Author Archives: The Innocent

Space-Biff! vs. Three Years

This is the carpet that adorns Wee Aquinas's pad. He insists it feels wonderful on bare feet and is definitely not choked with pubes.

If what I’m reading in these childhood development manuals holds true, then this is the year that Space-Biff! becomes truly annoying. Mostly by throwing tantrums in public and insisting it can put on its own pajamas, it can it can it can! *stomp stomp stomp* … (fails miserably at putting on its own pajamas).


Anyway, it’s fun looking back. But even more fun looking forwards! Thanks everyone who actually reads this nonsense, and here’s to three years!

Alone Time: Darkness Returns Twice

I know they're supposed to be evil eyes, but I keep thinking the green streaks around the Valkyrie's head are some sort of lame magic.

When you’re a force for righteousness like myself, there’s nothing quite so satisfying as driving a holy relic through the eye socket of a foul necromancer. Ah! The splash of his brain-ichor, cold and rancid, soaking the cuff of my tunic!

There are very few games that provide necromancer-slaying goodness quite so well as Darkest Night, one of my favorite solo and co-op games from last year. Its first expansion, With an Inner Light, which added the incentive of quests to get you roaming the map more and just hanging out in the mountains and forest less, was too.

So the question: are the two newest expansions for Darkest Night, On Shifting Winds and From the Abyss, as good as we’ve come to expect from Victory Point Games?

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I like the character art. Other than orange fratbro over there on the left, anyway.

I’ll come out right and say it: Hyperborea isn’t actually hyper-boring. That was just too good a pun to pass up.

Rather, Hyperborea is interesting. Interesting and also, unfortunately, a disappointment to its mother. She tells people it’s an investment banker.

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Dead (But Not Sick) of Winter

yoinked without permission from the Plaid Hat website

We’re all sick of zombies, right? I mean, unless you’re one of the hundred million people who keep buying all those zombie-themed games, the ones with the ludicrous quantity of undead minis, and the dice games, and every single thing with a dismembered hand on the cover, the zombie thing feels pretty played out?

I understand. And I agree. Zombies have run their course. Down with the undead. Long live the living.

But you’re going to have to take my word on this one: Dead of Winter from Plaid Hat Games is another game with zombies in it, but even so, it’s pretty much the best game of 2014. So buckle up, keep that shotgun close at hand, don’t trust anyone with a bleeding bandage on their arm — no matter how many times they insist they just snagged it on a broken window — and get ready to see how good a zombie game can be.

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The Art of Victory, I Presume

the one and only

We’ve all been there before. You want to play a game, but judging by the clock, you’ve got exactly one hour before your attentions are needed elsewhere. Not fifty minutes, not an hour and twenty. One hour.

Thank goodness then that Ars Victor is the one-hour wargame. There are no others. None.

Okay, leaving aside the harping on its faintly silly self-appointed subtitle, let’s talk about why Ars Victor might actually be a contender for what you play when you’ve only got an hour.

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War Express

If you look closely into his eyes, you can see that he's actually a very jolly fellow.

Age of War is possibly the smallest game I’ve played this year. So small, in fact, that I’m going to try and review it in a single breath. No cheating, I promise. Here we go:

Age of War is the latest from Reiner Knizia, and the first thing you notice about it is that it’s a mere seven dice and [count them later, can't stop writing] cards. So it’s a small game, but perhaps it has a big heart. I don’t know what I’m saying I can’t concentrate. It’s pretty fun. I had fun with friends. I think it gets too

Ohmygoodness. Guess I’ll have to do a real review after all.

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It Also Gazes Into You

I can see you aren't interested in any magazine subscriptions, sir. I'll be on my way. Enjoy your Saturday.

Look into his eyes, and tell me what you see. For me, he looks like the trailer-folk of the sea, majestic and graceful, but probably smokes too much for his own good — which, granted, fire probably doesn’t work down there, so maybe he just snacks on too many mollusks or something. He tried the gum a while back, but it didn’t kick the cravings like it advertized. His pod-mother always said—

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh, right: Abyss. Yeah, let’s talk about that.

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Borrow, Ignore, or Buy?

or love

A lot of people are bored of the zombie thing. Not me. For one thing, the appeal of straightforward bad guy artificial intelligence is undeniable: they walk towards you, walk some more, and then paw at you like a drunkard on the subway. There are no cover mechanics to worry about, no flanking, no need to do anything other than walk and paw. And anyway, aren’t they sort of a Metaphor? For death, or how you don’t like spending time with your grandma because she’s slow and she paws at you?

I suspect Run, Fight, or Die! is a metaphor too. Possibly for death. Maybe for boredom.

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The League of Extraordinary GenConmen

Dan is an island of tranquility and stillness in a sea of change and chaos. As always.

GenCon is no SaltCon, that’s for sure. Or perhaps that should be writ the other way around — SaltCon is no GenCon. That’s for sure.

Dan and the Space-Biff! crew, or at least one of the Space-Biff! crew, flew all the way to Indianapolis, which is in Iowa, I think, for the largest board game convention in these the United States. The original thought was to deliver a daily report of all the GenCon goings-on, but Dan was too timid to actually interview anyone, though he claims it was because the Wyndham West didn’t have working internet, which it really didn’t, and we don’t recommend anyone stay there if they want to Skype their baby’s first steps.*

What follows is the true story of how Dan and Steve navigated the crowds, fell asleep at odd hours in their hotel suite, and generally GenCon’d it up. Fun fact: there were more people at GenCon than in the entirety of Dan’s hometown!**

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A Sellsword You Can Trust

According to the colorblind color identifier I'm running, this is "Chestnut Red." Huh. Doesn't feel right. I would have guessed Salmon Something.

Mercenaries are disunited, ambitious, undisciplined, and treacherous; they are powerful when among those who are not hostile, but weak and cowardly when confronted by determined enemies; they have no fear of God, and do not maintain commitments with men.

Know who wrote that? Niccolò freaking Machiavelli. Which is weird, because although I read The Prince in high school, I had no idea he played Sellswords from Level 99 Games. I guess that part went totally over my head.

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