We’re less than two weeks from Gen Con and I’m kind of terrified. For the first time I’ll be going as “Stately Play” and not as a member of the BGG army, which means I’m on my own for getting interviews and whatnot. Now, I really want to go to Gen Con to have fun, so interviews and reports are cool and all, but I’m not going to be working 100% of the time. In fact, my whole family is trudging along with me to Indianapolis this year. My two older sons will help me with the whole “work” thing until they get bored and go play in the CGE room, but I’m also going to have to entertain my 7 year-old (the HABA booth should work) and my wife (nothing at Gen Con will work). Anyway, that’s what I’m getting ready for in my gaming life, let’s see what others have in store for the weekend.
Developers have distantly flirted with the idea of a Warhammer 40K grand strategy, but the commitment to rendering a colossal empire management sim in the grimdark future has yet to be fully realised. It would be an interesting undertaking, and while perhaps some conversions and mods have offered glimpses into what might be, we’re yet to see one with the official GW stamp. Along comes Gladius – Relics of War, from Pandora: First Contact devs Proxy Studios and published under the auspices of Slitherine, and while the game has aspirations to the grand strategy genre, it’s best described as a wargame. Or is that Waaaaarrrghgame? Apostates and the pious alike, read on.
iOS, Android • If you’re not aware, there are two [actually three, you dolt -ed.] different Spiel des Jahres awards each year. One for a ‘family’ game that tends to be a little lighter than I prefer, and the other is the Kennerspiel des Jahres which awards more complex titles. Considering that my tastes run in the Vital Lacerda/Martin Wallace/18xx vein, these games tend to still be on the light side for me, but I still try to at least give them a go once or twice. Two years ago the award was won by Isle of Skye and it remains one of the few KSdJ winners that I’ve never played. In fact my only contact with the game came at Gen Con in 2016 when I was working the BGG Game Room and had people returning it to the library. As a rule I would be told two things about the game: it was great and the printing was really, really small and hard to read. Well, now Digidiced and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to bring it to digital and here’s hoping they blew up that text out so even old farts like me can read it.
PC, Xbox, Playstation • Ex-Bioshock devs Uppercut Games have enjoyed a very warm reception to their Arabian-themed swashbuckler City of Brass. No tricks here, it’s magical. If you’re not already playing on PC, Xbone or Playstation, it’s worth rubbing the lamp on. Especially now they’ve unleashed two post-release updates, the latest of which is very tidy.
iOS, Android, PC/Mac/Linux • Digidiced is turning into quite the workhorse. Not only is their port of Isle of Skye currently in beta, but we learned last week that they’re also working on a digital port of the Stefan Feld classic, Castles of Burgundy. Today I was sent a missive of another game Digidiced has in their pocket, the chaotic stock trader, Stockpile. Even more surprising is that it’s already entering beta. Apparently Digidiced has been working on this one for a bit now in secret.
So much for getting this posted on Friday night/Saturday morning. If you weren’t yet convinced I’m nothing but a procrastinating bum, I hope this late posting has changed your opinion for the worse. Best part is, I don’t even have a good excuse. So, enjoy a look back at what our writers played this weekend in what might be the latest scrying ever.
iPad, Android tablets, PC/Mac/Linux • Considering that Handelabra‘s digital port of One Deck Dungeon is so damn good, it only stood to reason that we’d eventually be seeing the stand-alone expansion, Forest of Shadows, make its way into the app. Earlier this morning we got a confirmation of the digital expansion from none other than the designer and head of Asmadi himself, Chris Cieslik. Not only that, but he sent us our first image of the expansion in action. Well, almost in action. It’s the selection screen, but it’s still cool.
Tabletop • It’s only been in the last couple years that I’ve really taken to solo gaming and a lot of that has to do with Victory Point Games. A lot of other games offer solo variants or whatnot, but VPG pumps out games that were made to solo, and I haven’t found one that wasn’t a blast to throw down on the table. My first venture into this brave new world was even more remarkable considering the theme, the third edition of Dawn of the Zeds. This deluxe edition of Zeds was out of print for a bit, but it’s back on Kickstarter now and, if you want a copy, now’s your chance.
Well, today marks the end of the second week of slaving away at a real job which means I was greeted with a paycheck upon arrival at my cube-shaped work area this morning. Now I remember why people do this “work” thing. That said, two weeks of work is a long-ass time when you’ve been out of the game, so next week I’m heading on vacation. This is not a joke, I’ll be heading down to Indiana with my wife’s family for the week. None of us live in Indiana, mind you, but Wisconsin is dull enough to make Indiana seem like a vacation destination. I should have WiFi and whatnot next week, so I’m not sure anyone will notice a change in operations, but I wanted to make sure you all knew just in case I’m not hanging around the forums or if I miss a turn here-and-there in any online games I’m currently in. Oh, and I wanted to make sure you realized that my life involves vacationing in Indiana. Twice. Later this summer we’re all going to Indiana again for a family vacation. That one revolves around Gen Con, though, so I’m not too upset about heading down I-65 again. Anyway, on to everyone’s weekend:
iOS Universal, Android • Released earlier this year, Hostage Negotiator from Peter Kossits and Van Ryder Games, has been a reliable go-to when looking for a solo game that I can’t possibly win. It may have been overshadowed a bit by the more recent release of One Deck Dungeon, but Hostage Negotiator remains a tense, anxiety-inducing experience AND you can play it on your phone. It’s received a lot of new content since release, and recently it received one more bad guy: Gonzalo. Not only is Gonzalo the most difficult baddie to date, he’s also the last expansion planned.