Hello and welcome to the first news post of 2013 after our extended Christmas break. If nothing goes wrong we’ll be back on our regular schedule now, with all the news about boardgames and some very exciting reviews coming up. Once again, have a great 2013 everyone. And remember to make time for gaming, it’s good for you!
More news about the new Catan expansion Entdecker und Piraten (Explorers and Pirates) are online, and I’m liking what I read so far. I was at first disappointed by the addition of Gold as a new resource that you receive when you get nothing else from a dice roll, similar to Catan Histories: Merchants of Europe and others. I never made a secret of my dislike for Gold because it makes trading with other players much less attractive. Entdecker und Piraten, however, adds another use for Gold that will make you think twice before trading it all for Sheep and Wool: you also need it to move your ships past the pirate ship, if you can’t bribe then the Pirates stop your ships dead. I’ll reserve judgement until I tried the game, but it sounds like a great way to make Gold farming less powerful. The other news post on the Catan blog will be more controversial, bringing something to Catan that never happened there before: violence. To conquer the Pirates’ hideouts, players will recruit soldiers – abstractly called Units for now. Unlike the Knights in Cities and Knights, these guys will not just stand around to be counted when the invaders appear, they will go into the Pirate Fortress to fight, making it more warlike than Knights used to be. The player stomping out piracy the hardest will receive two victory points for his efforts, working the same way as the Longest Road.
Awesome things that happened during our holiday break: Portal Publishing made the world a Christmas gift with a seventh scenario for Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island. If you really survived all the included scenarios already – in which case I accuse you of cheating – this one will provide some new challenges. You take the place of the film crew that went out to make King Kong! And the scenario includes everything that you might want, a giant ape terrorizing the island, film crew members to be killed by said ape, even the possibility that Kong abducts your actress. Robinson was a great game already, but from just reading the scenario Ignacy Trzewiczek and team delivered a real upgrade to it.
There will more than likely be another expansion to Alcatraz: The Scapegoat this year, and you can be in it. Kuznia Gier is currently running a contest on their Facebook page, looking for the portrait of a new prisoner to be transferred to Alcatraz this year. The man is a phantom, a master of disguise, the man with 1.000 faces – and I’m very curious what news he’ll bring to the game.
Fantasy Flight Games
The Talisman expansion The City comes with lots and lots of new people. Some of them are friendly, like the Physician or the Weapon Master, some not so much, like the Grumpy Wizard who forces you to cast a spell upon yourself. Ouch. And some of them are us, new heroes are of course included, too. I especially like the Barmaid, getting other players drunk and poor.
Another expansion in the making, Mansions of Madness: Call of the Wild, is also taking on shape. Besides adventures in the great outdoors it will contain allies, characters the players can recruit to aid them. These allies are more fleshed out than the allies in Arkham Horror, for example: each ally has his or her own card deck containing Quests, Events and Rumours about that character. Like player characters, allies will slowly go insane at which point the Keeper can take control of them and harm the players.
Mr. Card Game has some more info for you about how he will be played. Okay, that sounds weird, why would anyone call a game Mister in the first place? Anyway, here’s more info about the Kingdom of Loathing card game Mr. Card Game, this time with the most important bit of information for any game from that genre: how do I kill monsters?
This week’s photo, taken by Janos Korom, shows a ceiling in the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Hungary, first founded around the year 1000. The ceiling is likely not quite as old. The photo was shared with a CC-BY-SA license. Thank you, Janos!