This week Millie has played Xcom the board game!
Check out the Unboxing on the YouTube channel http://youtu.be/deJ6Aiq5svI
Why not subscribe while you’re there? (It’s ok you don’t have to!)
She also talks about Exploding Kittens (last time promise) and talks a little about the Ghostbusters casting, and also the Fantastic Four teaser.
The Whose Turn is it any way Episode Millie mentions is
why not have a poke about and check out some of their other podcasts too, a wild Millie may appear.
Stick with us right to the end, we have something awesome to tell you about Preston Comic Con!!
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Xcom the game.
It hit shelves in UK game store this week. I got my hands on a copy from my FLGS (that’s Harlequins in Preston BTW) raced home and then had to do mundane stuff like feed the minions, and other totally unglamourous things that an evil overlord has to do.
But eventually I got to open the box and dive in. There’s a video up on the YouTube, www.youtube.com/user/GeekOnRadio The quality of the components and the stuff in the box is good, its made by Fantasy Flight Games, it’s the sort of quality you’d expect from them, it’s nothing AMAZING, but it’s not rubbish. It’s got the FFG generic box insert to keep it all from flapping about, it comes with a few little bags to keep it all sorted. It’s good standard.
Biggest thing is there aren’t any rules in the box, there’s this little four page book that tells you the basic premise, tells you what all the bits are and how the starting setup is, but everything else is in the app. To learn how to play, you run the app on Tutorial.
My only play through so far is a 2 player game, following the tutorial, and I was the one in charge of the app. It wasn’t optimal. For your tutorial play I’d really suggest hanging on for 4 players, it’s a hectic game, and as there’s no physical rules to read beforehand you’re really glued to the app & the info it spews out.
There were moments where we got confused, can we look at the cards we’ve got, can are the secret, face down? What about the cash, should I go big, does the budget roll over? And because it’s just spitting out the info one chunk at a time, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s very in with the whole “computer game” walk through the first level, but it felt stifling and clunky for a board game. Having moaned about it, it’s actually quite simple, there are only a few concepts to grasp, and the app leads you through it all.
There’s two parts to each round, a real time section. Where whoever is in charge of the app is going to be shouting things like “CRISIS” , “Research ONE!” and “FIVE SECONDS!”!” while the others players are going to be trying to respond, see if they’ve got assets they can use to help in this phase, the player in charge of the budget is going to be cringing at the amount of credits they’re spending, and generally chaos.
Then the resolution section of the round, where you catch your breath, roll the dice (quite a few times) and push your luck, to see what continents are panicked, if the base is destroyed and what research the scientist actually drum up, if your troops are successful, and if all the UFO are destroyed. There’s some housekeeping. The app asks what the panic levels are, how many UFOs are in orbit, did you complete a mission this round, and do you still have a base?
Then you catch your breath, reset things, and dive in for the next Real Time section… If there were any UFOs left in orbit, then this part gets scrambled, you might not get your budget until the last part, you could have to pick your troops before you know the mission, and a whole load of frustration things, but it’s intense, it’s chaotic. It’s war against aliens.
If you win, you get a nice little victory screen, and a warm glow, as you look around your half destroyed base with 2 troops still standing, and a whole bunch of weird alien tech, that your crazy scientists have made up. And you need a nice cup of tea and a biscuit too. We really did feel like we’d just save the word, it was a tiny bit stressful, but fun. I’m looking forwards to getting a full 4 player game.
I kind of posted on Facebook that I could have a whole podcast where I rant about Exploding Kittens. I should be clear, it’s amazing at what the Oatmeal & guys have done. They’ve raised over 4 million Dollars in about 10 days.
#7 MOST-FUNDED CAMPAIGN, EVER.
#2 MOST-FUNDED GAME, EVER.
#1 MOST-FUNDED CARD GAME, EVER.
It’s an amazing testament to the fans of the Oatmeal & the community he’s built up around his work and site. I love the Blerch, as a half arsed runner, (It took me 7 hours to complete the Liverpool Marathon 2014, I’m a total Blerch) the things Matt does, and the memes he creates are completely up this cynical geeks street. But the actual game? The game he’s illustrated? I don’t know.
And that’s the think I think we keep missing, and what people think I’m attacking, Matt Inman didn’t design this game, it’s Shane Small and Elan Lee.
And when you look through the credentials of Small & Lee, I have to wonder why this game just seems lame.
Lee has made games to promote things like the Year Zero for Nine Inch Nails, he’s a games designer, he’s been the Chief Design Officer at Xbox entertainment studios.
And take a quick look at Small, seriously head over to his site sml-design.com and have a look at the work he’s been involved with, beautiful, creative rich stuff.
I have to wonder just how drunk, and how bored they were when they made up the game that would become Exploding Kittens.
The way it’s described to me it’s 96% random drawing of cards, and 4% blind luck, with player elimination. I’m seriously just underwhelmed. It could be so much more.
On episode 13 of Whose Turn is it Anyway, (a podcast I’ve been on, and I’ll link to the pod I’m talking about) they talk about “Is there a game design in everyone?” like the adage “Is there a book in everyone?” Ignacy Trzewizek, designer of some amazing games like Robinson Crusoe and Imperial Settlers, Ignacy says something like, no, not everyone should make board games. Not everyone has a board (or card) game in them, or a good quality game. And I think no matter how creative you are, Exploding Kittens will prove this point.
It’s great that they’ve connected with The Oatmeal, and it’s super that Matt loves and has had some creative input in the game, it’s super that he’s got so much of his fanbase on board, and I’d love The Oatmeal to do a reskin of something like Smash Up! or Gloom or a million other games. But Expolding Kittens, no thanks.
It all gets me a little mad, like seeing game adverts on a Christmas for things like Monopoly, when I know there are a million better games in my local games store. Some of them for a fraction of the price of the stupid game advertised. But enough. If you’ve backed Exploding Kittens, and I’ve upset you, I’m sorry, I honestly hope you love the game, I’ll even play it with you and will be quite happy to eat my words if it turns out to be an amazingly tactical and strategic game. But Sceptical Millie is sceptical.
Ahh more scepticism…
The Fantastic Four Teaser trailer hit the internet this week… and gives about as much info as we’ve all come to expect from trailers that are actually not for the film but for the next trailer.
There are some standard action / sci fi shots, the classic behind shot with alien light shooting into the sky, and some montage of working shots too.
The only think that had me worried was they all look so young! Is it that I’m just getting old, and by default everyone is starting to look young. Jamie Bell, aka Billy Elliot but now playing Ben Grimm is 28. Miles Teller, soon to be known as Mr Fantastic is 27, so is the human torch Michael B jordan and Kate Mara, the invisible woman is 31.
But they all look like they’re 15.Have they had half their lives airbrushed away? How can I take Mr Fantastic seriously if he’s still in nappies?
I’ll reserve judgement until 20th Century Fox give us more to go on.
More info is still needed for the Ghostbusters reboot, but this time I’m tinged with optimism.
A full female line up has been announced. Melissa McCarthy, Kirstin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones. And the release date is set for July 2016.
They’ll be busting ghosts in NYC, and who would suggest they do otherwise, it seems like the spiritual home of the Ghostbusters. (sorry)
The Director Paul Feig has worked with both Wiig and McCarthy in the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids It wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was a hit.
The thing that’s keeping me optimistic, is Starbuck. About 12 years ago if I’d said that, you’d be thinking of the guy from the A Team doing that space show. Now you’re thinking of the kick ass Katie Sackoff in the cooler BSG and shouting SO SAY WE ALL at every opportunity. I was incredibly sceptical about the new Battlestar, super wary of someone ruining what I loved from Childhood. Casting a woman to play Lt Starbuck. OMG NO.
There was so much drama around them casting a woman as Starbuck it was crazy, Sackoff even received a death threat before filming started.
It was genius.
So I’m just going to wait and see about this Ghostbusters, it could be BGS brilliant, it could be Phantom Menace terrible. who knows, we haven’t even had a teaser trailer yet.
Other things to talk about…
Firstly, Geek On Radio has been sent a couple RPGS that will be hitting Kickstarter soon, we’re having a read thought some of the source books, and I’ll fling out some links on Twitter ( At Geek On Radio) if you see something you’d like us to have a bit more of a delve into let us know. I guess we’ll post to Facebook too… I’m not a Facebook lover, sorry.
Last… but by no means least, I said in the bonus Pod that I had something awesome to tell you about Preston Comic Con.
If you didn’t come to Preston Comic Con last year, you missed a cracking event! And if you haven’t listened to the bonus pod, obviously I suggest you do, it’s the Comic Book Panel featuring Carlos Ezquerra John Wagner, Nick Brokenshire and Andy Diggle.
But that was last year! The next Preston COmic Con is Saturday 1st August, and tickets go on sale Sunday 1st Feb.
I’ve got some exclusive guest news for you…
Is it that Andy Diggle is a returning guest? nope,
how about that Anthony Johnston, Jim Alexander or Dave Taylor are going to be joining him? nope that’s old news,
It’s gotta be news about the film and TV guests then,
Colin Baker, nope, almost everyone knows the 6th incarnation of the doctor will be there.
How about Natalie Cox (aka Juno Eclipse) & Sarah Louise Maddison (don’t blink, she’s played weeping angels) will be waiting for you? Nah.
You know what is news… Everyone’s favourite Book Dwarf Ori, will be there!
Well the actor Adam Brown will be. He’s walked the length of middle earth with Bilbo, battled Smaug and now he’s heading to Preston! Well I’m excited. Are you? Tell me (& the guys at Preston Comic Con) on Twitters and the Facebook,
Thanks for listening, if you’ve enjoyed the show, please do subscribe, ect ect
I’m off to play Eclipse all weekend! Let me know what you’re up to, give me a tweet @geekonradio, say hi on the facebook page www.facebook.com/geekonradio or just send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org