Jun 212013
 

Walkers are running rampant and its your duty to shoot’em down.

The Walking Dead Card Game from Cryptozoic is a brand new way to experience the post-zombie lifestyle, coming with two ways to play:  Hero and survival mode.  Hero mode has players taking control of a character from the show in an effort to earn more zombie points than the other 2-6 players.  Survival mode, on the other hand, pits 3-11 players against each other, but, instead of trying to nab the most points, everyone is trying to accumulate the least.  Perfect for parties full of Walking Dead fans, this new card game is easy to learn and fun to play.

Marvel‘s Legendary becomes a little more, uh, legendary-er this week thanks to Dark City, the deck building game’s first expansion.  Not only does this expansion offer seventeen new characters and five villains (like Cable, Colossus, Moon Knight, Blade, Kingpin, Loki, and Apocalypse), but also augmented game rules.  These include expanded abilities for bystanders, giving them autonomy, as well as character artwork that clarifies who has power when.

Lovers of Apples to Apples should take note of Word Whimsy.  This party game of wordplay is structured similar to the aforementioned game, but around phrases instead of single words.  Players take turns drawing prompt cards, like “My Professional Wrestling Name” or “Favorite Bar”, then proceed to arrange cards from their hand into the wackiest answer to that prompt.  And while this version can serve 3-7, there are also other variants included that alter the entire game.

Just when you thought they were done, there’s more Dominion.

Dominion Guilds is the eighth expansion released for this mega-popular deck building series.  This time around, the theme revolves around jobs and what citizens of the township need to do to get them.  Thirteen new kingdom cards as well as coin tokens to wile away for use later.  Other cards come with a starting cost, but can be bought for more money in order gain the user further abilities.

We’ll cover the next two games in the order the original books were released, just to play it like OG nerds.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey board game is a one to four player game that lasts up to an hour, ferrying players through the events of Peter Jackson’s first Hobbit film.  A cooperative experience, players take control of Bilbo and his dwarf companions, attempting to collect gems and gold as you out maneuver and defeat the monsters in your path.  Designed by Reiner Knizia, this is no simple property game.

The second Tolkien/Cryptozoic collaboration out this week, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game enters the deck building arena, telling the rest “They CAN NOT PAAAAAAASSSSS!”  Structured identically to the DC Deck Building Game, players take on the roles of either Frodo, Samwise, Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, or Boromir, facing off against the forces of Sauron.  Players purchase cards from the center of the table to build-up their own decks in an effort to defeat orcs, Balrogs, and Nazgûl.  Also, in an absurdest twist, this game can be combined the DC Deck Builder for Gollum vs. Superman battles.

Dec 142012
 

Managing to actually beat the next Star Wars films into the world, the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG base set has, shockingly, arrived earlier than expected.  Copying the Pathfinder Beginner Box method of release, Star Wars Edge of the Empire is also released in a beginner box format, coming with all the essentials for play.  Included in the box is a quick-to-learn rule booklet that will teach anyone, even the most uninitiated roleplayer, how to play the game.  Dice, pre-generated character sheets (which are ready-to-play), an adventure book, tokens, and much more are also included.  Create your own galaxy far, far away by picking up this one, catch-all Beginner Box.

Maybe you haven’t heard, but there’s this movie called The Hobbit coming out this weekend.  I don’t know, people are excited.  In a brilliant stroke of cross-marketing, Fantasy Flight has released a new Hobbit trick-taking card game.  A head-to-head battle of good versus evil, The Hobbit card game has players taking on the roles of Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin to take on the forces of Smaug and Bolg.  Each card has its own special abilities as well as associations with good or evil, which will benefit or harm them depending on the items being attached to them.  Trust me, you’re going to need something to keep you and your five friends busy while your sitting in line waiting for tickets.

In an effort to make an RPG system for every corner of the Warhammer 40K universe, the Only War Core Rulebook drops today.  Focusing on the Imperial Guardsmen, Only War allows players to control any of the twelve specialties, whether that’s the powerful Heavy Gunner or the beneficial Medic.  The game also supports all forms of interaction with easy-to-understand rules capable of handling conversations to mass battles.  Also, by the weird possibility that you’re playing a 40K game without knowing anything about the universe, this rulebook comes with complete background details on the Imperial Guard and all their enemies.

The fire is rising, brother.  And you just read that in Bane’s voice.

Though he, technically, has nothing to do with Dominare, Bane’s general revolutionary plan does share some similarities with the gameplay.  It’s all about influencing the citizens of Tempest with secret backdoor dealings, underhanded treachery, and cunning.  Each player controls different agents of the underworld, sending them into eight different city districts to begin spreading rumors of a conspiracy that will upset the city’s balance.  In the end, its all about control and who possesses it.

Ticket to Ride continues to trek across the globe for its most recent map expansion packs, this time landing in Africa.  Ticket to Ride: The Heart of Africa (beside being a minor reference to Joseph Conrad’s famous short story) features an entirely original map of the country, complete with new terrain cards which specific different track colors for different geographical regions.  Players can multiply their points by using them in conjunction with particular routes.  As Ticket to Ride is one of the best family games on the stands since forever, so keep it fresh and interesting for yours by picking up this new expansion.

Wares!  Fine wares!  Get your fine wares right here!

Continuing from Catan Histories previous releases, Merchants of Europe is the newest stand-alone Catan edition.  This augmentation of the basic Settlers of Catan rules has players controlling merchants and trading posts in various cities in Europe, attempting to expand their mercantile reach ever further.  Ultimately, your goal should be to recruit as many new merchants as you can in an effort to build trading posts further from your original locations and acquire different commodities (i.e. sugar, wood, sheep, etc.) for trade and sale.  Along with this, players must also build trading routes over which they will need to transport their goods, hoping they’ve built them in safe areas or else have their product pillaged from under them.

Nov 162012
 

Far over the misty mountains cold lies The Hobbit Heroclix Starter Set and individual boosters.

First, the new Epic Campaign starter set applies the same stand-alone adventure format that was featured in the previous Lord of the Rings starter set, including an individual campaign, maps, dice, and eight miniatures of core characters like Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin Oakenshield.  Pick up this set for a complete adventure in a box!  And anyone who does pick up a copy will receive a promo Golem miniature!  Or pick up a single figure booster to add other extra characters to your party.  So says Smaug!

Start prepping your hand/eye coordination, because Dixit Jinx is going to take it to push it to the limit.  Combining the wild fun of the popular Jungle Speed party game with the visual intensity of Dixit, this new version of the original game.  Players take turns giving a verbal cue of an image, then laying down (at various speeds) nine cards, each decorated with beautifully designed pictures, one of which will be the image the player described.  Everyone else attempts to grab that card as fast as they can, laying waste to any hand in their way!  If you’ve got three to six people (inebriated or not) hanging around, Dixit Jinx is just about the best way to kill some time and have fun doing it.

Wizards of the Coast is already getting into the holiday spirit by releasing their first ever Magic the Gathering Holiday Gift  Box.  Inside this magical box are tons of wonderful contents for a low price.  There are four Return to Ravnica booster packs, full-art card dividers, stickers to personalize these dividers any way you like, a stack of land, a special promo art version of Dreg Mangler, and all of these goodies come stocked within a giant card box capable of holding 2,000 cards.  I don’t think it’ll fit in a stocking, but don’t let that stop you from buying it for you favorite Magic player.

You don’t have to own a round table to play this next game, but it doesn’t hurt.  Shadows Over Camelot, the popular Days of Wonder cooperative game set in Arthurian times, now exists in a card game format.  Shadows Over Camelot: The Card Game brings the same cooperative gameplay of the original down to a easy-travel, quicker to play format.  Players band together to complete quests within a time limit, battling Morgan le Fay and looking to Merlin for assistance.  The fate of the round table is decided by the amount of white and black swords the valiant knights accumulate.  Of course, some knights might not be as trustworthy as others.

Munchkin Apocalypse now!

After all the worst events known to humankind descend upon the planet, you are a weary survivor, fighting for your life.  New disaster card types keep you on your feet while four new classes give you plenty of options to out last them.  As usual you can reach level 10 or, special to this version of Munchkin, you can choose to open seven seals and bring about the end of the world.  Plus, for a little extra insanity, Axe Cop‘s Ethan Nicolle provides a guest Monster for the game.  Don’t be an errand boy sent by grocery clerks by avoiding the newest Munchkin set, instead love the smell of napalm in the morning and pick a copy up.

Ascension:  Immortal Heroes brings the strategy and tactics of Magic the Gathering to a board game environment, thanks to Pro Tour creators Rob Dougherty and Brian Kibler.  Wield the power of the new Soul Gems to gain access to powerful heroes form the past.  You can play the game as either a two player stand-alone game or as an expansion to Ascension:  Storm of Souls.

Feb 172012
 

Lately, it’s been a bit of a challenge to be involved in a Cosmic Encounter.

Fantasy Flight has come to the rescue, however, and reprinted the game, yet again. For those unfamiliar with Cosmic Encounter the game is, at base, a colonization game. Each gamer controls a different alien race attempting to spread their empire across the universe, eventually claiming victory if they have colonies on five planets not within their own system. This base version of the game offers a varied amount of alien options, each coming with their speical abilities. Also, as somewhat of an added bonus, this version of the game includes a handful of new alien races to multiply the variety. Snag it before it leaves the galaxy again.

You know that mamby pamby magic guys like Harry Potter and Gandalf like to throw around?

Yeah, this ain’t that. This is EPIC SPELL WARS OF THE BATTLE WIZARDS: DUEL AT MOUNT SKULLZFYRE (and, yes, it has to be in all caps because it’s that amazing)! Not only is every card in this bloody, vicious, heart-stomping, brain-stabbing, lung impaling game drawn by the psychotic artist of the Super Jail cartoon, Nick Edwards, but they also serve your every whim in eviserating your opponents. How does this magical madness work? Simple. Two to six players match firery wits by way of creating spells by combining three cards, ultimately attempting to reduce their enemies to a quivering pile of mush. Dark, demented, and a darn good bit of fun.

Like a darker, deadlier version of Munchkin, the new Locke & Key board game will satisfy both readers of the exceptional comic and lovers of board games. Though play starts cooperatively, by the end of the adventure you may be looking behind you to see who’s stabbing that knife in your back. Keeping with the story of the comic, players will explore Keyhouse, gathering verious keys, then using their abilities to conquer evil ghoulies.

Fun for the whole undead family.