Cardboard Children – Board Game News

Hello youse.

There is SO much board game news right now that we really have to do another column that is about BOARD GAME NEWS. Company mergers, massive releases, re-prints, you name it – it’s all happening in the wide world of sports we call “Board Game Sports”. (We don’t call it that.)

Read on!



Okay, you know I love Talisman, right? Well, Talisman is a fantasy board game that features a big old map you walk around. And expansions have expanded that map at three corners – extending out to the mountains (in The Highlands), a rough and tough dungeon (in The Dungeon) and a cool as hell city (in The City).

Right around the corner now is the FINAL CORNER. The Woodland brings a forest to the game, and a nice new Light and Dark Fate mechanic that allows you to change your own rolls and mess around with the rolls of others – it also brings a rich flavour of Dark/Light supernatural encounters in that lovely faerie woodland setting. I can’t wait. I mean – I seriously can’t wait. Can you imagine having all of that stuff out on the table? The main board and four big corners? Fields and hills and forests and deserts and crags and towns and villages and dungeons and cities and mountains, with every game a different experience? And then there are the mini-expansions too! Day and Night, a werewolf roaming the plains, Death himself stalking you, fire genies burning up the world as you move through it, the land covered in snow, the nether realm spilling out in front of you?

MAN. I love Talisman.


The brilliant Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition is now complete. There will be no further products in the line, so it’s all out there now. And what a great role-playing system it is. I think the dice mechanic included in this game is one of the most brilliant storytelling devices I’ve ever seen. I’ve played many a role-playing game and seen a few descend into a bit of a boring trudge – even when the GM is trying to keep the game exciting and eventful. Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd made sure this never happened by attaching symbols to dice results that forced players to justify, in a storytelling sense, what they were seeing in their rolls. It was never just “roll a certain number, score a critical hit” – the game’s dice show you a breakdown of your result with every roll.

With the line complete, it’s a good time to get out and pick this one up. It’s a modern classic, in my opinion. I hope to be playing it for decades more.


You’ll have seen Graham talking about this.

It’s an X-Com board game. Sure. From a great designer. Sure. And a great publisher of board games. Sure. And based on a great computer game. Sure.

Weirdly, I feel a bit nervous about it. I think it’s something to do with that companion app it needs. It says it needs it. It’s not just an optional thing to cut down on book-keeping. It’s an essential and necessary thing. I feel weird about that.

Am I the only person to feel weird about it?

What happens in ten years time, when climate change has forced us all to live in subterranean tunnels? When we have no smart-phones or tablets, and no electricity, what then? Board games might be the only thing we have to keep us sane. And then, this rat mutant creature you’ve befriended says:

“SHALL WE PLAY skritch skritch THE X-COM BOARD GAME TONIGHT skritch?”

You’d have to tell Oskfoorta the Rat-King that we can’t play bloody X-Com the bloody board game because you need a bloody app to play it. And he’ll be all like “What’s an app?” And you’ll be all like “Never mind” and you’ll have to massage his tail and milk him. That sounds awful.

Also also ALSO I kinda sorta play board games to get a break from digital crap.



I love this game so much. It’s such fun to play. You find yourself, I guarantee it, going BVEEEEOOOOOOO as you fly things around. Also: DVYEEEEOOWWWWW.

Well, joining the two factions of the Rebels (goodies) and the Empire (baddies) is the third faction – SCUM AND VILLAINY (tweeners). These are the bounty hunters, with re-paints of classic Star Wars ships in cool colours, and IG-88’s ship and all sorts of cool stuff. You can even be Prince Xizor, the green guy with the daft ponytail from the Star Wars expanded universe stuff. Like… if you want to. Why would you want to? Oh, because his ship looks AMAZING.

Oh did I mention STAR WARS: ARMADA

The new board game of epic-scale fleet battles in the Star Wars universe? Jesus Christ.


Which is pretty much a Star Wars version of the brilliant Descent? Oh yeah – I did. Sorry.

(although, my god, it sometimes seems to be)

Asmodee and Days of Wonder have merged – these two companies make BEAUTIFUL-LOOKING games, so this is kinda like if Charlize Theron and Ryan Gosling decided to make babies. We have some beautiful things to look forward to, for sure.

Plaid Hat Games’ Dead of Winter is really close now, and word is that it’s a really interesting design. A lot of paranoia and co-operation and backstabbing and FRIGHT.


We all love King of Tokyo. We all own it, right? What? You better own it. And now we know what King of New York is. It’s quite a different game, it seems. But still brilliant. That’s what they’re saying. Why not watch the great Tom Vasel and his buddies giving it an old-fashioned REVIEW?


I’m finally ready to pull the Kaosball trigger. See you next Tuesday to talk SPORTS.


  1. thekelvingreen says:

    X-Com: part of me is “oh, that sounds like a fun way to merge board games and digital technology” and the other part of me is “YE GODS NO IT IS NOT RIGHT”.

    I am torn.

  2. Moraven says:

    Star Wars tactical fleet game and Star Wars Descent? Oh my.

  3. ScottTFrazer says:

    Talisman is one of those games I just do not get.

    There are so many expansions, it’s clearly popular. But the gameplay is just… well… awful.

    Roll 1 die. move left or right. have encounter. There’s so little agency I feel like I’m playing candyland.

    And for reference, I’m fine with “not much agency” in some cases: Tales of the Arabian Nights? Brilliant, though the first 5 turns usually ends with at least 2 players unable to do anything at all. But the backstory and the writing is great.

    The guys at SU&SD _loved_ the X-com game. I’m in for that one. And Star Wars Descent.

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      I don’t know anyone who considers Talisman to be an objectively “good” game. It is, as you say, rather lacking in agency and pretty much entirely down to the whims of the Dice Gods.

      On the other hand, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t really enjoy playing Talisman. There’s something about it that makes for good times with friends. Ultimately, board games are all about having fun with other people. Talisman is really good at facilitating that. It’s a social lubricant, like board game beer.

      • rmsgrey says:

        I played Talisman. Once. It didn’t grab me.

        I now own the digital version on Steam and have played it a couple of times. It still doesn’t grab me.

        If I want to play a game as a way of hanging out with people, I have so many other, generally better, options – I’m not saying I’d refuse to play it if someone really wanted to, but I’d need some convincing…

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’ve not played Talisman, but I’ve played a bit of Relic which is supposed to be pretty similar and for me the fun is the satisfaction you get as you level up your character.
      Levelling up and getting better at SPACE BIFF is a good thing.

      • Bull0 says:

        You get to make plenty of choices – which direction to head in, what action to do on lots of spaces, how to spend your influence, etc. Relic’s great. I haven’t played a lot of Talisman either, but I’ve been told it’s basically the same minus the space marines.

  4. Tom Camfield says:

    The Warhammer FPG core set is sold out – but everything seems to be sold separately. Do you need all three books and all three vaults to be able to play?

    • Okami says:

      Short version: yes.
      Slightly longer versiom: in theory you only need the three hardcover books, since all the information on the cards is also printed in the books. But even though you could probably play without the stuff in the players vault, it would probably really really suck. And a lot of the stuff in the games master vault is really useful for running the game. Actually you could probably play, but it would still suck. Of all the vaults, you probably need the creature vault the least. But since you already shelled out so much money and you till need to buy at least two of the four chaos themed boxes (though really you need all four, even if omens of war doesn’t have all that much I portent new content) you might as well buy it, since it’s actually really useful.

      It’s a rather expensive role playing game, but you get what might just be the only truly innovative right rule system since the original d&d.

      All that said, it uses the new Warhammer background, which, even if it’s cool, still sucks compared to the original 1980s Warhammer. So you’d better buy the first edition rulebook and the original enemy within campaign (as well as the original real of Chaos books and drachenfells and the hogshead publishing stuff from the 90s and also the 80s novels like the Konrad trilogy or the Genevieve books to get into the spirit of things) and then use the new rules with the old background.

      Once you’ve got all that, you have everything you need to run the ultimate rpg campaign and never have to play pen and paper role playing games again afterwards, so you’ll probably save some money in the long run.

  5. Heliocentric says:

    Bloodbowl is my favourite Board Game Sport.

  6. Teenwolfdude says:

    I’m hoping XCOM’s app will be a novelty used to draw in newcomers, and down the road they will release an expansion that includes some components that mimic the AI of the app and untethers the game from your device. I’m picking it up either way, but that’s my hope.

    • jalf says:

      That would be fairly pointless. The point in the app is to do things that wouldn’t be possible without it. I would hate for it to just be a gimmick. If they’re going to use an app, make it an integral part of the game.

      Also, they’ve been quite clear that it is not just an mobile app, that it will also be available as an online tool you can access in any browser.

      Also *also*, Shut up & Sit Down got to play it, and discussed it a bit in their Gencon podcast. Check it out if you’re interested. :)

      • Wisq says:

        Yeah, the last thing you want for the first (afaik) board game / computer game hybrid would be for the computer part to be just simulating dice / cards / hourglass timers etc. Make it something new or don’t bother.

        • Devilturnip says:

          Beaten by a few months by Golem Arcana, the latest brainchild of Jordan Weisman. You might recognize him as the designer of BattleTech, Shadowrun, Heroclix, and Mage Knight among other things. The game is played on a board with a bluettoth stylus, and it communicates with a tablet computer that handles all of the crunchy bits. It came out in August and it’s phenomenal.

          • Moraven says:

            I will have to try it, but seeing some highlight matches, at that point I would rather just play a turn based tactical game on the computer.

    • Cocacowlah says:

      the xcom app is required and won’t become optional later on, imho
      I read on pcgamer that for example turns are timed and that the app calculates and gives the countdown depending on the situation you’re in ( if you’re doing good and the alien aren’t pressing you the turn will last longer, while if you have done terribly and you are in a bad situation the turn will be shorter ), so eliminating the app would require a major change in the rules of the game, which probably wouldn’t fit in a simple expansion.

  7. Emeraude says:

    Am I the only person to feel weird about it?

    Nope, but then I’m one of those weird people that still aren’t using cell phones or tablets.

    Kinda weirded out to by Golem Arcana and it’s gathering and aggregating of data about the games being played to decide about the evolution of the game line’s narrative on that matter.

    Unrelated: anyone passing by managed to test Shadowrun Crossfire ? I’m really liking the idea of a co-op deck building game (if only because last time I played Netrunner with a friend I… well I made her cry, making me look into non-competitive games… and since we already play the P’n’P together, might be easier to make the jump for her and her other half).

  8. webs1 says:

    Dead of Winter sure looks nice. Part of a series, though? Are board games now also going the way of episodic storytelling? Or will every Crossroads game be a stand-alone experience? Anybody knows more?

    • Wounder says:

      It’s not part of a series. Yet, at least. They’ve announced they’re doing a bunch of games with Crossroads, because they feel it’s a great mechanic (and I agree, Dead of Winter is amazingly good). You could vote for the next theme in the Crossroads games and folks picked… shoot, I think it was space. I can’t find the little card that came with the game. Or maybe the pre-order bonus.

      You can check out their forums here if you’d like more information.

      • webs1 says:

        Ah, so it is the first in a planned series with the Crossroads mechanic. Thanks. Guess I have to take a closer look..

  9. One Million Monkeys says:

    I am so much looking forward to the Scums and Villains to hit X-Wing.

    But the again, I’m so much into X-Wing, that I spend a fair share of the summer making this.

  10. PopeRatzo says:

    Board games about computer games are cool. But I hope they list system requirements on the box and they include a minimum required IQ and a recommended IQ.

  11. Wisq says:

    As a happy King of Tokyo player, King of New York looks awesome. Goes straight to my wishlist.

    • GameCat says:

      I’m disappointed. New York’s monsters rooster WITHOUT giant ape? What the fuck?

      Anyway, reviews mention the building destruction. Awesome.

      • mineshaft says:

        Sorry to spoil the umbrage, but I spotted one Kong in the dice tower review.

        Wild to think I’ll be buying mostly the same game again but there you go.

  12. j3w3l says:

    Can’t wait to get my hands on all those dungeon saga kickstarter goodies next year… here’s hoping it’s as good as i remember hero quest to be

    • webs1 says:

      Awwww..couldn’t anyone have told me about that before? The value you will get for 100$ is quite dazzling..hope you’ll have as much fun with it as it looks like.

  13. Wytefang says:

    Far more excited by the imminent release of the new Warhammer 40K: Conquest LCG from FFG – I nabbed a copy via Gencon (from a friend who attended) and it’s exceptionally good. I wrote a short review here, for anyone thinking about picking it up:

    link to

    Also very keen on the new and soon-to-be-released Doomtown: Reloaded LCG from AEG. Fantastic setting and gameplay seems awesomely matched to the uber cool setting. :)

  14. 88GJS88 says:

    The XCOM game really appeals to me actually – everyone plays board games for different reasons, and mine is often to try and replicate the split-screen style of videogaming that I used to absolutely love when I was younger.

    No one makes digital games that require 4ish people on a single sofa any more (outside of FIFA and some Nintendo games) and the ability to gloat/suffer together or directly at each other is something that I will always miss. Goldeneye, Mariokart, the original Dynasty Warriors have all developed such a focus on online gaming in recent iterations, just as TV’s get bigger and more suited to split-screen!

    Unfortunately, I struggle to convert a lot of friends to boardgaming as you often end up spending ages doing “computer things” – moving the bad guys around, spreading disease in Pandemic or just generally having to “run” the repercussions of your decisions. And while you’re doing that (as the lead gamer/game owner/rules lawyer), everyone else is sat around watching and often not understanding what’s happening. This app sounds like a great way to handle a lot of that fiddly stuff, while still putting everyone in the same room to interact.

  15. akbarovich says:

    Hey, if you’re going to do regular columns about board games, what about covering iOS games too? Oh wait…I guess those are too “casual.” Might be too many wimmenfolk playin’ those too.

    • webs1 says:

      1. He’s not “going to do” – he has been writing about boardgames here for four years now. And he’s quite good at it, too. You should take a look at some of them. Hint: the are usually called cardboard children so you know what to expect..
      2. What purpose does your post have apart from trying to troll?
      Your allusions to casual players and women show either your knack for really bad jokes or that you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.