PERSONAL DIARY (July 2019): No KS stuff. Resolve shattered. WTF!?

Photo courtesy of Henk Rolleman

July proved a Monthus Horriblis…

Wait, what?  Really?  Are you kiddin’ me!?  Yup, ‘fraid so — having gone through all of this year sticking to my resolve and not buying new games (or backing them on Kickstarter), and getting new KS swag from last year delivered every single month in 2019 thus far, July saw no new KS goodies arrive, and I finally purchased a new board game!  Whoa!  Where did it all go wrong, and what amazingly, stunning, incredible game was it that finally broke the camel’s back, then?  Ahhh, we’ll get to that soon enough, don’t worry!

Work pressures and other stuff meant I also struggled to post a second review in July, although my playthrough of Rogers’ Rangers: America’s First Commandos was a new and different experience for me, and might be something I’ll be doing more of in future, depending on how I feel about what’s happened this month with regards to re-opening the purse strings…

Back in June, I genuinely felt I’d had a ‘breakthrough month’ and was feeling positive: a black cloud seemed to have lifted in terms of my thirst for new stuff, but there was a touch of melancholy at the lack of original boardgame titles that appealed — see June’s update here: Another month… and no temptations at all?

I was also supremely confident that new KS swag would arrive throughout the summer months — clearly, KS fulfilment and delivery can be a fickle thing, so that confidence proved woefully misplaced!

Sooo… this month hasn’t gone to plan in any way, shape, or form, and it’s all looking a bit wonky and pear-shaped right now, but at least the rest of this year could prove interesting…


Okay, WTF happened?

A good question. And this boardgame I bought, the one that finally broke my resolve, it’s gotta be something special, right?  Hmmm… actually, it’s technically not even that new, or original —it was released in 2018— but I should probably add that my decision to actually buy it came as a direct result of someone else’s review, so never let it be said that reviews don’t influence people…

That game, btw, is Radetzky: Milano 1848, and annoyingly, I can’t find the original review that sold me on it, but it compared favourably to Pandemic: Fall of Rome (one of my top plays of 2019) and described it as a tough and unforgiving alternative. As an ardent fan of Pandemic-stylee games (incl. Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu and Black Orchestra — which I mentioned last month), I just had to investigate, and I did so, thoroughly and diligently. After further homework and devouring several reviews, including Sam Healey’s video review on BGG here and reading my fellow The SPIRIT contributor Giles’ unique coverage on his excellent BSoMT site hereand the fact that I found it for less than £30… Well, let’s say it was a done deal at that point!



As for how it plays… it’s a co-op of course, but in truth the basic game is nowt to shout about: it’s simple, straight-laced, but hard-going. It’s a tough cookie to beat, for sure, and for a lot of the game you’ll feel like you’re ‘on rails’, with limited options and a lot of actions being forced onto you — dilly-dallying in this is grounds for a quick and untimely demise, and the game will end pretty damn quickly if you don’t gain control of things early on.

Thankfully, the ‘advanced version’ provides a lot more agency for players with special abilities and other goodies ready to unlock; it also opens the floodgates for group planning and participation, and going forward I’d suggest this is the only way to get the best out of this, but it’s still a tough bugger to defeat!  I’ve certainly enjoyed every experience I’ve had with Radetzky, and am still yet to win a game either solo or with a group. I haven’t played it with the full complement of 5 players, yet, but am looking forward to doing so as soon as I can, which is surely a good sign?

Hmmm… I appreciate that this might all feel a bit anti-climactic, but at least I know it’s a game I’ll be hanging onto for a while…


Moving on…

So what does that mean for the rest of the year, and how do I feel about things?

I’m not too sure. I’m planning to continue steering clear of new KS games, and will remain tight-fisted for the foreseeable, although I have been looking at more wargames I’d like to investigate (purely for personal research and game design purposes, of course!), and the new Dune game is a massive temptation, but I’m still on the fence about that tbh, and may just let it slide and see what other reviewers make of it, first…

I haven’t made my mind up as to how this leaves things going forward, and truth be told am probably still processing the enormity of breaking my resolve for the year, but I’m really pleased to have undergone the experience, and don’t regret it at all, but I guess we’ll see how things pan out over the next few months…


The July 2019 Temptation List…

Etherfields (Awaken Realms — KS)
Radetzky: Milano 1848 (see above)
Dune (Gale Force Nine)

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