Sunday 23 December 2018

Review - Timeline (British History)

Designed by Frederic Henry
Published by Esdevium Games
For 2 to 8 players, aged 8 to adult

Box art from the Timeline card game

Not a lot of people realise, but I'm a big old bag of insecurities and anxieties. When I'm in public, I put on a decent show, I'm not agoraphobic or anything like that, and it's not like I hate people (I happen to think that, in theory, the idea of people is quite a good one); but I'm uncomfortable in crowds, loathe public speaking, and really don't like getting too close to people until I know them really well. Put it this way: It's no coincidence I've ended up working a gig that means I don't ever have to leave my house and I can comfortably hide behind my words.

Sunday 2 December 2018

Review - Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault

Published by Games Workshop
For 2-4 players, aged 12 to adult

Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault

I don't watch much television, but I always make a point of watching The Apprentice. It's pure train wreck TV; a show designed to make people look as bloody stupid as possible. I'm sure you've head of it. A bunch of hopefuls get put through the wringer in a series of implausible business scenarios designed exclusively to make them look like complete pillocks ("You have 12 hours to launch a new international superstore with 50p and a stick of chewing gum") . Cameras follow them, recording everything so it's possible to recut the footage exclusively to make them look like complete pillocks. And then at the end, Alan Sugar talks about himself a bit, says how hard he is to please, and then reads from a script of insults designed exclusively to make him look like a complete pillock while all the contestants simper, stab each other in the back, and call him "Sir" like they're a group of naughty schoolchildren.

Wednesday 31 October 2018

Review - Labyrinth: The Duel

Designed by Marco Teubner
Published by Ravensburger
For 2 players, aged 8 to 99 years, apparently

Labyrinth: The Duel

Is there anything more terrifying than being lost in a dark maze, where the walls are constantly shifting, and you never know which way to turn? Well... probably, yes. Probably lots of things. Spiders, clowns, spiders dressed as clowns. The list is almost endless. But the truth is, it's Halloween and I should be reviewing something suitably creepy such as Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault right now. Unfortunately my photographs aren't ready, and that means you get stuck with a review of Labyrinth: The Duel which I'm ham-fistedly trying to cram into a spooky framework.

So, let's all just pretend this is a really creepy game and we'll say no more about it...



Here goes...

Monday 15 October 2018

Review - Sh!thead and the Dares (Shithead, Palace, Karma, etc.)

Published by Imagination Atlas Ltd
For 2-5 players, aged 13 to adult

Sh!thead and the Dares

A little while back, I invited a group of friends to come over to play board games. It's the sort of thing I do.

It was one of those lightweight games and heavyweight beers sort of events, and as the evening drifted into the night, several guests drifted away.

By about 3am, there were just three of us left. One of the remaining guests produced a deck of cards and suggested we play a little game he knew. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it was late at night (or early in the morning), I'd had one too many sherbets, and what followed was something akin to a game of Go Johnny Go Go Go Go.

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Review - The Walking Dead: All Out War

Published by Mantic Games
Designed by Mark Latham
For 1 or 2 players, aged 14 to adult

The Walking Dead: All Out War

So, I work from home (if what I do all day really counts as work). I have a little nook all my own, which is actually an extension on the front of my kitchen. It's quiet for most of the day, it's nice and bright, and most importantly of all, I'm incredibly close to my kettle. Because tea is basically the thing that makes me function on a level that closely approximates the way I have determined other humans are supposed to act.

But I'm not precious about my tea. I don't use loose leaves, I don't use a teapot, and I don't think I even own a cup and saucer.

No, I brew my tea in the mug I'm going to drink it from. I squeeze the teabag, and tannic acid be damned. I even add the milk before I take out the teabag. It's not like anybody else is here to see me do it.

Part of the reason for my complete disregard for any kind of etiquette.... drunkiquette?*... is because I'm always in a hurry. And being in a hurry comes with it's own tea-related problems. For example, quite often I'll put the teabag and the water in a mug, and then I think, "I'll just leave that to brew for a minute." And then I'll go off and do something else.

Eventually I'll come back to my tea to discover it's completely stewed. It'll have that gross film over the top that breaks up and sticks to the sides when you stir it, and it'll be just the wrong side of drinking temperature. And I'll make a sort of half-hearted attempt to sip at it, but really I've left it just a bit too long, and my hearts not in it, and the idea of tea isn't quite as appealing as it was 20 minutes ago.

Then I'm a bit sad.

And this, if you hadn't figured it out, is an incredibly laboured metaphor for my review for The Walking Dead: All Out War. And by "my review," I mean this review. The one you're reading. The slightly lukewarm one that my hearts not really in.

Thursday 26 July 2018

Review - Welcome to the Dungeon

Designed by Masato Uesugi
Published by IELLO
For 2-4 players, aged 10 to adult

Welcome to the Dungeon title art.

My mum has this saying: "Little things please little minds, little trousers fit little behinds."

My mum's weird.

But she's half right, at least. Little things are pleasing; but not only for little minds. Everyone likes little things, right? I mean, that's what I keep telling myself...

Thinking about it, it's probably not true. Only the other day I saw someone on BoardGameGeek arguing that one game was better value compared to another because it physically weighed more.

But anyway, for the sake of this bit, let's say that most people like little things. Babies, kittens, Fun Size Mars Bars... You name it. Just don't name mobile phones. They seem to be getting bigger again. Like they were in the 80s.

Everyone liked big stuff in the 80s.

I feel like this intro is getting away from me, so I'm going to press on.

Monday 4 June 2018

Review - Candy Land

Designed by Eleanor Abbott
Published by MB Games
For 2 to 4 players, aged 3 to 6 years

Candy Land

Recently, for the first time in my adult life, I discovered I couldn't fit into my regular jeans size. I haven't stacked on massive amounts of weight though; just enough to nudge the needle to the point where it's a little bit difficult to breathe when the button's done up. It's not a big deal; these things happen. The real problem is, jeans in the next size up are too big. I need to hoist my belt to within an inch of its life to prevent myself from dropping trou when I don't intend to (because, obviously, sometimes I intend to).

Naturally, this situation leaves me in a quandary (in front of the laundry).

Do I curb my enthusiasm for biscuits to get back to my original jeans size, or do I commit to the cause and fill out my new jeans size?

Now, I know what you're thinking: What has this got to do with reviewing board games?

The answer, of course, is nothing much, really. I just felt I needed to justify why I'm eating custard creams while I'm writing.

Oh yeah... and I'm reviewing Candy Land. I figured an intro about gaining a small amount of weight was slightly more tasteful than an intro about diabetes.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Review - The Game of Inns & Taverns

Designed by Sara Finch and Leslie Scott
Published by Oxford Games Ltd
For 2 or 4 players, who are adults because "it is illegal for British pubs to serve alcoholic beverages to persons under 18 years of age"

Inns & Taverns cover art.

Do you like beer mats? Do you like inns? Do you like taverns? Do you like pub crawls? Do you like board games?

Do you like board games about going on pub crawls around inns and taverns collecting beer mats?

If you do then... you have very particular tastes, and probably find it very difficult to find games that appeal to you.

Furthermore, you're going to hate The Game of Inns & Taverns.

Seriously. Hate it.

I mean, sure, it's probably the first game you've ever found that's tailor-made for your particular peculiarities. But that just means it's going to hurt a little bit more when you find out it's absolute dross.

Thursday 19 April 2018

Review - Doctor Who: Exterminate! The Miniatures Game

Designed by Wayne P. Bollands and Ricard Fortun
Published by Warlord Games
For 1 or more players, aged 12 to adult

Doctor Who: Exterminate!

Hey, everybody, I'm back! Did you miss me?

Probably not. But I'm going to pretend you did, because it makes me feel better.

Crikey, I've been busy. Arrival of child number two, combined with my wife having surgery, work commitments piling up, and my continuing efforts to get my YouTube channel off the ground have started to take a toll.

It would be great to have a TARDIS, wouldn't it? Of course, I wouldn't use it for zipping around the universe saving planets. I'd just use it to squeeze a little more out of each day. You know... catch up on the ironing, finish an extra article for work, maybe paint a miniature or two. I'd invariably have to cross my own time stream, creating terrible paradoxes and probably destroying the universe in the process; but there isn't much I wouldn't do for an extra hour in bed on a Sunday.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Review - Necromunda: Underhive

Published by Games Workshop
For 2 or more players, aged 12 to adult

Necromunda: Underhive cover art

Games Workshop is having a bit of an identity crisis.

Have you noticed?

I've noticed.

And I mean "identity crisis" in the best way possible.

The company is in the midst of a serious transition, and that transition is vitally important.

You see, many moons ago, Games Workshop lived up to its name. It made games. It made the very best kind of games, because they weren't like games at all.

They were doorways.