I’ve read a bunch of R.A. Salvatore’s “Drizzt Do’Urden” books set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms setting.
I think I’ve read 40, but there are probably 40 more (editor’s note: That’s probably an exaggeration) and I’ve always enjoyed the world-building Salvatore has done with the series, almost even more than the characters.
Drizzt is a Drow (Dark Elf), a former denizen of the underworld that’s fittingly called “The Underdark.” He’s an outcast from Drow society because it is pretty much a cesspool of evil scheming and betrayal and they worship the evil spider-goddess Lolth.
Since Drizzt has his own game, why not play a game where you get to be a conniving betrayer who’s looking out for your family’s interest and trying to bring down the other noble houses among the Drow?
Now you can, with Tyrants of the Underdark (2016), the deck-building area control game designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, Andrew Veen with art by apparently nobody (I think it just spontaneously appeared on the cards in some miraculous event that should probably be canonized) and published by Gale Force 9 and Wizards of the Coast.
(Literally, the art credit on Boardgame Geek is “N/A”)
(Edit 3/9/18) – Steve Ellis did the wonderful box cover, as noted (by him) in the comments below. Thanks, Steve!
For my 100th post here on Dude, Take Your Turn, I wanted to do something a little different than what I’ve done previously. Tackle a bigger subject.
As I was thinking about what that might be, a couple of things happened.
First, as some of you may know, I’m a member (and now Patreon Supporter!) of the Stately Play web site, one of the best online communities and news sites for mobile and computer games (especially board game adaptations).
In one of the forums discussing the release of Afghanistan ’11 (a “sequel” of sorts to Vietnam ’65 by Slitherine), a member said the following:
“I can’t begin to imagine why someone would release a game like this. 1400 civilians were killed in the year that this game starts.
The airstrikes they talk about in the game trailer often hit civilian targets and 2011 also sees an increase in the use of suicide bombers and IEDs.
Its an absolute tragedy of a conflict and someone at Slitherine thought it would make a “fun” game? WTF is the matter with them?”
This is a game about the war for Algerian independence from France and the insurgency that arose during the war. Terrorism is a legitimate tactic in the game.
In the review, Grant says the following:
“I love the use of Terror when playing as the FLN as it truly is the only real tool that you have to affect the Government and ultimately win the war. I say that I love using the Terror Ops but I really cringe each time I have to use them as it feels wrong, both morally and ethically, but this is one of the great design elements of the game. Making you think before you act. A lot of times in regular hex and counter wargames, I usually don’t think anything about bombing civilian centers or cities, as there really is no negative effects upon the psyche for doing so. But in Colonial Twilight, the game is so visceral and emotionally evocative, that I actually feel that I have to tread lightly when I am bombing cities as I think about the consequences of my actions through collateral damage.”
Both of these came in quick succession for me, and it made me realize that it would make a great topic for a 100th post.
Should we be playing at war?
(I’m not saying Grant’s statement is against playing at war, as obviously that would be misconstruing it since he is a wargamer. It just made the topic come to my mind)
“Crafting” cards is becoming a new fad in boardgaming, though I think it’s mainly AEG who are doing it.
Games like Mystic Vale, where you can gain cards and then improve them, are starting to become more prominent.
Last night, I got the chance to try one of the latest card-crafting games, Custom Heroes. The game is designed by John D. Clair with art by Matt Paquette and the game is published by AEG.
This is more like a normal trick-taking game than most others in the same genre, in that you are playing cards to the table and trying to “win” the pile (not quite a trick, but I’ll explain), all the while buffing up cards with improvements that will change how they act.
In Ancient Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs where whoever died and built the best pyramid was seen to be the most dope ruler in all the land, sometimes it wasn’t just what was buried with you that made the difference.
Sometimes it was who you were buried with.
And these people didn’t have to be dead ahead of you either.
(I’ll stop and let you think about that for a moment)
It’s definitely not something you want to think too hard about when you’re playing the latest version of Tom Cleaver’s Valley of the Kings.