Mar 052011
 

GOJIRA! RUN, RUN!  Wait.  ALIENS!  RUN, RUN!

If you find yourself in a similar situation of being caught between a giant dinosaur and a hard space ship, you might be playing Ticket to Ride with the new Alvin & Dexter Expansion.  Being an alien and a dinosaur, respectively, what these two fellas add to the game are chances to mess with your opponents.  They are playable with any version of Ticket to Ride, also.  But what do they actually do?  Well, at the start of the game the last two players to go randomly place them on cities.  Whatever cities these monsters are destroying are not available to be built through; makes for a good way to block opposing players.  If you love the Ticket to Ride series, like we do, I’m sure, also like us, you’d think it rocks to have giant monsters stomping all over the board.

Last week we scoped out the zombie restaurant business by looking at Give Me the Brain.  This week, and another restock, brings us Lord of the Fries, Steve Jackson’s companion game to Give Me the Brain.  Same theme, different rules, though.  This time around,  players are zombie chefs attempting to complete disgusting cuisine at various undead eating establishments.  Attempting to beat the clock, players hustle to assemble items listed on menus with ingredients like “cow meat”, “sauce” and “drink”.  Think Wasabi with zombies.

London is calling.  Calling you to play London.  Yes, the game is called London (not the most original name, but apt) and it follows that particular city through an extended period of time as it recovers from the Great Fire of 1666.  Basically a resource game, London involves players balancing and controlling workers, money, businesses, and building materials as you work to restore the city.  But not only are you handling resources, you also have to balance workers and the poor to help assist the city in the rebuilding process.

Arriving from “ole reliable” Z-Man games is Hansa Teutonica.  A solid bidding/bartering/trading game, Hansa has gamers taking on the role of merchants in medieval Germany working to build prominence by improving their trading skills.  With improved skills come more actions, higher income, new privileges, and improved prestige which, in turn, improves your chances of besting the other players.  If you’re into games like Samarkand and Chinatown, this should tickle your fancy.

Battlore adds a new expansion this week with Code of Chivalry.  It’s raining humans with this set, as it combines all the previously released human units with foot and mounted versions of Knight Long Swordsmen.  Many and varied cards are also included, including the inclusion of summary, specialist, and deployment cards.  Four new adventures are also jammed into this box of glorious-ness.

Put your fedora on, ladies and gents, Cargo Noir has slinked into the room.  Created by the same dapper fella who laid some scribbles down on Mare Nostrum and Mystery Express, Cargo Noir hunkered down in the dark, smoke-filled corner of trading games.  Anywheres between two and five wiseguys can swindle and swap in ports of call from Rotterdam to Bombay, dealing in contraband and other hush-hush products.  Once you’ve sided with a family, players race against their opponents for a prime spot at various ports from around the globe and then commence bidding for the goods they desire.

Le Havre is a involved game.  If you’ve played Agricola (made by the same folks) you know how strategic and diverse the game play can be.  Le Havre, the town, only contains a finite amount of buildings and ships, so players race to control, alter, and purchase resources in the hopes of completing these buildings and ships.  Buildings, once finished, can be entered by any player (though non-owners must pay to do so) and the kilns, furnaces, and other equipment inside can be used to alter resources.  And so it goes, in the city of Le Havre.  Or is it?  Pick up the Le Grand Hameau booster pack we have in stock and you add 30 new buildings to the game.

The commies are no longer coming, they’ve arrived.  Tide of Iron: Fury of the Bear is an expansion to the base Tide of Iron boardgame, but what an expansion it is.  This hefty box (could be a dumbbell for how weighty it is) contains, deep breath, 90 plastic figures, armor, AT-guns, eight scenarios (including winter and summer), 55 new cards (including new sabotage cards), and new munitions specializations for vehicles.  Whew.

Weird coincidence on this next one, I just watched the original Dracula for the first time this week.  Crickets?  Okay, that was pointless.  Anyway, Van Helsing is a new co-op game where players team up to battle the Count in his own castle.  Each player controls a specific character, similar to Last Night on Earth.  Sounds like Fury of Dracula on a smaller scale.  Equipment and armor is hidden around the building, though, so grab it when you can because Dracula can show up out of nowhere.

Trollhalla, another dandy from Z-man, is the first true kid’s game we’ve had on here in a bit.  Colorful cartoony artwork adorns a game board displaying, wait for it, Trollhalla.  Each player (2-4) carefully chooses where to place their trolls, in boats or in the sea.  The sea trolls tell the boat trolls which islands to go to and pass out action cards while the boat trolls go to the islands an pillage their massive hearts out.  Simple, lively fun for families and friends.

You’ve wanted to be a superhero before, right?  Come on, admit it.  Well, you have two options.  Make a costume out of a bathrobe and patrol the city in your Ford Focus or purchase Mutants and Masterminds 3rd Edition.  In this beautiful book you will find all the stats, skills, powers, setting, and adventures that you need to run a D20 based game.  And thanks to the new upgrade, new players can learn faster than ever before.  Seriously, the bathrobe thing will turn out badly.  Go with the book.

Thunderstone:  Dragonspire lands with a powerful smash this weekend.  Within its fortified box sides are 500 new cards, new settings, new rules, and a whole new game to be played.  Yes, you can use this expansion for stand alone play or combine it with any of the previous Thunderstone releases.  Now is the time to crawl in the dungeon.

Right now, you’re probably wondering to yourself, “how long have I been reading this thing?  When will it end?”.  Well…NOW!

mansions of madness

Sort of.  Mansions of Madness is finally out this week and we have got to talk about it.  We’ve run demos of the game here at Pulp two Sundays in a row (Sunday game night, folks.  It’s the place to be) and players have walked away satisfied.  Combining elements of roleplaying, boardgaming, and Lovercraftian horror, Mansions delivers an experience similar to Arkham Horror or Betrayal at House on the Hill.  Players band together to explore the mansion in one of the pre-designed story settings.  Monsters and items involved are dependent on which story is chosen, so replay value is high.  To complete the adventure, players are tasked to battle creatures, solve puzzles, and locate items while rolling dice and keeping their health and sanity in check.  As the game is released from Fantasy Flight, the miniatures contained within (24 of’em) are highly detailed just as the board is beautifully designed.

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