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 022012
 

For those that know their Shakespeare, Merchant of Venus might sound slightly familiar. Same for anyone who knows their board game history, because Merchant of Venus is a reboot of the classic Avalon Hill board game. This second edition of Merchant of Venus contains a new re imagined game design as well as Richard Hamblen’s classic design.

In Merchant of Venus, one to four players take roles of intergalactic merchants competing to trade goods with alien cultures. Will pirates, space junk, or sabotage end your business? Or can wheel and deal your way to financial superiority.

Any self-respecting Pathfinder GM needs to pick up a copy of the new NPC Codex. Quickly becoming an essential volume, this hardcover contains information on over 300 characters! A go-to guide to running, equipping, and stating out opponents and allies for your players to face, the NPC Codex will easily alleviate set-up time or on-the-fly awkwardness as you grope for enemies. Plus, the book comes with multiple versions of classic Pathfinder characters for easy pre-generated play. Pathfinder releases a ton of great books over the course of a year, but this is certainly one of the most essential!

Your fleet is growing! Wings of Glory today releases four new WWII fighter planes, each pre-painted, assembled, and packed with all the necessary elements to incorporate it into any Wings of Glory WWII games. This new set includes four miniatures, two American, two German. The North American fighters are B-25 Mitchell model planes, while the Germans are Heinkels. For easy-to-learn, mechanically inventive war games, Wings of Glory is the best out there.

It only gets worse in the world of Thunderstone. After defeating Mowtil and collecting three thunderstones in the Caverns of Bane expansion, players are now faced with an even worse threat as Doom’s ultimate plan is revealed. Root of Corruption is the second expansion for the Thunderstone Advanced base game, this time introducing a co-op as well as six new monster groups, seven new heroes, new village cards, and a new poster map board. If you’re going to continue crawling through this dungeon, you’re going to need to get to the Root of Corruption.

Deathwatch has made it to the Outer Reach.

With this new hardcover edition to the Deathwatch corpus players can take the Dead Stations Vigil and serve alongside the Dead Cabal, learning all their ancient secrets. Face the Necrons Suhbekhar Dynasty, an ageless foe clawing to earn back their fallen empire. And once your done defeating the Necrons, explore worlds beyond the reach of the Achilus Crusade, rich with weapons capable of defeating the coming darkness. This hardcover supplement to the base Deathwatch rule book details all the information GMs and players need to explore and conquer the Outer Reach.

Time to get all shirtless up in this Enterprise!

The captain’s log needed a little Shatner-ing up, so Bandai decided to publish an original series Star Trek Deck Building Game to go along with their Next Generation games. This new base game can be combined and played with the previous two Next Gen releases or simply as a stand alone game. Either way, players begin as a captain of a starship, controlling a standard crew and basic weaponry. From there, however, you choose to improve various aspects of your ship and crew, attempting to complete the mission directives of two diverse scenarios. If you want to go boldly where no other deck builder has gone before, go on a Star Trek.

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.