Cardboard Children: March Boardgame News

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?




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


  1. sektor666 says:

    no mention of Rebellion?

  2. richard says:

    An endorsement from some anonymously lurking internet Richard is worth almost nothing, but nonetheless…

    I found videoGaiden episode 1 to be thoroughly entertaining and an excellent use of 18 minutes.

  3. DanMan says:

    Can we have a series like “You should have played this board game by now. Seriously.”? I’m only slightly interested but have no idea where to start.

  4. Trixler says:

    I read ‘Marching Band Game News’
    Imagine my disappointment.

  5. FatOak says:

    Stay Dicey.

    • clg6000 says:

      …I was kinda hoping for a “…d’ya wanna see what’s in the BOX?”, fer old time’s sake.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Must not scroll.
    Must read article.
    Mind going.
    Willpower dropping.
    Must STOP!
    Must READ!
    There is only board game.

    Seems your mastery of subtle suggestion is bearing fruit, Rab.
    Well played.

  7. Thankmar says:

    Since Cosmic Encounter is mentioned: I’ve got the Hasbro edition for years, but never got anyone to play it with me. Now I read that the Hasbro one is not a full game of CE. Is there enough to get to know how CE works, or should I just not bother with this edition?

    • clg6000 says:

      The Hasbro/AH branded edition is indeed Cosmic Encounter, but just barely. The basics are all there–wacky game-breaking alien powers, bluffing card combat, and alliance making and breaking with a heavy opportunity for backstabbery. BUT! It’s missing 3 main things the other more complete editions provide.

      1. Play with more than 4 players. Some may debate the worth of adding more than 4-6 players to CE, but in my experience, the more the merrier. FFG takes the player count up to 8, with expansions.

      2. Extra stuff. Older Mayfair/EON editions had moons, lucre, flares, and other goodies to make the game go even more off the rails. FFG has replicated most of this stuff in one way or the other with the current set, but the one extra thing you’ll get right out of the base FFG box are flares, which let everyone at the table have a small taster spoon of one of the many alien powers along with their starting alien power. More rule breaking goodness = more fun! Flares were left out of the Hasbro edition–probably because someone thought they were too complicated, but in short, they were wrong.

      3. Oodles of Aliens. The FFG set now has 150 some aliens–some better than others, true, but nonetheless, this game is all about variety, and AH limits that experience to something like 20? No other set is compatible with the AH set, so you can’t add anything in.

      That said, the AH edition is maybe one of the prettiest editions, with lots of cool stackable spaceships and some really unique alien art. Nothing wrong with the other editions, but EON/Mayfair is from another era, and FFG veers towards the cartoony.

      So in short, the current FFG edition and its expansions comprise the definitive set. Still, it can’t hurt to crack open the set you have, and give it a whirl. I don’t think the Hasbro set is worth much on the secondary market. If you hate it, I’m not sure any other edition will change your mind. If you love it, pass it off to a friend and invest in the FFG version (…and if you really like it, throw in the Cosmic Incursion and/or Cosmic Conflict expansions).

      • Thankmar says:

        Thank you very much for this extensive answer!

        I even got the Hasbro version from the second market, for a whopping 5€. I had no idea what it was and picked it up because it looked interesting enough for that kind of money. Only years later I get to know its the best boardgame of all times.
        My predicament is that I don’t know too much people who would even consider playing this kind of games, but the same time I am not very comfortable to play with random people on some boardgame meeting as well. I think I have to persuade my wife. Thanks again!

  8. Don Reba says:

    but the day will never come when a robot steals the show during a game of Strip Poker

    It’s probably already a regular thing in Japan.

  9. misterbung says:


    My friends and I passed Consolvania eps around via CD in the early internet days (in rural Australia as well mind) and it was glorious. Great to see it backish.

  10. Haldurson says:

    I feel sorry for anyone who has not experienced Cosmic Encounter. I agree with the sentiment in the title of that article that it is ‘the greatest board game in the galaxy’. I discovered the game way back when it was being demonstrated at a small NY science fiction convention probably in 1977. I was the president of a small high school science fiction club, and we decided as a group to spend our earnings from school fundraisers to enable all of us (along with our faculty chaperone and his wife) to attend. Almost every single one of us (to none of our mutual knowledge) had participated at different times in the demos, and had individually fell in love with and bought the game, including the wife of of our chaperone. After that one convention, EVERYONE owned a copy of the game. And we played it almost every chance we could get — before college, during college, and after college. My Eon Products box was literally taped together with worn out masking tape that kept having to be replaced. I don’t think there’s any other game that I’ve ever owned that had as much wear on it.

    Lately, I haven’t had a good enough gaming group that I could introduce it to (I tried once, and one guy was almost in tears because either I was a horrible teacher, or because the basic concept just hurt his brain too much — I kid you not). But I love the game, and have loved it in all of its incarnations. It’s a true masterpiece that has never been surpassed.

  11. funkstar says:

    Lando’s on the box but not IN the box? That’s some naughty marketing there :[

  12. Guvornator says:

    Wooo, VideoGaiden! Happy days, although it looks a bit orange in places. Is that deliberate?

  13. Chiron says:

    Halfling Feast should be out this month, which I’m looking forward to. Nice light and very silly board game.

    No update from the publisher as to when its released as yet though.