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.

Jun 242016
 

S Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors Call of CthulhuWhether you’re a fan of H.P. Lovecraft’s horror mythos or just a roleplayer who is looking for a chilling, supernatural setting to run your players through, the seventh edition of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying system will supply everything you need.  In the Call of Cthulhu Keeper’s Rulebook, players will find all the rules they need to begin a game in the setting.  You will control detectives exploring the dangerous, cult-ridden, eerie realms that others dare not enter.  Complement your core rulebook with S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Lovecraftain Horrors, a dense volume of creatures, stats, and habitats that will flesh out your gaming experience in the most skin-crawling ways.Kill Doctor Lucky new print

Having been reprinted countless times, Kill Doctor Lucky is back in its newest version!  Over nearly twenty years, this reverse murder mystery board game has attracted first-time players with each reprinting and this time is no different.  For two to eight players, Kill Doctor Lucky is, essentially, reverse Clue.  Various guests attempt to isolate the roaming Doctor Lucky in a secluded room in order to off him and inherent his vast fortune.  Excellent for larger groups of friends with a Naruto Shippuden board gamedarkly tinged humorous streak.

Fans of Naruto now have a new way to experience the cult favorite anime series.  Naruto Shippuden The Board Game drops players into the world of the series, letting them use detailed miniatures to control characters from the show as they track down the Akatsuki organization as they lay waste to the countryside.  Travel the world and use your ninja skills to thwart the evildoers in each town.Star Trek Panic

You might have heard that there is a new Star Trek movie coming out.  Or that it’s the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved sci-fi series.  Capitalizing on those facts, Fireside Games has released Star Trek Panic, another version of the popular Castle Panic.  In this version of the game, players will control crew members of the USS Enterprise, including Kirk, Spock, and “Bones,” as the ship is assaulted by Romulans, Klingons, and other alien races.  Your challenge is to coordinate as a crew to keep your shields up and dispatch your enemies.

Dominion EmpiresCan you believe Dominion has made it to ten expansions?  With Dominion: Empires, the world of the popular deck building game expands far beyond its previous realms.  In this three hundred card expansion, players receive a range of new and exciting cards, including ones that players buy during one round, but pay for in the next, dual cards, and landmarks that exponentially increase your scoring power.  As well, VP tokens and Events from previous versions of the game gain additional materials.  Combine Empires with either base Dominion game or any of the other nine expansions to alter gameplay and enhance your experience!

May 132016
 

World's Fair 1893Gather ’round, gather ’round!  Come win tickets to the spectacular World’s Fair of 1893!  Okay, you don’t need an actual ticket to purchase the game, but if you’re playing it you will want to go ticket happy.  A forty minute play experience for two to four players, World’s Fair 1893 has players collecting stacks cards from different regions of the game board.  Each region correlates with a different exhibition, so choose wisely and make sure you don’t pollute your hand.Abyss Kraken

When you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.  That’s the conceit of the first expansion for Asmodee‘s Abyss, Kraken!  Intended to be added to the base game, this expansion contains a new rule book, over forty new cards and tokens, and adds black pearls to the game.  These black pearls come with a strategic decision:  do you corrupt yourself for greater power or stay pure to avoid possible destruction.  Beware, though, if you choose not take the Onitamablack pearls from the Kraken, your opponents may not be as cautious.

One of the Dice Tower Essential games, Onitama acts as a variant form of chess for head-to-head play.  In the game, players have a miniature playmat, featuring a 5×5 grid.  They also have five pawns that are moved by a variety of cards.  On each turn, players use a card to move a pawn, discard that card, then draw another one from a community discard pile.  Thus, players will be sharing movement cards.  The goal is to move your pawn onto the same space as an opponent in order to conquer that space and eliminate that pawn.The Little Prince Rising to the Stars

Even though the film’s release was delayed, Asmodee has produced a board game for The Little Prince, based off of the popular children’s book.  The Little Prince:  Rising to the Stars is a simple family gaming experience for two to six players that relies on various racing elements.  Players control planes that are charting a course to the planet of the Little Prince.  Using movement cards, players jockey for prime position on the gameboard in order to make it to the planet first, but also to collect Star Trek Five Year Missionstars and more movement cards.

You’ve beamed aboard, hopefully not wearing a red shirt, and now you and your crew mates have to solve the worst problems of the universe.  Star Trek:  Five-Year Mission is a cooperative experience for three to seven players set in either the original Star Trek or Next Generation time periods.  Each player receives a crew member role, with its own unique abilities, then must work together to solve various threats that arise.  Finding solutions gains the whole crew points, leading to victory, but if any crew member parishes, everyone loses.Krosmaster Quest

Building on the world of Krosmaster, Krosmaster Quest is a tactical adventure game that expands not only on the world, but the mechanics.  For two to six players, Krosmaster Quest uses a modular game board to expand the play space of the game, but still uses chibi-style figurines (including two exclusive figures only found here) in the gameplay.  Players travel around the world of the gameboard, vanquishing monsters, acquiring treasures, and allying with others to increase their power.  Even though Krosmaster Quest is a Histriostand-alone experience, figures and other components from previous Krosmaster games can be combined with it.

The show must go on in the Histrio board game!  For two to five players, Histrio is all about assembling the best cast for your play.  Each player represents a touring troupe of performers on the cusp of presenting a new play in front of the kings of various realms.  You will need to recruit actors for your play, but make sure to balance tragedy and comedy in order to provide the fullest experience.  Your casting will result in better financial return and the respect of the kingdom!Back to the Future board game

Building off of the popular films, IDW‘s Back to the Future board game does not have to reach 88mph to be fun!  Using elements of the Chrononauts game, Back to the Future requires players to competitively transport Doc Brown and Marty through three time periods in order to maintain the proper timeline.  Whoever repairs time the quickest, gets to joyride TIME Stories Under the Maskin the DeLorean whenever they wish!

The growing popularity of the fluctuating storytelling adventure game series, T.I.M.E. Stories, means more expansions.  Like the previous expansions for the game, Under the Mask, adds new cards and environments to progress the stories of the various adventurers participating in the game.  Under the Mask sends the participants far back in time the age of the pharaoh’s in order to uncover an ancient secret.

Apr 292016
 

Dice City All That GlittersNo one turns down gold, even in the imaginary city of Rolldovia.  Dice City:  All That Glitters is the first expansion for the town building, dice rolling game from AEG.  In All That Glitters players gain the resource of gold, provided by twelve gold tokens.  As well, the expansion contains forty-eight additional cards that all players to use the gold to strike deals, spruce up pre-existing buildings, and have the option of constructing new types of buildings.

Another in the Lost Legacy series of card games, The Werewolf and the Undying Lost Legacy Fourth Chronicle The Werewolf and Undying HeartHeart is the newest stand-alone addition to the game.  Like the other sets, The Werewolf and the Undying Heart can be played independently of the other expansions.  Each deck in this set can also be played solo or combined with each other, depending on the player’s preference.  For two to six players and only lasting ten minutes a round, Lost Legacy is one of the easiest to learn, quickest to play card games on the market.

Munchkin Playmat Spyke Gets SuckeredSteve Jackson Games is nothing if not committed to bringing players every possible iteration on products related to Munchkin.  With that in mind, the Munchkin Playmat drops this weekend.  A valuable tool to help organize any game of Munchkin (and if you’ve played you know all of those cards can get unwieldy), the Munchkin Playmat designates spaces for class, headgear, race, unequipped items, and many other card types in the game.  These spots along with a level gauge help to keep players’ multitude of cards ordered and organized.Epic Card Game Tyrants

In the vein of White Wizard Games other popular deck-based card game, Star Realms, the Epic card game receives four booster pack expansions this weekend.  Epic Tyrants is made up of four booster pack expansions that contribute thirteen new cards to the game, each themed around a Tyrant character.  The four options are Draka’s Rage, Helion’s Deceit, Raxxa’s Doctor PanicRevenge, and Markus’ Command.

You’ve heard of the classic board game Operation.  Well, Doctor Panic is the next generation relative of that game, a blend of app-based, cooperative, and time trial.  Made for families of all-ages, Doctor Panic plays in only twelve minutes!  Yes, you and your other players have twelve minutes to complete a variety of medical procedures and clean-up activities.  Download the free Doctor Panic app and incorporate it into the game as well.Adroid Mainframe

Over the last few years, Fantasy Flight has grown a variety of games around their elaborate, cyberpunk universe of Android.  A spin-off of the popular Netrunner series, Android Mainframe is a completely different take on that universe and game mechanics intended for two to four players.  A placement game at it’s heart, Android Mainframe has players assuming the role of a Runner and using various character tiles, linking rods, and various cards to attempt to gain control of various evil corporations’ computer systems by “hacking in.”