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!



  1. Jymkata says:

    That sadowitz guy sounds like a twat
    Also I liked the way that you managed to make an article without much of a point so interesting.

    • mpk says:

      Frankie Boyle is doing today what Jerry Sadowitz was doing about 20 years ago, albeit I think Boyle is funnier. Sadowitz back in the day was amazing although that reply to Rab seems pretty typical to what I remember of him.

    • Pantsman says:

      If you liked this, you’d love Tim Rogers.

      (disclaimer: I love Tim Rogers.)

    • The Tupper says:

      Frankie Boyle funnier than Sadowitz? Splutter etc.

    • mpk says:

      Yeah well I havent seen Sadowitz in action since nineteen canteen, but I watched Frankie Boyle last week. Go figure.

  2. pkt-zer0 says:

    It’s a shame there’s no column today.

  3. mcnostril says:

    As I moved from paragraph to paragraph, I could only lament that there was no column today. What am I going to read today?

    • DMJ says:

      @mcnostril: You just put my infinite sorrow into words better than I could at the fact that there is no column.

  4. gerafin says:

    You’re going to make a Risk TV series, aren’t you? I can see it in your eyes.

    • Stu says:

      Somebody really should tell Robert that someone’s already done a TV series based on a boardgame.

    • Chris D says:

      It’s not just that one. Appropriately enough there was also Cluedo .

    • Nighthood says:

      I hear someone did a TV program based on Escape from Colditz too. It was quite good too.

      I’ve been watching the old Colditz series from the 70s on Yesterday, it really is brilliant. Great acting, incredibly British and an engaging drama to boot. I’m not usually one to say “they don’t make ’em like they used to”, but in this case it’s really true. Slow scenes, no shakeycam or hyperactive angle-switching, a nice mix of pure drama and light comedy, and no unnecessary obscenity. Don’t know if anyone else has seen it, but I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t to try and get to see it somehow.

    • Thingus says:

      A comedy-drama? The only possible candidate is Pandemic. Or maybe The House On Haunted Hill.

  5. JB says:

    I was going to come on and comment on how disappointed I am at the lack of a Cardboard Children column today, but I don’t have time. Sorry.

  6. Temple to Tei says:

    How am I going to tell you all about my life and all the different formative experiences I had through boardgames and pen and paper rpgs without a column?

    Did I mention I’m mostly playing City of Heroes these days? Oh, and you can get the full game including the Rogues Expansion thingy and a months sub for 9.99 (euros?) from on Monday 29th. I know I’m going to.
    Yes the game is nearly dead in Europe, but they do have a big update planned soon and luckily no other top-selling MMO is HAVING THE BIGGEST SHAKE UP IN ITS HISTORY SOON AS WELL!.

  7. mod the world says:

    I’m not commenting due to no column.

  8. DrugCrazed says:

    Bah, no column

  9. stahlwerk says:

    I wish I had something to say, but I lack both friends and a board to qualify for board gaming. Good thing there’s no column today, man would that be embarrassing.

  10. Lars Westergren says:

    So, I don’t play much board games, but I can recommend Small World. It has a fantasy satire sense of humor like Munchkin. You are on a board that is slightly too small for the players, so you must constantly fight for “lebensraum”. Combat is sort of like Risk in that you basically just need more units to win, but your army has special powers (formed by a random combination of a race and a power – Commando Elves, Flying Ratmen or Diplomatic Trolls for instance), so it is much more exciting and tactical than Risk.

    Also, as you lose units your race gradually becomes weaker and you must pick just the right turn to put your current race “in decline” and draw a new combination. Whoever has the most score after 10 turns wins. ‘s fun!

    • The Innocent says:


      Small World is my favorite boardgame at the moment. It’s fantastic, especially with the expansions.

    • President Weasel says:

      I won once by keeping one race for almost the entire game, a fortuitous combination of sorcerors and some other quality that let me stay alive for ages, and also say “with my miiiind powers!” in a ridiculous accent every time I attacked someone.

      Ah, good times.

      Wish there’d been a column today.

  11. smokingkipper says:

    I say Boycott

  12. Mr Chug says:

    No comment.

  13. Conor says:

    Is this the British Heart Foundation shop? I am so going there to find out.

  14. Rut3g3r says:

    Race you :-)

  15. westyfield says:

    Dang it, I was looking forward to today’s column.

  16. Conor says:

    Pistols at dawn! That game shall be mine…

  17. Lord Byte says:

    I hate that he didn’t do a column today. I’m disappointed :(

  18. Torgen says:

    Howard Tayler, author of Shlock Mercenary, has posted an AAR of his night of playing Arkham Horror AND Betrayal at the House on the Hill in the same night.

    link to

  19. Lambchops says:

    Less No Cloumn – More Burnistoun!


  20. Hybrid says:

    I would’ve really liked to read a Cardboard Children column today. Oh well.

    I did get a chance to play through Castle Ravenloft yesterday, though. We didn’t finish the adventure but it was great fun!

    • MarkSide says:

      It *is* great fun, isn’t it! Except for the gargoyles. Oooh, you cheeky gargoyles!

  21. Nick says:

    Shame about the lack of column, but looking forward to series 2 of Burnistoun!

    Also very curious as to what the boardgame to TV idea is.. Flutter? Scoop? Go (the international travel game)?

    • Stu says:

      My money’s on Ludo (or to give it its original, unbowdlerized name, Fucking Ludo).

  22. JackShandy says:

    Good lord, there’s a kingdom hearts trading card game.

    link to

    Does anyone know if these are worth the 3 bucks they’re asking?

  23. Navagon says:

    What a columnity.

  24. jeremypeel says:

    Holy fucklets, Escape from Colditz is one of the greatest board games ever?

    My family has owned that game for years. And I have blindly and blithely failed to play it.

    Inadvertently Robert, you’ve introduced at least one other than the first Scot to the British Heart Foundation to that game. Cheers; I’ll be on to it as soon as I get home for yuletide.

    • Conor says:

      No way, that game is mine. I’ll fight you for it in the shop, if need be.

  25. jonfitt says:

    Oh, Escape from Colditz! I remember that one. Some friends had it and we played it many times. It was ace.
    I’m going to have to see if I can get a copy now.

  26. 7hm says:

    Tom Vasel is awesome. His videos made me buy several hundred dollars of board games. His kids are super cute too.

    That really sucks. Got no money but I might send him a card just cuz.

  27. Shadowcat says:

    It may seem like there’s no column, but if you put on some rows-tinted glasses, everything looks grate.

    • JackShandy says:

      I’m going to spend ages trying to puzzle out the meaning behind those puns now.

      The rows… margins? Row as opposed to Column? It’s great because there’s lot’s of rows of dialogue, even though there’s no column? Hmm.

      I sure hope that isn’t just typos.

  28. TonyB says:

    Is the new thing Dystopian Wars? I’d like it to be Dystopian Wars, for semi-selfish reasons.

  29. EthZee says:

    No column? That sucks.




  30. dadioflex says:

    You had my hopes up there. Ah well.

  31. RogB says:

    if Noel Edmonds can have a career based on housewives flipping a coin to open a box, im sure you can get any Tv show greenlit which is based on dumb luck.

  32. Tei says:

    Heres somes columns
    link to

  33. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Somebody in Clydebank should grab that Escape From Colditz and do an unboxing video.

    • jRides says:

      If I wasn’t completely snowed in, and on the wrong side of the river I would totally be there.

  34. Quintin Smith says:

    I did exactly what you said and ordered Warrior Knights and the expansion. :(

    … :D

    • Temple to Tei says:

      I believe Warrior knights is a good one for you Sir -which part of stabbing your friends in the back most appealed?

      There was a mournfulness from me a few weeks back -to play WK with gamers rather than fluffy nice people.

    • Quintin Smith says:

      If, within the next couple of months, the RPS community hasn’t started creating its own board game nights off the back of this column then I’ll start them myself.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Did you get it from Fantasy Flight?

      You can get them for the same price from Shire games once postage is taken into account. Plus there’s no chance of import duty being whacked on. And you’ll probably get them sooner too.

  35. Nighthood says:

    Woo Clydebank, shittiest of all shopping centres!

    Also, hooray for Escape from Colditz, you really should do a Retro review of it, so everyone can know how great it is. I recently found it in someone’s loft, the Swastika edition no less, and had a ball playing it. Those Nazis are real bastards though.

    • Conor says:

      I don’t think you can even call it a shopping centre, to be honest :(

  36. Temple to Tei says:

    And I should pass on some love for Colditz too -quick idea for people is you are in Colditz and you wish to escape.
    Um, I will try a little more, you have a crew of prisoners and there are several different escape routes to which you need to collect things to use -such as ropes and (memory fogging over) passes, uniforms, shovels. You also need a to gather together a survival kit for those who are successful in their attempt at freedom.
    When all that fails -and you are all a little bored you can try a ‘Do or Die’ where basically you leg it and the german player chases and kills you.
    First game I can remember; memorable because it had ‘stuff’ in it -like cards for rope for the walls and lots of lovely little pieces.
    *looks at once played copy*
    Oh, you can steal the staff car as well.

  37. Lucas says:

    This space intentionally left blank.

  38. MajorManiac says:

    That Tom Vasel seems like an awesome guy. Thanks for the link to the videos I’ll be watching the whole top 100.

    I’ve been getting my family into playing games recently. I’ve started with Munchkins as I find it really funny. Does anyone have a good suggestion for games that kids like and encurages team-work.

    I love the way games like ‘Left for Dead’ and ‘Killing Floor’ encurage team-work for instance, but can’t ever imagine my girlfriend playing them. :)

  39. ChosenOne54 says:

    I’m depressed. No column today :(

  40. 3lbFlax says:

    If your TV adaptation involves Cluedo you should track down the police lady who was in charge of the Raoul Moat incident, because as my wife pointed out at the time, she looks exactly like a Cluedo character from the elbows up.