News Bits: 11/4/2013


This week’s NEWS:

Asmadi Games opens prerelease preorders for Impulse [Link] This is very exciting news for me. This was one of the best games I demoed at Gen Con. It combines Carl Chudyk’s multi-use cards we’ve come to know and love with the spatial elements of an epic space board game. This is a print-on-demand title, and the components will be better in the final published version, but those who preorder this edition will get 50% off the final version. I preordered mine…

More details on 7 Wonders: Babel [Link] I was so busy reading up on Essen the week before that I forgot to record the news I wanted to share. This was one piece that slipped through the cracks: more details on Babel. I’m really looking forward to this expansion, as it looks like it will change the decisions offered in the game considerably without adding too much complexity.

Hyperbole Games posts 2013 community report [Link] Grant posted a 2013 preview earlier in the year; this is his follow-up, with how the indie board game design community has reached its goals. I’ve played a couple of the games represented here (Gravwell and Tessen), and they were excellent. If they were representative, then we’re in for a treat.

Gil Hova (Prolix, Battle Merchants) fixes NaGaDeMon [Link] National Game Design Month, like National Novel Writing Month, is a somewhat silly concept (but not so silly as to keep me away from attempting either–silly, foolhardy self). However, Hova points to a problem in the premise: the goal should not be the rulebook but playtests. He suggests getting four playtests of your new design under your belt in order to call NaGilDeMon a success.

Andrew Luck plays Settlers of Catan [Link] And not in an “on Tabletop” kind of way. That’s right, in this week’s “Famous People Play Board Games Too!” segment, we learn that Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, is a gamer. One teammate said of him, “If I had to guess what would be one of Andrew’s ideal nights out, it would be hanging with a small group of friends and playing Settlers of Catan.” There you have it, folks. “Cool people” like board games too. #vindication (P.S. I just learned who Andrew Luck is the other weekend when I watched more football with my brother-in-law than I usually do in several years.)

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Emu Ranchers preview, Traders of Carthage review, Get Bit review, Tenka: 2nd Edition review, Guide to 4X games] More reviews as well as a guide coming this week. Keep slaying!

Kickstarters of Note

  • 2014 gaming calendar: I don’t really use a printed wall calendar, but if I did, this would be the one to get. The photos included in it are gorgeous. $25.
  • Emu Ranchers (app): This is an app version of a game based on the Decktet system. We’ll have a preview up soon, but it looks like the development on this will be used as a toolkit to help port other games to mobile devices. Various levels.
  • Pandante: This is a new Poker-inspired game from David Sirlin (Yomi, Puzzle Strike). It has pandas, lying, and special powers. $35 (or $300 for the super fancy version).
  • Get Lucky: Kill Doctor Lucky was one of my very first hobby games, so it occupies a special place in my heart (and on my shelf). This is a shorter card game based on the board game. $20.
  • Brew Crafters: It’s always an event when Dice Hate Me Games launches a new Kickstarter, and Brew Crafters is no exception. This is a worker placement game about running a brewery. $60.
  • Kings of Israel: This is a cooperative game set in the northern kingdom of ancient Israel. It looks Pandemic-like, and the theme is interesting. $45.
  • Two Rooms and a Boom: This social game smashed its funding goal and has tripled it in the short time it has been on Kickstarter. It looks like a game in the vein of The Resistance and Werewolf. $20.
  • Dreaming Spires: The theme of this one will sound boring to some, but I think it sounds awesome. This game is all about building your college of Oxford and attracting famous scholars. $49.
What We’ve Been Playing
  • Mars Needs Mechanics: I tried my hand at Mars Needs Mechanics this week. Mars Needs Mechanics is an economics game set in the steampunk universe. Players must buy and sell to make savvy trades. The market system is fascinating in this game, as buying something increases the likelihood that it will go up in value. But if you buy too early, it might go down in price. Lots of tension in this one. One player took the fast money/small gains approach. For the bulk of the game, he seemed to be winning. I was able to manipulate the price on lenses, though, and I sold a whole stack of them for the maximum value. I ended up winning, but not by much: I beat second place by four points. I really enjoyed this one and look forward to my next play. (FarmerLenny)
  • Innovation: One of the Friday lunch group chose this as this week’s game. I had a really powerful board. The problem was I had no way of scoring any points. It didn’t help that I handed my opponent lots of points through metalworking. In the end, he fulfilled our predictions and beat us by a hefty margin. I came in last place, but I was okay with this. Despite my inability to score points, I did win two special achievements the hard way, a first for me. (FarmerLenny)
  • Ticket to Ride: Switzerland: My wife and I haven’t played this in a while. We began Friday night with Lost Cities and moved on to this. We were both a little rusty, but it ended up hurting my wife more than me. She confused a few place names and forgot how cutthroat the board can be. I ended up steamrolling her. Switzerland is a great board if you know what you’re doing, but it can be a harsh mistress if you haven’t played in a while. I’m hoping my wife will still be willing to play on this one, as I love it. (FarmerLenny)

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

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