Flat but interesting – boardgaming EVE?

And now for something completely different: boardgames. Yes, it’s not as cool as internet spaceships, but I’ve never claimed to be a very cool person. I guess that in a way I’m a bit from a simpler time, a happier time, a less complicated time. Those were the days.

A bit of background first, eh?

I’ve always liked boardgames. When I was a kid I always wanted more boardgames. I don’t think I really enjoyed playing them as much as I enjoyed learning them. Reading the rules, figuring out the system and then, sooner or later, becoming bored and looking for my next fix. This was in very simple circumstances, I lived in a world were Monopoly and Trivial Pursiuit was considered the very cutting edge of boardgame technology.

During a visit in Sweden I was surveying a toystore for a boardgame, having been promised one piece of cardboard entertainment. This is what I found:

Don’t tell me that doesn’t look frickin’ cool? Let me also point out that this was the 80s, long before such things as personal computers or game consoles became everyday items. Or maybe not so long before, but long before they bacame everyday items to me. I still don’t have a Playstation by the way. Send a check.

The game in question was the Swedish version of Cosmic Encounter. Apparently it’s quite a staple in the boardgaming community. It’s been released many times by different companies, resulting in quite a few different versions. It’s actually about to be re-released this year by Fantasy Flight Games.

Now, the box screams out awesome, the components did not. Upon buying the damn thing, and getting to whereever we were going, I opened the box and, lo and behold, this is what was inside:

So as to give you the full horror, here’s a close-up:

I don’t know a lot of things about parenting, but I know this: should I ever get children, there is one rule, and one rule only, to keep in mind: to an 8-year old, cardboard isn’t funny.

The gameplay sucked too. Partly because I, and whomever I played with, were quite sucky as well. The theme put off my parents (not so much for the sci-fi) and the social mechanics of the game (negotiations feature quite often I seem to recall) did not work for my contemporaries, who were quite dim for their age as well, so that didn’t help.

There are other science fiction themed game out there though, and some of them are quite popular. Twilight Imperium looks frickin’ awesome, and so does Starcraft: the Board Game. They’ve got lots of bits, so that’s value for your money, right there.

Alas, I moved on. And it didn’t take many years before the allure of collectible card games was calling upon me. First up was, no surprise there, Magic: The Gathering. Now the stories I could tell you about this game. But lets just mention that in Shitsville, Nowhere where  I grew up there was one store catering to this franchise at the time, and it was managed by never-any-good former hockey player. Who did not know anything about the product he was peddling, and I believe the poor guy was quite overwhelmed with the influx of kids suddenly wanting to buy cards for ridiculous prices.

I also had a brief fling with Jihad, before it changed name to The Eternal Struggle, for political reasons. With brief I mean I bought a starter, some boosters, never found any players and shelved it. I was a WoD junkie at the time. We were all emos at one point in our life, don’t give me that look. And if anyone happens to play the game, and know of any online possibilities, give me a holler? Might be interested.

The EVE CCG, I’ve been checking it out. No re-sellers in this country, doubt there are any players, and the damn thing seems to be dead anyway.

So anyway, lets put out finger on the fastforward button, shall we?

There I was, happily playing Eve, toiling away in some godforsaken asteroid belt whilst browsing the Eve-homepage. And lo’ and behold, the contents for the next issue of EON had been posted. I clicked open the page, and soon my gaze stopped upon a few seemingly random words

Details of the EVE: Conquests board game

The what now? Ambulation, yes. Factional warfare, yes. The winter expansion (then still only known by its codename, MIDAS), yes. A boardgame? No, that was unexpected. Good news, good news. I began scourging the net for information. I even asked around on the forum. Nothing. Not a blip on the radar even. Its entry on the BGG is practically void of information, with only a few people there calling for something, anything, to read or look at. Nothing.

This is not good marketing. The game’s supposed to be released in November 2008. That’s next month. Now, I can only assume that they’re keeping a tight lid because of Fanfest coming up, and they want as much news and stuff to throw at the people going there as they possibly can. Fine, I can accept that. But I don’t want to.

Only thing I know about this game, so far, is that it’s gonna have lots of bits. Apparently the box is huge and/or weighs a lot. So yay for that. Shipping costs are gonna be nice. And I fear that the game is only going to be available through the EVE store anyway, which means US shipping, no less.

Last time I ordered a game and it had to be shipped from outside the EU I ended up having to drive for 1 hour to the customs office, and there explain to the nice lady that yes, it’s a boardgame, not a computer game, or console game. And yes, it still costs that much. Oh you can’t find the proper government code for a boardgame? Well shiii-iite. That’s too bad. Yes, here, take my money. You’re welcome. Oh, you overcharged me? Well that’s my loss I guess.

No, not bitter. Not bitter at all.

But yeah, I’d like some intel on this baby. Soon?

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~ by Shaun Livingstone on October 27, 2008.

3 Responses to “Flat but interesting – boardgaming EVE?”

  1. I read about the board game and got very intrigued. I may pick it up. I never had a chance to play the actual game, even though I have all 4 press-released packs. I played Magic back in the day as well, and I have a lot of hope that I’ll be able to play it again when it comes out on xbox live in as close to its original form as possible.

  2. I have a… troubled relation with CCGs. I love them, but they don’t love me back 😛 Played The Eternal Struggle for a couple of years, but eventually got tired of it.

    As for Twilight Imperium, one word of advice: this is not a game for an after-dinner get together with friends. This is a game that will take a whole freaking day to play.

    My poison of choice in non-pixelated format right now is Warhammer 40K. I love assembling the little models and painting them, even more than the actual playing of the game 😛

  3. @PsycheDiver – I don’t follow. “4 press-released packs”? Which game are you talking about now? And ooo, Magic on the Xbox? Need to look that up. Not that I have an Xbox but whatever….

    @fholcan – Yeah, TI looks massive. I’ve never played a FFG game, but they all seem to be huge when it comes to components, price tag and possibly also playing time. I mean, I like nice bits about a game, but a lot of the FFG games seem to be all flash and no thunder, yanno? The miniature hobby is an interesting one. I live in a small town these days, so there’s not like there’s a lot of pepople around for that kind of stuff (think “rural”), altho they do sell Warhammer, fantasy and 40k I think, at the local toy store. Perplexing. But I don’t think the wife would appreciate me opening up that bag of crack 😉

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