Games News! 28/07/14

the ultimate resistance of the octopi against the terrible trains of the rising sun
Quinns: Morning, everyone! How was your weekend? I woke up today with my friend Olly sprawled across my sofa after some hot, late-nite Pictomania. Such a tragedy that that game didn’t sell! It’s Vlaada Chvátil’s secret best work. If you ever see a copy in the wild, pounce on it instantly and without doubt, like a tiger upon a juicy gazelle.

Oh man, I’m going to get some juice. Be right back.

Our first story is that well-respected 2009 release Hansa Teutonica (seen above) is receiving a reprint this year as well as an expansion, Hansa Teutonica: Britannia, adding an optional new board to play on and revised 2 player rules.

I’ve never played it, but I can tell you that the fancy Latin name isn’t hiding much in the way of theme. Hansa Teutonica is a game about building offices and trading routes in the middle ages, immediately putting me in mind of the comedic-sounding yet actually pretty great Thurn & Taxis. A game where players run a 17th century German postal service. I know! Just like you always dreamed.

Hansa Teutonica sounds a good bit trickier, though. Any “trader” cube you put on the main board has to be removed from ONE of the slots on your player board, all of which will reveal improvements to your company. For example, place all the cubes from one section of your board first, and you’ll find yourself taking a ton more actions each turn. But you’ll be doing this while considering which route you’ll actually place the thing on, all of which score in different ways. Then there are your friends! Your awful friends, who are also doing clever things. You definitely want to wedge your cubes in their way.

I’m intrigued! Ever since I fell head over heels in love with El Grande I’ve been looking for other games that fall into the beige’n’thoughtful genre.

Fire In The Lake

It’s a big month for wargamers as GMT’s definitive game on the Vietnam War, Fire In The Lake, prepares to ship to customers worldwide.

Enormo-GMT release Virgin Queen is still on my shelf after I absolutely botched a game of it eighteen months ago, but if any game was going to encourage me to take it down and get to grips with GMT’s manuals and running a game of that scale, it’d be Fire In The Lake.

It’s hard to think of a more evocative, lop-sided war than Vietnam, and it’s hard to find a more interesting game than Fire In The Lake. GMT’s Counter-Insurgency rules are in place to allow four players control of four radically different factions (America, North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the Viet Cong), and there are other systems in place to model the media war, air defenses, tunnels, trails and coups.

I actually spent some of this morning just reading this thread on Board Game Geek about card #119 in the event deck, “My Lai”, referencing the My Lai massacre. There are a few people taking the game’s designers to task because the card (and accompanying background in the manual) only describes what Lieutenant William Calley Jr. was convicted of, which is killing 22 villagers, rather than mentioning the U.S. army’s estimate of 347 unarmed civilians dead (or the still-higher numbers estimated by others).

Trains

Phew. That all got a bit heavy. Trains will help!

Trains: Rising Sun, the first expansion for SU&SD favourite Trains, is nearly here, and I’m steadily amassing excitement like a great excitement-powered engine of a man.

See that card to the right? AEG has just announced that it’s one of the new route cards that’ll ship with Rising Sun, enabling players to score additional points in a DRAMATIC RACE to link up two stations! Which is excellent, because if I had one criticism of Trains it’s that it was a bit directionless. That’s no good for a game about trains! You want rails! Tasks! FULL STEAM AHEAD! Full trains ahead. That’s what we’ve got. Ahead.

AND FINALLY, as always, here are a couple of Kickstarters for you to approach warily, as if you were going to unspring a bear trap– wait, what the hey?! The Resistance is back on Kickstarter!

The Resistance: Hostile Intent

Oh, man. So, remember when The Resistance: Avalon came out, and represented this whole new way to play The Resistance? You can see us having a great time with Avalon here, if you’re interested.

Remember how it split The Resistance into two distinct boxes, this sci-fi one with the “Plot” power cards, and Arthurian Avalon with its different roles? Remember how everyone was a bit puzzled that there was no way to own one set of super-Resistance with all the variants?

Now there is! Say hello to The Resistance: Hostile Intent, which will only be on Kickstarter for another 11 days. All the rare promo cards and roles of The Resistance: Avalon, plus some extra stuff, for use with your original Resistance set. …Except if you own Resistance: Avalon, there’s still no way to get the first game’s Plot cards in your game. So you’ll need to hunt down the original game.

You know what annoys me more than that almost everyone is going to have bought The Resistance twice by this point? It’s that Indie Boards and Cards are STILL talking about locking away various expansion modules as Kickstarter exclusives. This is an overwhelmingly successful game with very few components! It’s available in 20 languages! Stop making us work so hard to acquire all the pieces like it’s goddamn Humpty Dumpty, just put everything in a goddamn box and call it ULTIMATE RESISTANCE already GOD DAMN IT.

*backs kickstarter*

AquaSphere

And here’s another prestigious Kickstarter! Stefan Feld’s AquaSphere (which I’ve been ogling for a couple of months now) has made an abrupt Kickstarter appearance for North American and Canadian gamers. It really is just a pre-order this time, with nothing fancy or stretch-goaly about it. So if you’d like some wooden octopi or mystery crystals with your brain-burning strategy, vamoose! There’s only three days left.