Tag Archives: Carcassonne

Good Morning Sunshine – Carcassonne: South Seas review

CarcSS Cover

The Judge checks out a new version of one of the pillars of modern gaming… but does it sink or swim?

Ah, Carcassonne! Like an old friend, we welcome you back to the table. Yes, you have a few flaws, and some of your mechanisms seem a little clunky now, and your vast array of expansions makes you bloated and difficult… Ummmm… Tell me again why we still like you?

Carcassonne is often cited as a gateway game, in so much as its simple tile-laying mechanisms and jolly looking artwork provide a low barrier to entry for newer players into the hobby. There will be no overview of the base game here, as I would imagine most readers of this are at least familiar with the concept and if not – stop reading this, play a game of basic Carc and come back.

[Please take this time to go and have a quick game of Carcassonne should the mood take you. You’ll enjoy it! – Michael]

Right, we’re all on the same page now. Hopefully you enjoyed placing your tiles to make long winding roads and sprawling cities. Hopefully you took pleasure from judicially playing your Meeples to capture points. And you almost certainly were disappointed when the game inevitably came down to the player who best understood and exploited the rather obtuse and unintuitive Farmer rules.

You see, Carc is great, but the points that the Farmers generate is almost always SUCH a big deal in the final scoring that it can make much of the game seem redundant. The expansions tweak this, and add more options, and many, many more ways to score – but in doing so, it adds extra complexity and cost to the base game which takes it away from being that gateway experience.

Put the lime in the coconut and break out South Seas!

Put the lime in the coconut and break out South Seas!

Enter Carcassonne: South Seas. Firstly, though the visual style is completely different (and the attractive tile art does capture that feeling of building a tropical paradise) we are comfortably in familiar territory here – though not in medieval France. Roads and pathways are built. Islands are constructed. Areas of water (instead of farms) feature Meeples happily backstroking along. The key difference – and massive improvement in my eye – is the scoring method.

So firstly, we’re gathering resources. Each finished road generates a number of shells indicated by iconography on the tiles. Finished islands offer bananas and there are fish in the water (obviously). Enclosed sea areas provide fish for the Meeple in that area. Also, any boat icon that is placed in the same water space instantly scores fish, and returns the Meeple as well.

At the end of your turn, you can ship those resources out by claiming a boat token (four of which are always face up on the table) for the points they offer. Churches (or cloisters) are replaced by market tiles which, when surrounded by other tiles, allow you to score a boat token of your choice. At the end of the game, you get 1 extra point per 3 resources that you are yet to spend.

And that’s it! Simple as that. No convoluted maths. No complex farmer scoring. Just total up the points on your boats and the highest score wins.

The pieces in South Seas are lovely. Beyond the aforementioned tiles, there are nice, tactile wooden shells, fish and bananas to grab when you claim the appropriate resources. Iconography is clear, simple and visible from the other side of the table. Everything is crafted to make it a pleasurable experience to play – and it is.

South Seas – part of the ongoing ‘Carcassonne Around The World’ series – reboots the original base game and would now be my ‘go-to’ perhaps even before Ticket to Ride, to introduce non or newer gamers to our lovely hobby, and for the grizzled veterans amongst us, this provides the best type of nostalgia. In fixing the scoring and diffusing Carc down to its purest elements, South Seas is a great time, in less than 40 minutes, that plays really well for between three and five players.

Designed by Klaus Jurgen Wrede and based on the multiple award winning original, Carcassonne: South Seas is available now! Get yourself a copy from Gameslore for £23, then be sure to follow Stuart “The Judge” Platt on Twitter as well!

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Playing With Fire – The Downfall of Pompeii review

Pompeii COVER

So, I have a fairly decent sized games collection, and as a part of doing what I do here on the site there always seems to be something new to play. That doesn’t mean that older games should be forgotten though, especially when something gets reissued and you know that people should get excited about it. Everyone’s had that moment when they play something, decide that they really enjoyed it, then promptly forget that the damn game exists and move on. However, when that happens, there’s always the chance that serendipity will do its thing and put you and that game together again somewhere down the line.

That’s what happened to me and the new version of The Downfall of Pompeii. Originally released back in 2004 and designed by Carcassonne‘s own Klaus Jurgen Wrede, it’s been reprinted in a smaller box version by the folks over at Mayfair, and glorious fate has seen the pair of us meet up again. And guess what? I’m going to tell you a secret. Pompeii is a better game than Carcassonne*, and I’m gutted that it’s taken me nearly eight years to find myself in possession of another copy of this fine little game. That’s eight years wasted where I could’ve pulled it off the shelf, sat down with three other people and said “Hey! Check out this game by the guy who did Carcassonne, which is actually a better game than Carcassonne!”. The campaign to get a copy of this into every gamers home starts here. JOIN ME.

(*OK, this is a big claim to make, but seriously, it’s true. Playing basic Carcassonne gets dull pretty quickly because there just isn’t enough to do. However, if you chuck in Traders and Builders? Man, that is a sweet game. However, if you’re just playing with a standard set, I will always say sack it off and get Downfall of Pompeii out. Seriously.)
 

Everyone knows the story of Pompeii, yes? Way back in AD 79, the volcano Vesuvius erupted with barely any warning, covering the town in lava and ash, killing thousands and petrifying the outlines of their bodies forever. You can visit the ruins of the town today. Hell, there was even a Doctor Who episode about it that had Karen Gillen and Peter Capaldi in it before they went of to take more pivotal roles. You should watch that one, it’s pretty good. Anyway, prior to the destruction of the city, it was a thriving place that welcomed visitors from all over the Roman Empire. People loved it, and it’s this balance of getting as many of your people into the city and trying to get them out again that makes Downfall of Pompeii so bloody entertaining.

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With only a few gates open, the game quickly sees pieces bunch together and things get hectic!

You are, essentially, looking at two games in one, where how you and your opponents act in the first will have a major effect on the second. The first part of the game sees you vying for spots, bringing in people to fill the buildings dotted about the town. Then, once the moment hits and the volcano bursts into action, the game turns into a race to get as many of your people out through the gates in the town walls. There’s this amazing switch from placement game to race game when the card comes out that triggers the second half of the game and all the tension that has built up while you’ve been bringing your people in boils over and the horror begins…

So, a little more detail. The first half of the game is card based with each player holding four cards, each one representing a building in the city that are numbered from 1 to 11. Each turn will see you play a card and place one of your ‘people’ – little coloured wooden cylinders – into that numbered building. A new card is added to your hand, and play passes to the next person. A little way into the game,  the first of two ‘AD 79’ cards appears, introducing a couple of new rules. First, you’re now allowed to add more than one of your people to the board, the amount of which depends on how many are already in the building you’re adding to. With spaces in the numbered building being quite limited, neutral coloured buildings can now be filled up, turning Pompeii into a thriving, bustling little place. Not all is well though – should an Omen card be drawn from the pile, the player holding it gets to select another player’s piece on the board and throw it into the volcano.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the game comes with a little plastic volcano to hurl your victims into? BECAUSE IT DOES. AIN’T NO VOLCANO IN CARCASSONNE, IS THERE?

The Terrifying Vesuvius in all its glory! All will burn!

The Terrifying Vesuvius in all its glory! All will burn in its fiery molten rock!

Ahem. Soon the board begins to fill up and the time will come when the second AD 79 card is flipped, meaning that all cards are immediately chucked back in the box along with any people you’ve not brought into the town. The time for planning is over – now, it’s all about running away, and getting as many of your people to safety as you can. Before this begins, the lava begins to flow as six tiles are drawn in turn order and placed on the board. Each tile has a symbol showing which of the six starting points to begin at or join onto, so should you have a tile with a mask on it, you must place it orthagonally next to one with the same symbol.

This rule continues as play goes on, with each turn starting with another tile being drawn from the bag and added to the board. Of course, decisions must be made – do you put the tile in the way of other players but potentially block your own path? Perhaps you direct the flow towards some of the trapped people in the town? Maybe you’ll even sacrifice one of your own people to destroy a handful of other players’ pieces? And should any people be on the space that you choose to place your tile, they are immediately taken from the board and thrown into the volcano. Making noises at this point isn’t just considered good form, it’s a mandatory part of the game.

You then get to move up to two of your people, and look! It’s another simple but really interesting idea! Each piece may only move the same amount of spaces as there are people in their original square, so with three people there, you can move up to three squares. A solitary piece may, of course, only move one. This mechanism encourages you to bunch pieces together – not just grouping your own, but joining up with other players so you can get a good boost on your next go. However, large groups of people on squares makes for a tempting proposition when it comes to the every moving lava, and with another random tile being drawn every turn there’s a high risk that whole swathes of the population can be wiped out in a couple of turns. It’s a wonderful risk / reward type of affair, equally satisfying on both sides should you manage to pull off your plan of a well timed escape, or hurl a bunch of people into the volcano with a well chose tile placement.

So, Downfall of Pompeii is a game filled with positives; simple to understand, filled with strategic decisions to make that even younger players will be good to make, a touch of randomness with the lava tiles… It’s really rather lovely. In the interest of fairness, there are a couple of very minor negatives that I feel should be pointed out; the set-up of the card deck is a teeny bit fiddly and the instructions on doing so need to be read through a few times, and the lava tiles are a little thin when you’re now used to an industry standard of at least 2mm thickness, but these are really very small downsides. The game is a joy to play, filled with wonderful moments – getting a person off the board in the face of an oncoming tide of lava, or engulfing a pile of opposition pieces with a lucky tile draw… you find your pleasures in many different ways, and you’ll rarely find a more entertaining way to spend half an hour at your gaming table.

The Downfall of Pompeii was designed by Klaus Jurgen Wrede and originally released in 2006 by Mayfair. This new version comes in a smaller box but actually contains slightly more stuff – a three tile “Dual Vent” expansion is included – and will set you back around £25. Between two and four people can play with games taking between 30 to 60 minutes. And sersiously, you need to get yourself a copy, for it is most lovely.

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The New Year – Nurnberg 2012’s Big Games

Another month, another big games show in Germany! This time around it’s the Nurnberg Spielwarenmesse – International Toy Fair for us non-natives – a trade show that is less about getting in there and buying stuff and more focused on things that will be out over the next few months. It has a bit more of a presence for games than something like the London Toy Fair (although that is definitely improving – this year’s event was infinitely better than 2011 for boardgamers) which can be simply put down to the cultural difference; German people play more than British families. Thanks to that, it’s a good place to discover some of the new Euro hotness that will be hitting our tables in early 2012.

I’m not there (sad face – too busy working on Secret Projects which are soon to be revealed) but I’ve been keeping an eye out on some of the titles that have captured my interest. Here’s a few highlights that we’ll hopefully be covering here on The Little Metal Dog Show in the near future.

Wurfel Bohnanza

One of my not-so-guilty little pleasures is the rather splendid little card game Bohnanza, an explosion of trading beans and making cash money. It’s a gloriously simple little affair, plays quickly and works whether you’re new to the hobby or an old hand. It’s all about making deals, though if you can’t do that, you’re allowed to force your crap on other players. AMIGO  Spiel are releasing a dice version this year – in fact, it may well be out in the stores already – where players are given certain sets to collect. Some are easy and worth a little, other more valuable ones are trickier to get – and other players are allowed to steal dice you’ve rolled. It could well be a great little addition to the franchise.

Kaispeicher

An expansion to Stefan Feld’s The Spiecherstadt, this adds a wealth of new elements to an already excellent game. By adding new buildings, ships, actions and orders, Feld has increased the opportunities for players to gain advantages while making life tricky for their opponents. Auctions aplenty and loads of chances to screw over your fellow gamers? What more can you ask for?

String Railway

After what seems like ages, String Railway is finally getting a reprint! This Japanese game is now seeing a wider release thanks to FoxMind, though I reckon they’ve missed a trick by changing from the original packaging… A simple game of connecting stations using different lengths of coloured string, it’s a matter of just getting more victory points than the other players. It’s an interesting concept, ridiculously quick to play and well worth trying to get your hands on a copy. Good call by FoxMind to get it out there again.

Carcassonne Minis

There’s going to be a total of six new mini expansions for everyone’s favourite tile laying, castle building, meeple placing gateway game released at Nurnberg under the catch-all title of Carcassonne Minis. They’re cheap (3 Euro a go) and range from interesting to just plain odd. The full list is as follows:

The Messages: a second meeple on the scoring track potentially allows players to get bonus points.

The Ferries: adds new rules for roads by bringing in little boats!

The Flier: allows for movement of a meeple to a new area at the risk of losing it on the throw of a dice

The Goldmines: more bonus points are available by collecting gold bars placed on tiles

The Robber: scupper your opponents’ progress by having a Robber meeple steal their points

Mage and Witch: Add a point per tile with the Mage, halve the points of a feature with the Witch

Every time a new expansion comes out for Carcassonne there’s always cries that the game has jumped the shark… what’ll happen when these six hit the stores?! Personally, I really want to get my hands on Mage and Witch and The Robber – both look like they could add some interesting elements to the game. English language versions will be made available through Rio Grande in March or April of this year, but as the game’s pretty much language independent anyone could use these.

Star Trek Catan

The ultimate expression of nerdiness, surely? Yes, it’s just a rebrand of the regular Settlers of Catan, but it’s all Star Trekked up! Based in The Original Series universe, there’s all new resources to collect (including Dilithium, of course), building space stations around planets and a Klingon vessel swooping in on the roll of a seven – excellent! There’s also a new element introduced in that players are given characters at the start of the game granting them special abilities during their turn. While some folks are complaining about the Monopoly-isation of the Catan brand, I reckon this one’s a fun addition to the series.

LEGO: Star Wars: Battle of Hoth

On the other side of the geek spectrum, this is one I’ve actually managed to try out – there’ll be a full review to come soon. LEGO have made a great effort in recent months to get into games, most notably with the rather ace Heroica game system. Battle for Hoth is another one from their game range that has a slightly more mature vibe about it despite having the cutest AT-ATs in the history of mankind as playing pieces. It’s a very light two player strategy game that could easily act as a way in for younger players to something a little more hardcore, requiring a bit of forward planning and a willingness to take the odd risk. A very nice use of the Star Wars franchise that will hopefully spur LEGO to keep on trying something different with their games.

Wallenstein

The big reprint so far for 2012 has got to be Wallenstein, Dirk Henn’s much loved game of area control during the Thirty Years War. The fantastic combat system using a dice tower and incredibly balanced gameplay has had gamers clamouring for a new version for years, and now Queen Games has stepped up and produced something a little bit special. This remake also includes two expansions that allow for special actions and bonuses that can be claimed through the game, adding yet more to the Wallenstein experience. It’s a tightrope of a game where you need to work to increase your power while ensuring that your people are well cared for. Ignore the peasants and you could well have a revolt on your hands…

There’s plenty of other games available (as well as those still to be announced) as the event continues over the next few days up the 6th of February. After that… well, it’s the New York Toy Fair from February 12th to 15th. Who knows what we’ll see there?

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State of the Union 2011: Part One – The Digital Bit

It’s already been said a lot this year, but 2011 really has been incredible for games. I’ll write about why I reckon this is so soon, but in this – the first of three end-of-year wrap-ups – I really wanted to focus on the iOS games that seem to have exploded this year. Sure, if you don’t have access to a device capable of playing them (iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch), this may well be no more than a vaguely interesting read (hopefully!) but I felt that these fantastic interpretations deserved a tip of the hat.

Seriously, I love this one. Exactly how a game should be translated to iOS.

Out of all the games I’ve played on my iPhone this year, Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer has taken up a huge amount of my time. A perfect replica of the original release from Gary Games (which you can see a review of here), it’s a brilliant version of the quick-playing deck builder. It’s very easy to explain to new players yet still has enough depth in there to not leave experienced gamers bored. One of the most appealing aspects with Ascension is the fact it runs asynchronous play – a very important addition to any iOS game release! The push notifications that signify it’s your turn are always a welcome sight and turns take mere moments, but if your opposition are online, games can also be played in real time. With the recent addition of the first expansion (“Return of the Fallen”) there’s now a whole raft of new monsters to defeat, heroes to recruit and additional mechanics to try out, plus you can also combine both versions. An excellent game all round and one of my favourites of the year.

The daddy of them all is still going great, especially now it finally has expansions.

A long time favourite that has recently seen a new lease of life thanks to the addition of expansions is the fantastic Carcassonne. It’s been out for some time and is pretty much the poster child for how iOS games should be made: there’s an excellent user interface, the rules are straightforward and – again – there’s that all important asynchronous play facility. This has been a mainstay of my mobile gaming life since it was released back in 2010 and I always have a couple of games on the go, but with the recent additions of The River and Inns and Cathedrals expansions I’ve noticed a rise in the number of players who are getting back into it. One minor downside is the price – at £6.99 / $9.99 you don’t need a laser pointer to realise it is one of the most expensive iOS game releases, but it is well worth handing over the cash.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, sure – but Arkham fans will love it.

The portable version of Fantasy Flight’s dice-rolling extravaganza Elder Sign is an incredibly high quality production. Specifically built for solo play, it’s actually called Elder Sign: Omens and from the moment you boot it up you’ll be impressed. It’s a stunning looking game that sees you choose a group of four investigators looking to save the world from the Great Old One Azathoth. While it’s referred to as casting runes in the game, it’s all about rolling digital dice and matching them to symbols that make up missions. When missions are completed, the player will be rewarded with objects to assist their quest and – with luck – the titular Elder Signs that are required to imprison Azathoth for good. While I really enjoy this game, I’ve seen that it can be a bit marmite with others – the main feeling amongst those who have negative opinions is that it’s too difficult and random despite being a stripped back version of the original. However, if you’ve even got the slightest interest in the Cthulhu mythos, it’s a fun diversion. Now, if we could just get a few different GOOs to take on? Please?

Amazing how well this one works on such a small screen. A fantastic adaptation.

Another simplified version of a larger game next. Ticket to Ride Pocket was released specifically for iPhone and iPod Touch late in the autumn, the little brother to its big iPad sibling. This pocket version focuses on single-player action against a range of AI bots but also offers options for Pass & Play as well as Local Play – fantastic if you’ve got a couple of people armed with their phones! Using the original USA map, the game is incredibly speedy and does everything it can to make your life simple. Destination tickets can be prodded to have them show up on the map and placing tickets by playing cards is a simple matter of dragging your finger across the screen. Anyone who has sat around and tried out the original will take to this immediately, especially as it looks exactly the same as the tabletop game. A minor downside: there’s no compatibility with the iPad release, but to compensate for this Days of Wonder have made it dirt cheap!

There are, of course, hundreds of other games out there that you can play on your various shiny iOS devices, but those four mentioned will keep you happy for a minimum amount of cash. Not everything is a bright and shining piece of brilliance, admittedly: there’s a lot of digital takes on Hasbro titles that really feel like cash-in efforts, for example. However, a little digging about will throw out some little gems… just try typing “Knizia” into the search engine on the App Store and see how much pops up! Just avoid FiTS, OK? Through the Desert is pretty good though… maybe I’ll grab that one again…

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Tales from the Fireside – Separation Anxiety

Mr Campfire has another Tale, filled with woe. That’s what happens when you’re separated from what you love.

——————–

There’s a game I want to play.

But there’s always a game, isn’t there? Right now, the hottest game in gamerland is Quarriors, a deck-builder that comes with 130 custom dice in the box. It’s so coveted, otherwise staid game reviewers with all the flexibility of corrugated card have used flowery similes like ‘jewels in a treasure chest’ to convey their awe of it. I mean, the game has 130 dice in all the colours of the rainbow–how could you not want it? As far as gamers are concerned it’s Christmas come early: a box of baubles removed from the loft, a stocking of sweeties that, okay, present a serious choking hazard, but come on! When was the last time you encountered a game so visually enticing, so wonderfully tactile? To heck with how it plays, don’t you just want to grab those dice and roll them ‘til arthritis kicks in? You’d wear your dice-rolling chicken claw with pride, boasting Quarriors did this to you.

In Europe Quarriors has encountered a couple of distribution issues, meaning it’s rather difficult to get hold of over here. If you pre-ordered it, you’re laughing while you’re rolling. If you didn’t you might be stuck until Christmas or the New Year before you can get your future chicken claws on a copy.

But doesn’t that add to the allure of it? Doesn’t the game being rare–if only temporarily–make it special? How many of you have bought a game simply because it’s gone out of print or was the last copy in the store? Prompted by game boxes holding all manner of treasures gamers are hoarders, and the one thing we hate more than anything else is the thought of the game that got away.

Tell me, what did you do when you heard Fantasy Flight were releasing Descent: Second Edition? Did you wonder if the price would come down for the re-release or how the game would change for its second iteration? Did you put it on your Amazon wish list or did you hurry to your Friendly Local Game Shop to grab the original Descent just in case the second edition didn’t match up to it? All those pieces, all those figures: less of a treasure trove than an unearthed tomb filled with riches. Dare you breach its cardboard chambers to return with magic and gold?

These end of line products are often accompanied by a bit of a kerfuffle: they’re the Harrod’s sales of the gaming world. This week I discovered online retailer IGUK.co.uk was down to its last copy of the discontinued Memoir ‘44 campaign book, and were selling it for a reasonable price. I don’t own Memoir ‘44, but with this rare artifact before me for a moment I felt rather dizzy. Sure, I don’t have Memoir ‘44 now but who’s to say I won’t in the future? Wouldn’t the campaign book come in handy then, at some hypothetical point down the time-stream?

Fortunately common sense prevailed and I pointed a friend who already had a copy of the game in its direction, but for a second I nearly forked over money I can’t afford for a game I couldn’t play. Considering how quickly IGUK’s stock disappeared once they cut its price, I wonder how many people in the same situation thought “To heck with it” and bought the book anyway.

The game I most want to play right now is Warhammer: Invasion–a game for which long-term readers will already know I have a simpering, drooling weak spot. Unlike Memoir ‘44 I already own a copy of Warhammer: Invasion, so you’d think I’d just pull it from my game shelves to play whenever I wish.

I can’t: circumstance has separated me from it.

Board gamers don’t do well with separation, which is why travel editions exist of every popular game from Carcassonne to Hungry Hippos. Last week, briefly threatened with separation from his collection another friend boldly listed the board games he’d be taking with him to Wales, to force his wife to play while trapped in a chalet on holiday; his reading material during this time would be the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game rulebook, downloaded in anticipation of buying the game in weeks to come. iOS and Android devices offer the opportunity to play some of our favourite games while on the move; I can just imagine a hardened gamer climbing hills in the Peak District, trying to get a signal in middle of nowhere so they can send their next move for Ascension.

I’d love to review Warhammer: Invasion here, but I can’t. I’ve only played it once and as much fun as I had with it, once is hardly enough to write a solid, detailed description without bluffing and making stuff up, and I refuse to do so because I take my journalistic duties seriously–that’s why I wear a fedora with a bit of card tucked into the hatband that says ‘Press’ on it. Wearing a press hat isn’t a matter to be taken lightly, you know. It’s not the kind of thing you can remove and forget about.

My wife sums up her feelings about board games with the word ‘Eh’ which is really more of a sound than a word–the kind of sound a disgruntled mother bird would make upon discovering one of her unhatched brood was, in fact, a golf ball. It’s not that she doesn’t like board games; she just doesn’t see what’s so exciting about them.

It’s okay–she’s a physicist and I feel much the same way about gluons. I mean, I’m sure they’re important to the way matter functions or whatever, but you can’t roll them, or punch them from cardboard sheets, Whatever good they might do in the world of particle physics, for board gaming purposes gluons are pretty much useless.

For all her indifference, she’s made the mistake of playing Warhammer: Invasion against me and thrashing me at it. During our first and only time playing she constructed a brilliant scheme in which she built her resources over a number of turns, played a Bloodthirster onto the table, turned my attack damage back upon me, and stomped over my capital like a toddler run amok in Duplo Town. In an exhilarating moment of post-game deconstruction she told me how she’d held onto certain cards just in case while building her own fortifications, and how she’d turned my own headstrong nature against me. She’d played traditional card games with her family years before; all those bluffs and antes were good training for sending Chaos demons into battle and putting her husband into traction.

As much as I was impressed with the game I was far more impressed with my wife, the master tactician.

That’s one of the reasons why I miss Warhammer so, and a reason I’m sure all of us can get behind. When a game comes alive like that, it’s magical: the click of a light-bulb flaring as your opponent–who’d not known the game existed minutes before; who’d thought board games were ‘Eh’–chains a combo or hops a piece or hatches a tactical plan, and wins.

And they don’t have to win: that’s the beauty of these games. Things can get a little cutthroat, and I can’t deny I want a rematch to see if I can even the score but–and please forgive me the tree-hugging sentiment–so long as we’re both having fun, doesn’t that make us both winners?

I do miss the game, though. I scour Fantasy Flight’s website for card previews and send them to her over Google chat. “Look!” I say, like a kid showing a parent an unusually shaped leaf. “This one turns your corrupted units into uber-powerful ass-kicking machines! You’re a Chaos player: what do you think?”

And she, resolutely not geeking out, mutters only “Eh” and goes back to sitting on her oddly shaped egg.

I’ll play it again one day, I know. It shall be mine, as Wayne Campbell once said.

For the moment, all other games have become meaningless: their boxes gather dust and the very thought of playing them disgusts me. Greedy, oh so greedy, I eschew games I can play in favour of the one I want.

There’s a game I want to play, you see.

But there’s always a game, isn’t there?

——————–

Speak with Campfire Burning yourself – his email is, of course, campfire@littlemetaldog.com

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