Jan 172014
 

Got eight minutes to spare?

Why not play Eight-Minute Empire: Legends?  The second stand-alone release in this line, Legends is literally playable in eight minutes, ready-made for quick gaming in between gaming.  The game involves players picking cards off of six piles, with each card providing a special action to perform immediately after.

Three new ships pull into the Star Trek Attack Wing docking bay this weekend, including the USS Excelsior for the Federation, RIS Vo from the Romulan alliance, and Dominion’s Koranak vessel.

Who you gonna call?  Yourself!

Ghooost! is family friendly, easily travel-able card matching game where players try to get rid of their hand of cards by matching suits with cards previously laid down.  Players pull from their “mansion” for new cards, hoping for cards with special abilities that allow them to lay more cards or enact other actions.  The whole game also comes in a handy carrying box that folds out into the game board.

Gamer couples searching for a new two player experience need look no further than Pixel Tactics and Pixel Tactics 2.

Head-to-head battling is the name of the game, stemming from each player controlling an identical deck of cards, but assigning a specific leader card to the deck that entirely alters how each card plays.  This allows for twenty-five different variations on the standard deck.  And don’t worry about picking these initially releases up in order, they are both stand-alone and can be played in any order.

The fifth large expansion for the Warhammer:  Invasion LCG card game, Hidden Kingdoms, fleshes out the remaining factions that have, up until now, not seen play in the game.  These include Skaven, Lizardmen, Wood Elves, and Undead, each of which has been built-up to a full faction.

The Mayan apocalypse may never have come, but that hasn’t stopped Tzolk’in from producing an expansion to end all expansions.  Tribes and Prophecies not only adds enough pieces to include a fifth player, but also alters the gaming experience entirely by allowing each player to take command of tribe leaders that grant them abilities beyond the normal selection.

Space is a vast and endless place, which means Rio Grand Games has plenty of universe to produce a fifth Race for the Galaxy expansion from.  Alien Artifacts adds a fifth playable deck onto the base game, as well as five additional start worlds.  Along with these extra pieces, the expansion contains another gaming mode where players map an alien “orb” searching for artifacts that gain them extra powers.

For the penultimate game item, Pathfinder, like a Pokemon trainer on a winning spree, continues to evolve their dragons.  This time around, it’s the Red Dragon Evolution set of miniatures.

And, basically, that’s kinda it…

Like there’s three dragons.

And some are bigger than others.

But they’re all red…

Yup…

Anyway, the ‘verse is never done offering up rewards for determined, swindly captains, especially ones experienced in Breakin’ Atmo.

The first expansion deck for the beloved Firefly board game, Breakin’ Atmo, supplies players with twenty-five new jobs, supply cards, and shiploads of gear!  Shiny don’t even begin to describe this valuable bobble!

Jan 112013
 

A fool and his money are soon parted, as they say, however you’re no fool if you pick up a copy of A Fool’s Fortune.

In the tradition of Rummy and other set-building card games, A Fool’s Fortune from Rio Grande Games elicits a tarot vibe as it has players deciding the fate of their opponents and themselves.  As you and up to two friends select and play cards, attempting  to build a perfect set, you’ll run across special fortune and character cards with special abilities.  Play them right, and you may just win A Fool’s Fortune.

Monkeys combined with just about anything usually results in both comedy and destruction.  Taking advantage of that equation is the new Spin Monkeys board game from Rio Grande.  A slew of bumper cars have been dropped into the jungle, only to be found by a pack(?) of simians.  With that in place, players attempt to spin their monkeys around the board, using rotation cards, trying to gather fruit and attack other monkeys.  If you hit another monkey, then you get to choose where they spin next.  As you might imagine, humor and destruction follow.

It’s been zero days since an incident at the Monster Factory.  Let’s all try and keep it that way, hmm?

From the creator of Kingdom Builder and Dominion comes Monster Factory.  This family friendly tile laying game of monster creation.  Simple to learn, gameplay revolves around players placing specialized, illustrated tiles, each with a piece of monster body on it, in hopes of completing the largest monster.  However, if your monster is left unfinished by the end of the round, you lose.

Continuing to live up to its name, Innovation: Figures in the Sand is the newest expansion to the popular card game and it continues to advance the gameplay mechanics of the series.  Instead of the cards in this expansion being representations of inventions or concepts, this time around the cards are famous historical figures.  That means Albert Einstein or Napoleon Bonapart could come to your rescue or, if you’re unlucky, to your opponent’s.  Dogma powers here are replaced with Karma, an ability that alters the course of the game by changing rules.  For instance, an instruction to give cards to another player may become an instruction place them in the center of the table.  Decree cards have also been added to the game, accomplishing the same effect as achievements, but with the caveat that they can be stolen.

Let me ease your worries, Village, the new tactical board game from TMG, has absolutely nothing to do with M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

No, instead players take part in a strategy heavy, turn-based game of tactics that covers the length of the village residents lives.  As you play, you will carefully choose where and how your peasant characters make a living and earn their keep.  Will they be a part of the government?  A clergy member?  A farmer?  It’s up to you, but realize that no matter what profession you choose, they all are accountable to the ticking clock of life.  With time not on your side, you’ll have to strategically balance your time and actions for the most benefit.  Or find yourself in a shallow grave.

Greek gods can never just sit down and have a calm, relaxing cup of tea together.

Since that’s the way of things, Athena and Hades are the two combatants in the new Mythic Battles miniature board game.  Each god controls a sizable army of soldiers, monsters, and demigods, pitting them against each other on a field of battle.  Before the fight commences, though, each player gets to assemble their army however they choose.  Once that’s done, players activate their forces with battle cards, then roll dice to complete the interaction.  This combination of cards, dice, and miniatures creates a new system called Building Battle Board gaming that is exclusive to Mythic Battles.

Jun 082011
 

So, here we are on Friday, with our normal…wait, what’s that?  It’s Wednesday?  Huh.

Well, uh, welcome to our Wednesday New Game Stuff post!

The first couple of items we’re going to start out with, it should be noted, won’t actually be available for purchase until Friday.  So, don’t get too jumpy, just yet.

First up, is all the new D&D items that are hitting this Friday.  The new Witchlight Fens Dungeon Tiles are another in the long line of D&D tile sets.  Specifically, Witchlight adds onto The Wilderness pack, focusing on swamps.  Also shipping is, The Monster Vault:  Threats of Nentir Vale hardcover which includes within its glossy pages a number of creatures from the titled region.  Creatures like the Raven Roost Bandits, stand as perfect challenges for heroic and paragon-tier characters.  The book also includes the standard pages of monster tokens and maps that you expect.

Also dropping Friday are the New Phyrexia Event Decks.  If you remember the Mirrodin Besieged Event Decks, these are extremely strong, vastly playable decks constructed to dominate your opponents.  Most of the people I’ve seen play with these have come in somewhere in the top five players of the night.  These two New Phyrexia decks, War of Attrition and Rot from Within, are built around white and green, respectively.  Even if you don’t want to use the decks, some of the cards they contain are worth it alone.  For instance, War has two Stoneforge Mystics, one Mirran Crusader, and a Puresteel Paladin while Rot has an Inkmoth Nexus, a Green Sun’s Zenith, and a Putrefax.  These are also limited; once we’re out, we’re out.  So, get’em while you can.

Okay, now for some stuff that you can actually buy today!

If you weren’t aware, this year marks the 10th anniversary of one of our favorite games, Carcassonne.  We like to call it a “tent-pole” game, as it is one of our consistent sellers and an all around enjoyable game for the whole family.  As part of the anniversary celebration, Rio Grande Games has released a new Carcassonne 10th Anniversary edition, which contains ten new tiles for the Festival expansion as well as the new, clear, “phantom” meeples.  Speaking of meeples, there is also a new “Phantom” meeples mini-expansion.  Inside this clear meeple-shaped case are enough pieces for up to six players and a new “phantom” rule set.  Finally, a new anniversary edition of the Carcassonne Dice Game has also shipped.  It comes in a quaint meeple-shaped tin, as well, and includes a pad, pencil, and the rule booklet.

One of two Godzilla-related games that came in today, Godzilla Stomp! is a card based game where players choose control of either Godzilla, Mothra, Mechagodzilla, Battra, or Destoroyah and battle to see who destroys the most buildings through fighting or rampaging.  Simple destruction, what could be better?

Second up, is Godzilla, Kaiju World Wars.  Basically, a grander, boardgame version of Godzilla Stomp!, players choose from Godzilla, Rodan, Gigan, or King Ghidorah.  From there you choose one of the many scenarios contained in the game and begin crushing buildings, fighting off the army, and battling other monsters.  Each creature has special abilities that they can whip out when needed.

Don’t call it an expansion!  The Struggle for Catan Card Game follows in the footsteps of the previous Rivals of Catan that made for two to four players.  Working off of the mechanics popularized by the Settlers of Catan boardgame, Struggle has players managing resources as they build cities, knights, roads, and so forth.  The twist is that certain roads and knights can change hands.  As usual, the first player to ten victory points gets the win.

An important restock note, Citadels has come back in stock.  That is all.  No, wait, that’s not all.  There’s also two new sets of prepainted miniatures (in the vein of the Arkham Horror miniatures from a couple months back) for City of Thieves.  If you’ve played the game, you know that the miniatures included in it are gorgeously sculpted, but lack a nifty paint job.  These are equally well sculpted, but also are painted to match.  Plus, there is one special miniature not included in the game called the Duke of Cadwallon that introduces a new rule set to the game.

Last but nowhere near least.  Like, miles away.  Like, here’s least and way over there on the moon is this.  That this is the new Dominion expansion Cornucopia.  This is not a stand alone game like base Dominion or Intrigue, but it adds a completely new element of play.  That element is a reward for variety; the more types of cards in your hand, the more you gain.  If you have the cards that allow such a thing, though.  Dominion really needs no introduction at this point, so we’ll leave it at that.

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?

Apr 092011
 

You know that dark, brooding anti-hero who plays by their own rules as they stop at nothing to take down the baddie?  How about a whole book full of them?  Better yet, you get to control them.

D&D 4.0 released a new Player’s Option hardcover this week with Heroes of  Shadow.  Made as a supplement for Heroes of the Fallen Lands, Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, and the basic Rules Compendium, this guide allows for players to tap into the (normally reserved for evil doers) power of the shadow.  Much like Batman, the characters contained in this book may look like they’ll stomp you into submission and steal your purse, which they might still do, but for the good guys.  All the basics, races, classes, feats, and powers are held within its shadowy pages.

Magestorm:  Mighty Battles in the Age of Magic is a unique new two player (expansions for four players will be coming soon) wargame that pits pairings of mages (such as fire, druid, air, and fate) and armies against each other.  Might sound weird, but, basically, you pick one of the four mages listed above (for your spells and magic) and then one of the two available armies (humans or elves) to battle with.  Each choice comes with various benefits and negatives, as far as abilities go.  The board can be customized with tile pieces to suit one of the included scenarios or your own tastes.  As two player games can be scarce, it’s nice to see such an epic wargame, with customizable content no less, flesh out the category.

Do you know a saboteur?  Now you can be a saboteur, too.  Or rather, Saboteur 2.  A new expansion for the original mining mayhem game, Saboteur, this time around the idea is that the miners have separated into two groups; each one attempting to beat the other to the pile of riches.  Ah, but it wouldn’t be Saboteur without some new Dwarfs to wreck havoc.  This expansion adds cards like the Boss, (helps both groups), the Profiteer (made deals with all parties), and the Geologist (more concerned with crystals than gold).  Also, by adding this expansion to the original game, the range of players increases to 2-12.

Do you love the Spartacus: Blood and Sand series on Showtime?  Do you love H.P. Lovecraft and Cthulhu?  Have you ever dreamed about them mixing together?  Personally, I hope not; that would be a terrifying dream.  But, if you have, that dream is coming true with the new Call of Cthulhu RPG companion, Cthulhu Invictus.  This three scenario booklet is set in a reality where the Rome’s choice to force religion on its populace begins to clash with the worship of the elder gods, and they are not happy about it.  So, yes, Gladiator with Cthulhu monsters.

Applications for ninja school are being accepted today.  Yes, Pulp has Naruto collectible card game materials!  Arriving this week where a collection of three new “Chibi” tins, each with a unique assortment of cards and boosters.  This three tin set includes Sasori and Deidara, Naruto and Kakashi, and Sasuke and Itachi.  All three include special promo cards and four booster packs (two from Path of Pain and two from Tales of the Gallant Sage).  Get your ninja on, folks!

Since we’re talking CCG’s, how about we continue with World of Warcraft and Legend of the Five Rings.  From its inception, the WoW CCG has been popular, not only for its gameplay, but for the Loot cards that have been included in the booster packs.  These are a desired commodity because they have special promo codes on them that allow you to use them in the online computer game.  The new WoW CCG Archives set is not only exclusive to hobby stores, like Pulp Fiction, but also contains a random assortment of 190 of the best cards (all foil) from the first three sets as well as the possibility of nabbing a number of the most hunted for Loot cards (Spectral Tiger, anyone?).  Along with this release, WoW has gained a new Raid Deck in Icecrown Citadel.  Pulp has a limited amount of both, so swing by before they’re gone.

The Legend of the Five Rings CCG also gets an update with its Celestial Edition collection.  As a new base set for the game, Celestial Edition is completely tournament legal.  Currently, Pulp has a box of boosters, sealed, ready for pick-up.  If that’s wetting your lips, hit us up.

Sneaking it in before the end (that’s what she said), we also received a restock of the base Call of Cthulhu book as well as Call of Cthulhu FictionFederation Commander also got restocked in a big way.

The Heavens of Olympus finishes us out for today.  From Rio Grande Games, Heavens sounds pretty interesting.  Based around Greek mythology, it has players taking control of a single unknown god (out of five) who has been assigned by Zeus to build a new universe.  As day shifts into night, rounds of the game progress and players place and move planets across the stars.  At the end of each round Prestige points are added up.  The god with the most points gets to ascend to known status and live on Mt. Olympus.  Different mechanic, cool theme.