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News Bits: 3/18/2013

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Ladies and gentlemen, the NEWS:

The National Post talks Diplomacy [LinkThis is an interesting article on the man who made Diplomacy and the legacy of this game. I’ve avoided this one myself because of the hard feelings I’ve heard it engenders, but this was an interesting read nonetheless.

Days of Wonder relaunches Small World Kickstarter campaign [Link] This time, they’re only trying to fund the Android version of Small World–and they’ve already reached their $150,000 funding goal! As an Android device owner, I’m so excited for this one–not even for Small World all that much. I think it’s a good thing that board game companies are seeing the need to develop on the Android platform. Anyway, there are a lot of great rewards here–analog and digital, including a $320 Small World Designer’s Edition–so check out the campaign page.

WizKids licenses Fantasy Flight’s FlightPath maneuver system for Star Trek: Attack Wing [Link] In what could be good news for geeks who like Star Wars and Star Trek, WizKids announced that they will be using the same system used for the X-wing miniatures game for a Star Trek miniatures game set to release at GenCon. I doubt this means full compatibility (the scale looks different), but I’m sure some enterprising folks will find a way around that.

Toy Vault announces first Firefly game: Out to the Black [Link] Out to the Black is a co-op card game. I don’t know if co-ops are “unusual” anymore, but perhaps they are for Toy Vault’s anticipated market. Anyway, I’ll post more details as I know them.

Dice Hate Me Games announces three upcoming releases [Link] Three titles I’ve been tracking through UnPub and convention reports are now slated to be released through Dice Hate Me Games: VivaJava Dice, Belle of the Ball, and Brewmasters. Exciting times for Dice Hate Me!

Last week on the Dragon [News Bits, The Manhattan Project review, Sunrise City review] Last week saw us posting some good stuff, including two reviews of games we rated a 9. This week we’ll post something every day–including some great reviews and a new Guide to Gaming article. Stay tuned!


Kickstarters of Note
Lots of new stuff in this week’s Kickstarter recap:

  • Dungeon Roll: This game blew past its funding quickly. It’s a quick dice game with a fantasy theme from Tasty Minstrel Games. $15. (Friend of the Dragon BGJosh wrote a good preview here.)
  • Triassic Terror: Do we really need another board game about dinosaurs fighting to be the dominant species? The answer is yes, particularly if plastic dinosaurs are involved. This one’s expensive but looks great. $60.
  • Expedition: Famous Explorers: This rerelease/redesign of Wolfgang Kramer’s Expedition looks interesting and beautiful, if a bit pricy. $50 gets you the game.
  • Deadwood Studios: I’m so glad Jame Ernest is back at it. I played the original Deadwood many moons ago. This new edition looks great. $40
  • Small World 2: Days of Wonder is porting their popular Small World game to Android devices! Various pledge levels here (including some sweet a la carte add-ons). $15 gets you the digital game on a platform of your choice.
  • Family Vacation: Designer Phillip duBarry has been waiting a long time for this project to go live. The game is a family board game of putting together the best family vacation. It looks like a great family game, and duBarry (designer of Revolution! and Kingdom of Solomon) has a great track record. $30 gets you the game.

What I’ve Been Playing
Here’s what I’ve been playing this week:

  • Innovation: Two of my top games from 2012 were by Carl Chudyk (Glory to Rome and FlowerFall), so I’ve been investigating some of his other titles. I initially passed over Innovation as looking too abstract, but after reading glowing praise from many people (including BGG News’s Eric Martin, whose Voice of Experience review sold me), I decided I could wait no longer. I got it to the table over lunch on Wednesday. Wow, is it tough to grasp on first play. But wow, was it fun! We didn’t come close to finishing a game over our lunch hour, but I hope this one enters our regular rotation. We already saw some awesome combos, and I’m excited to discover more.
  • Prolix: It had been a while since my wife and I played this word game, but we broke it out again. What I love about Prolix (well, there’s a lot–it’s my favorite word game–so I’ll just summarize) is the wide-open nature of the game and the tightness of the two-player game. The first person to win five rounds is the winner, but most games go to round 9 with my wife and me, and Wednesday’s game was no exception. Lots of fun. (I need to write a proper review of this one: it doesn’t get as much love as it deserves.)
  • Jaipur: We got out this favorite this week as well, and it did not disappoint. (I’ve written lots in praise of Jaipur, but you can see my review here. Spoiler: I think it’s my favorite two-player-only game.)
  • The Great Heartland Hauling Co.: I got this new Kickstarter release to the table on Saturday night. I asked my wife if she was willing to try something new, and she gave me a weary look that said, “Is it hard to learn?” After my three-minute rules explanation was concluded, she agreed with me that the game is not hard. However, not hard does not equal not fun. The game is a really tight design, it’s very appealing visually (Dice Hate Me Games nailed it once again), and it’s a fun game packed into a tiny box (a great thing for a burgeoning collection). I can’t wait to get more plays in of this, though I think it would be more fun with more players.
Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
I’ve been very busy at work, so no awesomeness this week. Hopefully next.

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

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