Cardboard Children – NEWSNEWSNEWS

By Robert Florence on December 3rd, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

Hello youse.

And hello news! I haven’t done a news update in a while, so before I give you your shopping list next week, let’s take a look at everything that’s shaking down in the great old world of boardgames. I know what you’re thinking. “There can’t possibly be more news! There was news just a couple of months ago!” And there was a time when, yeah, you’d have been right. But we’re in the middle of a- Oh, let’s continue this after you click the thingy to read more of this after the thingy.

THE NEWS

Yeah, anyway, as I was saying – we’re in the middle of a BOOM. There are games flying left, right and centre, and it’s actually impossible to keep up without digging in and finding out what’s been happening on a semi-regular basis. I remember when a new board game would come out maybe, oh I dunno, once every seven years. But these days? These days? It’s CRAZY. Some notable stuff this week, so I had to tell ya.

ELDRITCH HORROR

Eldritch Horror is now on sale! I haven’t played it yet. No-one has. Actually, that’s a lie. Lots of people have played it. And the word is good. Well, mainly good. The word is weird. The word is confusing, for me at least. You’ll remember that I covered Arkham Horror on these pages in the past. In fact, here’s the link – http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2010/10/23/cardboard-children-arkham-horror/ Well, this is another go-around at the Lovecraft theme by the good people at Fantasy Flight Games, and it seems to be a far less complicated affair. To be fair, open heart surgery is less complicated than Arkham Horror.

This game takes a zoomed out view of the whole Lovecraft Mythos stuff, with a globe-trotting feel, and a more “storytelling” vibe than the system-heavy Arkham Horror. It looks interesting, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be essential stuff for a guy like me who is kinda sorta going steady with the horrendously beautiful clunkiness of Arkham Horror. I mean, who is this game for? I’m confused. Is it for the Arkham Horror fan? Or the Arkham Horror hater? I’ve said “Arkham Horror” a lot, haven’t I? Let’s say it again.

“Arkham Horror”.

Anyway, take a look at this little overview of Eldritch Horror. It might prove to be a better starting point for your Lovecraft gaming than Arkham Horror. I said it again!

ELDER SIGN: OMENS

While we’re talking about Fantasy Flight and Lovecraft and while we’re talking about those things on a PC website, it might be worth telling you that Elder Sign: Omens is now available on Steam! What do you mean you don’t know what it is? It’s the PC version of a dice game that some people swear by and some people just shrug and walk away from. You roll some dice, generate some symbols, and decide how to use those symbols. You’re doing that usual Lovecraftian thang – trying to stop a big bastard from waking up and destroying all life in the universe and so on and so forth. Except with dice. Except this time not with dice. And you can try it on Steam right now.

If it’s any good, let me know. I’ve played the physical version and… Yeah, let me know.

COUP (RESISTANCE UNIVERSE EDITION)

Do you remember me telling you about the brilliant Coup? I told you about a year ago. What do you mean you don’t remember? That little game is fantastic, but the first edition had a small print run and a lot of people didn’t manage to grab it. The good(ish) news is that there is a fancy(ish) new edition of the game that has been re-themed to fit in with the exciting(ish) Resistance Universe!

Okay, yes, I know you have no idea what the “Resistance Universe” is. Neither do I, and I’ve played the game set in that universe. It’s a good game too, but it’s not the kind of game that generates a “universe”. What are they talking about with this “Resistance Universe” nonsense? Thanks for reading this column set in my “Cardboard Children Universe”.

Anyway, it’s still Coup, and it’s still a fantastic game of bluffing. It’s a better game than The Resistance, I think. And while I prefer the artwork and theme of the original edition, this edition will do you very nicely if you missed out last time.

I won’t warn you again, idiot. BUY COUP.

THE REALLY NASTY HORSE RACING GAME

I just want to get this in here quickly. If you’re in the UK, you’ll probably see a board game called The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game springing up in shops over the Christmas period. It’s the kind of thing you’d see in the GIFTS section in Debenhams and such. And you’ll think to yourself – “Wow, I bet that game is shit. I bet Rab Florence who does that Cardboard Children column and who is generally just a bit of a legend would laugh at me if I bought this game.”

Shhh. Shhh. Do not put words into my mouth.

I want to wink at you and tell you that in ACTUAL FACT, The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game is a lot of fun. It’s a trashy, messy, silly game that families will enjoy. And hey, it’s actually VERY nasty. Some would say REALLY nasty. Pretty cut-throat. And fun. You know, there are certain gamers in the USA who have IMPORTED this game. It’s not brilliant or anything, but if you see it for twenty quid while you’re doing your Christmas shopping, why not treat yourself? It’ll probably out-perform your expectations.

I don’t know anything about the Really Nasty Motor Racing Game because I haven’t played it and cars are shit.

GEARS OF WAR REPRINT

And finally, while we’re talking about games that exceeded expectations – Gears of War: The Board Game has been reprinted. It’s better than the video game, that’s for sure. It’s challenging, smart and attractive. And it has been missing from the shelves for a while, so don’t miss out on picking it up. I never reviewed this one, but it’s a thumbs-up from me!

NEXT WEEK

My HARDCORE Christmas List is coming next Tuesday. Save your pennies and…

STAY DICEY! (Going off this again.)

, .

28 Comments »

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  1. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Whole article posted on the front page, Rab!

    • Greggh says:

      Yep, was like that – refreshed and *BAM*, shrunk.

      Read it because it caught my attention being all frontpagey and whatnot. good piece

  2. President Weasel says:

    Could it be for the “rather likes Call of Cthulu pen and paper (plays it nowadays using roll20.net) but finds Arkham too fiddly and a bit annoying” crowd? I realise this may be a crowd consisting of just me, but for the investment of time and effort setting the thing up and playing it (not to mention the investment of money in the game and the seventeen expansions, and in obtaining a table large enough to lay them all out) I always get the dispiriting feeling I could be having more fun playing pen and paper Cthulu.
    I like my boardgames more when they’re not reminding me that cardboard and tokens can be clumsy.

  3. Premium User Badge

    draglikepull says:

    Does anyone know where to acquire this Coup game? There’s no link in the post and a Google search isn’t proving very fruitful. It sounds right up my alley.

  4. SanguineAngel says:

    I guess you REALLY want us to read this one!

  5. skink74 says:

    About 10 years ago I bought my brother the Really Nasty Horse Racing Game for xmas, since he had – in the then recent past – been a bookie and knew stuff about gee-gees. After dinner four of us sat down to play it, and had one of the best times I can remember playing a board game as a family. If I remember correctly my Mum won by being particularly nasty compared to the rest of us. Her being Mum made this extra funny due to unexpectedness.

    I guess this is a rambly sentimental way of saying I wholeheartedly concur with Mr. R. Florence’s opinion as detailed above.

  6. sandineyes says:

    Last night, I wanted to watch an action movie on Netflix, and right there in the top 40 or so suggested movies was Solomon Kane, a movie that I had never seen, yet whose title I’ve seen posted over and over on this column. Needless to say, I watched it, and it was actually quite entertaining.

    As for board games though, I’ve never played much of them, aside from Axis and Allies. And let me tell you, if someone wanted to get me into board games and suggested we play Axis and Allies, I’d just have to run away. It is like the board game version of Supreme Commander; the game is pretty much decided with the first thing each person does.

    • President Weasel says:

      I only watched it because of Rab’s occasional mentionings; I’d heard it was a bit disappointing and I wasn’t disappointed (because I was a bit disappointed, if you see what I mean). And James Purefoy’s accent, jings.
      I did rather like him in Ironclad, which I also watched recently on Netflix: even if the film itself is a bit of a cut-and-shut of various better films, your man Purefoy is good in it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Martel says:

      Oh man, if that’s your only foray into boardgames, you have a whole world of lovely gaming ahead of you. We only do it once every month or 2, but everybody loves it and I actually have to be selective about who to invite as I have far more people wanting to come to a boardgame night than I can fit in my house.

  7. finalfanatik says:

    The Really Nasty Horse Racing Game is one of my favourite board games of all time. I always trot it out when I have guests (pun very much intended). It’s also a great way to make your closest friends become mortal enemies.
    I wrote about it a few months ago.

  8. Untruth says:

    Fans of Coup should also definitely check out Love Letter, a similar and equally thoroughly enjoyable “training wheels” Coup.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Letter-5104AEG/dp/B00AGJ4HC2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_h_b_cs_1

    • Premium User Badge

      Rodafowa says:

      Coup is really good. Love Letter is good to the point that my wife and I spent like 6 hours playing it on the maternity ward while we were waiting for the hospital to decide if they were going to induce labour or not. True story.

  9. Synesthesia says:

    Hey, that narrator is the one from the stanley parable! Are you sure he wasnt just mocking your ability to play eldritch horror?

    Edit: Funnily enough, the original arkham horror seemed to have the problem of not giving you any real choice. Ha!

    • RanDomino says:

      I mentally replaced “the investigators” and similar words with “Stanley” and couldn’t tell the difference. If TSP was set in the Lovecraft universe, it would explain a LOT.

  10. jakedrake says:

    It’s the voice of Stanley Parable!

  11. Syphus says:

    You forgot about Diskwars!

    Also, I assume The Resistance Universe is the same “universe” that the game “The Resistance” is set in. If I had to guess, of course.

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  13. malkav11 says:

    Elder Sign: Omens is better than the tabletop Elder Sign. It’s still a barely themed trifle with a tendency towards inescapable death spirals, but the production values add a lot of atmosphere, they’ve added a couple of campaigns with slightly more to them than the base scenario, and it’s a lot more enjoyable in brief portable bursts by yourself than in groups on a table.

    I’m leery of Eldritch Horror myself. Everybody I’ve heard saying it’s good is someone who hates Arkham Horror, and the last time I was pitched simpler, pacier Arkham Horror I got Elder Sign instead, which is barely related and nowhere near as enjoyable. But it does seem like it has some cool ideas.

  14. McGuit says:

    Coup is great!
    Oh…and I have the Ambassador… I really do….

  15. Premium User Badge

    P7uen says:

    I never play board games, I haven’t played board games for 20 years, I never intend to play board games in the future unless I make actual friends one day and they ask me to play board games, but I always read Rab’s column because it is always great.

    Can I be an adopted Cardboard Child?

    • Williz says:

      I’m the same as you, not for lack of friends but I know my friends wouldn’t be into this. Oh the pains of being a geeky Rugby player.

      • Charupa says:

        Don’t lose faith or give in to peer pressure. As an ex-Rugby player (too old now) myself I learned that many of my buddies who previously gave me a hard time about all elements of gaming, now, in later life wish that they had a hobby as deep and fulfilling as board games, card games video games et al. But more to the point, a Game like Coup is fantastic for playing with anyone, especially family or friends or people that wouldn’t say they played games. Its elegant and simple and a bag of fun.

  16. Gothnak says:

    I have a copy of the Really Nasty Horse Racing game for sale if anyone is interested?

    Eldritch Horror is on the Xmas want list… :)