Everything that sucks! And some things that don't.

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The eighteenth haul of the year!

Christian Heckmann
Germany
Mainz
Rheinland Pfalz
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Man, these things just keep coming, right? Yeah, looks like it. After that semi-drought during the middle-months of this year, new arrivals just keep coming in recently. That might partially be on me, because I keep thinking "Hey, I do have the money to check this or that interesting thing out" and then I do. But also some of those featured today were Kickstarters that I've backed a long time ago, so that's out of my hands, I'm afraid. Anywhere, let's go check out the things that recently came in. Starting - like always - with board games.

From gallery of Harblnger


IKI had been sitting on my want-list for quite a while (a quick bit of research suggests since May of 2017) but seemed to be mostly unattainable since. That is until Sorry We Are French decided to publish a new and updated version of the thing. Which looks quite good and also got decent enough buzz. I don't really know what originally made me want it and as is so often the case, I'm not sure I'll actually like it very much, but I am kind of looking forward to playing it, because yeah, it sounds kind of intriguing and also looks nice.

Next up, we've got the deluxe KS-version of It's a Wonderful Kingdom which arrived well ahead of its projected delivery date that was January of 2022. Woo hoo. It looks good. Nice graphical design, some intriguing changes to the core gameplay of It's a Wonderful World (which I liked), four modules that shake up the game in different ways... What's not to like? Well, I haven't played it yet, so maybe it'll turn out to be an absolute dumpster-fire in the field. But I don't think that that's what's gonna happen. At the very least I hope so. I'll probably try it sooner rather than later, so fingers crossed that it's good.

Second row: "Abgrundtief" is the German title of Unfathomable, a game I was very, VERY unsure about. I am not very fond of Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game, I have been growing tired of semi-coop/hidden-traitor/social-deduction-games over the course of the last couple of years and H.P. Lovecraft was a super-racist fuckwit so buying something that is connected to his shitty name always requires additional deliberation. Buuuuut then some day I was like "Yeah but the changes they made in comparison to Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game do sound kind of good and the theme appeals to me more and I'm kind of in the mood for an adventurous romp, so... why not?". And then I bought it. And unboxed it and skimmed the rules. And yeah... I'm interested to try it out soon. I don't know when, how and with whom I'll manage to do that and maybe it'll fall flat for me like its predecessor did. But it's worth a try, I guess.

And the last one (on this picture) is The House on the Borderland, a solitaire-game by the Emperors Of Eternal Evil-folks based on a novel by William Hope Hodgson. I had my eyes set on that one for a while as well but it had been sold out for a while, but then relatively recently, a new printing came in and I decided to get myself a copy of it. I cut out the cards and counters a couple of days ago (it's one of those games) and am looking forward to trying it out soon. Should be good. Damn, I really should play another game of Cave Evil before the end of the year, while we're at it.

Okay, more stuff:

From gallery of Harblnger


When I bought IKI from Philibert, I needed to add something to the order to save on shipping costs. As you do. Then I remembered that P. had told me about Cascadia recently, which he had described as something like "Habitats, only prettier and better". I love Habitats, so I was like "That's impossible". But I decided that it would make sense to investigate myself. So I got the retail-version (which apparently is the same as the KS-version, only missing the promo-pack with additional scoring cards per kind of animal) and it looks nice. Since it's apparently best with small player counts, I think I might try to coax E. into playing a game of it in the near future. I doubt that it'll depose Habitats because Habitats is lovely and has a penguin and also sounds fairly different, but it might be nice nevertheless.

Then I got myself Margraves of Valeria (once again the German version which is called "Markgrafen von Valeria"), because while my track-record with Valeria-games has been mixed (love Valeria: Card Kingdoms, somewhat enjoyed Quests of Valeria and Villages of Valeria) and I'm not a huge fan of Concordia, which Margraves of Valeria was modeled after, this one comes popping up every now and then as "really decently good" and I also thought that a more involved game in the Valeria-setting might be an interesting thing to try out. It sounds a bit basic for the type of game that it is but who knows, maybe it's great. We'll see.

Bottom row, we've got the Tribune: Expansion, which I have already played a couple of times years and years ago, although never with the asymmetric role of the Brutii, which does sound kind of interesting if you asked me. I haven't played Tribune: Primus Inter Pares in a while but I've been trying to get it back to the table recently, because it's a neat game. So... we'll see when it'll show up in a post. Also I have absolutely no opinion about the new version Tribune that recently came out, but I just thought to throw that out there, in before comments going "DID YOU KNOW THERE'S A NEW VERSION OUT?!?". Yes. I knew.

And then there's something else that I added to that Philibert-order, because even with IKI and Cascadia, I was lacking a couple of cents to qualify for free shipping. So I was like "Well, whatever" and added the Alien Frontiers: Expansion Pack #7 into the shopping cart. I don't even know what it does. But I own it now. Yey!

One more for good measure...

From gallery of Harblnger


That first thing is the EXIT Adventskalender: Der verborgene Mayatempel, which I only noticed after buying it isn't actually part of the Kosmos EXIT-line. Weird. But the folks from Ravensburger seem to have been one step ahead in that regard, having published these Advent calendars since 2019 while Kosmos caught up only last year. Anyway, I don't know if it's any good and it's probably more of a novelty than a real full-fledged puzzle-experience (I could be wrong), but E. is into these things and so I thought it would be interesting to try and solve one of these with her. I might report back in the near future, because tomorrow, we'll open the first door. Woo hoo.

And truly finally the last board game for today, The Defence of Procyon III, which arrived a couple of days ago. It's a big box full of plastic stuff and it looks relatively neat (apart from one alien ground-unit that came broken, boo!), although I still dread having to teach this to somebody, because it's actually four games in one with all of the four factions playing very different games. We've got a meeting scheduled on Thursday where we want to try it out (even though we're still semi-missing the fourth guy) so we'll see whether it's any good. I don't have a great track-record with either designer Dávid Turczi or publisher PSC Games, but who knows? Maybe this'll be great. I sure as hell hope so, it's a good concept for a game...

And while we're talking about space-stuff, here's some DVDs...

From gallery of Harblnger


Yes, that's all five seasons of cult Sci-Fi-show "Spacecenter Babylon 5". I remember watching it on and off as a kid and always found it kind of impenetrable and decidedly dark but over time, these memories have turned into intrigued anticipation, so now, I was like "Maybe I should just get it and watch it". First part worked out well enough. Second part... hum. I'm still in the middle of six to eight different TV shows and the looming threat of having five seasons à 22 episodes ahead of me isn't nothing. But I'll probably check it out in time.

Also on the bottom right, we've got "The Hidden" and "The Hidden 2" in a bootleg-twin-pack-release. It's kind of hard to get your hands on these movies here in Germany. I've been wanting to watch the first one for a while now and when I got the chance to score this release, I jumped on it. Dunno if I'll be able to watch the first (or both) movies before the end of the year. We'll see.

Also of course some novels. I recently ordered some stuff from England and I honestly don't really know why I did so. But here we are...

From gallery of Harblnger


I think the initial impetus for this purchase was Tim Powers' "Declare", which I already owned as an eBook but for some reason (mainly the fact that I really loved Powers' "Last Call", which I finished reading a while ago) wanted as a real dead tree copy (relax, the tree is fine, this is a used book, so me buying it didn't hurt anybody, I guess), because "Declare" sounds absolutely rad. Cold War spy-stuff meets Cosmic Horror? I'm in. The rest were more or less casualties of that decision, although it was nice to find a affordable copy of Powers' "Earthquake Weather" (kind of the second sequel to "Last Call", although they are weirdly marketed... part two, "Expiration Date", was called "a companion novel" rather than a sequel, so who knows?), "March Upcountry" sounded intriguing, "Meddling Kids" seems to be pretty divisive but I thought that it could be cool and "Coldbrook" and "Blackwing" had somehow found their ways onto my Google Play wishlist. Don't know why. But since I could get them cheaper this way, I just bought them. This is how I roll, folks.

So anyway, I also forgot another thing, namely the new album by Swallow The Sun, which is lying at home while I'm not, so that'll have to go into the next "New to the shelf"-post. But while we're talking about music, here's a link to my Bandcamp-page. Check out my stuff. It's... music.

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