Cardboard Children: The Wait

By Robert Florence on September 30th, 2012 at 4:36 pm.


Hello youse.

The X-Wing Miniatures game review will have to slip to next week now, because I haven’t been sent it yet and I want to roll up in a ball and cry about that. I want to crawl into a little hole and weep, just like I did after I watched The Phantom Menace.

Look, we all know that the Star Wars brand is cheapened to the point of no return by now, but that X-Wing shit looks tight, fun and amazing. And I haven’t got it yet, so I want to slide under the carpet and scream for three hours.

What we gonna do now then? I should have been telling you about beautiful X-Wings and beautiful TIE Fighters from the days when Star Wars wasn’t about Yoda doing adverts for mobile phone companies. WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO NOW?!

We are going to talk about THE WAIT.

THE WAIT

We’re all familiar with it, because it’s the kind of people we are. We’re Waiters. At any time, on any day of the year, we’re always Waiting for something. I think it’s the thing that defines people like me and you – geeks like me and you. We are constantly Waiting for things. We’re always deep in the middle of The Wait.

Right now I am Waiting for X-Wing to arrive with me. Sure. But I’m also Waiting for City of Horror. Beyond board games, I’m feeling the weight of The Wait for the WiiU and the Dredd bluray. I am always Waiting for something. And The Wait is beautiful. It’s part of the whole deal. There is no Me without that Wait. The Wait is who I am. The Wait keeps me hungry for new things, new ideas, new fun. It also motivates me to be constantly planning new projects, so that (with any luck) others might Wait for stuff from me.

I don’t know if you realise this, but some people don’t Wait. Some people, a lot of people, just consume things as they arrive. “Oh, what’s in the cinema tonight?” they say, and then go and enjoy something that sounds good. “What’s this in front of me in this shop?” they say, because they haven’t been reading about that thing for months before release. Seriously, I know people like this. Let me tell you a story.

Earlier this year, I was sitting drinking with a group of friends. At one point, I asked “So, what did you think of the Prometheus trailer?!” Everyone looked at me blankly. About five people, and not one of them had even heard of Prometheus. Not one of them was Waiting for it. I knew everything there was to know about that film at that point. I’d seen the trailer. I’d seen production shots. I was following the viral stuff. I was heavily invested in it already. That’s what The Wait is all about. I love The Wait.

Is The Wait a negative thing? I think it certainly makes us more easily manipulated by the manufacturers of hype. Hype and The Wait go hand in hand. It’s the stuff we feed on, and it’s how we are poisoned. But not everything that we Wait for is hyped. Some things that we Wait for are tiny little things, personal to us. Some of us Wait for niche things with no hype behind them at all. And I hate missing out on that cool stuff, so…

I’m keen to hear about the stuff you’re Waiting for. Please do share with your comments. And here I’ll tell you about a few of the other things I’m Waiting for, to give you a chance to jump on board.

METRO 2033

As a reader of the best PC games website on the internet, you’ll be well aware of the Metro 2033 thing. Well, there’s a board game coming too, based on the same Dmitry Glukhovsky novel. And it sounds like a belter. Each player controls a faction that is fighting for control of the post-nuclear underground. Heroes can be sent through the tunnels to attack opponents at their stations, resources are generated, and random events take place to keep things spicy. The only negative, for me, is that the board itself doesn’t look hugely attractive.

MAGE WARS

The Wait for Mage Wars is almost over, but it’s not quite over yet. It’s out this week. But we all know that the last few hours of The Wait are the worst. The game is described as a hybrid of a card game and a miniatures game. Wizards battle on a board that allows them to move tactically, while all spells are drawn from a supply of cards that are held in an ACTUAL FUCKING SPELLBOOK. That’s enough to make The Wait a nightmare, right? Everything I’ve heard about this game has me expecting something very special. The only negative with this one? The name. I hate the name. I hate it because of this:

MAGE WARS
SUMMONER WARS
MAGESTORM
RUNE WARS
MAGE KNIGHT

Mage. Wars. Really? Two of the most overused words in gaming. SERIOUSLY. Look at it though. Looks sweet, right? Unbearable. Mere days to go.

FREMDE FEDERN

Wow. I just – Okay. Friedeman Friese’s game features mechanics that have been “borrowed” from other popular games. (He got permission, don’t panic.) There are elements taken from Dominion, Agricola and Puerto Rico. The title “Fremde Federn” translates roughly as “to adorn oneself with borrowed plumes”. And the theme of the game? Politics. You’re a politician who is trying to gain influence by leaning on the hard work of other people. I just love how the theme meshes with how the game has been designed. That’s brilliant, right? You want to know what else is brilliant? The box cover, with Friedeman Friese’s big fucking grinning face on it.

This kind of quirkiness needs to be celebrated. And with Friese’s name (and face) on the box, you can be sure the game will be a strong one.

So there you have a few of the games I’m Waiting for. I have to be honest, though. The Wait for City of Horror is the hardest Wait of all. And that Wait is almost over too. Soon. Soon.

Next week, X-Wing, maybe Mage Wars too, with photos out the wazoo. Now, tell us what you’re Waiting for.

, .

59 Comments »

  1. McDan says:

    I am waiting for Cosmic Encounter, which sadly will have to be a game for christmas. but I do have the excellent Panic Station and King of Tokyo to play with others until them, and they love it. Even making jokes about being infected/having gas cans etc. on a night out. Great stuff. That 2033 boardgame does like a bit blergh, but we’ll just have to see how it plays.

    • Joshua Northey says:

      I have an extra copy of CE that has been played only once if you are interested in a trade. It is like months old and other than being punched and played once has not been used.

    • Skabooga says:

      I wait for Cosmic Encounter as well. Based on everyone’s recommendations here, I went out and bought it, and now I too wait for an opportunity to properly play it with friends. We were learning the rules and doing a practice game when another friend showed up and put us over the limit, and now I have to wait until next week. It’s like there’s an itch on that place on my back that I just can’t reach.

      • Qwentle says:

        If you manage to play the game and like it, both expansions added together add components for an extra two players.

        • Skabooga says:

          Ooo, I just checked those out after you mentioned it. That could be most useful; thanks for the information!

        • njursten says:

          There’s a third expansion also, adding support for another player. Haven’t tried, but I assume it gets less fun more players though.

  2. malexmave says:

    You got the pictures for “Fremde Federn” and “Metro” somehow messed up.

    Other than that, I totally get where you are coming from. I’m Waiting for my board game evening with friends next Saturday.

  3. Joshua Northey says:

    Friedeman Friese is a great designer, and good at coming up with cool ideas for games and structuring the main elements.

    But he really really really needs a rules editor. The rules for all his games are needlessly complex and add significant playing time for no additional decision complexity or nuance. Both Power Grid and the First Sparks are vastly improved by cutting the manual about in half ( you lose maybe about 3% of the game).

    Not sure who is helping him with his rulesets/final polishing, but it is odd that I can rely on him to give me 95% of a good game, just without the edges sanded off.

  4. Sohum says:

    I’m waiting for my copy of Android:Netrunner to ARRIVE ALREADY GOSH.

    I don’t even have anyone to *play* it with. I just want to look at it. And maybe shuffle it, a bit.

    • JehuGarroutte says:

      My painful Wait is for the first expansion pack.

      YES, I know the game just came out and that aching to give the franchise more money already is profoundly silly. Don’t judge me!

    • Shadram says:

      Netrunner is my current Wait, too.

      Kiwis are always a bit behind the rest of the world, which makes The Wait so much harder. While you all discuss the latest, greatest games and movies on your half-the-price-of-ours internets, I have to avoid all forums so that nothing gets spoiled. And when I do want to join the discussion, everyone else has already moved on.

      Still, I live in f*ing New Zealand, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.

      • chansu says:

        As a Kiwi (hi!) I very much second everything Shadram said. Although, waiting for Seriously Board to get a new game in can be a great breather between reading the Cardboard Children hype and making a purchasing decision.

        At least we get a few shows on channel 4 on time these days, a sign of things to come I hope.

  5. StressBall says:

    I’m Waiting for XCOM (9 days!). I’m also Waiting for a gaming group. I moved to a new city six months ago, which meant leaving my regular gaming group. Now it’s just me and the wife, and most of our board games are minimum 3 players. Things are looking up, though; we joined a gaming club at the local university, and there’s also a small tabletop gaming convention in town this month. So I guess I’m Waiting for that too.

    • Groove says:

      NewCom is also my big wait at the moment (still 9 days -_-)!

      I’m also waiting for the final Summoner Wars decks to arrive, since I’d pre-ordered the reprints from their site.

  6. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    What’s that Rolling Stones song with the chorus that goes, “I am waiting, I am waiting, something something something blah blah blah?”

    That’s what I always think of when I think about the Wait.

    I am Waiting for a list of things that’s probably pretty predictable (say that three times fast)::

    Project Eternity, obv

    The next issue of Happy!, by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson.

    XCOM.

    Literally anything Hidetaka Miyazaki wants to work on next.

    Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes

    Dragon’s Crown and Oboro Muramasa for PS Vita.

    Any games worth playing on the Vita.

    Wasteland 2.

    Platinum Games’ loony canon Metal Gear fanfic Revengeance.

    The Wii U.

    The new collection of Howard Chaykin’s run on The Shadow.

    Avengers 2.

    Season 2 of Legend Of Korra. I don’t actually watch the show, but it’s hilarious seeing my Tumblr dash explode with shouty rants whenever a new one is on.

    The two wireless Xbox 360 for Windows controllers I ordered.

    The next episode of Parks & Recreation.

    Fame, cash, adoration, etc.

  7. wodin says:

    The walking dead TV Show
    The Last season of Spartacus TV show
    Combat Mission East front
    Command Ops East front Chir River
    For Wednesday morning when I’m up to no good
    Other Side of the Wire Vol 2 (book)

  8. Bobby Oxygen says:

    Sadly, Waiting all too often ends in disappointment. Like Phantom Menace. And Prometheus.

    • Skabooga says:

      Oooh, the latter one hit me bad. There is no feeling like it when you’re sitting in the darkened theater, and ten minutes in you get this sinking feeling that this isn’t the movie you were expecting or waiting for.

      • Bobby Oxygen says:

        I reached a point after the squid-birth where I thought to myself “At least it can’t possibly get any dumber now.” But somehow it did. It really fucking did.

    • Universal Quitter says:

      If the Phantom Menace still disappoints you, just watch the Mr. Plinkett review until the pain stops.

  9. fallingmagpie says:

    MAGEFACE

  10. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m waiting for everything Star Wars to DIAFF.

  11. WarpRattler says:

    I’m waiting for a Vita to come in the mail.

    Unpopular and a console-toy, I know, but I already have all the other platforms, and it’s got some games I’m quite interested in that we won’t be seeing on other hardware any time soon for various reasons, like a port of touch-based arcade music game DJ Max Technika.

    More relevant to CC, I’m waiting to get back home (currently out-of-state, housesitting for relatives who are out of their state dealing with business) so I can start meeting with my role-playing group again. That’ll be in a few weeks, though whether or not we’ll actually do any gaming stuff is anyone’s guess…

  12. Alexrd says:

    I can say that the only thing I don’t like about RPS is the Star Wars bashing:

    “I want to crawl into a little hole and weep, just like I did after I watched The Phantom Menace.”

    and

    “Look, we all know that the Star Wars brand is cheapened to the point of no return by now,”

    I mean, really?

    • Persus-9 says:

      Yes. Sorry but it is true. I’m glad you can still enjoy it for what it is now but what it is is pale intimation of what it once was and even after all these years that still hurts for a lot of people.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      The Star Wars franchise is nothing but a soulless sheep-eating media machine by now, and it deserves derision. That includes the first three movies.

    • Nick says:

      Uh, all three prequels and every game in recent years have sucked massively. Sorry to let you in on that fact.

      • Alexrd says:

        Fact? No, more like opinion. And what’s included in “recent years”? The 2 Star Wars games that have been released on PC for this generation? One of them I found to be a quite good hack and slash (the first The Force Unleashed).

        • Prime says:

          I appreciate the lone defender thing you’ve got going here, I’ve been there myself many a time, but on this you are sadly mistaken. You say the last Star Wars game was ‘quite good’. we say ALL the early SW games were amazing because they were based on films that were magical and did their best to make you feel like you felt as you watched them. The new films are atrocious. These are ‘facts’ because cleverer people than me have written very intelligent things about how actually, genuinely and provably atrocious they are by any modern cinematic yardstick or theory, Plinkett being only the most visible of critics that comes to mind right now.

          Clone Wars has moments that shine but struggles to free itself from the sheer inanity of the Prequel universe, and those precious moments are few and very far between. Believe me I’ve doggedly watched every episode of seasons 1-4 hoping that more of the ‘Old’ Star Wars – MY Star Wars – would show itself.

          Star Wars has qualitatively changed from what it used to be in the 80s and early 90s, and not for the better. It used to be magical but sheer corporate greed has destroyed or sanitised most of what made it so special. Tim Bisley was right: it DOES still hurt.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Agreed entirely.

            But I think you meant Plinkett, but I do love the idea of David Plunkett doing a Phantom Menace review!

          • Prime says:

            Hehe! Thanks for that, Dr G. Was silly of me. I’ve edited my comment to include a few corrections, including that one, just in case anyone comes along and thinks you’re talking nonsense. :)

  13. phelix says:

    I am waiting for the release of Morrowind Overhaul 3.0.

    EDIT: Aw snap! It’s released! Go snatch it, everyone.

  14. rargphlam says:

    I picked up Libertalia recently, and it’s really quite enjoyable. We played it and Power Grid: First Sparks at our recent game night, and everyone enjoyed it (and First Sparks as well, honestly First Sparks is probably the better version of Power Grid).

    Incidentally, one of our group members picked up Mage Wars after demo’ing it at PAX this year, and was fiddling with it all evening. It looks cool, and the only real reason we didn’t play it was our group size was four and he only had two spell books.

  15. Blackberries says:

    XCOM and Dishonoured. These next two weeks are going to drag so much.

    Also: finding enough people who will actually agree to play Cosmic Encounter. I’ve owned it 18 months and managed to play only a single game.

  16. xcopy says:

    Right now, I´m waiting for the World of Tanks server to finish its maintenance. I just wanna see some tanks turn into a smoking pile of metal.

    Also: Waiting for Dishonored. And waiting to save enough money to buy me a fancy new computer to play it on.

    And a quote from one of my favourite bands Nomeansno:

    “I got tired, tired, tired of waiting

    I got tired of waiting, waiting in line
    Tired of waiting for my clothes to dry
    Tired of waiting for his show to begin
    Tired of waiting for my ship to come in
    Tired of waiting, waiting for the bus
    Tired of waiting for my shoes to get fixed
    Tired of waiting, waiting for my cheque
    Tired of waiting for a change in the weather
    Tired of waiting the water to boil
    Tired of waiting the paint to dry
    Tired of waiting, waiting for a sign
    Tired of waiting for my big break
    Tired of waiting for the dam to break
    Tired of waiting for the bomb to drop
    Tired of waiting and waiting and waiting
    I got tired of waiting for the end

    I got tired of waiting because i found out
    There’s only a fine line between
    Biding one’s time and waisting one’s time

    Do you know what i mean?

    I got tired of waiting that’s all”

  17. repairmanjack says:

    Waited three weeks for Android: Netrunner. It arrived on friday. I’m still waiting to sit down with the missus and play it. Waited far longer for Mage Knight. Unboxed it today… with something like tears of joy littering my vision. Rarely does The Wait feel worth it, but that one was a huge pay off.

    Currently waiting on Race For the Galaxy and Twilight Struggle to be reprinted. And I’m more concerned with The Wait than actually playing all the great stuff that’s turned up.

    And this annoys me more than the bloody Wait does.

    And I love/hate waiting for this column to appear each sunday. Great work, as ever.

  18. Treebard says:

    I’m definitely a Waiter, but I’ve been trying to move towards the direction of those other folk you mentioned at little bit. I want to have my cake and eat it, too.

    A very recent example: I’ve been waiting for Looper since it was announced. I’m a big Rian Johnson fan, and him+JGL+Bruce Willis+time travel had me champing at the bit for it. But…aside from the first trailer, I decided not to read anything about it. Not interviews, no subsequent trailers, nothing. I was IMMENSELY surprised by the film this weekend, in the best possible way.

    I try to do the same for games, but I’m finding it’s really hard to stay abreast of what’s announced without being completely spoiled on stuff I’d rather discover myself. It’s…frustrating.

  19. DougieMonster says:

    What am i waiting on? The following two are at the top of my list:

    XCOM – I’ve been waiting YEARS for this

    Dreadball – Kickstarter for this ends in about an hour. I NEED this. A combination of Speedball and Blood Bowl? This pushes my buttons so much it’s unreal.

    The Batman Heroclix sets – a clix Batmobile?! Drool…

    Other than that – Walking Dead new series, Android Netrunner, the new Infinity sourcebook, Dishonored…

    I’m usually waiting on a ton of stuff :-)

  20. Nick says:

    I want that X-wing game so bad. I want it so bad its driving me mad. Its so heavy.

  21. The Innocent says:

    I *was* waiting for Mage Wars and Zombicide, but they arrived last week and now I’ve played them both. =)

    Other than that, I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Clash of Cultures boardgame. As a half-fan of the Civilization board game, it looks great.

    On PC, Dishonored and XCOM.

    In real life, my fall break starts October 8, and hoo boy will this week be long.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Jubaal says:

    I’m waiting for City of Horror, Spartacus and Space Cadets to be released on the board game front. From the PC I’m waiting for X-Com and Card Hunter. I’m also waiting for Season 1 of Game of Thrones on blu-ray to be delivered.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Shockeh says:

    I want X-Wing so badly, I was looking at it in a store in Manchester today. Then I noticed that it comes with only 2 TIE and 1 X-Wing…. for £29.99. Want the full set, where you add another TIE, a TIE Advanced, a Y-Wing and another X-Wing? That’ll be seventy pounds please.

    I balked a little when I bought Descent, but that’s just obscene.

    • wodin says:

      Similar set up to the Wings of war series..it feels odd I suppose cos you imagine big fighter battle sin Star wars where as WW1 airwarfare usually had fewer participants in any one dogfight.

      Still remember each ship comes with specific pilots…also most likely each player will control one maybe two ships to keep it reasonable…

      • Premium User Badge

        Shockeh says:

        It’s not so much the number in the game itself (though I would like to have huge, Star Wars-esque battles); I have an issue with £30 for a board game that comes with three miniatures and no board.

        • Charupa says:

          Ive got one, there is a ton of extra stuff in it (like most FFG Games) and its a great game. I also went and got the Y-Wing & Tie Advanced (Vader rocks, unsurprisingly).

          Personally I am waiting for teh X-Wing series 2 ships: Falcon, Slave 1, Tie Interceptor and A-Wing……..

  24. hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

    Dishonored.

  25. Prime says:

    You’re correct. I am always waiting for something. It’s part and parcel of being a Geek. My longest wait? Ten years to read the last issue of a Transformers Generation Two comic series.

    Currently I’m waiting for: Sonic Ether’s full 1.0 release of his awesome Minecraft shaders, The next big update to the excellent Star Trek: Fleet Operations mod, The Romulan expansion for Star Trek: Fleet Captains, Arkham City: GOTY edition on DVD (Yes I know it’s out digitally but my current broadband connection has said a firm “screw you” to an 18gb download), The Minecraft film I paid handsomely into via Kickstarter but has yet to turn up anything concrete 18 months later, The next Tron film, the next episode of the absolutely fantastic Tron Uprising…

    It never ends. Such is life.

  26. GameCat says:

    I like (Tom) Waits, does it count?

  27. LukeNukem says:

    Great article, I am mostly waiting for Descent 2nd edition. Ooh and War of the Ring. And City of Horror. And…
    I’m also waiting to finish the great videogames I’m currently playing so I can play the great videogames that are in my backlog.

  28. Duke of Chutney says:

    I’m waiting for;

    Bax Baltica

    Andean Abyss

    and Amateurs to Arms

    all war games, which is unusual for me. Not that fussed about X wing.

  29. Premium User Badge

    Olero says:

    I’m waiting to finally PLAY a game of Merchants and Marauders. Pro-tip: Don’t try to explain the rules to someone who is not that patient. Seriously, the rules of this game are as dense as an undiscovered jungle (and very badly translated into Dutch as well, which doesn’t help). There are just too many options, exceptions and if/then’s to explain it within an hour. And who wants to have a lecture of 1 hour without giving up your free will? I can’t seem to find the people so far… Which I find strange, since who doens’t want to plunder and board other ships? *echo*

  30. nyarlathotep says:

    I’ve been waiting for another installment of the Some Games posts.

  31. Reapy says:

    Sometimes I feel like I enjoy the wait more than playing the games. Since I was a kid I remember consuming pc gamer or nintendo power like mad, anticipating…anticipating. Sometimes the arrival is a holy, take work off and collect crust as you play kind of thing, other times its not.

    Then I wonder when I start waiting again for something else, why all the stuff I just waited for and is here isn’t as great as what is coming next! Am I buying more into anticipation and perceived ‘funess’ rather than actually having fun with the products I want? I don’t know!

    /Bought 2 xwing core sets, 1 ywing, 1 xwing, 1 tie advanced, 2 ties (2nd one pushed me up to the free shipping limit at coolstuff inc so was “free” as was the same cost as shipping). They are unpacked, set up on stands, waiting for an opponent. I have to pressure the wife more I think.

  32. DrGonzo says:

    The Waiting comment is very true. But, recently I’ve been going off it, I wouldn’t say that makes me less of a geek. I just think I’ve been burned too many times now, and its mostly my fault.

    I still wait, but now I wait patiently, and ignore as much hype as possible. After several games and films disappointing me, not because they were bad necessarily, but because of the WAIT. For example, BF3 was a pretty solid game I would probably have found entertaining if I hadn’t Waited quite so intently.

    A friend had this with the latest Batman film, he found it really disappointing, calling it ‘shit’ and other mean things. It was only a few days later he realised the film was ok, but it fell so far below his expectations, partly because of The Dark Knight, but also The Dreaded Wait. Or should that be Weight?

  33. siberianhusky says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve played russian version of Metro 2033 already and it is an utter shit (like any other russian game so far by the way).
    They’re just milking the brand here.

    • siberianhusky says:

      And what I’m waiting for – the next big thing from Vlaada Chvatil.
      I have no idea what it will be but I’m pretty sure I’ll like it.

  34. Nathan McIntosh says:

    Waiting for more Downtime Town/Consolevania/Videogaiden… how’s them apples for a Wait?