Jul 132012
 

Like an atomic bomb of tiny cardboard, Magic the Gathering 2013 Core Set has dropped. This onslaught of Magic rares, uncommons, and commons is a perfect jumping on set for any new players as it is built around an even distribution of colors and types. Choose from new Fat Packs, Intro Decks, Deck Builder’s Tool Kits, and booster packs as entry options or supplemental materials for your existing decks.

A return to the fantasy RPGS of the seventies, Dungeon Crawl Classics is exactly what it claims to be, a good, old fashion pen and paper, D20 based fantasy system of wizards, elves, dungeons, orcs, and goblins. Not at all a new item, but so appealing to those who were around at the beginning of Dungeons and Dragons, we wanted to mention the restock we received. Outside of the core rulebook and limited edition leather bound version of that tome we also have in stock four different adventures ranging from levels 0 to 2.

Rio Grande Games has been incredibly successful at producing continually addicting expansions to their popular deck building series, Dominion. This week they have once again raised the bar by releasing the Dominion Base Cards set. These reprinted, newly illustrated editions of cards essential to the game, such as all the curse, trash, potion, and victory and treasure cards allow players to purchase any of the Dominion expansions without owning any of the base games. Or pick up the box if you want to spruce up your game with some new, beautifully illustrated versions of the games essential cards.

There’s always a bigger fish.

The new Warmachine Colossals rulebook depends heavily on this notion. Introducing the colossal figures, all of which are even bigger than the largest heavy ‘jacks. New warcasters, updated, fully compiled rules, sections of post-Warmachine: Wrath plot, and a painting guide complete the varied contents list of this essential rulebook.

Lets be honest, you can’t play Wings of War without the majorly cool plane models produced for the game. Ares Games is ready to help with your next bombing raid as they’ve released a set of four new WWI era flyers, all of which include a stat base, a stand to distinguish variable altitudes, a management card, maneuver cards, and the essential rules and counters for each plane.

Fleshing out the already flesh-filled, dystopian universes of Rogue Trader and Deathwatch, two new 40K RPG hardcovers are on shelves now. Honour the Chapter contains all the information necessary for players to detail and command a Space Marine Battle-Brother from any of twenty different chapters, each chronicled extensively. The Koronus Bestiary performs a similar task, but for the many, varied beasties and slithery things crawling, floating, and slithering about the galaxy, even coming with a creature generator tool which allows players to make their own deadly monsters.

May 182012
 

Hive Pocket, it’s just like having a pocket full of bugs!

…actually, no, that’s a horrible comparison, it’s not like that at all. No, instead it’s like having an extremely addictive game at the ready to play any time you wish. And why is Hive such a great game? It’s easy to learn. It’s challenging. Both expansions for the game are included. And you can play it anywhere! A fresh take on the chess format, Hive Pocket has become a classic game in a short number of years.

A grand framework for classic roleplaying action, the Adventurer Conqueror King System hardcover will transport you back to the original days of dungeon crawling. No matter what you want to do, the ACKS has the tools to build it. With 12 classes, a unique proficiency system, tons of monster options, and much more, ACKS makes for the ultimate sandbox RPG system.

With the Bounty Head Bebop RPG (think Mike Miegel instead of Spike Spiegel) you take on the role of a jazzy, planet-jumping head hunter. Similar to some popular, ehhm, popular anime show people know about, Bounty Head Bebop comes equipped with all the essential details anyone will need to play. That’s ships, baddies, guns, missions, and a quick-to-learn rule system. And speaking of systems, this one runs of an inverted D20 structure where players use a D20 for everyone roll. So, call Fey…umm, I mean, May up, turn on some smooth tunes, and rocket out of the cosmos.

The market is fierce in Kairo!

Players battle to tempt prospective customers to their booth in order to sell their wares. Each player control different stalls, using cards to move customers around the board, trying to bring them by their storefront. Coming from Queen Games, makers of Alhambra, Kingdom Builder (which may come up again in a little bit), and, the entirely too underrated game, Samarkand, Kairo is guaranteed to learn quickly, play competitively, and impress the whole family.

As I hinted, tonight’s last new game is the first Kingdom Builder expansion, Nomads! And this thing is chock-full of game-altering goodness. First off, it adds enough settlements to bump the game up to five players! Along with that, though, the nomads are introduced, who replace the castle spaces from the original game. New terrain types and cards which allow gold acquistion during the game are also included. If you’ve had a chance to play Kingdom Builder, you’re well aware of it’s massive addictiveness and overall enjoyment factor, so why not add onto the fun?

Jan 132012
 

Let me tell you something about Khazad-Dum. Not the place you want to go for a wedding reception. Just terrible ambience.

However, as a new expansion for the Lord of the Rings LCG card game, it’s just what the cleric ordered. Coming with three entirely new scenarios for players to battle through, you would alone consider this worth it, but add on top of that two additional dwarf heroes, encounter cards, and quest cards and all I got to say is…YOU SHALL NOT PASS…on buying it.

If we’re going to start with the grandaddy of all fantasy epics, may as well follow with some of its grandchildren.

Battle of Westros gains yet another expansion set this week, this time introducing a new ally faction to the game and dubbed Brotherhood Without Banners. As is the case with all the Westros expansion sets, this one includes all the essential to add the faction into play, including rules, battle plans, 36 new figures, tokens, and terrain overlays.

A second distant cousin, A Game of Thrones LCG, receives both a new expansion set and chapter pack this week. The expansion, Lions of the Rock, focuses on the new cards relating to the House of Lannister, providing 165 cards that help to build two separate theme decks. Where Loyalty Lies is the chapter pack in question, is the fourth addition to the Tales of Champions chapter. Jam packed with 60 cards, pick it up to keep your game progressing.

The, lets say, brother of Lord of the Rings, Dungeons & Dragons, today released one of its high-quality Map Packs, this time around depicting the ruins of a religious nature. Coming with three individual maps, the set includes materials for a crumbling cathedral, haunted chapel, and other currently out-of-print sources.

Finally, the stepbrother of the pack, Pathfinder, launches full bore into its miniature onslaught with their first Pathfinder Battles booster pack release. These individual, blind box boosters contain a single miniature, all of which are compatible with the roleplaying game. Bricks of figures are even said to contain a minimal amount of repeats, which seems to be a nice incentive to pick up figures that way. And if you need something bigger than you standard hero, you might want to go for one of the monster boosters, which includes a giant size creature figurine.

If you go all in and grab a case of figures, you should be aware that you then have the opportunity to purchase a mega-uber-super-crazy rare black dragon miniature. A small, small amount of these are available, so snag one before they vanish into myth.

Alright, family reunion over. Now to hop a train to further regions. Or, at least, if you have a Ticket to Ride.

That’s right, another new Ticket to Ride map expansion, this time to the far reaches of India and Switzerland. Like the recent Asia expansion, two maps and destination tickets are included in this set, both of which require one of the base editions to play. The Switzerland board is a reprint, but a pretty fantastic one, to be sure. Made for only 2-3 players, a bonus option of connecting countries is available in addition to the standard route building option. The India board, on the other hand, is entirely new, coming with new challenges and strategies.

Who doesn’t love a new deck building game? I do. Many customers do. And, apparently, so does Penny Arcade. In Penny Arcade the Game: Gamers vs. Evil, up to four players battle for deck dominence with by collecting cards emblazened with cast members of the popular web series. Oh, and you also get a D20, ’cause why not?

Sep 032011
 

Tell me, oh Magic D20 of Destiny, where do we begin?

With you?  Well, that’s rather biased.

Nonetheless, who can deny a Magic D20 of Destiny?  ”Not Valid in 4th Edition”?  Wait, no, did you think I was asking another question?  What do you mean, “Roll for Initiative”?  No, wait, stop answering my questions!

Okay.  As you might be able to tell from that ridiculous little skit, the Magic D20 of Destiny is just like a Magic 8 Ball, but D20 shaped.  That and the answers are roleplaying related.  Let it be your gaming conscience.

Speaking of Magic (that transition never gets old), there’s this new Duel Deck out on the town this weekend.  Though the Duel Decks are always a great bet for anyone looking to jump into Magic and have two immediately playable decks, this one is especially noteworthy because of its two heavy hitting planeswalkers.  Those being Ajani Vengeant and Nicol Bolas, the original planeswalker.  Both stand at the forefront of separate 60 card decks that’ll pose a challenge to any opponent.  Word to the wise, grab a copy of this guy before they disappear, because when they do, they are gone.

One thing you should never be in denial about is how addictive Nile can be.  It’s not just a river in Egypt, people.  But that begs the question, what is Nile?  At base a card game, Nile has players drawing and playing cards, each labeled with a particular crop, in an attempt to collect the highest number of complete sets out of all the players.  But that’s the base game, what we’re here to discuss tonight is the new expansion for the game, Nile Deluxor!  If you played the original game until your cards became ragged and worn, then this is the what the doctor prescribed.  Not only does the game contain all the original cards (now made of better stock), come in a bigger box that can hold all the cards (even sleeved), and expands the game for up to six players, but it also includes new expansion cards called Monuments.  If you love card games like Guillotine, Gloom, or Archaeology, don’t deny Nile Deluxor.

If it’s going to be your birthday, then better make it a Crappy Birthday!  Think about all the horrible gifts you’ve been given in your life, multiply them by a hundred and you’ve got the contents of Crappy Brithday.  If you’ve ever played Apples to Apples, then you know the drill:  every player starts with five cards, when it’s your turn/birthday everyone gives you the present they think you’ll hate the most.  As you might imagine, this makes for a superb party game.  So, make your birthday a crappy one.

Hail to the king, baby.  Hail to The Dwarf King.  You can only say this with any kind of confidence, though, after you’ve played the new game from Bruno Faidutti with the same name.  A new version of the classic trick taking game, three to five players start and follow tricks with suits of dwarf, goblin, and knight cards.  Certain special cards, hidden in the deck, allow players to play lay down cards they normally wouldn’t be able to.  If you’re a fantasy fan and avid lover of Tichu, then you’ve found the chocolate and peanut butter of the gaming world.

Another Apples to Apples style game, Dixit expands on its first two wonderful releases.  Dixit Odyssey is both a standalone game and an expansion to the original Dixit.  Duel nature of that sort is the basis for the game as players take turns laying down beautifully illustrated cards in an effort to adequately match the phrase, sound, or word given to them.  As you might imagine, new cards are a necessity in this game, so it’s lucky that Odyssey contains 84 gorgeously illustrated ones.  The new, larger, box also is big enough to hold ever card released for the game thus far.  On top of all that, the game is a Spiel des Jahres winner, so it’s got that going for it.

We began with dice and we end with them.  If there was a roleplaying bible, I’m sure that would be in there somewhere.  And this LED Critical Hit D20 would definitely considered the holy light.  Never be unsure about a critical hit ever again!

Jul 232011
 

If there is one irrefutable fact of gaming, one universal truth, one concept that can not be argued, one idea that can never be proven false, one thing that’s really, really true, it is the following:  dice are fun.

And so it goes that the wonderful game, We Didn’t Playtest This At All, of which we spoke last week, receives one more expansion pack, dubbed simply Dice Are Fun.  Packaged similarly to the Chaos Pack expansion, Dice Are Fun is able to be played along with the base game or as a stand-alone.  With the base game, players shuffle the deck and place the instruction card on top, along with a handful of dice.  Then, as players wish, they can draw a die and a card by discarding four cards from their hand or two starred cards.  As a stand-alone, players each need a D20 and something to keep score with as they will be working through the cards, one by one, slowly gaining or losing points on their D20, hoping to eventually stand at 40.  As with the other versions of this game, it plays fast, light, and funny.

It is a small world after all.  Why?  Because Philippe Keyaerts is not only the creator of the popular Small World, but also the new Olympos.  Structured around a theme of ancient Greece, Olympos is a multi-faceted strategy board game that sounds a barrows elements of Small World and 7 Wonders.  Basically, two boards are laid out, one that displays a map of ancient Greece and Atlantis, while the second displays pictures that represent “developments”.  The amount of actions players have is based off of where they are on the game’s timeline, but, regardless, the two types of actions are to expand settlers on the map game board or to purchase or build discoveries on the developments game board.  So, like 7 Wonders, there are numerous ways to acquire points and, thus, the victory.  Expect a well-designed, strategic experience when you pick up Olympos.

Ask yourself one question:  can you trust me?  Hopefully so, or else why are you reading this, but in the game of Double Agent you should never believe that you can trust anyone.  A two player game in the relatively new Duo Collection from Matagot, Double Agent has opponents facing off by using six secret agents to steal important government documents.  The trick here is that each player uses the same six agents, so neither knows which ones work for them.  Deception abounds and trickery ensues over the course of a fast-paced twenty minute play time.

Turn any table into King Arthur’s legendary round table with Artus.  You could also use a saw, but that gets sawdust everywhere and you’ll probably cut a finger off or something.  Anyway, to the game.  Artus uses its theme to full effect by using Arthur’s round table as the center piece of the game.  Players set “knights”, “royalty”, and unaffiliated pieces in various numbered spaces around the table.  The pieces rotate around the table, trading off the king position based on points acquired throughout the game.  Just remember your table manners.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion fears the elephant.  Obviously, that’s not how the song goes, but in the two-player game of Jungle, that’s how it works.  Players use animal tokens to move across a compact game board utilizing each animal’s unique ability over the others.  For instance, all creatures fear the elephant, but the elephant will run screaming from the mouse.  As the game operates on simple mechanics, it can be picked up in a matter of minutes.  But it may take years to become a true king of the jungle.