The Actual Table


They put a game on Kickstarter called Aftershock. The designer of a 2015 game from a non-profit UN agency that did a game called Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis Game, was getting questions from people asking if it was an update of their game. He approached Stronghold just basically saying “hey, maybe could you put something in there saying it’s not the same as our game, or maybe we could do some cross-promotion?”

They got a terse 2-sentence response basically saying “games with similar names happen all the time.”

When the Kickstarter went live, a tweet went out of course. The designer of the original game replied or RT’d (I don’t remember which) just stating that this is different than his game.

And he got blocked by Stronghold on Twitter.

A blogging friend of mine did a post about it, chastising Stronghold for it (both the name and the block) and he promptly got blocked.

I saw his subsequent post about being blocked and said that I thought it was a bush league move for them to block him (and the designer) just for mentioning the similarity.

And I promptly got blocked.

So I did two posts, one really chastising them for the Twitter block campaign, and then (once they pulled the Kickstarter supposedly just because the response to their “deluxe” elements was underwhelming) an open letter suggesting they stop blocking people and maybe just acknowledge the name issue.

That’s basically what happened.

Or you could just read my posts, but I didn’t want you to think I was just promoting those posts. LOL


Ah. I read about the drama over at BGG, but didn’t realize you were involved and thought this might be something else.


Nope, I managed to step in it this time. LOL

Then again, yesterday and the day before I had the most page views I’ve had in quite a while.

Then, really early this morning (or late last night), a friend posted links to the two posts on a Reddit thread about the issue, and now I’m getting (relatively, of course, it’s still a small blog) swamped with hits.

So I guess controversy sells!!!

Who should I badmouth now? LOL


Stronghold have properly fucked up over nothing. This could even have been a PR boost, played right.


I vote we set @TheDukester and @OhBollox on them… #problemsolved



Rex Brynen, the designer of the above mentioned ‘Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis’, runs an interesting site called PAXsims, which IMO is worth the occasional visit if you are interested in the war and peace-keeping simulations used by academics, the military and other organizations.

PAXsims reviews


I finished my Top 25 Games played with the top 10 (#10-6) and (#5-1)

Last Sunday, I got two new games in. Yokohama is a really fun game with a bit of an Istanbul-like mechanic. Really enjoyable, even better than Istanbul.

And also Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra (not Sinatra as my autocorrect put on Twitter). As much as I love Azul, this one is even better.

Possibly playing the first two eras of SpaceCorp on Sunday. That will be fun.


Thank you for the lists! Terraforming Mars seems to make frequent appearances on the BGG SGOYT (Solitaire Games on Your Table) threads, it must be a good time solitaire. What’s the story on your friends’ boards, are they custom or is there a difference in editions?


You mean the player boards?

One has Broken Token. The other got something else (maybe GameTrayz, or maybe something else).

They both have recessed areas for the player cubes that are keeping track of income so that they don’t go sliding all over the place.

Really handy.


Guess who’s back, bitches.


This is a four-parter. It is worth it.


I need some advice for Clank! I have the original and quite enjoy it. I’d like to expand my game and I don’t know whether I should buy Clank In Space as an alternative or simply one of the Clank! expansions. I’ve heard that In Space may have fixed some issues, but do any of the Clank expansion boards help shake things up as well?


I can’t speak for the Clank expansions, but CiS does add a bit of time to it because of the hacking requirements.

If one of the things you like about it is the length, Space isn’t for you.

However, if you find there’s not enough substance to Clank, I think CiS definitely fixes that.


Any fans of Smash Up here (not the app, which is good but not exactly great with the multiplayer)?

I reviewed the latest expansion (until International Incident comes out on March 22).

Oops You Did It Again is a great expansion, though not as good as some of the others.



It’s March! That means it’s time for February’s “New to Me” games post.

On Monday, I posted my Mystic Vale on Steam review.

As noted in my comment on the Stately Play news post about the expansion coming out, this game cries out for asynchronous multiplayer, but that cry is echoing in the void.



I wish I could get some content up, but work sucks and I’m spending all my non-work time volunteering for the musical at my kids’ school which is next weekend.

Hoping to start posting regularly again after that…


The number of times I’ve taken 2+ weeks off just due to life getting in the way is mind-boggling.

Don’t worry about that happening, Dave.

We’ve got your back!


I’m looking for some honest opinions on the Terraforming Mars learning curve.

Long story short, my wife has a co-worker who loves board games and she’s invited him over for a game night. He’s recommended Terraforming Mars, which I am quite happy about but I do have concerns regarding my wife. She’s played Terra Mystica and Scythe, but those are by far the heaviest games she’s played, and the learning games went quite long. Normally, she much prefers medium weight games.

Does anyone have any experience teaching an occasional-gamer Terraforming Mars? Or any other thoughts on my situation?