Bruno Faidutti announced on his blog that Space Station Argo, a game he and Serge Laget created about 10 years ago, will now finally be published. After Fantasy Flight Games, the prospective publisher back then, had resigned from the contract it took a long time, but finally the game has found a new home with small Belgian publisher Flatlined Games. In Space Station Argo – the name may yet change before release – a group of astronauts wakes up from cold sleep to find their ship invaded by hostile aliens of the Giger kind and with a ticking self-destruct countdown. Despite the common alien thread, Space Station Argo doesn’t seem to be a cooperative game at all, there are mentions of making it “more nasty” when it’s already an option to push opposing astronauts into broken teleporters – and we all know how that usually works out.
Fantasy Flight Games
No Lovecraftian game is complete without a bunch of Great Old Ones to really mess up your day. The friendly all-devouring beasts from your dimensional neighbourhood were still missing from the Eldritch Horror previews, but no more, here they finally are. And their mood does not seem to have improved since Arkham Horror, they still wish to maim, devour, spread insanity and destroy our reality as soon as they wake up – but then, I know a lot of people that are like that before their first coffee.
Chaos Magic has always been a favourite of mine in games where it exists, and the Wiz-War expansion Malefic Curses won’t be an exception. In Wiz-War, Chaos Magic is distinct from other schools in its randomness; every spell involves a dice roll somehow. Some spells simply have random damage, but others have a completely random effect that may even end up being beneficial to the spells target. Wouldn’t you be pissed if your intended death blow lets your target draw fresh spell cards instead?
In a game called BattleLore, you’d expect some battles, right? That part didn’t really feature in the previews for BattleLore 2nd Edition yet, but this week it’s all about the fighting. Fights in BattleLore are traditionally fought with dice and so inherently random. But there is none of the usual “two hits and four misses” business, most results you roll have some sort of effect: they do damage, or activate your units special ability, or drive the enemy unit backwards. It’s because of that last one that positioning is very important.
You know where else you battle with dice? In Warhammer: Diskwars. Here’s a quick intro how ranged attacks work in that game, and the dice-challenged among you will not be pleased: not only can you hit or miss, you can also accidentally hit units around your target – including your own. Oops.
The Shadow of Nerekhall expansion for Descent naturally included new right-hand men for the Overlord player. And not to discriminate them, they also receive their own, unique Lieutenant packs. But that’s not all, the two maybe-allies maybe-lieutenant characters from Labyrinth of Ruin get their Lieutenant Packs, too, and in keeping with the characters they can join the game as lieutenants or as heroes.
Alderac Entertainment keeps being a great, big tease about the next Smash Up expansion, posting only single images for the new factions. At least this one is easy to recognize, one of the new factions will be … Gamblers! Oh no, wait, it might actually be Spies. I like the idea of playing Bear Cavalry Spies already…
Being a monster and destroying cities is a bloody lot of fun, everyone who has played King of Tokyo will confirm that. But Tokyo really has suffered enough, and it’s time we moved on to somewhere else almost as monster-friendly. Like New York. King of New York, the standalone sequel to King of Tokyo by the same designer – Richard Garfield – is due out in 2014. It will be more meaty than the original – the city now has multiple districts where your monster can have fun, and the humans are finally fighting back as well – but still by no means a complex game. (via BGG News)
If you’re quick, you can still get a pre-release version of Carl Chudyk’s new space game Impulse. If you’re not so quick, you can get the finished game early next year. It’s a card game about space exploration and exploitation where each card can be used in different ways and at least some of the cards you play can be used by the other players as well, but in a more straightforward manner than in Chudyk’s Innovation. Playing cards you research technology, mine for minerals, build ships and destroy enemy transporters.
The top two things you want to escape from: cursed temples and zombies. As Kristian Amundsen Østby has already done Escape: The Curse of the Temple there’s only one thing left to do for him, then: Escape from Zombie City will be out early next year. Just like the first Escape, Escape from Zombie City will be played with a soundtrack to time the game and add the occasional events to cause panic. We’ll have to wait and see how different the games are, but I suspect the core mechanic of frantically rolling dice will be very similar. Some contenders for the next Escape game: New York, Alcatraz or Planet Earth, they all score high on Google when you search for “Escape from”.
Tuesday Knight Games
Two Rooms and a Boom (on Kickstarter now and already way beyond their funding goal) is a hidden identity game for groups from six to thirty players. Players are split into a blue team with a President and a red team with a Bomber. They are also split into two rooms – entirely independent of the teams – and may only exchange players between the rooms after each timed round. The red team wins if their Bomber is in the same room as the President after five rounds, the blue team quite obviously wins if that doesn’t happen. There are a ton of roles with different special powers that you can use by revealing your role card to another player, with everything from exhibitionists through movie monsters to Moby Dick and Captain Ahab making an appearance. Many of these characters have alternate win and lose conditions as well, you can expect a lot of chaos in this one.
Plaid Hat Games
With Dead of Winter by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour, Plaid Hat Games is launching a new series of boardgames. Crossroads will be a series of almost-cooperative games – they call them meta-cooperative in the announcements – where all players have a common goal, but each player also has an individual goal that may be something harmless, may coincide with the group goal – or may be bloody vengeance on all the other players. This goes beyond the traitor mechanic you get in other coop games: there you may or may not have one or two players that win when everyone else loses. Dead of Winter sounds more like it covers the whole spectrum from fully cooperative to everyone secretly fighting for himself, with a small side order of “you can win on your own, but only if they group goal is met as well.
I can not think of a more beautiful photo than this baby gorilla from Kahuzi-Biega National Park, home to one of the last groups of Eastern Lowland Gorillas. The photo was taken by Joe McKenna and shared with a CC-BY license. Thank you so much, Joe.