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Cardboard Children: March Boardgame News

STOP! LOOK! READ!

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Hello youse.

My name is Rab Florence, and I am here with your March blast of board game news. There’s going to be a lot of news over the next few months, because we’re moving into the period of the year when news happens all the time. In fact, I don’t remember the last time news stopped happening. Wouldn’t it be nice to read about the Olds sometimes, instead of this constant News?

Anyway…

MARCH BOARD GAME NEWS

VIDEOGAIDEN DOES BOARD GAMES

First of all, I’d ask your forgiveness for linking to this, but we’re covering board games on our BBC online show videoGaiden, with the first episode taking a quick look at the excellent City of Horror. You can also find some PC game reviews in there too – Nobunaga’s Ambition and The Talos Principle – so take a look if you fancy. We’re going to be looking at board games in every episode of the show, and even in the broadcast TV special at the end of the run, so your support would be fantastic, board game fans.

MAN PLAYS MACHINE AT GO

There’s an interesting story over at The Guardian about a real human being man playing an actual machine at the ancient board game Go. Alphago is a software program that has already beaten one human at Go, an absolute dafty of a human who has let us all down in this war against the machines, and so the bold Lee Se-dol is stepping up to make the evil synthetic intellect kiss his shiny human butt.

Look, it’s almost inevitable that machines are going to get better at us than all this stuff, but the day will never come when a robot steals the show during a game of Strip Poker. I have never been sexually attracted to a robot in my life, apart from a slight childhood crush on Metal Mickey.

THE MAKING OF COSMIC ENCOUNTER

This isn’t really news, but while I’m doing links I want to send you to read this excellent bit on the making of my favouritest game of all times, the wonderful Cosmic Encounter. It’s a real goodie, so go take a quick read.

LAST FRIDAY

No, I’m not telling you what I had for dinner last Friday (it was a sweet ass), I’m telling you about a board game I’m very excited about. Last Friday is a Friday the 13th board game in all but name, where players are campers trying to survive the slashy attacks of a slasher killer from a slasher film. Oh, and one of the players is the slasher, slashing the other players one-by-one until all is slashed.

The only thing that slightly worries me about this one is that it looks very similar to games like Letters from Whitechapel and Scotland Yard. It’s hidden movement, for sure, and while I love Scotland Yard and kinda like Letters, I think this kind of game is very very easy to make a mess of. These games can fall flat easily, so the proof of the pudding for this one is gonna be in the eating. Or the slashing. Or the playing. But my hope is that they capture the feeling of the hunt well enough, and manage to inject enough tension into the experience.

It should be out later this year.

STREET FIGHTER: THE MINIATURES GAME

Being PC gamers, you might not know anything about Street Fighter. What? What do you mean there’s Street Fighter games available on PC? What blasphemy is this?! Do you even have arcade sticks, you weird mouse-and-key menaces? Anyway, since you are all claiming to know what Street Fighter is (liars) you will surely be excited by a miniatures game with attractive miniatures featuring all of your favourite fighters – there’s Ray, Kenneth, Chumly, Blanco, you name them. And they’re all realised in glorious 3D plastic.

Here’s the cool thing about this, though – the game comes with a universal fighting system which will let you fling other miniatures into the mix when they launch. Yeah, Mortal Kombat is coming, don’t worry! So you can have match-ups between Dollsim and Scorpio if you want!

Who really knows if this will be any good. It’s basically some toys with rules, so until we know, we don’t know. But we do like toys. We know that much. Don’t deny it. We love toys.

It should be out in 2017.

WAIT, WHAT??? That’s ages away! We’ll all be dead by then, probably. Just pretend you didn’t read this.

IMPERIAL ASSAULT: THE BESPIN GAMBIT

Finally, as a huge fan of Fantasy Flight Games’ Imperial Assault, I’m delighted by the continuing support of the product. There’s another big new expansion incoming, called THE BESPIN GAMBIT. Hooray! Lando is coming! (Of course, he isn’t in the box – the expansion continues with the method of tying the most prominent character to a separate purchase. Hmmm.)

Anyway, new heroes, new baddies, a bunch of nice miniatures. A new Jedi character to play with! And the tiles – honestly. HONESTLY. Those map tiles. The Carbon Freezing Chamber. That mad bridge thing that Luke and Vader did the whole “AM YER DA! NOOOOO!” stuff on.

Oh, man. If you haven’t jumped into Imperial Assault yet, this is probably the point where the purchases start getting very daunting. Honestly – just pick up that base set. There is plenty there to be getting on with. That base set can last you a good long time, although I’d recommend picking up some of the separate figure packs, like Han and Chewie. Just don’t wait too long now if you’ve been considering getting involved. In my experience, once these lines become well-expanded, jumping in becomes less and less attractive.

NEXT TIME

That’s enough for this week. Next week I’ll be reviewing a brand new game I’ve been sent to show you. How lovely! Speak soon!

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Robert Florence

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