Cardboard Children: 2010 Plan

Thought I would write down a list of things I want to do in my weekly column for RPS in 2010. I really need to get on top of things a bit more. BE ORGANISED. Just off the top of my head I’ll fire down what I want and need to do this yea

1. Boast about my Deathwatch Collector’s Edition. Well, not boast about it. That would make me look terrible. But I certainly need to cover the Deathwatch RPG, paying particular attention to how well it captures that whole “being a Space Marine” thing. Of course, while covering Deathwatch I can also post photos of my Deathwatch Collector’s Edition. And boast about it. Bingo. This should be the first thing I cover when I start the normal columns next week. I need to step up RPG coverage across the board in 2010 – should be easy enough with the D&D adventures I’ll be running and my big Warhammer 40K RPG campaign. NOTE: REMEMBER TO BOAST ABOUT DEATHWATCH COLLECTOR’S EDITION.

2. REVIEW MORE GAMES – There’s so much stuff I want to talk about this year. Conflict of Heroes. Battles of Westeros. Campaign Manager 2008. Survive! Talisman. And most of these are games from last year! I need to clear the decks a bit so that I can prepare for the big games that are coming in 2010! Things like Mansions of Madness, Labyrinth, and those twenty Eurogames about moving wooden blocks around an abstract map of some African country.

3. BE ORGANISED! I can’t spend the whole of 2010 being all over the place. I’ve made a good start, I’ve got my head on straight, KEEP IT UP ROBERT!

4. MAKE SOME VIDEOS – Robert, you’ve been thinking about making some of your DowntimeTown videos for the RPS column for a while now. This year is the year to do it. Finish that zombie special you started! People need to know what the best zombie board game is. People just need to know that! And it’s not the one they’d expect. TELL THEM. Anyway, get the camera back out. 2010 is the year!

5. FURTHER THE BOARD GAME MESSAGE/MAKE BOARD GAMES COOL – Okay, man. You are Kanye West. Okay? You are Yeezy. So, you love board games and playing RPGs. If you’re Yeezy, you should be able to make board gaming cool. How do you do this? You’re preaching to the converted here at RPS. NOTE: THE READERS OF RPS ARE UNCOOL – NEVER LET THEM SEE THIS DOCUMENT! You can do this. You, and only you, can make tabletop gaming cool. You are amazing. You are an amazing human being. Robert, you are amazing. So you can work this one out. HOW DO YOU MAKE BOARD GAMING COOL? Okay, thanks Robert, you’re amazing too. I KNOW I AM. Well, here’s my idea. I’m going to start a board game night in Glasgow. THAT SOUNDS SHIT. No, Robert, bear with me. I do a board game night, but in a bar or something. A cool bar or something. OH RIGHT AND MAKE IT OPEN INVITATION THING? No, make it a really horrible invitation only VIP thing. Have only the movers and the shakers there. Glamour. All the celebrities. THIS SOUNDS DISGUSTING. No, wait, but then I can take photos of cool people enjoying board games! Musicians and models and comedians and- WHAT HAVE YOU BECOME? This was your idea! What are you talking about? Are you trying to say it won’t help board gaming if you see photos of pop stars playing Agricola? YOU HAVE BETRAYED US, ROBERT! But it worked for the Playstation! Remember? When they pushed videogames to the punters by installing them in nightclubs and showing us photos of attractive people playing Wipeout? BUT THOSE PEOPLE WERE ARSEHOLES! I’m an arsehole! I KNOW YOU ARE! Look, I want 2010 to be remembered as the year that I became the Kanye West of the ten-sided dice. YOU’RE A MONSTER! I’m a mother****ing monster!

6. GO TO THE DOCTOR – I really need to go to the doctor this year and maybe get a mental health assessment arranged.

7. GO RETRO – Some people reading the RPS column will simply not be the type of person who will go out and buy a fifty quid board game. REMEMBER THAT THIS IS A PC GAMERS’ WEBSITE. PC gamers are all pirates, and don’t even pay for the PC games that they love. I mean, they talk all the big talk about how amazing PC games are, but they stand by while the PC games market dies on its arse. Even the ones who say they love PC indie games only like them because they are either cheap or free. So, for those people, you need to go retro more often. Talk about games that they might have played in the past. That means it’s time to do your big piece on HeroQuest and Space Marine.

8. DO THAT ZOMBIE SPECIAL – I need to remind you again. Do the Zombie special, and do it on video. Look, you like to see your own face, and you like to hear your own voice. You’ve been modest enough. Time to get DowntimeTown back up and running. Maybe you could even shoot some stuff at your special VIP boardgame nights in Glasgow. You could capture all that glamour on video. I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE GOING THROUGH WITH THIS! Look, sex sells! WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH IT? I don’t know. I don’t know.


10. ADVANCE YOUR BOARD GAME DESIGN – It’s time to get your board game design back on the table. There will surely be people out there who would be happy to playtest the prototype. Supply & Die is exactly the kind of thing you want to play, so PLAY IT! Involve the readers of the column in the thing too. Try to encourage design from the people on the site. Maybe set up a playtest ring. I’ll play with yours if you play with mine. Get the wargame idea out there too. Explain your reasons for doing that wargame.
11. ANSWER MORE OF THE COMMENTS – Last year you talked and talked about having a “conversation” on the comments section of the column. In 2010 could you maybe TAKE PART IN THAT CONVERSATION?? You really are a fucking blowhard. Get a grip.


13. INTERVIEWS – You will be doing interviews this year. Interviewing board game designers. RPGers. Proper journalism. You will gain access to Games Workshop, and interview them. You will put THOSE questions to them. You know the ones. ASK THEM.

14. SHARE HEALER WITH PEOPLE – Todd Rundgren’s Healing literally saved you when you had a mental health crisis. Despite it being unsuitable for the column, remind people that music can help you when you are troubled. It can haul you out. Share Healer.

15. DO THAT DOCTOR’S SPECIAL – You wanted to have that VIP zombie night, so DO IT. You want to make mental health cool, so try to invite some real movers and shakers along, and maybe you could film it all! TRY TO ADVANCE THE DOCTOR’S MESSAGE! I’m sure plenty of other patients would be happy to playtest it with you! Boast about your Suicide Watch Collector’s Edition! TAKE PHOTOS OF IT SEX SELLS!

16. Help

17. Help me


19. Eighteen

20. Help

21. 2010 will be your year, Robert. You can do this. ONWARDS! 2010!


  1. tikey says:

    But this is 2011…

    Am I missing something?

  2. TooNu says:

    In Glasgow it’s whatever year it wants to be, right?

  3. Jim Reaper says:

    At last! Conclusive proof that board games cause extensive brain damage. Quick, someone phone the Daily Mail! Won’t someone think of the children etc….

    • golden_worm says:

      Weekly bouts of diesexual card whore pornography is one of the few things that can allow people like Robert deal with his condition. Whilst worrying to us normal people,as long as he is only exposing himself and others similarly afflicted, where is the harm?

    • Jim Reaper says:

      Bah, I will not let your cold logic get in the way of my sensationalist headlines! The people have a right to know etc…

    • Lightbulb says:

      I think I’d better phone them. I live quite near Royal Tunbridge Wells, and I am quite literally disgusted by this column…

  4. Chunga says:

    I think that mental assesment plan might be something; “Doc, what year is it now, eh?” ;)

    On a serious note, I like that someone actually talks about board games. More of that!

  5. Alexander Norris says:


  6. PleasingFungus says:

    We missed you, Rob! And I guess you missed us so much that you went insane in the meantime?

    That’s… flattering, I guess.

    I guess.

  7. Michael Riley says:

    Good Stuffs!

  8. KingCathcart says:

    F**k you Florence, I’m well cool.

    I only ready your posts cos it’s, like, ironic or something.

  9. HexagonalBolts says:

    I’d love to see some videos of you guys talking, like the podcasts but videoed. You’re all so charismatic, and it would really give a human being to the words I read/hear at least 5 times a day!

  10. Jon says:

    Deathwatch is pretty good, played a game over Teamspeak the other night. It makes a great change from the classic sort of tabletop RPGs where you really can just go in guns blazing.

  11. Kaira- says:

    I was very disappointed at the video. I thought it was something funny, but it turns out I’m illiterate. “Too drunken” apparently was Todd Rundgren. :(

  12. Alex Bakke says:

    The cabin crew suggested we all go out and club it. I had no option. It was that or one of their B&Bs. I figured it’d be safer on the streets. For the first time ever I saw the Scotch in their natural habitat, and it weren’t pretty. I’d seen them huddling in stations before, being loud but… this time I was surrounded. Everywhere I went it felt like they were watching me; fish-white flesh puckered by the Highland breeze; tight eyes peering out for fresh meat; screechy, booze-soaked voices hollering out for a taxi to take ’em halfway up the road to the next all-night watering hole. A shatter of glass; a round of applause; a sixteen-year-old mother of three vomiting in an open sewer, bairns looking on, chewing on potato cakes. I ain’t never going back… not never.

    • Bioluminescence says:

      That would be ‘potato scone’, thank you.

    • El Stevo says:

      Rab wants to kill the Queen, and then destroy our way of life. That’s what every Scotchman wants. Believe me, I know. I’ve met a lot of Scotch people. They want what we’ve got: order, sobriety, hope. Everything Romford stands for. They’re jealous of our continental ways.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Although to be fair, A Scotch person meets an Englishman…fifty/fifty chance they won’t have a fight, that’s a very encouraging statistic.

    • Auspex says:

      You Sassenachs are aware that “Scotch” and “Scotchman” aren’t really acceptable terms any more right?

    • DeathHamsterDude says:


      I knew that sounded familiar, and I was trying to remember if it was from a novel I’d read but then Bam! It hit me, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace! Hooha!

      I ran the only way I knew how. By placing one leg in front of the other in quick succession. I had to help Reed, trapped in his office by a desk he could no longer trust. I had to help Sanchez, locked in a primal struggle ‘twixt man and whisk. And I had to help the Temp, who was probably doing some filing or data entry. I pressed on, chased by a staple that had my name on it. This was unbelievable, Liz was now turning my own stationery against me.

    • Lambchops says:

      That would be “tattie scone” actually!

      Oh and hooray for Darkplace references.

  13. CaLe says:

    I live my life pretty much without any music at all..

    • jaheira says:

      Same here. I don’t object to it, but I’d never bother to put any music on.
      We are not alone:
      “Music, I regret to say, affects me merely as an
      arbitrary succession of more or less irritating
      sounds . . . ” – Vladimir Nabokov

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Hmm. I never met one of you . . . soulless people before. Interesting. And there’s not one but two of you here. *shudders*

      I’m suddenly very cold.


      Without music, life would be a mistake. – Friedrich Nietzsche

    • dethtoll says:


    • jaheira says:

      Nabokov > Nietzsche

    • Edgar the Peaceful says:

      Howlin’ Wolf > Nietzsche > Nabokov

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Nabokov probably had a mental condition which meant he couldn’t process music. For those interested in the odd craziness of humans and music, I’d recommend picking up Sacks’ Musicophilia. which covers masses of this stuff.

      Relevantly, on the topic of amusia, there’s fascinating stories of people who are that way, and feel compelled into going to these events (through social pressure or whatever) which is pretty much bizarre torture for them. Sitting through orchestra performances is basically like random pots and pans being hit.

      I’m very glad I’m not that way, to say the least. It’s a bit like being asexual. Sure, people who are asexual don’t care about it – you’re asexual, after all – but it’s cutting off an enormous source of pleasure in life.


    • jaheira says:

      Cool, RPS has taught me a new word.

      I tried to go to a gig once, ‘cos y’know everyone else is going. It was Lou Reed when he was in London.

      Won’t be doing that again in a hurry.

    • CaLe says:

      Not hugging trees also cuts of an enormous source of pleasure. Yet I’m sure you have no interest in hugging any trees, Kieron.

    • Soon says:

      But music is used in other forms of art/media, not just in music itself. Some ambient music to set the tone, enhance the immersion… Some dramatic scores to enhance the, uh, drama. And to be in those situations, unable to relate the sounds with the emotion, not sensing the connection between the physical and musical landscapes, that’s a huge part of the experience gone. Much like being asexual, or something.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      If you don’t listen to music, what else are you doing to isolate yourself from other people in public spaces?

      This is preposterous. You must be insane to live a life with all those… people constantly making themselves present inside your sensory experience.

    • jaheira says:


      I read books. If any of “them” try to talk to me or look at me I frown in concentration and move the book to block the attack. Works fine.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      While I do love Lolita, and I think it one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, I really doubt that Nabokov trumps Nietzsche, who is considered one of the most influential philosophers of the last millennium, and who has singly-handedly inspired more philosophies, both on a personal and on a macroscopic level, in the 20th century than anybody else, except perhaps Jean-Paul Sartre . . . but he was French.

      . . .


      No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend or anything of the sort. I just find it very interesting. I honestly don’t think, and I know this sounds quite morose, without music as my constant companion that I would be able to cope. I’m a writer, but in my spare time I play the odd instrument, listen to and read about music for hours a day, write music articles intermittently, was in a band, and once had a radio show solely about music. So it’s pretty important to me, and to most people I know. But it’s always interesting to hear about these things. Funny that you mention Lou Reed, though, The Velvet Underground is one of my favourite bands of all time. To think you’re missing out on the greatness that is ‘Pale Blue Eyes’!

      Ah, Kieron. That book, and quite a few others by Oliver Sacks have been on my Amazon wishlist for ever. He is a very interesting man, is Mr. Sacks.
      I too, was actually going to make a comparison between this and asexuality. I remember reading about a small group of asexuals who used to meet up in London, and they absolutely did not care about it. It never crossed their minds to think of someone else in a sexual way. It’s odd that nature has these little evolutionary pitfalls in its overall scheme, but then, I suppose it’s even odder that it gets things right more often than not.

      Malawi! I know how you feel! I get sensory overload if I’m in a crowd without music near at hand. I also read books to escape from them, but I had to stop reading while I walked. I was gathering too many cuts and bruises . . . and I accidentally pushed an old woman out in front of a bus during a particularly engrossing passage. So the not reading whilst walking was actually court ordered . . .

      It’s political correctness gone mad!


    • jaheira says:

      Re: Velvet Underground. I just noticed the name of the poster who started this thread. Weird.

      Re: asexuality. Why does this comparison keep coming up? I don’t get the link between this and amusia.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Ha! Yes. I didn’t notice for a second because I was pronouncing his name Kay-lee in my head, but yes, John Cale of The Velvet Underground. The odd little coincidences of life.

      When we compare amusia to asexuality, we don’t mean it in maybe quite the way that you are taking it. Rather that both groups of people both have little or no opinion of nor interest in an activity that is immensely popular and important to the vast majority of people, i.e. sex, music, sex & music, sexy music, and even musical sex (hmm, I’m imagining a rather peculiar version of Musical Chairs for that one. I wish to subscribe to its newsletter). We don’t mean it in any negative way, or that amusia is even nearly as abnormal (loaded word, sorry, but I mean it in the scientific way) as asexuality. After all, asexuals are denying reproduction, which is one of the most fundamental compunctions an animal can have. You, on the other hand, just don’t enjoy music. Something which most people do.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Yeah, as DeathHamsterDude says.

      To stress, I wrote what I did quite carefully to avoid anything which was negative against people who are to one degree or another amusical. Clearly, if you don’t get anything from it, you don’t get anything from it. That’s your experience of the world. However, the majority of the population do, and they get it in a very instinctive, direct, unprocessed and powerful way.

      Which makes Sex is a good comparison (certainly better than any other art form. Music moves without reason, which is one of its mysteries). If you don’t have a sex drive, sex just looks ludicrous. Hell, looked objectively it is ludicrous… but there’s other stuff going on there which is as far from objectivity as we can get. If you do have that urge, and having had experiences connected to it, it’s one that you’d miss profoundly if it were taken away.


    • Chopper says:

      I too am ‘amusical’. I’ve bought one album in my life (Talking Heads, Sand in the Vaseline, so amusical people can have taste too, I guess). But me living my life without music – is it any more pitiable than someone living their life listening to, say, Ocean Colour Scene?

      That was just for dramatic effect.

      As regards an analogy, I think it’s more like not having an appreciation of art (most people can relate to this, I think). Listening to a song is similar to looking at the Mona Lisa. It’s there. Am I supposed to be feeling something?

  14. Snargelfargen says:

    Regarding point #11: I’m pretty sure you could do all the comments yourself if you put your mind to it.

    Also, a Hero-quest retrospective would actually be pretty interesting. I remember forcing my tired parents to play many times when I was a little kid.

  15. Sweep says:

    This article is so fucking 88 miles per hour.

  16. fallingmagpie says:

    No one man should have all that POWER.

  17. Hybrid says:

    Obviously the word in the bottom right of the header image is “bglr” but as to what it actually means… well, that’s anyone’s guess. Board Game Logic Revoked? Say it isn’t so!

    • multiname says:

      It isn’t so. The g would have an upwards square bit on the right, like the p (or possibly n, Greek eta, or whatever Prince is calling himself these days) does on the left.

    • Hybrid says:

      Well, it could just be some obscure font that makes it that way though.

    • DrunkDog says:

      Could be ‘help’ but what do I know.

  18. Gap Gen says:

    7 is actually a bit true. While people who play consoles happily pay £50 for a short FPS, the classic PC gaming £30 now seems like a sticking point when you can get excellent games for under a tenner.

    • DrazharLn says:

      PC games have been cheaper than console titles for a long time. Probably mainly due to the second hand market in console games. If you’re a console gamer can you trade in an old game or sell the game once you’re done with it.

      PC games are generally much harder to resell

  19. adonf says:

    He’s back with a vengeance. Or with something anyways. Good! I spent these last three weeks wondering if we’d ever get more of these insane columns.

    So yes please, Heroquest reviews and more stuff.

  20. Edgar the Peaceful says:

    “17. Help me

    18. SEVENTEEN?

    19. Eighteen”

    I lolled.

  21. PrimusD says:

    Go ahead and brag about your Deathwatch Collector’s Edition, Rab. Just as long as you also chronicle the long, painful process of finding someplace to actually display the enormous thing – I still don’t know where I can put mine. My bookshelves, er, shelves aren’t large enough, and I can’t put it on TOP of the bookshelf, because the ceiling gets in the way…

    • Lightbulb says:

      You way forward is clear. Move to a bigger house and make sure you have a spare room to display such artefacts in.

  22. Bfox says:

    Thanks a lot for the recommendation of Jungle speed Rob! Brought it to a Christmas dinner, managed to play it with 7 relatives – was hilarious uncomplicated fun!

    Oh, and you’ve got my interest with that Glasgow game meet, what snacks should I bring?
    And you should do more videos, you’ve got the talent for them : P

  23. Sagan says:

    Why has there not yet been a discussion about the mysterious word in the bottom right corner?

    Is it “bolp”?