How to Play Condottiere!

How to Play Condottiere!

Condottiere is a card game with a little bit of everything. A bit of area control, a bit of bluffing, a bit of hand management, a bit of negotiation and a bit of luck. It’s like a delicious sampler platter of everything board games have to offer, and it’s a perfect game to start your collection with.

Shut Up & Sit Down has talked up this classic since the site began. Check out this review from back in 2011! It turns out this game is still available in shops and still excellent, so it’s time to do it again!

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Review and a Recipe: Arboretum and Pasta with Trees

Review and a Recipe: Arboretum and Pasta with Trees

The Opener returns! Everyone’s favourite series featuring a straightforward game paired with a sexy recipe. Except we’re not calling it The Opener any more, it’s just “review and a recipe”. Nice and simple! Just like the game. And the recipe. And Matt.

Don’t be deceived by that svelte little box, though. Not unlike the trees it depicts,Arboretum is beautiful, tough, and all about hidden depths.

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Review: 7 Wonders: Duel

Review: 7 Wonders: Duel

Classical cock-blocking simulator 7 Wonders was one of the first boxes we ever recommended on SU&SD. We couldn’t believe it. How could a game could be so clever, so beautiful, and support 2 to 7 players with no downtime?

Today, Paul and Quinns have reunited to review 7 Wonders: Duel. A brand-new 2 player game of the same old ancient conflicts.

Have the boys still got what it takes? Or will history… forget them?

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Review: Meteor

Review: Meteor

[EDIT: Since publishing this article the 2nd edition of Meteor has gone live on Kickstarter! That’s probably a wiser investment than buying the first edition Quinns reviews here.]

Quinns: Imagine you and your friends are protecting the earth from meteors, assembling rockets from the cards in your hand. Sounds fun, right?

Now imagine you don’t have the right cards for a successful launch. And the clock is ticking and you only have five minutes to clear the board. And now imagine you don’t know how big a payload to launch at each meteor, and if you launch one that’s too big the terrific explosion will accelerate all the other meteors.

Oh, yes. Today we’re reviewing Meteor! It’s mean, exhausting and the art design ranges from underwhelming to unclear, but it’s a megaton of fun. For what it’s worth, if you like high-fiving people, this box could be considered a cardboard portal to the high-five dimension.

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Review: Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Review: Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

This week, Paul takes a trip to the clinic, as a result of looking at another new title from Plaid Hat Games. To everyone’s surprise, he finds himself deckbuilding with Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. Deckbuilding! Whatever will happen next?

Seriously, what will happen next? Paul’s been unable to get hold of Quinns since setting up the North American office and now he’s acting a little out of character.

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Review: Traders of Osaka

Review: Traders of Osaka

Quinns: Today we finish our review triplet of games set in Japan!

First we had the beautiful, and beautifully clean design of Samurai. Next was the grand old game of Shogun, which was no less impressive. Today we look at Traders of Osaka, a small box game that was actually designed in Japan by one Susumu Kawasaki. And today I want to talk about yet another kind of beauty.

I don’t say this enough, but one of my favourite things about board games is that each one feels like receiving a shrink-wrapped idea, direct from the designer. I’ve called board games a “lossless” format before, meaning that unlike trying to write a novel or make a videogame, in the creative process of making a board game you can directly transmute the thing you have in your head into a real, physical box. It’s because of this that even bad board games (no- especially bad board games) have something intensely personal about them.

The difficulty with designing board games is, of course, making sure they arrive in one piece at their destination. That players can unpack them, study the documentation, and enjoy themselves as you intended.

So it’s fitting that Traders of Osaka is a game about shipping handicrafts across treacherous waters. As you hold this box, you’re holding Susumu Kawasaki’s beloved idea, designed in Japan, manufactured in China, handed to you by some dutiful postman. Did it get here in one piece?

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Impressions: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (2nd Edition)

Impressions: A Game of Thrones: The Card Game (2nd Edition)

Quinns: In a couple of weeks the 2nd edition of Fantasy Flight’s Game of Thrones: The Card Game, with its direwolves, chunky coins and endless pictures of sultry nobles, will be released. A lot of people are very excited, and with good reason- the 1st edition amassed a cult following, and the 2nd edition looks incredibly sharp.

You won’t be getting our review just yet. As a Living Card Game, this box encourages players to collect monthly expansions and build their own decks, and we want to have conviction when we suggest you get involved (or not). But I can offer some early impressions and comparisons to the LCGs that this site has gone on the record as recommending, namely the bizarre Doomtown and the sublime Netrunner (on the subject, Paul will have a review of Plaid Hat’s new card game Ashes in the next few weeks).

So let’s begin. How do you win the Game of Thrones?

I’m thrilled to say that it’s by being an appropriately sneaky f***.

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Review: Codenames

Review: Codenames

Quinns: In an age where we can fit dice on rings and hold Battlestar Galactica LARPs in decommissioned warships, team SU&SD has learned that rules can only hold us back. The only rule we have left is that before we review a game, it has to be available for our readers to buy it.

Today, we’re breaking that rule!

Codenames was the smash hit of Gen Con this year. It’s still perched happily atop BoardGameGeek’s “Hotness” sidebar, it sold out despite having a terrible name and a terrible box, and it’s the game I heard most people gossiping about. Under such crushing hype, and knowing that articles will soon be flowing in, today we’re offering our review early.

Let’s start with two words: Vlaada Chvatil.

Then another five: He’s done it again.

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