top of page
  • Writer's pictureJW

21 Q2: Backin' the USSR

I almost said to myself: "Well done!" As I only backed one big game and one small game on Kickstarter these last three months. But then there were a couple of expansions, playing card decks and some retail games. And I am pretty sure stuff arrived in the house without me consciously registering it. So, I mainly deserve congratulations for the creative ways I've found to make most acquisitions not count.

Two games, and it's the big one I'm excited for as it will enable me to relive the cold war. Back to when I was young again. The good old days, when we were living behind a wall.


The big one

It's 2 Minutes to Midnight. Or rather, we're past that currently on the Doomsday Clock, but it was two minutes to midnight at some dire times during the Cold War. Hence the name of this detailed simulation game that covers the military, economics, politics, and trade of that time.

There are solo rules for both sides, and I'm especially looking forward to playing as the USSR. We grew up considering communists pure evil, but later I kind of figured they may not have been "real" communists. And anyway, such interesting times, such an interesting game. There's a technology track, you can send spies to countries, you can try to gain influence over time sending arms and advisors, maybe start some civil wars... All the world's your playground. All the while under threat of nuclear destruction. Sweet.


The odd one

The small game I backed is [Deep into & Back our of the Belly of a Huge] Mechanical Beast. To be honest, this is the kind of game I should Print and Play, not buy. Yes, I am sure I'll enjoy playing it, but I have no idea for how long. Smaller games always look so tempting to me. I try them all. Love them for a while, then they sit collecting dust.

But let's find out. It's published by Side Room Games, who publish the most interesting smaller games. They - and the designer - deserve some support. And who know, this may just be the odd one out. The one I keep coming back to.



Two of my favourite games had expansions on offer. No-brainers, really.

Maximum Apocalypse: Wasted Wilds adds campaigns in the two post-apocalypse settings of nuclear winter and global warming. Plus of course new characters and their decks with the wacky wicked artwork. It will take at least a year to arrive but I'm already having fun.

AuZtralia: Big Box + Revenge of the Old Ones and TaZmania is a... big box. It comes with two expansions, an organizer and empty space for the base game. Revenge of the Old Ones is originally meant for 1 vs many, but an event deck for solo players has been added. So, it will bring more variety and horror to my plays.

The other expansion is especially meant for one or two players. It has new terrain types, a small unknown for exploring - all on the new map of Tasmania.


Wait and see

I put $1 in the Hoplomachus Victorum campaign. Not for Victorum, I really did not enjoy the original Hoplomachus Origins and I don't need a campaign added to my torture. But I am interested in how Hoplomachus Remastered (from the same Kickstarter campaign) will turn out. As there was no info whatsoever. I really love Hoplomachus: The Lost Cities. I gave it away to a good friend, but I'd like to play it again one day. The pledge manager will be open for a long time, so I'm just follow the updates for tidbits on this new edition, that combines it with Hoplomachus: Rise of Rome and a lot of expansions.

So far, bad news. The first information we got is that they changed how the enemy bosses work in The Lost Cities. They are invulnerable now, and send waves and waves of criminals and beasts at you. Gameplay has changed into "how long can you survive". Boo.


Card decks

The first two decks in a series of eight focussing on ancient European festivals. They are beautifully illustrated by my current favourite artist Evgenia Zhade.

Image source: Kickstarter campaign

2. ONE Playing Cards (KS link)

Created by a Hmong American artist, this deck is based (mainly) on her culture's traditional textile art. It's a colourful deck with very nice details, right up to the beautifully styled pips.

Image source: Kickstarter campaign

Acquired without the wisdom of the crowd

In these months I also:

All in all, it may look like a lot. But, like I said, expansions, trades and gifts don't count.

Oh, shut up.


All images were taken from the respective games' pages on Board Game Geek (unless noted otherwise).

168 views9 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Jul 11, 2021

P.S. The 2nd Video isn't available in the U.S. 🙁


Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Jul 09, 2021

Sorry for the late reply, but I'm in 'catch-up' mode.

2 Minutes to Midnight looks to be for heavyweight war-gamers only! But, that would be you, JW. 🙂 I see the designer, Stuart Tonge, did Blue Water Navy and a reimplementation, which both look scary. 😬

I like Side Room Games, too. I have Orchard, Black Sonata, and Maquis. I backed the 'extra contents' KS campaign for Maquis.

Nice card art on Revenge of the Old Ones.

Regarding the Hoplomachus Victorum how long can you last thing, isn't that sorta like 'beat your own score'?

Cadet Stimpy
Cadet Stimpy
Jul 10, 2021
Replying to

I don't think you're way off-base, MoS. A lot of the cost is probably for those bad-ass chips. I'd rather spend the extra money on a fantastic game, and upgrade the components if desired/possible later on.


Jul 03, 2021

Why do you think the designer of Mechanical Beast deserves support? I mean, more than pretty much any other good-willed indie designer, that is?

Jul 04, 2021
Replying to

That sounds like a very good reason.

bottom of page