Corey Thompson

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.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the sixth and final Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Mountain of Fire. This expansion includes three epic scenarios from the climax of The Lord of the Rings. Two of the scenarios have the players controlling Frodo and Sam through Mordor, one in Cirith Ungol and, of course, one at the brink of Mount Doom.

The third scenario revolves around Aragorn’s mission to delay the armies of Sauron at the Black Gate, in an unwinnable battle with the forces of evil. This new expansion can be played as a stand-alone scenario, or as the climax to an epic campaign spanning all of The Lord of the Rings. There is even an Epic Multiplayer Mode where the last two adventures are played simultaneously – one team controlling Aragorn, distracting the armies of Sauron, while another brings Frodo to Mt Doom to destroy the one ring.

The Mountain of Fire is due to be released Q3 2017. You can read more details about this climactic expansion here.

Doomsday Robots has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Bridges to Nowhere, a card drafting microgame for 2-4 players. During each of 4 rounds, players take turn drafting cards representing one of 3 types of bridge segments – suspension, truss or cable. Bridge cards are played next to matching pillar cards, and at the end of the game the bridge segments are only scored if they are complete, or bounded by pillars. Additional score values on each bridge card must ascend or descend, but can change direction once. Finally, matching symbols on the bridge cards score bonus points. After 4 rounds each players’ bridge is scored by length and height. For more advanced play, contract cards give specific goals to each player. A deluxe version with Feat cards and Prestige cards is available.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Bridges to Nowhere continues through May 11, and the game is expected to ship January 2018.

Steve Jackson Games has provided a rare glimpse into the inner trials and tribulations of a long-standing successful game company by releasing their Report to the Stakeholders for 2016. As noted on the page, Steve Jackson Games actually has only one shareholder – Steve Jackson. The Report is for Stakeholders, those people intimately involved in the success or failure of this great game company – ie. the employees, distributors, retailers, and of course fans and customers. The Report goes into detail about what products succeeded or failed in 2016, what Kickstarters are suffering, which have succeeded and what games are coming in the future. Some of the highlights include the Munchkin line of games, of which several reprints and homage sets were released. The much anticipated Munchkin CCG, and Car Wars 6th Edition unfortunately were pushed back, and didn’t make it to release in 2016. Steve Jackson did manage to release 5 new games in 2016 – Ogre: Objective 218, Simon’s Cat, I Hate Zombies, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Boardgame and Batman: The Animated Series Dice Game.

There are many more details about 2016 at the house Munchkin built in the official report, which can be read here.

Game Brewer and TMG have started a Kickstarter Campaign to create a european edition of their worker placement game Chimera Station, which completed a successful Kickstarter in October. In Chimera Station, 2-4 players must build a space station in 5 rounds using their alien workers. During a round, players place workers for actions as normal, but can then splice pieces onto their workers, making them more efficient. At the end of the round, workers must be fed. Workers with brains spliced in add points when placed, tentacles gain workers extra resources, claws let you push other workers out of spaces, and  leaves allow workers to feed themselves. Game Brewer is using a BGG poll to decide which languages will be included in the new edition.

The Kickstarter for Chimera Station – Euro Edition continues through April 27, and is expected to deliver in September 2017.

Nauvoo Games, the creators of Stockpile, has started a Kickstarter Campaign for their second game, Crosstalk. Crosstalk is a social word guessing game for 2 teams with a twist. Each team’s clue-giver is trying to get their team to guess the same secret word. However, they can give a single secret one word clue to the team. Afterwards, teams take turns giving single word clues out loud and publicly, so each team can benefit from the other teams’ clues. The trick is to use the secret clue to make the public hints more obscure. Hint Boards add more advanced options, such as combining clues, opposites and ignoring clues.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Crosstalk continues through April 27, and the game is expected to deliver September 2017.

Massif Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign after being frustrated with the state of board game display at Spiel ’16 in Essen. Corey Wright was surprised to find there was no good way to display board games and components either for sale, storage or review. Massif Displays aims to correct this by producing high quality, inexpensive, foldable display stands in three sizes for boxed games, small games or components. The Kickstarter Campaign for Massif Displays continues through May 1, and is expected to deliver by August 2017.

Mr. B Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Metras, a 3-4 player game in which you play the head of a noble family, competing for the favor of the emperor over five rounds. Players have 4 tracks on their board, corresponding to their Espionage, Wealth, Exploration and Fame. During the game Allies and Servants can be placed to boost these tracks, but each track can only have as many helpers as the current round number. Additionally, each helper is unique, being more skilled in some areas than others. The main mechanism of the game involves an auction system for action cards, which then become a player’s 3 actions for the round. Players auction using influence, which translates to victory points, and the actions themselves rely heavily on the values of the player’s 4 tracks. Players need to be careful in what order action cards are won, since some may boost tracks to the point that others become useful. Five mission cards are available to complete using the players’ exploration values, which both dictate whether the player is skilled enough to complete the mission, and determines a multiplier for how many points the player receives.

Metras will be on Kickstarter through April 24, and is expected to ship November 2017.

Big Trouble in Little China: The Game is coming from designers Christopher Bartalis of Everything Epic and Boris Polonsky of Flipside. Big Trouble in Little China is a 1-4 player cooperative miniatures adventure game that allows players to take control of characters from the 1986 John Carpenter cult classic, play through their favorite portions, and discover new adventures.

The game comes with a double sided board depicting Chinatown on one side, and Lo Pan’s Lair on the other. Gameplay will be through a set of custom dice, controlling actions, quest tasks and combat. Early renderings of the miniatures for Egg Shen, Thunder, Rain, Lightning and others are available, and look fantastic, showing that the designers are true fans. More information on the game can be seen at Everything Epic’s website, and the facebook page for the game. Pre-orders for Big Trouble in Little China are expected soon for this 2017 game.

Smirk and Dagger Games has posted a teaser announcement for the 5th Cutthroat Caverns Expansion, Death Incarnate. Cutthroat Caverns (2007) is a popular take-that card driven dungeon crawl, where players gain prestige by being the last one to deliver the killing blow to a series of monsters – “Without teamwork, you will never survive. Without betrayal, you’ll never win.” During the battle, however, you can feint, annoy and divert attacks, while using your fellow players as meat shields. Death Incarnate will add all 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, and Death himself. Expect new monsters, events, relics and treasures. Smirk and Dagger has posted that a new double sided adventure book will be included as well. Death Incarnate is expected in stores August 2017.

Asmodee has posted four new scenarios, free for download, for the recent Conan board game by Monolith Games. The new scenarios feature the same excellent stories, artwork and depth as the originals. Additionally, the new scenarios make use of the recent expansions Yogah of Yag, Crossbowmen and Kushite Witch Hunters. The new scenarios are:

  • Conspiracy in Khauran (4 players) by Tony Berart – Uses Crossbowmen
  • Yogah’s Rebirth (4 players) by Ben & Peps – Uses Yogah of Yag
  • Yara’s Trap (2 players) by Tony Berart – Uses Yogah of Yag
  • The Cursed Mirrors (3 players) by Tony Berart – Uses Kushite Witch Hunters

For more details about the new scenarios, go to Asmodee’s website here.