Fantasy Flight Games
The Woodland from Fantasy Flight’s next Talisman expansion is not a place for a Sunday afternoon stroll. It’s a primal forest, with all the natural and supernatural hazards that your parents warned you about. The swamps and bogs slow your movement, but they are still better than the various fairy places turning you around and teleporting you places you don’t really want to go. And the forest’s inhabitants only make things worse, most of them are capricious fairy creatures that may help you one turn and turn you into a frog the next. Except the ones that simply kill you, of course, like Mab, Queen of fairies and nightmares, who waits at the end of the forest and will be a challenge even for well equipped characters.
The next Descent expansion, Manor of Ravens, is near, in the latest preview you can download the rulebook already. More entertaining, the preview explains the two new Overlord classes. An Enchanter can produce effects to buff his monsters, not only for one move but until the buff is dispelled. An Overlord specializing in Unkindness earns a special servant, a flock of ravens, to do his bidding, and his other cards boost the flock’s abilities. As an Overlord player, I’m already in love with both classes. Permanence is what all Overlord cards so far lacked, and both new classes fix that in their own way.
The expansion for Bruno Faidutti’s Mascarade, titled simply Mascarade Expansion, will introduce 12 new characters with new, chaotic abilities. Some of them may even make the game a little easier, the Princess for instance can force a player to reveal his role – to everyone but himself.
IDW Games / Pandasaurus Games
The next comic book series by IDW is getting a boardgame adaptation. V-Wars is yet another story about the war between humans and vampires, with the slight twist that the vampires are humans infected by some nasty virus unearthed (uniced?) in Antarctica. Sorry if I don’t sound as enthusiastic as the comic might deserve, I’m getting a bit tired of vampires. What I am enthusiastic about, however, is that the game V-Wars is designed by Risk Legacy designer Rob Daviau together with the comic’s author Jonathan Maberry. Players will join either the human or the vampire side, but exposure to the ice virus may force them to change sides in the middle of the game. The game is scheduled for some time next year.
Catalyst Game Labs
We’ve been neglecting the Shadowrun: Crossfire previews a little. But no more, here’s the latest card from Catalyst Game Labs cooperative deck-building game. In case you don’t know the Shadowrun RPG, it’s a cyberpunk game with magic mixed in, so it’s not at all weird that you might encounter the Spirit of Air while you’re on the way to break into someone’s secure database.
This year still, Horrible Games, the new European publisher of the dice dexterity game Dungeon Fighter plans to release another expansion. Dungeon Fighter: Stormy Winds will be the third elemental expansion for the game – Fire and Water are already out there – and the air magic will certainly make things even more possible to hit. As if I needed that. Rumor in Essen last year was that there might be a doohickey to lift the whole target board a centimeter or two of the table, that will make hitting it with the dice so much easier. You can probably expect the US edition by Fantasy Flight some time next year.
Loop, formerly titled Loop Inc., is another attempt at incorporating time travel in a boardgame, this time by Scott Almes and Gryphon Games. The way to do it sounds as simple as it does intriguing: you have three days to act, and each day you have three actions. Only at the end of the day you get into your time machine and go back to the morning, so it’s actually the same day three times over. But your past selfs are still hanging around as well, so on the second day you have three new actions plus the three actions you took the day before, and on the third you have six established actions, plus three new ones. To make the biggest profit, because that is your goal here, you have to be the best at weaving your new actions into the existing timeline. And do try not to cause a paradox that will destroy the world as we know it, because that comes out of your salary. Loop will be on Kickstarter later this year. Or maybe earlier. Or both. Because time travel is confusing.
German publisher dlp games (Citrus, Bangkok Klongs) is currently running a Spieleschmiede campaign for Scheffeln, the first game from their new product line. So far, they’ve been putting out one medium heavy game a year, Scheffeln (German for raking in money) is their first attempt at a lighter game. In an effort to make money in the roaring twenties, players move around the different locations. Only they don’t move themselves, each player picks one of seven representatives to do business for them, and they can change their representative during a round as well as move other players’. So it’s light, but not too light.
Plaid Hat Games
The Downwood is a very dangerous place for incautious mice. But playing Mice & Mystics, you should have learned caution by now, and it will help you survive in the Downwood Tales expansion. The latest preview presents a new opponent you may have the misfortune to encounter, the Molox. These mole warriors start out as nothing special, but as they get wounded they enrage, and an Enraged Molox will quickly make mouse kebab of your brave rodents, so you better plan ahead how to deal with him. You will get to appreciate the new abilities your mice can learn in the Downwood.