Be True to Your School
It's time at last to make it official on Argent: The Consortium. I've been raving about it in the forums for a few weeks but here is the properly filed and consolidated opinion piece on it. It is just freaking fantastic, and as far as the "heavy" ultra-Eurogame thing goes, it's up there with Robinson Crusoe and Archipelago as one of the best examples of the breed. It is the best worker placement game I think I've ever played. I would have previously stated that Lords of Waterdeep was my favorite, but this game just goes far deeper and doubles (or triples) down on the narrative, variety and player interaction. There's so much content to explore, so many compelling situations and strategies that come up. It is a pity that this can't be a hobby games market Harry Potter game, because then I would likely list it among my top games of the past decade. My gang has gotten a lot of plays out of this and every time I've enjoyed it at all player counts and in every configuration. The expansion rules, too...it adds a bunch of really great additions that you'll want to incorporate as soon as you and your folks feel ready to bring on just a little more content.
There are two kinds of games in this world. Those that are not Loopin' Chewie, and those that are. The game has completely taken over my household. Nightly tournaments are run with a hotly contested and sometimes controversial championship (represented by an actual gold medal) passing hands between me, my son and my daughter. It's just awesome, and having only three players makes it a perfect fit for us since my wife hates games and sneers at the magic of Loopin' Chewie. I don't understand it.
Of course, that was just one of my Force Friday purchases because I got Star Wars Risk as well. Folks, this is the real deal. It is a chopped-down, slicked-back, built-for-speed version of The Queen's Gambit but without the toys and those embarrassing Gungans. It is the Return of the Jedi board game you have always wanted. It plays so quickly, yet it really captures the cross-cutting of the film's last act and it gives players plenty to consider. Lots of drama, surprise reversals and OODLES of Star Wars atmosphere. I don't know if Daviau and Van Ness had anything to do with it, but it certainly feels like a 2015 version of the kinds of things they've done before. One of my favorite games of the year.
Now, switching over the Trek side of the fence...Star Trek: Five Year Mission is...well, it's a game that comes in a box alright. And there are lots of Star Trek pictures on it. It also has practically nothing to do with Star Trek whatsoever. It feels like a relic from 1992, like some forlorn game you'd see in the comic shop on the clearance rack. The mechanics are slightly smarter than that, and there is actually a game here. But so far I've been wholly unimpressed by it. Maybe I'm being shallow, but the fact that all of the dice are just plain ol' D6s bugs me. I dunno, I need to play it some more, try the solo game, see if it gets more fun with over five players and so on...but so far, it's been a big disappointment.
Who here misses the old FFG coffin boxes? If you do, have I got a game for you. I got a FedEx notice that a TEN POUND box was coming my way. I had no idea what it was. It turns out that it is Secrets of the Lost Tomb, a GIANT ASS pulp horror/action dungeoncrawler that I requested from the designer a couple of weeks ago. It looks...kind of crazy. but that's actually why I asked for it, it had that look of something just completely off the rocker in a Chaostle kind of way. I haven't really looked it over, but I like that it has a more Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider vibe than high fantasy. Like, one of the bosses is a mummy. It may be a trainwreck or it may be one of those that's just crazy enough to work. We'll see!