I’ve always wondered this about fantasy games: all those monsters we kill carry magical weapons, enchanted armor and blessed cheese with them for us to loot. Why don’t they use them instead of hitting us with their bare hands until we kill them? Someone at Alderac must have been wondering the same thing because in Thunderstone Advance : Caverns of Bane your monstrous adversaries will finally strike back with that Vorpal Sword they are carrying. Snickersnack.
Smash Up previous also continue, this week with the most powerful lizards you have ever seen. Honestly, these dinosaurs are not headed to extinction because of meteors, they will eradicate all floating space rocks once and for all. King Rex is the most powerful minion we’ve seen in the previous so far – if memory serves, which it does less and less these days – and with an Upgrade he will have Godzilla for breakfast.
This news item had gotten away from me, but our German readers will appreciate it: the German edition of Vlaada Chvátil’s hit game Mage Knight is now available.
Jolly Roger Games
In a surprising bit of news, Jolly Roger Games’ Jim Dietz announced on Boardgamegeek that they are publishing a new English edition of Kremlin. Kremlin has nothing to do with ugly little creatures you have to keep away from water and everything with Soviet politicians and their intrigues inside the communist party. It’s a game of satire, secret votes and bluffing by Urs Hostettler that was on the 1987 Spiel des Jahres Recommendation List. The new edition by Jolly Roger will come with some streamlining to the rules and, at least almost certainly, three different sets of politicians to play with: fictional ones, 1920’s ones and modern-day – wait, the Soviet Union doesn’t even exist any more. But who cares, as long as the game is fun.
The Lord of the Rings: Nazgul is the chance to fix all the mistakes Sauron made in his pursuit of the ring. After all, it was only two hobbits carrying it, it can’t be that hard to find and kill them. Or so you tell yourself, as you pursue them all across Middle Earth. Hobbits, however, are not your only problem. Nazgul is a semi-cooperative game, meaning that you can all lose together, but only one can win: the player trying the hardest in the name of His Divine Eyeness.
Fantasy Flight Games
Not much to say about Fantasy Flight Games this week. The Descent: Journeys in the Dark preview continue with the wizardy classes of the game and the previous of Donald X. Vaccarino’s dystopian push-your-luck heist game Infiltration stop with the game being available.
A new version of Caylus is now available. The rules for the deep and popular worker placement game remain unchanged, but the art has been updated. The new box looks rather nice, too, I like it much better than the old Constipated King edition we had for our review.
The indiegogo campaign for Artipia’s newest project, Vangelis Bagiartakis’ Among The Stars, has launched. Players in Among the Stars will compete to build the greatest space station of the whole galactic sector, using a card drafting mechanism that is similar to 7 Wonders. Unlike in 7 Wonders, where you play your cards is of great importance in Among the Stars, almost all preview cards have specific scoring rules that add bonus points when placed next to or far away from specific other cards. You also need to take care of your stations energy supply and, in a variant of the game, can enter more direct conflict with your opponents.
In another unexpected but very welcome announcement on BoardGameGeek we find out that 2013 will bring us Tales of Cthulhu, a storytelling game like Tales of the Arabian Nights, but with Shoggoths and Great Old Ones.
Another new army pack for Neuroshima Hex is coming, and this one is an odd bunny to say the least. Actually, a bunny army pack wouldn’t be much more odd. The Dancer is an army without units, consisting of three HQs and action tiles. The army is not entirely new, it was already available for download as a fan army by Rustan Håkansson and is credited to him as the first fan army for Neuroshima Hex to be officially published. Mind the “first” here, for it implies there will be others.
More art previews for Aztlán: this time we get card back illustrations, and the meeplo-american style is very nice indeed.
Geeky Gizmo Games
Kickstarter project Escape from Pandemonium has an unusual theme: you’re a servant soul, the lowest form of life – or whatever they call it there – in Pandemonium. And that’s not a fun job. So you have decided to pack your things – do souls have things? – and hit the road. But Pandemonium is an ever-changing place of chaos, and to find the relics you need to make your escape you have to navigate it’s twisting, changing corridors. The game mechanics sound like having a nightmare of the AMAZEing Labyrinth on LSD, only with less predictability. I used to love that game as a kid, this might be just the update I want.
Although already funded, there is still time to jump into the Kickstarer campaign for Goblins Drool, Fairies Rules. I never found a good reason to use the word whimsical before, but the cards from this game force me to. There are only 20 cards, but each shows a unique, beautiful fairy on one side and an equally unique but even more adorable goblin on the reverse. Cards belong to sets based on their rhyming names and on their symbol. You start with only goblins on the table in front of you, and you send them to the fairy ring, trying to get pretty fairies back instead. Cards in the fairy ring turn based on their names, but you may only take back cards with the same symbol as yours. Easy but not trivial, quick and beautiful.
Today’s banner photo was taken by Flickr user lokryan. It shows Preah Vihear Temple, an 11th century Shiva temple and World Heritage site in Cambodia, considered one of the finest example of pure Khmer architecture. (CC-BY-SA)