Review: Ethnos

BOLD TRAVELLER! Dare you enter the land of Ethnos? There live creatures the likes of which you cannot imagine. Trolls! Orcs! And what's that, hiding over there in that bush? Why, it's a wizard, laying a wizard egg. It is spring here, after all.

Alright, so the "land" of Ethnos is a bit rubbish. But this is a new game from Paolo Mori, who gifted us with Libertalia in 2013 and Dogs of War the year after that. Surely he has earned a moment of your time? Sit a while, traveller, and listen to Matt and Quinns rave about his latest design.


Preview: Jenn Sandercock’s Edible Games

cookie-cutter design, a wobbly foundation for a game, an aussie lolly
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Pip: In the time it takes my companion/opponent to move his knight to a new square I have broken off a piece of the game board and stuffed it into my mouth, crumbs on my T-shirt volunteering the specifics of my crime.

On the plus side, I am road testing one of Jenn Sandercock's edible games – The Order Of The Oven Mitt – and thus I have a mouthful of gingerbread rather than cardboard. On the less plus side you aren't supposed to eat the board yet and I've just remembered I don't like gingerbread.

The gingerbread debacle happens every year around Christmas. Faced with the dramatic potential of pretending to be a giant devouring a village I will tuck into any number of gingerbread houses and gingerbread folk, trying to ignore my tastebuds. I mention this to make it clear that the gingerbread problem is my own cross to bear rather than anything to do with Jenn. BUT gingerbread is a really useful building material so it's working really well as the substrate for the game.


Games News! 15/05/2017

a sticky heist, a brief and wondrous life, two detective
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Paul: Quinns! The oven timer has gone off! What have you got in there, exactly? It looks like… bread.

Quinns: No, that’s not bread that’s rising. It’s THE EMPIRE.

Paul: Is it going to take long? I wanted to put a pizza in.


Podcast #58: A Field of Marbles

Here's a question for you. What contains Fields of Arle, Spoils of War, Conflict of Heroes and Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs?

That's right! The answer is "A fistfight over an archaeological dig site in Northern Germany." But another valid answer would be the 58th ever SU&SD podcast, wherein Paul and Quinns discuss all of these games. What's more, Quinns reveals the results of his months-long experiment using the BG Stats app.

After all of that excitement the boys relax by dipping into the mailbag for a question on why board games seem to be getting more expensive, and close the podcast by talking about the noble art of marble racing. Enjoy, everybody!

(Thanks to BGG User Steph Hodge for this podcast's header image!)


Review- EXIT: The Game vs. Unlock!

this... isn't... sparta!, a ceremonial bin, a questionable bath
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Quinns: As “escape rooms” continue to spread across the world like an architectural venereal disease (but a nice one!), you may or may not know that there are now lots of escape room board games. Yes! You can have (almost) all the fun of escaping a real room, but at a tidy fraction of the price.

For the last few weeks I’ve been fretting and sweating against these games' arbitrary countdowns, searching for the best simulation of being locked in a room. And do you know what? I had a consistently happy time of it.

But the time for happiness is over. Two series emerged as front-runners during my trials, and it’s only right that I pit them against one another in cardboard combat. From Germany, in the blue corner, we have the prestigious series of EXIT: The Game. And from France, in the red corner, we have the flashy contender known as Unlock!

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLE PUZZLE!


Review: Great Western Trail

quinns stop clicking your fingers, number-udders, that's cowboy magic
Hoo baby! The profoundly beefy 2016 game of Great Western Trail is finally back in stock the world over. We've had ample time to test its systems, prodding its many rules from every conceivable angle, and today want to tell you that it lives up to the hype.

And thank goodness for that! When was the last time your evenings contained a dose of cowboy magic? It was too long, wasn't it?


Tickets Now On Sale for The First SU&SD Convention!

oh my god please come, it'll be weird if it's just six of us in a ballroom

Quinns: This is one of those times where you wish our headlines didn't already use capital letters, so we could SHOUT!

Our team has been working ludicrously hard for the last five months putting together the first ever SU&SD convention. It'll be in Vancouver, Canada on October 6th, 7th and 8th of this year, and tickets, details and hotel rooms are available through THIS LINK.

You can expect a board game lending library, tons of tables to play games, no less than three Megagames(!), a full track of talks and loads of special guests including every single member of the SU&SD team. It's going to be ludicrously good fun. Practical info can be found on the above SHUX '17 page, but I'll pop a small F.A.Q. after the cut.


Review: Burgle Bros.

a dollop of chaos, a crime soufflé, a misplaced acrobat, and a bloody cat?!
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Matt: Chucking Pandemic Legacy in the bin proved to be an uncomfortable day for my board game collection, causing a cardboard-flavoured existential wobble. As much as I love - had loved - Pandemic, experiencing the full-fat campaign spin-off had left me wondering if I’d ever bring myself to go back to the standard co-op game that had been such a household staple.

I’ve spent a while poking my nose around for a worthy replacement, and - for me - I think it might be Burgle Bros.

Dropping two to four players into a classic bank heist, Tim Fowers’ has squeezed an almost comical amount of theme and bits and ideas into a box that - being generous - might hold a small shoe. Our intrepid / idiotic thieves have failed to case the joint ahead of the job, so it’s up to you and your Colleagues-In-Crime to first find the safes, then crack them, grab the loot, and get out.


Games News! 01/05/2017

the hated cobbles, the sweetest scythe, the additional hamilcar, ecstasy
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Paul: Here we are again, marshalling a whole host of new Games News arrivals! Please stand back as I wave the latest Games News to Gate F26, where it will disembark and make its way toward customs. Quintin, I believe you actually wanted to detain a particularly important story related to Fantasy Flight's new Legend of the Five Rings card game, right?

Quinns: Ah, yes please, Paul. Please send it this way, where I will thoroughly inspect it, as well as the first of their preview articles...


Podcast #57: A Purple Boss, A Spicy Path

emergency holidays, invented furs, unicycle jousting
Quickly, man the battlements! The podcastle is under attack from deadly waves of silence. Secure the chat parapets, and brace the gates of opinion!

In episode 57 of our award-winning podcast Quinns offers thoughts on I'm the Boss!, the first Sid Sackson game that this site has ever covered, while Paul takes a look at the new edition of Citadels, the first game to ever appear on SU&SD. Quinns has also played an advance copy of the much-hyped Century: Spice Road, while Paul rounds off this week's Fresco review by talking about that game's expansions.

There's combat juggling in the folk game section and the boys chat about why Virgin Queen was Quinns' lowest point, but perhaps the biggest surprise comes during our mailbag segment. We've received a reader mail that's made us question our entire attitude towards not just box inlays, but board games in general. Listen in horror as one listener's expensive opinion spreads across the very fabric of SU&SD, like a spilled glass of wine.