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As is my usual practice I mostly passed the New Year playing board games at an event hosted by friends. Once again I’d like to thank my friends for hosting me, and I’d also like to thank them for tolerating my current obsession with Sentinels of the Multiverse.

Fortunately you won’t have to deal with that again next year[1]. 🙂

I tried a couple of new games, and both are on the possible “to-buy” list.

Unspeakable Words

Unspeakable Words is a Cthulhu-mythos inspired spelling game where the letters are scored based on the number of angles in the capitalised form. So an “O” is worth zero points (no angles), and an “E” is worth four points.

You start the game with 5 Cthulhu pawns representing your sanity or lack thereof. Each word played requires a sanity check in the form of rolling a D20 to equal or exceed the score of the word. If you fail lose a pawn, and the game if it’s your last pawn.

Unless the word takes you to 100 points, you still score the word if you fail the sanity check. If the word would take you to 100 points, you have to pass the check to get the score and win the game.

Oh, and a given word can only be used once each game. After that, the word is unspeakable and is recorded on a list to prevent anyone trying to score it again.

Fun, silly, and fairly fast.


Cuba is a strategic board game with a nice balance of opportunity costs and competition between players, without an ability to completely cripple other players. Each player is running a village in pre-revolution Cuba, and has a deck of cards with the roles of (in ascending order of votes) Worker, Tradeswoman, Architect, Foreman, and Mayor.

In each round each player will take 4 turns playing one of their cards, and taking the appropriate action.

The Worker will move the player’s piece in his/her village, and this will determine what raw materials are produced. In essence the Worker will produce the raw materials from the square that the Worker is on, and the other squares in the same row and column.

The Tradeswoman can buy and sell some raw materials and/or goods, as well as having limited access to a black market.

The Architect can build buildings in the village, noting that these cover (and replace) squares that would otherwise produce raw materials. The buildings have various special effects.

The Foreman cannot move the player’s piece but can activate the buildings in the same row and column.

The Mayor can load goods to ships earning victory points.

The highest vote card played 4th determines the next starting player, in the case of a tie the player who went last will go first.

The fifth card, plus cash, is used to vote for statutes that alter the rules of the game somewhat. There are four types, at least two of which provide victory points to those who can afford them. The single highest vote gets to decide which two of the new bills gets passed, and after that they take effect.

The game runs for 6 rounds, highest score wins.

I only played this the once but it has a clean, elegant design with excellent production values. Cuba plays well, and is I’m definitely considering getting this once I’m back in Canberra.


Much fun was had, and I have possibly two new games to look at adding to the collection. Happy New Year all, and I hope you have a good 2017 ahead of you.

[1] I won’t be bringing it across to Perth again. Even the partial set pushed my luggage right to the weight limit, and the rest of the OblivAeon KickStarter will double the size of the game.