Category Archives: Game Diary

Pandemic: Spoiled Legacy

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. And honestly, it's getting a little tiresome.

What a journey we have undertaken together. A full year’s worth of uncertainty, close calls, and other things I might have been able to talk about if this weren’t the pre-spoiler-warning header. Whatever else happens today, we’ll always have the adventures we lived in parts one, two, and three. Beyond that? Who knows.


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Pandemic: Spoiled Friendships

"I've found the source of the infection... in Peterson's lava lamp." DUN DUN DUUUUUN

According to the Surgeon General, spoilers can be bad for you, and may cause mood swings, irrationality, sleepless nights, and “getting bent out of shape.” Soon after issuing this warning, the Surgeon General fired her undersecretary for putting such a frivolous motion across her desk. Personally, we think the Surgeon General can stuff it, so what follows is part three of our series to demystify everything about Pandemic Legacy. Our only warning is to take care that you’re caught up on part one and part two before reading further!


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Pandemic: Spoiled Meat

I can guarantee the alt-texts will be spoiler free. And if you believe that, I've got an experimental vaccine to sell you.

Today we’re continuing the adventures of everybody’s favorite gang of disease-fighting, globe-trotting pathologists, a journey that began when [redacted]. You can read all about it over here. In either case, what follows after the jump CONTAINS SO MANY SPOILERS THAT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE SYMPTOMS SIMILAR TO EBOLA IF YOU READ THEM UNPREPARED. IF I’VE WARNED YOU ONCE, I’VE WARNED YOU A HUNDRED TIMES. OPENING THIS CONTAINER CARRIES THE RISK OF PLOT-POINT INFECTION. BE CAUTIOUS, BE AWARE, BE SAFE.

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Space-Biff! Was Recently Devastated

The box art is so colorful, the Space-Biff! representative blends right in.

Back in the day, our game group used to hold these little house tournaments all the time. Mostly Summoner Wars, though we could be counted on to make a lively competition out of nearly anything, from Omen: A Reign of War to The Duke. If we could play more than one match at a time, sharing table space and laughing about each other’s flubs, we were set.

Then, for whatever reason, we stopped playing like that.

Over the next year we occasionally discussed giving it another shot. Especially if we could hold a tournament using BattleCON: Devastation of Indines, because a colorful fighting game full of thirty asymmetrical characters, dead simple rules, and outguess-your-opponent gameplay seemed like the perfect sort of thing for a winner-takes-all brawl. Even so, our plans never coalesced into an actual event.

Well. A few weeks back, entirely unexpectedly, we were treated to a perfect situation: exactly eight players, all of whom arrived exactly at 8, nobody who reported needing to get to bed early, and every single one of them ready and willing to play.

It was on.

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Risk Legacy: Envelopes

I'm a little worried that this is too spoilery for a header image, but... eh, I'm not used to having to worry about spoilers in board games. Makes my head hurt.

Here’s the drill: as started in the previous installment, my gang of puckish rogues has been playing through Risk Legacy and surviving to tell the tale. However, we’re telling everything, and Risk Legacy is one of the few board games in existence that actually suffers when spoiled — so take heed, because today we’re looking at how the game changed when we triggered the opening of a pair of the envelopes taped to the inside of the box, and once you know what’s inside, there’s no going back.

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Risk Legacy: Earth #00016592

Alternate Title I'm Glad I Didn't Use: "Risk Megacy." Because it's a mega-series, see?

People who like Risk fall into one of three categories:

(A) Those who flavor their poison with a heaping dose of nostalgia. It’s okay, I’ve done it too.
(B) Those who are wrong and/or new to the world of board games.
(C) Those who like Risk Legacy.

Risk Legacy has been out for a while, and I’ve avoided talking about it because to talk about it is to, well, ruin it. Still, it’s been out for almost two years, and its creator, Rob Daviau, has recently announced SeaFall, a spiritual successor that will have the benefit of being born apart from the series-mishandling clutches of Hasbro. Which is to say, it now feels like time. Time to talk about Risk Legacy, about why it’s possibly the single most innovative board game to come along these last couple decades.

Though be warned: while this first installment won’t spoil anything important, future accounts will chart my group’s course through Risk Legacy’s fifteen successive battles, and may very well become more illuminating than someone looking to experience Risk Legacy for themselves might like. This is a game best experienced firsthand; this series is for everyone else, who knows they won’t get that chance. You’ve been warned.

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Our Quiet Year: The Index

Looks rather nice all put together, doesn't it?

I recently finished a four-session play of the fantastic story-telling and map-drawing game The Quiet Year from Buried Without Ceremony, easily one of the indie-est board/card game designers I’ve had the pleasure of hearing about these last few years. The Quiet Year also happens to be one of the few boardgames I’ll gladly file under my “Why Games Matter” tag — it’s nothing short of compelling the way it assembles totally unique stories by a process of creative collision. It isn’t always an easy game to play, but it’s definitely a worthwhile one, if only because it will give you a window into your friends’ weird imaginations. I guarantee you’ll be surprised by what they come up with.

“But what is The Quiet Year, really?” you ask. Sorry, but one cannot be told what The Quiet Year is. I mean, you totally can be told what it is, but not here in the introduction. That’s an unreasonable expectation. The only solution is to read on.

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Our Quiet Year: Winter

Winter is no longer coming, fellas. Pack it up.

For such a “quiet year,” our people have endured a whole lot of clamor across the last three seasons. The mounting tensions (and Bazongas!) of spring. The fracturing of our family over the summer. And more recently, the reappearance of our greatest enemy during the autumn. When last we played The Quiet Year from Buried Without Ceremony, the few remaining members of our community had decided to migrate south for the winter, both to make a new home in a bunker we’d discovered and to hide from the pitiless leeching of The Jackals.

There are a lot of questions on everyone’s minds. Will our enemy overlook us? Will Short Red prove a better leader than his father? What happened to our brothers and sisters who fled Grandfather Tall Red’s reign of terror? The only thing that’s absolutely certain is that, at some point during the coming harsh months, the Frost Shepherds will appear and spell the end of our family as we know it.

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Our Quiet Year: Autumn

You have no idea how much time we spent debating the merits of calling this "Our Quiet Year: Autumn" or "Our Quiet Year: Fall" for the symbolic aspect. I hate it when people call autumn "fall," hence the resultant title.

Spring. Summer. Twenty-four weeks have passed in our telling of The Quiet Year, a story-weaving and map-drawing game from Buried Without Ceremony, and our year has been anything but quiet. Our community has shattered into far-flung splinters, tiny communities that were once part of a greater family, all of them grieving past losses, all of them seeking redress — well, except for the goatherds. They just watch their goats get it on all day. But everyone other than them is having a pretty rough time.

And this season looks like it might prove to be the roughest time of all. There’s a reason the folks of the Former World used to call it “The Fall,” after all.

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Our Quiet Year: Summer

Fun Space-Biff! Fact: This is the fifth article in a row to have a colon in its title. Now you know!

Welcome to part two of our series about The Quiet Year, a storytelling and map-drawing game from one-man outfit Buried Without Ceremony! After the upheaval and social tensions that marked the end of spring and caused our community to worry that perhaps our new home wasn’t quite the fresh start we were hoping for, the summer season has fallen across the landscape like a warm blanket, and our small family of nomads is looking forward to mending divisions, securing borders, and working towards a brighter future — or a quiet year, if you prefer.

If you haven’t already, it would be a good idea to read about what happened to our family back in spring before continuing on with this season, because there’s far too much to relate to spend time catching up.

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