And now - as if by space magic - I’m being thrown straight back into Star Wars again. Another game in the genre of Firefly, Merchant of Venus, or Xia: Legends of a Drift System - Star Wars: Outer Rim sees players competing to be the cream of the galaxy’s scum and villainy. Flying around space, smuggling goods, hiring recognisable crew members and reasonably frequently rolling some dice.
Quinns: Let us apply Occam’s Razor. Is the simplest possible explanation here that you, Matt Lees, created this game in a dream?
Wait! What’s that noise? An approaching siren? An… ice cream van?! It’s me pedalling furiously toward you in the Shut Up & Sit Down Budget Bus, adding a host of surprising prices in this sequel to our indispensable article, How To Build an Amazing Board Game Collection for $10. GET ON BOARD.
Matt: That’s not the Reddit alarm, that’s my egg timer. I’m making everybody lunchtime eggs to keep up our strength.
Quinns: Wow! I could kiss you.
Matt: Don’t kiss on me, daddy-oats, kiss on these great games.
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.
Last year we presented something never-before-seen in board games. Our Top 25 Board Games, Ever was a list of our most favourite games ordered from least-most favourite to most-most favourite. Ever since then, the SU&SD Supercomputer has been calculating a method by which we could possibly top this. Last week, it provided a schematic for something... incredible.
The science behind the following Top 50 is complicated, but in layman's terms we'll be "publishing" "instalments" every day this week, and beyond(!).
Quinns: A little tight. How’s yours?
Paul: I went with the dress. It was cheaper. HELLO, ladies and
gentlemen, boys and antiboys. It’s time for our top 5 games of 2012, which will almost certainly be as well-organised and halcyon as our top 10 Upcoming Games of 2012 feature, which ended up being 14 games, none of which we agreed on.
Quinns: Step this way, banishing all preconceptions from your mind, AND ALSO any thoughts that this feature is three months later. And let’s kick things off with…
Hold on. The Castles of Burgundy, which casts 2-4 players as the holders of estates in medieval France, has the whole board game community bleating with quiet joy. We absolutely had to get hold of a copy and try it out. You know what? I actually think it’s quite special, too, although I appreciate it’s such a placid, thoughtful, deeply European game that it won’t be Quinns’s kind of thing. Still-
Quinns: No, no, I really like it.
Paul: You do?
Quinns: Yeah, it’s excellent.
Quinns: And here’s why!
The game is about players taking settlement tiles from the game board and placing them into their princedom which is represented by the player board. Every tile has a function that starts when the tile is placed in the princedom. The princedom itself consists of several regions, each of which demands its own type of settlement tile.
The game is played in five phases, each consisting of five rounds. Each phase begins with the game board stocked with settlement tiles and goods tiles. At the beginning of each round all players roll their two dice, and the player who is currently first in turn order rolls a goods placement die. A goods tile is made available on the game board according to the roll of the goods die. During each round players take their turns in the current turn order. During his turn, a player may perform any two of the four possible types of actions: 1) take a settlement tile from the numbered depot on the game board corresponding to one of his dice and place it in the staging area on his player board, 2) take a settlement tile from the staging area of his player board to a space on his player board with a number matching one of his dice in the corresponding region for the type of tile and adjacent to a previously placed settlement tile, 3) deliver goods with a number matching one of his dice, or 4) take worker tokens which allow the player to adjust the roll of his dice. In addition to these actions a player may buy a settlement tile from the central depot on the game board and place it in the staging area on his player board. If an action triggers the award of victory points, those points are immediately recorded. Each settlement tile offers a benefit, additional actions, additional money, advancement on the turn order track, more goods tiles, die roll adjustment or victory points. Bonus victory points are awarded for filling a region with settlement tiles.
The game ends when the last player finishes his turn of the fifth round of the fifth phase. Victory points are awarded for unused money and workers, and undelivered goods. Bonus victory points from certain settlement tiles are awarded at the end of the game.
Paul: What is this?! Why, it’s the Shut Up & Sit Down Podcast! At last, you can enjoy SU&SD while shelling crabs, or during an exceptionally banal bout of lovemaking.
As our chat bubbles (and meanders) like a mountain stream, we touch on some of our viewer responses, beautiful hexagons, a dream about plants, some of our recent experiences with birds and so many games! Topics of discussion include Mage Knight, Race for the Galaxy and the deliciously devious Shadow Hunters.