Oct 082011
 

Master of puppets
I’m pulling your strings
Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams

-Metallica

Never doubt the foresight of James Hetfield, because he completely called the premise of the new Malifaux-related game, Puppet Wars.  Spun out of the dark, patchwork themes present in Malifaux, Puppet Wars is a two to four player miniature based battle game.  Each player gathers their army of puppets around one central “puppet master” (see where the Metallica mention comes from?) who controls them in attempts to protect their master and destroy their enemy.  The base game set comes with all the materials for two players to dive into play immediately, but various booster packs allow players to add other puppet miniatures to their army and/or alter the game to support up to four players.  If you’re looking to get into a miniature game that doesn’t break the bank nor require a ton of purchases just to build a basic army, Puppet Wars will twist your mind but keep your dreams nice and cozy.

I think it’s written in the book of life somewhere that if you come across someone who carries a pair of swords that they’ve given names to, you need to run the opposite direction.  Such is the case with the new Tannhauser miniature pack for Mizu Kage.  Working for the Shogunate or Reich teams, Mizu is in the assassin department either way, as she is extremely talented at using her swords, Willow and Winding Stream, to, let’s say, diminish the competition.  Mizu‘s box o’ goodness comes complete with the mini, the character sheet, 12 game tokens, 10 equipment cards, a rulebook, and a dedicated scenario.  Or if slinky ninja assassins ain’t your speed, you can try hulking Itami.  Again playable with both Shogunate and Reich teams, Itami is chock full of mysterious magic, which is exactly what his special scenario focuses on.  He too comes with all the regular bells and whistles any Tannhauser miniature pack supplies.

The new Battle Pack for Warhammer Invasion has been dubbed The Inevitable City.  One might think that this title has something to do with the city setting for this first chapter in the Capital Cycle, but I’m going to suggest that it actually has to do with the inevitable butt kicking that players who purchase this pack will give their opponents.  Specifically, players who favor the Chaos faction, as half of the sixty cards held within it are associated with Ruinous Powers.

How would you feel if there was no Return of the Jedi?  Or Last Crusade?  Or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?  I think I’d feel a little incomplete.  Which is exactly the way you should feel if you’ve picked up all the first two books in the Rogue Trader RPG trilogy from Games Workshop and haven’t yet picked up the third, and final, book, Fallen Suns.  Capping off the series, Fallen Suns includes all the contents you will need to finish off your party’s final adventures as they attempt to save the Koronus Expanse while defeating the Faceless Lord.  If you haven’t yet started the trilogy, what are you waiting for?!

If you’ve ever gotten drunk over a gaming session and suggested a combination of Starcraft and Pitch Car then laughed and laughed and laughed because it sounds crazy, you have been proven wrong.  That is because Z-Man Games has found a way to combine the two.  Maybe they too drink and design.  Anyway, Ascending Empires is the Frankenstein-ed game in question, set in a universe where the Earth has been destroyed and humanity has expanded far out into the stars hoping to find sanctuary.  It is from this starting point that players enter the game.  From each of the four corners of the board, players flick ships out among the various planet tokens scattered across the universe, hoping to land in their orbit so they may build colonies, develop technologies, mine, or enact other such actions.  As usual, players gain points by complete each of these actions (all of which are explained on a handy-dandy cheat card).  An inventive combination of play methods, Ascending Empires offers a unique gaming experience, to be sure.

And the hope that you flick a token into an opponent’s eye.

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