There have been a number of product updates from Fantasy Flight Games with some new cycles on the way for their Living Card Games and expansions for their big box games.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Arkham Horror: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (new, fixed content is released each month) for 1-4 players in which players are investigators in a world inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction. The game has cycles (story arcs) where players create a deck for an investigator which they upgrade through the course of the cycle based on experience which they earn.
The Forgotten Age is the next cycle in which players may choose from five new investigators including Ursula Downs, Leo Anderson, Finn Edwards, and Calvin Wright. The latest article on the Fantasy Flight Games website spotlights Calvin Wright.
Designer, Matt Newman:
“Calvin made his original debut as a promotional investigator for a special Arkham Horror event many years ago. Most players never got the chance to play with Calvin, so we wanted to add him to the official roster of investigators across all of our Arkham Horror Files games. We decided to take this opportunity to expand Calvin’s backstory and themes of sacrifice and altruism that make Calvin unique among other investigators.” [source]
For more details about The Forgotten Age and Calvin Wright read Matt Newman’s article on the Fantasy Flight Games website.
Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition: Sanctum of Twilight Expansion
In Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition, players are investigators in a world based on H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction. The game takes place in various environments which are represented by tiles. Investigators are represented by miniatures which move across the tiles to encounter horrors and look for clues. The game is assisted by a digital application which adds ambiance and controls the flow of the story.
The Sanctum of Twilight expansion adds the Silver Twilight Lodge which is run by the most influential citizens of Arkham. They gather there to do business, plan parades, and lobby politicians … but also to enact secret rituals. The expansion adds two new investigators, Charlie Kane and Lily Chen, as well new spells, items, mechanics, and a new monster. Read the full preview on the Fantasy Flight Games website.
A Game of Thrones: The Card Game
A new Rookery variant has been added to A Game of Thrones: The Card Game which encourages a new style of game play. The “Rookery” is a set of twelve cards which players can bring to their game and use to swap with cards in their draw and plot decks. Players can do this after seeing their opponent’s faction and agenda but before they draw their opening hand. In order to celebrate this new Rookery variant a Great Hall event has been added to the 2018 Organized Calendar which will happen after the Regional Championships have begun and will have prize support.
Eight intro decks have also been added to the game representing:
- House Stark
- House Lannister
- House Greyjoy
- House Baratheon
- House Tyrell
- House Martell
- House Targaryen
- Night’s Watch
These decks are designed to introduce new players to the game and highlight the unique features of each faction. Each pre-constructed deck contains 69 cards which is broken down into a 60 card deck, a faction card, an agenda card, and 7 plot cards.
Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game
Read a new piece of fiction set in the world of Legend of the Five Rings called “Repentance Does Not Come First” by Robert Denton III. The story focuses on the Phoenix Clan who bear the soul of Rokugan and try to do so without losing their own. Earth Scion Isawa Tadaka senses an approaching darkness and has a plan to stop it but at what cost? You can read the short fiction on their website.
This also ties into the Elemental Cycle, the next cycle for the Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game. This cycle will be released as 6 packs over the course of 6 weeks and emphasizes the five elemental rings of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void. For more details you can check out their press release.
Based on the teen novel of the same name by Irish author, Garry McElherron, MourneQuest is a cooperative board game for 1-4 players. The game is published by Backspindle Games and designed by Leonard Boyd and David Brashaw (who both designed “Guards! Guards! A Discworld boardgame”). The artists are Alan H. Perry and John Farrelly.
Play takes place in the Mourne Mountains where characters assume the roles of the characters in the books (young Jack Turner and a few friends of the Hawksbeard Clan) and work together to defeat the evil Shimnavore. Along their journey players gather charms, equipment and magical relics to improve their skills and abilities which they use in dice based combat. Bogbeans, and Nightmares like the Banshee, the Changeling, the Merrow, and the Dullahan try to thwart the players before they’re able to reach the big bad. The heroes have different skills and abilities and are harassed by Bogbeans (such as the Snipe, Louse Wort, and Speedwell) in the early game who attempt to steal the items the heroes need to upgrade themselves with. Once the heroes are strong enough they need to cast-out the Nightmares before taking on the Shimnavore.
The game comes with miniatures which are a cross between Chibi and Irish Fantasy for all six heroes and the four Nightmares, while the Bogbeans are represented by standees. The deluxe edition upgrades the Bogbeans to minis and adds more baddies to fight along with another end boss character and other extra content.
The core game requires a pledge of $55 while the deluxe edition, which accounts for 71% of the backers so far, requires a $99 pledge (excluding shipping). The Kickstarter project has reached 85% of it’s funding goal with 367 backers and a week to go with the project ending Thursday, April 12th, 2018. Visit the Kickstarter campaign page for more information.
NBC Nightly News released a 2 minute video clip (access may be limited by geographic location) in which their reporter, Peter Alexander, reports that sales of classic board games such as Monopoly, Operation, and The Game of Life was up by 10% in 2014. This does not take into account hobby games growth during that time. They note that more people are taking a break from their digital devices to spend time with people by playing board games.
Mr. Alexander visits Game Haus Cafe in Glendale, California, a board game cafe where patrons pay $5 to have access to over 900 different board games. He notes that similar cafes are popping up nationwide (in the USA).
“It may sound like child’s play but board games are back, big time. Some might even say this is a golden age of games.”
Sales are up 10% from last year and the industry now garners 1.5 billion Dollars. Monopoly sales are up 15%, Operation is up by 40%, and The Game of life is up 45%. Hasbro’s factory in Massachusetts pumps out more than 27 million games a year and 29 trillion Dollars in play money. The top 9 best selling games in the country were produced by Hasbro.
Towards the latter half of the video they highlight hobby games and the variety it adds for consumers to choose from. They also highlight the Tabletop web series and the 500 000 strong audience per episode it garners.
The video can be seen at the NBC News website.
“You and your brother are peaceful farmers… Or at least you were! Your herds are getting too big for the pasture. Outsmart your brother by placing your enclosures so he can’t correctly place his and show him that you’re the one with a head for cattle in the family.”
Ankama Board Games (known for Krosmaster and Wakfu) is an upcoming 2-4 player game for ages 8+. It’s designed by Christophe Boelinger who is known for Archipelago, Dungeon Twister, and 4 Gods. There isn’t much information available about this game yet but since it only plays in 15 minutes it seems it will be a lighter game.
Asmodee UK have acquired fellow UK distributor, Coiledspring Games. Coiledspring Games was founded in 2004 with only one game and one puzzle but quickly became a leading UK distributor with many products in it’s catalog (including Biblios, Outfoxed and Sushi Go). Following the acquisition, Coiledspring Games will continue to operate as a separate entity and run at arm’s length from Asmodee UK’s current operations.
The change in ownership, effective immediately, sees Coiledspring Games join the Asmodee Group of games companies around the world.
Asmodee UK’s Managing Director, Steve Buckmaster:
“We’re delighted to welcome Coiledspring Games to the Asmodee Group. We’ve always thought very highly of the team and the work they do, so it’s great to have them on board with us.” [source]
Coiledspring Games’ Roger Martin:
“We’re very excited to be joining the Asmodee Group and I am sure this will bring with it some big opportunities for Coiledspring Games. Being part of Asmodee presents us with a fantastic platform for future business.” [source]
Following their interview with Andrea Mezzetero, the designer of Crystal Clans, Plaid Hat Games have now added an interview with Colby Dauch, founder of Plaid Hat Games and designer of Summoner Wars, to their website. The interview was conducted by Callin Flores, the Plaid Hat Games Communications Specialist.
Crystal Clans is the hotly anticipated, new game from Plaid Hat Games which many see as the spiritual successor to Summoner Wars. Crystal Clans is a 2 player board game in which you battle with unique armies (clans) using multi-use cards. Clans need to win four crystals across the battlefield in order to win the game and fulfil their destiny to dominate the world.
When asked about the many comparisons to Summoner Wars, Colby responded with the following:
“Andrea is an Italian designer and the game came to me through someone at Asmodee Italy who had played the prototype, and was reminded of Summoner Wars. After playing, we though Plaid Hat might be a good fit for the project. So the comparisons have been there since the beginning for us. Just as with Summoner Wars you choose a wildly varying faction/clan full of units. These units are contained within a deck of cards and are played onto a grid board, where they are strategically moved about and sent to do battle with your opponent’s units. Like Summoner Wars it is quite easy to learn, but there is a lot of depth to the tactical and strategic game play. However, this is not a Summoner Wars clone.” [source]
Its fascinating to think that had Plaid Hat Games not been a part of Asmodee this game may not have seen the light of day in it’s current incarnation. For even more behind-the-scenes information about Crystal Clans read the full interview.
AdeptiCon is the biggest wargaming event in the world and Games Workshop chose to use the event to do a big Studio Preview of Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and other Warhammer related products and services.
The Knight Households of the Imperium are being upgraded from a small force with only a single kit to a full faction in their own right. This will provide a wider choice of units and more army building options than ever before.
Over the next few months, three new Codexes will be released. They would be for the Imperial Knights, Harlequins, and the Adeptus Astartes (Deathwatch). The Codex for the Imperial Knights would cover the new units as wells as the rules for Knightly Households, Freeblades, and their Stratagems. For the Xenos, the Drukhari and the Asuryani are being joined by the Harlequins who will now have their own Masques (similar to the Space Marine Chapters) to allow for greater customization and more distinctive armies. The alien hunters new mixed units of Primaris Space Marines and specific Stratagems to deal with varied xenos upgrades the Deathwatch to deal with the large number of updated Codexes the xenos have recently seen released. Even if you don’t plan on fielding these factions the Codexes make for great reading to further enrich the Warhammer 40k universe.
With the success of Warscroll Builder for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar it was time for Warhammer 40k to have its own online army builder. Roll Call has been running for a while now (courtesy of Tom Hewitt) but Games Workshop have teamed up with him to release the official, free, online tool, Warhammer 40,000: Combat Roster. This will later be joined by a digital companion app which will feature a matched play list builder.
The Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) will also be making their way to the battlefield as a new army. Expect tons of previews and behind the scenes information from Games Workshop as they build up to their planned release in 2019.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Who or what are the mysterious Idoneth Deepkin?
“Hidden for centuries beneath the oceans of the Mortal Realms, the Idoneth Deepkin have finally surfaced – a magnificent and terrifying race of soul-stealing reavers with mastery of the strange magics of the seas. Colossal sea beasts. Living tidal waves. Predatory shoals of fish. Aelves riding sharks and giant turtles with bolt throwers. We’re in!” [source]
Raw magic has been released upon the realm. The forces of Death continue to rise and the Grand Necromancer has more nefarious deeds on the way.
“As Nagash’s great work nears completion, the laws of reality are approaching their breaking point. Early on in Malign Portents, the effects were subtle signs and omens, but now, the very winds of magic themselves are starting to rebel…” [source]
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Champions is a new digital and physical collectable card game developed by PlayFusion which will be released in the future.
Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire
With the release of the last two factions recently there has been community concern about future content. Games Workshop have assured everyone that more content is on the way and gave a sneak peak of two cards to prove it.
For those attending independent events, Games Workshop plan on providing event exclusive miniatures to reward the passion of the organisers and attendees. This will start as from AdeptiCon 2019.
The White Dwarf magazine team have also been incorporating reader feedback into the magazine and there will be a survey in the near future which will help determine the future of the magazine.
Warhammer Legends will be the new home for classic and fan-favourite miniatures, though it will not be intended for matched play. This gives players the ability to enjoy all their figures they’ve collected over time in the hobby to see how the heroes of yesteryear perform against the new champions from the Age of Sigmar. Games Workshop will be running Made to Order waves to allow you to finish older kits as part of this initiative. The first wave will focus on the Dark Elves.
The Games Workshop store has also introduced split shipping after hearing and acting on feedback from the community in their most recent survey. This way the Made to Order items won’t hold up items in stock when ordering from their website.
Games Workshop have taken community feedback to heart and it seems they have many great initiatives on the way. For the full preview check the article on the Games Workshop website.
Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) has a lot of things going on right now including the release of a new game, Embark. Designed by Philip duBarry (known for Eminent Domain: Battle Cruisers and Revolution) and developed by Seth Jaffee, the game is set in the Harbour-fantasy universe (as you can see from the art style). It can be played by 2-5 players and the game lasts about 15 minutes per player.
In Embark you load various boats and send them to uninhabited islands to explore, colonize, and mine them. You’ll need to load your boats with voyagers who take on the roles of explorers, miners, and colonists, based on the berths you assign them in the boats. Boats only launch when they are full. There is also room for a Captain who can do any of the 3 jobs. Your opponent can also assign warriors to your boats who displace your voyagers and take over their job. The game ends after six rounds of assigning voyagers and launching boats. The victor is the player with the most points. To add some spice to the game there are Talent cards, which are drafted at the beginning of the game, which gives each player a unique ability throughout the game. A release date has not yet been set.
In other TMG news, the Deluxe Gentes Kickstarter campaign was a huge success and they’ve opened up late pledges up until April 15th.
They’ve also updated their approximate game availability for March and April:
SXSW (South By South West) is an annual conference and festival held in Austin, Texas which has grown from its original focus on music and technology to include other genres in its offering. Since its inception in 2014 the Gaming Awards show has exploded to a point where it has thousands of attendees every year. Entries were open from September 12th until December 8th, 2017. The SXSW staff play every game before making a decision.
The SXSW Gaming Awards present a unique opportunity to be recognized by thousands of gaming fans and industry pros during the SXSW Gaming festival. Having premiered at SXSW 2014, the Gaming Awards have rapidly grown to receive thousands of applications across all 24 of its unique awards categories, which are dedicated to both AAA and indie gaming.
In addition to highlighting the best that the gaming industry has to offer, the SXSW Gaming Awards also provide great entertainment with a star-studded lineup of hosts and performances. Previous SX Gaming Awards hosts and guests include Xavier Woods, OMGitsfirefoxx, Jacksepticeye, Markiplier, Starbomb, Cirque du Soleil, and many more. [source]
The Gamer’s Voice award is given to independent teams and developers who create ground breaking games everyday across the industry. In the Tabletop Games category these were the nominees:
Bargain Quest – Bargain Quest Games
The Chameleon – Big Potato Games
Drawing Dead – Gold Baby Games
True Messiah – Sinister Design
Zombie Legacy – Slam Games
WINNER: Sol: Last Days of a Star – Elephant Laboratories
The Tabletop Game of the Year award is given to the game which displays excellence and ingenuity across all genres. These were the nominees:
Clank! In! Space! – Renegade Game Studios / Dire Wolf Digital
Near and Far – Red Raven Games
Santorini – Roxley
The 7th Continent– Serious Poulp
WINNER: Gloomhaven – Cephalofair Games
The SXSW Gaming Awards was held on Saturday, March 17th from 8pm – 10pm at the Hilton Grand Ballroom.
Distributors and retailers have announced that IDW Games‘ Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course board game is now available for pre-order. Sonic the Hedgehog is an iconic character from the video game franchise created by Sega. It spawned its own TV show and comics and has had a few board and card games created over the years with another one on the way later this year.
Sonic the Hedgehog: Crash Course will take place in the iconic Green Hill zone of the video game and players will race to collect the Chaos Emeralds as the player with the most of these wins. Characters from the franchise such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnick are available as player characters. Through the race players will be able to heal damage though its not clear if this damage is caused by obstacles in the race or the other players.
The game seems fairly accessible as its for players aged 8+, plays 2-4 players, with an average game time between 30-45 mins. Estimated release date is July 25th, 2018.
IDW Games are also making Death Note: Confrontation available for pre-order. This is a card game based on the popular anime which in turn is based on the wildly successful manga.
“Based on VIZ Media’s popular anime series and recently adapted into a Netflix live action film, Death Note follows Light Yagami, an ace student with great prospects bored out of his mind. But all that changes when he finds the Death Note, a notebook dropped by Ryuk, a rouge Shinigami death god. Any human whose name is written in the notebook dies, and now Light has vowed to use the power of the Death Note to rid the world of evil. But when criminals begin dropping dead, the authorities send the legendary detective L to track down the killer. With L hot on his heels, will Light lose sight of his noble goal… or his life?” [source]
In this two-player game, one player takes on the role of L who is trying to locate and deduce the true identity of the supernatural killer, Kira. The other player will take on the role of Kira who is punishing those who he sees as deserving the ultimate penalty. Each player has their own notebook which L uses to find Kira’s targets and track down Kira, while Kira uses his notebook to eliminate targets to gain victory points.
Death Note: Confrontation has a very mature theme and so requires players aged 16+. It plays in roughly 30 minutes and is expected to release March 16th, 2018.
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