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News Bits: 9/17/2012

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Well, dragon slayers, it’s another week. And as the weeks roll on, so does the news…

Another “Preis” for Village
The Deutscher Spiele Preis winners were announced, with Village claiming the top spot. It doesn’t seem to be too much of an anomaly for a Spiel des Jahres- (or now Kennerspiel des Jahres-) winning game to win the Deutscher Spiele Preis, but congratulations to Village’s designers nonetheless. The full games list is pretty impressive, so any winner among that pack deserves hearty congratulations.

Victory Point Games Introduces Boxes
Victory Point Games, whose apt motto is “the gameplay’s the thing,” has announced that it will no longer hold out. Starting soon, they will offer boxes for select games instead of their trademark baggies. Games and boxes will still be produced in the United States. Check out the company’s About page for more information. Their philosophy is certainly attractive.

The Road Goes Ever On and On…
I keep saying I’m going to stop posting about Fantasy Flight LCG expansions, and then another one is announced. Well, this one’s a big deal. Fantasy Flight Games has announced the next Hobbit saga expansion for the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game, The Hobbit: On the Doorstep. With a bigger, beefier Bilbo,  everyone’s favorite dragon, and the battle of three armies, this expansion promises to be awesome.

What’s in a Derivative Card Game?
I’ve really enjoyed Mark Taylor’s posts at the Painted Wooden Cubes blog for a deeper, more refined look at board games. Last week he posted musings about card games derived from bigger games. He uses San Juan (from Puerto Rico) and Rivals for Catan (from Settlers of Catan) as talking points. His theory about derivative card games is that they should do two things well: distill the essence of the larger board game into a lighter, faster-playing game; and offer an optimum two-player experience. As someone who loves card games and whose primary playing partner is his wife, I heartily endorse (and expect) both of these in the card games I purchase. (Speaking of which, anyone know how the Tigris and Euphrates card game compares in these categories? Yes, I can solicit opinions in the news, thank you very much.)

Kickstarters of Note

  • Viticulture: A game about wine that looks less intense than Vinhos. It’s also the only Kickstarter game I’ve seen with a money-back guarantee! $39
  • Mars Needs Mechanics: Yes, the steampunk theme looks pasted on, but the game itself looks interesting (if you like economic games). $40 buy-in.
  • I’m the Boss: The Card GameGryphon Games has a card game version of the popular negotiation board game, based on Sackson’s notebooks. Now they’ve announced that the game will include the bonus cards necessary to re-create it as Sackson imagined it. That seems like a fantastic deal for $25.
  • Salmon Run: This game has already passed its funding goal and is swimming toward its first stretch goal. (We’ll have a preview up soon, likely next week.) $36.
Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
Again, not completely unrelated, but completely awesome. Eric Summerer of The Dice Tower reviews the new Fantasy Flight Games version of Merchant of Venus. Tom’s reviews were what I looked to when I first got involved in the hobby, so I’ve watched a million of them (and continue to do so). Why do I highlight Eric’s? His is hands-down the best component drop in the history of the reviews. (It is weird, though, to see Eric talking.)

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

Discussion1 Comment

  1. I played both Mars Needs Mechanics (GenCon) and Salmon Run (TGC prototype version from last year!). Both are good, clever games. Both very accessible and play under an hour. Also, both are designed by really good, nice guys.

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