News Bits: 8/12/2013


This is the week many of us are waiting for: GEN CON. Futurewolfie and I will be there Friday and Saturday. Be sure to say hi if you see us. And now, this week’s NEWS:

Sentinels of the Multiverse board game to debut at Gen Con [Link] There were hints of this news earlier in the week on Twitter, but a post on designer Kevin Nunn’s (Rolling Freight) Facebook page have confirmed it. Very few details are known at this point, but you can be sure we’ll be stopping by the Greater Than Games booth at Gen Con to find out more.
Stephen Colbert designs his own board game [LinkIn response to the news that Hasbro is releasing shortened versions of games for children with busy schedules and short attention spans, Stephen Colbert designs his own game for super short thrills. There is some language in this video, but it’s pretty funny nonetheless.

Fantasy Flight Games appears in local newspaper [LinkThis in itself isn’t headline news, but the story is quite good, and I learned more about Fantasy Flight Games, Futurewolfie’s bread and butter and the giant company I love to hate. However, Fantasy Flight was not always so giant. They started by importing…children’s comic books?

James Mathe discusses trimming the fat in board game production [Link] When sacrifices must be made, these are good places to start.

Three leadership lessons that board games teach [Link] This article from Richard Bliss (The Game Whisperer) appeared in Forbes. I usually don’t like these “principles for this from this unrelated field” kind of article, but the analogy and application here is apt.

Shoplocket interviews Jamey Stegmaier (Stonemaier Games) [Link] This is a great interview in a somewhat new outlet for board games (at least, it’s new to me). The layout of this one is great.

Adam West-era Batman joins Heroclix [Link] Long-time followers of this site know that I am no lover of minis gaming. While I did briefly play Heroclix (and even more briefly play Warhammer 40k), it’s just not my style of gaming. HOWEVER–if I were to get into minis, these would be it. I love the Batman from this era. (In fact, Batman: The Movie is one of the five island movies I’d want with me if I were stranded on a deserted island.) Check out these sweet sculpts.

Last week on iSlaytheDragon [News Bits, Toc Toc Woodman review, Vampire Empire review, Voluspa review, Interview with Luca Caltabiano, Guide to Gen Con] We had a more packed week than usual last week, and this will be another one as we prepare for Gen Con. Be on the lookout for three reviews, a guide, and an interview. Keep slaying!

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

  • Daft Dice: Custom dice and other gaming supplies (including dice business cards–very cool). These look awesome. (And here’s our preview.) Various pledge levels.
  • 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.
  • Byzantio: A neat-looking game that plays in less than an hour. I love the look (and setting) of it at least. $38 for the game.
  • 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.
  • Click Clack Lumberjack: This is a repackage of the game Toc Toc Woodman (which, actually, my wife and I have been enjoying quite a bit lately–here’s my review). $17 can get you this fun party/dexterity game.
  • Tessen: I’ve been closely watching the development of this game from Cardboard Edison. It’s a speed game (like Dutch Blitz) but with strategy as well. $12 gets the game.
  • Ancient civilizations Catan bits: This one is technically on IndieGogo, but these bits look too sweet not to share. $45 to add bling to Catan.
  • King’s Forge: I’ve not played this one, but it looks awesome…at least if you like rolling fistfuls of dice at a time. (I do.) $39.
  • Fleet: Arctic Bounty: Lots of people seem to love Fleet. I’ve not played it. The expansion is up now on Kickstarter, and you can get the base game and promos through the same campaign. $25 for just the expansion.
  • Gunship: Afterburners: Here’s an expansion to the super successful Gunship game (earlier funded on Kickstarter). $35 for the expansion.

What We’ve Been Playing

  • Qin: It’s been a while since I’ve played this abstract, but a friend requested it, so we played over lunch. We got in three games within the lunch hour. I got creamed the first two games by the third player. In the third game, I was neck and neck with another player, and I was able to edge him out for the win. I love this game, and it’s super quick. Definitely a great find if you like abstracts. (FarmerLenny)
  • Medici: This game is part of Reiner Knizia’s “auction trilogy,” and is fairly new for my group. One of the members of my Friday lunch games group had a birthday this week and requested it since he missed out on our first play. Here’s what I learned about Medici this time around: Medici is a fantastic game, and I am awful at it. The same player who won the game last time won again–and this time by an almost fifty-point margin. (He almost doubled my score.) I way overpaid for a few lots, and all in all I think I was too scattered to earn many bonuses on the commodity track. I’m anxious to play this again, if only to regain my honor. (FarmerLenny)
  • Lost Cities: My wife and I haven’t played this game in a while, but she suggested it on Friday night, and we played our traditional three games. I had my best score ever in the first round (I suspect because my wife was rusty). We ultimately decided that was a practice round. I had some lucky draws (and shrewd plays) and ended up winning all three rounds, which is definitely a rarity in our household. I love how simple yet tense this game is. Knizia gold, if you ask me. (FarmerLenny)
  • Pixel Lincoln: Pixel Lincoln, the NES Side-scrolling/Deckbuilding mashup managed to find its way to my table several times in the past week. I love the classic pixel art and the old nintendo vibe that oozes out of the thematic context. Pixels? Check. Weapons that barely make sense? Check check. Random assortment of baddies defeated by whacking them repeatedly with your best weapons? Check. This game definitely emulates a lot of what you might find in an old Nintendo game, while the gameplay itself reminds me a bit of Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer. Being the most experienced player, after hopping, smashing, and button-mashing our way through both levels, I hit a high score of 67 points, which seems to be pretty good to me. Does the whole package add up to an awesome whole? Well, find out in this week’s review. (Futurewolfie)
  • Android: Netrunner: In preparation for a Netrunner tournament being held by my local gaming store this weekend, my wife agreed to be my coach by playing Netrunner with me. This is a big win for me – she’ll play Netrunner but not extremely enthusiastically (at least, not yet), but she loves being my “coach” so approaching it from that POV makes her have more fun, which is better for me. Unfortunately, (or perhaps fortuantely) while playing her I discovered how poorly made my corp deck, utilizing the NBN faction, actually was. This was the point, though, and it gave me a chance to refine it before the tournament on saturday. Unfortunately the store is still pretty small, and while its audience is growing, no one else showed up for the tournament. Alas. I did not get a chance to test my mettle against other players. (Futurewolfie)
  • Legends of Andor: I haven’t had as many chances to play Andor with 4 players as I would like, but the opportunity popped up on my game night on friday. While the setup time is still long, it was even more fun with 4 than I expected. Playing with 4 allows each player to focus on their role more and get into character. I played the Warrior and managed to suit up with some decent equipment. The Dwarf travelled off to far away lands (and the Dwarven tunnels) to load up on equipment and strength, and seek the WITCH. The Archer attempted to rescue some Farmers and the Wizard aided our battles. We ended up fudiging some rules because I mis-read a line on the Legend card by accident, and didn’t realize a particular task had to be performed last, but I’m fairly certain we would have been wildly successful had we done things in the correct order. In any case, playing with 4 definitely allows plenty of room for that high-adventure feel as you work together with your adventuring party. (Futurewolfie)

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

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