Corey Thompson

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A retired veterinarian and ex-cell biologist, Corey spends his time with board games, computer history, banjo music and general useless frivolity. Corey can be found as doccabet on BGG.

Floodgate Games has announced the next 3 expansions to their hit dice drafting game by Adrian Adamescu and Daryl AndrewsSagrada (2017). Sagrada, which has 1-4 players draft colored dice to specific patterns on their stained glass board, had its first expansion this year. The 5-6 player expansion added more players, private objectives, and new window patterns. The next 3 expansions, deemed the Great Facade Expansions, will be called Passion, Life and Glory, after the three facades of the Sagrada Familia. A little is known about the Passion expansion, due out “next spring”. Passion will include inspiration cards, which allow once per round or once per game special abilities when drafting or placing dice. New glass dice are clear, wild colored dice, which come with special rule cards. Although the glass dice are extremely powerful, players can only have one on their board at a time. Public objectives specific to the rare glass dice will also be available. Finally, new symmetry public objectives require players to create symmetric patterns on their board. Keep an eye on Floodgate’s website for release dates and more information.

Stone Blade Entertainment has announced that they will be releasing a digital version of their hit deck building game Shards of Infinity in collaboration with Temple Gates Games, makers of the digital versions of Race for the Galaxy  Shards of Infinity designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary was Stone Blade’s followup to their immensely popular card game Ascension (2010), and hit the blooming deck-building market by storm. Shards has been positively regarded as an improvement on the standard head to head deck building game. In Shards, players fight head to head, trying to deplete their opponents health while improving their own Mastery. Mastery makes a players’ cards more powerful, and at 30 Mastery a player can employ their Infinity Shard, immediately defeating their opponent. The digital adaptation is expected in Spring 2019, on Android, iOS and Steam. For more details, you can read the press release from Stone Blade Entertainment here.

Slugfest Games, makers of all things red hued and dragony, has announced a Kickstarter Campaign to reprint of its first games, the out of print but oft requested En Garde! (2005). En Garde, by designers Cliff BohmGeoff Bottone, and Colleen Skadl, is a card game of thrust, parry, riposte and touche, simulating the back and forth elegant sword fighting of a more noble age. 2-6 players take turns dueling with one chosen adversary, playing back and forth until one player submits. Players lose poise over the game, and a player with zero poise is liable to be eliminated. This Kickstarter is unique in that the game is ready to print, and supporting the campaign will simply pre-order you a print on demand copy of the game. The one big stretch goal is to turn the game into a full print run manufactured release, with improved box, cards, player mats and markers. The Kickstarter Campaign for En Garde continues through December 10, and the print on demand game is ready to deliver in January. If the full print run stretch goal is met, delivery is scheduled for May 2019.

Nemo’s War is a fantastic solo board game from publisher Victory Point Games and designer Chris Taylor, originally released in 2009, but which Kickstarted a breathtaking second edition in 2015 featuring new art from Ian O’Toole. After a successful first expansion last year, which added upgrades to the Nautilus, the publisher has now started a new Kickstarter Campaign for expansion pack #2 Bold & Caring, and #3 Dramatis Personae. In Nemo’s War, players take control of Captain Nemo and his crew from Jules Verne‘s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, exploring the oceans in the Nautilus, fighting war ships, discovering treasures, inciting revolution and overcoming story obstacles. One of the main mechanisms in the game is taking on a motive for Nemo, giving each of these actions more or less weighting in the final scoring. Bold & Caring adds two new motive cards to the game, essentially creating completely new ways to play and score high points. Nemo can now be motivated by Adventure, prioritizing exploration, collecting gemstones and taking further advantage of lull turns.

Alternatively the new Humanist motive gives Nemo a Hospital Machine, and allows “diplomatic attacks” on vessels rather than traditional destruction. Dramatis Personae gives more flavor and abilities to the crew with new adventure cards and a new finale. The Kickstarter Campaign for Nemo’s War Expansions #2 & 3 continues through December 18, and is expected to deliver in April 2019.

Mossbark Games has released a digital version of the award winning classic card game Morels from Two Lanterns Games and designer Brent Povis. Morels has players march down a line of cards foraging for mushrooms. Sets of like mushrooms can be cooked in a skillet for points, and additions such as butter can up the points further. Mushroom cards skipped over go to a waste pile which goes bad over time. Scavenge for those rare full moon mushrooms, but be careful of poisonous death angels which can ruin your whole batch. Mossbark worked closely with the designer to make a truly beautiful rendition, plus the digital version sports goodies such as 2 player asynchronous play, 3 levels of AI, local pass and play and achievements. Morels is available now for both Android and iOS.

Upper Deck Entertainment has just announced that they have acquired the rights to the iconic James Bond series of movies for both trading cards and board games. Master Spy James Bond, originally penned by author Ian Fleming, first appeared in movies in Dr. No in 1962, and has continued in more than 25 films since.  “James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the history of entertainment,” said Jason Masherah, President of Upper Deck.  “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide a new and unique line of James Bond trading cards and trading card games to fans around the world.” The exciting part of this announcement is the statement that Upper Deck will be making a 007 licensed Legendary deck building game. At this point it is unclear if the future game will be part of the original Legendary, or newer Legendary Encounters lines. The game is described as: “Players will be able to relive their favorite movie moments while working together to recruit their favorite characters and unravel the nefarious schemes of the most infamous 007 villains.”, suggesting the more cooperative nature of the Encounters series of games. Projected release date for the game is Summer 2019.

USAopoly has announced Munchkin Harry Potter Deluxe, a joint effort with Steve Jackson Games, bringing classic Munchkin game play into the magical world of Harry Potter. Players choose whether to be in houses Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw, then dungeon crawl their way to level 10 collecting items and abilities along the way. Munchkin Harry Potter solemnly swears to retain the take-that nature of a classic Munchkin game, allowing players to cast spells, drink potions, or give each other detention. Munchkin Harry Potter comes with 92 Door Cards, 76 Treasure Cards, 6 double sided House Cards (allowing more than one player to be in a specific house), 12 player standees, a custom die, game board and rules. For more information, check out the game web page at USAopoly.

Fans of the classic Vlaada Chvátil game Mage Knight (2011) rejoice, for Wizkids has announced a new Ultimate Edition of the critically acclaimed exploration and adventure card game. Mage Knight has been an evergreen release, inspiring a Star Trek re-implementation in 2016, and staying in the top 25 at Board Game Geek.

With this comprehensive Ultimate Edition, we will be releasing Mage Knight in English, Spanish, Polish, Czech, German, French, Russian, Korean, Portuguese, Chinese, and Italian! Now you can get Mage Knight in your preferred language and make your playing experience that much easier!*

In Mage Knight, 1-4 players take on the role of  the Mage Knights, role-playing by drafting cards and deck building, in order to create an army to take over their corner of the Atlantean Empire. Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition contains the base game, expansions The Lost Legion (2012), Krang (2013) and Shades of Tezla (2015), a new comprehensive instruction set, miniatures with alternate paint jobs, as well as 5 new cards.  For more details, check out the WizKids web page here, and look for Mage Knight: Ultimate Edition this December.

On November 24, the first ICECOOL World Championships were held during BaltiCon, the largest Baltics board gaming festival. The crowned winner, and master of all things penguin and flicking, was Khanh Hung Dong of Canada. ICECOOL from Brain Games and designer Brian Gomez, was the 2017 winner of the Spiel des Jahres Kinderspiel Award. In ICECOOL, players take turns flicking plastic penguins through a multi-room schoolhouse, trying to score points by either traveling through doorways to score fish, or by being the Hall Monitor, and catching the other players’ penguins. Video of the final round of the championships can be seen on the ICECOOL Facebook page here.

Calliope Games has announced a new Tsuro game, Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, coming in 2019. Tsuro (2004) by Tom McMurchie, and its followup Tsuro of the Seas (2012) by Tom McMurchie and Jordan Weisman are well regarded abstract family games, in which 2-8 players take turns placing tiles in a grid. Each tile continues several curving paths. Each player has a token on one specific path, and must move along the path as it grows. Therefore, new tiles have the possibility of moving a token off the board, and eliminating that player. Little is known about the details of Tsuro: Phoenix Rising, except that it will be featured soon during PAX Unplugged, November 30 through December 2.