Paul: BoardGameGeek is a titan of the board game scene, one of the most comprehensive and consulted sites the hobby has, as well as a place to which we owe a huge debt of inspiration. It's also home to the absolute Board Game Geekiest among us, namely those with a monthly allowance for small zip-lock baggies. While we undoubtedly fall into that category too, we appreciate that not everyone does and it's inevitable that our opinions will diverge, right?
Just what do we make of those most esteemed of titles that are forever locked in an eternal battle for a place in BGG's Top 100 rankings? This week, we'll be giving an extensive, nay, exhaustive breakdown of that list, telling you what we've covered, what we thought and even admitting what we've missed out on. So come with us as we count down the games in a whole week's worth of analysis and adventure!
Matt: Contrary to popular belief, I am not a man of infinite luxury. Paul has an entire cupboard just for games - Quintin has a cavernous loft to explore. Many have climbed that ladder and never been seen alive again, fading away to become a new addition to the dark and dusty collage of cardboard and bones. Basically those boys have space to play with. I however, have a shelf.
But it’s a big shelf! Oh my. There’s plenty of room in the rest of my flat, but my wife is a bit of a cheery dictator when it comes to interior design - so the sins of the husband must be tidied away. It’s occasionally annoying, but it does mean I get to live in a genuinely beautiful, tidy place? Swings and roundabouts, life is compromise.
You guys will have seen my collection in the background of loads of SU&SD videos, but I don't think you've seen the work that goes into it. Come with me today as I perform... a CULL.
Quinns: New Yo-
Paul: That’s right! The city of Games News! Even while we and half of the rest of the industry were away at GenCon, the games news just came coming. It flowed like liquid, a wave rushing across the internet, a great deal of it gushing straight out of a valve left open by Fantasy Flight. The peak of that tsunami was surely Runewars, their tremendous miniatures game announcement.
And make no mistake, this is a big deal. Runewars (not to be confused with the board game of the same name) is Fantasy Flight striding boldly into the fantasy miniatures battleground, building on their experience with smaller scale games like X-Wing and Armada. There will be similar movement templates and command dials, but this time combined with the army-scale fantasy combat of, well, of Warhammer.
Second off, allow us to present the crown jewel in our Expansionanuary festivities! A ginormous Let's Play of us finishing a full-size game of Cosmic Encounter, proving once and for all in a controlled, scientific environment just how much fun this game can be.
Quinns: What are you doing Matt, this is a board games thing.
Matt: I’m getting everyone in that feel-good 1970’s vibe, when peace and hope and good-vibes ruled the planet and Cosmic Encounter first came out. A decade when man first stepped upon the moon, a famous rock band called Beatles was formed, and everyone had a nice time with flowers.
Quinns: I haven’t got time to fix you, Mattt, so let’s move on. Cosmic Encounter is a brilliant thing. Possibly THE BEST thing, as concluded in our gargantuan Top 25 list at the end of last year, and people who haven't heard of it should check out this review. But the time for twenty-fives and tops is behind us, and we’re deep into the fog of a cruel Expansionanuary.
Matt: That’s true! I can’t even feel my fingers and fear that my extremities may soon be gone. But that darkness is being somewhat tempered by the fact that we now get to write a HOT ARTICLE about every single Cosmic expansion that’s been released to date. Five different boxes of madness that add a total of 115 (that’s one hundred and fifteen) new aliens to the base game - a staggering increase of 230% to the base game’s already ludicrous wad of 50 aliens.
Gloom, seen above, is another popular game of pitiful situations, and this week we learned a 2nd edition is on the way. Unusually for a game about being trapped down wells and murdered by squids, the new edition will be a fairly undramatic thing. The best part is that Gloom's three out-of-print expansions - Unwelcome Guests, Unhappy Homes and Unfortunate Expeditions - are all being reprinted! And we'll get a host of "minor improvements to gameplay and card design", but all still be compatible with your existing Gloom cards.
It starts well:
"I want you to imagine poker. It's not untrue to call poker a perfect game. It's also not untrue to call it occasionally boring and exhausting, and to disapprove of its chapped mathematical underbelly.
"Now, imagine if poker was made for gamers. Imagine if it was wildly inventive, with a mean streak and a wicked sense of humour. Best of all, imagine if it was a different, surprising game every single time you sat down to play. Or don't imagine, and pay £40 for this set of linen-finished cards, plastic UFOs that stack like poker chips and gorgeously illustrated aliens. Odds are, you'll be very glad you did."
...But then quickly descends into him getting overexcited and just listing aliens. Do you have your copy yet, readers?