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This week we speak to Casey Garske, a man that knows a few things about Weirdos, we take a look at the new edition of Knave and lots more...
A somewhat half-baked Gazetteer this week. Those of you unfortunate enough to follow along these things will know that reviews have once again been a topic of discourse within the tabletop game world.
The key driver of all this has been Polish board game publisher Into The Unknown sharing a series of emails from YouTube channel The Quackalope “requesting” $7500 to reshoot a series of unfavourable videos they’d shot covering ITU’s upcoming Aeon Trespass.
With that injection of cash, and perhaps someone from the studio dropping everything and flying around the world to Ohio, The Quackalope were sure they could produce something with a much more positive outlook. Cue much outrage and suggestions of blackmail across social media. If you want to get into the weeds on this Kotaku have all the emails in their coverage.
Tangentially, at the same time within the much more impoverished TTRPG field the wheel of discourse has also landed on reviews again, with many smaller creators voicing their frustration at the lack of coverage their titles receive.
Anyway, as befits the ego of someone who started their own magazine I’d planned to wade into both topics and lay out our official stance,. But what had started as a pithy rejoinder (spoiler: paid (p)reviews - boooo! bad! very bad! stop it!) quickly spiralled into both an essay and, hopefully more helpful, a guide for creators in dealing with the press (or us at least). Those both need a bit more time in the oven but we’ll have them up for you next week.
Anyway, on to more pleasant things… this week we’re joined by game designer Casey Garske, designer of several well used titles on our shelves such as Stay Frosty and Space Weirdos, we take a look at the second edition of Knave and fling a load of links at you like an angry chimp in an enclosure.
Till next week,
Casey Garske - Garske Games
We like Casey Garske, he creates fun gonzo wargames, he commissions art from Lukasz Kowalczuk and he looks like a man that enjoys a pisco chicano. So with his latest game, Sword Weirdos, now available to buy we thought it was time to catch up with him again.
We say again because of course Casey featured in our feature on indie wargames from our second issue. At that point he’d just released Space Weirdos, a miniature-agnostic skirmish wargame that took the spirit of early Warhammer 40K and wrapped it in a system that was simple and quick enough to learn that you might actually play.
Sword Weirdos then, as the observant amongst you will have already guessed, takes SW’s light system and reworks it for the fantasy genre. I’d say it’s a little bit crunchier in places but still a breeze compared to many war-games and will have you playing with your underused dusty models in no time.
Anyway it’s out now and a steal at less than five bucks. If you’ve got a load of models lying around or you just fancy dipping your toes into narrative wargaming then check it out! Right with that in mind let’s see what filling
What are you currently… Playing?
As I approach 50, I feel the middle-aged yearning to become a full-on historical miniatures grognard. So I'm printing and painting a Persian Empire army for SAGA: Age of Alexander (scythed chariots and elephants!), and I'll be playing some proper Bolt Action for the first time with my British Commando army.
I have played some Konflikt '47, which is Bolt Action with ray guns, werewolves, and mechs. Very fun, 40Kish experience, without the worry you'll be tabled on turn 1.
Speaking of 40K, I hope to be playing a lot of Boltgun when it's released later this month.
It will shock no one that I'm into UFO stuff. The cover of Whitley Streiber's Communion still haunts me to this day. As a kid I was convinced if I poked my head out from under the covers I'd see the Greys hovering over me. But these days I'm more interested in aliens and UFO's as a social/religious phenomena. And so I am currently reading They Are Already Here: UFO Culture and Why We See Saucers by Sarah Scoles. Super fascinating.
I am very lame when it comes to watching TV. The kids monopolize it, and if I try to watch anything after they go to bed I fall asleep. So I've been seeing a lot of Modern Family, which is what the kids are bingeing right now. It's fine. But I am really looking forward to season 2 of Prehistoric Planet when it comes out in late May.
… listening to?
Mostly my tinnitus! I just saw Man or Astro-man? at a little club and they went full-throttle the whole show. Absolutely killer. I got to wear Coco's space helmet. The opening band were the Black Widows, a local all ladies surf/punk band. Excellent stuff.
… working on?
Finishing the Sword Weirdos kickstarter! The PDF is out, and we need to put the finishing touches on the solo rules, then I can print, fold, and mail some zines all over the world. After that, I've got a few things cooking, but nothing I can talk about yet. Mysterious!
Knave - Second Edition
First released in 2018 Ben Milton’s Knave has been one of the key games in the nebulous post-OSR movement and, alongside the likes of Into The Odd, a big influence on many of our current Wyrd Science faves such as Masuritter and Cairn.
The original version of Knave is a lightweight (I think it was something like seven pages long) toolkit designed for running old school style dungeon crawls with your standard six stats, no classes, all rolls can be player facing, item slots to make inventory keeping a breeze.
The new, second, edition builds upon this skeletal frame and now also includes new rules for hexcrawls and random encounters, two magic systems, alchemical crafting, a bestiary, things to do in between dungeon explorations and goes all in on the artwork with the brilliant Peter Mullen bringing his wonderfully strange vibes to the table.
A collection of other things, both interesting and inspiring, gaming related and not, culled from around the web...
Fighting Fantasy is being reimagined as a card game. We just saw the first announcement regarding this today so that’s really about as much as we know right now but it’s been designed by Martin Wallace and adapts 4 of the first 6 books in the series, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, The Forest of Doom, Deathtrap Dungeon and Island of the Lizard King.
Quite a good little piece in the Guardian this week about why men’s friendship groups grow ever smaller with age and how to fix that, Dungeons & Dragons (other RPGs are apparently available) being one suggestion to fight off the isolating effects of age.
Sticking with both The Guardian and things that are getting on a bit, interesting story here on aging red dwarf Betelgeuse, which has suddenly started doing some odd things in its dotage…
Gizmodo have pulled together a pretty good list of games to check out to celebrate AAPI month that features several that already get a lot of time here such as Jiangshi and ARC, some we’re waiting impatiently to get our hands on like Roach of the Roach God, a couple we’ve been meaning to check out for ages like Gubat Banwa and a few totally new to us but we’re off to buy right now like Lair of the Frog God.
New issue of board games magazine Senet is out and it is gorgeous as ever. Viva print media!
Just a few days left to enter your game into THE AWARDS. Do it, we believe in you…
Dan Throat continues to point the way forward for board game criticism and his look at Hegemony is both smart and packed with zingers.
Fans of our covers should know that Mat has just today put up a stunning new print for sale on his website, as part of his series following wee witch Beryl and her bee pal Huxley.
Also we will finally be putting up the VERY LIMITED (about 15) hand pulled prints Mat made of the most recent Wyrd Science cover next week. As beloved subscribers you have till roughly midweek to get in touch and have one put side before they go on general sale.
Right, on that note enjoy your weekend, I’m off to run 20km, please pray for my hamstrings…
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