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.

Fantasy Flight Games has just announced Anchorhead Cantina, a new skirmish map for Star Wars: Imperial Assault. Available as a 26×26 inch neoprene playmap, Anchorhead Cantina enters the tournament rotation. Perfect for the Imperial Assault World Championships in May 2017, Anchorhead Cantina includes tangles hallways, an outdoor junkyard, and evocative artwork of Greedo and Obi-Wan Kenobi, two Tatooine “natives”.

‘Dice Masters: Spider-Man Maximum Carnage Team Pack’  has been announced by Wizkids. This expansion includes characters from the Maximum Carnage story line, including Venom, more versions of Spider-Man and several other villains. This expansion will see the first versions of Shriek and the Spider-Man Doppelganger. The Maximum Carnage expansion will include 24 cards and 16 dice, and will be available July 2017.

IDW Games has announced Purrrlock Holmes: Furriarty’s Trail, a new 2-5 player card based board game designed by Stephen Sauer (Caffeine Rush, Tower of London) with beautiful art by Jaqui Davis. In Purrrlock Holmes, the players take on the roles of newly inducted inspectors at Scotland Pound, trying to bust Furriarty and his gang. The game comes with 60 cards, 5 player boards, 5 card stands, and tokens. Purrrlock Holmes: Furriaty’s Trail is due to be released August 2017.

Queen Games recently listed a bunch of new releases for April 2017, including a new Kingdom Builder expansion and a bix box treatment of Escape: Zombie City.

Kingdom Builder: Harvest, the fourth expansion for the 2011 game Kingdom Builder, contains new places, landscapes and goals. A new scout mechanic also allows players to build in areas normally not allowed.

Queen announced a new reprint of Metro, the 1997 tile laying game. Similar to Tsuro or Streetcar, players place square tiles to complete rail lines. The new reprint includes a new design, all four expansions, and the ability to play with six people.

Tip Tap is an abstract game involving fast identification of oddly shaped colored tiles. Players need to quickly find and touch specific shapes, while keeping other players from stealing them.

Queen Games is reprinting the 2005 Stefan Feld game Roma. In Roma, players use a mixed card and dice strategy to gain victory points or money.

Queen is releasing Escape: Zombie City Big Box, a compilation of the excellent 2014 Escape: Zombie City with it’s Expansion 1: Survivor Chronicles and the mini-expansion Queenies 1, 2, and 3. In this 15 minute cooperative real time game, players try to gather supplies, avoid or attack the zombies, start up the VW microbus and get out of the city. The new big box includes new challenges, tokens, zombies, road tiles, and characters with new abilities.

12 Thieves is a new reprint of the 2007 Spiel Nominee Thief of Baghdad. 12 Thieves is a card game where players try to maneuver their 12 thieves around the bazaar in order to grab loot yet avoid the guards.

Solaris is a 3-5 player family friendly strategy game in which players mine the suns of distant galaxies. Solaris offers a variety of different strategies and tactics to come away the victor.

Captain Silver is a fast 2-4 player pirate game suitable for children. In Captain Silver, players pull pirate booty out of a bag, trying to feel for the right objects to win the treasure challenge.

Templar’s Journey players recruit knights from various cities to prepare for the holy crusade in Jerusalem. Players use cards to choose either a safe green action or a risky red action, which may give bigger rewards, but can result in a punishment for being greedy if other players choose the same action.

High Tide is a fast family push your luck game in which players try to place their deck chairs on different beaches as close to the sea as they can. But be careful – if the tide comes in too far, their chairs can be swept away.

In Worm Party, players use their fingers as worms celebrating in the great worm party, but Chicken Charly has come to the party. Players need to hide in the 3D earth mounds in the worm garden before being caught by Charly.

Atlas Games has released a 7 minute video teaching people how to play their new game Hounded. Hounded is a two player tile game, in which one player plays a fox and the other plays a hunting party with a group of varied hounds, each with its own special ability.

The video is on YouTube

or can be downloaded from Atlas Games here.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced several upcoming releases for 2017

Vale of the Wild, a new expansion for Mystic Vale, promises to add new elements to the card crafting game, and is due to be released in April 2017.

Custom Heroes, by John D. Clair, uses the card crafting system from Mystic Vale in a trick taking game. The theme is heroes gearing up for battle, and the card crafting is used to modify your unique hero cards. The game is being released at Game Market Tokyo in May 2017  as part of AEG’s Big in Japan 2017 line. Custom Heroes is due to come to America later in the year.

The Captain is Dead, originally a kickstarter project by The Game Crafter, is seeing a reprint from AEG in 2017. This humorous cooperative game has the players take on familiar sci fi tropes, such as Admiral, Chief Engineer or Janitor,  on a starship moments after a disaster has left the ship near destruction and the captain dead. The Captain is Dead is due out May 2017.

Unicornus Knights is a cooperative adventure with an anime theme where the players help a princess retake her father’s kingdom. The princess is game-controlled and can be headstrong, so the players need to guide and advise her on her mission. The board changes each game, depending on the heroes the players use. Unicornus Knights will be released as part of the Big in Japan 2017 line in August 2017.

Cutthroat Kingdoms is a strategic social game for up to 6 players. Using social manipulation and troop movements, the players must get their noble house ahead by any means necessary. Cutthroat Kingdoms has a release date of September 2017.

Smash Up: Big in Japan is the latest expansion for the hit card game Smash Up. Featuring Kaiju and magical girls, with art suggesting powerful spandex-clad ranger-type people and pocket-sized ball-bound cartoon creatures, this expansion should appeal to lots of people. Another in the Big in Japan collection, Smash Up: Big in Japan has a release date of September 2017.

Finally, AEG has announced the release of Sakura Arms by Bakafire, the hit designer of Tragedy Looper and Code of Nine. Sakura Arms is a 2 player fighting card game with incredible brush style art. The players combine two megami into a team to battle other pairs under the Sakura tree. Also in the Big in Japan line, Sakura Arms is due out October 2017.

Pegasus Speile has announced Axio, a new 2-4 player abstract strategy game by Dr. Reiner Knizia. Axio is a spiritual successor to the excellent 2004 game Ingenious, but uses square instead of hexagonal tiles, each having two of the iconic colored ingenious symbols. Ingenious was also created by Dr. Knizia, but remains the property of Sophisticated Games. Dr. Knizia has stated that he intends there to be a line of Axio games, each using the familiar mechanisms and symbology;  Axio Octagonal has already been shown on triggy.com.

Axio will be premiered at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in February, and should be released Summer 2017.

Several new game releases were announced recently, including a new expansion for the popular 51st State: Master Set from Portal Games

  • 51st State: Scavengers adds 50 new cards to the immensely popular 51st State: Master Set, including the ability to draw from your discards, and a new strategy centered around building ruins. 51st State: Scavengers has a release date of March 2017.
  • Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach from Zero Radius Games is a new city building card game which takes place in Obsidian Entertainment’s computer RPG Pillars of Eternity. The player uses resources to construct buildings, build defenses and hire troops to fend off monsters. In an added twist, any unused resources each turn are passed to the other players. Pillars of Eternity: The Lords of the Eastern Reach is expected March 2017.
  • Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysium Quadrant is a new trading and negotiation game for 4-9 players coming from Wizkids. While being a competitive game, Sidereal Confluence’s trading feels more cooperative as no race can survive on their own. The game comes with 390 cards and almost 300 wooden pieces, and is due to hit shelves in August 2017.
  • Dr. Who: Time of the Daleks Board Game was announced recently by Gale Force Nine. In this game, players pick a Doctor and try to thwart the Dalek master plan of … exterminating .. the doctors.  Time of the Daleks has a release date of May 2017.

Dutch University students created the world’s largest playable board of monopoly, officially recognized by the Guiness Book of World Records. The board, completely to scale, covered 900 square meters (almost a quarter acre), approximately 30 meters (about 100 ft) on a side. Constructed in an athletic field, the game was built from 804 individual panels. The students played the game after completion, complete with giant dice, huge hotels and even a live dog as a playing piece.