News Bits: 7/22/2013


Here is the NEWS:

Sentinels of the Multiverse to debut on tablets in 2014 [LinkMore games coming to tablets is great news, but I think Sentinels is especially good news, given how much easier some of the bookkeeping will be in a digital format.

Stonemaier Games shares results of Kickstarter money-back guarantee [Link] Make a great product, offer a guarantee, and people won’t take you up on it. I know I was initially very impressed with the confidence the publisher expressed in Viticulture through the guarantee. I’m glad to see this worked in their favor. (Also, I keep saying this, but our review on Viticulture is coming soon–no joke!)

Fantasy Flight Games announces multiplayer expansion for Star Wars LCG [Link] I don’t have many two-player gaming sessions with other gamers, so I’ve largely ignored the Star Wars LCG thus far. With the announcement of this Balance of the Force set, though, my interest is once again piqued.

Z-Man Games releases details on In the Lab [LinkThis expansion looks interesting, though it doesn’t look like it’s necessary for me and the groups I usually play Pandemic with.

Tasty Minstrel Games previews new releases [Link] Some of these releases I already knew about–City Hall, Captains of Industry–but what’s this? It turns out Ed Marriott’s pepper game (Scoville) is under contract at TMG as well. Things to look forward to. Budget accordingly.

Hyperbole Games interviews Gil Hova (Prolix, Battle Merchants) [LinkThis interview is a must-read. Lots of good stuff in here. My favorite bit was about why auction mechanics seem outdated. Curious? You’ll have to read it for yourself.

Ed Marriott discusses applying playtester feedback [Link] Some good advice here.

Jamey Stegmaier’s rules for playing Risk with your girlfriend [Link] This was linked from another of his posts. Early on in our marriage, my wife and I decided we wanted to play a board game, so we broke out two of the ones we had–Risk and Monopoly. (This was before I was a hobbyist, obvs.) Hoo boy. Zero-sum games are bad enough with four or five. When it’s just the two of you? Prepare for heartache and tears.

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Interview with Kevin Kulp, Airlines Europe review, Scripts & Scribes: The Dice Game review, Guide to pick-up-and-deliver games] Another packed week coming up. Keep slaying!

Kickstarters of Note
Lots of stuff launched this week. Here’s what looks interesting to me:

  • The Realmsound Project: This project is seeking funding to provide atmospheric sounds for RPGs. $15 buy-in.
  • Frontier Skies: Are airships and zeppelins the new Cthulhu and zombies? Maybe it just seems that way. Anyway, this one is another in that vein. $39 looks like a decent price.
  • FrogFlip: This is a micro dexterity game from Jason Kotarski (The Great Heartland Hauling Co.) and his daughter. Looks interesting, albeit simple. ~$14 for the game (funding is in GBP).
  • Battle Merchants: This looks like an interesting premise, and I’ve greatly enjoyed the games from Minion Games that I’ve played so far. $50 for the game.
  • Scopa: Gamer’s Edition: The Spiel podcast is printing its own Scopa deck with the customary suits replaced with gamer icons. $12 for the custom deck.
  • Casual Game Insider: The first year of the magazine was Kickstarted last year; now it’s seeking funding for its second year. It seems like a good resource particularly for publishers and retailers. Various pledge levels
  • PigPen: This is a family game by Kevin Kulp of penning pigs (and messing with your neighbors). We interviewed the designer here. $20 nets the game.
  • Codename: Oracle: I love the premise of this one, of CIA and KGB agents waging a psychic battle to win the Cold War. (Reminds me a little of The Men Who Stare at Goats.) This two-player card game looks interesting. $23 for the game.
  • Daft Dice: Custom dice and other gaming supplies (including dice business cards–very cool). These look awesome. Various pledge levels.
  • The Agents: This one has been getting a lot of buzz (everyone, it seems, is talking about it), and after looking at it, I can see why. The game uses a pretty cool mechanic where players play double-benefit cards, keeping one benefit for themselves but granting the other one to all other players. I’m intrigued, and the game has already way, way surpassed its funding. $18 for the base game.

What We’ve Been Playing

  • Ace of Spies: I brought this for my lunch group to try this week. We’re a mixed bag at work, some of us loving take-that interaction, and some of us (like me) preferring to cultivate our individual gardens. The game is a lot of wishing, hoping, and attacking. Some of the group enjoyed it more than others, but I didn’t care for this one too much. (FarmerLenny)
  • 7 Wonders: Every Friday I rotate who gets to choose the lunch game. This Friday, my coworker who usually chooses 7 Wonders chose it again. His sister was in town, and everyone in the group showed up, so we played with a full complement of eight players. Yes, this required using the team rules from the Cities expansion, which I hadn’t yet used. Team rules have players paired off, and each team can discuss the cards in their hands. Teams don’t fight amongst themselves; instead, each team member battles the hostile neighbor twice. When I first read the team rules, I wasn’t sure how they would work. Now having played with them, I think they are excellent. Rather than being gimmicky, they add another level of strategy to the game, and it really does feel like teamwork (though it lengthened our game a bit). It didn’t hurt that my team won, beating out the behemoth science score beside us. Oh, and did I mention this was my fiftieth game? It was a wonderful way to celebrate. (FarmerLenny)

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

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