Jan 032014
 

BEST.  PLAYMAT.  EVER!

Hot on the hooves of the My Little Pony CCG boosters and starter decks, comes matching playmats featuring Pinkie Pie in a scene from the season two episode with Discord.

And if you’re tired of your playmat flopping around in your bag or getting cheesy stains on it when your bag of chips rips open while you travel, then the new Ultra Pro Playmat Tube is here to rescue you.  A thick plastic tube, this casing will keep your playmat clean and secure even if you play Magic in a live volcano.

Not a brand new game, but new to the store is Monopoly Millionaire Deal card game.

If you’re tired of playing overlong games of economic warfare in the traditional version of Monopoly, then Millionaire Deal is for you.  Fast paced and converted for easy travel, this card game version of the popular original has players gathering money through card collection.

Historical gamers take note of the Expedition:  Northwest Passage board game out this week.

Players man sailing barges circa 1845 as they explore and chart the board in search of the Northwest Passage.  Seasons will change, causing parts of the map to close off as they freeze over, requiring that players carefully chart their progress in an attempt to collect victory points.

From popular game designer, Reiner Knizia, comes a new resource management game of Utopian architecture, Prosperity.  A game of metropolitan construction, Prosperity pits players against each other in a tile laying/resource management competition where they pull tiles from a chronologically organized pile that they then apply to their own miniature playing board.  Each tile has distinct markings for capital, energy, ecology, prosperity, and research that must be managed.

A new location, but the same popular family-friendly mechanics return in Carcassonne South Seas.

Unlike the original game, however, players lay their meeples on thin tracks of land, oceans, and dock planks.  As well, their is an added component where players collect bananas, shellfish, and fish which they then ship to other players for points.

The successful Power Grid series of board games gains a new map collection this weekend with Australia and the Indian Subcontinent.

Each board adds another element to the game.  Australia‘s board does not have a centrally connected power grid, so players may choose to connect different sources for a connection cost, while also adding a mining element unseen in previous versions.  India‘s board suffers from frequent outages when players extend their networks too fast, but also provides a more limited resource market for players to buy from, adding a layer of difficulty.

Galaxy Trucker expands its fleet with Latest Models, a board expansion for two to five players, each with new Model C ships.  Each board features ships in classes 1C to 4C, denoted by coloration and possessing various different beneficial abilities.

Finally, for all of the Legend of the Five Rings fanatics out there looking to get their buddies in on the game there is A Matter of Honor.  This two player starter features Lion and Crab decks as well as all of the materials to learn and play your own head-to-head battle.  Players may also incorporate other cards from other, previous sets.

Dec 212012
 

It’s not quite to midnight yet (as I start writing this), but I’m calling it in favor of us all outlasting the Mayan apocalypse.  If you didn’t get enough of the end-of-the-world conspiracy theory, then Tzolk’in:  The Mayan Calendar is here to supply you with more.  The oft talked about Mayan calendar plays into the mechanics of the game, as players carefully place their Mayan Meeples onto interlocking gears which rotate around the board, moving the pieces to different action zones.  To accomplish placement and conduct other key actions, players must spend corn, ultimately attempting to please the gods or constructing underground temples.  So, until the next apocalypse myth comes along, make mine Tzolk’in.

Is the force strong with you?

Or have you given into the dark side?

Either way, you’ve got a side to play in the new two-player Star Wars LCG card game from Fantasy Flight.  Set-up like many of their other popular LCGs (but with more X-Wings and stuff), Star Wars has players choosing sides in a head-to-head battle for galactic domination.  Players then balance objective decks (containing mission cards) and player decks (containing character and equipment cards) in order to complete their assigned tasks.  As with Magic the Gathering or most other CCG-style games, players place/play their cards into the center of the table in order to activate them.  Of course, the real question of the game will be, who shot first?

I’m going bet that many who read this have fantasized about manning a starship at one time in their life.  Be careful what you wish for, however.  Space Cadets fulfills that wish by assigning each player an important role on the bridge of a freshly minted starship.  This cooperative game for three to six players enlists a captain, helmsman, engineer, and weapons, shield, and sensor officers.  Each member of the crew has a specific  task to complete in order for the entire team to win, so make sure you staff your bridge wisely, or else it’ll be your final frontier.

Bad guys need friends, too.  Eclipse:  Rise of the Ancients is the first expansion for the epic space battle game, Eclipse, introduces tons of ancient adversaries which can assist all the baddies from the original game.  Along with these foes, the expansion also includes original rare technologies, developments, alliances, ancient homeworlds, and warp portals.  Three brand new player boards also offer four new alien races to choose from.  And with the game’s modular design, all or some of these additions can mixed in with the contents of the base game, completely at your discretion.

Sep 072012
 

That moment where you’ve battled your way through a dungeon full of orks, traps, man-eating spiders, and cursed passways to find the treasure trove of shiny goodness has finally transfered to your search for 3.5 books. Wizards, following on the footsteps of their AD&D reprint editions, have released the original Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Game Master’s Guide from 3.5, updated with remastered artwork and covers. These limited editon versions are unaltered from their original presentation, so instead of tracking original copies down, get yourself brand spanking new ones.

You’ve waited and waited. You’ve heard rumors from Gen Con. Now the wait is over. Netrunner is here. An updated version of the original CCG, Netrunner from Fantasy Flight adapts the original rules to Fantasy Flight‘s winning LCG format. Players still take on the role of either a Runner or a Corporation in a head-to-head battle of techno-warfare.

It’s that time of year where the Duel Decks rain from the clouds to bring expensive cards and playable decks to all the good girls and boys. Izzet vs. Golgari is what’s up this time around, with Golgari becoming playable in standard after Return to Ravnica drops. Other cards in the two decks will be playable, too, while also earning you your money back on the purchase. And if your a player who’s just starting out with Magic the Gathering, the Duel Decks are always perfect places to start building your collection and honning your skills.

Apr 272012
 

Can you believe The Avengers comes out next Friday?

Seems like I’ve been waiting for that movie come out my whole life, but no matter how close it gets it still feels too far away. Luckily, Wizkids a new set of Avengers Heroclix to tide me and everyone else over. Just like they have done with Green Lantern, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, The Avengers set is out in a base starter set (containing six of the core team) and individual booster boxes. All of these figures can be simply collected or you can play them as a miniature battle game. The starter set even comes with maps and rules to complete the gaming experience. With sixteen figures to collect overall, you better start now to assemble all The Avengers.

Following last week’s Fantasy Flight Lord of the Rings and Star Wars card sleeves, this week’s new set of sleeves depict another popular Sci-Fi/Fantasy franchise: Game of Thrones. Both sleeve types come with fifty sleeves, one displaying John Snow, the other Melisandre.

Or if you’re not into George R.R. Martin‘s fantasy series, there are new sleeves depicting Cthulhu, DungeonQuest imagery, and artwork from the popular co-op board game, Red November. All of these sleeves are standard sized, designed to fit most common CCGs, LCGs, and basic card game cards.

Popular game designer Reiner Knizia has created a slew of fantastic board games, such as Lost Cities, but his newest game is the Black Sheep of the bunch. A great, easy to learn card-based game intended for the whole family, Black Sheep has players collecting sets of animal cards, trying for better combinations than their opponents, and corralling them in their pens. Ah, but the black sheep is ready at every turn to ruin your hand. In line with family games like Zoolerreto, Black Sheep is a perfect edition for game night.

Jan 282012
 

Magic the Gathering, now in comic flavor.

Yup, coming with special playable promo cards, the new Magic the Gathering series from IDW will not only give its readers free swag, but the tale behind the Planeswalkers and worlds of the famous CCG. Collect all four issues to follow the story and acquire each of the limited edition cards featured in the book.

If you enjoy your comic series inventively insane, then you’re in luck with the new Xombi trade paperback. John Rozum spins a yarn full of regenerating superheroes, shrinking nuns, undead trick-or-treaters, floating skull-shaped islands, and bad@$$ Rabies. If those ideas alone don’t hook you, a little background information might. Xombi is a lazy, slacker vigilante who gets drawn into a world of mystical hi-jinks revolving around the chase for a lost fortress in the sky. But the piece de resistance of this little miniseries is the artwork. Completely illustrated by Frazer Irving (Gutsville, Batman & Robin, Return of Bruce Wayne, etc.) in his famous painterly style, this book is simply gorgeous!

Though the Superman Ice Cube Trays from a couple weeks ago are sweet, but the primary question I get asked about them is, “Do they make a Batman one?”

Usually I just guess and say, “Yeah, probably, but it’s not out yet.” Well, the guessing is over. As of this Wednesday, there will be Batman Ice Cube Trays in the world. Of course, that also means they will disappear about as fast as they appear.

Finally, we’ll end with a little moment of statue zen. Enjoy.