Aaaaaaand we’re back. A happy new year to all of you! And when I say “we’re back” I mean “we were lucky enough to have a chance to return home” because our trip back to Europe was a jarring tale of our airline updating their check-in software, a new church being opened and somewhere between 1,000 and 6,000 buses parked illegally, blocking our way to the airport. I would tell the whole story, but no one believes it, anyway. I wouldn’t believe it either if anyone else told the story. Lets catch up on two weeks of boardgame news instead – it’s the holiday weeks, so we can still start the year slowly.
Not one but two expansions for Michael Schacht’s Mondo are now available, named Mondo – Set A and Mondo – Set B in a heroic effort of creativity. But coming up with a good name for these expansions would be difficult as their main content is components for an additional player. These components are identical between both sets, but they both come with their own new scoring variants.
Portal has announced 2012 to be the year of Neuroshima Hex. If you’re unfamiliar with Michal Oracz’s game, is a post-apocalyptic strategy game where you’re army consists of hexagonal tiles which you then place to support your own tiles and eliminate the opponents’ with the goal of destroying their HQ. The first announcement for the Neuroshima Hex year is a new army pack, the Steel Police. More army packs are coming later this year, and there will be some sort of surprise in autumn. Looks like I finally have no excuse any more, I’ll have to find a copy.
Fantasy Flight Games
Taking a break from writing news for a week is not generally a big deal: there’s some more work to be done, but it’s not overwhelming. The one exception here is Fantasy Flight Games with their fantastically active news stream – give them two weeks of time, and you’re going to be reading for a while to catch up.
First, there’s a preview of Rockband Manager, Antoine Bauza’s card game that lets you fulfil your lifelong dream of managing, you guessed it, your own rock band. If you’re French or Spanish is up to it, you could have been playing this game since late 2010 already, but if your skills in both languages are only half as atrocious as mine, you will have to be patient for a few more weeks.
The Cosmic Encounter expansion Cosmic Alliance reveals more details about the alliance part of the name: here’s a detailed description how team play will work.
More news about the remake of Tom Jolly’s Wiz-War are also coming to light, with a preview about movement through the maze and another one taking a closer look at the mutation school of spells. There is some disagreement about the visual style between the commenters over there; I’m firmly on the “love it” side of that discussion, the whole design fits the tone of the game perfectly.
As names go, Thunderstone Advance is not the pinnacle of creativity either, but what project lead Jeff Quick promises for this new game sounds much better than the title: new art, new game mechanics and new components. Not that anything was wrong with the original Thunderstone‘s art, components or mechanics, but be honest, if you’re a Thunderstone fan you’re excited for the new bits.
I tend to like games like Kingsburg that combine luck from dice rolling with the strategic choice what to do with that dice. In that category, Order of Professional Sorcerers is an interesting looking new entry that adds more replayability to the genre with a variable board that offers different options with every game. O.O.P.S. needs some support still, the campaign runs out in 7 days and they didn’t meet their goal yet, so lets see what we can do.