Heroscape

Today Restoration Games gave what is arguably their biggest announcement yet. Unmatched is the restoration of Star Wars: Epic Duels, whose design became the basis of Heroscape. That’s not the only thing that makes this announcement so big, however, as Unmatched isn’t just one game – it will be a line of products featuring a variety of themes and intellectual properties. It’s such an undertaking, in fact, that Restoration Games isn’t doing this alone; They are collaborating with Mondo Games, the publishers behind The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, who will be bringing their extended partnerships to bear.

“Unmatched pits two or four players against each other, with each player taking the role of their own hero. Each hero is represented by a unique ability and a custom deck of action cards, and each set comes with a double-sided board with different battlefields. The first two sets in the line are Battle of Legends, Vol. 1 and the eponymous Robin Hood vs. Big Foot. The Battle of Legends set includes King Arthur, Alice, Medusa, and Sinbad. Heroes from any set can be played against each other, making for surprising and exciting matchups and tons of replayability.”

These first sets will debut at Gen Con this year, but that’s far from all of it. There will be a Bruce Lee limited edition pack and a Buffy the Vampire Slayer set expected to release later this year as well. This is exactly the kind of thing fans have been clamoring for since Restoration Games started taking requests, and it’s fun to see it come alive at last and with so many cool characters to kick it all off. Unfortunately this one article alone won’t do it all justice, so to learn more about Unmatched be sure to visit Restoration Games’ website for further reading and updates.

If you are looking for a place where you, your friends, and family, can get away from it all while still enjoying a board game library, there’s a new destination you may want to consider. Gamers Ranch, located 2-hours west of St. Louis, Missouri at the edge of the Ozarks Mountains, is now open and booking! This 167-acre vacation spot is great for a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking, and RC racing, and is also particularly suited for board gaming and includes a well-stocked selection of games, amenities, and indoor comforts. As described on the website:

“We specialize in 3+ night board gaming vacations for groups of up to 20 people. Thousands of board games and various outdoor activities ensure you will have a memorable vacation. Enjoy a range of water sports from swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding. Hike, bike, or ride around our many forest trails. Shoot some hoops and take on your friends on our indoor half court basketball area. You’ll find something for everyone at Gamers Ranch.”

Honestly, there’s so much to see at the ranch that the selected quote above doesn’t (and can’t) really do it justice, but there are tons of photos in their gallery which makes up for this in spades. Not only are their outdoor features and activities phenomenal and really could take up all of the time of one’s stay alone, but the board game collection isn’t shabby at all. I was quite surprised to see how much Heroscape was on those shelves, not to mention the large variety of family and heavy-weight games. Just looking at it all is a lot of fun and that is a good sign that the folks here have put a lot of thoughtfulness and heart into making this a special getaway. If you’d like to learn more about Gamers Ranch, please check out their website for a comprehensive list of activities, photos, and booking instructions.

Soaring Rhino has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Shifting Realms, a 2-4 player competitive tile and card game by Jeff Van Ness and Craig Van Ness, the lead designer of Heroscape. In Shifting Realms, the players create a mixed game world with structure tiles, story and task cards, and a board from 3 different realms.

The players then play as one of 4 unique factions, sending out scouts and soldiers, building structures and completing world specific tasks. When 2 of the 3 worlds’ end game conditions are met, the game ends and the player with the most victory points wins. Shifting Realms comes with boards, tiles and cards for 5 worlds, plastic cubes and meeples for the 4 factions, over 100 plastic resource pieces, and a scoring track.

The Kickstarter will continue until March 12, and is due to deliver to backers July 2017. For more information or to back the campaign, click here.

magic monster banner

Magic: the Gathering, Arena of Planeswalkers has been billed as the successor to the Heroscape game and was released this year to much excitement and hype.  The initial release included a good amount of material and played as a skirmish type game pitting heroes (called planeswalkers) against each other to see who survives.  The first expansion, Battle for Zendikar, will include more spells, two new heroes (Kiora and Ob Nixilis), and a colorless enemy hero, the Eldrazi Ruiner.  Also in this expansion are rules for a one vs. many style game where the planeswalkers will team up to fight against the gigantic Eldrazi Ruiner (with matching enormous “mini”) to destroy him before he devours you.

You can head over to the Gizmodo Toyland site to read more about the expansion and see some pictures, expected release date is January 2016.

arena planes

The potential was there for all to see, putting Heroscape in the Magic the Gathering universe was a match made in heaven. The big question has been whether the game would be expanded.  Well the wait is over as Gathering Magic have revealed the first details and photos of the new Battle for Zendikar expansion. Anyone sensitive to spoilers in the MTG universe should beware as the new Planeswalkers in the set have implications for the ongoing storylines.

The expansion unlocks two new Planeswalkers – Kiora and Ob Nixilis – and new spells and squads for these characters. Kiora is the first character in the game to draw upon two colors of mana. Ob Nixilis has regained his power “by manipulating desperate native populations” and his quest will not end “until he sees Zendikar reduced to dust”

From the picture it looks like the set contains a small number of desert terrain pieces so those hoping to expand their terrain may have to wait a bit longer. But this new expansion is due to launch in Jan 2016 and is hopefully a sign of many more to come.