In a very evil twist, some of the Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000 previews show up on Facebook while others appear on the game’s page. To get the full view, you have to check both places, and the full view this week is all about the Steampunk faction.
Catan / Kosmos / Mayfair Games
In Klaus Teuber’s seventh blog post on the new Settlers of Catan: Explorers and Pirates comes the big reveal: all the scenarios so far were just a sort of tutorial. The last scenario, the big one, includes all the parts and all the missions from the other scenarios in one big game. In playtests, playing The Big One took something like 100 to 140 minutes depending on the number of players, a good time for the game. It’s just sad to read what didn’t make it into the game for price and space reasons: more missions were considered with floods, volcanoes and ancient artifacts.
Fantasy Flight Games
Relic, the Warhammer 40k flavour of Talisman, looks like I might actually prefer it over the original game in the end. Take, for example, the Power cards, fulfilling the same functions as the spell cards in Talisman. You can use them as spells, sure, but you can also play them to replace a die roll with the big, fat number from the card. That’s much cooler than the notoriously fickle luck of the roll in Talisman and a welcome strategic option. Also, a good portion of the Wargear in Relic comes with charges and once they are depleted your gear is gone, making you decide when to use the gear and when not. More decisions, more cool, if you ask me.
You might say that an expansion for Elder Sign was overdue already, especially after the game popped up on Geek & Sundry’s Tabletop, and you’d be right. Coming soon is Elder Sign: Unseen Forces, the first Elder Sign expansion. Besides the obvious new stuff (items, monsters, investigators and Great Old Ones) Unseen Forces introduces the idea of Blessed and Cursed characters that we know from Arkham Horror. In Unseen Forces, both effects are recreated with an additional die to roll. Four new locations in the museum’s entrance hall give you new options to pick when you really don’t want to go up against a monster, but new, extra tough Mythos cards will even out any advantage those new locations might give you.
Speaking of expansions, in about a month Sudden Death, a Blood Bowl Team Manager expansion, will hit the stores. I actually can’t think of a less fitting name for an expansion containing the undead: “Yeah, death came suddenly. 3000 years ago, I suddenly fell over and was dead.” Ah well, what can I do. Playing against the undead will turn out badly for whoever tries it, they just don’t have enough manners to stay down when you kick them.
Ludically / Asmodee
One of the more unusual reasons to publish an expansion must be to add a single player mode. But that’s exactly what Archipelago: Solo Expansion will do – and with that name it doesn’t make a secret of it, either. The expansion will not contain one, or two, or a few scenarios to play through alone but an impressive 27 of them, with varying length and difficulty. That will keep you busy for a while, not at all bad for $17.
Hands up, who of you thought that Frodo and Sam had it way to easy simply walking into Mordor. For those with their hands in the air now, the Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game (not to be confused with the similarly named dice-building game) will include the Impossible Mode, a separate deck of 8 Archenemies that will be much harder to take down than your regular, run of the mill archenemy. Rumour has it there will be an Impossible Mode Level 2 where you have to say the full name of the game without stopping for air.
I admit, I’m a bit of a Pavlovian gamer, it just takes some well-chosen keywords and I start drooling for a new game. Lets do a test and see how you do: Ystari announced a new game about the Industrial Revolution with a steampunky smell by William Attia, the father of Caylus. Did it work? Are you drooling for Spyrium?
The photo of the week by Flickr user yeowatzup shows the Tomb of King Tongmyong in the Koguryo Tombs World Heritage Site in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – that’s North Korea for the geopolitically challenged or Up Korea for the geographically challenged. The photo was shared with a CC-BY license, thanks a lot yeowatzup.