Things you might like

A few things while I wait around, not playing games. I’m also waiting to hear about this year’s gaming getaway from the Scottish group, hopefully they’ll have an update soon.

Guardians of The Galaxy Vol 2: I saw it I liked it. Of course it was. The Mary Poppins exchange is the best bit of the whole movie.

Coup Rebellion G54: In a world… where there are so many coup that they need an Alphanumeric coup cataloging system… Look, plain old Coup is maybe the best social game I’ve ever played: endlessly interesting, nearly immediately accessible to beginners and feeding our love of outwitting our friends, it was and still is a superb game that everyone should enjoy. They sell it in Target and Walgreens, FFS. Coup Rebellion G54 is a great way of ekeing a little bit out of regular Coup: instead of the five basic Coup cards, you have a slight variant on each of those. Your Assassin becomes one of the Force cards, maybe a Guerilla or a Mercenary. Your Captain becomes one of the Income cards, a Speculator maybe, or a Farmer. Each is slightly different from the Old-Coup card, changing the game in sometimes dramatic ways , other times serving the same role as their spiritual ancestor, but at greater/lesser risk/reward.

As far as comparisons go, Coup Rebellion G54 isn’t as accessible as Old-Coup – it’s more complicated, has more rules and cards to read and has no reference sheets included with the game, all things that made Coup a hit game for people who don’t play many games. The payoff is the greater variability and the challenge of having to learn how to play against all the possible permutations. For Coup fans, this is a great, great buy.

The Dukes of Al-Hazred: Given the length of time between The Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets albums, you can’t really say they’ve improved by leaps and bounds. It’s a sort of glacial improvement – slow, implacable and powerful. Liking this album so much has made me go back and listen to their other albums and fall in love with The Shadow Out of Tim all over again. (Is ‘Some Things Man Was Not Meant To Know’ their best song and therefore the best song about the Cthulhu mythos? Yes, it is, so eat a bag of dicks, Metallica. Unless it is Sounds of Tindalos, in which case Metallica can still eat a bag of dicks.)

There are a few tracks on TDoAl-H that I like less than the others, but there are no bad songs and a few stand-outs that are as good as any previous heights they’ve reached: Arachnotopia, Coelacanthem, Welcome to the Island, Must Be the Wind are all great. I enjoy these so much that previous Rock Band fav Shhh… is a second tier song on this album. And I fucking love Shhh…

Both Shadow and Dukes are available on Bandcamp, for Canadian money, so go listen to them and see if I’m wrong (I’m not wrong). Man, I could really go some Call of Cthulhu right now…

Caustic Soda: Want six years of a weekly podcast riffing on different ways to suffer? Good news! Toren Atkinson, of Darkest Of The Hillside Thickets and more RPG-art than you’d expect had a podcast for six years with a bunch of his friends where they spent an hour on topics as diverse as Syphilis, Decapitation, Mining Disasters, and Parasites. So many parasites.

It takes about 10 episodes for them to get the sound engineering and mic control just right, but after that, it’s pretty much pro-radio-quality. If you need some guys arguing in your ear about the ins and outs of being attacked by 100 cats or surviving Ebola, you could do way worse.

Pathfinder Adventures: Not sure how long this has been out, but you can now get the Pathfinder Card Game on your mobile device. (PC and Mac June 15th) The first three adventures are free, so you can decide if you like it. After that the only thing they have available ($25) is The Rise of the Runelords campaign. Return to Sandpoint! Solve the Skinsaw murders! Beat the motherfucking ogres! Get killed by that Red Dragon! Climb to Xin-shalast! Again!

That guy. I remember him.

It took me a while to figure out how the game worked/how it could be enjoyable. Basically each player has a deck of cards and a lot of the game is deciding how far away you want those cards to go. Since your deck is your life, you want to get cards back into your deck after they’ve been used. But will you risk discarding them or even removing them from the game for better payoffs? It’s a risk/reward game against the clock, with recycled art. It’s not easy (or I’m bad at it) but the first scenario took me four fucking tries. The second, one try. I’ll let you know when I beat the last free scenario.

Sure will be nice to see the Rusty Dragon again.

Blood Bowl: I bought it. It’s a really well made limited toe-dip into Blood Bowl and maybe expanding it will be super expensive. But still, I’ve never not enjoyed Blood Bowl and this third incarnation is very, very pretty.