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Cardboard Children: No Column Today

Hello youse.

I’m just dropping in to tell you all that there’s no column today. I’ve been so busy with filming that I’ve had next to no time to game, and so I have nothing interesting to say. That’s why there’s no column today.

The bold and beautiful Ben Hogg of Esdevium Games sent me a new board game this week, and I’ve played it once, and it’s brilliant. But I can’t tell you anything about it, because one play isn’t enough. Be here next week for the big exclusive (not exclusive) review of a brand spanking new board game you will almost certainly be interested in. It’s only just been released and everything. And it’s brilliant and everything. Tell all your friends to be here for it, so they know they need to get you it for Christmas.

Last week I asked you all to remix Cluedo, and I’m sure you’re all getting on with that, as I am. After I posted that column, someone gave me the heads-up about this thing – and it looks like a great and wonderful thing. I’ll be picking it up this week and hopefully trying some of the remixes out. Any of you tried it, yet? Do not steal your Cluedo ideas from there, because I’ll know, and I’ll tell Santa. And Satan.

The whole Cluedo remix thing has got me thinking about my own board game design again. It’s a game called Supply & Die. Not Supply OR Die. Supply AND Die. Supply & Die. I’ve made a promise to myself to get the prototype up and running by the time the Christmas period hits, and then I’ll be forcing friends to try it out. If everyone doesn’t want to punch the living fuck out of each other after playing it, then I’ve failed. Oh, and I’ve decided I want plenty of dice in the game too, because I’m starting to get a little bit sick of new board games not having any bones to throw. I like throwing those bones. I’ll maybe keep talking about Supply & Die on here, because it might keep me motivated to push along with it, and it might be interesting for all of you to watch me fail to create the greatest board game of all time.

Yeah, so there’s no column today.

Speaking of board games, I’m turning over an idea in my head for a TV adaptation of a board game. In truth, I’ve been turning the idea over for about ten years, but it feels more real now. I’m going to make a move on it in the new year. Contact the relevant people, get the approval to crack on with it, take it to the people I know, watch people make confused faces, and then drink myself into a stupor. All that good TV stuff. I don’t know why I’m telling you about this, because I can’t tell you which game I’m wanting to adapt for TV. Partly because you might steal the idea, and partly because you might laugh at me. About a 10/90 split there. I might keep you posted about this too, because it might be interesting to see the TV industry process in action, and you guys can give me a board game cuddle when execs roll their eyes at the prospect of a TV show about dumb luck. Oh, and it’s not a game show, it’s a comedy-drama.

So, yeah, no column today.

I want to tell you a story that is nothing to do with board games. It’s about stand-up comedian and magician Jerry Sadowitz. When I did a videogame show for the BBC back in the day, we were given the honour of doing a Christmas Special. We decided that, for a special treat, we would ask Jerry Sadowitz to do the show. He hadn’t been on telly for a while, and was always moaning on his website about never being asked. About broadcasters being too scared to put him on. So we sent him a nice email, saying that we’d love to have him on, and that he could do whatever he wanted on the show. He replied with “Go Fuck Yourselves.” The end.

Yeah, no column today. Really just on to tell you that.

I was in Clydebank this week. It’s a wee town kinda thing on the outskirts of Glasgow. I was filming, but before we started rolling I had a look in a couple of charity shops. See, if you’re into board games, you need to be doing the charity shops. You need to be firing yourself into as many charity shops as possible. I’ve found some amazing things in charity shops. Original Cosmic Encounter from back in the day. Rogue Trooper The Board Game. A lovely pair of heels that really tighten my arse when I wear them. That kind of thing. Anyway, this week I wandered into the British Heart Foundation Shop and spotted Escape From Colditz. For two quid. It wasn’t the original Swastika edition, but the later Eagle box. (They removed the giant Swastika in later years, because the game started to garner a huge neo-Nazi following, or something.) Anyway, it was two quid, and was sitting there staring at me. I already have the game (the Swastika edition, naturally, LOVE that cool Swastika!) but I was tempted to pick it up just so I have replacement pieces. Spares in case I should lose anything. But you know what I did? I left it on the shelf. I left it there in case someone else should happen upon it and discover for the first time one of the GREATEST GAMES EVER MADE. I just wanted to let you know that, so that you can all follow my example the next time you’re tempted to buy something for spares. Let those games get into gamers’ hands. One copy is more than enough. So, yeah, it might still be there in Clydebank Shopping Centre if you want to go and get it. With love, me.

So, sorry about there being no column this week.

Fantasy Flight Games have a winter sale going on right now, and there are some great games available over there. My suggestion would be that you treat yourself to the amazing Warrior Knights and its expansion. I’ll probably get round to doing a big bit on this down the line, but for the moment I’ll just tell you about a magical gaming moment that Warrior Knights provided my group with. There’s a phase in the game where you all have to gather together to vote in new laws. Two of the guys in my group were expanding like crazy from a military point of view. Myself and the two ladies were making like we didn’t like this military expansion. So we voted in a law that limited military expansion, and would force the two fellas to downsize their armies. They were so enraged that they stormed out of the court. Storming out means that you don’t ever get to vote on new laws again, or benefit from beneficial ones. The very next thing we did in that session at court was to nullify the law we just passed. So we scrapped that military expansion law we had just made. That meant that the guys had stormed out of court for no reason. They fucking FLIPPED OUT. It was amazing. If you don’t know the game, this is probably all gobbledygook. Buy it anyway. It’s one of my favourites. It takes hours to play. You can bless sea voyages in it. You can be The Pope, for Christ’s sake. Visit the store here.

Yeah, no column this week.

One more thing. Tom Vasel is a hero in the board game community. He’s my favourite video reviewer, and he’s a minister, and an all round good guy. He does the Dice Tower podcast, which is a great listen, and his Dice Tower Top 100 videos are a brilliant guide to what games are worth bothering to seek out. The guy has been doing his bit for board games for years now, and purely for the love of it. You can start watching the 2010 edition of the Top 100 with this video –

Anyway, here’s the thing. Just recently, Tom’s first son Jack was born a couple of months premature, and has been seriously ill in hospital. It’s been a bit of a fight. Tom is auctioning off some games to raise money for the costs of his son’s care, and I thought you might consider taking a look and helping out someone who is one of the good guys of the board game community. He’s also provided an address where you can send cards. He’s one of the good guys, so it’d be nice to let him know we’re out here. Read all about it here.

Again, make sure you’re back next week for that big review. The biggest and fanciest review since Cardboard Children started. I guarantee the game will jump onto your Christmas list.

Sorry there wasn’t a column this week!

Laters!

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Robert Florence

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