science fiction

hired guns preview

Fantasy Flight is offering us all a preview of the newest expansion pack for their wildly popular tactical combat/campaign game Star Wars: Imperial Assault. The Hired Guns Villain Pack introduces two new characters (with miniatures) to the game, specifically, the Hired Guns. These are low cost, front-line grunts who are relatively easy to kill, but they can strike at range, use surges to increase their accuracy, deal extra damage or pierce enemy armor and they get a free attack when they’re killed. For a slightly higher cost in points, you can also use the Elite Hired Guns, who are more accurate and harder to kill.

The pack also includes several new missions, such as a mission to stop the creation of an alliance between the Empire and the many mercenaries of the galaxy or a mission which allows the Imperials to win simply by wounding all of the Heroes on the board.

New Agenda cards allow you to grant other non-unique figures a Parting Shot ability just like the Hired Guns have, or to discard Supply cards that Heroes have drawn by interacting with a crate. The Last Resort Skirmish Upgrade (for a cost of only 1 point) will allow you to cause even more damage to your enemies when your figures are destroyed.

And finally, the pack also includes new Command cards that may allow you to boost a Smuggler character at an opportune moment, escape from an enemy Melee character at the last minute or even lower the point value of one of your non-unique battle groups that was just destroyed.

Be sure to check out the full preview here.

code of nine

Z-Man Games has put out a YouTube teaser detailing the fascinating setting for its Gen Con release, an English edition of Code of Nine. The game itself features a variety of available actions, only some of which will score points. According to Z-Man’s description, “… what will generate VPs is decided by eight so-called memory cards that are dealt at the start of the game, with each player getting to look at only two of these.”

For more detail about the game, you might check out Tom’s review of the international edition. No rulebook is available from Z-Man as yet, so it’s hard to say whether there’ll be any meaningful updates or changes.

orion

Enhancing your tabletop experience with sound seems to be the new trend, and Darkraven Europe is continuing to expand their library with Sci-Fi soundscapes to help amp up the atmosphere of your next game.  The new collection of tracks includes soundscapes such as flying in a hover car, floating off-world, partaking in various parts of the city, or being in a mech battle.  There are lots of samples for you to listen to and get a good idea what what you are buying and more will be added as the campaign continues.  In total they plan to have at least 26 tracks which will add up to over 6 hours of sound for all your sci-fi/cyberpunk gaming needs.  As more stretch goals are unlocked more tracks will be added and as a bonus they are holding a miniature painting contest with their soundscape libraries as prizes.

Head over to the campaign HERE to pledge while there is still time.  The campaign will end May 14th and as of this writing they have raised 78% of their funds so they are well on their way to being funded.

space attack

This looks to be another strong year for Stronghold games with the proclamation of 2015 being “The Year of Survive!”.  Survive! one of the core reprints for Stronghold will be seeing a reimplementation and a bundling of 3 existing expansions.  In particular they will be releasing “Survive: Space Attack!” and a number of expansions for it.

“When we were approached by Stronghold Games to design a new game based on ‘Survive!’, Brian, Sydney, and I were very excited”, said Geoff Engelstein. “The great game of ‘Survive!’ has truly stood the test of time, and has enriched the hobby for a generation. It is a game with a legacy, and one on which we are honored to be working.”

Slated for release around September this announcement reaffirms Stronghold games firm commitment to the core games within their catalog.  This melds both a classic game and the companies strong roots in science fiction including the Engelstein’s other games compromising the Space Cadets line of games.
Keep an eye out for further news on the release of this great game and its expansions.
space attack stuff
Publishers description below
Survive: Space Attack! is a reimagining of the best-selling game, Survive: Escape From Atlantis! The redesign of this classic game has been done by Brian, Sydney, and Geoff Engelstein, who have previously designed Space Cadets and Space Cadets: Dice Duel, plus expansions for each of these games, for Stronghold Games. 
 
In Survive: Space Attack!, players are escaping from a space station as it comes under attack by aliens. While Survive: Space Attack! utilizes similar base mechanics to the original Survive! game designed by Julian Courtland-Smith, additional features of the new game include:
  • Double-sided Game Board: enables a variety of starting setups each with its own challenges.
  • New Fighter Ships: gives players the ability to capture and redeploy alien creatures.
  • Laser Turrets: a new weapon system to defend the space station against the aliens.
  • New Tile Abilities: new powers that are combinable, plus four different tile thicknesses for a 3-D look.
  • New Alien Creature Powers: alien creatures may evolve to become even more powerful.

Survive: Space Attack! – The Crew Strikes Back! is a mini-expansion for the new Survive: Space Attack!.  This mini-expansion will introduce crew members of the space station, each with their own unique power, which will help you escape from the besieged space station. This mini-expansion will contain 20 crew cards.

Survive: Space Attack! – 5-6 Player is another mini-expansion for the new Survive: Space Attack!. This mini-expansion will enable players to enjoy the new game with up to 6 players. This mini-expansion will contain 20 new Spaceman tokens.

Survive: Dolphins & Squids & 5-6 Players…Oh My! is an expansion for the original game Survive: Escape From Atlantis!. This expansion contains the components and gameplay modules that have been available previously in three separate mini-expansions.  Each of these modules can be added separately into the play of the original Survive: Escape From Atlantis! or they can all be combined into one big game:
  • Dolphins & Dive Dice: adds the chaos of ‘Dive Dice’, but also the helpful Dolphins to ward off creatures.
  • The Giant Squid: adds the Giant Squid creature, which can attack the Explorers on land or in boats.
  • 5-6 Players: enables players to enjoy the original game with up to 6 players.

 

 

Impressions Game Distribution Services has announced an April 20th distributor ship date for the following new releases!

Print

Antidote

In this cooperative card game for 2-7 players, you are one of a group of laboratory scientists working for a giant chemical research conglomerate.  In a series of experiments, your group has accidentally released a deadly toxin.  You and the other players must work together to discover the antidote before it’s too late.  When all your cards run out, everyone must drink their antidote and hope that it’s the right one…

forge war

Forge War

In Forge War, players take on the role of leader of fledgling adventurer’s guild, and the king has tasked the guilds with ridding the hordes that are taking over the lands.  Guilds will be collecting resources such as metals and precious gems, as well as developing weapons to successfully meet the king’s demands.  Forge War is a competitive game of economic management and spatial reasoning in a high fantasy theme, and features much player interaction and many meaningful decisions. The core game lasts about 1 hour, with a longer 3-stage game for a full epic experience.

Metamorphosis Alpha: Book of Handouts

This book contains 16 illustrations that can be shown to players to supplement a game of Metamorphosis Alpha, to be used at the game master’s whim.

dungeon crawl

Dungeon Crawl Classics #84 and #85: Peril on the Purple Planet, The Making of the Ghost Ring

Two new modules will be released in the Dungeon Crawl Classics line, Peril on the Purple Planet (#84) and The Making of the Ghost Ring (#85).  In #84, players will be striving to conquer the alien world known as the Purple Planet without falling to its traps.

Peril on the Purple Planet is a 32-page adventure module with gatefold map and wraparound covers, and includes the following components:

• The Purple Planet Companion, a 64-page supplement detailing a Purple Planet campaign.
• Escape from the Purple Planet, a 12-page starter adventure for 0-level characters.
• Lost Tombs of the Ancients, a 24-page collection of five more short adventures.
• A three-panel judge’s screen.
• A 16-page Player’s Guide.
• A 12-page book of handouts.

In #85, a level 4 adventure, players will be coming to the aid of a ghostly enchantress, which will lead them to a quest to create a magic ring.  A separate version of module #85 will be available, which features original sketches by the artist.

pax

Pax

Enter Rome at the time of the slave uprisings under Spartacus! The escaped rebels have managed to gain influence and power. Rome is attempting to undermine the stronger armies of the slaves in order to restore “pax”, or peace – but only for personal gain. Will the Empire collapse under the strain, or will their promises to insurgents succeed in drawing them to their side?

In PAX, players take on the role of the escaped slave underground.  Using their cards, they will attempt to undermine the Roman establishment and increase their sphere of influence.  Players will win the game by developing more strength than Rome (and any other player).  This game involves tricky tactical decisions, and a player can, through deception and intrigue, side with Rome to aid in a victory over the slave revolt.

PAX is for 1-4 players ages 10 and up, and plays in 30 minutes.

pergamemnon

Pergamemnon

They were the most powerful nations of their time: the Carthaginians, Romans, Hellenes, Egyptians and Persians. Pergamemnon assembles all of these peoples for an epic showdown.

Pergamemnon is a deck-builder in which players will become on of the most powerful nations in antiquity, and through direct conflict, will vie for victory.  Nations will also be able to conjure mythical creatures to influence the battle in their favor.

Pergamemnon is a game for 2-5 players ages 10 and up, and plays in 45 minutes.

Shadow of the Elder Gods 

Shadow of the Elder Gods is a cooperative, card-driven game set in the Lovecraft universe, specifically in the city of Arkham.  As the citizens of the Miskatonic Valley, 1-4 players will work together to wield the awful power of the Ring of Shadows to stop the dark forces threatening to end all.

space junk

Space Junk

Space Junk is a board game that depicts a futuristic reality show, in which the players contest to clean up the heavily-littered atmosphere of Earth by building the most ridiculous space ships they can out of the junk.  What’s more, contestants will be jumping into hot-seated races against one another in their contraptions, making weapons out of whatever they can find to get an edge.  Space Junk is a game for 2-6 players with many different cards to allow for a greater variety of gameplay.

All of the games listed above are scheduled to be distributed to dealers on April 20, 2015.  For more information on these releases, visit the Impressions News page here.

armada wave 2

Imperial-class Star Destroyers, MC80 Mon Calamari cruisers, Raider-class corvettes, Slave I, the Millennium Falcon, and more! They’re all coming in Armada Wave II, and the shots these ships will fire are bound to shape the course of the Galactic Civil War.

The second wave of expansions for Star Wars: Armada has been announced by Fantasy Flight Games, and features five new expansion packs:

  • Imperial-class Star Destroyer Expansion Pack
  • MC30c Frigate Expansion Pack
  • Home One Expansion Pack
  • Rogues and Villains Expansion Pack
  • Imperial Raider Expansion Pack

armada huge ship

Imperial-Class Star Destroyer

In the Galactic Civil War, the Imperial-class Star Destroyer was the cornerstone flagship of the Imperial Navy.  This battleship expansion pack will feature one pre-painted miniature, two ship cards, three command dials, eighteen upgrades, and all requisite tokens.  Additionally this pack includes a new type of defense token: Contain.  The Contain defense token allows the Imperial-class Star Destroyer to cancel the standard critical effect of a shot that passes through your shields to your hull, effectively minimizing what would be a significant blow.

MC30c Frigate

A valuable attack vessel for the Rebellion, the MC30c Frigate is of Mon Calamari design and is intended as a quick-strike attack ship.  As nimble as it is powerful, this ship can attack with five attack dice from both its left and right hull zones.  The tradeoff, however, is in its lack of hull plating, making this fast ship vulnerable to attack once it gets within range of the enemy.  This ship can be fielded as either the MC30c Scout Frigate or MC30c Torpedo Frigate.  This expansion includes one pre-painted MC30c frigate miniature, two command dials and ten upgrade cards.

Home One: MC80 Star Cruiser

Admiral Ackbar’s legendary battle cruiser enters the fray sporting attacks with six dice from the left and right hull zones.  What’s more, when Ackbar himself is at the helm, he can add yet another two attack dice to the roll.  This makes for an unshakeable answer to any Imperial attack.  This mighty expansion pack features one large-size, pre-painted miniature MC80 star cruiser, two ship cards, three command dials, and fourteen upgrades.

Imperial Raider

Originally designed as a unique anti-starfighter cruiser for the Star Wars: X-Wing miniatures game, this ship sports enough firepower to easily dispatch squadrons of Rebel star fighters and, when necessary, to unload concentrated volleys into the broadside of a battle cruiser.  The ship includes a pre-painted miniature, command dial, speed dial, and all the tokens you need to enter the fray.  Among its eight upgrade cards, you’ll find Ordnance Experts, a new commander, Quad Laser Turrets, and two unique titles.

rogues villians armada

Rogues and Villains

The famous (and infamous) heroes and villains of the galaxy enter the battle in this expansion pack, including Han Solo, Boba Fett, and a handful of the galaxy’s most notorious rogues and villains.  Each miniature in this pack features single ships that represent well-known freighters, patrol craft, and bombers in the Star Wars universe that can be flown by non-unique pilots or by aces.  New keywords such as Rogue (allows a ship to move and attack when activated), Grit, and Intel make these rogue starships unique and fun to add to the game table.

These five expansion packs of Armada Wave II are scheduled to arrive in the third quarter of 2015.  For more information, visit the FFG website here.

Terry Pratchett signing books at Powell’s – Robin Zebrowski CC-A

A true literary visionary, Sir Terry Pratchett, passed away yesterday. He wrote 40 novels set in his imaginative world of fantasy meets science-fiction meets mythology. Discworld was, and remains, a triumph of world-building and imagination. Pratchett’s writing reflected an artist who appreciated sharp humor and wonderful whimsy, and never took himself too seriously.

As much as we might want to mourn Mr. Pratchett, we’ll instead celebrate him as any self-respecting gamer would: with his games. Well not his games really, but board games inspired by his works of fiction. Let take a look at this odd-but-wonderful collection of titles.

Ankh-Morpork

Ankh-Morpork was designed by Martin Wallace and was published in 2011. Probably the best known of the Pratchett-based board game lot, Ankh-Morpork has players vying for control in Discworld’s vast city-state of the same name. It’s a card-driven area control game with hidden goals representing many familiar locations and personalities from the Discworld universe.  The art, especially on the cards, is a delightful combination of surreal beauty, fantasy tropes, and humor. What could be more fitting?

Guards! Guards!

Guards! Guards! was designed by Leonard Boyd and David Branshaw. Like Ankh-Morporrk, it was released in 2011, also takes place in Pratchett’s famed fictional city-state, and also involves area control. It’s déjà fu! In this case, however, players take on the role of city guards racing to collect the Eight Great Spells. Through alliances, influence, item acquisition, challenges, and volunteer recruitment, these hidden spells are revealed. It’s utter whimsy and completely evocative of the off-kilter fiction of the Discworld series. Guards! Guards! is the kind of game you play in costume and that’s truly wonderful.

The Witches

Martin Wallace followed up his 2011 game, Ankh-Morpork, with another Discworld gem: The Witches. Players take on the role of, well, witches making their way through the magical lands of Lancre developing their unique skills and taking on increasingly difficult (and ridiculous) challenges. It a breezy family game that can be played cooperatively, competitively, or both. Like many of the other entries on this list, familiar faces from throughout Pratchett’s novels make their appearance in The Witches cementing the players firmly in the wackiness that is Discworld.

Watch Out

Now for something a little different. Watch Out, published in 2004, is an abstract strategy game designed by Trevor Truran that has players trying to move their pieces off the opposite side of the board. It sounds simple, but the board is comprised of tiles of varying types and colors representing different locations and obstacles. Legend has it that Mr. Truran actually consulted with Pratchett on the development of this little-known game. Cool!

Thud

Before Watch Out, Trevor Truran published Thud in 2002. Thud is another abstract strategy game which actually comes directly from the novels. It simulates the Battle of Koom Valley, an epic struggle between trolls and dwarfs, and is played like asymmetrical Chess. Any game where flinging dwarves is a viable strategy is aces in my book.

I wanted to give some honorable mentions to a handful of smaller games and variants that add just as much to the Discworld games oeuvre as the rest of the list: Cripple Mr. Onion, Clacks, and Die Siedler von Catan: Rincewind und der Tourist / Die Gilden von Ankh-Morpork. Check out BoardGameGeek for more on these. It’s worth the read.

These games are a worthy legacy for one of the most influential writers in fantasy fiction. I hope that more games are developed exploring Discworld. I say we celebrate this great man’s passing by immersing ourselves in his fascinating world, be it his novels, interviews, video games, or his board games. Thank you, Sir Terry Pratchett, for enriching our lives with your enduring creativity. We’ll miss you on this flat circle of land riding upon a giant space turtle.

Courtesy Fashionably Geek

 

Manage the shuttles and docking bays of the Far Space Foundry to lead the Federation to success in this strategic game for 1-4 players.

Terra Nova Games has announced their current Kickstarter project, Far Space Foundry.  In this game designed by Dan Manfredini, players take command of a team of Federation pilots tasked with managing the transit, storage, and processing of asteroid ore, swindling with the Galactic Traders, hiring the expertise of veteran pilots from the foundry cantina, manufacturing and charging finished products, and upgrading the fleet. The recruit that can best load his or her freighters to supply the peacekeepers on the front lines will win the game.

Far Space Foundry implements a creative use of the rondel as its core mechanism, but also incorporates worker placement and spacial management on a double-sided game board.  The game begins on one side of the board, Space Foundry Alpha, where players will mine and process ore to be later shipped to Space Foundry Beta on the flip side of the game board.  At Space Foundry Beta, players will use the processed ore to manufacture various technologies and upgrade one’s fleet.  After players have played all their pilot cards and loaded up their freighters with goods, points will be scored based on the value of manufactured goods, leftover resources, maintaining a variety of goods, and the amount of credits in your possession.  Points can be lost for any ships that have not been upgraded, or that have empty spaces in their cargo holds.  Efficiency is the key to victory in Far Space Foundry.

Included in a copy of Far Space Foundry is the following:

  • Double-sided board and modules
  • 32 Federation cards
  • 30 Alien cards
  • 8 Shuttle tokens
  • One 8-sided die
  • 8 Product cards
  • 48 Product tokens
  • 15 Credit tokens
  • 30 Ore tokens
  • 2 Asteroids
  • Score pad

This Kickstarter project features a free print-and-play, a solitaire variant and multiple stretch goals.  A pledge of $39 or more will include one copy of Far Space Foundry and all stretch goals.  There is an additional shipping cost for backers outside of the USA.  The primary funding goal for this project is $25,250, and over $10,000 has currently been raised.  The funding date for this project is Thursday, April 2, 2015.

For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

Exodus Edge of Extinction

NSKN Games has announced a long-awaited expansion for their space “4X” board game, Exodus: Proxima Centauri.

Lead one of six unique, fully developed and beautifully illustrated factions with their own histories, strengths, unique special abilities and a set of new, exclusive technologies.

Play as the Sirius Theocracy, cunning and deceptive masters of politics bound together by a mutual belief in a benevolent deity.

Or, you may select the role of the Arctic Dominion, shrewd businessmen who follow the mantra that if there is a price on anything, and if it is the right price, they can deliver.  And there is a price on everything.

Players may also select the role of the Han-Xia Dynasty, masters of adapting to new environments, making them effective at adapting Centurian technology.  Additionally, their cruel but frighteningly effective methods of training pilots makes their space fleets something to be truly feared.

The Titan Diarchy is a faction that allows players to control the true masters of scientific research and technological development.  They believe that it is through the progress of science that humanity will truly learn to live in peace, and they will seek peaceful resolutions to conflict when they can.

The Solaris Confederation is a faction that just wants to be left alone in peace.  They are committed, however, to end any fights others begin with technological surprises and mysterious conflict resolutions.

The Blackwater faction is built around a vast economical power, and is what is left of a secret organization on Earth.  Blackwater seeks to, quite simply, conquer space and become the supreme rulers of humanity.

Exodus: the Edge of Extinction is a an expansion worthy of the base game, introducing asymmetric powers and new game play options to the critically acclaimed Exodus: Proxima Centauri Revised Edition. Bigger fleets, custom action cards, novel technologies and completely new mechanisms like the Combat Cards add a whole new layer to the spectrum of strategies already available in the base game.

exodus 2

Exodus: Edge of Extinction expands the base game of Exodus: Proxima Centauri by adding the following components:

  • 24 plastic space ships
  • 24 ship markers
  • 6 faction boards
  • 6 player summaries
  • 36 action cards
  • 44 combat cards
  • 25 resistance combat cards
  • 15 political cards
  • 15 resistance cards
  • 30 population cubes
  • 50+ cardboard markers
  • rules sheet for the expansion

The Kickstarter for this project includes multiple stretch goals, such as double-sided player aids, a solo-player expansion, signed lithographs, and additional cards, miniatures, and dice.

As of this posting, this Kickstarter project currently has met nearly $20,000 of its $28,000 goal with 20 days remaining for the funding period.  For more information or to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

specterops minis

Plaid Hat Games has some more news about the science fiction deduction game Specter Ops by Emerson Matsuuchi.  According to the website, one A.R.K. agent is infiltrating the Raxxon facility, seeking out and retrieving three mission targets, and trying to escape alive.  Meanwhile, the A.R.K. hunters are trying to eliminate said agent before completing the tasks.  The game is 2-5 player and plays in about an hour.

For more information on gameplay and a look at all eight of the character miniatures, click here.

spector ops minis 2