Sleeving cards has been a part of hobby gaming for years, yet John D. Clair turned the idea into a game mechanism and has been running with it brilliantly. Starting with Mystic Vale, the act of creating cards wrought several interesting ways to effect decisions in the long term. Continued with Custom Heroes, we saw how simple choices by one player change the ongoing experience of the game for everyone involved. Ever since the release of the first card-crafting game, Edge of Darkness had been advertised as the next step coming sometime in the future and it prevailed in the minds of fans captivated with the thought of something more. Now it is here, seeking funding on Kickstarter and described as follows:

     “Edge of Darkness combines Card Crafting, Worker Placement, shared deck-building, and a whole new Threat Challenge system in a medium-weight euro-style boardgame of 60 to 120 minutes for 2 to 4 players. […] Each Guild vies with the others to become the leaders of the Aegis in a desperate struggle against great evil. But the Guilds must also work together because the dangers facing the city can harm them all.”

Edge of Darkness is an incredible offering deserving of its exposure with the nearly-bulging seams of its imposing box. The idea of it just being another spiritual successor to Mystic Vale is frankly laughable, because the game has so much more than just card crafting. The cards being double-sided representing your efforts in the city and also the threats against it, the attention-grabbing threat tower, the unique back and forth between guilds competing over locations…all come together to form something that probably couldn’t exist outside the power of Kickstarter. So if you’re interested in this ambitious new game from AEG, be sure to check out the Kickstarter for more information, gameplay, and updates.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced that they will be releasing The Sword and the Spirits, a new novella by Robert Denton III set in the world of Legend of the Five Rings. Physical copies of the novella will include two exclusive alternate art cards for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

The novella will focus on the Phoenix Clan and their investigation into an elemental disturbance and the possibly dark secrets of a vassal family located in the mountains. While investigating the murder, Isawa Tadaka and Shiba Tsukune will stumble upon a conspiracy ancient in nature.

Shiba Tsukune wasn’t supposed to become the Champion of the Phoenix Clan, but their ancient sword chose her. Trained as a samurai warrior, she was to be the bodyguard of Isawa Tadaka, a powerful shugenja—and the man she loved. Although her new duties have drawn them apart, she refuses to stand by and watch as Tadaka falls to the darkness within him.

Tsukune follows Tadaka north to Cliffside Shrine, home of the Kaito family, where he must investigate the mysterious death of a prominent priestess. All around them, the shrine shows signs of decay and desecration, and the wards that have bound an evil demon for centuries are fraying. What secrets are the Kaito family keeping? And can Tsukune save Tadaka from descending down a dark path before it’s too late?

Sword in the Spirits will include over 100 pages of tales designed to compliment Legends of the Five Rings lore. It will be released to coincide with Disciples of the Void, a Phoenix Clan Pack for Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

In addition to the novella, The Sword and the Spirits will include two alternate art cards for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game.

Kaito Kosori will be an alternate art card for a card debuting in Disciples of the Void. The cards will be the first time a character from Kaito family makes an appearance in Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game. Kosori will honor the family tradition of bow use combined with mystical elements.

The Second card will feature extended art of Ofushikai, the sword that chose Shiba Tsukune as Clan Champion. Ofushukai is not included in Disciples of the Void, so for now will not be legal for Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game tournament play until it is released in a Dynasty Pack later in 2018.

About Legends of the Five Rings: The Card Game

Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game published by Fantasy Flight Games. The game is set in Rokugan, the original setting for the Legend of the Five Rings collectible card game published by AEG. Players create decks of clan specific cards from the base game and supplemental decks when preparing to do battle. Two players will battle for 45-90 minutes.


First on the list is the latest in the Outpost series of games from IDW Games, and that is Outpost: Amazon.  Like it’s predecessor you will be working together with your fellow players to survive the harsh jungle of the Amazon in order to capture strange and unusual creatures that have been sited.  You will have to deal with a harsh environment and a slew of animals that want to eat you, mush less be captured.  All cards are double use with one half being the event/threat, and the other half being useful supplies to help you deal with those threats and events.  Play is simple in that you draw cards for your self, then you draw other cards that you have to deal with in some way.  Manage to survive the entire deck and you all win.  Look for this small box card game to hit store shelves in March of this year.

Second we have an announcement as surprising as finding out that water is wet, and that is a new expansion for Smash Up called That 70’s ExpansionSmash Up is called a shuffle building game where you take two factions, like ninjas, dinosaurs, ghosts, sheep, etc., and shuffle them together to form your army.  Then it’s a competition to see who can take over as many high valued bases as possible to get to the goal score of 21 points.  That 70’s Expansion adds more factions to the game with the addition of 70’s styled truckers, vigilantes, disco dancers, and kung fu fighters.  Grab this groovy new expansion at your friendly local game store in the later parts of March.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) continue their excellence into 2018 with some great games on the horizon.

Space Base is designed by John D. Clair (known for Mystic Vale, Custom Heroes, and Edge of Darkness) and has players assume the roles of Commodores in a space fleet. The order and types of cards a player buys for their space base has an impact on the economic engine which they build in order to become Admiral. Establish colonies in a sector, spread your cargo carriers, and expand your mining network to build your income and influence. The game will support 2 – 5 players and plays between 30 – 75 minutes depending on the number of players.

Details on Istanbul: The Dice Game are a bit thin but with a game designed by Rüdiger Dorn and art by Andreas Resch we can only expect great things. It will be a standalone dice game in which 2 – 4 players collect rubies in Istanbul’s bustling bazaar. Through clever use of the dice, players can make money and goods then exchange them for rubies to become the ultimate trader. Expect playtime of 20 – 40 minutes for ages 8+.

Joe Price and JT Smith expand on their hit game in 2018. In The Captain is Dead: Lockdown (Episode 2 in the AEG series, originally Episode 3 when released on Game Crafter) the Captain is still dead and the crew find themselves imprisoned on their own ship. Hostile aliens have taken control of the ship and the players must remain hidden and work together to regain control of the ship. You will need The Captain is Dead base game in order to play this expansion. The game supports 1 – 7 players, aged 12+, and plays between 90 – 120 mins depending on the number of players.

Mystic Vale, the card crafting game that continues to get bigger and bigger, is taking a different approach with their next expansion in December, called Mystic Vale Conclave.  This new expansion will of course add more cards, but it also add new rules and is meant as a box to hold all of the Mystic Vale cards released to date, and more.  The new rules are called the Equinox rules that allows for much faster game play, and the box will include two more starter deck to bring the max player count up to 6 players.  Also included are Conclaves that allow you to customize decks of advancement and vales, totem cards to give you unique abilities, and spirit counters to help keep track of what symbols you generate each turn.  All in all you will get a great box to hold all of your Mystic Vale, and more goodies to include in your games to keep them fresh, look for it on store shelves in December of 2017.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has put the call out to fans of the classic board game Smash Up. Smash Up and its expansions are famous for having numerous crazy faction decks to pick from, including dinosaurs, bear cavalry, cyborg apes, and grandmas. The next expansion, Oops, You Did It Again, will consist of factions chosen by the fans, much like the It’s Your Fault! Expansion from 2016. Currently, AEG is taking nominations for new factions, the most popular of which will be put up for vote.

Oops You Did It Again is due for release in 2018. You can nominate your fantasy team for the expansion on the AEG website here.

Origins has come and gone, and with it the announcements of various awards.  We have covered the announcement of the Origins Awards and so the only one left is to announce who was inducted in to the hall of Fame this year.  And that person is Mike Elliott, designer of highly popular titles like the Dice Masters line, Quarriors, Lost Legends and more.  Mike Elliott has been designing for 21 years and is still going strong with new designs like Thunderstone Quest and Immortals coming soon from AEG and Queen respectively.  The award couldn’t have gone to a better pick and we hope to see more and more great games from him in the future.

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design presented the Origins Awards Saturday June 17th at the annual awards show held at the GAMA hosted convention Origins in Columbus, OH.  As part of this winners were announced in seven categories along with a fan favorite award in each category as well.

We would like to extend congratulations to all award winners.

Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Board Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Family Game of the Year

Happy Salmon – North Star Games

RPG of the Year

No Thank You, Evil! – Monte Cooke Games

Best Collectible of the Year

Pokemon XY11 Steam Siege Booster – The Pokemon Co.

Best Accessory of the Year

Blood Rage Organizer – Broken Token

Card Game of the Year

Mystic Vale – AEG

As convention season is in full swing, new game announcements are going to be coming fast, so lets get to it.  First up is a new expansion to add to the innovative card crafting game, Mystic Vale, called Mystic Vale: Mana Storm.  This expansion continues the trend of adding more of what you want, more cards, leaders, and advancements, while still adding something new to the game.  This time around it’s leaders that can be upgraded, giving them more powerful abilities, and amulet tokens which are just like mana tokens except that have unique powers associated with them.  So if you enjoy Mystic Vale, I am sure this expansion will just make the game that much better.  Look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next is a monster pack for the second edition of King of Tokyo featuring King Kong.  While this isn’t as exciting, except for the fact you can have a three way monkey showdown now, what is also coming in the box is a new way to win the game.  What way is that you ask?  Well, I don’t know, but we will all find out when this pack hits stores in October of this year.

Next we have the big box expansion for Legends of Andor that finishes out the epic story, Legends of Andor: The Last Hope.  Krahder has ended his raid, and in the process has kidnapped many of the citizens of Andor, so it is up the heroes to rescue them.  They will venture beyond the Gray Mountains to fight the hordes of skeleton warriors with Krahder leading them.  Eventually you will work your way to Krahder himself to defeat him once and for all, bringing the overarching story of Legends of Andor to it’s conclusion.  While the German version of the game has been released, the English version of the game will be released in October of this year.

After that is the latest set in the BattleCon series and that is BattleCon: Trials of Indines from Level 99 Games.  This set brings an additional 10 fighters into the game with more new combos, moves, and strategies to give you greater variety in your BattleCon games.  This game was previously Kickstarted back in October of last year, and so this year will see it’s fulfillment to backers, and retail release.  No firm date yet is given but they do expect the game to ship this year to both backers and retailers, so look forward to it.

Finally we have an expansion to the popular tile based Cthulhu war game, Shadows over Nomandie, called Desert Wrath.  In this set it takes you out of the typical theaters of war for the time and sends you to Egypt.  There you will “follow the adventures of the Section M and accompany Captain Harris Badger and the Corporal Akhee Singh in their fight against the Black Sun in search of the legendary city of Irem“.  This expansion includes the new Section M faction as well as the typical new units, spells, heroes, etc. that you come to expect in a big box expansion.  So if you enjoy the game, and don’t mind the change of scenery, then this expansion will just bring more variety and replayability to the game.  Check your local game store in late July for this expansion.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) announced a new game, Cutthroat Kingdoms by designer Bryan Merlonghi. Players will take the role of a leading lord or lady in the six Houses of the Kingdom of Aurum. Utilizing political intrigue, powerful armies, and strategic alliances, Cutthroat Kingdoms is a competitive game of negotiation and dealmaking with a medieval fantasy theme.

The throne to the Kingdom of Aurum lies unclaimed.

As memory of the slain king Ratimir Dravanof passes, the six great houses vie for control of the land in a neverending dispute of title, territory and birthright.

Now, embroiled in conflict, the lords and ladies lock eyes on the crown, as they fight to contend with the remnants of the Dravanof legacy: the great plague that has now turned upon the people, to ravage the countryside, exacting its cruel revenge.

This is the innovative new social game of contract, duplicity, arranged marriages and tainted food. Every group will create their own rules for how to play and every game will be different. Will yours be high on subterfuge, backstabbing and betrayal, or conducted on a higher plane of rock-solid agreements and unbreakable oaths?

The game supports 3 – 6 players, with a playing time of 90 – 150 minutes. For more information, visit the AEG Cutthroat Kingdoms page, where you can download the rulebook and see images of some of the cards.