May 312014
 

Confederacy Union Pocket BattlesPocket Battles gets historical with Confederacy vs. Union, the newest addition to the Pocket Battles franchise!  A portable, tile-based wargame, Pocket Battles sees players lying down tiles that represent their armies, here being Union and Confederacy forces,  into three columns and two rows.  Units can be redistributed as you play and order is controlled by tokens.Ascension Theme Packs

The Ascension deck-building game, which is designed by former Magic the Gathering pro players, barrows from Munchkin‘s playbook by releasing a set of four theme packs.  These include the Leprechaun, the Rat King, Samael Claus, and the Rat Queen.  Each pack can be added to any of the base Ascension games, providing an extra, themed mechanic to Munchkin Apocalypse 2 Sheep Impactthe regular game.

Steve Jackson takes you back to the dystopic future with Munchkin Apocalypse 2:  Sheep Impact!

This 106 card expansion adds weapons like Patriot Axe and Ketchup Gas, but also make sure to avoid too much conflict with Disaster! Velocirapture! or The Thawed Reich.Zombie Dice 3 School Buss

Wake, time for school, little zombie!

Zombie Dice gains a third expansion this week with School Bus!  This expansion adds a twelve sided dice that represents a school bus full of brain-filled children.  But be careful because some My Little Pony Canterlot Nights booster boxsides have both brains and shotguns as well as the possibility of being run over by the bus.

Bronies unite!

The My Little Pony trading card game, which has become a huge success since its release, has expanded with its second set, Canterlot Nights!  This set adds 204 new cards to the CCG game.Magic the Gathering Modern Event Deck

Following in the footsteps of the Magic the Gathering Event Decks, the Modern format gains its own Event Deck, one which contains over a hundred dollars worth of cards.  Among the cards that are included in this ready-to-play, pre-built deck are Elspeth, Knight Errant, Sword of Feast and Star Wars Knowledge and Defense Force PackFamine, and Inquisition of Kozilek.

Another Star Wars LCG Force Pack has jumped out of lightspeed to appear on the Pulp Fiction shelves this weekend.  Knowledge and Defense includes sixty new cards Mummy's Mask Shifting Sands Pathfinder Adventure Pathto be incorporated into the base game, ten of which are entirely new objective sets.

Among the new Pathfinder supplement books out this weekend, the three major releases include the Shifting Sands expansion to the Mummy’s Mask adventure path, The Harrow Handbook player Viking Boardgamecompanion, and the Occult Mysteries Campaign Setting.

Not entirely new, Vikings is finally back in print after many years of out-of-print limbo.  This creative game has players purchasing meeples and resources with each other, but based on a fluctuating price system determined by a rotating wheel.Firefly board game Pirates and Bounty Hunters

The Firefly board game gets shinier with its second expansion, Pirates and Bounty Hunters.  Missions are included within this expansion that allow players to board other ships and steal cargo and crew for rewards.  New playable characters include Jubal Early from “Objects in Space” and Sash from “Out of Gas”.

Nov 222013
 

Wasn’t happy with the ending to the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline?  Play it out yourself with the new Avengers and X-Men Vs. Heroclix starter sets.  These two individual sets, one X-Men, one Avengers, each contain the essentials for playing a head-to-head game of Heroclix, allowing you and your friend to pit Avenger against X-Man!

If zombie films have taught us anything, it’s that the undead never stop coming.  Steve Jackson takes this concept to heart with his extremely successful Zombie Dice game.  Releasing this weekend is the Zombie Dice Brain Case, a special dice container with a heavy-duty screw-on cap and a score pad to keep track of your brains.

Have at me, Spirit of the Century!

The famous FATE-centric RPG gained a dirigible’s worth of new product today, including a supplemental edition called Strange Tales of the Century, written and designed to appear like a classic pulp novel, but actually providing new material.  Three actual SotC novels were released, however, including Khan of Mars, King Khan, and Sally Slick and the Steel Syndicate.

Forget Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and Slytherin.

Mage Wars is all about Druid vs. Necromancer!

This new two Mage expansion to the base game introduces forces of magic not originally included in the base game.

The Horn that Wakes becomes the most recently released Game of Thrones LCG Adventure Pack, including sixty cards that return to the Night’s Watch, Wildings, and North themes.

One of the hottest (pun intended) cooperative games on shelves right now, Flash Point:  Fire Rescue, is about to get a little hotter.  Excuse the lame burns (sorry!).

Anyway, Extreme Danger, the newest expansion for the game, adds two new levels, basement and attic, to extend the difficulty of the game, requiring that players climb further.  Also included in Extreme Danger are an entire set of unique miniatures which now are sculpted to represent each type of firefighter rather than having a single mold in different colors.

A new deception based card game, Coup (not coop), has players attempting to get their opponents to reveal their two secret identity cards, each laid out face down in front of them, throughout the game by using their own, hidden, special abilities.

After the release of Shadowrun fifth edition earlier this year, players have been clamoring for supplemental material.  No longer do you have to hack corporations to get it, either, because Shattered States, an introductory level adventure for beginner players, is on shelves this weekend.

Munchkin gets a double shot of new this weekend with two distinct booster pack expansions.  First up is Munchkin Gets Promoted, a collection of formerly impossible to find special edition promo cards from throughout Munchkin‘s history.  Second is a goblin-centric booster expansion for Munchkin Pathfinder, Gobsmacked.

Sixty beautifully illustrated cards, ready-made to expand the existing Dixit party-style games arrive in the form of Dixit Origins.

The train keeps a rollin’ all night long with Ticket to Ride‘s newest map expansion, Nederland!

Considering the country is littered with bridges (and accompanying tolls to use them), Nederland adds a distinct element to the game where players must pay tokens to access certain bridge pathways.  The second player to use one of these double bridges, then must pay back those tokens to the first player if they are to cross.

Finally, Mice and Mystics receives its first expansion in the form of Heart of Glorm.  This direct sequel to the original game adds new miniatures, cards, and especially chapters to continue the quest of the mice knights after they have defeated Vanestra.

Dec 222012
 

Tonight’s topics of discussion where easy to choose, because I’m, literally, going to mention every book that comes out next week.  Thank the holidays, folks.

First up, the most prominent of all the releases is the 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man.  It is also the last.

As some of you might know (by either reading the book or a comics news site in the last three months) Peter Parker has been having a rather bad time lately.  Doc Ock has swapped brains with Peter, only moments before the his own death, leaving Peter with minimal options of escape.  Having managed to survive, Peter as Ock, calls on the Sinister Six to aid him in returning his brain to his body.  #700 picks up from there, answering the dire question of whether Peter can return his consciousness to his body before the one he’s in gives out.  Trust us, True Believers, if you thought the twist ending of AMS #698 was a doozy, your brain with self-destruct over this one.  Truly an event that will change the course of the Spider-Man universe for the foreseeable future.  And, if you’re the collector type, the issue ships with multiple variant covers by Humberto Ramos, Marcos Martin, and more, each celebrating the many decades of web-slinging that has lead to issue #700.

Avenging Spider-Man 15.1 is the only other book that comes out from Marvel this holiday week, adding an important epilogue to the landmark issue.

On the DC front, the first massive crossover between the Justice League and Aquaman series begins, with Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15.  Both issues also come with their own variant covers (like the one pictured on the right).  And what has drawn these two flagship DC titles together, besides the mutual presence of the King of the Seas?  As Aquaman has been away from Atlantis since he was a young boy, his half-brother, the Ocean Master, has ruled in his stead.  But now Arthur wants his throne back.  This Grecian-esque power struggle will rage across land and sea, drawing in the other heroes and villains of the universe, including the newly created creatures known only as The Trench.  As Geoff Johns writes both series, expect a tightly controlled, character-driven event kept lively by sprawling battles.

DC also finishes up another of the terrific Before Watchmen series this week, with Nite Owl #4.

With the big two out of the way, let’s focus on the artistic world of creator-owned independent comics.

And by that I mean a balls-to-the-wall smash’em up extravaganza known as Deathmatch!  Written by Paul Jenkins (Sentry, Hellblazer, Thunderbolts), Deathmatch may remind you of the Hunger Games, Battle Royale, Running Man, Civil War, and, oh, possibly that recent Dennis Hopeless title Avengers Arena.  Basically, a bunch of superheroes are trapped by a villain of unknown origin and told to murder one another to get free.  Not a new concept, but one that will be taken to its most violent conclusion by this series; if Avengers Arena is the character-driven version of this premise, Deathmatch is the gorey, all-fights-all-the-time version.  And issue #1 is only a $1.00!!!!

Brian Wood, author of such politically-motivated, socially conscious series as DMZ, Local, and The Massive (Plus the upcoming Star Wars series from Dark Horse), tackles the topic of celebrity worship with his new Image miniseries, Mara. Starring a young woman, who’s already world-famous from her exceptional physical prowess as an athlete, spontaneously manifests superhuman abilities on live television.  As the only superpowered individual in the world, Mara immediately becomes the center of global attention.  Things don’t play out so well from there.

And that’s the entirety of next week’s comics, folks!  Happy holidays!

Dec 072012
 

Just like in an Indiana Jones movie, just when you think you’re out of the tomb, the floor collapses and you fall into bed of snakes.

Such is the concept behind the new expansion pieces for Escape.  If you haven’t heard of this popular Queen Game, it’s a real-time adventurer where every player goes at the same time, attempting to collect as many the tomb’s hidden gems as they can before the clock runs out.  Hitting stores after being given out as Kickstarter incentives, The Pit and Doomed are the first expansion pieces for the game.  Both provide new tiles which represent additional deadly rooms in the temple.  The Pit traps players down a deep hole after they’ve rolled five curses.  Doomed provides two new curses and one new tile, all with exciting properties.

The only option is Zombicide.

A co-operative survival game, Zombicide is a catch-22 run amok as players must kill more zombies to earn skill points, but killing zombies only results in more zombies.  The other tricky thing is that there will inevitably be more undead than you have bullets, so you’re really going to want to earn up those skill points to buy more ammo and weapons.  This popular Kickstarter joins and outpaces many of the other zombie games out there.  So, lock and load, folks.

All is fair in love and war.  AEG‘s Love Letter is a reality dating show dropped into the Renascence.  A group of eligible bachelors compete for the hand of a stunning princess who’s locked herself in the castle’s highest tower.  The only way you can lay your flirtatious mojo on her is through alluring prose delivered via letter.  Of course, all the other prospective suitors had the same idea, so you will have to find ways of intercepting and destroying their letters.  But don’t focus all your attention on the other players as your letters can be turned to ash just as quickly.  Start working on those pick-up lines, gentlemen.

The Tome of Blood is at your disposal, Lord Khorne.

The most recent hardcover edition to the Black Crusade line of Warhammer 40K RPG books details every tool you’ll need to praise the Blood God!  That includes four new Heretic archetypes, plus all the weapons, armaments, and Daemon Engines to empower them.  As another added bonus of pain and suffering, players of any alignment can develop Legacy Weapons and fight in Mass Combats.  Along with all this carnage comes new settings like the pits of Kurse, Furia’s savage oceans, Berin and Aspodel, as well as the War Moons of Talax.  Pile up those skulls, cause Khorne needs a seat.

Wallenstein is nothing like Frankenstein.  Word to the wise.

It is however very much like a good game.  This second edition of the game receives a rules touch up as well as the addition of two expansions for the game.  As players compete for points by controlling the largest amount of land and real estate, two years pass (don’t worry, in game time only) wherein shortages of food, peasant revolts, and any number of other hardships will beset your kingdom.  An interesting randomizing element is used to decide when and where these obstacles hit, that being a tower which you roll tokens down, some of which catch, some of which drop to the bottom.  These tokens then decide what happens where.  Players also carefully stratagize about how to use the action cards given them in order to obtain the most property.

Competing with Marvel’s Legacy Deck-Building Game, the new DC Deck Building Game lets players control one of seven famous DC characters.  That means you can be Batman.  Or Wonder Woman.  Or Green Lantern.  Each hero controls a special ability unique to them, giving them advantages toward certain card types.  Those other types include superpowers, heroes, villains, equipment, and locations.  During the game, each player vies cards which will assist their deck against the powers of the villains you all are fighting.  For instance, you might want to be bulletproof if you’re going up against Deathstroke.  Or have super speed if you need to race a bomb out into the ocean.  Basically, you get to play the comics you love.  Yeah, I’m picking up a copy, too.