You don’t gently put Scythe down on a table like a baby that must be coddled. Oh no, instead you thump it down with authority, the sizable box dominating the space and demanding that all present pay attention to its beautiful artwork! And then you open the lid revealing decks of cards, wooden pieces, plastic miniatures and a variety of tokens, as well as a substantial board and a bunch of other stuff. It’s a veritable feast of components. Despite its size and somewhat daunting visage, however, Scythe is actually quite easy to learn; every turn you choose one of four quadrants on your player board and perform one, two or none of the actions there. Simple. Well, kind of.
The variety of themes which game designers can find ways of slotting mechanics into never ceases to amaze me. Sagrada is all about using dice to craft stain-glass windows, and while the theme is fairly superficial it does lead to some rather stunning components and a strong presence on the table. But the most important thing of all is that when you open the box you’re greeted with ninety brightly colored dice and a handy-dandy bag to put them in. Ninety dice! What a time to be alive, eh?
I’ll be the first to admit that while I previously found the idea of a mat for boardgames appealing it was never something I considered actually owning for myself because it always felt like a frivolous purchase made by people who have far more disposable income than myself. Now, though, I have to admit that having a mat made gaming a lot more comfortable. So let’s check out the Big Viking Mat, eh?
On my kitchen table two forces face off. On one side are the Daqan, noble human warriors with their block of spearman, fierce cavalry, brave hero and towering golem. On the other side stands the army of Waiqar the Undying, a dark horde made of skeletal warriors and horrific carrior lancers. Yup, it’s another game from FFG intent on making you spend all your cash on new models and expansions rather than on bills and food. Oh, and it comes with FFG’s typically bloody awful cardboard insert, too.
Near the start of this year I reviewed Mindclash’s first game, Trickerion, and utterly adored its clever worker-placement mechanics and its unique theme involving magicians putting on shows for a cheering audience. Now I’ve got my hands on Mindclash’s second game, also a worker-placement title but with a radically different theme. There are some similar ideas underneath the hood, including a desire to take up more table space than any one game should ever need, but Anachrony does plenty to set itself apart. It’s big, thinky and wholly absorbing.
In Yamatai Queen Himiko has tasked you with building the capital of Yamatai, making it the jewel of the archipelago. You’re going to be doing this by creating supply lines of boats carrying various resources, constructing buildings and hiring specialists to help you out. Despite having a mere 8-page rulebook there’s a lot going on in this brightly colored mess, and like so many other games the ultimate goal is simple; be the person with the most prestige points by the end.
The chances are that at some point you’ve been watching a mindless reality TV show or yet another horrible program about a daft subject and come to the conclusion that if you were in charge of the network you could do so much better than this drivel. Well, The Networks seeks to give you that opportunity. You’ll pick from such shows as Found, Breaking Worse and Agents of S.H.A.M.P.O.O., hire amazing stars like Serial Award Winner, Cult Sci-fi Actor and that Comedian Your Parents Like and air ads for potatoes, yachts and other junk to earn piles of cash. It’s all in the name of getting the viewers and proving to everyone that you could, in fact, do it better than those suit-wearing pillocks.