Review: Augustus

roadhouse, water information, Henry, moths, romans, games?
Review: Augustus

We like to think of SU&SD as one big family. Sadly, according to GOV.UK that’s wrong, and a family needs at least 2 children, 1 drinking problem and (at least) 1 farting dog.

But that wasn’t going to stop us from reviewing the year’s hottest new family board game! Augustus is a simulation of dispatching Roman legions to different corners of the earth that recently got nominated for a very prestigious German award. Also, Quinns is back with another hot Netrunner tip. Have you heard of Netrunner? It’s really good. You should play it.

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Interview: Plaid Hat Games

winning, cusping, leading, gangbusting, shepherding
Interview: Plaid Hat Games

[Everybody likes Colby Dauch. After starting Plaid Hat Games at the ripe age of 27 with a game of his own design, he’s managed to publish one very interesting game a year (from different designers) in each of the four years since, and has grown from Heroscape fanboy to capable and committed entrepreneur — a transition that many designers-turned-publishers make with far less aplomb.

With the publication of BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia, Dauch’s young company is suddenly much higher — brighter? — on many more radar screens. We sent Actual Journalist Mark Wallace to find out what makes Colby such a nice guy. Instead, he came back with this interview.]

Mark: I want to jump right in by mentioning BioShock. You’ve just released the board game of the hit video game. It looks like you’re sitting on the edge of what could be a huge mainstream success. How does that feel, to go from being an unknown publisher four years ago, to shepherding one of the coolest, most high-profile game franchises into cardboard?

Colby: It’s pretty shocking. The interesting story there is that they approached me. That they sought out a board game rather than being pitched on it means that they know about this world, and they’re into it. Video gamers is a growing market for board games, so a project like this is right there in the sweet spot of growth for the industry. To be a growing company and be right where we feel the cusp of that growth is of course immensely exciting.

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Games News! 09/09/13

dressing up, levelling up, giving up, tuning forks, under the table
Dungeon Fighter

Quinns: Morning everybody! It’s got to be morning where one of you is, right?

You can see our top story illustrated just up there: Board gamers’ arms are hairier than ever before. The problem is now reaching critical levels. Coincidentally, also pictured above is our second top story, which is that the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game arriving in stores globally is, apparently, a bit good.

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Review: The Cave

underground wumblers, tent adventures, a quiche, netrunner tips
Review: The Cave

This week Quinns looks at The Cave! A game about caves and the people who love them and sometimes get stuck in them. Which might sound rubbish, but did you ever consider that caves are basically nature’s dungeons?

We’re also very proud to present the segment that you lot have been begging for: Quinns’ Netrunner Tips!

Oh, and if anyone’s curious, the K2 review we talk about in the video lives right here. Enjoy, everybody!

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Review: Here I Stand

boy bands, the wicker card, all aboard the succubus, most musty, smallpox
Review: Here I Stand

Quinns: Matt? I need a second opinion on this beret. Hey, what’choo guys doing in this basement?

Thrower: INFIDEL! Remove that at ONCE! Can’t you see this is a Holy Place?

Quinns: I did wonder who all the menacingly hooded, chanting figures were.

Thrower: This is a shrine dedicated to the worship of the one true wargame mechanic: the card-driven game. And tonight, from our multitudinous pantheon, we are worshipping the many-headed and many-handed goddess. Mistress of lies and deceit, changer of the ways and the patron succubus of politicians: Here I Stand.

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Review: Village

King of the babies, Plague huffin', professional accents, Quinns is a bad dad
Review: Village

Once we heard about all the love and awards Village was earning we just had to dispatch Paul and Quinns, SU&SD’s softest city boys, to take a look. This one’s a true simulation the simple life, perfect for anybody who wants to breed horses, dedicate themselves to the church or murder their relatives when nobody’s looking.

Village has an expansion, Village Inn, but Quinns has been a very good boy and not bought it. …Right, Quinns?

Oh, and if you don’t recognise that intro, go and acquire all 17 episodes of The Prisoner immediately. You can thank us later.

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Lord Smingleigh On… House Rules, Pt. 1

PONY-MOUNTED WEAPONRY, BEATINGS WITH CLUEDO BOARDS, The cat's gambit
Lord Smingleigh On... House Rules, Pt. 1

[Following the tremendous success of Lord Smingleigh’s inaugral column on the nature of play, we invited gaming’s most storied gentleman to stick around! And then culled “The Ludological Investigation Society” as a title because it broke our headline box. Nobody tell him. I’m serious. He won’t shut up about it.]

It is a fact universally acknowledged that all board games are perfect. Who are we to stick our fallible thumbs in the board game pie? We have come for the experience the chef has planned through years of experience and talent, not the thrown-together improvisations of short-order cooks.

Except, no. This view is to disregard the most vital of components in board gaming: Humans. Sometimes it is necessary to change the game to suit the players. It is my honour to present to you an excerpt from an early draft of my life’s work and legacy: A Treatise on the Taxonomy of House Rules.

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Impressions: The BioShock Infinite Board Game

Into the integer nest, nauseous elevation, dropkick plans, anti-bilge
Impressions: The BioShock Infinite Board Game

Quinns: The board game of popular first personly shootems’ videogame BioShock Infinite arrives in stores this week. A lot of hype behind this one, since it’s from Plaid Hat Games, creators of such excellence as City of Remnants, Summoner Wars AND Mice & Mystics (which we still haven’t played).

I was able to give it a quick play earlier in the month, and today my impressions are up on Kotaku. IS IT GOOD? Click on through and find out!

“Is The Siege of Columbia another gritty, gory war game? Not in the slightest. In fact, I’d argue the board game’s biggest achievement is recognising and pursuing the rollercoaster tone of the video game. There’s some smart design to mull over, but it’s far outweighed by a schlocky desire to entertain.”

And if you’re hungry for more BioShock Infinite related writings, SU&SD’s own Leigh Alexander has written a definitive critique of the videogame right here.

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Kotaku Article: Days of Wonder Interview

French tortoises, hate in an elevator, bent swords, hot bells
Kotaku Article: Days of Wonder Interview

Quinns: Almost forgot about this! Board game publisher Days of Wonder last month declared that Ticket to Ride, their family train game, had overtaken Settlers of Catan in monthly sales. There’s a new biggest board game in town! I set up a phone interview to see what DoW do differently, then loaded it all into my monthly Kotaku column, slipping fact after fact into that hot gaming skillet.

“Part of our brand,” explains the sonorous French voice on the phone, “is coming from the fact we do very few things. Porsche is the most successful car company in the world from the business standpoint, but they do very few models… we take the same approach in the board game business.”

Founder Eric Hautemont also talked about vinyl records, the role of mobile devices in boardgaming and how his company works the exact opposite way from America’s other big publisher, Fantasy Flight. Really interesting stuff. Go read!

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Games News! 26/08/13

sellotape, Pantspantspants, Patchpaw, buffalo unmentionables, paul's treasure
Munchkin

Quinns: Oh gods. I may have had too much to drink last night. It’s cool, though. As long as I remain perfectly still I’m pretty sure I can make it through the news without one of my internal organs making a brave attempt to escape my body.

Details are beginning to emerge regarding Keyflower: The Farmers (pictured above), which we haven’t covered, but which is an expansion to Keyflower! Which we also haven’t covered.

It might be a long week.

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