Review: Trajan

Review: Trajan

Buckle up, boardkids! It’s time for Team SU&SD to tackle the Official 38th Best Board Game of All Time: Trajan. A game of thrashing as many victory points as you can out of Ancient Rome.

Don’t believe what you’ve heard. Shut Up & Sit Down can still handle heavy eurogames.

…or can they?

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Review: Specter Ops

Review: Specter Ops

What’s this, sneaking into Friday’s schedule? Why, it’s a review of Plaid Hat’s hotly anticipated Specter Ops, a hidden movement game from one of the industry’s most renowned publishers.

Paul takes a long, hard look at the game and… well, has anyone taken a long hard look for Paul recently? Actually, it’s probably best not to. He appears to have both gone missing and gone a little… mournfully malfunctional. This is the first time that’s happened since last time. Do let us know if you spot him, or even any part of him. Probably don’t approach him, mind.

Best not dwell on that. Have a lovely weekend!

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Review: Forbidden Stars

Review: Forbidden Stars

Quinns: I don’t really like the Warhammer universes. When I was a kid I couldn’t get enough of them. “In the grim darkness of the future there is only war”? Holy shit!

These days I find them a little tired. Conflict is exciting, but not without peace to contrast it with, and not when you siphon all the humanity out of it. Where’s the ego and romance? Where are the themes and mysteries? And obviously: Where are the women?

Let me wrap this up before people start sending me photos of Sisters of Battle, or pointing out that the expanded universe is awesome (I know!). My point is I was a little grouchy when I opened up of Forbidden Stars, Fantasy Flight’s new, striking war game set in the Warhammer 40K universe.

I’m happy to say that Forbidden Stars defrosted my icy heart. This game is sensational.

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Review: Panamax

Review: Panamax

So it turns out that Paul has actually always had something of a fascination for big ships. It also turns out that Panamax mixes big ships with big business and (very) big bucks. After all these years, could this be the way that Paul finally makes his millions?

Of course not. It’s a board game. Still, it could be good, right? Let’s see what Shut Up & Sit Down’s North American Correspondent thinks in a video made in the style of some of our very first reviews.

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Review: Elysium

Review: Elysium

Quinns: So you walk into your local board game shop, eager to make a purchase. An unhealthy, bubbly excitement starts building inside you, as if you were a shaken can of cola. You scan the shelves, letting your obsession rise from the pit of your stomach to slightly above your stomach. You’re taking one of these boxes home.

So you drop to all fours, ready to begin the hunt. The shop owner doesn’t give you a second glance. He’s seen it all before. You prowl between the aisles, buttocks undulating like a pair of bald men being ritually drowned. What’s this? Elysium… ?

It’s a brand new release from Space Cowboys, the hot young publisher of the wonderful Splendour and the entirely passable Black Fleet. Elysium looks great! It’s got cards, Greeks, gods, it looks lovely and it’s different every time you play.

“STOP!” comes the cry, as I slide down a nearby fireman’s pole (was it there before?!).

“My name is Quinns,” I continue, squeaking all the way down as the pole rubs between my bare thighs. “Allow me to tell you whether to buy Elysium using… a review.

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Review: Xia: Legends of a Drift System

Review: Xia: Legends of a Drift System

It’s big, it’s as colourful as a bag of sweets and it wants YOU to become a space-faring superstar. Xia: Legends of a Drift System was one of the Kickstarter success stories of 2013, and a retail version is finally upon us, complete with pre-painted ships and metal space-coins.

Quinns has buckled himself into the driver’s seat of this board-behemoth to deliver the official SU&SD verdict.

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Holy Cow: Doomtown Is Pretty Neat

Holy Cow: Doomtown Is Pretty Neat

Quinns: I want to play Doomtown: Reloaded a little more before I’m ready for our official review, but I also want to write about it before SU&SD wraps up for the year. Greedy boy that I am, I intend to have my cowboy cake and eat it by writin’ up some impressions.

Silas: Yeeee-hawww! Let’s get to it.

Quinns: …Who are you?

Silas: Ah’m Silas McCoy, a fictional character invented by that dirty Brendan fella fer his Colt Express review. Yeeee-hawww!

Quinns: Yeah, I don’t think so.

[BANG]

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Review: Tammany Hall

Review: Tammany Hall

This week, Paul looks at the notorious Tammany Hall, a game all about the not-entirely-pleasant, not-completely-wholesome New York political machine that was cranking its way through the second half of the 19th Century.

Is it a cynical game for cynical times? Perhaps, but the reprint was certainly a terrific Kickstarter success. The much more important question is… just how good is Tammany Hall?

Here’s your answer!

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Review: Fire in the Lake

Review: Fire in the Lake

Thrower: Vietnam. Sex, drugs and terror lurking in the tropical night. If even half of what you read about it is true, then this was the war to end all wars: the war of America against itself. The Viet Cong were just along for the ride.

This was my generation’s World War 2, the conflict from which 80’s society forged martial myths of heroism. Yet, hard as it tried, pop culture couldn’t quite scrub the filth away. Always there were undertones of dirty warfare, of eventual failure. It wasn’t ideal hero material, but it was all we had. For me, that complexity made it all the more compelling.

Then I read Dispatches. This account of a journalist’s experience in the conflict is the finest book on war I have ever read. As well as the history, there is an important lesson. Dispatches taught me that war can be both beautiful and terrible at the same time. That it was okay to hate war and love militaria. To be a pacifist and to play wargames. Reading it made a piece of distant history into a personal thing, a hot piece of literary shrapnel lodged close to my heart.

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It's a podcast! Matt and Quinns are taking a look at a real game sandwich here; two chunky euros about making money, and one game where you just lob some tiny dice over and over. We're talking about Brick & Mortar, Rush Out, and Furnace... and YR INVITED! shutupandsitdown.com/podcastl…

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