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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Review: Coup…How good is your poker face?

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IMG_0319[1]‘The Resistance’ is pretty much an institution in board gaming by now. Thats just a fact of life. If you turned over a rock in the desert, you would find a table of neurotic board gamers shrieking in a high register “I’m not a SPY!!” So when Indie Boards & Cards announced back in April on Kickstarter they were reskinning the original Coup with a Resistance theme, we came running like a crack addicted bullet train. Well the time has come, and its finally arrived.

As the government starts to collapse around you, up to six players seek to take control by influencing key figures in a political poker game. Each person is dealt 2 cards, the Duke, Ambassador, Captain, Assassin or the Contessa. These cards represent officials that you have leverage with. You’ll take turns claiming you have favour with one of the aforementioned characters, using their powers to get money, kill your political opponents or gain more influence, all in the aid of funding your coup d’ etat. However, any of your opponents can contest your supporter, and if you are caught trying to take advantage of the situation without the favour of your claimed political figure, you lose influence. On the other hand though, if you DO have the support you claimed to have, your challenger looks like a fool and he/she loses their influence. Once you’ve lost both of your supporters, you are out of the game and need to take a seat on the losers couch with Sarah Palin. Ultimately though, just like a sword fight between immortals, there can be only one. The last back-stabbing politician standing wins.

One of the cool side effects of ‘Coup’ is it fleshes out the narrative that ‘The Resistance’ started. In the latter you witnessed events from the perspective of freedom fighters in a corrupt dystopian future, whereas in ‘Coup’ you get to see how high rollers do business. The next time you finish 5 or 6 games of ‘The Resistance’ you won’t have that hollow feeling of a bad come down anymore. Now you get to see the other side the story. While the grunts are fighting the good fight destabilizing the status quo, others are ready to step in and seize control in these opportunistic times.

IMG_0320[1]Even if you’ve been living in a cave for the last 4 years and you’ve never heard of ‘The Resistance’, ‘Coup’ is a sublime game by itself. Its wickedly fast, super tense and just oh so exciting. When you’re holding on to your last card and the turn is going round, you’ll be frantically scheming trying to ready yourself for your next move. You’ve decided to bluff holding the Duke, which will gain you the 3 credits to pay for the Assassin that you are actually holding. Its finally your turn, you try to sneak those precious credits in unnoticed. As your fingertips just touch the prize, you think “YES! I’ve done it. No one will suspect a thing”. You start to slink the money towards you when you hear the challenge from across the table, “Like Hell you’re the Duke! I’ve got the Duke”. You can’t show weakness but your backs up against the wall, inside your screaming, “WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???” You play it cool, time to show them what you’re made of. “Are you sure you want to make that call?”, a cold look of steel about your face, but really your legs are like jelly jumping castles. Your challenger hesitates, not wanting to lose their last card in a rash decision. He begins a retort but you cut it short, “Fine, just means one less of you I need to eliminate”. You reach for you card confidently, ready to flip it over, it’s do or die anyway, then you hear the withdrawal, “Alright. Take the money…this time”. You think to yourself, “Yes! A life-line. Now all I have to do is…”, the person next to you chucks 7 credits your way, “I’m couping you. You’re dead”. Your head drops between your chest and the table erupts into laughter. This is the sort of entertainment you just can’t put a price on. ‘Coup’ is an absolutely awesome game. Get it or you’ll get left behind.

Kickstarters of the Week

After a long hiatus, we return to the blog to scour the seven seas of the internet, in search of games, so you don’t have to. Check out these awesome looking Kickstarters.

Iron & Ale

69990b3dd6a6f5c322b9f94d4c9b7076_largeStarting things off this time we have probably one of the most invasive yet hilarious games ever created. Iron & Ale is an adventure drinking game where players take on the role of dwarven lords and must perform extreme feats of strength, will and fortitude, all in the name of honor. I’ll say right off the bat though, we are not fans of violence here at We Die A Lot (despite what the name might suggest) but for this game, we condone all jackassery. Each player takes turns drawing cards from two decks, starting with the Mountain deck which tests your dwarven mining and battling abilities. Lets face it, dwarves are the undisputed kings of digging for shiny things, and if a goblin or giant happens to get in the way of their quest for gold, you know it’s going down hard with a crack in the skull from a weighty cudgel. Then comes the Meadhall deck. These are challenges that range from guessing another players dice roll to (“safely” – and you’ll know why I say that in a minute) skipping your next turn. However (here comes the unsafe bit), some of the more entertaining challenges actually get you to punch and slap your fellow dwarven lords. The penalty for failing either Mountain or Meadhall tasks is usually a few hefty swigs of ale. The prize however is being honoured as the mightiest dwarf this side of Mount Doom.

Now keep in minf5463f79b574a070f16cf6dfd0da2a94_larged this is a drinking game, and let’s be honest, if you were at a round table of mythical dwarfs, chalices filled with the finest mead, you would expect some drunken boisterousness. And that’s what makes this a great thematic game. You get to partake in those dumb-shit drunken shenanigans that everybody’s done after a few sips of dutch courage, only this time it’s totally justified. BECAUSE YOUR A DWARF! BWAHAHAHA!!!…Genius… Like I said, this is a great idea for thematic play. Hell! It’s practically the ideal introduction to role-playing for non-role players. The game doesn’t just happen on the table with a bunch of cards strewn before you. You actually become part of the game in a very tangible sense. And for once, the pledge level bonuses actually do aid your game in some ways. You get coasters, bottle openers and a pair of spiffy looking beer mugs if you want to fork out the extra dough. The point is you’ll have a laugh with this game and I can see it being a hit in college dorm rooms. What a perfect way to steal yourself for those pre/post exam anxiety jitters….but do play responsibly…it’s all fun and games until someone loses and eye….and then it’s just hilarious. BWAHAHAHA!!!!

Two Rooms & a Boom!

227afc2451d4c065a1be69d50dee1a0b_largeI’ll try to avoid all puns about how this game is going to be a “blast” (walked into that one :/), but the boys and girls over at Shut Up & Sit Down have been making a song and dance about this game in recent weeks, and rightly so. It looks like an absolute riot! Two Rooms & a Boom combines elements of some of our favourite hidden role games like ‘The Resistance’ and ‘Werewolf’, with the frantic panic of Pass the Bomb. Players are divided into two “rooms”, and then given roles, either you’re in the red team or the blue team. The latter contains the “President” while the former has a “Bomber”, unbeknownst to the other players. Each party has a chosen leader for three timed rounds, who has to elect hostages that will be passed into the opposing room. However the bombers ultimate objective is to make his/her way into the same room as the president by the games end and then BOOM! If all goes well with the kickstarter then other roles will become available, ranging anywhere from clowns to drunks to robots. Now if your like us, that means you love hidden role games, which in turn means that you relish in the idea of lying to your friends face. Only now you get to deceive them AND blow them to smithereens. What joy! Most hidden role games of this nature rely on a players cunning to get them through the task at hand, which engineers this uneasy feeling of distrust at the table, whereas this game just goes for sheer outright blind hysteria to hide your motives and complete the task at hand. Few games I know can create an atmosphere of deception as thick an ‘Ed’s diner’ peanut butter double milk shake, but by Jove if there was ever one that did it so elegantly as well as viscerally, it has to be Two Rooms and a Boom….tick. toc. tick. toc. tick…..

Dreaming Spires

prototype photoEnough of all this vulgarity with bombs and drunken dwarves. Can we have some decorum please. This is another one that SU&SD have mentioned on a few occasions, and naturally we wanted to take a look at what all the commotion was about. Well, it turns out there was no bloody commotion after all. Instead we found a grand, ceremonially decorated hall filled to the rafters with histories most famous intellectuals. Needless to say, we took off our beer hats and respectfully sat down amongst these celebrated academics. Welcome to Dreaming Spires by Game Salute. The only game in history that allows you to build your own college in Oxford. The first thing that comes to me about his game is a sense of awe. In a world where zombies and Cthulu reign supreme, the fact that anyone can make a game about building their own university is testament to the creativity of the hobbies designers. And really that’s what I love the most about board games. Diversity. I often find myself looking at our vast collection and yearn to play something with a touch of class sometimes. Something a little more refined than rolling a twenty sided dice to slay an undead dragon mage, before sucking its soul through a straw like the last bit of Pepsi in an ice filled glass (also known as the most annoying sound ever). So for the fact that this game even exists, we whole heartedly salute all board game designers. Sometimes your ideas are a little kooky, but god dammit we respect your ability to create a game out of anything.

PeopleOk, so it’s a unique idea, but what do you actually do in Dreaming Spires then? Players pit their strategic wits against each other in the quest for building the greatest school that ever came to be. You build your college from the ground up by laying down tiles that represent observatories, libraries, cloisters, quads and other posh sounding hang outs in order to attract the academic masters of Oxford’s vast repertoire of life changing thinkers. I always imagined Lewis Carroll and J.R.Tolkien would’ve been found sitting with their heads in the clouds amongst the college gardens, at least that’s how my brain interprets what the great minds of the past were always doing. Sitting under trees and thinking. Really though they went down the pub for a bit of a piss up (True story!…apparently). Anyway, I digress. This all happens over several eras, and as time goes by, old scholars graduate and new geniuses enrol, improving your colleges stature, depending on how well you utilised their abilities of course. Ultimately though it’s all about reputation. What will the annuls of history say of your hallowed halls? You best choose your faculty wisely is the answer. Also factor in shifting events and a euro scoring mechanism and what you have is a perfectly academic experience.

packshotI used the word class early on to describe the air around Dreaming Spires, and that’s another thing that grabs me about this game. The theme, play style, mechanics and design has this classic board game shimmer about it. As you’re building your college and collecting various famous intellectuals, you’re also learning real stories from the rich history Oxford. That’s a really nice touch that a lot of modern board games lack these days. Sure you can have a session of Descent during the week for your RPG fix, or whip out the beer and chips for a bit of Elder Sign with your chums on a Friday night, but all the individual nuances of Dreaming Spires makes it more than just a unique idea. It’s one of those special kind of games. For me it’s like a Sunday game, and I mean that in a good way. It’s the kind of game that refreshes the week. After all the other games have had their say, this is the kind of thing that you would want to put on the table just because you want to play a game with your friends and family. Something that you can learn from as well as test yourself in. It’s the kind of game I would rely on at the end of the week to give a breath of fresh air into the weekly grind to make the whole cycle feel interesting again. And it’s about bloody time the world got a game like this. Something needs to replace Monopoly and Cluedo….so it might as well be a good one. Definitely looking forward to this.

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!

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.