Asmodee

Fantasy Flight Games, the Darth Vader to Asmodee’s Palpatine, is getting ready for the launch of the Second Edition of their supremely popular Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game line on September 13. On their website, Fantasy Flight has given a list of retailers that will be having launch parties for the release, with 3 short fast paced events, prizes and more. These Launch Parties are just the beginning for a community supporting Organized Play events. In another article, Fantasy Flight talks further about the Scum and Villainy faction in X-Wing, the neutral third party alongside the Rebellion and the Empire. Lando’s Millenium Falcon, Slave I, and the Fang Fighter will all be available at launch, as well as the Scum and Villainy Conversion Kit for 1st edition miniatures. This article also focuses on the abilities of droid pilots IG-88, Guri and 4-LOM. Check out Fantasy Flight’s articles about the Second Edition Launch and the Scum And Villainy Additions on their website.

Even in today’s market where there are more and more games to choose from than ever before, Days of Wonder releases still feel exceptional. Their quality control to deliver sweet and beautiful family-weight games is second-to-none and they’re always bringing something new to the realm of “gateway” weight games. Their newest title, The River, follows this trend bringing an interesting blend of tile placement, resource management, and worker placement in a quick, clean, charming package. Designed by Sébastien Pauchon and Ismaël Perrin, it plays 2 to 4 players and is expected to be available in time for Essen this October, later to hit retail in November. As described in Days of Wonder’s announcement:

     “In the game, you embody pioneers embarking down a river in search of a new lands to settle. As you explore the untouched frontier, you will have to work twice as hard to manage your workers as they start to settle down along the way. The player with the most impressive settlement will be declared the winner!”

I’m excited to see such a blend of mechanics enter at this gaming level, because I feel that there needs to be more gateway worker placement games than Stone Age that can do something a bit new with it. While resource management itself is nothing revolutionary, how that interacts with the tile placement here is unique since new tiles have to progress down the titular river and they cover up resources you’d been using up until that point. Deciding which tiles to pick at what time is just as important as where to place workers, and on top of that there are buildings that can be bought and reserved much like the cards in Splendor. There is a good mix here, and it’ll be a highlight of Essen to see how well it’s received. If you’re interested in learning more about The River, be sure to check out Days of Wonder’s news post and also their product page which features the full rules in 6 languages!

Asmodee has entered into exclusive negotiations for the acquisition of Galapagos Jogos. This is a beneficial and exciting move for both companies

“With the acquisition of long-time partner Galápagos Jogos, Asmodee opens a direct presence in South America, strengthening its international presence alongside its offices in 14 countries across Europe, North America and China. The Group also relies on 13 publishing studios spread around the world.”

The CEO’s of both companies had great things to say about the plan, Yuri Fang, Galápagos Jogos’s CEO had this to say:

“Our purpose of getting people together through a fantastic entertainment experience will be strengthened as we become part of Asmodee. The passion for telling incredible stories is mutual. We are very happy and proud to be joining such a great and experienced team, and willing to continue writing history in Brazil,”

and Stéphane Carville, CEO of Asmodee Group said:

“After more than five years of successful distribution partnership we are delighted to have Galápagos Jogos joining the Asmodee family. We fully trust the Galápagos Jogos team to increase our catalogue presence on the market and to build our Brazilian platform,”

South America can expect a great line up of games from Asmodee!

An update to our story that Eurazeo had placed it’s stake in Asmodee up for sale – the unknown potential buyer has been announced. Released in a statement on Friday, Eurazeo is in discussions with PAI Partners, one of the largest private equity houses in Europe based in Paris, France. The sale, if it were to go forward, would have to go through an approval process as per French law and could be finalized by the end of 2018. The deal could mean a return of up to four times Eurazeo’s initial investment! We’ll post more information as the story develops.

Hot on the heels of Asmodee Digital’s announcement to bring popular board game titles to the Nintendo Switch™, Nomad Games announced they had acquired the rights to bring more of your favorite board games to the digital world.

Exclusive digital rights to Mystic Vale, Cat Lady and Space Base were acquired from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG), in an effort to increase the number of games they’ll offer on a digital platform.While no dates were provided as to when you can start downloading these titles, they’ll join Smash Up (AEG), Talisman: Digital Edition (Games Workshop), and Fighting Fantasy Legends (Livingston & Jackson) for development on PC, mobile devices, and consoles including Nintendo Switch™ & and PlayStation® 4.

Nomad Managing Director, Don Whiteford:

“ This is an exciting year for us, building on the success of our established titles, and it’s a key point in our plan to bring together the growing worlds of cardboard and digital gaming. We are fortunate to have found excellent partners who share our vision. As well as classic franchises like. Fighting Fantasy and Talisman, we will be working with new cutting-edge game designs that are breaking new ground in the tabletop world. ”

For more information, head over to Nomad’s website.

Nintendo Switch is not currently a haven for playing modern board games, with available options topping out with titles like Othello and Monopoly. Yet, the hybridization of being able to play both at home and on the go with a Nintendo Switch could be a game changer with the right titles…

Enter Carcassonne – Asmodee Digital announced that it will be bring the fan-favorite Klaus-Jürgen Wrede game Carcassonne to the Switch platform during the winter quarter of this year, and while Carcassonne is already available digitally, the Switch platform has advantages that many gamers will find appealing over a phone app or Steam-based computer game. For one thing, the Switch screen is much bigger than an average cell phone, and physical Switch physical games are easy to trade or share. Also, players on the whole are more likely to play local couch co-op on a TV screen via a console, rather than on PC.

For those unfamiliar with the game from 2000 that started all of this excitement, check out its BGG page, but here is the quickest summation: Carcassonne is an easy to play, hard to master tile-laying game for 2-5  players in which over the course of 30 minutes or so you will be making decisions on to best control and influence the outcomes of different areas of tiles. Placing on the road as a robber, or cloistered away as a monk are two of the roles players can assign their people (called meeples) to in order to score the most points across the southern France landscape and claim victory!

But the Nintendo Switch and designer board game pairing likely does not start and end with Carcassonne…

quoting Pierre Ortolan, CEO of Asmodee Digital,

“Carcassonne is the first Asmodee Digital title of many to follow on Nintendo’s platforms.” 

Thus leading one to believe that Asmodee Digital would likely bring over the other titles that have already been crafted digitally on other platforms, such as: fellow gateway game Ticket to Ride, award-winning Terraforming Mars, and recent mega-hit Scythe. With these titles stemming from a single developer, it would already be a solid foothold for modern board games on a current generation video game console, and it would be easy to envision makers of other digital board game implementations also porting over their creations, such as: Alhambra, Kingdom Builder, Splendor, or Small World.

As a fan of digital board gaming, watching the video on Paste Magazine’s article got my meeple heart beating hard to lay down some farmers for the win.

 

FFG has announced an upcoming release to Legend of the Five Rings:  The Card Game.  Whispers of Shadow and Steel is a novella set in the fictional land of Rokugan.  This is the second installment of Legends of the Five Rings Fiction, but the first to include 2 new upgraded art cards that can be used in L5R:TCG.  This novella is approximately 100 pages long and features the Scorpion Clan, and specifically, Bayushi Yojiro, one of this clan’s characters.

There will be three copies of each card, for a total of 6 cards, which will be tucked inside the book.  The first card is an extended art version of Bayushi from the Imperial Cycle:

As a MagistrateBayushi Yojiro alters the rules of conflicts—in his case, ignoring the effects of status tokens on participating characters. This can enhance the dishonorable Scorpions around him, and erase the bonus of your opponent’s honorable characters.

The second card is from the upcoming Elemental Cycle for this game, and features an ability unique to the Scorpion Clan:  Infiltrator:

Infiltrator is an attachment that allows you, as an action, to reveal the top card of your opponent’s conflict deck and either play it as if it were in your hand or discard it.

As an attachment, you can repeat this process every turn, as long as your infiltrator is in play, and as long as your bid remains higher than your opponent’s. This allows you to infiltrate your opponent’s conflict deck and turn their very best weapons against them—a tactic well befitting a Scorpion.

From FFG:

They’re already existing cards (or soon to be existing cards) with full art. They’ll look different than what will be in the standard LCG packs, but will function the same in-game (same stats, abilities, etc.). From a pure gameplay perspective, these promotional cards won’t be exclusive to people who purchase the book, but if you’re looking for the fantastic alt-art cards to make your deck ‘pop’, these are for you.

There is yet no release date set for Whispers of Shadow and Steel, but it is available for preorder from both local retailers and FFG.

For a review of Legends of the Five Rings, click here and for more information on this expansion, click here 

According to Reuters, the board gaming super-giant, the 800 pound gorilla, Asmodee is investigating a sale to an unknown buyer. Asmodee, the France based company owned by private equity firm Eurazeo SE, is currently worth an estimated 1.5 Billion euros (almost 1.8 billion US dollars). Among other things, Asmodee owns the board game companies Fantasy Flight Games and  Days of Wonder, F2Z Entertainment properties Z-Man Games and Plaid Hat Games, and the French publishing rights to the Pokemon Trading Card Game and Wizkids!. This includes the rights to some of the most popular games on the market, such as  Catan, Ticket to Ride, and X-Wing. The identity of proposed buyer(s) has not been disclosed at this time, pending further deliberations. For more information, you can read the original Reuters article here.

Love Letter, a popular card game of social deduction and player elimination, has been acquired by Z-Man Games.

“We are thrilled to have Love Letter join Z-Man’s diverse catalog,” says Steve Kimball, Head of Studio at Z-Man Games. “This gem of a card game packs a lot of fun in a tiny box (or velvet bag) and fits perfectly with the many other acclaimed card games that have been a hallmark of the Z-Man brand. I’m excited to work closely with Seiji Kanai to help Love Letter reach new audiences and realize its full potential.”

Love Letter was designed by Seiji Kanai in 2012 and has been reimplemented with various themes including Adventure Time, Batman, The Hobbit, and Lovecraft Letter.

“Love Letter and Lovecraft Letter have been a pure joy to develop and share with our customers,” says John Zinser, CEO of Alderac Entertainment Group. “We would like to thank Seiji Kanai and our partners at Japon Brand for entrusting us with the smallest but most valuable of treasures. Our friends at Asmodee have the capability to take Love Letter and Lovecraft Letter to even greater heights and we are excited to watch the games make this transition. We are sure that everyone who has sought the favor of the Princess will be delighted with Asmodee’s stewardship of these great games.”

Asmodee, which has the largest catalog of games under it’s wide umbrella thanks to it’s partnerships with Days of Wonder, ZMAN Games, Fantasy Flight, Catan Games and more, has announced it’s Modern Classics line. This new category is for games that are easy to get into yet offer tremendous depth and make for excellent staples in any new or existing collection. The titles in this series together cover a wide range of mechanisms and modes-of-play and each one is considered a gateway of it’s respective genre. As stated by Asmodee in their announcement:

“Modern Classics refers to a small group of pioneering titles that have left a lasting legacy on the board-games market and have stood the test of time to remain preferred gateway purchases in a constantly changing landscape of products. […] Each of the highlighted titles is easy to learn but hard to master, making them well suited for any gaming situation that you might encounter. The Modern Classics range consists of the following games: Ticket to Ride Europe, Catan, Carcassonne, Dixit, Pandemic, and Splendor.

While this really is just a matter of showcasing for new customers, the games chosen here are, I feel, irrefutably ‘Modern Classics’ and deserve to be called as such. These quintessential games also cover a lot of ground as well, certain to prepare even the newest of gamers for the great many strategy games that lie beyond. Just with these six games there’s card drafting, network building, tile laying, set collection, storytelling, cooperation, trading, and resource management game mechanisms. Hoo! The question I have now is, will there be any more games added to this list in the future? Only time will tell.