Author Archives: The Innocent

Come Sail Away (to India)

I like to read this in the imperative. Spices up my life.

You know what we take for granted? Nutmeg. We’re eating a bowl of spaghetti, it’s kind of bland, and we just shake a bunch of nutmeg over that sucker like it’s nothing.

To the Portuguese explorers of the 15th century, we eat like kings. Better than kings, because those kings could hardly get their royal mitts on any nutmeg at all. See, they were cut off from their lucrative nutmeg trade after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, and suddenly there’s no nutmeg for anyone.

Nutmeg. Nutmeg nutmeg. It’s a nonsense word.

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Over-Groomed But No Less Vicious

I'm not sure that's the ideal use of a war-mech.

Dogs of War is a weird looking game, and not only because there isn’t a single dog in it. It comes with a nice enough board, your usual dinky cardboard tokens, and some of the most fabulous, over-produced miniatures you’ve ever seen, complete with detailed feathers sprouting from their floppy hats. They’re colorful, shiny, and utterly lovely to look at — and seem particularly incongruous when you realize they’re pretty much worker placement tokens.

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The Secret History of Quilts

Love at first sight.

You know how people are always comparing time and history to a tapestry? Me neither, it just seemed like something someone might have said at some point. Who’s to say they didn’t? In the event that someone did compare history to a tapestry, Patchistory is probably the game of their dreams, provided that tapestries are anything like patchwork quilts.

Allow me to put it another way: Patchistory is a game about quilting. Also history. Together for the first time.

I trust everything is clear now.

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Drafting Deep Space Nine

Empok Nor?

Among the Stars seems to have been designed to push nearly every one of my nerd buttons. An alliance of aliens working together? Egalitarian Future Button! Assembling a unique space station? Deep Space Nine Button! Card drafting? Drafting Button! Designed by a dude whose name is so unpronounceable to my thick English tongue that it might as well belong to an alien? Alien Board Game Designers Button!

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Zombie Fifteen Apostrophe

I suspect they're fifteen years old. Just look at that appalling lack of fashion!

Real-time games hold a special place in my heart, mostly because many of my best gaming memories revolve around the absolutely bonkers Space Alert. My family played through the campaign mode from the expansion, and even bought my dad a captain’s shirt one Christmas. “Listen up,” he’d say at the beginning of each run. “Emilie, you’re taking care of energy? Son, you’re going right? Somerset, left? Who’s going to jiggle the computer mouse? Remember to say if you need cards.” Then we’d press play on the CD player and proceed to panic like a chicken with its head, legs, and wings chopped off and rearranged at random.

Suffice it to say, Zombie 15′, which pits a pack of fifteen-year-old kids against a zombie horde, with only fifteen minutes to escape each of its fifteen scenarios, sounded exactly like my sort of thing.

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Get Ready to Make an Impulse Purchase

I thought it was a game about a dance club.

“Impulse” doesn’t feel like a very good title for Impulse, the newest game by Carl Chudyk, whose previous games I didn’t play but probably will now that I’ve played Impulse. While I realize they’re going for the “driving force” definition, especially since the game’s impulse track is what enables all of your potential actions, “Impulse” makes it sound like a game about making snap decisions. And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“So if you’re such a title genius,” you’re probably thinking, “what’s your title?” Well, yeah, I’ve got one. It’s perfect.

Space Deliberation.

Boom.

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Beep. Beep. BEEPBEEPBEEP!

"That looks a lot like an egg from Aliens," said one of my friends. Yup.

There are a few reasons why I’m not the ideal person to review Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game. For one thing, I didn’t play Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game (because I don’t really read comics), so I can’t talk about how this version compares. Second, I don’t like most deck-building games all that much. And third… Alien³ is totally the best Alien movie, right after the utter perfection that is Alien: Resurrection.

Okay, go ahead and scrub that last sentence from your memory.

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I Survived Quartermaster General

WHAT A QUARTERMASTER GENERAL DOES NOT DO: look at explosions.

Behold him, standing there, bewildered and exhausted, wild eyes casting about. He whispers something, though you cannot hear until you lean in close. Closer, he beckons. Then, from between cracked lips: I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

What could it mean? Possibly that this poor dude had to spend a weekend playing Quartermaster General.

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City of Turnips & Engines

GREAT TURNIP GIANT BOTH EXPERT *AND* ENGINE

Today, you are privileged — privileged — to receive a guest review from Somerset, who is possibly Space-Biff!’s most dedicated reader. Today, she’s going to tell us about an expansion to one of her favorite board games, City of Iron, which we reviewed over a whole dang year ago, which makes this sort of a special event.

Always been convinced that srikas are the sure way to victory, but never quite been able to prove it in gameplay? Well, here’s your chance to show everyone your srika strategy is now totally viable. Experts and Engines, an expansion for Ryan Laukat’s City of Iron, spices up the game with four new elements. Each nation becomes more diverse, steambots arrive on the scene, Kraxian Pirates make their debut, and new buildings and towns are up for grabs. Take a look after the jump.

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Kemble Was Actually Just Some Dude

Not only was Kemble just some lucky dude who stumbled across the landmark, but his "cascade" wasn't even particularly large or impressive.

Every now and then, a board game comes along with an idea that makes me think, “Why didn’t someone else come up with that sooner?” In the case of The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, the topic is classic arcade shmups. Don’t know what a shmup is? It’s a—

Hold on. This is the internet. Go look it up yourself, slacks.

What I will tell you about is The Battle at Kemble’s Cascade, which mostly — mostly — captures the spirit of those arcade classics.

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