Lets sum up…UK Games Expo 2016

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2015: Escaping with my life

I’ll begin this post with a quick recap of the first couple times we went to the Expo. Back in the olden days all the hustle and bustle of the trading section was crammed into the 2 or 3 event halls of the Hilton and a small room round the side for “bring & buy”, which due to its popularity and position, inadvertently resembled a Mongolian fish market. It was like hundreds of geeks and board games merged into a singular entity of violent bargain hunting.

 

One of the stand out features of the Expo in those early days was the queues. I remember the queues for the coffee shop serpentined out the door and into the parking, and oh God! I remember the ATM debacle. It literally melted out of the wall after an hour of trading on the Saturday morning, so there was a constant back & forth exodus of people between the hotel and the train station a kilometre away.

The food situation was also quite memorable. Somewhere in those early years of the “board gaming golden age”, the organizers had somehow forgotten that people do infact eat food. The poor clerk at the Hiltons kiosk barricaded himself inside after the place was ransacked and shelves left emptier than anti-matter. I’m pretty sure I saw him lying in the foetal position, crying behind the desk.

At some point, someone had the bright idea of ordering Dominoes to the hotel lobb, which was also precisly the time that all hell broke loose. They became so busy from nerds dying of hunger, that no sooner had one delivery guy dropped off, another one would be arriving with a fresh pile of double pepperoni meat feasts. I think at one point they just started chucking them through the door, into the amalgamous entity of ravenous gamers, so they didn’t have to waste time with taking their money (or risk being devoured).

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2015: The waft. Well impressive.

2015s tourney situation was probably on par with 2014s culinary Sodom. I didn’t participate in any tournament then as I was only down for the day, but I remember wanting to check on my Netrunner buddies and see how they were doing. When I found the tournament “tent” the first thing that hit you as you entered was a dense waft of nerd humidity. I can still taste it on my teeth. Luckily that’s all I remember from last year though. Well, that and the terrible expression on people’s faces as they emerged from said tent, whenever they could for a breath of fresh air, looking like confused new-born bats. I think the noxious fumes inside the tent started to rewire their brains into believing it was some kind of cocoon of geek excretion & competition. In short, pre-2016 UK Games Expo was fun, but thick with nerd issues that needed a bit of professional gleen.

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2016: Losing so hard, I forgot where I was

Cue 2016! This years event was WAY more polished and incredibly well-organized. Expo visitors had a massive section of the NEC all to themselves for trade and demos, as well as a good section of the Hilton for  tournaments. Fortunately those that competed in tournaments this year, had space and were able to use our actual lungs ti breath while we played.

I was vying for the European Marshall badge in the Doomtown tournament. I use the phrase “vying for” extremely loosely. I didn’t stand a nose hair of a chance of even seeing it. I would have to get a character witness to describe it to a police sketch artist is how close I was to getting anything. There were 49 of us, and I think I came about 41rst by scoring points from 2 games. One of which I didn’t even play anyone. Nonetheless, it was brilliant. I love Doomtown and any chance I get to play with other people that enjoy this game is great. So do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s top-notch and you wont be disappointed.

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I’m sure he loves his job

Like I said earlier, trading was designated to the event center this year, and what a difference it made. There was less walking around, endlessly scanning table after table of retailers (although they were still there) and more browsing current & future wares from designers and publishers alike. For me the game of the Expo was “Wizards Academy” by 3D Total games. Gregory Carslaw, the designer,  was giving hands on demonstrations of the game, and he is clearly very passionate about his project.

I also managed to catch a glimpse of the new long-awaited, and now Dice Tower endorsed Stonemeier Game”Scythe“. If you’ve seen any of the pictures or videos that are floating about online, you’ll probably be wondering if it really looks that good in real life? Well the answer is unequivocally yes. Sweet fancy Moses yes. It’s probably the most awe inspiring looking game ever.
Queen Games always have good representation at the expo and this year was no exception. They were showing off the new Richard Garfield game, “Treasure Hunter” and a reskin of Dschunke called “London Markets“. Both look interesting and if you like drafting or auction mechanics, they might be worth a look.

I will say that AEG let me down though. As the publisher of a few of my favourite games, I can’t believe how little representation they had. Now that might not be their fault and more to do with business shenanigans, but i would have thought since the Expo hosted the EUROPEAN DOOMTOWN MARSHALL event there should be some banners and love for Doomtown, Love Letter and others. Not to mention their new darling “Mystic Vale” was kept on the lowdown as well for some reason. Really strange.

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Throne of Games…cracks me up

Other highlights included taking part in a live game of Pandemic with Tom Vasel, which is something I would really like to see more of in the future. Podcasts and live RPGs are the rage these days so I really think that live board games can be a good next step for that sort of thing.

In short, the board game industry has really grown into an “industry”. It’s far beyond its cult beginnings, and is now attracting 25000 people  with an increase of 40% attendance. It’s always been a great weekend for us, but what really makes it worth while is the atmosphere. I’m already looking forward to next year.

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Kickstarters of the week 18/11/2013

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Christmas may not come early this year but this weeks Kickstarters will. This is your last shot at backing these awesome projects in their final hours. As always, we’re watching your back so you don’t have to…plus that would leave a nasty crick in your neck. Lets begin shall we?

Brew Crafters: A board game about making beer

c94de757c3d48b32e513d9d6345a4d22_largeIn continuing last weeks thread of innovative games, we’re going to show you a game whose subject matter is quite close to most gamers that’ve ever hosted a game night. Well, sort of…We’re not brewing anything, we’re just drinking it, but just hear me out for second. Beer has become intrinsically connected to board games in recent times, epitomised by the likes of the Beer & Board Games Show and Wil Wheatons collaboration with fark.com creator Drew Curtis and Stone Breweries to create their own imperial stout. What a handsome looking beverage, don’t you think? Thanks to these guys though, twitter is now awash with board gamers tweeting about their favourite ales. Hell! I’ve even gone full hipster & make sure I always check the beer section in our local store. I’m not really a hipster though…What was that? Why yes, I do collect 70’s prog rock records…& yes, I also ride a single speed bike…but I’m not a hipster….I swear……F*%k. I’m a hipster. Moving on. Refreshingly this new-found love of beer is performed in a really sensible manner. People are genuinely interested in knowing their hops from their barley, so it was inevitable that this subject matter would “crop” up in board game form at some stage. What’s amazing though, is that this could ONLY have been done as a board game. I doubt you could get kids excited with a flash game about managing your own brewery. “Tap the screen when your beer is ready….loading….loading….loa…*zzzzzzz*”. However! The moment you say “we’re making a euro style board game about beer brewing, where you’ll have to compete against players for ingredients like malt, yeast and fruits in a market place, while developing new beers in an expanding facility AND managing your breweries costs & output”, I say “Oh. Hell. But. F*%k yeah!” There’s something magical about board games that lets us investigate a subject in an interactive yet entertaining way that no other medium can achieve. Brew Crafters not only looks beautiful but also looks like a charming and sincere game to play. The thought of collecting those Pumpkin Stout tokens is too good. I reckon fans of Kolejka and Viticulture will enjoy this.

Shadows Of Brimstone

8d9c585bafdf3ea75a8afbef638b6e37_largeWoah! It looks like this game needs no help from anybody as its made over a million frickin’ dollars! But we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t report on the big guns as well as the little guys. Shadows Of Brimstone is not the only game to net a substantial figure on kickstarter though. You might remember Kingdom Death from one of our earlier posts. While Kingdom Death might be having its share of teething pains during its development, lets hope Shadows Of Brimstone avoids any of these set backs that seem to bog down the more succesful kickstarters. Aside from financial likeness though, SoB does share many other similarities with its millionaire cousin. Both are expansive dungeon crawl epics that come chocka-block with highly detailed miniatures, and as things get better on kickstarter, more options are being unlocked in the stretch goals as we speak. If I recall Kingdom Death ended up with 11 expansions by the end of their campaign. Thats NUTS! There’s obviously something about these kind of games that get people reaching for their wallets quicker than a wild west gunslinger in a showdown. However I think the main feature that’s attracting backers to Shadows Of Brimstone is the setting and story. Watch the games developers talk about just ONE of the worlds you get to explore in this video. It’s clear that these guys love this stuff and have spent a lot of time developing the mythos in this beast of a game.

7309aba848931b71a8c02a7ffc948a5a_largeSo the premise of the game is this. Once upon a time in a small mid-western mining town called Brimstone, townsfolk started finding a mysterious black rock. More & more of this precious stone was mined and stock piled around the town. Unfortunately this served as a catalyst for the unknown material to react in a violent explosion, destroying everything in its wake. From out of the smoke and charred remains, inter-dimensional demons started to emerge and Hell on earth had been unleashed. As the mines spewed forth unspeakable horrors, Brimstone would never be the same again. If your familiar with Descent or Cave Evil then Shadows Of Brimstone will be right up your alley. Players embark on a massive campaign, exploring the mines one stage at a time, finding new equipment while upgrading in small frontier towns in the interim, until finally you reach portals to the other side, where your quest goes from a spaghetti western to a Lovecraftian nightmare. The game comes in 2 flavours from the get go, either you take your chances in the frozen wastelands in the City of The Ancients, or you can try your luck wading through the sludge of the otherworldly Swamps of Death. It’s all very schlocky and is your standard dungeon crawl affair, but that’s exactly what you want from this kind of game. You don’t need to elevate yourself to a higher plane of enlightenment to enjoy this. It’s a straight balls-to-the-wall dungeon slug-fest, only this time you get to be cowboys and cowgirls. Something we definitely need more of in the board game world. All I have is BANG! (which is amazing!), but it does surprise me just how much a simple flip of the switch can add so much colour and life to a well established genre. So if your tired of the usual fantasy warrior/elf/dwarf kind of thing, I reckon this will satisfy any urge to go down in to the bowels of hell.

The Kings Armory

bad45eb08f011dd6cc5881d1131a4f73_largeDon’t throw away your Gandalf hat just yet though. You want fantasy? You got it. Before I got stuck into The Kings Armory’s kickstarter page, when I thought of tower defense games I could only muster images of grumpy commuters on the 6AM tube to London Bridge frantically smashing their iPhone screens, trying to throw shit heaps of plantlife at hordes of oncoming zombies. Needless to say my knowledge of the genre was fairly limited. So when I saw a kickstarter for a board game that claims to be “THE” tower defense game, I figured, “all right hot-shot, lets see what you got”. After spending some time lurking the page I am now confident that TKA is exactly what it says it is. In fact, I am pretty sure that the people who INVENTED the genre are probably clenching their fists so hard round about now, that they could compress a lump of coal into a diamond.This is Gate Keeper Games second attempt at Kickstarter for the Kings Armory, but that is completely irrelevant because, in short, this is going to be a wicked game! The first campaign was criticised mostly due to its unreachable funding goal, but this time around GKG has streamlined things, polished off the rust and delivered a tour de force of a package.

da22c5bcbd45a0eb96d4dd6e663f4fb4_largeDown to the nitty-gritty. In TKA up to 7 players take the side of the king’s guard, who are sworn to protect the armory which holds terrible & great weapons of destruction. Wave after wave of monstrous being pours out from the enemy’s camp with the sole objective of breaking through your walls. It’s your job to stand in their way and take it . Unlike plants Vs zombies, pears Vs ninjas, monkeys Vs parking attendants or any of those other finger melting games of pure swill, what strikes me as the main selling point of TKA is its variability. You can change the difficulty, the length of the game, the number of monsters, the number of players, the modes of play, you name it. The game even accounts for new players joining in late or players leaving early, WITHOUT unbalancing the game. The level of adaptability is truly remarkable. Actually everything about this game looks like tremendous fun. Right down to the slightly goofy art, the fantasy fiction character names, the whole thing looks to me like the kind of game that should be advertised on the back of some comic book with a picture of an over zealous kid exclamating “The Kings Armory ROCKS!”. It’s not just a wave of nostalgia that attracts me to this game though, its more the fact that the whole prospect is so exciting, and for a long time now fantasy board games have needed a kick up the ass. The warrior will be tanking enemies as they desperately storm passed you, as your mage, positioned in one of your constructed towers, shoots fire balls at the ones that manage to slip past, hopefully setting them ablaze so that may burn asunder in their upkeep phase. Once you’ve managed to hunt the last little bastard of a wave down, you get a moment of respite to buy new armour and weapons, before gearing up for the next attack. Slowly getting better equipped but edging closer to death. “Here they come again!”. You keep chopping at that bit, dodging and weaving, chasing and crushing until finally the big boss comes rampaging through their gates, throwing your troops across the battle field like rag dolls and you need to collectively regroup for that one last stand. Eh-pic. If I own just one tower defense game in my life time, I think I’ll make it this one.

5 games to look out for

– Ahoy there matey! Yo-Ho-Ho and a bottle of rum as they say. We have sailed the seven seas of the internet so you don’t have to. Yaaarrgh!

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No no no. This has nothing to do with someone sneaking pasties into your local Odeon. Instead Cornish Smuggler is a game of strategy and seven seas high jinx set in 18th century Cornwall. Players will use every dirty trick in the book, and more than a fair share of craftiness to secure the best smuggling routes around the Cornish coast. You see, waaaaay back in the 18th century, err-body was into smuggling. The port authorities, the local officials, the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, even the bloody vicar! Needless to say, you’re going to need their help to become the best smuggler of illicit goods. The designer has gone to painstaking lengths to keep the theme as historically accurate as possible, while promising a game that is solid as a rock and have very little to do with chance. However, you need to keep a close eye on customs though, cos if they catch you…well, lets just say, loose lips, sink ships. Say no more, say no more. Nudge nudge. Wink, wink. The bottom line? This looks set to have more under handedness than a reshuffling of cabinet come election time. Cornish Smuggler has secured its funding well ahead of schedule, but you’ve still got time to support a great piece of British game design in the making. Tax that Mr. Cameron.

Scalawag

– “Yaargh! What say ye? Not enough broad swords? Too little swashbuckling? No canons? Aye aye Captain, have it your way. First mate! Hard to port. Set the sails at full mast and aim for their bow…Ramming spead! We’ll take ’em head on.”

scalawagboxmockuplargeScalawag is a cheap and cheerful card game of high seas adventure for 3-8 players. Players take control of their own warship as captain and need to amass compass points in order to issue the captains orders to their crew members.

– “Hold your fire…..wait till you see the whites of their eyes.”

It’s not just he who has the biggest cannon wins. Please. We’re not fishermen. We’re PIRATES! You need to be a cunning sea dog to win the fight. You have to bluff and scheme, get inside the mind of your opponent and know just when to pull the trigger.

– “Captain! Their loading the silver ware into their canons!”

– “What!?! SCALAWAG! FIRE!!”…..Its only got a week left on Kickstarter and needs a little more help, so lets get to it! This should be a hoot. Next!

Relic Expedition

– “We’ve run aground Captain”.

– “Aye. Tis a brave new world before us matey. Take stock and gather the men. We’re going treasure hunting.”

e0dd30c749901add9c81affb41c829e7_largeIf I were to try to put my finger on it, Relic Expedition is what you would get if you left Carcasonne and Forbidden Island alone in a bar with a bottle of red wine, on a hot summers night in Brazil. All that erotic tension in the air, loose-fitting clothes, a glaze of moisture permeating the skin….Sexy things would happen. In Relic Expedition, players will have to navigate their pawns along a modular board by placing hex tiles along their path, in search of four matching relic types. And of course, just like a real jungle, everything in Relic Expedition will kill you. So not only do you have to traverse perilous jungle terrain like pools of quick sand and dense brushes of poison Ivy, but you also need to watch out for bloody panthers! (cos they kill you)…and monkeys ( cos they steal your things)…boars too (they kill you & someone else steals your things)…and..snakes (they kill you double)….It wouldn’t be the jungle without any snakes now would it? So on the other hand actually, you might say that Relic Expedition is the lurid love child of Carcasonne, Forbidden Island AND DungeonQuest. I’m not sure who was on top, or who was in the middle?….The thought sends icy cold shivers down to my very soul. I’m gonna like this one. Speaking of on top…

Alien Frontiers

– “YAAARRRGGHHhhhh*Cough*…*Cough*…*cough*. Alright, alright! I’ll stop with the pirate shit…geez.

af_setupAlien Frontiers. 4th edition. Need I say more? With all the laudation this game has received in the last three years, I don’t think I have to, but I shall. Why? Well for starters this new edition will have a double-sided board that is rocket dice compatible…let that sink in for a minute…Rocket…Dice…Oh hell, but f**k yeah. Yes, its only aesthetic and doesn’t change the gameplay one iota, but if you were going to play Alien Frontiers and you had the option to play with dice shaped like rocket ships, how could you not? Not even a Vulcan would find it illogical. For the uninitiated Alien Frontiers is a superb sci-fi resource management and exploration affair with a crap load of dice. The dice represent your workers and you start out small from a space station, slowly expanding your inter-galactic presence onto the nearby planet and outer systems. Of course this gets pretty competitive when space and resources become thin on the ground. Not only does the new edition come with the aforementioned dual board and rocket dice, it also has loads of updated components to make your game experience even better. It precisely what you would want from an upgrade. Just trust me, this one is a winner. If you missed it the first few times around, it’ll be in stores soon.

Euphoria: Build a better Dystopia

layout5There’s just over one day left to back this one, but don’t fret, it totally smashed its funding goal long ago. So this one is getting made and that makes us all happy little dice rollers. Euphoria is also a worker placement game that shares many elements from several of our favourite games here at ‘We Die a Lot’, including the previously mentioned Alien Frontiers. But before you dismiss anything for being “more of the same”, just take a look at this one. There are enough aspects in the game that make it completely different amongst its peers, while managing to not burden the player with too many rules or vast amounts of upkeep. There’s just enough action going on and the different mechanical elements roll into one another like cog wheels in a futuristic clock, making the game seem organic and immersive in equal measure. However it’s not just the mechanics that ensure you have a game to play. Order is the central theme here and it lends itself expertly to the premise of the story and art. Hell! The whole thing looks like it should be hanging in the Tate Modern rather than on your living room table. Plus it’s made by Jamie Stegmaier & Alan Stone who conjured up Viticulture, (a wonderful game about wine making)and they are offering some sick deals if you back it on Kickstarter. The game with stretch goals plus shipping for a mere $49. Bargain of the month!

Why everyone should play Onirim

IMG_1361Besides sounding like a Japanese sexual favour, it’s also quite a nifty little card game that’ll have you drawing and shuffling cards more than a dealer at the Bellagio. You are trapped in dreaming slumber, searching for eight doors that will set you on your way to waking freedom. However opening the doors is not as easy as all that. You need to play sets of three cards of the same colour but with differing symbols, either a sun, moon or key, in a run, to claim the corresponding coloured door, while balancing your hand limit and drawing new cards. Try saying that 10 times fast. However, if that sounds like a walk in the clouds then lets factor in that every now and then you end up drawing a nightmare as well, and believe me, by the end of the
game you will be more afraid of these cards than real nightmares. Even the one where you were back in high school, naked and Kelsey Grammer was your teacher. In a nut shell what the nightmares actually do is destroy cards that facilitate your path to freedom. But that’s still not the worst part about them. Every time you draw a nightmare you have to make a choice how to handle them, in the worst case scenario you’ll be discarding your entire hand of five cards, which is great for the nightmares since you lose if there are no more cards left to draw and you’ll be forever lost between time and space, which is of course bad for you…..very bad indeed. Unless of course you’re into class A narcotics, in which case you’ll have a blast losing. In the end if you fail, your incarceration in purgatory was your own design, and you’ll fall to your knees, curl your fists up to the sky and scream “why Lord, WHYYYYYEEEEEE!!!?”.

The three expansions ‘the book of steps lost and found’, ‘the towers’ & ‘dark premonitions and happy dreams’ each add a new layer onto the basic game and help to keep the spice of Onirim as sharp as it is dynamic. But none of this speaks of Onirims beauty. The serenity of the cards dreamscape imagery is juxtaposed with an element of eerie disturbance, which just like actual dreams, creates an atmosphere of wide-eyed wonder and trepidation of what lurks around the corner. So you might think that turning the next card will leave you a nervous train wreck then, but thankfully the theme works so closely with the mechanics that by the time you draw a nightmare you’re instilled with a sense of
soothing comfort. Playing Onirim makes you feel like you’re sinking into a goose feathered
cushion while a heavy summer deluge thunders outside your window….or like bathing in chocolate for seven years…..actually, Onirim is like hypnosis!

Not to mention you get 100% bang for your buck (the standard package available in stores now contains the base game and all the expansions for under 12 quid!!), beautifully crafted by Z-Man Games, and it all comes in a portable size box that you can take everywhere, as you should. In short, a shot of bliss in a tiny box.

The Card Players 1892-95 Oil on canvas, 60 x 7...

The Card Players 1892-95 Oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm Courtauld Institute of Art, London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10 new games to look out for

I have scoured every corner of the world wide interweb in search of games so you don’t have to. Its a dark, scary place…..what is seen can never be unseen…..so many grown men….over weight….beards….with elf ears….and plastic swords….oh God!….what have I done to myself……*sob sob*……check these out.

Ogre

ogreHere’ s a real retro classic. If you like your games of the old school variety, then this should be your next stop. Made by Steve Jackson (of Munchkin fame) way back in 1977, this new Kickstarted “Designer’s Edition” reached its funding goal in May 2012 but currently sits at 4618% more than was originally asked. If ever the people have spoken, it is now and they want Ogre. It’s a very simple game of attrition. You amass an army to defend against a MASSIVE F**KING TECHNO TANK!!! You play on a hex grid map, choose your defensive positions and wait in utter paralyzing fear as the ever looming Ogre attempts to get through. It reminds me of the 1981 PC game ‘Sabotage‘, only in reverse. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. It’s due for release in the UK soon and you can pre-order it from Leisure Games games here.

Agents of SMERSH

pic1501467_lgHere’s a new big game. And I mean BIG. AoS seems like the perfect compromise between board games and role-playing….you just don’t have to dress up like an elf and generally act like a tit in front of your friends. Set in an alternate 1970’s cold war era, AoS leads players along an immersive spy vs. spy experience with its massive scenario book (there is something like 1500 in there…..I said it was big.) Players work together flipping cards, rolling dice and drawing encounters in order to eventually defeat the evil Dr. Lobo. It comes with a shit ton of things and sounds just plain awesome. Also features artwork by George Patsouras (Flash Point & The Resistance) Dunno when it will be available in the UK but if you’re lucky you can find one on eBay. For fans of Arkham Horror and Mansions of Madness. Next up….

High Heavens

high_heavens_boardRemember when you were a kid and you played that game “who would win in a fight? Superman or Optimus Prime?” Well ‘High Heavens’ is precisely that, only I’m calling it a metal heads wet dream. Norse versus Greek deities. Oh hell but f**k yeah \m/ (>_<) \m/ It’s like chess, meets Mortal Kombat but with Gods. You stack coloured chips under your characters figure to represent your life bar and other special attributes as you move around a hex grid board and draw cards to pulverize your opponent. Simple, effective and unique. But what else would you expect from the guy who designed Guitar Hero. It still has a way to go on Kickstarter and only a little time left, so if you have a few spare quid, help a God out with some change bruv.

Kingdom Death: Monster

Kingdom-Death-Monster-394x262Not sure if this one is a board game or an excuse to have minis with wildly exaggerated curves. It looks beautiful but the jury is out for me. Either way if a story driven dungeon crawl type RPG is your thing then this looks like it won’t disappoint. It met its mark by miles on Kickstarter and it would seem the designers have already churned out a plethora of expansions. Just goes to show, you put boobs on some miniatures and you’ll have every anime fan from here to New Zealand lining up screaming “Shut up and take my money!”

Machine of Death: The game of creative assassinations

MachineOfDeath-game-660x333Now this is more my speed. A party game that allows you to conjure up the most ridiculous ways to murder. Exactly what I was looking for. Based on the book by David Malki and Co. it tells the story of a machine that knows how you will die, and it’s always right no matter what. In the game a player draws a card that lets them know how their demise will come, other players then have to draw cards and attempt to stitch together how this will occur. Hilarious, sinister fun.

Democracy: Majority Rules

Incoming controversial game in 3…2…1…. So here’s a strategy game where the only mechanic available to you is your powers of persuasion. I love games that rely on human power, but remember, with great power comes great responsibility. The more you win the more difficult if becomes thanks to deals made and legislations previously passed. So you’ll be switching allegiances quicker than the Lib-Dems at election time in order to be the ultimate democrat.

The Resistance: Coup

photo-littleAnd speaking of persuasion. If you didn’t get enough of lying through your teeth with The Resistance or Avalon, Coup will surely scratch that itch. It’s a straight bluffing game that sees you pretending (or not) to have a powerful government official in your hand in order to gather cash to fund a coup. Its short, high risk, very tense and is sure to get you arguing like a  politician caught in a sex scandal in no time. I. Can. Not. Wait. But if deduction is your thing then fear not…there’s more…

Salem

101a5d138dfa95951b6b1b4463000643_large“I am Matthew Hopkins. Witchfinder” So you think that some one may be a witch at your table? Send them to jail and try them in a court of law. “Throw them in the river. If they swim they are witches. If they drown, may God have mercy on their soul.” Salem captures the hysteria of the now legendary witch trials of 1692 in Salem, Massachusetts, and has gone to painstaking lengths to make the game as historically correct as possible. So much so that the characters are the likeness of people who were genuinely effected by these trials. And that’s what sets this deduction game apart from its peers. It’s not so much a beer and pretzel, make you laugh like jolly old Saint Nic after hanging a witch event, as its more a humbling experience to realise how ridiculous religious fanaticism can be, and that real people’s lives were destroyed by childish here say. This ones going to be an eye opener. Respect.

Myth

ff5cef44951cef951b3c38305f5126fb_largeAnother one that smashed its Kickstarter goal by a landslide. By about 2000% actually. Myth is set to be the co-operative epic that everybody has been waiting for since Mage Knight came out. It promises to be a deeply involving experience for hard-core gamers and easily accessible for new comers to get stuck in straight away. You play the game over a series of acts, each of which lasts about 2 hours and culminating in a massive boss battle. But push to hard and the board will bite back making your journey a perilous one. So no “Leeroy Jenkins’s” please. Cool, calm and calculated strategy wins the game. Could this be the board game equivalent to The Elder Scrolls?….quite possibly. And finally…

Zogars Gaze

zogarBodacious old school game duuuuude!! Cowabunga!! If you ever played games like Ultima, Gauntlet or Lands of Lore, I think you will enjoy this one. Simple card mechanic that sees players luck out till they’ve reached their characters goal. It’s like Russian Roulette in a dungeon with a big ol’ dollop of nostalgia. I can see some tense moments in this one. It’s been funded already but you can follow their progress on Grey Gnomes Facebook page.