ClaireFair

by Claire Elizabeth O’Brien

So after two posts about Angus’s proposed new game lines for Mayfair (and untold behind the scenes hours spent pontificating on “Rare Angus game design theory”), I decided I had to get in on the act. After all, I’m a capable, talented, intelligent ewe with a lot of good ideas about games and gaming. Why shouldn’t there be a ClaireFair line?

No good reason, I say.

ClaireFair Shear Panic is pretty much the same game, but replacing Roger the Handsome Ram with Claire the Lovely Ewe. Let them fight for my attention.

Similarly, ClaireFair Elk Fest isn’t really different as far as the rules go. However, it does come with a small bag of baubles, glitter, bangles, beads, and other such craftables so that you can bedazzle your moose just like I did. And if you need any help, just give me a shout in the comments. Have hot-glue gun, will travel.

ClaireFair takes the nighttime intrigue of Nuns on the Run and moves it from the abbey to the television studio. With Ewes on the Move, you’ll take the role of Young Intern, The Old Crank, or the Diligent Newsram. Everyone is sneaking around the studio, trying to get away with things to varying levels of success. I admit I tend to pull for the Intern.

And just like Angus, I feel a ClaireFair addition to the universe of Catan must happen. I pondered this one for a long time, unsure what I had to offer this wonderful line of games that might be new and interesting. Finally I hit it. Catan needs a dating game.

Wooers of Clairetan.

And I’d love to tell you about it. But I’m currently under a Non-Disclosure Agreement and could be fired if I gave out any details. According to the higher-ups at Mayfair, me and this game are just like Beyoncé: we don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. Which is a darn shame, really. I’ll let you know when we decide you’re jelly-ready, though.

So what do you say, Mayfair execs? If you’re going to play ball with Rare Angus, then you have to throw some love at Claire To The Moon Games, right?

Yeah, I’m waiting for that call.

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Waste Not, Want Not

or “Hedging Against Injustice”
by Angus McPeters

I realize that the majority of my readers are, in fact, humans. Which means a great many of you are, at best,  omnivores. Taking that into account, I’d like to paint you a mental picture. It will be a bizarre image, but nevertheless, please imagine it in as much detail as you are able. I promise, there’s a point in all this apparent madness.

Ready? Let us begin.

Imagine, if you will, walking into a fancy hotel. In each corner of the room there is a side of beef tacked to the wall. Sitting atop the check-in desk are two small platters of meatballs. Everyone has a cut of beef jerky jauntily pinned to their lapels. If it’s Christmas, there will be circles of sausage links hanging on nearly every doorway. You may even wander into a restaurant that serves, oh, I don’t know, piles of wood chips on lovely plates while stacking steaks in the middle of the table.

Steaks you are not meant to eat, dear friends. In fact, none of this delicious meat is for you to enjoy with your taste buds. No, you are only meant to look upon it! Look upon it and despair!

This is the world my ovine brethren and sistren live in, people. Our entire reality is bedecked with ornamentation that looks as delicious as it is decorative. But woe unto any of us who snatches a bite from the delectable hedge, the delicious centerpiece, or the sumptuous Christmas wreath! Just a nibble on the philodendron in the corner, and everyone looks at us as though we’d munched a decorative soap then asked if it freshened our breath.

But there are things I fear even more than the slack-jawed stare that says “how gauche.” Chief among those fears is a call to the local constabulary. Because eating a hedge in front of the Marriott is defacement. Chomping on the grass at the park is vandalism. A nibble at the roses on the table is tantamount to no shoes and no shirt.

But is this fair? Is it right? On behalf of all my barnyard people, I say thee neigh.

Recently my young nephew and protégé Ewan found himself boiling in a bit of hot water that I found all too familiar. He ate the bushes at the convention center hosting the PAX convention. The authorities were involved, and now the lamb could be tried as an adult.

When I made a similar faux pas, none came to my aid. But this time, I say we ought not stand for this! We must rally! If we don’t chew together, we shall surely be chewed separately. No longer should we see ourselves as a carnivore, an herbivore, or an omnivore.

We must become justicevores, my friends! We must feast upon that which is right! And the first step toward that is to FREE EWAN*!

*FREE EWAN t-shirts, mugs, snuggies, shot glasses, and Begrudging Sheep app (available for both Android and IOS) coming soon! Support justice for Ewan with profit for Angus!

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New Tax Form: 1040-GAMER

by Claire Elizabeth O’Brien

I must confess, the whole concept of filing tax returns confuses me. Since I don’t make money as an intern, I thought I didn’t have to complete any tax forms. Apparently, that’s not the case. Mr. McPeters told me everyone has to file their taxes, except kids. I don’t know why goats get off scot-free, but I’m not one to buck the rules. And if I can follow the rules in Asgard’s Chosen, then how hard could it be to follow a form from the IRS? (I’m still not sure what IRS stands for – maybe Income Reporting Sheep? – but I do know that I don’t want to break any rules).

1040-GAMER
From what I hear, the IRS has a ton of forms, and you have to know which one is right for you. I’m glad I have Mr. McPeters to give me advice. I don’t want to fill out the wrong form. Mr. McPeters told me to use Form 1040-GAMER. He said it’s easier to follow than the form 1040EZ which Mr. MacWordell recommended. Form 1040-GAMER is for all gamers, including new gamers such as me.

Form 1040-GAMER

I got a copy of form 1040-GAMER, and I’ve posted it here so all of you gamers out there can have it too, in case you didn’t know about it. This whole filing of taxes is getting to be a big pain in the tush. Do you see all the lines for board games and related expenses? And why didn’t anyone ever tell me I’d need to keep my receipts?! They’re stuffed into my crafting boxes, board game boxes, purses, under one leg of a table for leveling purposes… you name it and my receipts are stuffed there! It will take me forever to find all of them!

At least I won’t waste time with the wrong form. 1040–GAMER looks easy enough to complete, so this intern will definitely be filing her taxes on time!

Happy receipt-hunting!

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Unsung History: Joan of Arc – Warrior, Martyr, Saint…Short Order Cook?

By Angus McPeters

Welcome back to another post of Unsung History. This series is where I pull back the curtain of known history to display the players and tales that somehow didn’t make the cut for scholarly historians. Spurious? Ridiculous? Fantastical? Perhaps. True? Oh, these are as real as the Great Pyramids and the pterodactyls that helped build them.

Not unlike my previous post on Hernán Cortés, I will again look at a well-known historical figure who is likely known well for the wrong things. This time, let’s talk about Joan of Arc, who was sainted 99 years ago on this very day. Tomes have been penned on Joan’s abilities as a mystic, a warrior, and a standard around which King-to-be Charles VII could rally. But few realize Joan’s greatest gift to history: the tuna melt sandwich.

Born in 1412 in the village of Domrémy and in the thick of the Hundred Years War, Joan had her first vision at the age of roughly twelve. Two sainted women and an archangel visited her in a field while she played alone. As she came of age, French-loyalist forces had suffered humiliating defeat after scandalous rout. Charles’s desperation opened up a door for Joan that she propped wide with tales of her visions and a few prophecies of French victories that came true.

At the last moment, Joan requested that she be outfitted as a knight and dispatched with the forces meant to relieve the Siege of Orléans. With scant options, Charles opted to honor her request. Whether she led, followed, swung a sword, or held a banner, I leave to other historians to quibble over. What cannot be disputed, save by hidebound “traditional” historians, is the effect her cooking had upon the French army.

On the road to Orléans, Joan set up a grill and began to create quick but delicious dishes the likes of which the army had never seen before. A few centuries later, Napoleon said that an army marches on its stomach, but the French first learned this lesson with Joan. Her omelets du fromage, various patty melts, waffles, and a host of other short order delicacies boosted the morale of the army to unseen heights. The enlisted men described her fare as “heavenly” while Joan regreased the grill and smiled knowingly.

Once at the siege, Joan the peasant girl defied the existing and overly cautious leadership in open war council. Despite gates locked against her, Joan rallied the townsmen and soldiery, and attacked the stronghold of Saint Augustin with only one captain to aid her.

“For France, for Charles, and for breakfast served all day!” was her reported war cry. And her men responded. Her victory at St. Augustin would eventually lead to a decisive and bold breaking of the siege, which would in turn lead to many other victories both directly attributed to Joan and because of her overall effect on esprit de corps.

Joan fought her battles not only with sword and shield, but also spatula and grease-splattered apron. She invented hamburgers years before Germany, melted various French cheeses over a host of different sandwiches, and scrambled scores of eggs. She also invented a plethora of fried foods the world would enjoy for generations. Why do you think they’re called French fries?

But as we know, Joan’s story ended in tragedy. Captured, tried for heresy, and burnt at the stake. However, years after her death, Joan was retried, found innocent, and canonized. She became the patron of martyrs, captives, soldiers, and the unsung saint of greasy spoons everywhere. Viva la France, viva la Joan, and viva la tuna melt!

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9.10: My Life in Film

News stories about the Great River of Catan and the means of making new explorers in Settlers of the Stone Age cause Angus to add a little cinema to the news broadcast.

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BearFair

by Angus McPeters

Welcome to another installment of the hypothetical joys only Mayfair and Rare Angus Games can bring you. Today’s offering? Another new line of games with an ursine twist: BearFair!

First, something simple: Le Beeaar! The rules are simple: don’t be the one holding the honeypot when you or an opponent rolls the Maul symbol on the die!

BearFair: Whitewater is still a race down a raging river, but with even more dangers! It’s salmon-spawning season! This means not only a markedly increased chance of leaping fish slapping you in the face but also a greater likelihood of bear attacks! Navigating obstacles with fancy paddling is one thing, but what happens when a grizzly yanks that paddle right out of your hands?

BearFair: Ursinia asks the question “What does forest restoration look like if bears are in charge?” You’ll have to manage the Bees to make sure they’re building enough hives and producing enough honey. And how can we ever keep the Fish happy? I mean, without them, we won’t have any schools!

In BearFair’s version of Silverton, one player works as the railroad trying to unite humanity across Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. The other player takes on the role of the grizzly bears whose mountain habitats are threatened by the smoke-belching monstrosities. Can the bear player maul enough conductors and uproot enough railroad ties to keep the trains from running on time? Or will industrialization once again triumph over nature?

But what if you’re of a more artistic bent? Then perhaps Bearbarossa is more your speed. But how do bears factor into a game of riddles and sculpting, you ask? With the addition of a gamer staple: snack foods! Imagine you have a delicious, crunchy, conical delight that just happens to be the right size for sticking on the end of your fingers. You now have an approximation of bear claws that will make the sculpting part of this game even more challenging!

And finally, what does BearFair have in the inevitable Catan department? Naturally there’s the Traders & Barbearians expansion! In this mind-blowing new expansion for classic Settlers of Catan you’ll be—

Okay, look. The fact is right now all I’ve got is a name. But it’s great, right? How could Mayfair not snatch that right up? Then we can even have cute little Catanimal Barbearians. It’s a license to print money, Mayfair! CALL ME, MAYBE!

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