Boardgaming in 2019!


Yes, it’s the only thing resembling a war game I can get pretty much anyone to play. The original WW2 is simplest/most broken, but also the most accessible, which I think is a fine trade off. WW1 is at the sweet spot for me; giving the cards an extra simple use really evens things out while keeping the turns quick and fun.

This is a popular game in my house, but the dice role is too random and makes me want to cheat to ensure more progression, like Candyland. Playing on the floor makes the game take too long, too.


Did anyone get to try Axis & Alliens & Zombies enough to form an opinion? For someone like me who has written off A&A as “solved” for 20+ years?


I haven’t played it, and it’s unlikely I will, but someone in my game group did play it, apparently he liked it:


I bought it but the folks I play with most frequently are more euro-gamers and I haven’t gotten it to the table. I’m bringing it next Saturday to an all day meetup and will see if I can find some souls brave enough or old-school enough to roll the dice with me the way the RNG intended.


From perusing to rules, it seems like the zombies are just a bunch of neutral units that get in the way, and not any sort of existential apocalyptic threat. Lame!



If the zombies take over enough countries the game ends. However, in the lame rule book you still count score and the highest warbucks generating side wins, which is weak. In the Sharpe house rules, if the zombies take over enough countries, everybody loses.


I think they are an existential threat in that they need to be contained, lest they trigger a game ending zombie apocalypse, and will interfere with your combat. That probably forces some strategy changes from the tried and true openings. But it’s still Axis & Allies.

I like The Discriminating Gamer because he has a fondness for strategy games I don’t often play (allows me to discover games I wouldn’t look at) and he had this to say:

He sees it as a fun twist, a mode adding sugar and spice to the base game and giving the players new choices. Not a bad thing for a game we started playing in the 80ies.


Anyone following the crazy Patrick Rael-Phil Eklund kerfuffle/brouhaha?


Wow this is fascinating! Thanks for posting it!


Hahaha, oh boy I can’t wait to read all this given my (unfavorable) reaction to Phil’s Pax Renaissance rulebook footnotes (which took up a quarter or a third of the rulebook, I can’t recall).


It’s just disappointing. Phil, in those threads, sounds like an unhinged crazy uncle and is, by far, the least useful participant. They’re fascinating discussions, but arguing against Phil on these points is like shooting fish in a barrel. I think Phil takes his own iconoclasm way too seriously and lets it pin him to a dart board.

This isn’t even the first time Phil has even had this particular argument. And his wildly defensive responses, filled with umbrage and demolished straw armies are really just saddening.


It is quite interesting and occasionally amusing, and I am continuing to read, but in my opinion all back and forth should have ceased at the point that Phil declared history a (literal) science. That’s when the “agree to disagree” line should have been drawn.

I think it’s funny that you say this because I have definitely described Phil as “That One Thanksgiving Uncle” elsewhere, and I ought to know, as I had an uncle who was very similar to Phil’s public persona, although not nearly as smart as Phil seems to be.


That sounds like an astonishingly harsh value judgment! I wonder how they feel about you?


I kinda wish Phil had just said, “interesting take on my game, there.” But of course with Phil that was never going to happen.

OTOH, I’m much less interested in takes on Pax Emancipation’s footnotes than I am on it’s actual gameplay.


That would be a question for resident zombie expert @tomchick

I’m guessing it’s something along the lines of braaaiiinnssss, unless they are the precursors to the show iZombie


Totally. I love many of Phil’s games, have spent hundreds on them, and continue to play them all the time (I currently am in the middle of a High Frontier PBEM.) But he really paints himself into a corner with these arguments and then acts like a trapped animal. If he’d said “I disagree with you but value your take and am glad my games can stimulate such interesting discussion,” that would have been it: gracious and enough. He’s brilliant, but wow: accusations of libel and copy pasting from thread to thread aren’t a good look.


Phil’s got some interesting stuff in the game but Rael puts together much more thoughtful stuff than what Phil loads his rulebooks with. I wouldn’t mind Phil if he didn’t footnote the hell out of his books- his apologia for colonialism in John Company is relatively harmless to the game, as it’s a designer’s endnote. The footnotes significantly decrease the readability of the rules.


Is it the same apologia for colonialism that’s at the end of the Pax Pamir rulebook? I assumed that Patrick was alluding to that one. Would be funny if he wrote two of them.


Alright, anyone try the new Fireball Island yet?

I was put off by the art being pretty lame compared to the original (2nd best cover of all time next to Gammarauders), then I’m not sure I like the sound of running around the island taking tourist snapshots while avoiding bees (BEES??).

How is the actual game?


I haven’t seen the bit in the Pax Pamir rulebook, so I can’t say.