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.

Jun 292011




Okay, that went on longer than it should have.  Let’s get to something that might actually interest  you, eh?

Ascension:  Return of the Fallen is the newest expansion to the popular deck building game.  The nifty thing here is that this expansion can be combined with the base game or played as a stand-alone game with two players.  And considering Ascension is created by a number of Magic the Gathering Pro Tour champions, you can imagine how similar and strong the mechanics are.  Much like Magic, the ongoing story behind the card game continues here as players are able to go toe-to-toe with Samael.  Also, this expansion introduces a new mechanic called Fate that adds an element of story creation to the game.

Another stand-alone expansion (don’t these companies know the meaning of the word “expand” anymore?), Nightfall:  Martial Law slinks into the store today.  And, yes, you can combine it with the base game for massive monster mayhem.  But the point is Martial Law can be played as a stand-alone as it adds 312 new cards including minion, action, would, and draft cards.  A new feeding mechanic is also introduced where players can boost their card chain so that it has more effect.

The last expansion on the hit parade is for 7 Wonders, but, oddly, is not called 8 Wonders.  Ba-dum-ching!  No, instead it’s called Leaders.  It lives up to that name as it adds an entirely new set of cards, called the leaders, to the base game.  Players draw four of them at the beginning of the game, eventually laying them out at the start of each age to boost your city’s power.  Also contained is the new wonder, Rome, and a seventeen new coin tokens.  Pick it up and take 7 Wonders to a whole new level (and 8th level, mayhap?)

May 202011

You’re slumbering in your bed, dreaming of mechanized sheep rocket boosting over a laser-wire fence (what you don’t dream of that?), when a mystical portal materializes in your bedroom.  Do you wake up?  No.  Why?  Because you’re a…

Deep Sleeper is the first book we’re going to look at today (see what happened there?).  Written by Kansas City native, Phil Hester, Deep Sleeper comes close to being about the intro sentence (doubting the robot sheep are in it, though), following a man by the name of Cole Gibson into a nightmare reality via a portal in his bedroom.  Cole is dropped headlong into an epic war between factions of this second reality’s beings.  And they all want control of him!  Phil may be an exceptional artist, but he’s an even better writer, so the story will be top notch.  Plus, with a wild topic like this, the artist of the book, Mike Huddleston’s (Butcher Baker) psychedelic art should shine.

Last week it was cute, cuddly Iron Mans and Spider-Mans, this week it’s cute Captain Americas.  Gear up for the movie releasing this summer by grabbing a Plush Captain America figure to take to the midnight release.  Seven inches of pure lovable, hug-able, snug-able superhero sweetness.  I mean, come on, look at that picture to the left and just tell me you don’t want to fight Nazis with that guy?

I vant to suuuuuck yur blooooood…and if you could give my name to your agent, I’d appreciate it.  In Screamland, from local (and KC Star staff) artist Hector Casanova, the famous Universal Studios monsters of yesteryear are out of work and desperate to make it back to the big time.  Collecting all five issues of the popular series, this new Screamland collected edition stars Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Werewolf as out of work, aging monsters.  It’s fun.  It’s from local talent.  And the concept is strong.  Give it a look see.

Finally, one for the kiddies.  Or adults that act like kids, but, seriously, where are you going to find one of those in a comic store?  Batman, Brave and the Bold:  Emerald Knight is the most recent collection for the series based off of the popular (and awesome) television show.  If you’re not familiar with either, the premise is simple:  Batman teams up with other famous superheroes to face off against evil.  Each issue is a stand-alone story, so even though you get six in this collection, you can read them in any order you want and not be lost.  They’re lighthearted, fast, traditionally campy comic fun and loaded with big guns like Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Green Arrow.  Pick it up and give the kids something to keep busy with for a couple hours.