But today I’m handing out slices of something even sweeter. I am, of course, talking about The Games News. We kick things off with the announcement of Decrypto, a team game of announcing coded messages to your team while racing to decypher the other team’s cypher.
...And I have only this second realised that “cypher” is the root word of “decypher”. That’s probably an indication that I’m going to suck at this game.
One thing I have deduced, however, is that Decrypto is almost certainly inspired by Codenames. Not only does it - like Codenames - play up to 8 players on two teams and feature a mechanic whereby a wrong move could instantly lose you the game, you are sending literal codenames to one another.
Paul: The honest, complex and difficult answer to that question is both yes and no.
Quinns: Paul would you like another game of thrones board game
Quinns: Terrific because here comes A Game of Thrones Catan Brotherhood of the Watch!
Paul: I’m glad they picked a name that rolls off the tongue.
For want of anything else with a nice header image, our top story is the reveal of Pandemic: Iberia. Hot on the heels of the Pandemic: Reign of Cthulu announcement, Z-Man Games has sent word of yet another spin-off.
Pandemic: Iberia will transport the co-operative disease-battling game to 1848, with a host of changes to the game itself, including the chance distribute fresh water and build railways during your battle malaria and yellow fever. Because of course, you no longer have the option of chartering flights!
He also cooks himself.
We have nothing but apologies to offer for this video being a little late. That cooking (a pretty serious one), combined with some audio gremlins, was a bit of a setback. Don't worry, Paul is now regularly lathering himself in various balms.
Quinns: Good morning everybody! I'm sick again, so expect a more sedate Games News than usual. Hello Lemsip, my old friend. Take me into your sweet lemony embrace. As Sherlock had his needle, I have my fruit-flavoured decongestants.
We start, as always, with the game with the prettiest header image. This time that means upcoming European-style game The Voyages of Marco Polo.
We all knew that these huge ship packs would be an investment (the Rebel transport will cost $60), so it's nice to see that they'll be a mini-expansion in and of themselves, with new rules for damage, movement and energy, an x-tra X-wing, and a deluge of tokens and cards. And this is just the first of the two huge ships revealed at Gen Con last year, with the other being approx. 20% huger (and $90).
But wait, because I've got some expansion news that's even more exciting!
Does your brother want to play Twilight Imperium for eight hours? Does your dad understand how the Ambush card works in Memoir ‘44? Will your mum flip the table again if she loses another game of Space Hulk?
Here, then, are Shut Up & Sit Down’s recommendations for games your family can play at Christmas. These are all games with rules you can learn in just a few minutes, and won’t keep you returning to the manual. Some are simple, some are smart, some are physical and some are outright dangerous. But they’re all terribly, terribly good fun.