glossy droppingsThe Village octopusex-X-wingsthe moonvicious
Quinns: A perk of this job is that I get to decide what qualifies as our top story each week. However, when you have an addiction as life-swallowing as mine, sometimes it isn't really a choice.
This week Fantasy Flight announced it will be taking Android: Netrunner INTO SPACE, with a new "cycle" of card expansions known as the Lunar Cycle. Now, the moon is a pretty exciting place. This we can agree on. But what's really exciting is that the Lunar Cycle's express purpose to tip up the game's gravity, to encourage new strategies, and produce cards that aren't necessarily strong, but just weird.
When half the thrill of Netrunner is watching it evolve, and your friends inventing (and then slapping you with) freaky new decks, that's the best news we could have possibly hoped for.
This also has to be the first time in the history of gaming that a designer has introduced lag into their project. Also, as my friend Ian points out, it's hard to come up with a finer sentence that "Upstalk transports Android: Netrunner to an all-new meat space: the moon."
(Incidentally, our own Leigh Alexander made a guest appearance on Terminal 7 podcast just today. For hot Netrunner chat, go check it out.)
In continuing Fantasy Flight expando-news, no sooner did we have the X-Wing Miniatures Game's huge ship reveal last week than the 4th Wave of ships has been announced. As you can see, they're a flying nose, an ex-X-Wing (an I Wing?), and two thingies I was disappointed to learn are not called Tri-Fighters.
I was talking about X-Wing on Twitter yesterday, and saying how I suspect I'd be involved with it by now if it didn't use eight-sided dice covered in abstracto-symbols. I don't want to roll an eight-sided die any more than I want to let my food get a bit cold before I eat it. Agree with me, friends, that it's the worst thing to roll.
ANYWAY, as I understand it, the biggest news here is that currently "Swarms" of TIE Fighters are the setup to beat in the competitive scene. A force that, sadly, involves players buying 7 or 8 TIE Fighter miniatures. Now, Rebel players will be able to field swarms of the Z-95 Headhunter (the blue one, above), which will be the new lowest-point value ship in the game.
Our final sliver of expansion news relates to Village, a gentle worker placement game with a potent theme that we loved. A game of horrific matriarchs dispatching their kids to a lifetime in the church, or building wagons, with the exception of the lucky few that escape.
The first expansion, Village: Inn, added an Inn to the Village, and we've just heard that this year a second expansion will add a PORT! Or a dock. Or a lake. Something to do with water, anyway. I drew a picture of what it might be, or not be. Exciting times!
Yet more dim excitement can be found in this French article, where designer Bruno Cathala discusses the above prototype of his next game for Days of Wonder. That's right! The company that deposits but one glossy dropping into the board game scene each year is, for the first time, doing some teasing.
And it looks... fine? There is a grid of tiles, and you can score a point(?). What's more interesting is what Google Translate does to it.
"Here, for the moment, we do not have much to say except that I just told you. Finally if. Go. I told you that the game did not have a name, it is true, not really theme, but it has an author. Yes. Name: Bruno Cathala ! Yes Ma'am. Yes sir. This man is strong. Mr. Bruno has laid us opportunism based game ginning. Awale kind, but with workers. Something he will have to learn to master. A clever trick. Vicious."
Now. Z-Man Games has announced it's going to be reprinting Prophecy. A 2002 game that's described as Vlaada Chvátil's take on Talisman, the fantasy questing game of rolling a die, going to a place, and collecting a thing. Our favourite designer working in our least favourite genre.
We're going to have to call the UK authorities before we open this box, I suspect. I'm no scientist, but the joy/antijoy reaction alone could take out half of Greenwich. Should the worst happen we'll need a quarantine in place, and bomb disposal robots on standby to dispose of the box's smoking husk in the Thames.
We all know table gaming has a PR problem. The phrase "board games" positively drips with boredom, and it's holding back both the industry and all the wonderful people who work in it. This is changing as more and more people come around on the hobby, but it's verrrry slowww.
When Paul and I started Shut Up & Sit Down we wanted to try and help. It's why our original videos were full of indie music. It's why we STILL play with the idea of the unwilling viewer. But there's only so much we can do alone, which is why in addition to laughing at Board With Life's videos, we consider their depiction of board gamers as real people important.
(It's also awesome to see how great board games can look when you, y'know, actually know how to use a camera.)
And if that's not enough, the Kickstarter video has Paul topless. Again. What's wrong with us?