Cardboard Children – September Board Game News

Hello youse!

Oof! Just made it under the wire for the September Board Game News update. Honestly, I keep hoping against hope that there will be at least one month where there’s no board game news, but it just keeps on coming at this point. Games, games and more games, flowing at us like a cardboard river. And I just can’t fight the current. It’s too strong! I’m –

SILENCE OF CTHULHU

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game is coming to an end. Aw! After about ten big expansions and a whole bunch of card packs, over many years, the line is at an end. Development is complete. It is over. No more officially sanctioned Fantasy Flight Tournaments. It is DONE. It is an ex-LCG.

It’s always sad when a game ends. For you PC gaming people, I suppose it’s like when an MMORPG shuts down. Remember when Tabula Rasa shut down? It didn’t really matter that the game wasn’t good – it was still sad to watch a world end, leaving its small group of players bereft. Of course, Call of Cthulhu is a GOOD game, so this is even more sad. Actually, it’s less sad, because the game isn’t going anywhere. It’s still on the shelves of the people who love it, and they can play it forever if they want – until the real Cthulhu wakes up, at least.

There’s a really lovely farewell post over on the Fantasy Flight site. I love this, from Nate French, one of the game’s developers:

“This, I believe, is the legacy of Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game — it is a game with an audience who loved it so deeply, they would not let it die, and the evidence of their continued support spawned the conceptualization of the game-changing LCG model.”

Yeah! Call of Cthulhu did prove that the LCG set-up would work (an LCG (Living Card Game) differs from a CCG (Collectible Card Game) in that it makes all the cards easily available – no blind buying) and it was a bit of a trailblazer for everything since.

Man. How sad and wonderful. Maybe it would be worth picking up a few sets before the regular printing is over.

SCYTHE

Oh my goodness. Sometimes just the idea of a game gets you going. This game is coming to Kickstarter in October, and it’s a farming game-

WAIT! COME BACK!

It’s a farming game set in an alternate 1920s where factions are using giant mechs to assist in the cultivation of the land. And the art looks ab-so-lutely amazing. Let me speak on something right here.

See, when people ask me why I love board games, I always make it clear that I love them both as things to play and just as things. I love them as objects of loveliness. A great board game, with beautiful art, is a beautiful thing to have. It’s a great thing to lay out on a table, just to see. So it’s important when a game with some beautiful art comes along. There’s not enough of it really.

And art can just grab your attention, right? It can get your imagination whirring. And these old-timey farmers out on the fields with big mechs chugging along behind them? That has got me sittin’ up straight!

Direct from the Stonemaier Games site:

“Scythe (2-5 players, 60-90 minutes) is a board game set in an alternate-history 1920s period. It is a time of farming and war, broken hearts and rusted gears, innovation and valor.

In Scythe, each player represents a fallen leader attempting to restore their honor and lead their faction to power in Eastern Europa. Players conquer territory, enlist new recruits, reap resources, gain villagers, build structures, and activate monstrous mechs.”

Did you get that? “Broken hearts.” “Innovation and valor.” “MONSTROUS MECHS.”

Here’s a little video overview of the game:

Look out for the Kickstarter in October.

LOOPIN’ CHEWIE

I just want to make sure you all know about Loopin’ Chewie. I think I’ve mentioned before that I love Loopin’ Louie, the MB action game about a little biplane pilot attacking sheep. It’s a brilliant family game, where you tap these little levers to defend yourself from Louie as he swoops down towards your sheep. As you get better at the game, you can make skillshots with your lever, sending Louie down to attack your opponents. It’s such fun.

Well, Loopin’ Chewie is a Star Wars re-theming of Loopin’ Louie. It’s Chewbacca in the Millennium Falcon, swooping down on Stormtroopers.

Sorry, I need a lie down.

Sorry, back. How great is that?! A Star Wars action game, based on an absolute cracker of a family belter, with the Falcon and Chewie and oh just get this on your family’s Christmas list right now for God’s sake.

3 Monkeys

Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Mission: Red Planet) is one of my favourite designers, and I’m very excited about his newly announced game “3 Monkeys”. It’s an “emotions game”. Check this out, from Bruno’s blog:

“I had the idea for this game after learning from a friend whose son has autism that autistic people usually try to avoid eye contact. Since they don’t look at other people’s eyes, they focus more on the rest of the face, and mostly the mouth, to judge of their mood and emotions. As a result, people with autistic relatives learn, more or less consciously, to overplay their mouth expressions. This was the starting point for my emotions game, soon to become Three Wise Monkeys.”

I think the conception of this game is fascinating, and I love any game that makes players really communicate with each other. The point of the game is to express different emotions while covering ears, then eyes, then mouth. I imagine that expressing “rage” with your mouth covered is probably more difficult than any of us realise. Expressing surprise without your eyes? Tricky, right?

Ah, it’s a lovely idea. Go have a read of this fine designer’s blog. It’s great.

NEXT WEEK

That’s just a handful of the news. Most of it is Kickstarter stuff, to be honest. That’s the world we’re living in now, folks! Next time I’ll have some BRAND NEW GAME action for you. A review of one of the hottest releases of the year. Yes! See you next time!

18 Comments

  1. ChairmanYang says:

    Interesting that Fantasy Flight’s LCG model took off because of a one-off experiment with the Call of Cthulhu game.

    Perhaps they should try another experiment and release a “Call of Cthulhu Complete Set” for $100 or so? I’d buy it.

  2. trashmyego says:

    I could see them rebooting it under a 2nd edition sometime in the near future. They’re about to do that with their Game of Thrones LCG. But yeah, I love the idea of them doing ‘complete’ or large self contained versions with the older assets.

  3. Runty McTall says:

    Maybe there are multiple editions but on our copy of Loopin Louie he’s dive bombing chickens, not sheep.

    Just, erm, FYI.

    • Runty McTall says:

      Also, from the picture on the box, only 3 players for Loopin Chewie (vs 4 in the original)?

  4. meepmeep says:

    That Scythe retro-futuristic agri-mech artwork/concept is a total rip-off (intentional or otherwise) of Simon Stalenhag.

    link to thisiscolossal.com

    • BisonHero says:

      I mean, yes, your included link also has artwork of robots beside fields of wheat, but the time period and complexity of technology are pretty different.
      Also I’m positive that Simon Stalenhag can’t have been the first person ever in the past 50 years to put “sci-fi robots” together with “in a wheat field”.

      • Premium User Badge

        tigerfort says:

        I’ve got sci-fi book covers from the seventies and earlier that show big mechs (both agricultural and other kinds) in fields. So, um, yeah.

        I’m pretty sure I’ve seen at least one 1920s picture that matches the description, too, but I can’t find it offhand.

    • webs1 says:

      Wow, there are pictures of actual game components over on the BGG site for Scythe. The mech minis look awesome, and the artwork as well. This really is a game that I might buy just for it’s aesthetics.

    • Josh W says:

      Rip-off-ee or not, thanks for bringing that guy to my attention.

  5. Drinking with Skeletons says:

    If an LCG comes to an end, it seems like the truly classy–and profitable–thing to do would be to put together a mega set with every card (ideally enough to have the full limit for any given card in a deck). That would be enough to have a truly excellent 2-player game with a ton of replay value and longevity.

    • Premium User Badge

      Alfy says:

      Absolutely! And it even wouldn’t have to be too much of a mark down from buying all the sets together, the amount of cards you would get and the number of hours of play would totally be worth it.

      • Deano2099 says:

        There’s 1500 or so cards, I guess a full playset is three, so it’d be approaching a 5000 or so card set. And even at a discount, to buy everything is currently around $800-$900. Even if you could mark that down to $500, I’m not sure there’s an audience for spending that much on a game, in one go.

  6. NephilimNexus says:

    I remember playing “Cthulhu: Arkham Horror.” The rules were so complicated that it drove everyone insane.

    *ba-da-bing-klang!”

  7. Premium User Badge

    Aerothorn says:

    I think Fantasy Flight has decided that six is the magic number for ongoing LCGs. Which is about six more than anyone would have thought viable a decade ago, when pretty much every CCG has been laid to waste save Magic. It’s really impressive.

    They still need to get a damn organized play game database, though.

  8. klops says:

    These are always joy to read. I wish I was so enthusiastic about board games – then I’d manage to play them more often!

  9. bp_968 says:

    Eh, FFG made it clear they have no problems pushing the “reset” button on hundreds of dollars worth of LCG and forcing you to start over again (see GOT LCG second edition). It feels just like the Sims moving to a new version. They “reset” the game back to the base edition along with a few core upgrades and then proceed to milk you out of a few hundred dollars in expansions before doing the whole reset thing again.

    There are just way to many great Boardgames out there that come complete to warrant buying into the expensive LCG stuff imho.

    • jamesgecko says:

      On the one hand, yes. On the other hand, I really enjoy Netrunner.

  10. webs1 says:

    Loopin Louie is mainly played as a drinking game here. Which makes the new version that only plays three considerably less exciting.

    Glad you reminded me of Scythe, I saw it on the Stonemaier website some months ago and was intrigued, but would now probably have missed the kickstarter. I don’t have any idea where to take the money from since I am unwisely starting to be interested in CMON games, but this really looks like a must have.

    Just rewatched your Top 10 from last year (because Asmodee has just released a new German version of Mage Knight), and I would really love to see you doing something like that again. Especially since that was basically what brought me back to playing board games (and buying about 24 in the last 12 months..).