Mar 082013
 

Buckle in, folks, because after a week off because of snow trouble, New Game Stuff is back!  And tonight there is a long, long list of newness to discuss, so it’s just the facts.

FoxMind games delivers one of the most inventive train games in a long while with String Railway.  Using bendable pieces of plastic rope, players both build the board and connect train depots.  Two to five players take turns drawing depot tokens, placing them, and attempting to link them with the pieces of string at their disposal.  Easy to learn and very tactile, String Railway is perfect for families or friends.

A tile laying game of the most serene nature, Zen Garden will put your soul at ease.

Mayfair Games, makers of fine family games, adds some enticing dimensions to the standard tile laying scenario.  Up to four players compete against each other by constructing their zen gardens using tiles of trees, mountains, and streams.  Each player, however, has a special pattern they must try and complete by moving their tiles around the board with special lantern tokens.  The game also comes with various levels of play to increase the difficult the more you play.

The front says Gentlemen Thieves, but the back says Arsene Lupin.  And, no, that is not an indication that this game has anything to do with mullets.  Borrowing the world’s most famous thief, Lupin, Gentlemen Thieves has players taking on the role of a thief and joining forces with other thieves (as long as it serves them) to heist valuable items (represented by tokens) from famous locations across Paris.  Just remember to put on your black gloves.

In Ground Floor the building is already built, now you’ve just got to populate it, employee it, advertise your product, cut down on costs, challenge your rivals, and grow your business.  Then, maybe, you get to rest.  Detailed in its level of strategy, Ground Floor involves bartering, resource management, organization, and any number of other mechanics.  If you’re an Agricola or Puerto Rico fan, get in on the Ground Floor.

The game is a foot, Watson!

Lady Alice is a recently released Sherlock Holmes themed board game allowing players to take on the rolls of kids studying under the tutelage of Holmes himself.  During the game players make deductions about evidence, placing their guesses in a folder.  When the round is over, each guess is revealed to either be true or false, with every player marking down the results in order to solve the mystery.  If you picked up the recently released Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, this game is a perfect companion piece.

The reprint steamroller continues to roll from Dungeons & Dragons with the brand new hardcover edition of Dungeons of Dread.  This classic AD&D tome collects the original “S” series of adventure models, three of which were written by Gary Gygax himself.  For those out there who know the history, these are some of the most well known dungeons in D&D history, perfect for players learning the system by playing these reprint copies.  As usual all the original material is reprinted in its original format.

It’s going to be Easter soon and that means bunnies.  And bunnies mean violent murder of bunnies.

Wait, what?!!  Steve Jackson changes the meaning of Easter with the newest Munchkin booster pack, Easter Eggs.  Evil rabbits are running around all over the place and its your duty to smack’em down while wearing a Sundae Dress and Bunny Slippers.  But watch out for Peter Cottonmouth and Little Bunny ‘Thulhu.

There are four doors, but no exits.

That’s the premise of Room-25.  One to six players are locked in rooms, running from room to room, trying to find the one and only door which leads to rumored exit that is Room-25.  In gaming formats ranging from solo to group cooperative, players attempt to coordinate actions in order to find the mythic room and escape.  But beware, because some students may turn out to be undercover guards, ready to stop the players at the most inopportune moment.

Me matey, there be Pirate Dice off the coast of Pulp Fiction Isle!

By rolling and strategically placing customized D6′s, players sail the seven seas, doing battle with their rivals and searching for sunken and lost treasure.  Each die controls attacks and movement as players sail across the provided map.  Control the direction and speed of your ship carefully, though, as you don’t want to overshoot or undershoot that last hooray!

The recently released Archipelago pirate game receives a rare Solo Player Expansion this week.  Unlike any other expansion, this one allows players to convert the game into a one-player mode.  The pack contains 27 scenarios, each with a different time limit and win condition.  You are also allowed to choose whatever character you wish in order to play.

A game of ancient Egypt, Kemet has players competing over a succession of rounds, divided into categories of night and day.  Within the day phase, players enact their magical abilities in order to defeat your opponent, while at night your regroup and build up your mystical energies.  Wizards can even spend special Prayer Points to bring additional creatures into their armies.

Feb 222013
 

We’ve trudged through the snow and ice just to bring you, dear readers, the newest installment of New Game Stuff.  Okay, fair enough, it’s not that bad out now and, yes, we could have posted this from home, if need be, HOWEVER, there is new gaming stuff and we are going to tell you about it.

First up, with Magic Game Day arriving on the morrow, it’s time for the Gatecrash Event Decks to show up.  For this set, the decks focus on Boros and Simic, meaning red/white and blue/red/green, respectively.  The Simic Guild deck comes packed with killer green cards, like a Thragtusk and a Wolfir Silverheart, while the Boros deck includes ton of money cards, like Clifftop Retreat, Champion of the Parish, Spark Trooper, Silverblade Paladin, and more.  So, lets do the math, not only can you play these competitive decks in tournaments and do well, but you’ll also make off like a bandit with all the money rares included in them.

Expand your spellcasting playbook with the Forcemaster vs. Warlord expansion set for Mage Wars.  Within this set are all the spell cards, mage cards, spellbooks, markers, and rules that you’ll need to incorporate these powerhouses into your base game of Mage Wars.  And, whoo boy, these two robed wizard-types are packed full of the butt-kicking.  Forcemaster likes to kick other players in the face with her mind and whip them about like a ragdoll with her telekentic prowess.  On the other hand, the Warlord has his minions soldier on for him while he brings the death from above with his brutal war magic.  Either way, you’re going to be challenging your opponent like never before.

If you just can’t wait to see how Peter Jackson ends his Hobbit saga (or you can’t read…but then you’d probably not be looking at this), create your own ending with the second Hobbit saga expansion for the Lord of the Rings LCG game, On the Doorstep.  Within this expansion are three additional scenarios that take two players across the Wilderlands, pitting them against giant spiders, Smaug, and the armies of Bolg on a cooperative journey.  Of course, to topple these challenges, you’re going to need new heroes, treasures, and player cards.  Luckily, you don’t have to venture across the Misty Mountains cold to find them, because they’re all contained within.

But maybe hobbits aren’t your flavor (they do have all that hair).

If not, the newest release for the Dungeon Command miniature game, Blood of Gruumsh, is chock full of Orcs for your battling pleasure.  This boxset contains an entire Orc faction, ready to play directly out of the box.  That means there are twelve prepainted figures depicting an owlbear, an Orc Chieftain, a wereboar, and much, much more.  Or if you’re feeling random, slap your Orc faction together with a bit of Elf and Goblin and have an old fashioned D&D hoedown!

Finally, this evening we’re going to write a lot of words.  But we’re going to do it in an order that turns them into a sentence.  And from those sentences, we’re going to tell you the names of four fresh additions to the Pathfinder universe. First up is the Shattered Star Poster Map Folio which provides detailed maps for Varisia, Magnimar, and Kaer Maga.  Next is the Animal Archive which details the fauna of the Pathfinder universe, including armor-wearing triceratops.  The Snows of Summer begins a new Adventure Path known as Reign of Winter.  And, finally, Pathfinder Online: Thornkeep provides GMs all the information they need to run adventures in and under Thornkeep, as well as details on the upcoming Pathfinder MMORPG.

Feb 082013
 

Unearthed Arcana has once again been unearthed.

In line with the previous Dungeons & Dragons reprint editions, this version of the original first edition Unearthed Arcana hardcover comes printed on shiny golden print pages in a lovely embossed version of the original cover.  This special edition, though reprinting the artwork and original text, also comes with the Dungeon Magazine errata.  All proceeds for this edition of the book go towards the Gary Gygax fund, as well.  And best of all, you don’t have to cast any spells to get it.  Though that might help.

You’ve stayed in the mansion too long, now it’s time to venture outside.

Mansions of Madness:  Call of the Wild expansion features eleven new map tiles that allow you to leave the titular mansion and face off against the unspeakable evils lurking outside.  Of course, new tiles wouldn’t do you much good without additional stories to go along with them, thus the game comes with five brand new story paths.  Each story changes the dynamics of the game like never before, with one even allowing the keeper to explore and solve puzzles.  As with previous expansion packs, the game also comes with entirely new monster and investigator miniatures.

The RuneWars are back on!

After being out of print for an extended period of time, the epic miniature battle game, RuneWars is back in print and better than ever.  This new RuneWars Revised Edition comes with all the same materials of the previous game, but at a cheaper price.  Within the world of the game, two to four players utilize their vast armies, which they’ve recruited, to conquer vast stretches of land and their opponents.  But it’s not all brawn in this game.  Players also must utilize diplomatic skill to negotiate with the land’s inhabitants for assistance.  But at the end of the day, whoever has claimed the most sacred dragon runes becomes the ruler of Terrinoth.

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.

Jul 272012
 

If it ain’t broke, reprint it.

Or, at least, that seems to be Wizards of the Coast’s motto. Two weeks ago, all three of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books were reprinted in beautiful remastered hardcover packaging. The DM’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual are untouched rules-wise while also reprinting all the original artwork. Plus, each purchase puts part of the funds toward furthering the Gygax Memorial Fund.

Crossing the street for a visit to Paizo, the new Pathfinder Player Character Folio. Coming with sixteen pages that will help you to organize and track your character’s progression and abilities. Broken into boxes and sections for listing feats, class features, familiars, cohorts, and items, as well as quick reference charts and folder flaps, this folio is all you’ll ever need to stay on top of all your character’s developments.

Chasing dragons is usually not advised as they are regularly unfriendly when caught, however the new Game of Thrones LCG Chapter Pack of the same name actually advises it. As with the other Chapter Packs, the Chasing Dragons pack comes with 60 new cards for the Beyond the Narrow Sea cycle. If you haven’t played any of the LCG games before, each chapter pack is designed to advance the story and alter the gameplay, so, in short, keep the game fresh and interesting.

Agricola is easily one of the best resource management games ever created, but it is a long game and it is intented for multiple players. But don’t worry, Z-Man is on top of it. The new Agricola two player game has parred the playstyle down, adapting Agricola for a quick head-to-head, stand-alone experience. Players compete by working to fence in the most animals over the period of eight turns.

It is, in fact, not a small world after all.

Days of Wonder releases a new addition to their popular Risk-style board (featured on Will Wheaton’s Tabletop) this week, Small World Realms. This edition to the game is a collection of map pieces, tokens, and original rules scenarios, allowing players to create their own board for use by races and powers from either the original Small World or Small World Underground. So, maybe the real answer to whether it’s a small world after all is: it’s up to you.

Two millennia after the dawn of space travel, the galaxy hums with prosperity and peace. But as mankind and its neighbors colonized the stars, the burgeoning need for resources becomes apparent. As a plucky entrepreneur you must explore the edges of space searching for precious minerals. Will you buy the fastest ship in the sector? Can you afford to hire the best pilot in the galaxy? Shall you choose to purchase the latest state-of-the-art gadgets, invest in planetary refineries or pay off your rising debt? The cargo you haul could be worth fortune, so grab your helmet and suit up! So are the stakes in Starship Merchants!

You can’t teach an old war new tricks. But you can update them.

Axis & Allies releases two updated and altered versions of its classic wargame structure today with Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition and Axis & Allies 1941. The 1942 edition is an updated, heftier version of the previous edition, complete with new units. 1941, however, is an entirely new Axis & Allies release featuring the same popular mechanics in a different theater of war.