Antoine Fortuin

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Bitten by a common house spider, Antoine emerged with the uncanny ability to buy more games than he had time to play. While living in the hills of Tennessee, USA, he tries to balance software development, family, and his multiple, competing hobbies. He hopes to someday discover a pocket dimension in which to store his games.

If you’ve always wanted to have a more active hand in summoning Great Old Ones instead of playing cards, moving some miniatures, or listening to an app … then A’Writhe: A Game of Eldritch Contortions is the game for you! In August, WizKids are releasing the game of body contortions (think Cthulhu mixed with that other twisting game) where players need to align their bodies over Arkham in order to manifest Great Old Ones.

Players gather in teams of two where one is the cultist and the other is the Great Old One. The cultist player instructs the Great Old One player (no, not your grandma) to place their appendages on various spots across Arkham in order to complete a specific pattern. Of course, since other deities are trying to enter the world at the same time, the competing deities’ appendages can be used as part of their own to complete patterns.

Up to 3 teams of 2 can play in this game of contortion (and backache for more veteran players). It comes with 20 mats, pattern cards, and various Great Old One roles. A’Writhe: A Game of Eldritch Contortions was designed by Jay E. Treat, III, with art by Simeon Cogswell and J. Lonnee. It plays in 30 minutes and supports players aged 14+.

More information can be obtained from the product page on the WizKids website.

A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch will add 5-6 player support and a number of new features in the upcoming extension to the existing game by Fantasy Flight Games. A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch adds several new mechanisms to the classic Catan gameplay. Players step into the roles of brothers of the Night’s Watch, who are tasked with recruiting guards for the wall and developing the Gift.

“The northern region known as the Gift was bestowed on the Night’s Watch thousands of years ago. This fertile land provides the Watch with lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore. At least, it used to. As the Watch has become forgotten by the lords and ladies of Westeros, the infrastructure of the Gift has fallen into disrepair and the Lord Commander, Jeor Mormont, is willing to give anything to one who can restore the Gift to its former glory, even naming them as his successor.” [source]

Players are locked in competition to become the next Lord Commander by building roads, settlements, and keeps. Purchasing Development Cards and recruiting guards to defend the Wall are also crucial in proving players’ worth. With the addition of two more players, more land and paths are made available in an extended version of the game. The addition of a Special Build Phase in each player’s turn allows them to set each other apart as they spend their resources on unique, new opportunities.

4 new hero cards have also been added to hero display including the iconic Jon Snow who is able to protect a player from the robber, Tormund Giantsbane. The other heroes making their debut are Osha, Gilly, and Aemon Targaryen. Of course, to help balance out the boost to the players there’s an equal boost to the opposition in the form of mammoths to assist the two new Wildling clans.

A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch supports 3-4 players without the expansion, and 3-6 players including it. A typical game lasts 60-75 minutes though that will probably be lengthier with the extra players. The game was designed by Klaus Teuber and Benjamin Teuber and the extension should be released soon.

Related Content: Tom reviews A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch

For those fans of the Star Wars: X-Wing game who were concerned that Fantasy Flight Games might run out of ships to model their miniatures on, your concerns should be allayed by the recently announced addition of two factions from the Prequel movies and Clone Wars era. Now players can try their hand at the Old Republic and Separatist factions who each have their own, unique play styles.

With the addition of the “Force” mechanism to the 2nd edition of the game, the Old Republic’s Jedi Knights should provide for some interesting tactics and abilities to fully utilize it. Of course, if the Jedi are more prevalent then so are the Sith. The addition of Darth Maul and his Sith Inflitrator is sure to provide a foil to the new Jedi Starfighters. The resurrection of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated show should also help flesh out new content for the game, along with the yearly Star Wars movies currently in the pipeline.

It appears that the redesign of the game has arrived in time to make full use of the expanded lore on the way.

“It’s immersing you even deeper in the lore. If you want to play a more straightforward, more straight-up version of the game, that’s very easy to do now. If you really want to dive into it and really go deep, there’s a clear path for that now, as well.” – Steve Horvath, Chief marketing officer of Fantasy Flight Games [source]

Fantasy Flight Games have spent 18 months of research, design, and testing in creating Star Wars: X-Wing Second Edition and with the glut of new content on the way, fans of the game, and even those seeking to collect just the excellent miniatures, are in for a treat.

See the original article on the Star Wars website for more information.

Target are making a strong investment in board and card games and have signed up 95 exclusive releases to draw in hobbyists and the casual audience alike. They plan to fill shelves with over 130 new board games.

“There’s something special about breaking free from screens and spending real, face-to-face time with family and friends—and that’s why our guests are loving the ever-growing board game trend. We’re out to make Target their go-to destination for great games, so over the past couple of years, we’ve more than doubled our assortment and we’re constantly working with the nation’s leading game makers to create even more unique, exclusive games for our guests to enjoy with those they love.” -Kelly Caruso, senior vice president of Hardlines, Target

Some “Throwback finds” aimed at the more casual market include Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart, Superfight ’90s Deck, The Golden Girls: Any Way You Slice It, and Target exclusives, MacGuyver: The Escape Room Game, and The Brady Bunch Party Game.

The entry level hobbyists can find what they call “brain strainers” such as Choose Your Own Adventure: House of Danger, the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, Hackathon, and Target exclusives, Ticket To Ride: New York, Ryan and Majorie Lauket’s Megaland, and The Oregon Trail Game: Journey To Willamette Valley.

More casual, party games (dubbed “family face-off” games) include Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition, Spin Off, A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King, and Target exclusives, Blank Slate, YeahNOPE, and Rustic versions of Sorry! and Battleship.

Kids games include Chow Crown, Pie Face Cannon, Yeti Set Go, and Target exclusives, LOL Surprise: The Water Surprise Game, and Tic Tac Tongue.

With a growing list of exclusive titles it shows that Target sees enough potential in the board game market to make it worth drawing hobbyists to its stores.

Fantasy Flight Games have announced the Mining Guild TIE expansion pack for the Scum & Villainy faction, 4 expansions for The Resistance, and 3 First Order expansions in the Second Wave of releases for X-Wing 2nd Edition. X-Wing 2nd Edition is a tabletop miniatures game, designed by Jason Little, in which players control squadrons of space ships locked in combat in the Star Wars universe.

Scum & Villainy

The Mining Guild TIE expansion pack contains a TIE Fighter re-purposed for combat in the Mining Guild’s operations. They have improved peripheral vision to aid in maneuvering through dangerous asteroid fields, Notched Stabilizers which reduce speed, but allow the TIE to ignore asteroids.

“Rather than launching offensive operations against Rebel targets and overwhelming them with wave after wave of ships, the Mining Guild cares more about protecting its own interests. These concerns carry over into the design of the guild’s version of the TIE.” [source]

The Resistance

Spinning out of the 1st Edition’s Rebel Alliance faction is The Resistance faction. Their first expansion is the Conversion Kit needed to convert 1st Edition ships and cards into 2nd Edition versions.

“This kit contains everything you need to upgrade your Resistance ship collection from the First Edition to the Second Edition, including pilot cards, upgrade cards, and ship tokens. Amongst the new ship cards and tokens, you’ll find new versions of Resistance heroes like Poe Dameron and Rey, each ready to bring their unique abilities to your custom-built squadrons. These pilots are complemented by over one-hundred upgrade cards that you can use to customize your squadron to fit your play style. Finally, this conversion kit gives you plenty of options for rounding out your Resistance squadrons, containing enough maneuver dials to convert three Resistance Bombers, three YT-1300s, and four T-70 X-wing fighters.” [source]

The second of The Resistance’s expansions is the T-70 X-Wing expansion pack. It includes new pilot cards which did not exist in the 1st Edition, though these have been included in The Resistance’s Conversion Kit for veteran players. Their third expansion is the RZ-2 A-wing expansion pack which appears to be a new ship to the game. The final expansion pack is the Resistance Maneuver Dial Upgrade Kit.

First Order

In the 1st Edition of the game the First Order was originally part of the Imperial Faction but they’ve been separated as their own faction and require the Conversion Kit to be played in the 2nd Edition of X-Wing.

“Within the First Order Conversion Kit, you’ll find everything you need to strike fear into the heart of the Resistance and take your squad into the future of X-Wing, including a wide variety of new ship cards and tokens, including some of the most celebrated pilots in the First Order, such as Major Stridan, “Backdraft,” and Kylo Ren himself. These pilots are accompanied by more than one-hundred upgrade cards and new maneuver dials for your TIE/fo Fighter, Special Forces TIE, TIE Silencer, and Upsilon-class Shuttle ships, giving you plenty of tools to bring back the glory of the Empire.” [source]

The TIE/fo expansion pack and First Order Maneuver Dial rounds out the Wave 2 expansions for the First Order.

With the release of two entire factions the current meta is bound to change.

Publisher Asmodee Digital have enlisted developer, Flaming Fowl Studios, to adapt the immensely popular Gloomhaven board game for PC. Its set to be released on Steam in the 4th quarter of 2018.

“Deep in the darkest dungeon, amongst the clinking chains and screams of their victims, Flaming Fowl and Asmodee Digital have teamed up to make you once again live through the epic journey of Gloomhaven… digitally!

Our development minions are working days and nights so that you can discover or rediscover this one of a kind tactical, turn-based RPG. 

In this rogue-like dungeon-crawling adaptation of the famous board game, you will journey through terrifying randomly generated dungeons, fight against increasingly horrific and powerful foes…or die trying.” [source]

The digital adaption of Isaac Childres‘ critically acclaimed board game will play out in a turn-based, rogue-like game with tactical gameplay. No longer do you need to imagine the world of Gloomhaven, as the dungeons and monsters are rendered in stunning 3D graphics.

It’s not clear if the mystery of unlocking the heroes and locations will follow the same system as the board game but it appears that they will all be available. The minimum PC requirements indicates that the game will only work on Windows PC and not Mac computers, though the hardware requirements are fairly minimal. See the Steam product web page for more details.

Fantasy Flight Games, courtesy of designer Nikki Valens, have completely redesigned Arkham Horror for its Third Edition. The original Arkham Horror, designed by Richard Launius, was released in 1987, and the Second Edition, which was co-designed with Kevin Wilson, was released in 2005.

While Mansions of Madness is set in specific locations in the city of Arkham, and Eldritch Horror spans the globe, Arkham Horror plays out its narrative across the entire city of Arkham. This Third Edition combines mechanisms from the other Arkham Horror: Files family of games, and adds some new twists not found in the others. It supports 1-6 players (instead of 1-8 in the previous edition), for players aged 14+ (instead of 12+ in the previous edition), but still plays in 2-3 hours.

Players take on the roles of investigators who cooperatively seek to drive back the darkness and defeat an unknowable evil before they’re either driven insane or ripped apart by monsters from the world beyond. Iconic investigators such as Jenny Barnes, Wendy Adams, Agnes Baker, and Calvin Wright, make a return with 12 investigators available for selection. Every investigator starts the game with their own, unique ability and a customizable starting kit, so that players can outfit them to suit their needs.

“Each game of Arkham Horror Third Edition sees you and your friends exploring one of four different scenarios in the dark and deadly town. Each adventure brings your investigators to the edge of their sanity and beyond.

These scenarios see a race between the investigators desperately searching for clues across the city, and the forces of evil spreading doom to further their cause. Finding clues can advance the narrative of each scenario, inching you closer to victory. Spreading doom not only produces effects that will hinder you, but can lead to a very different conclusion… one where the world isn’t so fortunate.

While this push and pull between uncovered clues and impending doom will often determine how the narrative advances, other factors can come in to play, including choices made by the players. The fate of the world is in your hands. Do you have what it takes to succeed?” [source]

Investigators will gather clues and overcome enemies over a number of rounds, consisting of four phases, which should feel familiar to other Arkham Horror: Files games. There are the Action, Monster, Encounter, and Mythos phases. Investigators act in the Action phase, the enemies in the Monster phase, while the Encounter phase tests the investigators as the world of Arkham comes to life, and the Mythos phase advances the narrative and pushes the city closer to its doom.

Expect Arkham Horror: Third Edition to release in the 4th quarter of 2018. Pre-orders can be placed at the Fantasy Games website which includes a deluxe, hardcover rule book as an exclusive promotion. See the Fantasy Flight Games website for more information.

Richard Garfield is mostly known for the Trading Card Game, Magic: The Gathering, so when he releases a new game it draws major attention. Fantasy Flight Games have announced the release of KeyForge: Call of the Archons, a Unique Deck Game designed by Mr. Garfield. Players will buy a Starter Set (which contains two training decks) then buy complete, one-of-a-kind Decks to supplement the Starter Set instead of boosters. No deck-building is required as each of the Archon decks is ready to play, offers a complete play experience, and is unlike any other KeyForge deck in existence. In just the first set there are more than 104,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible decks!

KeyForge: Call of the Archons is set in the world of the Crucible, an artificial world where anything is possible. Players take on the role of mighty Archons who are racing to unlock the Crucible’s hidden vaults, battling against other Archon with decks made up of planets and civilizations that make up this world. Using Æmber the Archons forge 3 keys that will unlock vaults and grant victory, if their opponent doesn’t stop them first!

There are many great Houses in an Archon deck including the Brobnar, Logos, Shadows, Sanctum, Mars, Dis, and Untamed.

“The boisterous warriors of Brobnar value strength above all, while the corrupted demons of Dis rely on sorcery and dark machines. The logical scholars of Logos bring technology into every phase of their lives, but the diverse creatures of Untamed find comfort in the wilds, rejecting automation. The empire of Mars has remained intact on the Crucible, while the cunning rogues of the Shadows faction have fully embraced their new home, seizing every opportunity to pull a job or swindle another House. And the angelic members of Sanctum seek the same enlightenment as their Archons, valuing peace and virtue above the conflict that runs rampant throughout the Crucible. Now, each of these uniquely strong Houses must struggle alongside unlikely comrades and strange companions to aid their Archon… but which alliances will be powerful enough to achieve victory? [source]

The rules are already available on the Fantasy Flight Games website where the game is also available for pre-order. KeyForge: Call of the Archons supports 2 players aged 14+, and plays in roughly 45 mins. Its expected to release the 4th quarter of 2018.

Plaid Hat Games continue their streak of new game announcements with the introduction of Comanauts. Its an Adventure Book game of exploration and danger designed by Jerry Hawthorne (known for designing Mice and Mystics and Stuffed Fables). Comanauts builds upon the mechanics of the Adventure Book system first introduced in Stuffed Fables with a theme for more mature players. Its a cooperative adventure game which supports 2-4 players which is set in the twisted, slumbering mind of Dr. Strobel.

“Dr. Martin Strobal, the greatest mind of our generation, lies in a coma. His Mobius Ring invention promised to change the world, but has instead given us our greatest disaster. Meant to provide the world with unlimited clean energy, the Mobius Ring malfunctioned, bathing Dr. Strobal in radiation, and creating a singularity that threatens to consume the world. We need him back, and the only way to revive him from his coma is to enter his subconscious and free him from the demons found within.” [source]

Players need to work together to discover secrets of the doctor’s subconscious mind by exploring it in a race against time. They will follow his inner child across 11 different Comazones to locate and defeat the Prime Inner Demon (I.D.) holding him hostage. There are 22 unique avatars for players to assume who perform differently in various Comazones and have varied abilities, starting items, and die bonuses. Comanauts can be played as an individual game session or as a campaign game in a multipart narrative. Each session focuses on a single I.D. plaguing Dr. Strobal. Over multiple sessions players are able to unlock the full story to win the campaign.

Pre-orders are currently available on the Plaid Hat Games website which is incentivised with an exclusive promo avatar, and the game is set to release in 2-5 months.

UK based organization, Imagination Gaming, had their 6th Annual, International, Hobby Game awards competition. Imagination Gaming was created by Nigel Scarfe and Chris Standley. The awards have a strong emphasis on games around the world which engage children and families and promote social and life skills. The competition is solely funded by Imagination Gaming and assessed by panels of experienced educational professionals and family game enthusiasts and assesses games new to Imagination Gaming in the past 12 months.

“Imagination Gaming offers solutions to engagement and learning in educational and social organisations – for all ages and abilities, focusing on enjoyment and learning in equal measure. Founded in 2007 with the goal to continue to change the perception of games within the UK to one where they are seen and used as the great learning tools that they are. The desire is to see games used on a regular basis in schools and other organisations, as well as by families and groups, to bring people together and provide a stimulating mental challenge across all ages and abilities. The results and testimonials speak for themselves.”

The Award winners for 2018 are:

Maths Award:

 

Gold: Chicken Out, Sum Fun, Ice Dice.

Silver: Spookies, 3×4=Swat, Alana’s Animals, City of Zombies (Ultimate Edition).

Bronze: Race To Infinity.

Literacy Award:

Gold: When I Dream, Werewords, Lexit, Bananagrams.

Silver: Word Bits, Speedy Words.

Bronze: Vote Me!, Wibbell++.

Cross-Curriculum Award:

Gold: Doodle Rush, Destination X, SeArCH, LUPO – The Space Adventure, Brainbox: Under The Sea.

Silver: Insect Intersection, Globe Runner, Can You Hear Me, Speed Colours, Enchanted Paths.

Bronze: Take Care Of Polar Bears, Crazy Cats, Vote Me!, Fast Flags, Weird Things Humans Search For.

Player’s Choice Award:

Gold: Ice Cool 2

Silver: Rhino Hero Super Battle

Bronze: Pyramid Of Pengqueen

Young Einsteins Award:

Gold: Animal Actions (Hampeltiere), My First Orchard, Silly Shenanigans, Rhino Hero Mini, Animal Upon Animal, Catch A Roo, Here Fishy Fishy, Counting Fun, Alana’s Animals, My First Animal Upon Animal.

Silver: Quirk!, Quirk! Legends, Alphabet Jigsaw, Numbers Jigsaw, Hanna Honeybee, Froggy, Jeunesse Farm, My Little Garden (Kleiner Garten), Lucky Sock Dip (Socken Zocken), Go Go Little Penguin, What A Performance.

Bronze: Dog Rally, Tiny Park, Lilly’s Favourite Clothes.

Problem Solving Award:

Gold: Karuba, 13 Ghosts, Arokah, Match Madness, Maze Racers, Baffled.

Silver: Shaperise, Enchanted Paths, Destination X.

Bronze: –

Family Award:

Gold: Werewords, Whoosh!, Doodle Rush, Codenames Duet, Rhino Hero Mini, Destination X, Museum Rush, Yogi, Animal Upon Animal, Chicken Out, Ice Dice, Spookies, Baffled, Maze Racers, Shaperise, Pyramid Of Pengqueen, Brainbox: Under The Sea, When I Dream, New York Slice, Sum Fun, Here Fishy Fishy, Arokah, Match Madness, Abalone, OK Play, Thieves, Counting Fun, 13 Ghosts, Karuba, Catch A Roo, Ice Cool 2, My First Animal Upon Animal, Rhino Hero Super Battle.

Silver: Enchanted Paths, Cauldron Master, Speedy Words, Pikoko, Animal Actions (Hampeltiere), Jeunesse Farm, Quirk!, Quirk! Legends, Bananagrams, 6 Suits, Colour Chess + Lure, Flicky Spaceships, Go Go Little Penguin, SeArCH, Speed Colours, City Of Zombies (Ultimate Edition), Alana’s Animals, Click Bait, Talking Tom – Shopping, Froggy, Silly Shenanigans, 3×4=Swat, Talking Tom – IQ, Insect Intersection.

Bronze: Christmas Tree, Lost ’n’ Found, That’s A Question!, Tri Hand, Crazy Cats, Vote Me!, Race To Infinity, Dog Rally, Hanna Honeybee, Fast Flags, Globe Runner, Can You Hear Me?, Take Care Of Polar Bears, Wibbell++, Word Bits, Aqualiens, Orclympics, My Little Garden (Kleiner Garten), Tiny Park, Weird Things That Humans Search For, My First Orchard, Lilly’s Favourite Clothes, Alphabet Jigsaw, Number Jigsaw, Lexit, Animal Ailments, Lucky Sock Dip (Socken Zocken), LUPO – The Space Adventure, Polar Panic, What A Performance.

Family Classic Awards:

Kingdomino, Ice Cool, Ubongo

Excelled in Schools Awards:

Cortex, Storyline Scary Tales, Pass The Bomb

The BIGGY (Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year) Award is Imagination Gaming’s most prestigious award. All games submitted into the 2018 awards were eligible for this award. The BIGGY winner this year proved to be a little bit ‘different’ and is a game which can be used in a variety of sessions and educational activities.

BIGGY (Best Imagination Gaming Game of the Year) Award:

When I Dream

 

For more details on these awards visit the Awards website.