Magic: The Gathering

Keyforge is a game that everyone took notice of since its announcement one year ago at GenCon 2018. This collectible card game from esteemed designer Richard Garfield (Bunny Kingdom, King of Tokyo, and some other famous card games) shook the world when it was announced that each and every deck would be completely unique, with its own logo, its own name, and its own set of cards. But Keyforge delivered, and delivered well, giving the gamers a captivating, unique take on the collectible card game.

This GenCon, Fantasy Flight Games announced Keyforge: Worlds Collide, the third set for this ground breaking game. The initial release and Keyforge: Age of Ascension generally used the same cards and rules, but now everything will change. However, Fantasy Flight has made it clear that Worlds Collide is a companion set and not a sequel, and this new set of cards, while playing well against the initial offerings, does not require the previous sets to play.

The biggest change to Worlds Collide is the introduction of two new houses to the decks. Mars and Sanctum have been rotated out, and have made room for the Saurian Republic and the Grand Star Alliance. Don’t worry though – Mars and Sanctum should make a return appearance in future sets. The Saurians, having existed for 65 million years, are among the oldest races in the Crucible, and pride themselves on philosophy, in spite of their overwhelming prowess. In stark contrast, the Grand Star Alliance are very recent additions, coming from a group of explorers that crash landed in the Crucible. This melting pot, polyglot and multi-race collective has managed to bring dozens of systems into peaceful democratic alliances, amassing quite the technological ability in the process.

Worlds Collide also brings some new mechanisms into the game, such as Warding and Enraging. Wards can now be placed on cards in play, each ward protecting them from a single attack. In contrast, enraging a creature forces it to attack if at all possible. Players can also Exalt creatures, placing a precious Æmber on the card, making the creature more powerful. However, like captured Æmber, when this creature is defeated the Æmber goes to the opponent.

Much like the original games, Keyforge: Worlds Collide will come in individual Archon Decks, as well as a two player starter set with all the necessary tokens and trackers. Additionally the Deluxe Archon Deck will come with a single deck and all the tokens. Finally, the Premium Box will come with two unique decks, 5 tuck boxes to hold sleeved cards, a token box, a chain dial, tokens and stickers. Look for all of the sets of Keyforge: Worlds Collide in stores in the 4th Quarter of 2019. For more information, check out the Fantasy Flight press release here.

WizKids has announced a new social deduction game set on the place of Ravnica in the Magic: The Gathering universe. In Ravnica: Inquisition, players take on the role of a representative of a Ravnican guild that is either loyal to the Gatewatch or an Agent of Bolas.  The Gatewatch loyalists are tasked with discovering who the Agents of Bolas are, while the Agents simply need to survive in order to further the schemes of Nicol Bolas.  During the game, the players will elect leaders for each of the 5 colors. Each color leader has a special power they can use to further their goals, so it is important to gain those positions and keep the opposition from gaining control.  Once all the color leaders have been elected, a vote is held to eliminate 1 player. Once the dust has settled, players will reveal their roles, and if the Agents of Bolas were eliminated, the Gatewatch wins!

Ravnica: Inquisition plays 5-10 players, ages 14+, in 15-30 minutes.  Contents includes 10 role cards, 10 guild cards, 5 color leader cards, 5 targeting cards, ablaze marker, ultimate price marker, notepad, pencil, and a rulebook. Look for Ravnica: Inquisition at your friendly local game store in June 2019.

Wizards of the Coast has, for a few years now, been making efforts to ease any barriers to enter Magic: The Gathering. Players really are spoiled for choice in that area – there already are many video games that feature guided play and starter decks galore. As of October 5th, the trading card game giant is innovating a slight degree by combining guided play with physical decks via Spellslinger Starter Kits. As described via their news post:

“The Spellslinger Starter Kit will contain two 60-card decks, two quick-start learn to play guides, a booklet featuring the world and rules of Magic, two cards to help players get started with each deck, and two spindown dice. […] The decks will be ready to play out of the box—meaning they’re meant not to be shuffled. The card included on the top of each deck will walk players through starting the game with predetermined steps for the order the decks come in.”

These are an excellent way to jump start an interest in Magic as well as teach in a more natural, hands-on way. Not everyone learns a new game easily by a rulebook or YouTube video, and the setup for the kits allows for two players to learn at once! The cards featured in the decks are nothing to scoff at either, and they even feature some as-of-yet unrevealed cards from the upcoming Guilds of Ravnica set. The Spellslinger Starter Kits will be available at all retailers where MtG cards are sold, so if you or anyone you know are interested in learning via this streamlined experience be on the lookout for one of these at your favorite store.

Just revealed at the GAMA Trade Show in Reno, Nevada, two enticing new products are on their way from WizKids themed on the ever-popular Magic: The Gathering trading card game. The first, Heroes of Dominaria, is a euro-style board game where 2 to 4 players explore iconic regions from the series while collecting mana, recruiting heroes, and uncovering artifacts to press an advantage in this competitive game. There’s an element of territory control as planeswalkers will construct leylines and sites to capitalize on resources and locations in order to secure the most points and claim victory. As described in the press release:

     “In Magic: The Gathering: Heroes of Dominaria Board Game, players take on the role of a powerful Hero as they travel to the lands of Dominaria. As the player explores the ancient lands, they will need to build sites, rediscover lost artifacts, and confront the sinister Cabal in order to gain the resources needed to save the multiverse before rival Heroes do. […] The land of Dominaria is filled with adventure and excitement! In true Eurogame fashion, use strategy to score the most victory points and emerge victorious.”

Heroes of Dominaria will be releasing in two versions – a standard version and a premium version, the only difference being that the premium game will include 4 pre-painted miniatures. Speaking of miniatures, the second product revealed is the Magic: The Gathering Creature Forge: Overwhelming Swarm. This new line will start with 28 sculpts that are meant to be used as stand-ins for the most common creature tokens used in the card game. Magic players have been slightly spoiled for choice when it comes to token representation in their matches, but miniatures are not-at-all unwelcome and will surely be a compelling and eye-catching option. For more information regarding these two new products from WizKids, be sure to check out their press release and website for further updates.

Last year there was quite a bit of controversy created in the Magic the Gathering Tournament community when it was revealed that one of their active judges was on the sex offender registry.  The backlash was hard and fast against Wizards of the Coast and the Wizards Play Network that supplies judges for the tournaments, with many people saying they didn’t feel safe knowing that person was there.  Wizards of the Coast when faced with this ire decertified the judge immediately with the promise to make sure this doesn’t happen again.  Fast forward to today and the latest changes to the Terms and Conditions for the Wizards Play Network implements those promised changes by requiring background checks on all staff and volunteers related to the tournaments and within stores.  It also goes on to say that if they “appear on a sex offender registry (or its international equivalent), and/or have been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for a violent sexual offense or a crime against children“, they can not be a judge or hold any other position which requires interaction with the public.  Hopefully this change will assuage people’s fears and help to make the tournament scene more warm and welcome.  You can read the full changes and a message from Wizards of the Coast on the WPN website.

WizKids and Wizards of the Coast have announced expansion plans for a Magic: The Gathering product partnership. The new products are expected to include a line of Magic: The Gathering miniatures as well as a forthcoming board game. Wizards of the Coast and Wizkids had already worked on a line of products together based in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.

“We’re introducing a long-time, beloved brand to an all new medium,” said Justin Ziran, president of WizKids. “Producing high-quality miniatures and bringing to market captivating board games is at the heart of WizKids. We could not be more excited to extend our relationship with Wizards of the Coast with Magic: The Gathering.”

The initial product line will include pre-painted sculpted miniatures that will focus on token creature cards. Players enjoying the Magic: The Gathering card game will now be able to bring 3-d sculpts of their favorite figures to the table with them. Prepare to be intimidated!

The board game will pull content from the original universe of the trading card game. Players will take on the role of Planeswalkers as they explore Dominaria and try to establish connections to mana sources. Planeswalkers will have to act fast in  gathering power before their opponents while building a hand full of spell cards.

Both the new miniatures and the board game are currently scheduled for a Fall 2018 release date.

WizKids 
WizKids/NECA, LLC is a New Jersey-based game developer and publisher. WizKids first moved into the hobby with pioneering of the Combat Dial system featured in HeroClix, which went on to sell over 750 million game figures worldwide. Wizkids moved deeper into the hobby with tabletop games that included the award-winning Mage Knight, as well as the Dice Building Game mechanic used in both Quarriors! and the subsequent Dice Masters series of games.

Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast LLC is a subsidiary of gaming giant Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS). Wizards of the Coast is home to some of the biggest brands in gaming, including Magic: The Gather, Dungeons & Dragons, and Avalon Hill.

Amigo Spiel and Freizeit GmbH has launched Carnival of Monsters by famed designer Richard Garfield on Kickstarter. Currently at just over 45,000 Euro with 26 days remaining, Kicktraq has estimated the game trending towards 245,000 Euro which would be 100% of the goal amount. The anticipated shipping date for the game is August 2018.

The standard edition of the game requires a 45 Euro pledge, while the deluxe edition runs for 65 Euro and the Artist edition comes in at 99 Euro.

While best known for his work creating Magic: The Gathering, Richard Garfield has designed a long list of incredibly popular games including King of Tokyo, Androit: Netrunner, RoboRally and King of New York.

In his newest game, Garfield has brought the concept of lands back to card drafting. In Carnival of Monsters players will hunt the monsters legends are made of during the games four seasons.  Players will start with a limited number of Lands which are used to play Monsters.

Step right up, my lords and ladies, and prepare to be mystified by the most bizarre, the most exotic, the most fantastic sights you have ever yet to behold! Step behind this curtain—for the merest, tiniest contribution—and your world will be changed forever! For this is the Carnival of Monsters, and it offers a world of wonders!

Carnival of Monsters is recommended for 2-5 players aged 10 and up and takes around 45 minutes to play. Rules are already available to download.

Gameplay

At the beginning of each season players will be dealt eight cards which will include Monsters, additional Lands, or other cards that can improve the carnival. All players draft a single card, passing the rest to their neighbor. The card is then either played immediately or a player can pay a coin to save it for later play.

More lands allow players to bring out larger monsters. Every monster played is worth more end game points. The player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The standard edition of the game will include 240 cards

A Long History of Artists

The artists who are contributing to the project in combination have illustrated over 1,000 Magic: The Gathering cards in the past 25 years. The artists include:

  • John Avon – Cover & Logo Artist
  • Larry Elmore – Staff Cards Artist
  • Jesper Myrfors – Artist for Darkland Faction
  • Ron Spencer – Artist for Dreamlands Faction
  • Mark Tedin – Artist for Enchanted Forest Faction
  • Nene Thomas – Artist for Aerie Faction
  • Drew Tucker – Artist for Depths Faction
  • Pete Venters – Artist for Caves Faction

Cards are available to download and view.

Magic the Gathering is going to be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary next year and so there are lots of new things coming down the pipe in celebration.  To kick it off they have their Community Mananger Nate Price interview several folks about the upcoming Hour of Devastation and Ixalan sets that will be releasing in July and September respectively.  Also being announced are:

To read the full announcement you can head over to the Magic the Gathering site to help stoke that hype train for all these upcoming releases.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to release Spynet, a new card game by famed designer Richard Garfield.

As a spymaster your task is to dominate the espionage trade by recruiting undercover intelligence agents to complete missions. Two to Four players can either work alone or with teammates to gather all the necessary information required to recruit agents and disrupt the plans of their opponents in this card drafting game.

Game Play

The deck in play contains agents, funding and missions. Players take turns drafting cards from a series of face down row of cards. A player can look at the first card (or stack of cards if there are multiple cards in that spot in the row) and take the card(s) or return them back to the row. If you put them back you can look at the second stack of cards, the third stack etc. Once you take a stack you add one card to each empty spot in the row of cards as well as to each stack that you looked at but did not choose, sweetening the stack for future players.

Having the knowledge of passed over cards means players will know at least a little about what cards their opponents are collecting. Success in building your agency will require paying attention to what your opponent is gathering while at the same time doing your best to hide your own intentions.

Players can lay down multiple cards in a turn, playing one agent in any of the four espionage fields (tech, infiltration, counterespionage or enforcement), attaching any number of funding cards to boost the power of that agent, and one mission card in each of the espionage fields the player currently has the highest power in. Complete enough missions and you can claim the title of ultimate spymaster.

Spynet is scheduled for a 2017 release.

Richard Garfield & Z-Man Games

Richard Garfield (whose birthday its later this month –  June 26!) is a game designer and mathematics professor who is best known for creating the card game Magic: The Gathering. Garfield is also the designer of the games RoboRally, Netrunner, King of Tokyo, Android:Netrunner, King of New York and many more.

Originally founded in 1999 to publish the card game Shadowfist, Z-Man Games has gone on to publish over 100 additional games including Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy as well as the english translations to Carcassonne and Agricola.

 

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)