Tournament play

The 31st annual European Boardgames Championships [EuropeMasters] were held on October 26th, 2019, at the Spiel in Essen, Germany, with 38 teams participating from 12 different countries, a new record. Nine games were nominated for play in March 2019: Gùgōng, Solenia, Crown of Emara, Key Flow, Underwater Cities, Everdell, Coimbra, Carpe Diem, and Newton. From this nomination list, four games were selected for the tournament: Gùgōng, Solenia, Coimbra, and Newton. The committee stated that in selecting the games for play, they look for different gaming mechanisms as well as the play time for the games.

There is a complex schedule for the tournament with so many teams involved. According to the Championship’s Pressmap, “Per round each player individually can earn up to 5 points by winning the game at his table. The maximum team score is therefore 20 points per round. And a maximum of 80 points throughout the whole tournament.”

For 2019, the team Brettspielteam Hamburg from Germany was the overall champion with 67 points, followed closely by teams Das Team mit dem Paukenschlag (also from Germany) with 64 points and Za pet minut (from the Czech Republic) with 62 points. In addition to the team winners, there were individual winners: Ondřej Demel and Michal Konfršt, both from the Czech Republic, and Thomas Winheller from Germany.

If you are interested in learning more about the European Championships, be sure and check out the tournament’s website here.

Compass Games Expo 2018 will be held at the Radisson Hotel Cromwell (Cromwell, CT) over Veterans Day Weekend (Nov. 9-12, 2018).  The Expo offers a special guest rate and complimentary breakfast as well as:

  • Monster Games and Open-Gaming
  • Designer-hosted Playtest Sessions
  • Tournament Play
  • Seminars
  • Group Breakfast
  • Door Prizes
  • Compass Games Exhibitor Hours for on-site sales (special attendee discounts!)

Full Expo registration fee is $45 or $20 for single-day attendance.  There is an Early Registration Special that offers a Compass Game Expo shirt for FREE if you register for the full event ($45) by January 31, 2018. The shirts are also available for purchase separately on-site for $15.

Doors open Friday, Nov. 9 at 9:00 A.M. and close Monday, Nov. 12 at 3:00 P.M.  Gaming runs around-the-clock.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced plans to release a Revised Core Set for Android: Netrunner The Card Game. Along with a revised core set will come significant changes to tournament play.

Based on the original card game by legendary designer Richard Garfield, Android: Netrunner The Card Game remains an asymetrical two player card game set in a dystopian Android future where subversive netrunners face off against the monolithic megacorps in an effort to control data.


The more things change, the more they stay the same

The concept of Android: Netrunner remains the same. one player assumes control of a monolithic megacorporation and it’s near infinite resources. A second player take on the role of a “runner,” a cybercriminal attempting to bypass the megacorporation’s defenses and steal data. Corps gain points by advancing agendas, while runners steal points by stealing agendas from the corps. Both sides attempt to gain their points through clever card play and use of hidden information.

What cards are available to you and to your opponent set the stage for this showdown. The Revised Core Set will include 247 player cards, 133 Corps cards and 144 Runner cards to do battle with.

What’s New?

While the Revised Core Set creates a new entry point for Android: Netrunner, it does not introduce any new cards into the game. Players who own the original Core Set along with the Data Packs available in the Genesis Cycle and the Spin Cycle will already own everything available. While card art and quantities of cards vary from those in the Core Set and Data Packs, the actual card abilities and text will remain the same.

Changes to Tournament Play

With thousands of cards now in the Netrunner universe, the incredible growth of the game has also created a card pool so large it has created a barrier to new players and in developing new strategies. Similar to other LCG and CCG formats, Netrunner Tournament Play has introduced a system refresh system that will mean older products will no longer be tournament legal as new cards are introduced.

For Netrunner Standard Play, five to seven cycles of Data Packs will be the limit to what is now legal. Whenever an eighth cycle would be added to the standard pool, the two oldest cycles are rotated out of Standard Play.

The new changes to legal play take effect October 1st. Effective October 1st tournament play will consist of the new Revised Core Set and the following expansions:

  • Creation and Control
  • Honor and Profit
  • Order and Chaos
  • Data and Destiny
  • Terminal Directive (player cards only)
  • Lunar Cycle Data Packs
  • SanSan Cycle Data Packs
  • Mumbad Cycle Data Packs
  • Flashpoint Cycle Data Packs
  • Red Sand Cycle Data Pack

5 Years of Running

Android: Netrunner the Card Game has only been around for the past 5 years, released in 2012. While a reimplementation of the original 1996 Netrunner game by Richard Garfield, the 2012 edition proved much more popular. Award for the new game included:

Dice Tower Top 10 lists that have featured the revised game over the past 5 years include:

Steve Jackson Games has announced the release schedule for the Munchkin Collectible Card Game.

Three fixed starter sets will get released in February 2018. Each starter set will include one randomized 12 card booster set. The three starter sets will features:

  • Ranger versus Warrior
  • Wizard versus Bard
  • Cleric vesus Thief

May 2018 will see the first cycle of 12 card randomized boosters being released: The Desolation of Blarg.

The second cycle of 12 card randomized boosters, Fashion Furious, will be released in August 2018.

Eric Lang and Kevin Wilson have been co-designging the Munchkin Collective Card Game with artist John Kovalic. Designed for competitive level play, the game still maintains the level of goofy that players expect from Munckin games.

Eric Lang described the differences between the original Munchkin game and the new Collectable Card Game:,

Munchkin TCGis a very different game from Munchkin. Imagine all the awesome humor of Munchkin as a short, competitive head-to-head slugfest.

The game will play as combat game form 2-4 players who level up while putting loot into play, attack (or bluff) against other players in an attempt to eliminate them first.




Evolution is the highly rated game of growing and evolving your species of animal to be the best and to thrive.  There have been a couple expansions and an easier to play spin-off that is a Target exclusive, but there isn’t much for tournament play.  So to fix that, North Star Games is releasing a tournament kit for the game that retailers can order.  In the kit will be 16 sets of the Hibernation trait card to be given to all the participants, 4 sets of Night Prowler cards for the finalists, and finally a new T-Rex first player marker for the final winner.  Retailers should be getting these packs very soon, if they haven’t already, so be on the lookout for tournament notices at your FLGS.

Image from Wall Street Journal

Image from Wall Street Journal

When I was young, I was encouraged to play a lot of Scrabble to practice new words and develop a richer, deeper vocabulary. The kind of practice that would help a young man to grow into reading and writing. Of course my adult years are occupied with reporting the board gaming world – so that’s certainly come full circle. It’s truly a wonderful game! Among my growing years and time spent with this hobby, I have always been vaguely aware of how intensely competitive the game of Scrabble could be. Turns out it is a proud sport in many parts of the world, and pleasantly so in cultures where English isn’t a primary language.

That’s where this article from The Wall Street Journal comes in. Posted last month, it is a truly captivating piece about how the world of competitive Scrabble has been turned upside down by a strategy of using short words instead of long ones. The premier of this meta-shattering strategy is due to 2015’s World Champion, Wellington Jighere, who hails from Nigeria. He has stunned a meta long ruled by seven to eight letter words by instead using shorter words, ideally four or five letters long. Commonly longer words have been seen as advantageous, securing more than two score multipliers while racking in big points. However, this style has it’s risks…

Risk one: Every extra letter on the board is another opening for an opponent to land their own seven-letter blockbuster. Risk two: Every letter played gets replaced by a random tile from the bag. A bad draw can—and often does—leave players stuck for several turns without vowels or decent letter combinations.

Jighere’s short word strategy fights both of these risks by securing multipliers without compromising positioning for an opponent, while also saving valuable letters to save future turns and maintain scoring momentum. The brilliant man and his team dominated the championships last year to the abundant applause from his country and the fascination of the gaming world. It’s very fun to know a classic and weathered game such as Scrabble still has room within it’s competitive sphere to be impressively tilted by new strategies. I highly encourage anyone interested in Scrabble or gaming strategy to read the rest of the article over at The Wall Street Journal. A brilliantly written and remarkable read!