Wizards of the Coast
Wizards of the Coast, masters of trading card games, will release another expansion for the woefully under marketed, yet brilliantly designed Transformers Trading Card Game. In what’s being dubbed the War for Cybertron Trilogy, the first of these expansions, Transformers: War for Cybertron Siege I will bring us Battle Masters and Micro Masters. Popular Transformers, Soundwave, Ultra Magnus, and Major Shockwave also make their debut.
While the Transformers: Rise of the Combiners expansion added Transformers which could combine into a single large Transformer, this expansion adds Micro Masters who are tinier robots which are generally human sized and represented by new cards that are 88mm tall and 63mm wide (as per IGN). The Battle Masters, Transformers who are geared for “rock ’em, sock ’em”, close combat, also make their first appearance in this set. Battle Masters begin in Bot Mode and don’t flip but do switch to their Upgrade side when KO’d.
The Transformers Trading Card Game is a versus, card combat game for 2 players where each player commands a team of Transformers (made up of Autobots and Decepticons) which battle each other. Each booster pack will contain 1 large foil (88 × 126 mm) and 1 small foil (63 × 88 mm) Transformers character card and 6 battle cards. The War for Cybertron Siege I set has 48 character cards and 64 battle cards and is planned for release at the end of June 2019.
The Transformers Trading Card Game is published by Wizards of the Coast and is designed for 2 players. Each player builds a team of Transformers, from the Autobot and Decepticon factions, made up of character cards who use Action and Upgrade cards which are Battle cards. There is currently 2 starter sets for the game, with the majority of the cards obtained by buying booster packs including at least 1 character in each of them.
In the Transformers: Rise of the Combiners expansion, players field 5 specific Transformers who combine together into a single, larger character when the Combiner mechanism, triggered by the Enigma card being played, is triggered. In one of the examples, Torox, Divebomb, Headstrong, Razerclaw and Rampage are in play and they combine into the hulking, Predaking Transformer. In this mode, all damage from the separate Transformers are carried over into this larger form.
The expansion adds 46 new character cards and 81 new Battle cards. The expansion is set to release in March of 2019.
Avalon Hill has announced the launch of the newest board game in the Axis & Allies series – Axis & Allies & Zombies. Introducing zombies adds a fun, modern twist into the iconic World War II strategy game.
“It is 1941, and the world is at war. The Axis war machine is crushing everything in its path, while the Allies are rallying together to mount a heroic stand. And then zombies show up.”
Axis & Allies & Zombies includes an introductory scenario to provide new players with an easy-to-setup prelude, as well as quick-start rules for more experienced players to jump right in. The game also includes an expansion for the Axis & Allies 1942 board game.
• 1 Game Board
• 1 Battle Board
• 5 National Setup Charts (one for each power)
• 70 National Control Markers
• 12 Custom 6-sided Combat Dice
• 6 Custom 6-sided Zombie Dice
• 50 Plastic Unit Stacking Counters
• 210 Plastic Miniatures (including 30 all-new zombie figures)
• 60 Cards
• Paper Money
• Rulebook (including quick start rules)
• Introductory Scenario
• Also includes an 80-card expansion deck for the Axis & Allies 1942 board game!
Axis & Allies & Zombies is designed by Wizards of the Coasts’ award-winning designers and developers – Mike Mearls, Scott Van Essen, Ryan Miller and Mons Johnson. The game is for 2-5 players, ages 12+ and it plays in 60-180 minutes. Axis & Allies & Zombies is available now.
Visit The Dice Tower for coverage of the Axis & Allies Series.
Wizards of the Coast announced their upcoming tabletop card game, Dungeon Mayhem! This is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn, deck fighting game for 2-4 players. Deal damage to others while trying to survive as they damage you. Battle your foes using spells and weapons and, most of all, have tons of fun while the mayhem ensues.
Each player takes control of an iconic adventurer from the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) realm – Barbarian, Paladin, Rogue or Wizard. Then suit up and battle it out – last (wo)man standing gets the treasure.
“Illustrations created by Kyle Ferrin in the four decks of cards represent Sutha the Skullcrusher (barbarian), Azzan the Mystic (wizard), Lia the Radiant (paladin) and Oriax the Clever (rogue). Pick one of these characters and play their mighty power cards such as Azzan’s Vampiric Touch to swap hit points with an opponent or Sutha’s Whirling Axes to heal yourself while dealing crushing damage to the rest of the party.”
In the box:
- Four 28-card decks
- Four hit point trackers
- Four symbol cards
- Sixteen damage tokens
- Four hit point tokens
You can find Dungeon Mayhem in stores starting November 16, 2018.
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.
Wizards of the Coast (under the Avalon Hill imprint) have made more details available regarding the upcoming Axis & Allies & Zombies board game. It’s designed by Mike Mearls (known for Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, and Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft), Scott van Essen, and Ryan Miller (both known for Magic: The Gathering TCG, Duel Masters: TCG). Axis & Allies & Zombies will support 2-5 players, aged 12+, and will play in 60-180 minutes (each additional player above 2 players seems to add 40 mins to the game).
“In this new take on the iconic World War II strategy board game, each player takes command of one of the major powers, joining either the Axis or the Allies. Players fight for victory against the opposing faction and a terrifying new foe—zombies. Will players survive the onslaught or succumb to the uprising?” [source]
The game will be set in 1941 with the world at war. The Axis war machine is crushing everything in it’s path while the Allies are gathering their forces to make a stand. Then the zombies show up. Players will take the role of a commander of one of the five major powers (Germany, the Empire of Japan, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, and the USA) while the zombies will be a non-player faction . Winning battles will help to defeat your human enemies but it will also feed the ever growing, flesh-eating horde with fresh corpses. Players will have to fight both their human enemies as well as the undead hordes.
The game should include the following content:
- 1 Game Board
- 1 Battle Board
- 5 National Setup Charts (one for each power)
- 70 National Control Markers
- 12 Custom 6-sided Combat Dice
- 6 Custom 6-sided Combat Dice
- 50 Plastic Unit Stacking Counters
- 215 Plastic Miniatures (including 30 zombie miniatures)
- 60 cards
- Paper money
- Introductory scenario
Axis & Allies & Zombies is expected to release October, 26th 2018.
Fans of the classic Avalon Hill game Betrayal at House on the Hill know all too well the pain of loose clips on difficult player boards; those black markers that came with the game never seemed to fit right on the cardboard pentagons. Well fear no more, because Wizkids has announced the Betrayal at House on the Hill Upgrade kit, with 6 new player stat trackers and some pretty spiffy dice. The new character cards are double sided, like the originals, but sandwiched between the sides are rolling stat tracker wheels. The cards come with all new character art and a set of green pearlescent dice, displaying the familiar 0-2 pips from the original game. Look for the Upgrade kits in stores this September 2018.
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.
Wizards of the Coast: Maintaining Castles, Launching Boats
Image from rollingstone.com
Chris Cocks, President of Wizards of the Coast, spoke with Brian Crecente of Glixel, the Video Game Newsletter from RollingStone.com. Chris Cocks arrived at Wizards of the Coast with years of experience in the video game industry, an industry he entered because of Baldur’s Gate, a video game that evoked his childhood memories playing Dungeons and Dragons. During the interview, Chris emphasized that the company is going to build on its successes, but it is going to start taking more chances to innovate so it can grow. He describes his strategy for Wizards of the Coast as the Castles and Boats approach.
Image from businesswire.com
“The castles are the big brands with large fan bases, high expectations, lots of history and lore. We spend a lot of resources on those,” Chris says. “The boat is more of a test. It’s very fast, very flexible. If a boat doesn’t succeed, that’s OK; you can launch a new one.”
Wizards of the Coast is going to launch more boats. Not only is it planning on trying new thing with its current properties, it is tapping into properties of its parent company, Hasbro. While no formal announcement has been made on some of these “boats,” such the upcoming Transformers trading card game, Chris names more than a few possibilities and projects in the works.
To find out what Wizards of the Coast is maintaining as a castle and what some of the new boats may be, read the full interview of RollingStone.com here.
Expect to start seeing new and different things on the horizon from Wizards of the Coast.
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