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News Bits: 12/30/2013

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I think everyone (including most of our writers) were on hiatus last week. In any case, we’re back, and here is the NEWS:

Z-Man Games releases Government Shutdown scenario for Pandemic [Link] For those who want to relive the events of this past October (any takers? huh? huh?), Z-Man Games has released a new government shutdown scenario for Pandemic.Eclipse’s designer releases the holiday special 2013 scenario, Minions of the Solstice [Link] I have, unfortunately, only played this game once, so I don’t think I’m quite ready to jump into scenarios. But if you’re a seasoned pro, this could be a way to spice up the game. (Or I suppose this could give me occasion to propose playing again? Actually, that’s not such a bad idea…)

GeekInsight asks, “Are gamers complainers?” [Link] He lands on yes. But before you grab your pitchforks, he calls most hobbyists of most hobbies complainers too. And, well, I believe him. I know that I do my fair share of complaining (see: any mention I make of Cosmic Encounter), so I will not cast stones. This time.

Mike Selinker (Lords of Vegas, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game) weighs in on the HeroQuest crowdfunding debacle [Link] No, this isn’t The Doom That Came to Atlantic City or Odin’s Ravens, where a rogue “creator” has run off with the funds. Instead, Gamezone has been seeking support for HeroQuest without a worldwide license and is being turned out of crowdfunding site after crowdfunding site. I’ll be honest: I’ve not read all there is to read on this topic, namely because HeroQuest isn’t a game that interests me. But as someone who works for a publisher (read: “The Man”), I’m sympathetic to his views.

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Progressive top ten on introducing interaction] Last week we took the holiday mostly off! Of course, so did most of the Internet, so I’m sorry if you were looking for lots of stuff coming from us. This week we’ll be back in full force (or, really, I guess it will just be me…) as we talk about 7 Wonders in depth. I’ll be reviewing the 7 Wonders expansions and ending the week with a new review segment talking about the base game after 50+ plays. Keep slaying!

Kickstarters of Note

  • Argent: The Consortium: This “wizard-placement” game combines Euro mechanics with variable player powers. It looks dang cool and has already passed its funding goals with almost a month left to go. $50.
  • The Game Designer’s Toolkit: This is an interesting campaign for, basically, a box of bits to help you as you design board games. I’m not sure the usefulness for this (there are usually extra bits you can commandeer from other games), but I’ll let the reader judge for him- or herself. Various prices.
  • Ruckus: The Goblin Army Game: This is a tactical skirmish game in a fantasy setting with whimsical art. Looks interesting. $29.
  • Space Junk: This project relaunched, but it looks interesting (although maybe similar to Galaxy Trucker?). 39 CAD.
What We’ve Been Playing
  • Rise of Augustus: I didn’t get much gaming in this past week (getting the house ready for baby [!]), but my wife and I played two games of Augustus. Augustus has been (rightfully, in my opinion) compared to Bingo, which was the hook I used to get my wife to play. The first game she beat me pretty badly, claiming many of the rewards tiles, though we stayed pretty even in completing objectives. In the second game, things were…not so close. At the end of the game, I had completed seven objectives and my wife had completed three. I won by a large margin, and my wife suggested playing something else. Augustus worked surprisingly well with two players, at least for what it is. However, the more I play this game, the more convinced I am that it will be added to the trade pile. Look for a full review soon. (FarmerLenny)
  • Lost Cities: My wife and I played our customary three rounds of Lost Cities. The first round found my wife spread too thinly, and I won by a hefty margin (though, really, neither of our scores were great–I blame our rustiness). My wife went on to win the next two rounds, though by smaller margins. I had the greater overall score, but my wife won by rounds. I won the popular vote, in other words, and she was the electoral victor. So if this were president, I suppose my wife would win. (FarmerLenny)

I'll try anything once, but my favorite games are generally middleweight Euros.

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