#179: Trenchcoat Games


The crushing burden of Masterpiece Theatre is having a toll. I had an attitude problem, but then I took a timeout, and I thought about what I did. The success of the Fast and/or Furious movies is undeniable–business-wise, this all seems like appropriate business–but at what cost? I went to the stock market today. I did a business. SVWAG is most emphatically not children stacked together wearing a trenchcoat. Would you like a alcohol?

02:39 AYURIS: Catan: Starfarers (Klaus Teuber, KOSMOS, 2019)

Games Played Last Week:
03:53 -Sunset Over Water (Eduardo Baraf, Steve Finn, & Keith Matejka, Delight, 2018)
06:44 -Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King (Andreas Pelikan & Alexander Pfister, Lookout Games, 2015)
09:27 -Mysterium Park (Oleksandr Nevskiy & Oleg Sidorenko, Libellud, 2020)
11:33 -Imperium: The Contention (Gary Dworetsky, Contention Games, 2021)
14:32 -Crash Octopus (Naotaka Shimamoto, itten, 2021)
15:02 -Dice Miner (Joshua DeBonis & Nikola Risteski, Atlas Games, 2021)
16:40 -Regicide (Paul Abrahams, Luke Badger, & Andy Richdale, Badgers from Mars, 2020)
17:25 -Caravan (Joe Huber, Rio Grande Games, 2019)
18:58 -The Quest for El Dorado (Reiner Knizia, Ravensburger, 2017)
21:16 -The Quacks of Quedlinburg: The Alchemists (Wolfgang Warsch, Schmidt Spiele, 2020)
23:36 -Inis (Christian Martinez, Matagot, 2016)
26:50 -Mafiozoo (Rüdiger Dorn, Super Meeple, 2017)

News (and why it doesn’t matter):
30:05 KS creators: own your choices, stop guilting backers
32:15 Why’s everything gotta have a campaign? (reprise)
34:04 Earthborne Rangers’ desire for sustainability
36:17 More crap in dice: dragon eyes
36:39 Excavation Earth expansion: It Belongs in a Museum
37:13 Bix box retail, licensed games are impressive: Ravensburger’s Alien: Fate of the Nostromo and Disney Gargoyles: Awakening
38:21 Avatar RPG
38:53 Tasty Minstrel Games suspends operations, refunds Kickstarter
39:48 Pfister becomes post-colonialist? Boonlake

41:21 Topic: Trenchcoat Games

1:08:27 SVWAG Presents: Masterpiece Theatre: The Fate of the Furious

Haven’t listened to this, but is the title telling us that other people might also have noticed a certain beige garment in another review? :laughing:


Or they are reading our forum…

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An interesting discussion, but until they started that topic segment I’d assumed that “trenchcoat games” were a more extreme form of “grail games”, i.e. people would buy them from a dodgy guy in a trenchcoat with big inside pockets…


I wonder if anyone has ever called them trench coat games before them.

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Without having listened to the episode yet, I’ll just assume they are games in which the authorities should be notified if you open them.

Nope, they say these are games that like three trash-pandas (I have heard this term so much I forget the original English name for „Dachs“) in a trenchcoat. Your first assumption may be radically asymmetrical games where everyone plays their own minigame (aka Captain Sonar or Merchant‘s Cove) but no they do not mean those. Neither is it games like Galaxy Trucker that have distinct phases of radically different gameplay.

What they defined was games that have different subsystems any player may engage in for varying strategies and where any subsystem can be ignored completely and still be a valid strategy. The first example being Praga Caput Regni. I would add Merv to the list. There was more…

I fell asleep on the couch halfway through the debate so I am not quite sure what they were actually critiquing here.

Edit: I want to also note I completely agree with the assessment on Earthborne Rangers. It is a valiant attempt to be better at sustainability but whether it truly will be, is something we will only see once the results are in. As it stands today‘s campaign update shows that they are really quite far from having enough backers in each region to produce locally. Nevertheless, if no attempts are made, nothing is ever going to change. So even failed ones are going to help move the hobby in a better direction by shining the light on the shortcomings.

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Badger. Easy to remember starting in English, because the Dachs Hund is a dog bred to go after badgers, which explains both its shape and its utter fearlessness.

The other thing I’ve seen about Earthborne Rangers is that they’re awfully light on actual gameplay information for this point in a KS campaign…


I have seen the start of a playthrough and was too lazy to watch the 2nd video because playhthroughs bore me to death. On the one hand I think that there is more material there than the red-flag waving sceptics think and also I do think the guys running this campaign have some fine working credentials. But on the other hand this is one that isn‘t completely through development yet which is the proverbial red flag. As I wrote in the KS thread, I am willing to entertain the risk… in this case. I am more sceptical about the whole claim to sustainability than that there will eventually be a good game here.

Actually, raccoons are typically referred to as trash-pandas.

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Aren‘t racoons and badgers the same animal?



Different badgers

Just a raccoon


Ah well my translation was wrong then with the Dachs… because the only one I can see in a trenchcoat is the trash-panda.

Racoon = Waschbär (Wash + Bear)
Badger = Dachs

I could have sworn the two German words meant the same animal. Not only games but also game forums can be quite educational :rofl:


It pleases me greatly that the German for raccoon is Wash bear :grin:


Fun fact: my father-in-law went to University of Wisconsin and their mascot is a badger, so their house has a disproportionately high representation of badgers:


Potentially relevant link:

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I really dislike these Trenchcoat games. I often call them “N mini games duct-taped together”. They aren’t imaginative. They aren’t innovative at all. I prefer games to be holistic. Feld is one of the main culprits and Trajan is, indeed, one of these. 2 hour nonsense point-salad where everything don’t come along together.

Not all modern Euros do this though. Ginkgopolis has mechanisms after mechanisms on it, but they all weld together very well. This results with Ginkgo being difficult to internalise, but leads to a very solid and cohesive game.


One thing they do is create this nice “looking enviously over the fence” vibe.


I bought Space Cadets. I played it four or five times. Then I realised that I hated it. Part of it is the crew change, just as you thought you were getting the hang of something; but the other part is that it’s basically non-interactive in the heads-down phase, and when it is it’s an extra burden (damage control) being added to “normal” gameplay.

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I enjoyed my solos of this quite a bit. Have yet to bring it to a multiplayer but I agree, very good integrated euro.

I do enjoy the occasional themepark euro (I am not sure if I made up that term or heard it somewhere)… for example Merv but they always end up making me wonder how balanced the different systems are and so I cannot have too many of those in my collection especially not for multiplayer.