This one is an older fact but the whole story is pretty interesting. This case was even instrumental in the founding of the EFF, which fights for the digital rights of civilians all over the world. We also let ourselves be inspired by John Kovalic’s style because for us Steve Jackson Games is synonymous with his art (even though they hadn’t put out Munchkin at the time over the raid).

It’s our “Summer break”! No worries, we still post updates every Monday but we like to experiment with the content a little! This year we’ve decided to team up with Peer Sylvester (game designer of The King is Dead, Village Green, and The Lost Expedition) because he runs the Twitter account Board Game Facts where he shares facts about board games and the industry. Alas, since Twitter is in shambles and due to changes at Tweetdeck, Peer has decided to pull the plug. We want to highlight his cool research by putting some interesting facts in the spotlight instead of normal comics this month. 

Which publisher’s offices would you raid to read all their secrets?

This is the most popular board game fact ever on the Board Games Facts account and with good reason. It’s actually such a cool story we mailed the publisher to get some additional facts and to check if it is actually true. Many thanks to MIPL for responding to our e-mail to confirm the story and give us some additional details! ❤️

It’s our “Summer break”! No worries, we still post updates every Monday but we like to experiment with the content a little! This year we’ve decided to team up with Peer Sylvester (game designer of The King is Dead, Village Green, and The Lost Expedition) because he runs the Twitter account Board Game Facts where he shares facts about board games and the industry. Alas, since Twitter is in shambles and due to changes at Tweetdeck, Peer has decided to pull the plug. We want to highlight his cool research by putting some interesting facts in the spotlight instead of normal comics this month. 

What is your favorite bird (in wingspan)?


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Catan has sold over 40 million copies, which is more than Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club! Honestly, we played it both a lot as kids, so we’re not too excited about playing more Catan but we have to make sure we stop ourselves before we comment on that when people say they enjoy Catan. Why close a door on a potential new gaming friend when we could keep our personal opinion about a game we just played a bit too much in our youth for ourselves? (We will never miss an opportunity to show our dislike of the Catan card game though ;))

This week, we played the private investigator co-op mode of Cosmoctopus, which is a nice twist on the base game. Our opinion of Cosmoctopus is that it isn’t a ground-breaking design but it’s a fun and cozy mish-mash of other games that even more casual gamers can enjoy. The pink octopus and the wonderful art certainly will attract a lot of people, so maybe it’s the perfect game for you to help some Catan players to try some other games. 😉

We also tried two other Buttonshy Games and played some more Circle the Wagons.
Skulls of Sedlec is a fun set collection game in which you place your card in a pyramid shape to score points. It hasn’t got as many hard decisions packed in eighteen cards as Circle the Wagons but its novel drafting mechanic that allows you to ‘dig’ for cards and short playing time means it has earned its spot in our hiking deckbox! We also tried Liberation which is a thirty-minute mini-version of Star Wars Rebellion and it made a strong first impression. On the other hand, it’s the sort of game that requires a bit of card knowledge and maybe even a meta between the players to really see if it’s good, so we’ll let you know after some more plays.

I also played a game of 1830 this weekend. While I have played it two or three times before on, this was the first time I played it in real life. While we had a great game with loads of company dumping and track shenanigans, it is quite a long game so in the future I think I’ll stick to shorter variants like 18Chesapeake or 1889 as I feel they give a very similar experience in about half the time.

We haven’t gotten any real gaming plans for this week except for a Heat championship this weekend. We always wanted to do a Grand Tour for Flamme Rouge using the companion app, so this is something we have been looking forward to for quite some time.

What’s a game that gets new people excited about board games?


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(This comic was based on a meme of the movie Pacific Rim)

When we first saw Gloomhaven: Buttons & Bugs we weren’t sure if we were looking at a very late April Fool’s joke because Gloomhaven in the size of a pack of cards seemed impossible. But after we saw Nikki Valens was co-designing it we got very excited because Nikki has designed a lot of great games. It’s a perfect announcement during the Gloomhaven Grand Festival as it’s small enough that it breaches the “ohh, it’s so cute”-threshold while also being a no-brainer add-on to everyone that is already backing it for the RPG, miniatures or other Gloomhaven-related goodies.

It’s almost summer, which means my job as a teacher is busier than usual, which combined with our hiking practice means that gaming time is a little more limited. This week we only played three games! We played the MIND MGMT which was a resounding victory for the rogue agents after they very quickly sniffed out the route of the recruiter. It’s a shame we don’t get to play this more as we would really like to explore those Shift cards but so far we’ve only played the base game.

We also played a round of Block Party which is Big Potato’s twist on Lego Creationary but instead of Legos, you use the classic euro game-sized wooden blocks. I love how Big Potato games are party games you can explain in two minutes but the presentation and the sheer reaction at the table are off the charts. I think that more designers and publishers should study them to see how they can incorporate some of the Big Potato joy into their games.

Lastly, we closed off the weekend with Onitama, which after all these years is still an abstract delight, it’s also a game in which Rachel will keep complaining she doesn’t know what she is doing until suddenly she wins. I’m starting to suspect this is actually a part of her strategy, so maybe I should start playing with earplugs to prevent her sneaky ways of securing her victory.

After a slow week of gaming, this week we’ll overcompensate with loads many games. Tonight, we’re having a six-player game night, so we secretly hoping for a big game of Heat, tomorrow we’re continuing our Descent campaign and Saturday I’m playing my fourth game of War Room, which we’ll still probably won’t get to finish within the twelve hours we have reserved for it. 😛

Favorite game in a tiny box?


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Since we started logging what games we played in late 2014, we have played 612 different games. This means we have seen and played a lot, and a game really needs an exciting hook or combination of mechanism to get us excited about it. This also means that sometimes one of us gets interested in a game that no one else seems to want to play, and these will go onto a mental todo-list hoping that one day the stars will align and we’ll get the chance to play them.

This year has been exceptional for crossing off some games of our bucket list. We got to play New Angeles, Millenium Blades, Mice & Mystics, Manits Falls, Mind MGMT, Oath and this weekend we’re playing the impressive table hog that is Uboot if we manage to learn its fifty-page rulebook in time. 😉

Roleplaying games and miniature games are a bit harder for us. While we’d love to try Forbidden Psalm or Tartarus Gate our friends aren’t generally up for them, plus running such a game takes quite a bit more time learning and prepping the session than when everything is already neatly in the box as with a normal board game. So sometimes you have to grease the wheels a bit with some chores or get a bit too excited when a friend gives off even the slightest inkling of interest in one of these games. Reunification is a real RPG btw, but getting people interested in writing a letter as a fictional character is definitely even harder to get people excited about, although maybe if we coax them with some Alice is Missing, who knows…

This week we did get to play loads of games, with three games of Heat, which blends Formula D and Flamme Rouge into a fast and fun racing game. The game offers some additional modules which so far seem pretty straightforward rules-wise while adding so cool depth. The only two modules we haven’t played are the upgrade deck and the season mode but we’re already gathering a fun group for that. We also continued our Artisans of Splendent Vale campaign which after a somewhat strange and filler episode-like scenario picked up very strong in this scenario. The game still has its highs and lows but if you want to see a creative team taking changes to push the choose-your-own-adventure and dungeon crawling into new directions, this is the one to look at and study.

This week we haven’t got any gaming plans except the aforementioned Uboot session on Saturday and Lucky Duck was kind enough to send us a copy of Cosmoctopus, so that will definitely hit the table as well.

What is the strangest game you want to play?


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Taking an early lead in a board game, I know it’s not a good idea but I will do it every game. Even when there is no way an opponent can directly influence my situation I will pull off some sort of fun combo that will convince others into trying harder while I’m just enjoying a nice early lead! I didn’t even know it was so obvious this is my constant pitfall until Rachel came up with this comic and she said “You know, you are the character in this comic”.

This week we didn’t play a lot of games together because I went to Bristol for some family business but in Bristol, I met up with our friend Russel who is better known on the internet as For Chits & Giggles. We met in the new location of Chance & Counters board game café where Russel is responsible for buying the games and running their social media. We talked about what we’d been up to and played some games and ended up having such a good time I almost missed my bus! We played Town 66, Paris: La Cité de la Lumière, and Village Rails which I lost after taking an early lead… All the games are great two players that hold a lot more depth than it small boxes make you believe. I think Paris: La Cité de la Lumière was my favorite and I might need to hunt down a copy.

I also got to finish my game of Voyages while taking the train to the airport. While my opinion stands that the first map is pretty reminiscent of Guild of Merchant Explorers (thanks Eres, for pointing out the right name!), I didn’t realize the different maps all come with different rules! (just like Guild of Merchant Explorers…) We just started the second map, so we’ll see how much it switches up the game. Speaking of playing games while traveling, Rachel and I played quite a bit of the new Paperback app this month while sitting on different trains and it’s a great implementation of the classic word/deck builder. We can highly recommend it if you are looking for a great board game app.

Lastly, Rachel and I got to play the new Undaunted: Battle of Britain and it is a really fresh change to the infantry-based Undaunted games that have come before. Battle of Britain is about air battles which means that for every action card you play to activate a plane, you automatically have to make a move action. This not only makes the game much more dynamic it also makes winning the initiative so much more important. In the previous Undaunted games it would be annoying to lose a card from your hand after getting hit but now losing the initiative could mean your whole turn falls apart because enemy planes are suddenly in completely different spots on the map. While the first scenario was a simple skirmish, the second scenario is a German bombing run on some British ships, so we’re very keen on seeing how that one plays out.

Tomorrow our copy of Heat will arrive, so that is something to look forward to. We’ll also get to continue our Artisans of Splendentvale campaign on Friday, and we might play some games on Thursday as well! So here’s hoping it will be a nice game-filled week.

What is a Gaming pitfall that you keep stepping into?


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Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans! Looking at last week’s blog post, I didn’t get to play Age of Steam for personal reasons and we didn’t get Heat because our local game shop had a great deal on Descent! 

Our first session of Descent was smooth and fun. It really shows that Fantasy Flight has been making big boxes overflowing with thematic goodness and attractive rules for a long time. We started the app and only skimmed the rules when we came across them and we still had a great experience. The app highlights keywords and rules in the app, which you can quickly look up by clicking the highlighted words, so you never have to doubt if you got the rules for keywords like “prepared” right. 

The app also incorporates enough thematic and mystery elements from the Mansions of Madness app. Trees can be interacted with and while you can deduct what most actions do, there seem to be some sprinkled in to reward the curious player. It’s nice to have some uncertainty when every second counts.

As shown in the comic, we did stumble a bit on what we should call our little adventuring party and strangely we settled on the name “Eleven days” which is a reference to the glorious and short life of Spurt, the Kobold in Critical Role. Let’s see if our group can last a bit longer than that though.

Other than playing Descent, we also played some Beverbende, Tsuro and a round of Shamans. We didn’t get to finish Shamans because it was getting too late but everybody wanted to try it again next time.

I’ve also started playing Voyages over play-by-mail with some friends, a roll-and-write about traveling the seas. I’ve only done three turns but if does feel like it started from the same brainstorming session as Age of Merchant Explorers, which is also a game designed by Matthew Dunstan. It’s not the most unique roll-and-write design ever but for just four pounds, you can enjoy sailing the seas and have your heroic sailors beat the Dread while discovering islands and selling goods.

What would you name your party?


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Sometimes you see an initiative you want to support, so you try to write a comic about it and end up with a joke not mentioning the actual thing…

So we would like to offer a formal apology to the Green Games Guide! We really enjoyed reading the guide and the inclusion of practical examples of publishers taking steps helped us as consumers see what to keep an eye out for when trying to be a little more environmentally conscious during our cardboard and plastic-filled playtimes. Just making board games more environmentally friendly won’t save the planet but we’re convinced we all have to critically examine everything in our life and make some drastic changes, to keep our planet habitable.

We’ll never say we’re the most conscious environmental gamers but we have been turned off by several games in the past that looked interesting but seemed very wasteful in its product design. Give us a game filled with well-designed standees or meeples and we’ll get way more excited about it than offering us heaps of plastic that will only appear on the table once or twice. We’ve also cut down on buying new games, although that’s also because we are in the very rare and fortunate position that publishers send us games.

This week, life decided to throw us quite a bit of curve balls our way, so we only played three games, which all happen to be older classics. Firstly, we revisited Seasons, It’s still a wonderful dueling wizards card game that was already featured in our fifth-ever comic. Rachel scored over three hundred points, leaving me in the dust which I can blame completely on me discarding the wrong card and Rachel using that card to create a super powerful card drawing engine… So I guess we’ll just have to play a revenge game soon.

Another oldie we played was Flash Point: Fire Rescue, which was featured in our third-ever comic! We played the submarine map, which is always very tricky. Even though we won on easy mode, it was a lot closer than we’d like to admit. We got very lucky because most of the POI we lost to the fire turned out to be empty tokens and we saved the engine room just in time to pull through.

Last, but certainly not least, we played Take 5/6Nimmt which is probably a high point in game design that most game designers can only dream to reach one day. It’s just a joyous frustrating experience and if you haven’t played it go find a copy or try it on BoardGameArena.

This week we’ll be returning to our Artisans of Splendent Vale campaign, which has been an enjoyable experience although we both agree it’s not the best game ever. While it tries to recreate a roleplaying game experience, the characters haven’t connected with everyone, making it a bit strange to ‘roleplay’ characters you don’t have a feel for. It also doesn’t help our group can only play every other month, which makes us doubt if we have the rules correct every time. But the production is beautiful, the setting interesting and it has some very clever design tricks up its sleeves to make the choose-your-own-adventure parts interactive and interesting for a group. So we’ll happily keep exploring the contents of this enormous box.

We’ll also be playing New Angeles! I got to play it once using Tabletop Simulator once during Covid and loved it so much that I ordered a copy the next day. This game is a brutal semi co-op negotiation game set in the Netrunner universe and I can’t wait to see if it’s just as good in real life. We have ‘power suits and ties’ as dress codes to make it more immersive and we’ll also be serving a business lunch, although we still have to figure out what that actually means…

Do you make environmental choices in your gaming?


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Player color preferences, I have them! Honestly, mine is mainly born out of necessity because I am colorblind, and yellow happens to be the easiest to recognize for me in the low light conditions in which a dining table primarily resides. This does cause some “trouble” with some friends who also prefer to play yellow but except for several occasions in which people accidentally move another player’s pieces, it hasn’t led to any conflicts… yet.

Speaking of player conflict we played a lot of new games this week, with several being quite good at making you hate the other players at the table. On Tuesday, we played Shamans, which is a hidden role trick-taking game that surprised us in many ways. We had briefly spotted Shamans at Spiel 2021 but Studio H had several other titles, like Oltréé and Suspects, which we decided looked more interesting at the time. While reading Dan Thurot‘s great article on trick-taking games in Senet #10 (which also happens to include an article by us!) we noticed he spoke quite highly of Shamans, so we decided it was time to take a look. The presentation of Shamans is lovely and mysterious but once you know how it works, it becomes easy to understand and it’s a lot of fun. If you can imagine playing the Crew while having that gleefully tense experience of a game of Werewolves, you know exactly how this is going to play out. People will be shouting they don’t have the right suit to follow, or people are suddenly raking in all sorts of tokens in secret, which might be used against you or maybe just be collected in hopes of getting some extra VPs at the end of the round. It’s great and we’re going to be introducing this to loads more people.

We also, after years of it being praised by Shut Up & Sitdown, played Skull and it instantly clicked with the group and we all loved it. It’s a bluffing game about trying to flip beer coasters, hoping you don’t flip one with a skull. The game looks lovely and the rules are super simple plus the highs and lows at the table are present every time someone starts the bidding to see how many coasters should be flipped. We highly recommend trying this game or getting some beer mats/coasters to make your own copy.

On Saturday a friend and I tried Age of Fantasy: Skrimish, which is a free skirmish miniature game by One Page Rules. One Page Rules has a number of free games that allow you to bring some miniatures to the tables for some quick and simple Warhammeresque battles on your favorite tabletop. We had a good time, and the miniatures and the table looked great, it isn’t the deepest game ever, so as a board gamer that likes tough decisions, you should probably look for something meatier. But if you’re just looking to introduce yourself or some friends to miniature-wargaming, or want something quick while having the mental capacity to talk about and enjoy some snacks, this would fit the bill. The game does offer mission cards and even a campaign mode which would add some more interesting choices in the process, so maybe we’ll try some of those options the next time we want to move some minis across a table.

This week we haven’t planned any games yet but our new store is keeping us busy as well as an upcoming exciting reveal in a rerelease of a game currently on Kickstarter! 😎 And in case you missed it, we published a commissioned comic last Thursday about the new Santorini co-op expansion!

What is your favorite player color?


Setting a date for a game day/night, we’re bad at it! We have several communications going on at all times trying to figure out when to play cool games with cool people. Once a date is proposed though it’s nice to have a quick check with our calendars together, which is something that we forget to actually do than we would like to confess. So this comic is a big sorry to all those friends who are still waiting for us to respond when we should play New Angeles/Galactic Renaissance/three-player Undaunted, Pandemic Legacy Season 0, and Vast: Mysterious Manor!


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This week we were successful in planning some game nights though! We played a rare weekday game of Crisis, our first game of Fall of Magic and six games of Mists Over Carcassone. Crisis is still a wonderful economic worker placement game that can be quite brutal. I’m pretty sure I’ve come in last in all the games of Crisis I played but that is because I somehow always end up with a bread/resort strategy which ends up being too narrow to keep up with scoring in the end. Looking at our scores, we think we’re ready to scale up to hard mode the next time as well, so we got a great reason to play it again soon.

We were a bit nervous about Fall of Magic because we aren’t that great at storytelling games but we had a great time. It’s fascinating that games like this are driven by improvisation and discussing with your fellow players what you want the game to be like instead of its rules. Because the game makes you put your character at a location, it became mostly a story about what our fellowship did in the off-time in our journey. The resulting story was a lot more introspective that your standard fantasy roleplaying game. This gave us a lot of room to explore our own characters and ask questions about the world we are shaping. My character ended up becoming a sort of strange traveling scholar troubadour while Rachel played an 8 feet sandstone golem with a sculpted raven on their shoulder. Our other players played a talking fox and a midwife which was part of a powerful midwife cult that might end up becoming an adversary later on. Now that we have a direction and some fleshed-out characters, we all agreed the next time we wanted to have a bit more interaction among the different characters so we can really form a team to help the Magus get to the end of their journey.

This Saturday, we played six games of Mists over Carcassone, which is a stand-alone co-op version of Carcassonne. It’s super easy if you already know Carcassonne and it’s a really nice family-level game to introduce people to show how much fun co-op games can be.

This week we’re returning to Mice & Mystics and this Saturday I’m playing my third game of War Room, the last games were a blast but we didn’t get to finish our previous two games. This time we made teams in advance and we’re discussing our opening turns and general strategy over Whatsapp, using the TTS mod. So maybe I can tell you next week how we got to finish our game!

Are you planning any cool game nights?
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