Board gaming 2021: minis are back, baby!

Anyone on East Coast looking to unload games I highly recommend Congress of Gamers when the pandemic ends. Their community sale is amazing for both buyers and sellers.

I totally agree that Eklund is a loony who has sort of dived into a conspiracy-theory persecution complex over the last few years. That said, Pax Porfiriana is, I think, actually a good game. And many of his other games (e.g. High Frontier, Bios: Megafauna) function so well as narrative generators and simulations that it doesn’t matter if they’re good games–they’re still an absolute blast to play.

When I think of Eklund as designer I’ll always think fondly of discovering High Frontier years and years ago and that will always be special. But, the man is crazy and not necessarily benignly so. I remember some throwaway lines about the Bicameral Mind in Westworld and how it wasn’t actually good science when applied to humans but hey it might work for androids. I had just read about that in Eklund’s Neanderthal article and catching right away how utterly bizarre and nonsensical that was there.

When it comes to game design I turn to the Pax series as an example. When Cole Wehrle did Pax Pamir and applied good graphic design and an elegant ruleset it’s a night and day difference from the Eklund branch of the series. I recently got the second edition of Pax Pamir and wow did Cole take advantage of that opportunity to hone his craft. I can’t wait to see what Cole’s second edition of John Company is going to be.

The good and bad thing about getting back into boardgaming after a long hiatus is the sheer wealth of games to get into.

My secret Santa sent me Spirit Island…which was…and is…simply amazing.

I’ve even played it solo.

Anyway, I’m right now in the middle of a wargaming serial on zoom, where I am part of a team, and the wargaming controller (WGC) has the board set up in his house, and we communicate with our officers to coordinate orders, then each team sends the WGC the orders, and he adjudicates what happens, if a team is suppressed etc.

He gives each team a time limit, e.g. 10 minutes to forumate their plan,. and at the same time the opposing enemy are doing the same thing.

And then after each turn he sends us a picture of the updated gameboard.

So, using zoom and whatsapp (the latter for “secret” or team specific communication) we are, in effect, playing a boardgame (albeit with fairly dry, wargamey rules) and it made me think that such a thing could infact be done quite well, by us, here.

I think a cooperative game would work best.

E.G. someone hosts, has the game displayed, for Spirit Island.

Player 1-4 discuss, agree, Host moves the pieces, updates the gamestate (Dahan etc dead)

It wouldn’t necessarily take much longer than an actual (real life) game.

The advantage of this are that it would be free (only the host needs the game) whereas something like TTS requires buying it, each, I believe.

Also, minis are definitely back:

and rules are available to download. I can’t upload them here (pdf.)

Dave Long is running some stuff like that, I think. Personally it sounds way more complicated and fussy than playing with a regular online solution to me.

I have been stacking up hours at work for the last 3 weeks so…

…man do I hope those West Kingdom games are pretty good. I’m in.

So anyone playing Aliens: AGDIC?
I’ve ordered a copy, but now I’m feeling like I made a mistake.

I guess it depends on what you are looking for. It’s gone out of stock and been snapped up very quickly in local FLGS and discussed with excitement in the FB boardgame group I joined.

The first hurdle for those who got it was all the assembly required. Also, be prepared to use hot water to reshape some of the xenomorphs, or they can’t stand side by side on the board.

The second hurdle is the gameplay which might either be exactly your tactical cup of tea or not. I’ve seen several copies come up for second hand sale in the past week in that group. But that one is obviously subjective. So might be worth giving the game a chance.

This might also be of interest:

Which FB group are you a member of?
I think my issue is most of the bits look really crappy to me for the price.
I already have a ton of battlesystem terrain and avp painted models so I will most likely use those over the stuff in the box.

Which ones did you get?

In addition to really digging Architects of the West Kingdom, I’m also sold on Raiders of Scythia now. Soooo much better than Raiders of the North Sea. I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would ever play North Sea again, especially as a solitaire game. It just looks so, well, amateurish in comparison.

I’m moving on to Viscounts of the West Kingdom next, but only after a few more rounds of Scythia while it’s set up.


I picked up Architects of the West Kingdom, along with the expansion. But I’m intrigued by the other two games in the “trilogy”, and also kind of interested in the “Tomesaga” expansion that apparently creates a sort of campaign game with all three.

The only real worker placement game I’m super familiar with – at least as far as owning and trying to play a couple of times per year – is Robinson Crusoe. So I suspect that some of this is going to be a little afield of my frame of reference…but I’m also firmly of the 50 million Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong school. So if so many people enjoy worker placement games generally, and seem to speak highly of these games specifically…gimme. :)

Oh, and if this clicks for me, definitely will give Raiders of Scythia a shot!

It’s called “Board Game Trading and Chat UK”. It’s obviously UK centric. Pretty good bunch and old and new games come up for trade and sale constantly.

That’s where I got my Space Hulk copy for £25. Now I just need to do the purchase justice and play it. Though I wonder if I can convince my wife to paint the minis first. That would be awesome.

Going back to A Glorious Day, I believe the consensus is that the quality of the models is Ok. If you already have your own painted models, these ones likely won’t blow you away. That said, your own models might improve it. Would be cool to see the game on the table with your fully painted models. Share pictures if they fit.

New games:

Captain Silver and Cantaloop are the 2 that I’m curious about this week. We’ve enjoyed our plays of Treasure Island, but it’s been a while since it bit the table (partly because Covid). Curious to see what the expansion brings.

As for Cantaloop, the theme is intriguing.

Gwar vs. Time, eh?

Tragically time won :(

(I know they kept going, but damn, RIP Dave)

It usually does, alas.

Yeah, baby, yeah!

I just printed the print and play prequel/tutorial for cantaloop! Haven’t played it yet, but now that I see how it works, I suspect it might take less time to play than it did to print and assemble :). But maybe it will be cool.