And… we’re back from our two-week break! I’d like to once again, thank JJ Sandee and Jonathan Ying for their amazing guest comics. 😀 I actually had time to play some board games the last two weeks! That was refreshing. 😉

Not some board games, quite a lot actually. From the top of my head: Arkham Horror the Card Game, Bargain Quest, Sheriff of Nottingham, Illimat, Hive Pocket, Santorini, Agricola: All Animals Big and Small, London, Eldritch Horror, Escape the Dark Castle, Race for the Galaxy, Century Golem, Small World, Odin’s Ravens and Jaipur!

This week’s comic is about A Fake Artist Goes to New York, a fun little party game by Oink Games. One player is the Question Master and thinks up a theme and the exact subject of the drawing that players have to draw. The Question Master hands out cards to all the players with the subject written on the back, except to the player that will be… the fake artist! He or she gets a card with an X written on the back but has to pretend like they know precisely what they’re contributing to the drawing. The Fake Artist only knows the given theme, like animals, food, etc. All players get to draw to two lines on the picture and then, everybody has to point out who they think was the fake artist that round.

Something completely different: We’ve been seeing a lot of pictures of Root all over social media and we can’t wait to receive our copy! We’ll probably receive it within two or three weeks. Exciting! Even Heinze’s brother in Australia already got his copy and was teasing us with pictures. 😉 … soon!

What’s your favorite party game?

Hi, dear readers! We’re taking a break and thus, like last week, we have a guest comic for you! It’s made by Jonathan Ying, the designer of Bargain Quest! We love Bargain Quest and so do all the people we have played it so far. Bargain Quest second kickstarter has launched today, so if you’re interested in the game, you can get yourself a copy of the game… and the new expansion! Click here to see the Kickstarter project. We’d also like to thank Jonathan for the amazing guest comic. <3 We want our characters to always be dressed like this in the future. 

Having guest comics has been really cool, it has given us time to catch our breath and to see the creativity of others. Next week, we’re back with the ‘normal’ Semi Co-op comics. For now, a few words from Jonathan Ying:

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Hi everyone! This is Jonathan Ying! I’m a game designer and sometimes illustrator. I’m a big fan of Semi Co-op and was super excited to get the chance to do a guest comic! This particular one was a blast to draw and it covers a discussion I often consider regarding immersion and roleplaying in gaming! You can see more of what I do by going to my website jonathanying.com! Happy gaming!

What game do you find the most immersive?

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Whenever I play Clank! in Space! I can’t help myself and I see a crocodile in the pawn for the boss, Eradikus. Personally, I think cyborgs are slightly boring, so I just keep referring to it as a space crocodile. I’m wondering if anybody else has this silhouette-of-a-crocodile issue or is it just me? 😀

Last week we’ve finished Pandemic Legacy Season 2! In our first game of December. Everything went very very smoothly because we accidentally had perfectly prepared the board for this finale. We didn’t know what was going to happen in December, but nonetheless, we made all the right choices! We had a ton of fun with Season 2, we did find it slightly easier than Season 1, but that could have been because we just had an amazing team of player characters and all of them lived to see the end game. We also played at least five practice games before starting the first game of January to get used to the new gameplay. We’ll definitely be playing Season 3 when it comes out, we can’t wait how the story continues or what gameplay they come up with. Anyhow, we really recommend any of the Pandemic Legacy games. If you like Pandemic, this experience is worth your money.

For now, we’re happy that the coming months we finally have more time to just play other games! We have so many games on our shelves that we’d love to play more and try with four players. And after summer is over, we’ll give Charterstone a go.

And before I forget, a fun announcement! The coming two weeks I’ll be taking a break from making comics! Now I understand that’s mostly a nice thing just for me, but there’s also a fun part for you! We take our ‘A new comic on Mondays’ very seriously and are proud of ‘never-missed-a-single-week’ streak in the past three years. We’ve asked around if anybody was interested in doing a guest comic for us and we got responses. And thus the coming two weeks we will present you with two awesome guest comics! One made by a fellow local artist and Netrunner player, Jan Jaap Sandee and one made by Jonathan Ying, the designer of Bargain Quest. We’re really excited and thankful for their support.

Lord Eradikus’ silhouette… space crocodile or cyborg?

What is this comic about? Watch this video:

So, Cool Mini Or Not’s new Kickstarter project Cthulhu: Death May Die has gone fully overboard. It has a ‘miniature’ that’s 57 cm/22″ high. Looking at the number of backers, a lot of people seem to be interested though. I do understand the appeal, the figure looks amazingly detailed, but we’re not that big on miniature games and this is simply too much (for us). We could provide at least 24 people of the game The Mind for the price of getting that Cthulhu here. 😉 And since CMON is taking it a little step further with each new game, what will be next?! How much paint do you need to paint this big boy? So many questions!

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This weekend Heinze played another game of Gaslands and we finally played Odin’s Ravens and Bargain Quest! Odin’s Ravens was gifted to me for my birthday by a friend and it is a simple but clever two-player racing game. As ravens, players try to race around the world, each in the opposite direction to see who returns to Odin first.

Moving is done by playing cards from your hand that matches the image of the next card you need to go to. Players can use their Loki cards to change the route, go forward or force the other player to take a step backward.

It’s a very nice and short game for two players that I think will get even better after playing it a couple of times.

We also got gifted Bargain Quest by the designer Jonathan Ying (thank you so much!). We already loved the art of this game done by Victoria Ying and were even more enthusiastic after the review of Shut Up and Sit Down. We’ve played the ‘simple’ 2-player version yesterday and as far as first impressions go: this is a really fun card drafting game that we would love to try with four players! The next time we’ll play it with just the two of us, we’ll give the advanced rules a go to make it a little bit more challenging.

Tonight’s a big night for us in gaming terms. We’re going to play our maybe final game of Pandemic Legacy Season 2, December! Exciting times! We’ve been doing crazy good the last couple of months and haven’t lost any game since May or June (in-game). It has been a combination of (probably) good luck and an incredible combination of characters. Nonetheless, it has been a blast and we’re ready for the finale. And we’re also looking forward to playing other games after this before we will dedicate to the next campaign game, which will be Charterstone.

What is most ridiculous mini you can think of for CMON’s next project?

Weird Things Humans Search For was kindly provided by Big Potato Games for free. We thank them for giving us this game which led to this comic! For more information on how we deal with gifted games, please see our FAQ!

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At the UK Games Expo, we were given a copy of Weird Things Humans Search For. We don’t play many party games, but playing the demo was really fun. Since then we’ve played it with four players, which was nice but next time we want to play it with a large group of people in teams and play it pub-quiz like. We believe it could be even more fun if people can discuss possible answers.

The idea of the game is very simple. Players are given the first half of the most (weird) popular searches on the internet and have to guess what people actually search for, the higher their guess is on the list, the more points you score. One thing we learned from playing the game: Humans are indeed very weird.

We still have a bunch of unplayed games we need to play (soon!). Seals of Chtulhu, Odin’s Ravens, Spoils of War, Zombology and the Telly Times expansion for The Networks. I can’t wait for our holiday to begin so we have time to play all of the amazing games.

What other searches would start with ‘What board game…’?

Fog of Love was kindly provided by Hush Hush Projects for free. We thank them for giving us this game which led to this comic! For more information on how we deal with gifted games, please see our FAQ!

Fog of Love, a game people either seem to love or hate and many people discourage playing it with your spouse. We really enjoy playing this game together and we really don’t mind making our character’s lives a little miserable or face them with some sensitive subjects and situations.

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Because players can play three ‘levels’ of scenes from the sweet, serious and drama deck, there can be quite a contrast between what happens. Like in the comic above, one moment you can be having a dramatic scene at an airport and the next… a silly conversation about whom to have a dinner date with. It’s necessary to keep everything light, it is a game after all, but it can feel slightly silly sometimes. 🙂

In contrast to this pastel colored romantic comedy game, Heinze played Gaslands this weekend with a group of friends. Gaslands is a tabletop war-game with cars in a post-apocalyptic wasteland! They started the day by modding their matchbox cars for three hours and then started a game with 12 cars in total… which is not a particularly brilliant idea if you’re playing the game for the first time. I believe the game took them about four hours. But they were raving about it and already discussing tactics and car-modifications for next time, so there’s definitely going to be a next time. 😉

For the modding of the matchbox cars, they used a lot of parts of the tabletop game Mechwarrior. We still had a lot of miniatures laying around here which we haven’t touched in over ten years, so this seemed like a pretty nice use for them.

Do romance and board games go together?

It actually was my birthday last Friday! I’ve now joined the cool 30’s gang. 😉

Whenever we go to birthday parties of our (gaming group) friends, there is often something a lot of the gifts have in common: the wrapping paper! Our comic and gaming store Comicasa has had this wrapping paper for as long as I can remember now. At one point we even gift-wrapped an already gift wrapped gift with a different wrapping paper just to make a friend think we didn’t get him a board game or comic-related gift. This wrapping paper deserved to get its own comic. I’m not sure if it is common in other countries that something you buy can be gift wrapped, but here in the Netherlands, it’s a service provided by most stores.

In other really cool news, the amazing Musical Live Show of No Pun Included we were part of is now online! Elaine and Efka did an amazing job and you should totally check out the wonderful performance of Elaine, singing these funny songs about board games:

Does your local game store have a ‘signature’ wrapping paper?

At the UK Games Expo, we discovered we were one of the few who had not played the game The Mind yet! We were looked at in disbelieve and we really needed to play it according to multiple people. Vic brought a copy of the game along with him and together with Sam we finally played The Mind. We only just met them both and it turned out that Vic and Sam are incredible The Mind players. We won the first game we ever played, which apparently is not a very common thing. 😉

It’s all about subtle nonverbal communication. Each player is dealt a hand of cards with numbers ranging from zero to one hundred. Players cannot speak to each other and need to lay down cards on the table one by one, trying to lay them down in chronological order from low to high! But you don’t know what cards other players have in their hands. It could be that you have a 7, which is a low-value card, but does somebody else have an even lower card that? Do you need to put it down on the table immediately or will you slide it to the center of the table slowly, giving other players a chance to put a card on the table first? The game starts off relatively easy with players having only a few cards in their hands and it slowly progresses each level with players having more cards in their hands.

There is not much to share about our board gaming life right now, because it’s been on hold due to work-related projects on my side and Heinze’s master thesis on the other. We will be playing Gloomhaven again tonight after three weeks, that’s a start! … we’re going to play so many games this summer to make up for June. 😛

What’s your favorite nonverbal communication game?

Ok, this is probably the ‘biggest’ Semi Co-op comic I’ve ever made (and please don’t get used to it, haha) but I just NEEDED to include a map of the island.

During the UK Games Expo, we played a Crystal Heart role playing session, lead by Eran from the webcomic Up To Four Players! We’ve mentioned it last week in the blog post, but we wanted to give this awesome experience some extra love. I could just turn the whole crazy fun session into a comic book, but since I’m not going to, I’m going to leave it at this little snippet for you to enjoy. And if you like it, you should really go and check out Up To Four Players’ their Crystal Heart comic on www.uptofourplayers.com to learn about from their Crystal Heart setting using the Savage Worlds system.

We’ve played this session together with the fantastic people of Behind the Box and Chris and Lindsey have also shared their thoughts on the Crystal Heart session in their UK Games Expo Overview video. For me, this probably also was the highlight of the weekend. Eran is a brilliant GM and I would love to join another session one day. And Chris, Lindsey and Mike were fantastic players, it was lovely meeting you and making this awesome gumbo with you all. 😉

Switching from fantasy to sci-fi, we were baffled to hear that Fantasy Flight Games have announced that they’re pulling the plug from Netrunner! Even though we aren’t really active players anymore, we’re always up to date on the game and events due to the amazing active Netrunner community in our city. Hopefully, it’s not really the end, the timing of it all seems just wrong.

It’s almost time for Gen Con! Or, in our case: Gen Can’t because we’re not going to be there. Nonetheless, we’d like to wish everyone that is going a very good time!

What was your most unfortunate event during an RPG session?

We are utterly spent, but very content. THE UK GAMES EXPO IS OVER! We had a wonderful time and were super impressed with the atmosphere and everybody demoing games and running events. The main two halls were big enough to never be bored for three days, plus it had a lovely open gaming area, but if you felt like a change of scenery the nearby Hilton was like a tiny convention on its own.

We’ve played a lot of games, ranging from unpublished prototypes to games that have been out for a while. Of the unreleased games, we really liked Holding On: The Troubles Life of Billy Kerr by Hub games, Ruthless by AlleyCat games and Heroes of Tenefyr by Broken Mill games, which all will have Kickstarters or be released this year so keep an eye out. We’ve also played The Captain Is Dead, which is a fun co-op Star Trek parody, and Rising 5, which is a cool co-op game in which you’re trying to solve a Mastermind-like puzzle. We also bought and were gifted some games by publishers so the coming weeks will, deadlines allowing, be filled with trying them all and see if they’ll be nice comic material. 🤓

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But enough about games, the best part is meeting new people and friends at cons. Last year at Essen was our first con experience which led to a lot of new friends so the UKGE was like a great big reunion! We hung around with Actualol a lot and had a great time playing and chatting with readers, content creators and the Netrunner crew out of Enschede who had come out in force to the UK!

Next, to these general short encounters, we also did two big things with awesome people. We took part in an epic Crystal Heart roleplaying session DM’ed by Eran of UptoFourPlayers about a party of Syn agents, played by Behind The Box, Mike and us, trying to win in a Gumbo cooking contest! It has probably been 10 years since we played a proper pen and paper RPG, but everybody had a great time and Eran always made sure you would know what to do and what the options were. Aviv joined us near the end and quickly drew this amaaaazing sketch of the final battle.

No Pun Included invited us to join there musical panel show which was a ton of fun too! Tom Vasel, Jon who Gets Games and Rachel squared of against Rahdo, Actualol and Heinze to see who would be the best at guessing which games were the subject of ten songs written by Elaine of No Pun Included. We had a great time and as far as we heard everybody had and hopefully the video will be online soon (don’t worry, we’ll let you know) so you can see Rachel’s epic winning move!

Have you ever been to a convention? If so, what is your best memory?
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