Cardboard Children: The Return


Hello youse.

Before we begin, I’d like to thank the bold Quinns for covering for me while I was gone. His columns were annoyingly good, and I was actually quite glad to hear of his death this week. He recommended some great games to you, and Tobago too. But now the original God of Games is back, every Saturday, so you can have fun playing “Spot the Typo”.

Where have I been? Well, I’ve been writing a telly thing for Channel 4, and setting up a production company. That’s GROWN-UP STUFF. So excuse me if I didn’t have time to write about stupid fucking children’s board games on my few days off. Grow up. Who cares about stupid silly board games like fucking Monopoly SO BOOOOORING GROW UP JESUS CHRIST GET A GIRLFRIEND OH MY GOD!

I care about them. I might not have been writing about board games lately, but I’ve been playing loads of them. “Hunners” of them, as we say in Glasgow. Some absolute belters in the bunch too. I’ve also officially run out of room in my house for board games, so I’m going to have to start getting rid of the ones I hate. All one of them. All Knizia’s Lord of the Rings of them. So, yeah, it’s still all going on. And now I’m back.

And I’m back properly this time. I said in the past that I would maybe do a video at some point for RPS, showing you a board game or two. Well, that will definitely happen. I still have that Zombie-themed board game round-up video to get out, so that will probably be first. And then I’ll be looking at trying to cover the occasional new release in video form. I’ll warn you in advance that the videos will probably be annoyingly “comedic” because everything I do these days has to further my odious policy of careerist self-promotion.

I want to try to get very current with what I cover, so I’ll try to source review copies of stuff so that you fine people reading the best games site on the web will be at the FRONT LINE of spending a fortune on new games you don’t actually need. Maybe I’ll get in cahoots with an online shop or something. Something corrupt like that.

I’m also mulling over the possibility of doing a podcast for the first time in my life. That wouldn’t just be about board games, though. It’d be about all that stuff we’re into, computer games and films and comics and stuff, and would feature other hardcore Scottish geeks so that as few people as possible can understand it. But that’s all just in the planning stages at the moment. Does anyone listen to podcasts? I certainly don’t. I dunno. Anyway, I’m back, that’s what I’m getting at. Back to my first love – games.

This week, I won’t be looking at any board game in particular. There’s one AMAZING game I want to talk about next week, but I need to get some more plays in first. All you need to know is that I HAMMERED people at it a few days ago, like a gangsta. Also, some of you might be reading my lazy, swear-word heavy column for the first time and I need to draw you in with something light. I need to start by doing a little round-up of what I’ve missed since I slipped off the radar.

DIRTY WEE SKAVEN BASTARDS

Fantasy Flight improved on perfection last month, releasing an expansion for the amazing Chaos in the Old World that lets a fifth player play as The Horned Rat, the god worshipped by those filthy creatures the Skaven and Kieron Gillen.

I’ve blabbed on about Chaos in the Old World at length many a time before. I even did a 15 minute long erotic video about it. I’m sick of listening to myself talk about it, to be honest. It’s a fantastic game, probably the best design of the past 10 years. So, I was a wee bit worried about the expansion. Getting a board game so right is a tough thing to pull off, and you always have the feeling that any tinkering might screw the whole thing up.

There was no need to worry. The fifth God slips in without any fuss, and has his own unique path to victory. He even has that “Oh, I hate this God, he’s shit.”/”Oh, right, I get it! He’s amazing!” thing that all the other Gods have – kind of like an opposite version of what happens with the Gods we have on Earth. The new power cards in the pack are arguably better than the ones that come with the base game, and somehow a game that felt complete feels even more complete. I know that makes no sense. I know it. Just trust me.

Buy this game if you haven’t yet. If you’re gooble gobble one of us, and you have four mates who are also gooble gobble one of us, then you need to gooble get it. It’s a masterpiece. Give it a gobble.

WIZARDS OF THE COAST GO H.A.M.

Yeah, do you remember I covered Castle Ravenloft on here? Well, since then, Wizards of the Coast has been pushing on HARD into board games. They released Wrath of Ashardalon, another game using Ravenloft’s mechanics, and recently Conquest of Nerath.

Conquest of Nerath (I haven’t played it) looks like a re-themed Axis & Allies a wee bit, set in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. There’s loads of wee men (plastic figures, if you like, SIGH) in the box, and a big map, and assorted bits of cardboard. It looks like the kind of thing that would have come out in the 80s. It’s exciting that these things are being released – I can’t imagine we’ll be waiting too long before some kind of miniature-heavy fantasy board game hits the conventional toy shops. Like a new HeroQuest or something. I want to walk into Toys R Us and see something like that on the shelves. That’s how we get the young ‘uns into board games. Start them early on some dungeon crawling action. “I chop your head off, dad, and eat your entrails!”

We should do a video on that old stuff sometime, huh? In a retro style? That’d be sweet.

Oh, before I move on – there’s yet another game coming from Wizards that is based on that Ravenloft design – it’s called Legend of Drizzt. It’s a great, strong design but HEY GUYS THREE IS MAYBE ENOUGH. Oh God, my wallet…

Which brings me to…

BATTLESHIP

You know Battleship, right? The boat-sinking game? Shite, isn’t it?

Yes, it is. It’s a horrible game, a game of “DID I HIT YOU?” “NO MATE YOU DIDN’T LOL” “DID I HIT YOU THAT TIME MATE?” “YEAH MATE LOL WHAT TIME IS IT?” that only the worst kind of father would play with his child. A sexist pig father, like the one on the cover of Battleship.

Well, things are about to change, I think. Because “Battleship Galaxies: The Saturn Offensive” is coming. Just look again at the name of that game. BATTLESHIP GALAXIES: THE SATURN OFFENSIVE. That’s a fucking cracker of a game, right there. You can tell just by the name. That’s the kind of name you’d have given a game when you were 12 years old.

“Battleship Galaxies? Oh cool. What offensive is it based around?”

“The Saturn Offensive, mate.”

“Oh great, that’s my favourite offensive, bud.”

Even more excitingly, Colby Dauch is one of the designers. This guy knows how to make a fun game, having been involved with the Heroscape community for years before busting out his own brilliant design Summoner Wars.

You’ve got plastic ships, a space field map with hexes on it, and no sexist dads anywhere to be seen. Take a look at the page on boardgamegeek.

Looks amazing, right? Finally they’ve realised what they had to do to create a great Battleship game. Make a game that isn’t anything like Battleship. I hope “CLUEDO: THE MARS CAMPAIGN” is next.

This beauty is coming soon. I’ll cover it.

MY GAME DESIGNS

I’m going to start keeping you updated on my game designs as progress is made. Not every week, just when there’s stuff to say. Then you can all laugh and point if I ever release any and they stink.

KILLER: Recently I’ve put together a prototype of a game that has the working title “KILLER”. It works. It’s a game. But it’s absolutely terrible. The theme doesn’t come over at all, and it quickly slides into a monotonous card-management grind. I felt like shoving it up my own arse the other night. The beauty of game designing is that there’s no hiding from mediocrity. You can feel it. You KNOW it’s bad. Ugh. I think I can fix it. I hope so. Fucking idiot.

PW BATTLEGAME: My favourite idea is this one. It’s a battle game of sorts, with each player having three units on the table at any one time. There’s a nice little gimmick to the units, though, and I love the idea so much I’m desperate to get a prototype up and running. First, though, I need to nail down that very simple, clean, battle system. Nothing fancy. Just something accessible, that lets people play. I’d call this my “comedy” game. It’s funny, and weirdly romantic. Desperate to get it working.

SUPPLY & DIE: My third design is the one that’s been hanging around the longest. It’s a post-apocalyptic trading game. Everyone is dying and you’re trying to get enough supplies to keep your people hanging around a bit longer than everyone else. It’s a downer, to be honest, but a funny downer with a horrible backstabbing mechanic that should make people laugh. I wanted to design at least one game in my lifetime that has people swinging punches at each other at the table. Supply & Die is it. You supply. Then you die.

OKAY, THAT’S PLENTY

That’s plenty for my “That’s me back!” column. You can find me here every Saturday from now on, talking about all this kind of thing. Next week I’ll be focusing on one particular STORMER, and telling you about my battles in Westeros in Battles of Westeros. Battles of Westeros is set in the world of HBO’s Game of Thrones, so it’s handy to play it with someone who has their lovely tits out, to get the right feel across.

And let’s get the chat going – what have YOU been playing? And what games would you like to watch a video about?

Later, my friends! Glad to be home!

– Robert Florence, God of Games

85 Comments

  1. Bilbo says:

    Good fun read, welcome back – I wrote a better comment but it keeps getting kicked in to touch by the spam filter for some reason

  2. icupnimpn2 says:

    Did they find you in Quinn’s closet after he moved out?

  3. Noseybonk says:

    I love this man

    • qrter says:

      We all do.

      I knew everything was alright again when I read “.. and I was actually quite glad to hear of his death this week”. Oh that made me laugh.

  4. Daiv says:

    All hail the triumphant return of Cardboard Children. Long may our offspring be made of processed wood pulp.

    I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings: The Living Card Game and attempting to make it wife-compatible.

    • frymaster says:

      heard on voice comms:

      “what, like playing it in the kitchen?”

    • Nyst says:

      I like how MB chose do dedicate a small portion of their cover to show us where the wife and daughter are supposed to be.

      Honestly though, I get that it’s a two player game, and I get that at the time it couldn’t show women playing with the men standing by, but they could have at least have them looking over their shoulder, cheering them on.

  5. Antsy says:

    All hail the God of Games, the bam.

  6. McDan says:

    Yay! good to hear you’re back mr god of games. I sense more spenditure on games coming, good times.

  7. Duke of Chutney says:

    sweet mercy

  8. Xercies says:

    Been playing Game of Thrones actually, doing two games i think i fell in love with the design and its definitly on my list of things to get now. Pretty complex and long though.

  9. President Weasel says:

    Welcome back, big man.

  10. misterk says:

    The chaos expansion is splendid, although the rules writing is bloody awful..

    • James says:

      How so? I was going to get both.

    • Yor Fizzlebeef says:

      Do get the game mate, but heed my warning: Beware the Witch Hunters! They are the breaker of laws, ruiners of companionships, chaos usurpers!
      Bewaaaaaare!

  11. 8-bit says:

    I actually bought Wrath of Ashardalon recently, 3 missing pieces aside (still waiting on an email to see if there is anyway to get hold of them) its a great game. I posted in the forums and I am not entirely sure if it was allowed in the rules but the dragon showed up in my first ever practice game, just as I was getting to the exit too :(

    since then a couple of us have played a few games which I think went well, just last night we had a long game where we were looking for lost gear. it ended with three heroes running away from a whirling blades trap, and my desperately injured paladin with our rouge finding the vault, guarded by a bear and a Grell :o. then after horrible luck with the dice all game (our fighter spent five turns hitting thin air) my paladin gets a 20 on the last roll of the game :/

  12. Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

    There can be only one!
    Is there a highlander board game? Dunno why that popped nto my head, but now that it has, it must be asked.

  13. stahlwerk says:

    That Battleship cover art is really something else entirely.

    And I ain’t been playing no games, sir god. Time constraints.

    • Nyst says:

      At times I wish I could turn disposable income into free time.

  14. Noseybonk says:

    I recently picked up Yomi – a fantastic card game based on the fighting games you piss away your youth on in the arcades. The complete set comes with ten decks, each representing a character and their special moves. The gameplay allows for certain cards to be chained together into combos in the spirit of the arcade game – everything you need to hammer your opponent into oblivion. Gorgeous design.

    Games I’m looking forward to? The Summoner Wars Completely Farking Amazing Edition (or whatever its called) because when I like a game I have to acquire everything related to it, and Quarriors (The Game of Uber Strategic Hexahedron Monster Combat Mayhem) looks like more fun than I’ve ever had outside of bed.

  15. ColOfNature says:

    Welcome back, ya bas! Gid tae see ye. Ah’d lissin tae podcast full o proper Scottish geeks, nae borra.

    • Groove says:

      I’d entirely forgotten that Florence was a weegie. Good times.

  16. JB says:

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    Welcome back Rab!

  17. kalidanthepalidan says:

    I heard you died. I’m glad to see that’s not the case.

  18. Navagon says:

    Saturn’s only offensive when he’s drunk.

    Or sober.

    Much like wife-beating bastard husbands who inflict Battleship on their kids, in fact.

    It’s good to have you back. :D

  19. HermitUK says:

    Odd that you never see Quinns and Robert in the same room at the same time…

    • qrter says:

      Come to think of it, you never see Marilyn Manson and Lady Gaga in the same room, either.

      Nevermind seeing Marilyn Manson, Quinns, Rab and Lady Gaga in the same room!

  20. Dreamhacker says:

    If you make a podcast, I will instantly listen to it. Just make sure all the hosts are certified BAMF’s and set up some kind of minimum quota for swearing. It will be glorious.

  21. KaputtChino says:

    Welcome back Mister.
    I just hope for your soul that you really show up once a week now. Or i will have to think up some umentionable consequences!

    On another note, I got the Civilization boardgame you wrote ages ago. And I actually enjoyed it more than Civ 5 on my personal computer. Maybe because i won accidently by being a rich bastard.

  22. Bhazor says:

    @ Rab

    Does this mean there’s any chance of a Downtime Town revival?

  23. Hydrogene says:

    Someone had to ask: how can I gobble a gooble ? or the other way around ?

  24. DarkFenix says:

    Played Chaos in the Old World a week ago, and while I suspect my experience was slightly spoiled by the predetermined outcome, it didn’t set my world on fire. Still, an extra saboteur in the mix plotting their own way to victory sounds pretty fun.

  25. Scroll says:

    This is more a brilliant lovely surprise than finding out that potato scones are a thing that exists.

    I keep coming back to Chaos in the old world and it works great in getting my friends to play it as they are mostly familiar with the Warhammer universe.

  26. Ion of Chios says:

    Podcast = Podcast +1. Good podcasts are always hard to come by, so I say ‘Do a podcast, and make it good’.

  27. JB says:

    I got Zombies!!!, Agricola and the 5-6 Player Expansion for Settlers of Catan (which I already have) for my birthday.

    Played some Zombies!!!, still waiting for Agricola to arrive. And plotting getting together some family members for a big game of Catan.

  28. JackShandy says:

    Ooh, can we talk about board games we’re making? I’m creating one called Seven Spacemen. It’s Seven Samurai, but in space. Think a co-op game where everyone’s a traitor. Made the mistake of making the battle system so complicated that I’m now splitting that off into it’s own game.

  29. gulag says:

    Welcome back Rob!
    Yes to more vids.
    That is all.

  30. Quine says:

    Ah, games coverage service has been resumed. Good show!

    I bought Space Alert + expansion based on the words hosted here recently and we had a blast getting our various acts together. Very tempted by the GoT games- not sure whether to aim for the board game or the card game, though.

    Also two friends both unexpectedly declared their love of boardgames recently when I broached the subject, even though they seemed like normal well-balanced people otherwise. Result!

  31. delusionsofnoir says:

    Please, please, please do a podcast!
    Dicetower’s great but Tom just didn’t get Chaos in the Old World like your erotic video did!

  32. Trillby says:

    Welcome back Rab! Get that handsome wee belly of yours off the TV and back onto the interwebs, where it belongs. Also, congrats on Burnistoun ^^ great stuff

  33. TooNu says:

    Yey! Downtime town downtime town downtime town!….well at least your back in some form anyway.

  34. BathroomCitizen says:

    Welcome back Rab!

  35. Spacewalk says:

    “HEY GUYS THREE IS MAYBE ENOUGH. Oh God, my wallet…”

    Tell me about it. WOTC is going to put us both on skid row with all the gubbins they keep putting out.

  36. Jake says:

    I have Chaos in the Old World sat unused on my shelf as I can’t get anyone to play it with me, because everyone knows I have the devious cunning of Tzeentch, the ruthlessness of Khorne, the moral bankruptcy of Slaanesh and the personal hygiene of Nurgle.

    How does the expansion work exactly? Is it an improvement to the core game in such a way that it is worth using every time you play, even a first game, or is it really just adding content for people that have already seen everything?

    Also, Skaven are rubbish. Horned Rat? Horned prat more like. He wouldn’t last a second against a real Chaos god.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I would have told you how the expansion works, but then you were mean about the Horned Rat, so YOU ARE DEAD TO ME.

      KG

    • Jake says:

      Aww I didn’t realise Skaven would be so sensitive. Please accept this humble offering of some cheese for your horny mouse god by way of apology.

    • Jody Macgregor says:

      Mouse god? Oh man, now you’re in for it. I’d take out an insurance policy against Doomwheels if I was you.

      Anyway, the expansion adds new cards for all the existing gods as well as a whole new god — good value, that — so it is worth playing with the regular setup first so everyone can have their mind blown by how different it is. Either way it’s an amazing game.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      In addition to what Jody says – as in, there is extra value there anyway – the fifth player works as well as a fifth player could work. Clearly, an extra person in the game would throw the corruption mechanic – either by extended the game even more by upping the corruption thresholds or shortening the game apocalyptically if they don’t. The Skaven don’t lay corruption tokens, but basically get VP from having figures in a zone when it ruins. So the Skaven basically play as opportunists, flocking to areas just as they’re about to go critical to steal as many of the VP as possible.

      (Their dial advancement is based on dominating areas which have warpstone in)

      Integrating as their own thing and doesn’t appear to throw the balance out of whack.

      KG

  37. Will Tomas says:

    Awesome, absolutely fantastic to have you back! A podcast would be even better.

    That Battleships cover, though… Wow.

  38. godkingemperor says:

    Oh my pansy heart, Rab back in my life. I can finally sleep. I am one of those wee little fanboys with the old consolevanias stashed somewhere on crusty old cds. Yes, crusty. I bake my own cds.

  39. godkingemperor says:

    And yes, do a podcast.

  40. jackflash says:

    Yay! I missed this.

  41. Burning Man says:

    Welcome back :).

  42. mihor_fego says:

    ZAA OOO ZAA !!!

  43. TheLastBaron says:

    Podcast please!

    • James says:

      I disagree. I don’t he should do one because (based on my extremely limited information) he doesn’t seem like he really wants to do it, and so it could be awkward and/or suckish. Either of those things would be a shame and make me sad.

      The God of Games is already fine in front of a camera, let him remain there when producing his media of wonder. I want to see his man face, so he can make expressions that don’t fit at all with what he’s saying.

    • inawarminister says:

      Why not have a video podcast — vodcast — uurgh whatever the trendy way of saying that is.

  44. pkt-zer0 says:

    I’ve only played Chaos in the Old World a couple of times, but it did look like certain cards/power/upgrades were no-brainers, and others would be a bad choice to use in 99% of situations. For instance, if you’re playing Khorne, you’re going for a dial victory, with Nurgle, domination. Otherwise you’ve chosen to lose before you even started playing. The expansion cards do seem to address this, giving your various options a more equal viability. So, quite interested in that.

  45. DocHogan says:

    Welcome back!

    And ” set in the world of HBO’s Game of Thrones” deserves a stick in the eye!

  46. offal says:

    many of us plebs enjoy a good podcast now and then rab, and if that format permitted a more free-form discussion across recent videogames, board games, and whatever else you’ve been occupying your time with, it’d be a great thing to have.

  47. Kyrelle says:

    I’m living in Germany right now, where the sheer quantity of available board games can be overwhelming. But, as for playing in English, Cheapass Games has recently resurrected itself, and to celebrate they’ve started releasing free PDF versions of several titles. I recommend Deadwood (hollywood western backlot strategy) and Unexploded Cow (what do do with unused WWII ordinance and an outbreak of Mad Cow disease).

    • Jody Macgregor says:

      Good news about Cheapass Games. Give Me The Brain is a favourite of mine — one for the zombie-themed special? — and so is Kill Dr. Lucky if you get the version that has the hilarious text on the failure cards telling you how and why your murder attempt has gone wrong, Warner Bros. cartoon-style.

  48. ArcaneSaint says:

    Who are you and what did you do to Quinns?

  49. BobbleHat says:

    This week, I ‘ave been mostly playing Chaos In The Old World with my usual 40k bumchums. It’s just brilliant fun all round, and a nice change to playing 40k kill points/capture points every week, which does get a bit tiresome.

    Also been mainly losing at Last Night On Earth with the missus, although last night I heroically saved the townsfolk in the second to last turn. Looking at getting expansions for both games actually, although I’m spoilt for choice for the LNoE ones.

  50. drlemon says:

    Y’know, supply & die sounds awesome. Anyway, welcome back!