So many secrets! Why do i have two copies of the game? Why is the box so heavy? What’s with that white fluffy thing on my t-shirt? All will be revealed!

(click to view transcript)

Hi, it’s Ryan from Nights Around a Table, and there are mysteries for you to discover in this video. Namely, the first one is “Why do i have two copies of this game from CGE called Under Falling Skies?” Well, i’ll reveal that shortly. But first, i have to talk about how i came across this game. i follow CGE, i’m very interested in CGE stuff, and they sent these copies along to me. And it’s COViD time. And usually they go to these big conferences like Gen Con or Origins or Spiel, and they set up huge booths, and they have people there w…, you know, ready to teach you the games, if you show up to those conferences, and sit down and check it out, and maybe go home with a copy – pick up a copy while you’re there. And it’s – you know – it’s an important sales period for these publishers, but it’s COViD. And all bets are off, all conferences have been cancelled. So, what did some of these do? Well, Gen Con did uh… i didn’t find it so great, what Gen Con did. They had what i like to call a glorified web page. it was just sort of like an image map that you can click on and go to different vendors, a bunch of pages were broken, and it w… it just wasn’t… as far as replicating a conference feel, it didn’t really do that well. i remember what CGE tried, i thought was a lot closer to hitting the mark. So they went in with a couple of other publishers and they said “Okay: we’re all gonna promote our games through this virtual world, right? And we’ll have a press day, and then we’ll have a weekend when the public can go in.” And you go in, and you pick an avatar from a big pile of them. And you’re walking around this virtual space that, aside from the gigantic castle, is made to mimic a conference space. So there are a bunch of tables, and as soon as you showed up close to a person, and i hope i can show you some… i didn’t get any B roll, but i hope i can intersplice my yammer with a couple of screenshots of Tr… Castle Tricon, so you can see what i’m talking about. So when you’d show up close to a person, it would pop open your camera and it will show your face. So you could talk to people using, you know, a video feed. And when you went to a table, you’d have people teaching you the game, and it would pop open an instance of Tabletopia, depending on which game you played, right? if you were playing Arnak, it was with Table… uh, the Lost Ruins of Arnak, which i’m talking about in different video… it would show you a Tabletopia embedded version of that within Castle Tricon’s 3d world. And if it was Under Falling Skies, it was a proprietary thing that was happening in-world so that you could play it. So unfortunately, Lost Ruins of Arnak, the tech didn’t work for me. But for Under Falling Skies, it did, and i WAS able to get a demo of the game. They went with really familiar themes for their… their slate of games this year, CGE did. So Lost Ruins of Arnak is like an indiana Jones-y – you know – ancient civilization, Tomb Raider-y kind of theme. And this… they’d probably hate for me to say it, but this is Space… this is Space invaders. This is a board game version of Space invaders, where you have aliens coming down the board, and you have to fight them off. But like i said, there are some mysteries to discover. What’s interesting about this… are a few things. First of all, it’s a solo game. So i don’t know if CGE had that plan from the get go – a purely solo game – or if they saw the writing on the wall and thought, “Oh, shoot – COViD. Let’s dismantle everything and MAKE this a single player only game.” Strip out all the other multiplayer stuff, or what happened? But, i mean, that’s… they’re in a pretty good position to be offering a solo only game in the middle of a time when people can really only rela… reliably play solo. The second thing they did: now this was wild to me. They sent two copies because i… you know, i saw the demo of the game, and it looks simple enough. And they mentioned sort of on the sly “Oh yeah – there’s a campaign.” And i thought, “Okay, that’s interesting. There’s a campaign.” So maybe different levels or missions you can play through, right? Um… the campaign is such a substantial element to this. First of all, it’s a way heavier box than i would have thought for the components that i saw at the Castle Tricon event. That’s the first thing. Second thing is that they don’t want anything to be spoiled. So they don’t want me to open this thing and show you all the campaign stuff. So this says “demo copy” right along the side of it. So what they’ve done is they sent me two copies, and one of them is completely blurred out! So you’re not going to see any spoilery stuff. This is the one with the spoilery stuff. That’s for me to play later. We’re going to put that away. And THiS one is the one that we’re going to unbox right now.
(imprecise scatting)
And i mean RiGHT now. Hopefully, you fast-forwarded to this part, past all my “blah blah blah.” So – you know – they don’t want me to say “Space invaders” because everyone’s lawsuit-nervous. i don’t think they’d be sued for that at all. Completely different thing. But it’s… it’s very much – if you’re familiar Space invaders, you know what’s going on here. Let’s pop it open. Ooo – smooth like butter. Really loose lid, so there is no box fart whatsoever. Box Fart-O-Meter: zero. “Wait! This is a demo copy. Under Falling Skies is carefully packed with a four chapter campaign at the bottom. The chapters are meant to be revealed gradually as you progress through the campaign. This demo copy includes everything for a standard game, and a taste of the campaign’s first chapter, which can be taken out of the box. The rest of the game is blurred out to avoid spoilers. We recommend you do not unwrap it, and leave it in the box. These components are included to show you the structure of the campaign, and to give you a sense of the amount of content included in a full game.” So it actually has, like, an exploded blowout view of everything in the box and how it goes, because… and i think this is the next cool surprise to learn… they’re very, uh… it’s very smart. So what am i supposed to do with this one? Obviously, i’m gonna play the one – after i unbox it, i’m gonna play the one that’s got all the stuff on it, and it’s not blurred. So what they suggested is i take this copy, and i go to a local board game cafe, and donate it! That’s a super cool idea. And i live in Oshawa, Ontario, just an hour east of Toronto, and our local board game cafe is called Brew Wizards. So once i’m finished with this video, i’ll head down there with a mask on, and i’ll… i’ll flip them this copy. i thought it was really neat. They got a tutorial video. i wonder if Paul teaches that? Paul Grogan from Gaming Rules. Here’s the instruction booklet. it’s not a very difficult game to learn, but it’s… it looks a little bit like – you know – kind of easy to play, tough to master kind of thing. Because the whole time – ooh, a little comic book. Pretty neat – that is how many pages? 15 pages. Let’s… let’s… i won’t say anything more. But let’s look. So these are the baddy ships.
And i think… hmm. The word “baddie” has taken on a different meaning. i’m on Tik Tok a lot, and “baddie” is, like… “hot person” now, isn’t it? isn’t that what it means? So here’s what the ships look like. There’s a ship, there’s ship… this one disappeared, because it’s it’s transparent. But you get the idea. Some are red, some are orange, and the red ones and the orange ones, i believe, do different things. So it’s a bit of a… it’s a bit of a dice rolly thing. So here are the dice… they’re in blue, grey, and white. And then there’s this little vehicle. And this was the one bit when i saw the demo, i didn’t really understand how this little vehicle worked, but it unlocks spaces Hold on: let’s let’s get more into it, and i can sort of quasi tell you what the orange thing does. You get a little catalogue for other CGE games. i like a lot of what they make. This is a piece of the board. This is a piece of the board. Some pieces of the board. Oh, really? This is interesting, because when i saw it demo’d, i expected all of this to be one big long fold-out board, but it’s not. it looks like you have to, sort of, put… this is your home base. This home base-y thing kind of reminds me of…. if you’ve ever played X-COM – you know – you’ve got your home base, and it’s a cutaway view, and it shows the different rooms…
And, uh… let’s follow the numbers! No, right. The numbers do not go in the right order. Eyh – something like that? Yeah, something like that. So it looks like you can make that, depending on what’s going on, shorter or taller, or probably in other campaigns, it’s like “Oer – put this board in there now, sucker! Euh, you thought you had the hang of this!” And then what you’re doing, generally – i’m not going to be able to tell you exactly how to play – but you’re rolling your dice, and you’re putting your dice – depending on the colour and the pips you rolled – on these different rune… rooms… to stop the ships in their track, and the ships are coming down, sort of – you know – bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh bluh – Space Invaders style, following the arrows. And depending on the spaces they’re on, if you roll certain numbers, you can hit them and shoot them out of the sky. But then there’s this other piece – this mothership piece – hold on. Let me try not to open… they’ve gone through such great pains to… i don’t want to mess up the… here we go. So this is the mothership. And the mothership is like a whole big… like, it starts at the top, and depending on certain conditions, the mothership just starts coming like “BWAAAAAAAMFFF.” It makes that noise… as long as you make that noise. It comes like “BWAAAAAAAMFFF” (see? It just did it again) and it comes down here, and – you know – it gets closer and closer and closer, so it’s going to come closer to your base, and kill… everybody. Like, sort of like a more… fun version of COVID. Like, personified. COVID personified. Okay, there we go. And then this… the truck has something to do with unlocking more of these rooms, and making them available at certain points. i didn’t quite get the bit with the truck. And you are trying to get a marker up on – i believe – this is like a science tracky kind of thing, and then the bad guys can get stronger and – you know – they can take pips off your… or points off your truck, and move it backwards, so you lose rooms, lose access to rooms, and so – like – the baddies win if you get down here, and you win if you’re able to go all the way up here to 11, depending on the conditions of the game. That’s essentially what’s happening in the game. And i think we’re not allowed to look anything else. Here’s a score sheet… here’s a score sheet. And… oh cool: like, the missions… so this is the one that’s not blurred. It starts with a cool comic book, and it’s got cool stuff in it that i WILL NOT look at…
and the three blurred ones, which we can’t see. i feel like i could have done that with editing. But i really appreciate what they did anyway to really… i mean, is that tantalising? Hmm? Does that…? Does that pique your spidey sense? This is probably the most i’ve known about a game going into an unboxing in a long time! That’s the deal! Under Falling Skies: a solo player, Space Invaders-like set of four missions against a big, bad mothership coming down to destroy you and everything below you! Cool! Have you played it? Are you interested in it? Did you put, like, a reminder on BoardGameGeek so that anytime anybody mentions it, you get pinged? You can do that, you know. That’s pretty cool. Let me know! i’d like to know. Drop me comment below, or you can talk to me on the Discord server, and there are a big pile of people over there who love board games, and who will not get tired of you when you talk about them ad nauseum! We’d love to hear it. We’re also setting up games periodically to play with each other online. Not in-person. Online. Gaming in the time of COVID. Thank you so much for watching this one, and i’ll catch you in the next video!
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[Music: Board Game Boogie by Ryan Henson Creighton]

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