Diagonal Move Monthly Update: September 2020

Time for another (belated) monthly update!

And…September was relatively quiet on the gaming front. The economic realities of coronavirus making their presence felt in spades, limiting both time and game collection.  

Curse you real life!

Nevertheless, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. The slow down (i.e. dead stop) in new acquisitions allowed me to revisit some old favourites, begin to clear the shelf of opportunity and do some good ol’ fashioned PnP crafting.

SpaceCorp
SpaceCorp – I’m a bit of a fan

Games on the Coffee Table

Space Corp

Yes! Yes! And Yes! Again.

Love this game. One of my favourites of the last 18 months.

Over the course of three eras lead your company towards an obscene amount of profit made from the mineral wealth on distant planets.

Or not, and your company is acquired by The Competition, as is so often the case when I play.

Which is where a death ray would come in handy. Blast those Competition teams outta the way and put some Exterminate into SpaceCorp’s otherwise 4X stylings.

But that’s the wargamer in me talking and would result in a very different experience.

As it is, exploring and exploiting space has rarely been so much fun.

Terraforming Mars

An old favourite that really doesn’t need an intro.

Except to say I played with the Prelude expansion on the Elysium board.

And had a great time, as I always do.

Winter Thunder

Winter Thunder had sat on my PnP ‘to glue’ list for a while. Then a chat with designer Brian Train inspired me to reach for the scissors…

Combat is almost dice-free and there is a neat ‘chain of supply/activation’ system to get your teeth into.

Although it sits in the scripted ‘swing one way, then swing back’ strict order of battle genre there is enough here to warrant repeat visits.

Winter Thunder is also a landmark in my war game collection in that it was my very first ‘Bulge’ game.

Not sure I’d want another game on the same battle, but this one is a keeper.

Winter Thunder
Winter Thunder in all it’s PnP goodness

Games on the Net

With the UK seemingly on the brink of a return to full Covid ‘lockdown’, the interwebs is now firmly the heart and soul of my social life.

Hmm…I think that’s a Bad Religion lyric. But…I digress.

Trekking the World

As light as a light thing, Trekking the World is a globe-trotting, set collecting, route planning game about taking a gap year to see the world.

About as close as we are likely to get to the real thing these days, I guess.

In terms of gameplay, think Ticket to Ride in a love affair with Tokaido and you wouldn’t be that far off.

Also, the board looks like Risk.

Making this the closest thing to a wargame I’m likely to get my non-wargamer friends to play.

Cacao

Another old favourite. I’ve had this family weight tile/worker placement game in my physical collection for years, so it was nice to see a solid online implementation.

Base game only though. Turns out that it’s just as great a challenge to get expansions played in the virtual world as it is in real life.

Even those that involve making chocolate.

Tea-Time

If had to propose a single online game for the ‘Played repeatedly during the pandemic yet never would have looked twice at previously’ game award, it would be: Tea-Time.

An Alice in Wonderland (really?) set collection (again?) card game (ugh!). (Next!)

And yet, experiencing it online, it turns out that it is super simple and super quick.

An ideal filler.

OK, maybe not such an ideal filler because it’s also utterly addictive.

More than once that “quick game of Tea-Time?” turned into multiple games and pushed a ‘crunchy’ euro into the murky world of “maybe next week?”.

I think this one is out of print now, sadly.

Cacao – in virtual life

On the Website

Games were played and videos were made.  Oh, and I was lucky enough to have had a chat with…

Interviews

Gemma Newton: founder of Moonstone Games and the designer of Plotalot, a family level take-that game inspired by growing vegetables

Phil Walker-Harding: the hugely successful designer of Sushi-Go, Imphotep, Barenpark , Cacao and many more joined me for a whistle-stop tour of his career to date.

On the ‘Tube

As September ended the Diagonal Move YouTube channel had 29 subscribers.

It doesn’t sound like a lot but to me that’s huge.  More than double the previous month. A mini-bus full of people are now interested in learning when I post videos.

A big, genuine, sincere, thank you to everyone who has subscribed and watched one of the videos.

Coming next month

As we are now approaching the half-way point of ‘next month’, I can honestly say: I’m really not sure what’s coming up on Diagonal Move.

There have already been videos for SpaceCorp. I’m also tinkering away with some text-based thoughts on a small game called Gaines’s Mill which simulates an American Civil War battle.

I had planned an overview video for Navajo Wars, the solitaire classic from GMT Games, however, I had completely forgotten how to play it…doh!

Gaines’s Mill (PnP)

Answers on a Postcard?

As I was obsessively checking my stats the other day, I noticed that the video of me waffling on about how much I enjoy PnP wargames briefly had more views than my review of Wingspan.

Huh?

That got me thinking…I love all sorts of games and have been reluctant to focus on just one genre or type. Why should a game like Wingspan take more content space than Winter Thunder?

I enjoy both and hope that I can share that with readers and viewers.

Question

Is that the best approach to take?

Is there a risk that my diverse interests will confuse, rather than help, members of the blog going public?

If the future of Diagonal Move involves a focus on one type of game, my inclination is for less content on popular games and more on smaller games from niche genres and/or independent publishers.

It’s the punk rock/DIY streak in me.

Also, the bigger games have probably been covered extensively elsewhere and, honestly, I can’t keep up with the content production line that other channels appear to have.

Curse you (again), real life!

Over to You

Do you have any thoughts on the direction the channel should move in?

Please let me know if you do. The best way to share your thoughts would be to comment on one of the YouTube videos, contact me via the website contact button or even BGG mail.  

Until next time…happy gaming!

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