Diagonal Move Monthly Update: January 2021

Hi there and welcome back to this on-going series of monthly updates that shines a light on the extraordinarily ordinary world of Diagonal Move.

I began the month with the intention of being productive…and what a productive month January turned out to be.

Interviews with Shem Phillips and Ted Alspach, multiple YouTube videos, articles on the website, weekly playtesting and game design sessions, the ‘Day Job’…it’s a wonder I got any recreational gaming done at all.

On the Coffee Table


I like all sorts of games.

Especially games that combine press your luck, tile laying, treasure hunting, rock paper scissors combat, and matters of life or death decided on a roll of a D12. If that game also allows me to bore my friends with tales of falling into a bottomless pit, being eaten by centipedes, trapped in secret rooms and roasted alive by dragon fire, all the better.

It’s a niche genre to be sure…thankfully we have Dungeonquest to fill it.

Dungeon quest
Death by Dungeonquest

Airborne in my Pocket

More solitaire tile laying, dungeon crawling, exploration…

…ok, not quite, but bear with me for a moment.

In Airborne in my Pocket, you play a soldier parachuted into an unspecified region of Europe shortly after D-Day. Separated from you unit, you must find some explosives, enter the military bunker, explore the tunnels to find and destroy gun control, then escape again all in a certain amount of time.

Change ‘explosives’ for ‘relic’, ‘military bunker’ for ‘dungeon’, ‘Gun Control’ for ‘The Necromancers Lair’ and you have a quick playing dungeon crawler to print and play at home.


Maybe it’s me.

Airborne in my Pocket
AimP – a WW2 themed dungeon crawler (honestly)

1565: St Elmo’s Pay

I love a good war game. Especially one that covers a lesser-known period of history…which to me is pretty much all of it.

Despite my general ignorance around all things military history (hey, we did crop rotation and the Spinning Jenny at school), I had heard of the Siege of Malta.  Admittedly this was through the rather wonderful Tim Willocks novel ‘The Religion’. Nevertheless, a point to me, I think.


The Siege of Malta was one of those epic small army vs big army showdowns that make for average and wildly inaccurate movies. 1565: Elmo’s Pay takes just such a showdown, applies CCG-esque mechanics and a healthy of dose of ‘so grim you’d think they made it up’ history accuracy and turns an ‘I’m glad I wasn’t there’ piece of history into a wonderful and surprisingly accessible game.

1565: An ‘I’m glad I wasn’t there’ slice of history

On the Interwebs

Given that 100% of my interweb gaming this month was playtesting, I feel that maybe I should change focus of this section of the monthly update away from playing games.

For example, I have now spent over a year regularly interviewing game designers from across the spectrum of genres. Given that I am now also immersed in playtesting and design in my own amateur way, I wonder if the time has come to add my own thoughts on this topic instead.

Maybe a new section of the Diagonal Move website: ‘A Game Design Journey” or ‘The True History of a Lesser-Known Content Creator” or “Something that I Did”?

Hmm…one to contemplate for the future. What do you think?

Coming Next Month…

Given that it’s now the middle of ‘next month’ and the learning game of Saratoga has hogged my coffee table for a fortnight, I wonder if February will be a quieter month than some.

Nah…I enjoy this too much.

See you next time!