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News Bits: 4/15/2013

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A fairly light week as far as news is concerned, but there’s some good stuff here nonetheless. Here it is, the NEWS:

Z-Man Games reveals Pandemic triptych [Link] Z-Man Games revealed the final artwork for the In the Lab and On the Brink Pandemic expansion covers this week, and all three games form one long photo. Is this a compelling enough reason to buy the new edition? Maybe, just maybe…

GameTable Online launches new website [Link] GameTable Online is a (mostly) pay-to-play online game service, and they let me know that they’ve updated their website. GTO offers free solo player-vs.-computer games, which is what allowed me to try Tigris & Euphrates before buying it, so GTO is a good resource for the modern gamer.

GeekInsight offers tips for overcoming sore loser tendencies [Link] This is a good post with some good tips.

What is needed to make a good traitor game [Link] Here are some reflections on what is needed to make a good traitor game. (This was of particular interest given our recent Traitor Week.)

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, John Poniske interview, Dragon Clash review, Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small review, Guide to Gaming: Teaching Games] Last week was another full week. Stay tuned for more reviews coming this week, including reviews of the brand-new Salmon Run and an older, more obscure game from Reiner Knizia.

Last week on iheartprintandplay [iheartprintandplay GalleryI would love to add more pictures to the gallery! Click for details on how to get your photos added.

Kickstarters of Note
Out with the old, in with the new! Lots of projects ended last week, and new ones have begun:

  • Flash Point: Fire Rescue: Extreme Danger expansion: Flash Point is a popular Kickstarter title, and its expansion passed its funding goal in the first day. It’s already near $100,000, and progress does not seem to be slowing. There are lots of promos and rewards. $40 gets you the expansion with all the promos.
  • Area 1851: Cowboys and aliens: the game! This one looks cool. $50 gets you the game.
  • Rocket Dice: Game Salute has launched a game accessory campaign for rocket dice–which are exactly what they sound like. Designed primarily for Alien Frontiers, these dice can be used in any game that require six-sided dice. There are various pledge levels, and the campaign has already reached 6x its initial funding goal.
  • Werewolf: There have been a million different Werewolf implementations it seems. Do we need another one? Max Temkin thinks so, and after seeing the design on the cards, I’m inclined to agree (if you like Werewolf, that is–I don’t). $10 gets you the game.
  • Dragon Clash: This card game was previously released, but the Kickstarter is meant to update the game and launch it in new directions. We should have a review up soon. $20 gets you a deck.
  • Lincoln’s War: I don’t typically like war games, but this one looks like an interesting twist, with a storytelling element. $70 gets the game. (And check out our interview with the designer.)
  • Legendary Monsters: This game is based on various urban legends and has detailed miniatures included. This one does not look like my cup of tea (I’m not much one for horror stuff), but it might be yours. It’s already funded, and $25/piece gets you the miniatures to play the game.
  • Twin Tin Bots: This is the relaunch of a campaign from the designer of Small World. Lots of great miniatures are included, and the game looks fun (RoboRallyish, if you like that). $55 for the game.
  • Creekos: This is a trick-taking game with a Greek mythology bent. The art looks great, and the game looks fun. $30 gets the game.
  • Francis Drake: This game looks really cool, though probably a bit more involved than my typical play groups would allow. The price is a bit steep, but it looks like there are definitely enough components to justify the price. $65 for the game.

What We’ve Been Playing
It turns out that I’ve had so much fun writing about what I’ve been playing that the other writers on the site would like a chance as well. So here’s a brief snapshot of what @Futurewolfie and I have been playing. (We’ll try to rope Jason and Andrew in for next week.)

  • Tower of Babel: I usually rotate the choosing privilege for my Friday lunch games group, and on Friday this game was chosen. I received this game in a math trade a while back, and it’s seen fairly consistent play in my group. The game is a very Euroy negotiation game with area control and set collection thrown in. Every game I’ve played I somehow manage to position myself on the bottom of the heap, never winning or even placing in the top half of players. But all that changed on Friday. I was somehow able to manipulate the negotiations in my favor, and I became the expert builder of the ancient world. I’m planning to have a full review of this up later this week, but I’ll say that I really enjoy this one. (@FarmerLenny)
  • Crokinole: It’s been a while since my wife and I played this (it’s much harder to bring downstairs now that the baby gates are up…), but we played three games this Saturday. Boy, are we out of practice! We left so many shots open to the other, and we squandered our opportunities. I still love this game, but Crokinole is a skill that you use or you lose. (@FarmerLenny)
  • Police Precinct: Having tried this game initially with our parents and losing quite handily when a riot broke out and got out of control, I tried this with a new group of people and it went much more smoothly. Our team was able to split our time well between investigation and handling emergencies. And, even though the gang on 3rd Street had the run of the town, we managed to catch the murderer. I love the stories that come out of this game, although the city feels a bit like Gotham only without the Caped Crusader’s help. (@Futurewolfie)
  • 7 Wonders: Sometimes you hark back to the ‘classics’ especially when you only have about an hour to fit in a game. 7 Wonders is one of the few games my parents will actually ask for, although they’re still in the learning phase. But my mom pulled out a solid win by focusing on a tough military, completing her wonder, and supporting that with a few well-placed point cards. My wife was a close second, but we had both been competing over science cards for the whole game, which I should have noticed early on. My poor dad was left in the dust; he hasn’t quite grasped all the icons yet, but he had fun which is the important thing. It’s always pleasing to see my Mom get a win, although it happens more often than she thinks. (@Futurewolfie)
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: We reviewed the original version of this game, but Sentinels only recently came back to my table in the form of the Enhanced Edition. Although we haven’t won a game yet with this version, the arcs have been much better than past experiences, with challenging battles that simply overwhelmed us after a decent fight. The new additions in the Enhanced Edition really assist with smoother play and less tedious record keeping. Our latest game–a tough battle pitting Tachyon, the Fanatic, Bunker, and Tempest against Citizen Dawn–was going well until two poorly timed villain cards wiped our equipment and powers twice in a row. We never recovered from that second blow, and one by one our team fell until we were all keeping Bunker alive. But with Citizen Truth protecting all other citizens from damage and simply not enough power to take him down quickly enough, Bunker was soon overwhelmed by an army of citizens. Alas! (@Futurewolfie)
Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week

I thought this was an excellent description of the amateur, the hobbyist, and the professional. This refers particularly to photography, I know I’ve noticed it in my line of work (editing), and I see the applications for game design as well. Anyway, if nothing else, this has neat graphics.

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

Discussion3 Comments

  1. Heya, thanks for giving my stuff a look in. I’m not sure the traitor article is the writing I’m most proud of, but I’m pleased you liked it 🙂

    I’ve ended up spending more time than I strictly should have on a work day nosing through your reviews and similar, I like your style too. Looks like you’re playing a lot of cooperative games lately, if you haven’t already given it a look I’d recommend trying Space Alert sometime. It’s one of my favoriate games and it’s generated more than its fair share of stories for our group.

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