another cousin in the same prestigious family as 1775: Rebellion and 1812: The Invasion of Canada. Like those, it can be played either by teams of allies who battle each other for the control of Britain, or by two players who greedily gobble up all the cards and dice for themselves.
Also like its peers, it’s an asymmetric game that gives large tracts of land and their peasant militias to the defending side, but deadly momentum and ongoing reinforcements to vikings who threaten to roll across the land like a pin across soft, soft English dough. And speaking of momentum, this Kickstarter has only been going a week and it already looks like it’ll raise at least twenty times its original target. Talk about pedigree.
Coming in hot on its tail is as good a candidate as any for its wingman and best beach volleyball buddy. Tribes is another Kickstarter with a respectable lineage and a scandinavian flavour, but this time that’s because it launched straight out of snowy Sweden. At the controls is Rustan Håkansson, of Nations fame, and he looks close to landing the 300,000 swedish Kronor he needs for this game of ancient exploration and expansion.
It looks like he’s put together a simple and yet effective engine to simulate prehistoric people bashing together both stones and skulls as they try to smarten up, though I do wonder how much player interaction is going to be involved beyond stealing a flock of sheep before your neighbour can. That said, I guess “stealing a flock of sheep before your neighbour can” is sort of the history of all human conflict anyway.
Our maintenance crews are still busy unloading hot news from GAMA and have just inventoried this BGGNews preview of Wasteland Express Delivery Service. The best elevator pitch for this is to probably describe it as Mad Max meets Elite, with each player customising a vehicle that rumbles its way through a hostile, apocalyptic desert, dodging raiders, smuggling supplies and using the profits to upgrade their gear and get things like turbo boosts, bigger guns or those little pine tree fresheners that babies always want to chew.
We saw an earlier version of this modular monster at GenCon last year and have been tracking it on our radars since. It’s now looking polished and prepared. I would be interested even if I didn’t know that Dead of Winter designer Jonathan Gilmour was part of the crew. But I do. So I’m even more interested to ride this particular highway to a danger zone. To the Gilmour zone. To say “Hello, Jonathan Gilmour! Please let me into your zone!”
Below the heaving decks of this maritime monstrosity, we have teams of analysts dissecting the latest digital developments. If you were a fan of the critically lauded Sorcery! adaptations that reimagined Steve Jackson’s Fighting Fantasy books for iOS and Steam, letting thousands of new players get shafted by a goblin or poisoned by a poison, then you’ll be interested the to hear that what appears to be a similar sort of project is on its way in the guise of Fighting Fantasy Legends, from Nomad Games.
THAT SAID, The teaser for this is the shortest and stingiest thing I’ve seen in ages and the big caveat here is that Sorcery! Was by Inkle, not the very different Nomad, but there’s a real appetite out there for more such adaptations, so I’m both hopeful and keen.
Also disembarking courtesy of BGGNews is this fascinating peek into Argentina’s Premio Alfonso X prize, which will soon be awarded to one of nine diverse titles that include games about codebreaking, witches and rescuing people from Chernobyl. It’s not often we get to look at South America’s games scene, but we know it’s growing and we know there’s a lot of passionate players there, not least because our visitor traffic tells us so.
Are you from that part of the world? If so, what are you playing lately? What are you looking forward to? Do you have any curious folk games you’d like to share with us for our podcast? Do get in touch. In the meantime, I’ll be swabbing the deck, resetting the steam catapults and rooting for Conejos en el Huerto. I feel the need, the need for rabbits.
And finally! That whooshing you hear is Quinns departing in one of our special stealth choppers to speak at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London this coming Saturday, as part of the Board Games Rediscovered exhibition. He’ll be speaking alongside such other excellent games luminaries as Ian Livingston, Holly Nielsen, Esther MacCallum-Stewart and Nia Wearn, a team chaired by some fellow called James Wallis (a name that vaguely rings a bell). They’re a terrific lineup and you can collect them all for the modest price of £20.