Boardgames in Blighty News – Ambient Music for Table Top Games from Tabletop Audio


Boardgames in Blighty News – Ambient Music for Table Top Games from Tabletop Audio

Unsolicited plug time…

I saw this posted by gamer friends on Facebook and felt that I had to share it with you all. You are welcome!

Here is a link to a wonderful website with Ambient Music for all kinds of gaming themes. Yeah I know that this website has ambient music for RPG’s but you can’t tell me that this music available here can’t be great background for board games. Well, Ameritrash and War Games anyway. Can’t see the point for Eurogames as the it would be wasted amongst the noise of themeless generic wooden cubes being placed onto game boards… :)

So Ameritrashers, rejoice!

Now you can add some great atmospheric music and sounds to experience even more of the theme that we love in board games! Saaaaweeeeet!

Join me supporting Tabletop Audio with a donation too if you’d like.

Check it out here – 

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Raid & Trade War on the Streets


Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Raid & Trade War on the Streets

Raid & Trade expands its legacy and return with the expansion “War on the Streets”. This time, far from the Golden City comes a new breed of survivors. Forged in the most desolate conditions these opportunistic individuals prowl the ruins watching for passers-by – to either join or exploit. Skilled nomads, these ‘Hitchhikers’ can twist any situation to their advantage, whether through silver-tongued and honeyed words or brute force and lethal cunning.


But they are not the only ones who come from the shadows.. Riders & gangs, rebels & outlanders are rising in the wastelands. They tried to enter the Golden City, but they were stopped by the Forces and now they are exiled forever in the wastelands. Anyone who is trying to reach the Golden City, has to face them and their minions!



Go to –

Boardgames in Blighty Game Review – The Last Spike from Columbia Games


Boardgames in Blighty Game Review – The Last Spike from Columbia Games

Thanks to Columbia Games for providing a review copy of this game.

Designer – Tom Dalgliesh

Players – 2-6

Time – 45-60 minutes

Age – 10+

I haven’t done a game review in a while as I simply haven’t time anymore but I thought it would be worth investing time to do a review of The Last Spike from Columbia Games, primarily as it is certainly a departure from their usual wargame fare.

I will say up front that I am a fan of Columbia games and therefore there is a bias but I will try and give a fair minded review here.

First some background from the Columbia games website –

The Last Spike was first published in 1976 as a family game; the 2015 edition has been re-designed to appeal to strategy gamers, eurogamers, train gamers, and is still suitable for families.

In The Last Spike players cooperate to build a continuous railway from St. Louis to Sacramento. Different routes are possible and some towns never get a railway link. Each player competes to accumulate the most money from land speculation before the “last spike” is played.


The game components are up the the usual Columbia Games standard with –
Mapboard (card)
48 wooden track blocks and matching stickers representing the track pieces
Deck of 45 Deeds, 5 each of 9 cities.
Wooden Game Money

The game board depicts the USA from St Louis west to Sacramento. Routes for the railway may include Omaha, Dodge City, Denver, El Paso, Laramie, Yuma, and Ogden. The eastern part is relatively flat, but there are some wide rivers to cross. West of Denver are the high Rockies where track building budgets soar. I will say that I like look and art on the game board. My only qualm is that it seems more functional than geographically correct (although I could be wrong) which I would have preferred. Having said the board works perfectly for the purposes of the game.

The presentation and and quality of the components is very good. I really like that Columbia don’t over develop the components. They are functional and attractive without the need to overcook with ostentatious bling. The artwork is very nice, cards and sticker for the blocks are easy to read. The money is represented by coloured wooden discs. It all works just fine.


Gameplay overview

To win The Last Spike, you must end the game with the most money.

The Last Spike is a simple game and is aimed at the family market. There are only 3 steps for the players in a turn.

  1. The player must place a rail tile on the board and payouts are made if a rail line is completed
  2. The player then has the option to purchase 1 property card for any city
  3. The player must then draw a new rail tile to replace the one they placed

It’s as simple and straightforward as that.


Each player begins the game with 4 rail tiles drawn randomly. Each tile has a financial value ranging from 1k to 7K.

To place a tile, the player must pay the face value if it is placed on it’s assigned space on a rail line (as indicated on the board and the tile). The face value is payed only if the tile is placed adjacent to a city or adjacent to a previously placed tile. Otherwise, double the face value is paid.

All of the players are essentially cooperating in building the train lines. There is no “ownership” of any train line. As the players consider which of their tiles to play, they will need to consider how much they are willing and can afford to pay. Also, in the placement of tiles, the players will be considering where the other players may place tiles as they seek to complete train lines.

When a train line is completed by any player, players who have property cards for the 2 cities linked by the completed trin line are paid according to the value and number of cards for each city held.

It took me the first third of the game to get a sense of the need to not just place tiles, but to weigh up potential risk and reward compared to the potential for other players which raised the level of interesting and challenging choices.


Players can optionally purchase property cards during the game. In fact, they need to as by collecting the property cards, the players are trying to put themselves into a position to get the most lucrative payoffs possible when train lines are completed. Like Monopoly, multiple cards for the same city mean a larger payout. Having said that, there are no guarantees that all of your carefully chosen properties will pay off as not all train lines are guaranteed to be completed before the end of the game. Cashflow may be an issue as the players have to consider when to buy, and when to hold off. Players may also need to consider how long they can hold out before completing train lines. If players run out of cash, they will need to sell back properties at half value to the bank in order to get cash to pay for placement of tiles.

The players will choose a tile randomly to refill up to their 4 tile limit. When the tiles run out, the players continue to play using the tiles that are left in their hand, until a routes is established between St. Louis and Sacramento which immediately ends the game. All of the tiles may or may not be used in the game. It is also not likely that every train line will be completed before the game ends.


At this point, the money held by each player is totalled and whoever has the most wins. Ties are broken by the player with the highest total cost of the property cards.

Do I like The Last Spike?

Over a number of plays, I found this game to be a lot of fun as did my family members and friends. It has a solid design, is easy to learn and to teach. Overall the game plays smoothly and there is little downtime waiting for other players to take their turn. It plays quickly enough and easy enough for non-gamers to become engaged and so I would not hesitate to use it as a fun social game and also an introduction to games other than Monopoly.

What is really nice in particular is that as you get into it you can see that there are choices, some tough, and the mix of cooperation and competition is well balanced and interesting.

Some of you may have an issue with the blind randomness of choosing the rail tiles. I will say that I didn’t find it to be a problem as the game plays fast and simply enough. It works well. Having said that, I may experiment with a house rule of choosing 5 tiles to start and returning 1 so there is a bit more choice and say in your strategy. Also, I want to try choosing 2 tiles and keeping 1 to replenish your hand of tiles. Again, this will add a bit more control of your strategy.

The Last Spike is a fun game and the desire of my family and friends to play again says it all for me. A clean, tight design, nice components, straightforward gameplay means this is one to check out and play for sure.

For more information go to

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News 19/10/15 – If I had the cash I’d take a look at…


Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News 19/10/15 – If I had the cash I’d take a look at…

No, I am NOT interested at all in Scythe because it is a Euro 4X game which is a big yawn for me. The gameplay video convinced me that there is little special there. I can only imagine that the bandwagon for this one has been driven by the playtesters and the art, possibly the minis too. I predict that it will be a good game for some but won’t live up to the hype and will quickly be forgotten when the next shiny comes along.

Have a look at these projects which seem to me actually worth a good look.



Fathoms is a deep sea, turn-based, action-adventure miniatures game. Team up against a horde of underwater denizens and their Master.

Kudos for being somewhat different. To be honest, there is really no need for the minis other than the “pretty” factor and hence it will cost you but it’s still cool.


DeadCert – A Murder Mystery Card Drama

A new breed of card game for lovers of murder mysteries. Set in London 2015, with 72 main characters. Builds up to 512 murder episodes!

This one looks good although I am disappointed that there is no free shipping in the UK so it seems a bit pricey for what it is. But that’s just me and you might disagree.


Yokai Battle

Yokai battle, duel of the Japanese occult creatures, for 2 to 4 players. Playing time: 20-30 mn

This one looks interesting and fun. The art is very nice. A bit annoying that distribution in the UK isn’t set up so its a bit pricey for what it is but still cool.

Boardgames in Blighty News – Hunt: The Unknown Quarry – Victory Point Games PRESS RELEASE


A bounty has been placed on the head of a monster terrorizing a small country town. Bounty hunters descend on the abandoned mansion where it is rumored to make its lair, each hoping to claim the prize. However, one of these hunters is actually the monster in disguise. One is forced to ask, then: who hunts whom?

Hunt: The Unknown Quarry, from Darkest Night designer Jeremy Lennert, is a deductive combat game for 3 to 6 players. One player is secretly the monster, and their goal is to cripple all of the other players in order to escape the mansion. The other players, the human bounty hunters, must discover and kill the monster before they are hunted down by the creature. Each player moves around the mansion’s many rooms to search for clues, gather items, and target other players to deduce which of them is the monster (or, if you are the monster, to wound the other bounty hunters). Tread lightly, for the hunt has begun…

Each round, players take turns moving about the mansion’s many rooms, looking at cards for clues, and picking up items (cards) to add to their hand. Players can also interact when in the same room as another player and try to attack them using the cards in their hand in order to deduce who is the monster and what kind of monster they are. If you are the monster, then you want to do your best to avoid being killed and wound the other players in hopes to escape the mansion with your life. Play continues until either the monster is slain or all the other players declare that they have been crippled.

Click here for all the details on Hunt: The Unknown Quarry.

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Wolf & Hound – A partnership board game of saving your sheep from evil wolves is now on Kickstarter


Wolf & Hound – A partnership board game of saving your sheep from evil wolves is now on Kickstarter

Here is a press release for a what looks to be a nice family friendly game from Ninja Star Games. And its EU friendly!

Ninja Star Games is proud to announce the launch of its second Kickstarter campaign, Wolf & Hound.

In Wolf & Hound, you become a shepherd in French Alps where wolves are becoming a problem as they chase your sheep away from your pasture. It is up to your reliable hound to go find the lost sheep and bring them back!

Check out the Kickstarter campaign at


About the game

Wolf & Hound is a 2 versus 2 partnership game. Your goal is to protect you and your partner’s sheep from being chased away by the evil wolves. You will win the game if one of your opponents loses all his or her sheep first.

To start the game, team members will sit across from each other. Each player will start with 3 sheep in their pasture, and 4 cards in their hand.

Each turn you will play one card from your hand which will move the wolf or the hound. Where the wolf or the hound moves to determines the fate of your sheep. If there is a wolf in your pasture at the start of your turn, then the wolf will chase away one of your sheep. Rest assured though, if there is a hound in your pasture at the start of your turn, then he will rescue the lost sheep and bring it back to your pasture.

After you play a card, you will draw a card. Then the game continues to the player to your left. This continues on until one player loses all his or her sheep, or until the draw deck is depleted and players play all their cards.

Move the wolf and the hound wisely to protect you and your partner’s sheep, and chase away your opponents’ sheep!

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter tips for Project owners from Boardgame Media and potential backers


Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter Project Tips from the Boardgame Media and potential Backers

I have been watching Kickstarter since its inception, in particular, the growth of the boardgame projects. It is true that there has been an explosion in boardgame projects on Kickstarter and I have seen all levels of quality in terms of projects. ISome very good, some, pretty poor. I am getting a pretty regular stream of requests to look at and promote projects. I am also being asked for advice about projects.

To be honest, I don’t have the time nor the interest to promote every project on Kickstarter. My basic criteria for doing so is this…

  1. The project has to interest me personally as a gamer. The warning here is that I am very selective so I usually won’t be interested in a game that I wouldn’t want to back, although on a rare occasion I will post about a project that I think is interesting even if I won’t back it.
  2. It has to be priced right. There are too many overblown projects that have far too many extras, usually unnecessary miniatures, and that bloats the price to ridiculous levels.
  3. Lastly, usually I will only post about projects that are at least EU friendly and preferably have arranged UK distribution. Far too many US based projects don’t even bother with this which I see as inexcusable.

I am not an expert by any means but as a Boardgame media pundit, I certainly have learned a lot from my observations and being involved in a couple of projects myself. So I thought that my level of advice would be useful. I also asked a number of people in the Board Game Media and also those who back Kickstarter projects for their tips for project backers and have listed them for you below. I hope that these tips are useful, although they are hardly exhaustive.

Please comment and add your own tips and let’s turn this post into a useful resource.

My personal tips –

  1. Your game should be pretty much complete and ready for production. Don’t expect backers to pay for game development.
  2. Try to have a game that’s reasonably different than the usual Zombies, Fantasy, Cthulhu, Pirates and Space stuff if you want to stand out.
  3. Your game should be complete. Your backers should not feel that their game is not complete because they cannot afford the add-ons. That’s a bad message and pisses people off.
  4. Timing is important – Don’t launch your project at a time when there are a lot of new releases such as during a major convention such as Essen or GenCon and during the weeks after. Christmas isn’t a good time either.
  5. Miniatures are in almost every case, a luxury.  They don’t make your game any better, only prettier and more expensive. The more expensive, the more you shrink your potential backer list. There are too many bloated games out there that people buy in the hope that they can sell on for a profit, not because its actually a good game. Zombicide is a prime example of this. Cool Mini or Not projects are a prime example of bloated projects.
  6. Your video should talk about the game, not you. It should show what the backer gets as a finished product. You don’t need music and it doesn’t need to be funny. It’s all about answering your potential backer’s question – What’s in it for me?
  7. You must have a How to Play video.
  8. UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! Keep in touch with your backers, especially post-project, and even more so, if there are production and shipping delays. Update in short bursts. Little and often is the way to go.
  9. You don’t need a lot of add-on levels with your game. It’s a distraction. The project is about the complete game.
  10. Early-bird deals are very annoying. They piss off a lot of people. Pitch your project price levels at what you need.
  11. US Project Owners – Your projects should at least be EU friendly in terms of shipping and preferably you should organise local distribution to keep the price affordable. Think global in terms of your audience and do your homework to ensure everyone is treated fairly. This will build your reputation and your brand.
  12. You must have previews from well known reviewers. You don’t want backers looking at your project and thinking “uh, who is that?” when they see who has previewed your game. Do your homework and find out who is reputable and has a good following. You may be charged for a preview and it may be worth it.
  13. Get involved on Twitter in particular. There is a large boardgame community and its a great place to get feedback and start to build interest. BUT… DO NOT only talk about your project, or DM people. Interact with the community, give advice, build connections. Your Twitter presence shouldn’t just be about “Look at my project” You should be on there for a while before you launch.

From the Boardgame Media on Twitter

Research the media person you’re reaching out to – do you think they’d even like your game? Have they been active lately?
List your games’ player count, play time, and suggested ages immediately
Do not contact someone for a preview/review via several media outlets. That’s spamming.
Most media folks do this as a side-job. They have very limited time. You are not their priority. Don’t act like you should be.
When you’re cold emailing someone for a review, attach the rules. In whatever state you have.
Don’t: launch KS without a fully developed product; offer a stripped down “base game” & then cash grab w/add-ons.
I don’t wanna pay for game development… gameplay should be complete.Otherwise it might end up being awful and not what you wanted
I love KS for the “I’ve got an idea, and with your help, I can make it happen.” Doing *some* stuff already is ok, But yeah, when it is clear that EVERYTHING has already been done, and they have final graphics, then they should look at launching the project.
A lot of the things that people class as DONT DO’s actually become very successful projects, even if people don’t like them
However, one very big DO is regular updates, reply to comments and emails. Run the KS as a full time thing, not ‘on the side’
I wrote an article on the subject last year, and it got printed in Ravage Magazine
don’t launch without how to play and review videos ALREADY prepared.
don’t twitter bomb
don’t ask for a review a week before you launch…and definitely not after you launch
having you as a guest on a podcast is not a privilege for us…it’s for you…unless you’re or Etc
you don’t need to be interviewed on every podcast!! Especially if you say the same exact thing on all of them
your exposure on our shows makes you sales…remember that when it comes time for review copies
all the basics, have it play tested, have reviews. Make sure you give plenty of lead to reviewers. Have a rule book
From potential Backers
Don’t assume you’re uniquely immune to the delays which affect every other Kickstarter. Scope your timescale accordingly.
Personally, I loathe seeing early bird specials. It feels like I’m being punished if I have to wait a paycheck to budget.
Not saying they can’t/shouldn’t be used, just that not everyone who would want to back will have the opportunity to do so asap
Don’t: Crap pitch videos and graphics. These should be representative of the quality of the final game. Although I love the project, this is a prime example:
Blood Rage was bad too, for different reasons. Waaaay too long and self-indulgent. The gameplay vid was cringeworthy too.
Watch your stretch goals. Promising too much is foolish.
DO: Show us how it can happen. DON’T: Use it as a pure pre-order system.
don’t DM about your project

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