Mar 282017
 

That time of the week, where I mention a game that isn’t exactly new or shiny, but is FUN and should be OWNED and PLAYED! This week: Conan, the Miniatures Game-

Conan

 

 

Conan:
Players:2-5
Time: ~1 Hour (scenario dependent)
Genre: Dungeon Crawl semi-cooperative Miniature Game

 

 

 

 

Conan is a scenario-based, semi-cooperative miniatures game, where one player plays the board, and all other players team up to play as Conan and his companions. This game went through years of game design, and it’s publishers even hired a Conan expert to make sure the theme and scenarios are in line with author Robert E. Howard’s novels and short stories. That aside, this game can and will be enjoyed by players who know nothing of Conan or his mythos.

For a miniatures game, this game is short, fast, and wonderfully designed. Rather than being campaign based like many other miniatures board games (see Descent and Imperial Assault), Conan is split up into scenarios where players choose their characters and play against the Game Master in standalone scenarios with a limited number of turns. Each scenario has different objectives and themes for gameplay diversity, and players may choose different characters depending on what they think is needed in each scenario.

each of their turns characters choose different stances based on what they are trying to accomplish.

Gameplay itself in Conan is incredibly simple, but also streamlined and intuitive. When players want to use an action such as moving or fighting, they simply place one of their “stamina” gems into that portion of their player board, and roll dice equal to the amount of gems used. Gems refresh each turn based on what stance a character chooses, so it’s possible that characters may use all their gems in one epic round and stagger around exhausted while they try and refresh themselves, or play more reserved and pace their actions strategically.

Normally my complaint in a dungeon crawl game revolves around me getting stuck managing the game after no one else volunteers for the job, but this game is different. The job of Game master in this game is incredibly fun and interesting, and this is due in large part to the game system the designers came up for you to run it. The Game Master uses eight slidable titles with groups of monsters associated with each tile and one “respawn” tile. The further down the row the tiles are, the higher their cost in gems. On a GM’s turn, they may activate any two of their tiles, and once activated, the tile slides to the end, costing more the next time it would be activated, but making everything else cost less.

Conan 2

That’s it for Conan. It’s a huge box, Conan is a little busted (as he should be thematically), and although I’ve played the starting scenario over ten times now, I’m STILL not bored with it! (Did I mention it has 74 Miniatures….) #GiveItATry

Jul 082016
 

Smallworld Pocket EncyclopediaWe know everyone is working to flesh out their Pokedex on Pokemon Go, but this weekend Days of Wonder is dropping their own encyclopedia for Small World.  The Small World Pocket Encyclopedia is a must-buy for all of the Small World purists and collectors out there.  A smartly designed, pocket sized  hardcover volume, the Small World Pocket Encyclopedia contains not only a full set of easy-access rules for the game, but also an FAQ, designer notes, and, most importantly, sixty-three individual entries detailing every race and special power from the base game and all of the expansions.The Grizzled At Your Order

Only the truly rough, tough, and resilient survived during the Great War.  The same applies to The Grizzled.  A strategic cooperative card game set during World War I, The Grizzled receives its first expansion set this weekend.  At Your Orders! provides additional special missions for players to complete during gameplay, both in experienced and novice versions to satisfy new and old gamers alike.  Even more exciting, At Your Orders! also provides expanded rulesets for two player or solo play for the original base game.

Stellar ConflictLike an expanded, card game version of Galaga, Stellar Conflict is another card game set in the Among the Stars universe.  Taking place over two tense, speedy rounds, Stellar Conflict plays for ten minutes with two to four players.  In round one, players swiftly select ships from a variety of options, choosing them based off of their abilities and availability.  Once that round is complete, these ships are deployed against an invading fleet of alien cruisers that must be vanquished by the armada you have chosen.  Hopefully you haven’t chosen poorly.Mysterium Hidden Signs

You thought you’d solved the mystery and escaped the Mysterium.  You were wrong.  Mysterium:  Hidden Signs is the first expansion for the popular horror tinged game, Mysterium.  Expanding the options and gameplay, this set includes six suspects, six locations, and six objects to deepen the gameplay.  Forty-two new vision cards are also included in order to provide players with a range of new communication options.  Also, if you manage to grab the first printing of this expansion, you’ll receive three promo cards that can be used in the base game.

Rick and Morty Total RickallCryptozoic capitalizes on the extreme popularity of Adult Swim‘s Rick and Morty series with the first card game based on the show.  Featuring a quick learning curve, Rick and Morty:  Total Rickall plays well with two to five players over the course of twenty to thirty minutes.  Always ready to skewer pop culture, Rick and Morty:  Total Rickall is a play off of The Thing, with Rick and Morty attempting to cleanse their house of shapshifting parasites that have disguised themselves as friends and family.  Work your way through these opponents, but be careful not to eliminate the real versions!Kitty Paw

There is never enough cute cat games in the world.  Proving that fact, Kitty Paw is a new dexterity and reaction game out this weekend.  For audiences young and old, Kitty Paw is a one to four player game that can take anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes to play.  In the game, players rush to draw and play various cat cards in order to match a designated pattern assigned at the beginning of the round.  Of course, that’s too simple.  Players also will be forced to use only one “cat paw” when drawing and playing X-Wing Star Wars Imperial Veteransthese cards as well as pulling from the same draw pile as all other players.

Be ready to get those Tie-Fighter sound effects stuck in your head, because Fantasy Flight has just released another Empire expansion for the X-Wing miniature game.  In Imperial Veterans, players receive two ships, the Crimson Tie and the Tie-Bomber.  The former is all about nimble movement and swift attacking, while the latter hits opponents with a painful barrage of explosives.  This expansion contains all of the materials for players to use either or both ships in their next X-Wing game.