News Bits: 11/19/2012


It’s Thanksgiving this week–time for family and friends (and games?). In any case, this is a news-heavy week. Check it out below!

Next 7 Wonders expansion is a Wonders pack [Link] Three new wonders and one redone one will be the next expansion for 7 Wonders, available first quarter 2013. (Where do I send my money?) It looks like the new wonders will be the Great Wall of China, an update of Mannekin Pis (presumably without the beer ability), Stonehenge, and Abu Simbel. On the linked thread, someone who had a chance to try the new wonders gives his impressions.

American author Kurt Vonnegut invented a board game [LinkUnfortunately, I don’t think I would have liked it. But according to him, he playtested it about a thousand times. Vonnegut was certainly eccentric. If you haven’t read his books, Slaughterhouse-Five is probably his best (though my favorite is Breakfast of Champions).

Greater Than Games begins its Freedom Four annual [LinkSentinels of the Multiverse is one of the most richly thematic games I’ve played. I preferred that the backstory was hidden (the cards make reference to comics that don’t exist), but many did not. Thus, this comic release.

Bellwether Games interviews Michael Keller (City Hall, Captains of Industry) [LinkThis is another excellent interview from Bellwether Games. City Hall definitely seems worth checking out (it’s currently on Kickstarter, and it made the hotlist at the BGG Con last week).

Fantasy Flight Games targets mass market with new version of Ingenious [Link] Another in the line of getting hobby games on big-box store shelves…

A retailer shares why he will no longer carry most games funded on Kickstarter [Link] He follows up his post here. He definitely brings up some interesting points that I’ve often wondered about. We’ll see how this whole Kickstarter thing shakes out over the long haul, I guess.

Board games mentioned in the Los Angeles Times [Link] These stories become more and more common and begin to mention more and more “obscure” titles. The first batch of articles only mentioned Settlers of Catan. Now we’re getting mentions of Pandemic, Dominion, Gloom, and Race for the Galaxy. In the future, maybe…your game?

Barnes & Noble now carries Eclipse [Link] Is this really news? No, but it’s evidence of market penetration. Also, I’ve gotten many a sweet game at Barnes & Noble with my rewards there. While Eclipse isn’t one I’m interested in, this gives me hope for others that I do want.

Cryptozoic previews new DC deck-building game [Link] This doesn’t interest me much, mostly because DC heroes don’t interest me much. But for those who care, here it is.

Tom Gurganus of Go Forth and Game interviews Grant Rodiek (Farmageddon[LinkGrant gives a lot of interviews (@Futurewolfie interviewed him here), and they are always interesting and offer a valuable perspective on game design. If you’re interested in Grant’s more regular musings on game design, check out Hyperbole Games’ website.

Wired‘s GeekDad offers gaming tips for the holidays [Link] These are good tips to keep in mind, chief among them (in my experience): know your audience.

Busy Week on iSlaytheDragon Okay, again, I’m listing things here, but you should check out what’s happened and what we’ll be doing this week. What’s happened? @Futurewolfie reviewed Infiltration (Donald X. Vaccarino, Fantasy Flight Games) and then posted a giveaway to win a copy! Check out the details here. Coming this week is our annual holiday gift guide (updated from last year) and our Wednesday review.

Kickstarters of Note

It looks like we’re back in the swing of a tabletop Kickstarter boom. Check out these projects:

  • The Official Settlers of Catan Gaming Board: This is an officially licensed Settlers of Catan tile-locking board. It seems great if you play Catan a lot. (I do not, so my tiles will just have to slip around.) $25.
  • Nothing Personal: Tom Vasel (of The Dice Tower fame) along with Stephen Avery have designed a mobster-themed negotiation game. It looks fantastic and has already passed several stretch-goal upgrades. $45.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse: Shattered Timelines: Greater Than Games is perhaps the hardest-working indie publisher out there, and this is the newest Sentinels-related item they’ve cooked up. It funded in 4.5 hours, and is already on its way to a lot of awesome stuff. (Also, their quote about international shipping is awesome…and unfortunately accurate.) $30.
  • Moongha Invaders: This was once a grail game by Martin Wallace; now it’s on Kickstarter. I suppose $60 is cheaper than the grail prices, but it’s too rich for my blood. Yes, that’s $60.
  • City Hall: This game looks interesting to me, and I’ve heard good things through Unpub and other sources. It’s a game of running for the office of mayor and all the backstabbery that that entails. $50.

Completely Unrelated Awesomeness of the Week
This comic from Dinosaur Comics. Is Snakes and Ladders a metaphor for robot takeover? You decide! (Just not in the game…)

And as a bonus, I’ve enjoyed this Geeklist: the “One does not simply…” meme applied to board games. (There are definitely some duds, but there are flashes of brilliance as well.)

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

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