Jul 062012
 

Empires of the Void is a space epic for the ages featuring space colonization, interplanetary battles, and plenty of universe spanning space travel. Two to four players control various alien races who are attempting to conquer the galaxy as they either colonize or strip planets of their resources while fighting off other like-minded empires. Players will use strategy, negotiation, and trade as they make decisions and contend with the random event deck which pushes the story forward. Formerly a successful Kickstarter game, Empires of the Void is now available for pick up at your friendly local game store, i.e. us.

Dust Tactics continues to storm the shelves with its fresh range of alternate history battle mechs and soldiers. Freshly arrived this week is the Panzer-Kampflaufer III, a German battlemech with three construction variants and three corresponding unit cards. Bringing the freeze, the SSU Commissar Squad is also released this weekend, coming with five Russian soldiers, fully assembled and ready to paint.

If you were looking at the box art that I currently am, you would have the theme from the beach storming scene in Apocalypse Now, too. And that box goes to Mad Zeppelin. This new card game from Fantasy Flight is as wacky as Red November and as stylish as any other Fantasy Flight game. Players control traitors on board massive zeppelin cargo ships, attempting to sabotage the mission by dropping valuable items on your journey. Those who prefer their games antagonistic and wacky need apply.

Apr 272012
 

Can you believe The Avengers comes out next Friday?

Seems like I’ve been waiting for that movie come out my whole life, but no matter how close it gets it still feels too far away. Luckily, Wizkids a new set of Avengers Heroclix to tide me and everyone else over. Just like they have done with Green Lantern, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek, The Avengers set is out in a base starter set (containing six of the core team) and individual booster boxes. All of these figures can be simply collected or you can play them as a miniature battle game. The starter set even comes with maps and rules to complete the gaming experience. With sixteen figures to collect overall, you better start now to assemble all The Avengers.

Following last week’s Fantasy Flight Lord of the Rings and Star Wars card sleeves, this week’s new set of sleeves depict another popular Sci-Fi/Fantasy franchise: Game of Thrones. Both sleeve types come with fifty sleeves, one displaying John Snow, the other Melisandre.

Or if you’re not into George R.R. Martin‘s fantasy series, there are new sleeves depicting Cthulhu, DungeonQuest imagery, and artwork from the popular co-op board game, Red November. All of these sleeves are standard sized, designed to fit most common CCGs, LCGs, and basic card game cards.

Popular game designer Reiner Knizia has created a slew of fantastic board games, such as Lost Cities, but his newest game is the Black Sheep of the bunch. A great, easy to learn card-based game intended for the whole family, Black Sheep has players collecting sets of animal cards, trying for better combinations than their opponents, and corralling them in their pens. Ah, but the black sheep is ready at every turn to ruin your hand. In line with family games like Zoolerreto, Black Sheep is a perfect edition for game night.

Jan 062012
 

Fantasy Flight has a number of game expansions which they print only on demand.

Well, we’re demanding, so they’ve been printing. And shipping…to us.

Originally release at last year’s Gen Con, The Massing at Osgiliath deck for the Lord of the Rings LCG has now become a print-on-demand edition. That means they are some what rare. And the only thing standing in your way of owning every release for the game. Even if you aren’t on that sort of obsessive quest, this mini-expansion can still offer value as it includes all the cards you’ll need for an entirely new adventure that increases in difficulty parallel to the number of players. A niffty release indeed!

And if you’re going to make print-on-demand items for one game, you may as well do it for two others. Or so Fantasy Flight seems to believe.

Two PoD packs, in fact, were released this week for the Death Angel Card Game. One is a Mission Pack, which includes entirely original location cards that can be incorporated into the base game to offer a completely new mission. The second is the Space Marine Pack, which includes set of new combat teams, including their coordianting action cards.

Of course everything works better in threes, so a new Mansions of Madness PoD also got lumped in with the above culprits. The ‘Til Death Do Us Part expansion does the same thing as the previous Mansions of Madness PoD expansions (which we also receive a restock on), that being supply all the essential elements for an entirely new scenario where players investigate a serial killer’s victims with their ghostly assitance.

Since I’m getting tired of typing PoD, lets talk about a game that actually had a regular print run.

Flash Point: Fire Rescue adds a new option to the minimal line of cooperative games on the market. Like Pandemic, Forbidden Island, or Red November, Flash Point: Fire Rescue requires players to work together or they will all suffer the consequences. Each player takes on the role of a specific rescue specialist (like paramedic or fire captain) in an effort to save victims from a burning building. The game is intended for beginners, veterans, or players of all ages and experiences as it allows for four differing levels of play, including family, recruit, veteran, or heroic. As there’s not enough cooperative games out there, I’m happy to see a new, inventive edition to the genre.

May 142011
 

Hopefully you have about a month to kill, because this post is going to be like the War and Peace of game posts.

Let’s jump right in with a restock (sort of) on the freshly reprinted Advanced Fighting Fantasy RPG.  The classic Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone created series has been picked up by Arion Games, updated, and reprinted.  Based around single player adventuring, this core rulebook contains everything you’ll need to start up.  That’s hero creation rules, game rules, spells, powers, and all the monsters, dungeons, and adventures you could shake a battle axe at.  A perfect way to get into roleplaying, if you’re looking to start.

Just in time for the Thor movie, YggdrasilZ-Man games (so you know it looks a’very nice) releases this one, which has players taking on the role of gods in the defense of the world tree, Yggdrasil.  Yes, Ragnarok is on the way and you have to take three actions each time your turn comes up.  Actions include conversing with dwarfs, elves or Valkyries for benefits, fight frost giants, and/or venture to Asgard and fight against the baddies.  If you dig Norse mythology and smashing things, this is for you.

Okay, here’s a short one.

Age of Steam:  Germany & France Expansion pack.  It combines the maps of Germany and France for you to play on…that’s it.  Done.

D&D The Shadowfell:  Gloomwrought and Beyond has dropped onto the shelves.  Inside its box-y confines are all the contents giving you the ability to play in the city of Gloomwrought.  These contents include:  a campaign guide, a 32-page book of encounters, a lovely map of the city and other areas, character and monster tokens, and 30 cards to enhance your encounters.  D&D knows what’s up, so these box sets always treat you right.

Very inventive game here.  Pastiche revolves around art and its creation.  Players select a card that displays a famous work of art, underneath it is a set of colors that were used in the palette.  Players then attempt to “mix” colors by placing tiles.  Simple yet strategic and, yet, still fun for the whole family.

Another Call of Cthulhu offshoot, The Legacy of Arrius Lurco is set in the Cthulhu Invictus universe.  The story follows Arrius Lurco who has vanished and returned recently only to start having nightmares.  This softcover contains a campaign divided into four sections set in ancient Rome, Rome, and Cyrenaica.  Expect all the creepy, disturbing monsters and horror of any Lovecraft offshoot.

If you’re Jonesing for a good screw-your-opponent game, then you’ve just found FaceEater.  A card game, FaceEater involves time travel, face melting, nerve gas, and a number of other horrible tortures.  Each player tries to earn the most points while screwing their opponents up as much as they can.  Inside the box are 192 cards to create a deck from.  Dark, funny, and addictive.

The rulebook for Mercs, a new futuristic miniature game, shipped, along with a number of the stats cards that are necessary for play.  As always, the rule book, through detailed instruction and bright, stylish pictures and artwork.  Why not check it out?

Merkator is next.  Players control merchants during the Thirty Years’ War who are working to complete contracts based around requested goods.  After you finish a contract, you gain another, more lucrative, one.  But you’ll find that global travel may be necessary to locate the goods you need.  Above all, though, time is of the essence.

More traveling in this travel game about traveling called Travel Blog:  Europe & USA.  That’s lots’a travel.  And, as I said, the game is about traveling across the world, but hinges on your knowledge of the globe.  You pick up cards that link countries, basically choosing the route of your trip, and attempted to do it quicker than your opponent.  The game can be used as a learning tool, as well, because it focuses heavily on world geography and the names of countries.

Troyes is a game divided into card and dice control.  Centered around the construction (over four centuries) of Troyes, France, the game has players controlling a portion of the population (the dice) which will fall into one of three categories, civil, religious, or military.  Through them, players choose what options to perform that will assist them in building the city.

Another perfect family game, Simpatico, is all about strategic movement of cards.  The game consists of 84 cards that have various images and colors on them.  Placed on a game mat divided into three sections, gamers move the cards up to the top row, where they’ll gain points, by placing them on top of other cards that have the same shape, color, or quantity.  A fast, portable game like Treehouse, Fluxx, or Archeology.

Winner of a New Worlds of Gaming Spiel Des Jahres award, Space Alert is a game that demands your attention.  Suitable from one to five players (always nice to see a single player game), Space Alert is similar to Red November, but with one major change:  CDs.  Yes, included CDs control how the space mission the players are on occurs.  Also, the game is team based, so the crew of the ship needs to work together if they have any hope of surviving.

An investment, currency control game, at heart, Airlines:  Europe has gamers bidding, buying, and controlling the beginning stages of the commercial aviation business in Europe.  If your airline performs better than others, investors will flock to you, earning you further influence and success.  Of course, the most impressive profit is always the end goal.

The Secret of Monte Cristo builds off of Alexandre Dumas’ famous story.  The game’s premise revolves around searching for hidden treasure in that the Count left in his former prison.  Turn order fluctuates, giving one active player the chance to place explorers, based off a new marble rolling system.  The game may sound a bit odd, reading it on here, but once you’ve seen it in person you’ll realize the genius in its design.

Another game based on a classic literary tale, The Three Musketeers:  The Queen’s Pendants offers a hell of a lot more fun than reading words.  Heh, who does that any…Oh.  Uh, keep reading.  Anyway, some players take on the roles of the Musketeers while one controls Cardinal Richelieu.  As the Musketeers fight to make it through the Louvre so that they may give the diamonds back to the Queen Mother, Richelieu chases them, attempting to find and steal the diamonds first.  Action, adventure fun.

Bueller?  Bueller?