Welcome to the first (actually fourth) entry in an ongoing, and not entirely serious, series of Diagonal Move Monthly Updates.
The others are over on BGG. For unclear reasons, this is the first time I have decided to post these monthly updates here also.
As suspected last month, August has been wargame month here at Diagonal Move HQ. Although, there has been plenty of time for other games too…as there often is
Games on the Coffee Table
Battle Hymn Vol 1
Starting as I meant to go, Battle Hymn Vol 1, a 2-player hex and counter game recreating the Battle of Gettysburg, hogged the coffee table for well over a week.
Although a simulation with an order of battle, there seems to be enough optional rules to give this one a nice degree of replayability and variation. There is also a second game in the box covering the battle of Pea Ridge, which I am keen to try out asap
The chit-pull mechanics meant that it was just awesome to play solo and conveniently blame the poor performance of my forces on the tactical genius of my opponent.
I haven’t made up my mind about this reissued solo epic from Mark Herman and GMT Games. There are glimpses of a stunning game sprinkled liberally throughout. Unfortunately, finding them in the dense, heavily procedural structure is like chasing will o’ the wisps.
Nevertheless, I’ll persevere because when it’s good…it’s really good.
Button Shy’s 18 card, city building, time filler should be on the mandatory study schedule of urban planners everywhere.
Doing well at Sprawlopolis requires players to be skilled at juggling the need for green spaces with industry, commerce, and housing in the just the right mix. In the just the right locations.
And roads…so many roads, so few useful places to put them.
Games on the Net
The allure of multiplayer games pulled me back towards the shiny box of light and sound this month. With typically mixed results.
Twin Tin Bots
Some board game genres and I just don’t mix. Programming games are a good example of this.
Twin Tin Bots is something to do with gem mining…I think. Basically, it’s moving robots around a board picking stuff up and taking it somewhere else.
The other players seemed to be enjoying themselves so maybe Twin Tin Bots is a good example of its genre.
I wouldn’t know, I was too busy watching one of my robots move in circles while the other walked repeatedly into a wall.
Me: chalk, programming: cheese.
Now this is more like it. A game about cleansing your aura and aligning energies. It requires logic, thought and forward planning.
Much like a programming game.
Five years ago, Seasons was very nearly my first foray into ‘modern’ board games.
The shop assistant suggested I make it my second game and I’m so glad he did. Back then it would have blown my mind.
I never did buy a copy of Seasons but, thinking back two weeks to my first ever play, I recall it being an enjoyable, fast paced game about…something.
Even though I have no recollection of what this game is about or what one does during it, my notes suggest that it was both fun and a good online implementation of…whatever it is.
On the Website
It’s been a great month on the Diagonal Move website.
The wargame theme continued with interviews from:
Brian Train, prolific war game designer who still takes a DIY approach to selling games, despite a back catalogue that includes, among other things, several entries in the COIN series.
Volko Ruhnke, creator of both the COIN and Levy & Campaign series, joined me for a whistle stop tour through his career. I confess to having had a brief ‘fan moment’.
Cameron Art: moving, quite randomly, from long established designers of conflict heavy games to a new designer with a word game on Kickstarter. Cameron also runs the impressive online magazine The Board Game Bulletin. You should take a look.
More YouTube based video dabbling this month including
A one-day-to-be patented ‘too impatient too wait until the camera is on before I open the box’ not-quite unboxing of:
How to play/playthrough reviews of:
16 minutes of me waffling on about how much I love PnP wargames featuring:
- Dimension X
- Gaines Mill
- Battle for Ramadi
- Rifles in the Ardennes
- Airborne in my Pocket
- Until the Bitter End
Try them. They’re really good. Honest.
Plus, plus, plus:
I am super pleased to report that the Diagonal Move YouTube channel now has 12 subscribers! At least 3 of which are not related to me.
A big, genuine, sincere, thank you to everyone who has watched one of the videos.
Coming next month
September 2020 will see my one-person campaign to politely introduce myself to the internet continue with a typically varied selection of interviews, videos and occasional text-based rambling:
- Kevin Bertram – founder of Fort Circle Games
- Gemma Newton – designer of Plotalot
With my combat itch well and truly scratched, I don’t expect to play any wargames for at least the next few minutes. So, I’m currently thinking:
- Adrenaline – playthrough of the new solo DLC
- Seikatsu – playthrough
- Something in a ‘classic Euro’ vein – Le Havre, perhaps
Of course, this is all subject to change.
It mostly depends on how many of my neighbours stick to their ‘daylight hours are for power tools’ strategy and whether that cartoon Battle Hymn box on my shoulder continues to whisper: “play the Pea Ridge campaign”.
Until next time…