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It’s the return of Death! This is our third comic featuring everybody’s favorite cloaked gamer and we’ll probably see him again as it allows us to tell different types of jokes than when we’re focussing on ourselves.

So December is turning out to be a very busy behind the scenes month for Semi Co-op! We’re publishing an additional sketchie every week for CoolStuffInc, for which we also selected some cool titles for our very own Holiday Gift Guide! We’ve picked some games from recent years that we think will please a lot of different gamers, so if you are looking for some inspiration for what to give to a friend, loved one or really anyone, you should check it out!

We’ve also been busy writing Christmas cards and our secret gift for our Patrons, which is going to be something completely different but just as cool as last year’s tiny dice tower. Also, we’re really close to being able to talk about something big for next year which we’re very much looking forward too!

This also means we haven’t been gaming as much, we’ve played London: Second Edition because we realized after putting it on our Gift Guide that we hadn’t played it in a long time (it’s still good!). We also played Megacity Oceania with four players, which is a lot better than with two players. It’s just such a fun unique blend of dexterity and strategy that we think you really should try it if you have the chance.

While we are not playing as many games right now, we are making some cool gaming plans for the holidays and next year. We’ve gathered a really cool group for the King’s Dilemma and Friday we’ll combine two copies of Getaway driver to play the four-player version, which should be a lot of fun!

Do you have any gaming-related holiday plans?


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Spiel Spiel Spiel Spiel! It seems everybody is busy preparing for Spiel this week and we are no exception. If it is your first time going to Essen, we teamed up with Ella from Ella Loves Board Games to give you some preparation tips! We’re super happy that she said yes to our proposal to make this comic because Ella has traveled to board game conventions all over the world so she is the perfect person to give some advice.

Speaking of Spiel, we’ve got some fun things planned! We’re going to be on the Asmodee live stream on Saturday at 13.30 CET making a game in just 30 minutes with Gil Hova, designer of the Networks and Wordsy! We proposed to have Gil as the designer during our game jam so we’re excited that it all worked out! We’ll also be at the Gaming Rules meetup on Thursday, so if you really want to say hi or snap a selfie it is a lot easier to spot us there instead of trying to find us in one of the eight(!) halls.

If you’re not going to Spiel we have a little surprise in store for you on our social media, so be on the lookout for that. We don’t want to spoil too much but we’re going to switch things up a bit…

With all the preparations for this week, we haven’t played a ton of games. We did however pick up Gloomhaven again which is still a great dungeon puzzler, we’re now 27 plays in and we’re still curious about what we will encounter and unlock. We also played some Codenames, Color Brain: Disney edition and Century: Golem Edition.

Well, we’re off to pack our luggage as lightly as possible to make room for all the games, see you soon!

Do you have a great tip when preparing for a con?

Crisis was kindly provided by LudiCreations 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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Crisis is a worker placement with a twist which makes it unique and super stressful, like any worker placement game you win the game by having the most points but every round has a point objective. If you end the round above the target, you will improve the economy of Axia and if you end below the objective you’ll damage the economy. Because damaging the economy is bad for everyone, players are stimulated to look at each other’s scores and maybe help them out a bit by not taking a specific building that could help them generate a steady stream of victory points. Other times, you just want to see the economy burn while you get the money to build a spaceport. ūüėĀ

If this sounds good and you want to know more, check out the No Pun Included¬†review about the game, they aren’t as positive as we are but they make valid arguments why they have this opinion and show what the game is like in a detailed and entertaining way.

Speaking of worker placement games with a twist, we played Rajas of the Ganges this week and it’s so lovely how close and exciting the ends gets in that game that we’re surprised nobody else has taken that scoring mechanism which doesn’t require any counting up of points at the end of the game. We also played Wingspan two times and not only do we enjoy the game, we just love looking at the birds and learning about them from the fluff text. We’ve seen some rumors about an upcoming expansion at the end of the year and we’re very curious about what that will contain.

Next week is the last comic before the guest artists take over for the whole of August. We’ve seen some of the scripts and it’s going to be so great you never want us to come back. ūüėČ

Which games has the greatest twist on well-known gameplay mechanics?


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Ahhh legacy games, while not as prevalent as a few years ago our ears still perk up every time we hear somebody tell about their experiences. Did they make the same choices we did? What did they do with the cards they had to destroy? Would they play a legacy game again? It’s an experience that really sticks with you and it’s great to have somebody to talk to without having to fear spoiling the campaign.

Right now, we’re playing through a Charterstone campaign but other than that we’ll probably wait until Pandemic Legacy Season 3 comes along until we start a new one. We have played a lot of other things! We played some Dice Throne and The Binding Of Isaac Four Souls which we enjoyed even if it’s best described as “better Munchkin”. We also played a successful game of Century Golem with the nephews (6 and 8)! They picked up the game really well and the only changes we made were the removal of the coins and shortening the game to three golems. They loved the golems but were a tiny bit disappointed they couldn’t make the golems battle each other. ūüėā

We’ve also got a bunch of new games we can’t wait to try. Big Potato games sent us Blockbuster which is sort of a movie-themed version of Monikers, they showed the game to us at the UKGE and we really like the idea of making friends guess movies based on your reenactments or quotes.
Osprey sent us the beautiful new Gasland Refuelled hardcover, which combines the base game rules with all the free online expansions and some small balances on stats. Several friends have been requesting we’d organize a Gaslands day again, so the book is a very welcome additional motivator to mod some Hot Wheels again.
Osprey also sent Undaunted: Normandy and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. Both titles look amazing thanks to the illustrations by Roland MacDonald and Ian O’Toole.¬†We can’t wait until our summer break begins and we get to actually play all these games!

Speaking of Summer, we put a call out on Twitter for guest artists to help us and we got some great responses. We’re contacting artists now, so if you mailed us and we haven’t responded yet, we’ll get in touch with you this week.

What type of legacy player are you?

— A big thank you to 999Games for sending us a copy of Wingspan!


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The title of this comic might be a little farfetched. ūüėČ (Don’t get it? Click here)

So we’ve played Wingspan and think it’s a great engine building game and an amazing production showing how beautiful games can be. It did get us thinking about how its demand and reception surpassed every expectation, even from industry people. While this leads to some fun thoughts about shady powers behind the scenes pushing the popularity for certain games, it also got us thinking about paid (p)reviews and content for board games.

The number of people playing board games is growing and so are the number of games, the amount of publishers and people creating content about board gaming. Because of this, it is hard as a publisher to get your games noticed and some content creators offer paid previews to facilitate this demand for attention. While there is nothing wrong with paying people to create media around your product we do think that it is absolutely critical that it is clear when somebody is getting paid to make certain content. There are some examples of people being very non-transparent about which content of their content is paid for by publishers which, we think, in the long run, could damage board gaming as a whole.

As content creators that offer paid content ourselves, we have many discussions among ourselves how we should communicate paid content and luckily in the Netherlands, there is a social code put together by the RCC (Dutch organ for advertisement) and content creators how you should handle with these types of situations. We hope we are transparent when we have received games, when a comic is sponsored and what our deal with CoolStuffInc for additional comics entails. If you have any questions that are not covered by our FAQ, please let us know in the comments or message us when you feel privacy is needed.

To be clear, we do not accuse¬†Stonemaier games of doing shady things,¬†we hold Jamey Stegmaier in the highest regard and his blog is a treasure trove of information that is helping board gaming forward. We’re also not going to point fingers at creators saying they’re doing things wrong, we specifically drew ourselves in this comic taking bribe money to prevent accidentally making it look like somebody else. We do want to make sure people know that not every positive post, video or picture about a game is as spontaneous as you think it is and we hope that if you are a creator and are creating paid content you do everything possible to be upfront about it.

Speaking of paid content, time for some promotion!

In a little over two weeks, we’ll be at the UK Games Expo and we’re getting hyped about it. This year we want to experiment with selling signed prints of comics at cons! We’ve been giving away signed prints as prizes and people seem to be really enjoying them and others have asked if they could buy one, which is a great idea. For ¬£10 you can have a print of your favorite comic signed by Rachel and handed by us personally to you at the expo. Because we can’t carry around our whole archive you do have to order your print before the 26th of May using this form. Once we’ve received the order we’ll contact you to decide on a time and place etc. If you don’t want a custom print, we still hope to meet you at the UKGE and talk about games. ūüôā


What board game conspiracy do you think is true?



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We love Root and the fact those silly birds keep overthrowing their government, so we started wondering what would be the silliest thing they’d dethrone a leader for. Thanks to all the expansion news and art Leder Games is putting out, we’ve been playing a lot of Root again and our next game is already planned!

Also, like everyone on the planet, we love Kyle’s art and he’s been doing some live broadcasts on Instagram, we’ve been enjoying and learning from them, so next time Rachel will be able to copy his style even more thoroughly :-P.

In this past week, things have slowed down a bit leaving some time to play some games. We tried Dominant Species which is probably the heaviest and “closest-to-an-actual-war-game” game we’ve played, we did enjoy it but it took almost five hours which make us wonder when we’ll have time to play again. We also played Dragon Castle and it’s a wonderful game which makes it so unfortunate that it already seems to be forgotten under the ongoing tidal wave of new releases.

Speaking of the tidal wave of new releases, AEG has come out in a blogpost to said they will publish fewer games to make sure all of their games are great. We think this is a good decision and we hope this will be a wider trend in the industry, just making a list of game we want to see at UKGE on Tabletop Together made us feel overwhelmed and happy we are going to have fun and meet friends and not deciding on games we should review or make videos about.

Which tiny character flaw would make you decide to dethrone your leader?

Week two of the Semi Co-op summer special! We’re still having an adventure somewhere in Europe so we don’t have a lot to talk about. Maybe we can lighten the burden of waiting for you by learning about some¬†smaller board game content creators that you can binge while you wait for us to return!

First up is Take Your Chits. A Youtube channel that has just started eight¬†weeks ago, but who has already reached more than a thousand subscribers (congrats!). Christian does a light rant/discussion/thought sharing about an aspect of the hobby. It’s funny in a nice cringey way and makes you think about some aspect of your favourite hobby you didn’t think about before. Also the video’s are short which can be nice in a genre that is filled with >15 min videos.

Second is the Rules Girl. Think Watch It Played but much faster¬†using the power of animation and skipping everything but the most important rules. This is perfect for when you will play a game for the first time at a friend but you don’t need to know every edge case of the the rule book.

On Instagram we think @theendsofboardgames is a fun concept, showing only the end states of the games Kevin plays. These pictures seem a little too organised to be actual games states though, our table looks like the game exploded by the time we’re done with them (are we weird?).

Lastly, of course, we want to point you our favourite creators Actualol, Tiny Wooden Pieces and Up to Four Players who we’ve mentioned¬†in the past but have always been amazing in showing support and sharing comics that they liked!

Who is your favorite “unknown” board game content creator?

For some of you it might be time for the summer holiday! We will be leaving shortly which leaves us with a bit of a conundrum what we can create on such short notice. But we’ll surely be bringing some games to pass the time between the beautiful views and being stuck in a tent because of rainy days.

But being on vacation also means time away from the game collection which is a shame! We’ve started with our¬†Near and Far campaign and are having a blast so far! Ryan and his crew have really delivered an immersive world full of super cool things and interesting choices. The game does come with lots of different components which is why we decided to create a laser cut insert with a very swanky character tray.

Speaking of people doing cool things for board games, this week there are three worthy causes for your money. First up is the campaign for the second African board gaming convention. Board game designer Kenechukwu Ogbuagu is raising money online so attendance can be free for visitors, promoting board gaming in Nigeria. We think this is a very cool way of organizing and funding a convention, so we wish him the best of luck and the visitors the greatest of times!

On the internet¬†side of our hobby, Shut up and Sit Down and Rodney from Watch It Played are both doing campaigns to continue their work getting people excited about playing games! We’ve featured both in our comics¬†and we’re long time fans, so we hope they keep doing the cool things that they do.

Spreading the joys of board games can also be done by lending games to friends and people (you trust not to bend cards). We currently have three games left by friends and will lend people games they want to try or play some more in their own time. While three games doesn’t quite make a board game kennel we do love taking care of other peoples games :).

How often do you borrow or lend games?
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