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

Apr 172015
 

Bioshock InfiniteOne of the most popular video game experiences of the last ten years comes to the world of board gaming.  Bioshock Infinite:  The Siege of Columbia has recently been released by Plaid Hat Games.  A miniature based battle game, players take on the roles of the Vox Populi and the Founders, controlling each faction with sets of miniatures ripped directly from the video game.  That means you’ll commanded Booker Dewitt, Elizabeth, and Songbird as  you attempt to take control of Columbia, Colossal Caveblock by block.

Adapting classic text-based computer gaming into a board game format, Colossal Cave is a dungeon crawl card game.  The main rule is drawn one, play one, but the actions are in service of exploring and pilfering a cave of treasures.  Players use a basic, fourteen room map to move from room to room and gathering and search for treasure with their Serpent Stonecards.  Whoever drops three treasures in the Well House reigns victorious!

Based off the design of a six hundred year old Aztec game, Serpent Stones attempts to recreate the game as closely to the original as possible.  Reminiscent of chess, players control opposing Aztec armies that are attempting to capture each other’s mystical stones.  Soldiers can utilize the power of the gods in order to capture obstructing Plasma Obliteratoropponents on their way to obtaining the stones.

The heavily allocated Plasma Obliterator miniature for Warhammer 40K is out this weekend.  Each store has only been able to receive a single miniature, meaning these are Netrunner The Valley Data Packhighly, highly sought after and rare.

The epicenter of Netrunner‘s bioengineering empire, The Valley, comes to the Netrunner Deckbuidling Game with the newest Data Pack expansion.  The sixty card expansion contains assets, region upgrades, genetic resources, as well as an entirely new Jinteki identity.

After a bit of a lag period, the Ascension deck building game is back with another stand-alone Ascension Dawn of Championsexpansion, Dawn of Champions.  Following the destruction of the six major realms, a single one, New Vigil, has arisen.  Players control a faction leader, each with their own unique abilities to unlock monster and construct cards as well as powers and effects that only they can use.  Like previous Ascension games, Dawn of Champions plays quickly (around thirty minutes) and comfortably from one to four players.

Mar 062015
 

Rumble in the DungeonPlaying like a smaller scale Munchkin Quest, Rumble in the Dungeon is an inexpensive dungeon crawl game.  Players lay down tiles to represent the dungeon then navigate it’s paths and corridors attacking other players.  Steal treasure and protect your “mystery” characters and you’ll prevail.Witness board game

A murder mystery game, Black and Mortimer:  Witness provides players with sixty-four separate scenarios to play through.  Each player is given various clues and information about a case, then must confer with the other Tiny Epic Kingdomsplayers in order to solve the mystery.

Tiny Epic Kingdoms is a big game in a small package.  Each player takes control of a different faction or kingdom attempting to take control of various regions.  Factions and territories are represented by tiles and stat cards used to compare armies as players attempt to conquer the same lands.The Grasshopper and the Ant

Another in the Iello fables series of board games, The Grasshopper and the Ant is another excellent family game release.  Playable at adult and child levels, The Grasshopper and the Ant sees players alternate back-and-forth playing as the titular Viticultureroles, attempting to steal and horde resources throughout a series of rounds.

Back in print (though the first print run was extremely limited), Viticulture is the strategic game of winemaking.  Placed into the role of vineyard owners, players begin with a few tracks of land, three workers, and a tiny cellar and must grow their industry over a handful of seasons.  Also out this weekend is the new expansion for the game, Tuscany.  This expansion entirely alters the gameplay through a tiered system where new mechanics are revealed over playtime.Assassin's Creed Arena board game

Assassin’s Creed comes to the world of board gaming.  Assassin’s Creed:  Arena converts the gameplay of the popular video game franchise into board gaming mechanics.  Players will take control of one of four historical assassins in order to navigate the streets of Constantinople, using sneaking tactics and weaponry to murder those who deserve it, acquire treasures, and stock-up on gear and gadgets.

Apr 262014
 

Krosmaster ArenaKrosmaster:  Arena is where miniature gaming, CCGs, and MMORPGs meet!

Award nominated and based off of the hit DOFUS and WAKFU MMORPG universes, Arena is a head-to-head battle game facilitated by miniatures and cards.  Each unique anime-esque miniature possesses their own unique powers and abilities, so players can form a balanced team of fighting, magic, and other power sets.  After your team is assembled, you face off in the special board game arena against your opponent.  All figures also come with special redemption codes for the online game.Rogue Agent board game

Cyberpunk adventure is the name of the game in Rogue Agent.

A multi-scenario resource and risk management game, Rogue Agent drops players into a futuristic cyberpunk society, pitting them against secretive networks of criminals.  Players gather resources, upgrade abilities, and take down evil opponents.  Featuring custom dice, miniature figures, and multiple Hive Pillbug expansionscenarios of gameplay, Rogue Agent is a beautifully designed, lengthy gaming experience.
Hive continues to grow its menagerie of bugs with the newest Pillbug expansion.
The Pillbug can move a single space each turn, but also can swap out its movement in order to move an adjacent (unstacked) piece up to two spaces.  If a piece is moved by the Pillbug, Go game keeper boardit can not move on its next turn.
Finally back in stock, Pulp once again has wooden Go, Chinese Chess, and Shogi boards!  Each of these boards are reasonably priced versions of the classic design, ready for new or old players.
Hirelings The AscentThe equivalent of red shirts in the world of fantasy world, Hirelings:  The Ascent is a quick, easy to learn, two to six player game of reverse dungeon crawling.  Players take control of Hirelings who have accompanied fearless adventures on their journey into the dungeon of the local foul dragon.  Now that those adventurers have died, the Hirelings must escape the dungeon before the dragon can catch up with them.Voluspa board game
An updated version of KachinaVöluspá places players in the middle of the Norse legend of godly combat and deception.  A tile laying game, Völuspá requires players to place tiles that represent the various Norse gods, each with their own ability, in a race to control the tiles of opponents.  The dominance of each godly faction differs each time the game is played, Professor Pugnacious' Portfolio of Perils Pugilism and Perfidyhowever, resulting in a unique gaming experience with each outing.
In Professor Pugnacious’ Portfolio of Perils, Pugilism, and Perfidy, players take on the role of the professor’s many students, each vying for his respect.  A deck-building game that pits Steampunk students against creatures of Gothic horror, Professor Pugnacious Professor Pugnacious' Portfolio of Perils Pugilism and Perfidychanges up the deck building dynamic by allowing each player access to only a portion of the card pool throughout the game.
The long-awaited expansion to Belfort is out this weekend and is appropriately named Belfort:  The Expansion Expansion.  This mini add-on includes creates individual scoring paths for each player to expand previously constructed buildings as well as assistant characters that possess Disc Duelersspecial ability or the option to acquire a permit.  New guilds are also included.
From the creators of Pixel Tactics, Disc Duelers, a three to five player dexterity game of disc battle, and 7 Card Slugfest, a three to eight player card battle game where each player only receives seven action cards, are both back in stock as of this weekend.Star Wars Age of Rebellion Beginner Game
Like the Edge of the Empire RPG Beginner Box, the new companion Age of Rebellion Beginner Game from Fantasy Flight is the perfect introductory point for new players.  This Star Wars RPG system is set during the post-rebellion against the Empire timeline, dropping players into the combat of galactic war.  This box set includes pre-generated character sheets, adventure options, dice, tokens, maps, and rules booklets, all easily accessible for new players.
Mar 222014
 

Classic dungeon crawling adventuring is combined with mix-and-match optioning with the throw-back RPG system, Dungeon World.  A successful Kickstarter product, Dungeon World is an approachable role playing system that is contained in a single book that allows players to assemble, altered, remove, and augment rules, classes, races, NPCs, monsters, and more.  A great introductory fantasy RPG!

The Warmachine Vengeance softcover edition brings a new layer to the sordid tale Khador, Cygnar, Cryx, and the other factions.  Within this volume are stats and information for new Warcasters, units, solos, a painting guide, and a theme force list that offers information on how to construct armies around specialized forces.

Conflict rages within the Damocles Gulf corner of the Warhammer universe.

A new Apocalypse War Zone supplement, the Damocles HC, provides players the information needed to reenact this major conflict, including the historical background of Shadowsun‘s attack on the Gulf, a detailed explanation of The Battle of Agrellan Prime, a selection of new rules, missions, and strategic assets, and eighteen datasheets for various faction-based forces.

Hulk smashes, why can’t you?

Smash Up receives another expansion this weekend, which, as is the case with all the game’s expansions, adds a four entirely new and entirely random genres of cards.  Science Fiction Double Feature includes Time Travelers, Cyborg Apes, Super Spies, and Shapeshifters.  Slam them together (or with decks from previous expansions) and get to fighting!