SU&SD Will Now Cover Indie RPGs!

slow jams, spooky hexagon, porcelain unicorns, we have to save the zoo
SU&SD Will Now Cover Indie RPGs!
[Today is a momentous day in SU&SD history! We’ve fixed the toilets on level eleven. But also we’re expanding our remit from board and card games, to add just a little coverage of something else you can buy in a game shop: small, or "indie" roleplaying games. Anyone remember our review of Fiasco last year? Yes! Just like that.]

To help us out, we’d like to welcome back irregular SU&SD contributor Leigh Alexander. But who is she? Why is she here? And what is an indie RPG?]

Quinns: Who are you? Why are you here? And what is an indie RPG?

Leigh: Hi! I’m a gaming and culture writer who writes primarily about videogames, boardgames are finally getting under my skin thanks to SU&SD, and you KNOW what an indie RPG is, punk.

Quinns: It’s true. Indie RPGs take the format of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and their ilk, with players sat around a table, rolling dice, pretending to be half-elves and what have you, but with a focus on story instead of simulation. Suddenly, these books offer low-maintenance games that you and your friends can finish in a single evening.

And oh my GOD! They’re all so fascinating!

Games News! 03/06/13

Games News! 03/06/13
Quinns: Morning, peaches! How are you doing? Summer's arrived here in SU&SD's sacred city of London, and that means... something, to some people, probably. Not to us, though! We're still indoors, searching for the world's best board games. Just a little sweatier.

Game Bugle bring us our first story, an official design diary of the gang-tastic City of Remnants, which we reviewed just last month. Some really neat stuff in there from new designer Isaac Vega, including the pearl of wisdom that the hardest part of any board game design is the very final round of playtesting, where the bones of many an unpublished game can be found.

That's not my favourite story this week, though. I just needed something pretty for the header image. Get ready for THIS:

Review: Tzolk’in

Here’s something to keep you guys hungry. Quinns has just posted his review of Tzolkin: The Mayan Calendar on Eurogamer, and it’s ONLY the most impressive game we’ve played this year.

“Getting worked up about mundane themes is a bit of a theme in itself in contemporary board gaming. Dyspeptic classic Thurn and Taxis is a good example: a game about running a 16th-century Bavarian postal service where failing to finish a route between Pilsen and Budweis brings on a feeling not unlike death. In the case of Tzolk’in, you could not be more emotionally invested in a corn cob

Review: Spartacus

glistening nipples, teensy meeples, death stuff, spurt stuff
This time around, we look at the sexy, sweaty, sword-wielding game of gladiatorial combat that is Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery! Last year, Spartacus' gory magnetism earned it a huge following. Designers Gale Force Nine thought they'd slipped SU&SD by, but this was NOT THE CASE.

We're here now, and we're finally answering all the important questions. Is it as good as the TV series? Have any of us actually seen the TV series? And who is Spartacus?

Review: El Grande

Review: El Grande
Quinns: Hey! You’re up late. Come here, I want to show you something. Isn’t she becautiful? She’s called... “El Grande.”

What? She looks old?! Could you have some respect? Yes, she’s old. She was released in 1995, but she’s still for sale today because she’s a classic. She’s also one of my favourite games, and you’re going to listen as I tell you why. No, you can’t go to bed. Sit down. You might learn a thing or two. No you can’t have a glass of water. You screwed that up.

The thing is, we’re covering a lot of flashy games these days. Games of neon dice, plastic warriors, of mechanics so thick and layered as to resemble some glutinous design lasagne.

I like El Grande because it knows you don’t need any of that to be grand. It has almost royal quality you won’t find in any of this cardboard pomp.

Games News! 27/05/13

yachts, MONEYBOMBS, inky ignorance, sour mumbling, drifts, molds
Games News! 27/05/13
Quinns: Where would we be without Board Game Geek News? Ah, such dark questions aren't fit for such a sunny morning. Much better to locate the nearest croissant and insert it, slowly, into your mouth while enjoying SU&SD's weekly news roundup.

The BIG news this week is that the 2013 nominees for the German Spiel des Jahres prize have been announced. This is hot business, as the winner will go on to sell some 300,000 to 500,000 copies. Absorb that figure. Now, here's another one- many of the board games we look at will never break five figures.

These nominees are... well, I mean, you've probably noticed they're sat at the top of the post. Spoiler!

Review: Star Wars: The Card Game

tea, Dagobah Park, Boba bloody Fett, seriously why can't we be rich
We're HUGE Star Wars fans here at SU&SD. Phasers! Klingons. The holodeck. We just can't get enough!

So what will Quinns make of Star Wars: The Card Game? How will it compare to the new X-Wing Miniatures Game (our old review of which is here)? Who's this Dark Side Quinns? And hang on what HELL is going on with THAT ENDING


Review: Combat Commander

Plutarch, chemical toilets, Paul why did you go back there, Paaauuuul
Review: Combat Commander
[We've once again dispatched Paul to the home of Matt Thrower, our wargames correspondant. This week he's reviewing something that sounds... absolutely amazing? That can't be right.]

Paul: Matt? Hi! No-one answered the door so I let myself in.

Matt: You tried to find your way through the house by yourself? God forbid if I’d forgotten to lock the basement.

Paul: What? Wait, what’s this room?

Matt: The library. Look here. These books have all tried to capture the experience of the front-line soldier. An extreme example of the human condition. Seeing one’s friends dismembered in the most appalling ways imaginable on a daily basis.

Paul: That's-

Matt: Fascinating, yes. But it turns out all that research and writing was something of a waste of time. All they had to do was play this game, here: Combat Commander. It's absolutely incredible, and more than a little blood-curdling.

Games News! 20/05/13

musketeers, greasy bags, plastic fascists, Reiner Knizia's Pyjama Party
Games News! 20/05/13
Quinns: Sorry to anyone who's been punching F5, hungry for news. I've been in recovery. Paul and I played some new releases yesterday and ALL THREE were disappointing. Halfway through the third we wore the sour expressions of mountain climbers. I think I saw Brendan crying.

But let's speak of something EXCITING! Eight-Minute Empire, pictured above, looks wicked. It's a racecar-fast area control game where players simply take turns to select a card, develop their control of a board, and expel a winner from their midst. It was Kickstarted earlier this year, and is currently sat in the middle of a tiny hype-tornado.

Now, check this out! The standalone sequel, Eight-Minute Empire: Legends, is on Kickstarter already! It's already broken its goal with the series' characteristic speed, so that's a very reasonable place for your money to go this week.

The Opener: Ladies & Gentlemen and Homemade Scones

smokin' onna twix, butters, those are shoes, do you really need another hat
Get ready to GET EXTRAVAGANT! The Opener is a search for the perfect way to start your board game night. Already, in the second ever episode, Matt might have found it.

Ladies & Gentlemen is a team game about Victorian women shopping furiously for a glamorous ball, as well as the husbands they command like so many nervous ponies. How angry could you get about an imaginary dress? You're wrong. You're so wrong.

Matt also suggests you make scones, which are apparently the adorable training wheels of the baking world. We wouldn't know. Our oven's been broken since Paul baked Talisman that one time.