Tactics and Tactility #4 – Mexica, and other great heel turns

[Tactics and Tactility is our column about the feelings, details and pleasures of tabletop gaming. This week we’re looking at Mexica, and the glory of giving good friends the space to be cruel.]

Ava: Some games are a particular joy to teach, because you get to slowly watch the implications play out in real time on the face of your fellow players. Some rules are like a little snowball you start rolling down a hill, and watch turn into an avalanche. Games are systems, and it’s not easy to see the impact of a system until you’re in it.

Enter Mexica.

I’ve explained the rules. I’ve told people that we’re trying to found districts of specific sizes, surrounded by canals, claim those districts, and then vie for ‘spiritual grandeur’ by building the biggest temples in each one. I’ve explained moving, bridges, placing canals and the scoring structure.

What I’ve not explained, is that in about fifteen minutes, everyone around this table will have been an absolute monster to everyone else.

Read moreTactics and Tactility #4 – Mexica, and other great heel turns

Feature: A Day in the Life of Quinns’ Game Collection!

Quinns: Ladies and gentlemen, roll up! It’s time for a new series where we take a look a team SU&SD’s board game collections. Come and see! Be amazed. Be aghast. Be envious. Comment with thought-provoking assertions like “why do you have that game it is bad”.

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.

But before that, let me show you my collection as it stands. It’s both completely ridiculous and not as ridiculous as you might think.

Read moreFeature: A Day in the Life of Quinns’ Game Collection!

Review: Dead Last

Quinns: Phew! Paul and I are back from Gen Con and I’m $200 poorer after being charged by United Airlines for my overweight bag, stuffed as it was with board games and gifted bourbon. I know! Your heart bleeds, right?

Huge thanks to everyone who came to our extra-ridiculous live shows. They’ll be up on the site in the coming weeks. Huger thanks still to the rest of you for being patient during this site’s quiet time, and we’re going make it up to you with a whole series of dramatic reviews showcasing the best games we found at Gen Con, including Captain Sonar, Seafall and Inis, but we’re starting right this second with Smirk & Dagger’s Dead Last.

So Dead Last is basically Ca$h ‘n Guns meets Diplomacy, it’s the best new party game I’ve played all year and it’s the first game this site’s covered that will play completely differently depending on the size and shape of your table.

Do I have your interest? Come with me! I promise I won’t shoot you.

Read moreReview: Dead Last

Dead Last

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The Tontine. An ages-old investment scheme, where you just buy a ticket and could potentially make millions – if you are the last living member. But there’s a reason Tontines are illegal. They have a tendency to lead to murder. That doesn’t mean they don’t still exist. In fact, you hold a ticket to a quickly collapsing Tontine. With only a few dozen members left, it is now kill or be killed. It could mean a fortune, if you’re DEAD LAST.

DEAD LAST is a ‘social collusion’ game of shifting alliances, betrayals and murder for profit. There is no hidden traitor, as each of you is equally an ally and a betrayer at any given moment. Each round, you will conspire and then vote upon whom to kill, in an effort to be the last player standing and collect gold. You MUST vote with the larger group, just to stay alive, so alliances and gaining agreement on who will die is critical. Subtle communication, a glance, a nod, pointing a finger, flashing their targeting card, anything at all is completely legal. But don’t tip off your target – or they will ambush you instead.

A boisterous, party game of .45 caliber diplomacy for 6 to 12 players.

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