I got out of work early yesterday and strolled over the Hungerford bridge in the sunshine and through Covent Garden towards Belgravia. The destination? A wonderful establishment on Museum Street called Playin' Games. Long-suffering Sue was with me - she very effectively concealed her excitement at her first visit to a full-blown games shop.
A quick scan round the ground floor, then plunging down to the basement where they keep the hard-core stuff - and there it was, a shelf stacked with several new copies of Tempus. So one of those was purchased on the spot - thanks to £35 of eBay takings transferred from my PayPal account - and I also picked up two IceHouse stashes (Black and White). I am noodling with the idea of a Europe Engulfed inspired IceHouse game, and I need a few extra colours. (It's probably totally unacceptable to feel this way, but black would be sooo cool for the Germans!) Looney Labs have started selling their pyramids in mixed colour Treehouse sets, but Playin' Games have a box-full of old-style monochrome stashes at £6 each so get them while you still can!
Then it was over to the Orc's Nest where I put my foot seriously in my mouth by asking if they have any Games Workshop black spray paint. Back came a sniffy response that they "never touch that stuff". Oops! It just looks like the kind of place that would - my mistake. It's funny how much bad feeling about Games Workshop still lingers in certain sections of the hobby.
First impressions of Tempus? Expensive for a Warfrog design - we've got used to these being bargain purchases at the £25 mark. Dodgy graphics - as soon as I opened the box I was wondering what Mike Doyle could do with this. Nice solid components, it's all going to work physically. Easily the most comprehensible ruleset we have seen from Martin Wallace so far. Very simple rules, no stunning new ideas, but I expect it to play nicely as a light empire-building and progression game, sort of in the same space as Vinci, but probably more interesting. Now to persuade my local group to try it.....