Fantasy Flight Games
Quests in Fantasy Flight’s The Witcher are … a bit of a letdown, to be honest. They tell epic stories of how you travel the land and defeat monsters, but setting aside the flavor text they all seem to boil down to “go to place A and slay monster B” or “go to place C and deliver tokens”. Each Main Quest also two Side Quests that are more of the same. The Support Quest, also available on each quest card, had more potential: you need another player supporting you to complete those, and that player gains more points from it than you do. But in the examples shown in the preview post, points are the only thing both players can gain, making the decision when to ask for support and when to give it a numbers game. Of course that doesn’t ruin the game as a whole, but the quests could feel more epic. However, the epic feeling may come back with the Monsters and Foul Fates from an even newer preview post. What does it say about me that I get more excited about the plague than I do about forging dwarven weapons?
The first two Rebel heroes presented from Star Wars: Imperial Assault are both fighters, but with very different styles. Diala Passil is a melee fighter with some ability with the force. Although far from a fully trained Jedi, she can anticipate enemies actions to improve her defenses and use her melee weapons at range. The other, Fenn Signis, is a veteran soldier and weapons expert who can bring a lot of pain at range and can exert a lot of control over the battle with specials like a ranged stun attack. It’s nice to see that the characters are not just copies from Descent. Sure, some abilities look familiar, but there are only so many things to do with the basic system.
The latest Star Wars: Armada preview gives the explanation we’ve all been waiting for: how to use the unique and vaguely threatening looking navigation tool. It’s actually not nearly as threatening as it looks, and it has a lot of potential to make ships handle differently from one another. More important than how to go somewhere, however, is where to go in the first place and what to do when you get there, so the second part of the preview talks about obstacles and other ships.
Hans im Glück
Carcassone: Gold Rush, the second game from the Carcassone Around The World series, had been announced for a while, but since the Essen fair we also know details how it works. The big new thing, as befits the game, is digging for gold, which is found in the mountains. The mountains replace the cities from original Carcassone, but they score very differently. When a tile with mountain is added to the map, it receives gold nuggets that are worth an unknown number of points. When the mountain is completed, they go to the player with the most meeples there. But everyone can mine them before that by putting a tent in the mountains. The whole thing gets interesting because both putting a tent and taking a nugget can only be done instead of placing a meeple, so you have to decide when mining for gold is more valuable than the traditional scoring.
IELLO / Volumique
IELLO And Volumique have launched a game on Kickstarter that tries out a completely new way of using smartphones in a boardgame: it uses them as game pieces. In World of Yo-Ho, your phone becomes a pirate ship that you move across the game board as you search for treasures, upgrade your equipment and battle sea monsters and other players. While your phone is on the board it will update automatically were on the board it is and display data that is public knowledge, but when you pick it up you get all the information that is only for you. When fighting another player, both secretly choose their actions, and when the phones are back on the board you can see the battle animated on the screens. The different game modes will include a way to play with one phone only, a regular free for all pirate contest and a campaign with a story developing over multiple games. Finally I can sink myself some iPhones. Arrrrr!
Cool Mini Or Not
The latest Kickstarter project by Cool Mini Or Not takes you into the underworld of Smog, the steampunk world of The World Of Smog: On Her Majesty’s Service. Your mission, given to you by Queen Victoria herself: descend into the Shadow Market and recover four valuable artifacts for her. The Shadow Market is difficult terrain to navigate, because the market itself spins and twists, and the challenge in the game is to turn the market tiles to your advantage. Not only do your cool minis move across the turning tiles, the sides facing you also tell you which actions are available to you on your turn. And if those are not enough obstacles for you yet, the minions of the Shadow Master are also out to get in your way.