descent

The Death Star has been destroyed—but as fragments of wreckage rain down on Yavin 4, the war is not over. The time for heroes has not passed. If anything, the Rebellion needs heroes more now than ever before. The Galactic Civil War is raging on, and it’s time for you and your friends to come together and journey side by side into a galaxy filled with more peril, excitement, and adventure than you had ever imagined.

Fantasy Flight Games has just released details on their upcoming Legends of the Alliance app that will support Cooperative and Solo play for Imperial Assault. In both the 2016 and 2017 GenCon In-Flight reports Fantasy Flight Games announced work on the app was continuing, but did share details beyond that. Gamers should not have long to wait based on the report from Fantasy Flight Games that the app is “coming soon.”

In 2016 Fantasy Flight Games released the Road to Legend app for Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition. That app allowed for solo and fully cooperative play without one person having to play as overlord. Road to Legend has been supported with additional campaign releases, and allows players to select what physical content they have purchased and then integrates that content into the game. Legends of the Alliance for Imperial Assault appears to include similar support, including the ability to play the game fully cooperatively.

Cooperating to Save the Galaxy

Legends of the Alliance is will release as a free companion app for Imperial Assault that allows up to four players to join the Alliance and fight the Galactic Empire together with the app taking full control of the Empire over the course of a single game or over a campaign.

Designed exclusively to allow for cooperative play, the app does not replace a traditional campaign that includes an overlord or the skirmish game. Those modes of play will continue to exist separately and will continue to be supported by Fantasy Flight Games.

Getting Set Up

Similar to the Descent App, Legends of the Alliance requires players to select what physical content will be available. Whether you have just the core set or every single expansion, the play experience will be tailored based on what physical content is available. Players will only need to select what content they have once, and can change those selections at any time. On release the app will only support Imperial and Mercenary forces from the Core Set, but planned future updates will add foes and allies from all of the additional box expansions, Ally Packs, and Villain Packs.

Replacing the Imperial player, Legends of the Alliance will provide introductions to each quest and will instruct players how to set up the map. The map will include map tile details, placement of Imperial forces, supply crate locations, and objective tokens for the mission.

App based play allows for truly hidden information. While the app provides instructions on how to set up what is visible to players, tiles beyond doors won’t be placed until doors open. Maybe the hallway beyond that door is empty. Maybe it contains a room full of stormtroopers eating their galacticaly delicious lunches? As soon as you open a door the app will pause for you to add indicated map tiles and any Imperial forces or other traps you can now see.

Adventure Awaits

Once installed, players will have the chance to play through a  tutorial that will to teach them the game and the primary differences between the new fully cooperative campaign and the traditional game. Players will then be invited to take on a brand new five scenario mission: Death Star above Yavin 4. This campaign requires only the Imperial Assault Core Set.

After each mission players will have the chance to resupply and upgrade their heroes. Following a mission, whether victorious or defeated, players will be taken to a map of the galaxy from which they can learn skills from class cards or upgrade their weapons and equipment in the armory. The app tracks back class cards and item purchased, allowing for quick setup in future plays.

Imperial Assault…ing you

Legends of the Alliance isn’t just creating a map full of characters for you to shoot down. These figurines fight back. At the end of each Hero activation, the app will select an Imperial unit to activate and provide orders for it. Smart technology allows the app to isolate heroes and pick off the weak. Each Imperial activation provides special abilities and powers, as well as a list of actions for you to carry out on behalf of the app.

These aren’t your friendly neighborhood stormtroopers. Darth Vader will enter battle, cutting your allies down with melee weapons. Stormtroopers will fire and duck back under cover. Each unit in the game will have behavior reflective of their character, and will be up to you and your friends to work together to develop strategies to defeat them.

Available Soon?

Fantasy Flight Games has only announced that the app will be “available for download soon.” Fantasy Flight Games does not traditionally make announcements too far in advance, so it’s likely rebel scum won’t have long to wait to begin their assault.

Descent’s Road to Legend app is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play, and via Steam. It is likely that the Imperial Assault app will also eventually be available on all the devices those platforms support.

 

escapse 100 million

This October promises us a new co-op game from IDW Publishing and designer Kevin Wilson of Arkham Horror & Descent fame.

Escape from 100 Million BC is designer Kevin Wilson’s newest foray into the cooperative world of gaming.  Set in the Cretaceous Period, Escape from 100 Million BC follows the adventures of the world’s first time-travelling expedition.  This great achievement has had one major side effect on the intrepid group of explorers.  Their time machine has broken up on entry around a volcano 100 million years ago, and if that weren’t bad enough, it’s about to blow!  Your goal is to reassemble the time machine and get back to your own time without triggering the Butterfly Effect and before the volcano makes you a permanent part of history.

Escape from 100 Million BC is for 1 to 6 players, ages 12 and up, and plays out in about 2 hours.  If you like adventure and you’ve always wondered what it would be like to travel back to the days of the Dinosaurs, now is your chance!

shards of everdark mini

Fantasy Flight Games has provided a preview of the upcoming Hero and Monster Collection expansion for Descent 2.0, Shards of Everdark.  This expansion introduces four heroes from Descent’s first edition, “breathing new life into them with revitalized artwork and figure sculpts. In the same way, two monster groups from the first edition rejoin the game, as well as an entirely new monster group—the dark minotaurs.”

This latest preview discusses in more detail one of the heroes of this expansion, Arvel Worldwalker, and one of the monsters, the shades.  Arvel is a hero that boasts balanced attributes, and when she fails an attribute test, she can either recover 1 Fatigue or reroll the test.  Additionally, Arvel’s Heroic Feat enables her to return up to two of her Class cards to her Class deck and gain any number of Class cards from her deck worth an equal amount of XP.  This powerful ability allows Arvel access to her Class deck throughout a campaign to give her true versatility for any situation.

Shades are evil creatures that appear in larger numbers, with ethereal forms that allow them to warp next to heroes when they fail attribute tests and prey upon those that attempt to recover Fatigue.

For more details on the preview for this expansion, visit the article on FFG’s website.

tmnt

Having been teased in 2015, IDW Games is now Kickstarting their TMNT adventure game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past.  The game will be designed by well known designer Kevin Wilson, who is know for his designing Arkham Horror, Fury of Dracule 3rd edtion and Descent to just name a few.  Shadows of the Past aims to be an adventure type game similar to Descent in that one person will play Shredder and everyone else will play the turtles or their comrades like April O’Neil or Casey Jones (if unlocked).  It will be scenario based with an adventure comic setting the stage for the turtles to fight against Shredder and his minions like Alopex and Karai.  Each character has their own unique cards and dice to use during the game, and battle brings a whole new level of cooperation as the dice you roll can chain off of the dice of other players, making teamwork of paramount importance.  Add in designs and artwork done by the very talented Kevin Eastman and you have one good looking and playing game.

tmnt comp

The campaign is already fully funded after just one day and with lots of extra content planned it will be one heck of a campaign.  If this sounds like something you would be interested in then head on over to the campaign page and pledge.

hostage negotiator

In the October 2015 press release for Van Ryder Games, the company announced that Kevin Wilson, designer of hit games such as Descent, Civilization, Android, and TMNT, will be creating 1 of 4 upcoming new Abductor Packs to expand the solitaire game Hostage Negotiator.

See the official press release below:

Thompsons Station, TN – October 12th, 2015 – Van Ryder Games announced today that Kevin Wilson, designer of such notable games as Descent, Civilization, Android, and the upcoming TMNT, has signed on to design an Abductor Pack for the hit solitaire game Hostage Negotiator. The Abductor pack from Wilson is slated to be 1 of 4 new expansion packs to be released in 2016.

Van Ryder Games’ owner A.J. Porfirio comments, “We are thrilled to have Kevin on board to contribute to the growing amount of Hostage Negotiator content. He is undoubtedly the most prolific designer we have worked with and we couldn’t be more excited.”

Hostage Negotiator is a quick to play 20-30 minute card and dice game that has you negotiating with a hostage taker for the release of hostages. Gameplay features a hand building mechanic which has the feel of deck building, but without the deck. The game immerses you in the theme with many players reporting a strong emotional response when hostages are released or killed. The game is expandable by adding Abductor Packs that feature new Hostage Takers and new game play elements.

Hostage Negotiator is currently sold out and a 2nd printing is in progress with an expected Nov/Dec release date which will include a reprint of Abductor Packs 1 & 2, as well as, the introduction of Abductor Packs 3 & 4!

For more information on Hostage Negotiator and its upcoming expansions, visit the company’s website here.

OnTarget

Courtesy Game Smith

 

On-Target Laser Designator is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, targeting avid miniature gamers that are looking for an easier, more accurate solution for determining line-of-sight and/or firing arcs in games like X-Wing Miniatures, Descent 2nd Edition, and many wargames.

The device is a simple handheld laser, similar to the ones found on industrial shop equipment, with two modes: constant-on and momentary. It’s designed to be held above the field of battle and shine a red light between figures, confirming whether opposing figures are clear and in range.

“We have selected the beam width, focus distance, and output ideal for accurate gaming needs in order to deliver a product superior to anything else on the market today.”

If On-Target sounds useful to you, head over to the Kickstarter page to see images of the device in action, get more details on the device’s specifications, and pledge your support.

visions of dawn

Fantasy Flight Games continues their Hero and Monster Collections with Visions of Dawn, bringing four heroes and three monster types from the original Descent to Descent 2nd Edition. This expansion contains 10 figures plus associated character cards, and is scheduled for a second quarter 2015 release.

“Trolls and ogres are two of the largest and most belligerent monsters in Terrinoth. Only their age-old hatred for each other has safeguarded the innocent from their depredations. Now, this ancient war has been supplanted by a budding alliance.”

visions of dawn figures

With the addition of trolls, manticores, and ogres, overlord players will have even more variety as they select deadly foes to battle the intrepid adventurers. Hero players too will have additional options in the form of Master Thorn, Nara the Fang, Sir Valadir, and Ispher.

“Ispher’s healing arts are unparalleled, even among other Healers. Many Healers are forced to take time away from healing the party to tend their own wounds, but Ispher avoids this delay with his natural regenerative properties.”

The announcement features of a preview of Ispher’s poison resistance and healing skills, as well as the ogre’s Fleshmonger ability which steals health every time it attacks. Check out the full article for all the details, and look for upcoming previews to learn more about these new heroes and monsters.

deephall figures

Fantasy Flight Games continues its series of previews for the upcoming Hero and Monster Collection, Guardians of Deephall, bringing more of the classic first edition heroes and monsters to Descent 2nd Edition. This time they feature melee expert Lord Hawthorne and the sinister crypt dragon monster group.

“As a Warrior, Lord Hawthorne brings overwhelming strength to your quests, cutting down the deadly monsters of the overlord wherever they may stand. In combat, Lord Hawthorne is renowned for his mastery of greatswords and other enormous weapons.”

lord hawthorne

Lord Hawthorne is a battlefield juggernaut, not only using his huge two-handed sword to gain Reach on all melee attacks, but with a Heroic feat that allows him to follow up an attack with an additional attack up to two spaces away.

To counter this deadly hero, the overlord will have access to shadowy crypt dragons who can strike fear in even the hardiest adventurers.

“Crypt dragons are formidable in battle, and when you play as the overlord, you can call upon their dread power to send the heroes fleeing in terror.”

With both Horrifying visage and Cause Fear, even the bravest heroes are just one unlucky willpower check away from complete chaos.

Guardians of Deephall comes with 13 miniatures and should be available in stores soon. Check out the full article for all the details.

nskn blog banner

On Thanksgiving Day, NSKN’s blog brought us some solid food for thought: how should game designers and publishers, not to mention gamers in general, consider the impact of thematic content in the games they design and play?  In this entry, NSKN presents the conflict that can sometimes arise due to various elements of theme in games.

It’s quite likely that every gamer has become involved in a game where some aspect of the theme struck a nerve with someone at the table.  A solid theme brings the mechanics of a game to life, allowing us as gamers to make connections that suck us in and immerse us in the experience of the game.  There are, however, elements of life, philosophy, morality, and the human experience, that we find unpleasant, disturbing, and sometimes quite revolting.  Whether the subject matter is as “in your face” as playing on a sheet of human skin in Chaos in the Old World, or something deeper and more subtle like the “colonists” in Puerto Rico, it’s difficult to be callous to others when a particular aspect of a game’s theme strikes that nerve.

A mature response in this area is to make one’s own decisions about a theme and to be careful to avoid pressuring others to play games with themes that are difficult for them.  However, even in this light, designers and publishers should carefully consider the impressions that will be left on others by the delivery of theme in their games, and be prepared for any negative reactions from thematic elements that come close to established social and moral boundaries.

The article makes observations about how a person can find one edgy theme acceptable yet be very bothered by another theme that could be considered controversial.  To read the article in full, visit the NSKN blog page.

heirs of blood

HEIRS OF BLOOD

The kingdom of Saradyn lies in peril. After centuries without a ruler, an heir to the kingdom has arisen, but he is not the only one to lay claim to the throne. Lady Eliza Farrow, an immortal vampire and the wife of a renowned necromancer, has claimed Saradyn as her own. She is more than willing to slay anyone who may stand between her and the hidden kingdom. Only you and your fellow heroes can protect the true heir from a horrid death at Eliza’s hands.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the first official campaign book for the hit strategy dungeon-crawl board game, Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition.  With thirty-two completely new encounters interwoven within two acts, Heirs of Blood allows Descent players to embark on a whole new major campaign using the Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition core set.

heirs of blood image

This new content alone will likely be great news for Descent 2.0 fans.  The more exciting news, however, is that this campaign is fully playable with just the core set, relieving any requirement for those who have not purchased the myriad of Descent 2.0 expansions and additional content to be able to purchase and play the game.  The logical question that follows is whether the new campaign will scale well for those players who do own expansions and wish to add in all the various combinations of heroes, monsters, rules additions and tiles.

Much like previous campaigns in the Descent 2.0 realm of Terrinoth, the outcome of each encounter in Heirs of Blood has consequences for the entire campaign.  Fantasy Flight’s website outlines the campaign plot summarily:

In the first act, you and your fellow heroes must foil Eliza’s initial incursions into the hidden kingdom. You may battle goblins to retrieve treasure from a hidden cavern, or attempt to keep Eliza Farrow from completing an unclean ritual. When the second act begins, Saradyn is launched into open war against the dark forces and machinations of the Farrows. You may battle a rival army amid a graveyard filled with undead or seek to infiltrate the haunted dungeon of Khinn! The Heirs of Blood campaign concludes with an unprecedented, three-encounter finale that brings Saradyn’s two claimants together in a magical showdown that will determine the fate of the kingdom. Your heroes are all that stand between the rightful heir and a grisly demise.

The scheduled release for the Heirs of Blood campaign book is the first quarter of 2015.  For more information about Heirs of Blood or of the Descent 2.0 system, visit the Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition pages on Fantasy Flight’s website HERE.