Nanty Narking has a couple of days left on Kickstarter

Nanty Narking Box Art

Nanty Narking still means ‘Great Fun’

A while ago, I wrote about an upcoming Kickstarter.  That bit of news was about Nanty Narking, a retheme and rework of Martin Wallace’s Discworld: Ankh-Morpork.

I saw the post go up that Nanty Narking was live, and then instantly stopped.  It is being produced by Phalanx, the people behind the upcoming UBOOT game.  I backed that project, and am really looking forward to playing it.  It’s not a ‘Who are these guys?’ issue, it’s a ‘the project is in pounds’ issue.

I already own Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, and can barely get it to the table as it is.  That said, I enjoy it a lot.  Each character has a secret goal they are trying to achieve, and exert their influence on the city of Ankh-Morpork to try and reach their own goals.

The game has some issues – anyone that tells you it doesn’t is in fan denial.  But it is a middleweight game that is a lot of fun at the highest player count, and has a special spot in my collection.

Nanty Narking Game Setup
Really, Nanty Narking is Ank-Morpork Second Edition, with nicer components and streamlined rules

Mechanically, the retheming of Discworld to the fictional Charles Dickens/Sir Arthur Conan Doyle London makes a lot of sense.  Sir Terry did base a lot of Ankh-Morpork on Old London after all, with many characters a parody of the same source material.

A lot of the issues of the original have been addressed in Nanty Narking, but I think the same problem still exists.

I am not talking mechanically, I believe that Martin Wallace would do what he believed best to address those issues.  No, the problem I am talking about is that this is a big heavy game feel with fairly simple mechanics.

This made Ankh-Morpork a miss as a gateway game and an enthusiast game, meaning really Discworld fans were the main audience to give it a go.  Too heavy for a gateway game, to light for a ‘serious’ game, an IP with a loyal fanbase and yet somehow still not mainstream – Discworld: Ankh-Morpork was a niche game in almost every way.

Nanty Narking Personality Cards
Replacing the Discworld identities are various well known Victorian Literature characters, each with their own goals

I have seen lots of reports of people demoing the game at conventions and the like and wondering what they just did.  This is not the sort of feedback you want for your game.

That said though, I am fairly confident that a 2-hour learning game (which was always my experience) was kind of crunched into a rushed demo experience.  If I ever tried to teach Ankh-Morpork at ‘normal’ speed, the same feelings were often described as problems – Playing an action because they had to, not understanding the impact the actions on the game, etc.

If you can pick up a copy of Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, I really do recommend it but with the ending of Discworld licensing after Sir Terry’s passing, they are really hard to get.

The more I look at Nanty Narking, the more I see a very pretty version of a game I wish I could convince more people to play.  But this is an AUD$170 game including shipping for a game I essentially already have!

Check out the Nanty Narking Kickstarter and see what you think.  Keep this in mind though – the player count is really 3-4 players, with the best experience at 4.  If you have three other players that are keen, everyone going in may be the better way to go?

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

AuZtralia is coming to Kickstarter soon

AuZtralia Box Art

Martin Wallace adds yet another great twist to some well-known games and themes

UPDATE: The Kickstarter is live RIGHT NOW! Check it out here!

Well, if you read my Top Ten Anticipated Games of 2018, you know that AuZtralia is something I am looking forward to. I am a Martin Wallace fan, and Neil Gaiman’s A Study in Emerald was a great twist on the Cthulu Mythos.

The time I have been looking forward to is coming close though – AuZtralia is set to launch on Kickstarter March 6th! Of course in Australia (correctly spelled!) this will probably be on the 7th, but it’s still going to be close!

By all accounts, the game is shaping up nicely, with overall positive feedback on the games and rules I have seen being tweaked before the project release. I think this is a game I would prefer to play either solo or with four players from looking at the rules so far, but opinions offered have suggested that three may be the best multiplayer count.

If you would like to give it a try yourself, you can try AuZtralia on Tabletopia here.

AuZtralia on Tabletopia
AuZtralia on Tabletopia

AuZtralia is a semi-cooperative game with a bit of a difference to games I have played like this lately. Many semi-cooperative games I have looked at or played lately tend to have a ‘work together until only I win’ element to it. AuZtralia doesn’t do this, and in fact, uses its semi-cooperative mechanism to fix an issue that can appear in a lot of bigger euro games.

In some games, one player can pretty much tank a game for a lot of the others by ending the game early, and this is usually done in response to that player feeling they can’t win. In AuZtralia, while this is still possible for a player to do and make the game harder on the others, other players can stop this from happening by defending the weak points that can end a game instantly.

AuZtralia Components
AuZtralia Components

One thing I am enjoying about this game is it’s not a Cthulu game. I know this sounds contradictory, but at its core this is a resource management, economic and area control type game. This is important as unfortunately the attitude of “oh no another Cthulu game” will probably stop a huge chunk of it’s intended audience from looking at the game.

If you like Trains, Railroad Revolutions or another Martin Wallace game Age of Steam I hope you will give AuZtralia a good look, as I think you will have another great game to add to your collection.

I will put up a link to AuZtralia when the Kickstarter is live. For now though if you’re interested in learning more about AuZtralia, check out the Board Game Geek page here, or have a look at the final thoughts of one of my favourite pull no punches reviewers Richard ‘Rahdo’ Ham in the video below.

Until next time,

JohnHQLD

Nanty Narking – it’s old Victorian for Great Fun apparently.

Nanty Narking Annioucement Image

What do you do when you can’t release your game anymore? Retheme the living Dickens out of it that’s what!

I am a major fan of the Discworld. That’s not a secret to anyone that knows me. It may seem like Firefly and Rick and Morty have a higher place in my heart, but no. It’s only that most of my friends don’t get the Discworld references. Martin Wallace originally had a trilogy of Discworld themed games. So when I heard that the first game was being rethemed and called Nanty Narking, I was instantly intrigued.

The first was Martin Wallace Discworld game is Ankh Morpork, a game that most closely resembles Lords of Waterdeep, but doesn’t. This game is the basis of Nanty Narking, and what I am excited about.

Then came The Witches that kind of but not really resembles Pandemic. This is a fun little experience with a number of ways to play it, and well worth a look.

Then, there was to be The Gods, the final in a trilogy. Due to Sir Terry’s passing, The Gods and pretty much all Discworld related licensing was pulled. And for the general public, The Gods were never to be. A piece of me does think that Sir Terry would have smiled at that little piece of irony though.

So what do you do when you have a fun game that you can’t print anymore because of lawyers? Retheme it and place it in a semi-fictional Old Victorian era, and call it Nanty Narking!

At the moment all I honestly know of the game is that it is coming to Kickstarter this year, and has some fun looking minis already 🙂

Based on Ankh Morpork gameplay, Nanty Narking has players competing to take control of what I assume will be London. This will be done with a mixture of area management, hidden roles and varying objectives.

I am hoping Nanty Narking will streamline and balance a couple of the roles that were found in Ankh Morpork, but like Restoration Games, this seems to be being handled by a group that genuinely love the base game and want to bring it to a new group of players.

If you know anyone with a copy of Ankh Morpork, have a game or two before the Kickstarter launch. I will be reviewing Ank Morpork formally around the end of March in the meantime. The gameplay and mechanics to me stand up well, and Ank Morpork was not a game that needed the Discworld theme to hold it up, so I am very excited about Nanty Narking!

Until next time,

JohnHQLD
Nanty Narking Annioucement Image Large