The Polyhedron Collider Cast Episode 32: Clans of Caledonia, Monster Lands, Inbetween and our Essen

It’s time to get excited about Essen Spiel and so the boys try and keep it clean and family friendly.  Unfortunately, a request for Polyhedron Collider to review adult products leads to a discussion of said products and things evolve into childish giggling.

We do however get a chance to play ‘game of the year’ contender Clans of Caledonia, dice placement fantasy game Monster-Lands and talk about the Stranger Things inspired two-player card game Inbetween. We also then take our pick of the most interesting games to play and buy at Essen.


There are a lot of board games out there and, unfortunately, not all of them are good.  While we here at Polyhedron Collider try and write well-balanced reviews based on multiple play-throughs and with different groups, there are those game were doing is so torturous we end up alienating our friends and family. So we present the second part of our Review Roundup series, a set of short punchy reviews for games we are never going to play again.
Wreck and Ruin kickstarter review

Oh what a day! Oh what a lovely day, when a brand spanking new Kickstarter prototype arrives at my door. And it's not for a micro card game, a fantasy dungeon crawler or some form of worker/dice placement, no it's tearing around a post-apocalyptic wasteland in a diesel guzzling vehicle a la Mad Max. Oh what a lovely day indeed.

After a bit of a break the chaps from Polyhedron Collider return with a good old chat about board games.  We go full throttle for our review of Wreck & Ruin, race animals in The Champion of the Wild, get all depressed in This War of Mine and drown our sorrows on a Drinking Quest.

The boys then have a good lock chat about the current state of board game reviews and look at ethics, how we approach reviews and the best and worst receptions we have had to a review.

 
 The other day I received a mysterious package, and well, if it weren't for a couple of clues I would be pretty freaked out. For starters, I receive a shipping notification from Poland. Ohh I think, is it a Kickstarter? Well the shipping and tracking data gave no information, only that the package came from Poland.
Champion of the Wild Kickstarter Review
 
It's a board game review cliché to say "if you like this kind of game, you'll like this game". It's a tired and lazy get-out clause for a reviewer, they can thoroughly dislike a game and then issue this kind of statement completely admonishing any form of reviewer responsibility while remaining pretty, positive and ever so cuddly. It is a phrase I detest, but trying to write a review of The Champion of the Wild while avoiding this statement is turning into the literal equivalent of a daytime charge across the minefield.


Now we all love a bit of Norse mythology. The Marvel films are testament to that. A good looking chap with a big mallet walloping things around the head seems to make for the good times. And I’m sure he’s handy in a workshop too. Smacking nails into wood with one mighty swing – even less if he uses his hammer. 
Mansions of Madness Second Edition Review

I know there are a few people out there who believe that cardboard and technology should be kept completely separate, that by adding an app via a tablet or computer to their board game domain that they have somehow sullied their table top collection. If you think this way then you are missing out on quite possibly the best cooperative game to come out in 2016 and the most thematic Cthulhu Mythos game that Fantasy Flight Games have ever made, because Mansions of Madness Second Edition may have some minor issues, but otherwise is a superb and deeply thematic adventure game that perfectly marries technology and table top.
Runewars Miniatures Game Review
 
When reviewing miniatures games, one must consider the holy trinity of table top miniatures; the lore (or the fluff), the miniatures and the rules. Because a miniatures game isn’t as straightforward as a board game, not only do the rules need to be solid but you also need to have miniatures you want to paint and a background that wants you to fight.  We mostly review board games here at Polyhedron Collider, where game mechanics and gameplay rule the roost, and plastic models and pages of backstory are merely stage dressing. But a miniatures game has to draw you in, it needs to make you want to play, want to paint and most of all, want to pay most of your salary on more tiny plastic men.

How you rate your miniatures game is going to depend on which of these factors influences you the most. I certainly have friends who have bought entire game systems for the miniatures alone and Warhammer 40,000 has traded on the fan speculation of which Primarch would beat each other in a fight for some 20 odd years.
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