Games News! 29/06/15

suspense, intrigue, pummelings, mingo fanty, chicken pizzas of the ancient world
Quinns: This weekend was a Party Weekend for the Quinns household. The good news is that we got to try out both Cockroach Poker AND Spyfall, and you can expect some very funny, positive reviews of those later this week. The bad news is that I’m so hungover that I’m having trouble focusing my eyes. I offer my sincerest apologies for what might be a distinct lack of humour, accuracy, bravery, words, truth or news in this week’s news.

Don’t worry! It’s all good news, at least. We never played Gale Force Nine’s Firefly board game (that’d be the team behind the innovative but wanting Spurticus tie-in game), because we heard Firefly was still wanting but a little less innovative.

That hasn’t stopped the game gathering quite the following, though, with GFN this week announcing three expansions! Firefly: The Game – Kalidasa is a big box offering a new sector of space and a wad of new cards, and the two miniature expansions will add new Fireflies (Fireflii?).

Kalidasa will also add two new contacts for you to work with by the name of Fanty & Mingo, which was actually on the shortlist of what we were going to call Shut Up & Sit Down (other contenders included Paul & The Low Rollers and Touch My Bum & Don’t Tell Anyone). In the UK asking for a “Mingo Fanty” will see someone serve you an unpleasant but orange bubbly drink.

Eldritch Horror

Who remembers our Eldritch Horror review? This sequel to Arkham Horror was quicker, cleaner and smarter if also little less epic, though overall we still didn’t feel it was worth your time.

Fantasy Flight being Fantasy Flight, that of course hasn’t stopped them from willing new expansions into existence every time you turn away from that corner. Yes, that one. Yes. Stop it. The latest pack is titled Strange Remnants, it’s almost upon us and it’ll add all sorts of new cards, tokens, monsters and another grand collection of consonants for you to battle: Syzygy!

The focus this time around is all the ancient sites of the world, from Stonehenge to Chichen Itza to the stone heads of Easter Island, all of which are apparently not what they seeeeeem to beeeee. Chichen Itza – for example – is not Chicken Pizza requested by a drunk.

Is that what your copy of Eldritch is crying out for? Personally I’d be all over the big box expansion, Mountains of Madness, which adds an extra board depicting the antarctic. I’ll do anything to embiggen Eldritch Horror’s pint-sized map of the world. Travelling between continents on an epic journey is great! Feeling cramped and trapped while you do so is markedly less great.

 Mountains of Madness

Oh god. I’ve just realised the theme of this week’s news.

In further developments surrounding “games we reviewed poorly/never at all”, Board Game Geek News has published another excellent designer diary, this time covering Discoveries. This is a beautiful-looking dice game based on Lewis & Clark, with designer Cédrick Chaboussit once again at the helm.

It dawns on me that Roll For the Galaxy is the only “dice” sequel we’ve ever reviewed. Are there any others we desperately need to look at, guys? It’s so, so hard to justify covering a dicey rehashing of a game we’ve already reviewed instead of covering something fresh and exciting. There’s also always the real fear that these tiny armies of plastic cubes might join together and somehow overwhelm us.

There is safety in cardboard, children. Never forget that.


Starfighters! There’s a new game coming from Ystari games called Starfighters that is about starfighters.

Alas, it’s not about stars having fights, nor is it about women who fight stars, or people who have ongoing beef with celebrities. It’s a tactical 2 player card game about playing cards in columns as your carrier ship fights another one.

Each card you play covers 50% of the card that came before it, certain abilities let you move cards around, cards might show more fighter craft or useful planets, that sort of thing. What caught my interest, though, is that players can “move” their carrier by shifting their player board (with all their cards on it) one column left or right of their opponent’s board, bringing different fighter craft into conflict.

Nuclear War

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of classic card game Nuclear War, a fancy new edition is being Kickstarted!

Together with Robo Rally, Nuclear War was actually the game that turned me on to board games being secretly amazing. It’s a very silly “take that!” style card game of players launching nukes at one another, engaging in horrific propaganda campaigns, and launching killer satellites alongside endless amounts of other stupid stuff.

Just a few simple ideas turn this mad dogpile into something genius. One, players are allotted a randomly-sized country at the start of the game. And two, players play their cards multiple turns in advance. So being the first player to declare war and start firing nukes is a gigantic advantage. Except if someone is clearly a mad aggressor, the entire table is going to band together and pummel them. What larks!

Kingdom Builder: Marshlands

These days, a game that sticks around for 10 years is clearly much-loved. In a sense, Nuclear War making it 50 years with almost no marketing whatsoever is the ultimate seal of quality.

Finally, here’s a nice Kickstarter that you totally can’t back because it got pulled for exciting legal reasons!

Kingdom Builder: Marshlands was set to be the third expansion for Donald X. Vaccarino’s easy-going game of town planning, and the Kickstarter quickly raised $50,000 before Queen Games were forced to cancel it.

Why? Dice Tower News has a few more details, but basically Vaccarino’s contract with Queen Games ended on June 30th 2015 and due to Donald being upset over late royalty payments from sales of his game in 2014, he’s refusing to renew it and let Queen Games publish Marshlands.

Suspense! Intrigue! Marshes! Whatever will happen next?

Probably nothing interesting, sadly, as Donald can neither get publishing rights for the base game back from Queen Games, nor can he sell the expansion to anyone else.