The new Schmidt Spiele game Completto, designed by experienced family game designer Hans Meister, is a light, abstract game where all you have to do is get your 17 number tiles in the right order. Only five of them are visible at the start, you put those in any five spots on your line of tiles, as long as they are in the right order. Then, when it’s your turn, you take a tile from the center, turn it face up and swap it for one of the face down tiles in your lines – if you have a spot where it fits. If, for instance, you draw the 48, but have no space between your 46 and 50, then you can’t keep the tile. It goes back to the center face up, easy for the other players to grab without a risk. It’s a game with some luck, but also with some planning ahead to keep the right gaps in your line. Oh, and with some schadenfreude, when someone else has 1-3-x-27 in their line and draws a two. The mix seems perfect for a family game.
Fantasy Flight Games
Whenever we talked about the new edition of Fury of Dracula so far, we simply called the players chasing the master vampire the hunters. But who are these hunters, and what makes them special? The latest preview introduces the four hunter characters Lord Godalming, Doctor Seward, Doctor van Helsing, and Mina Harker. Each of them has a special ability in the hunt for Dracula, and to stand any sort of chance they must use it well. Another preview explains the new combat rules. They will probably be the most controversial change for fans of the old edition: the cards have been streamlined and the dice are gone completely, the combat system now employs simultaneous card selection with a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. If the hunters’ card counters Dracula’s, then the count’s card has no effect, but if his card goes unchallenged it has a devastating effect. Also, combat is now limited to six rounds. Personally, I think those changes are for the better, making combat more tactical than chaotic, but if you liked the old system you may find that you hate the new one.
A new preview post for fantasy adventure game Runebound finally talks about how you win the game. There will be two scenarios in the base game, and one of them will involve the ancient dragon lord Margath. In the first part of the game, the players look for ancient dragon lore to help them defeat the dragon, who is yet to awaken. Part two starts with the dragon awakening and giving the players a tight time limit to defeat him before he conquers the city of Tamalir. If he succeeds, all players lose. The victory condition is not the only thing changing with the scenario, special encounter cards shuffled into the encounter decks make sure that the way to victory is also a different one.
The horrors we have to face when fighting the ancient ones keep getting worse. With Under the Pyramids, the next expansion to Fantasy Flight’s Eldritch Horror, things are yet again going to get worse. Not only is the Black Pharaoh, rumored to be an avatar of Nyarlathotep, threatening to awake, the evils he brings with him are nasty as well. You may find yourself fighting the Sphinx reawakened to life, or drained of health and sanity from simply being near the Pharaoh’s cultists. And from this expansion on you can also lose permanent points in your character stats. Doesn’t that make you happy?
Many dangers await the heroes in Warhammer Quest: the Adventure Card Game. Chaos never runs out of monsters, after all. And while the heroes may be able to defeat the early challenges easily, they will quickly run into bigger threats. Time to upgrade! While you’re out questing, you may find many useful items to help you, like weapons or armor. But that’s not all. Each hero also has a set of legendary items tailored to him, like a genuine flaming sword they may be able to claim after a successful quest. And gear is not the only way to upgrade your heroes, they may also improve your abilities. Each hero has four ability cards at the start of the game that he uses for the four basic actions. There is no way to collect more of those cards, but you can replace them with better ones. For example from the basic Fireball, the Bright Wizard’s attack spell, you can upgrade to Flamestorm an roll an additional damage dice and optionally affect more targets. That’s what ties the campaign together, I had been wondering what happens between the scenarios.
Gremlin Project / Ares Games
It’s time to meet the heroes of Gremlin Project and Ares Games’s Sword & Sorcery in a new preview. The heroes have been dead for a long time and have only recently been resurrected, missing pieces of their souls and memories. But the archetypes of fantasy heroes haven’t changed since their day, they’re all there: Warrior, Priest, Wizard, Rogue and Ranger. Each of them has a light side and a dark side so playing the same hero can be a very different experience next time. Light and dark are called Lawful and Chaotic by the creators, but I’m an alignment traditionalist and disagree with their assignments. Anyway, that gives you ten roles with very different abilities to play, that will keep you entertained for a while.
FryxGames have a second project in the pipeline for next year, on top of their delayed from this year Terraforming Mars. The new game, which is in beta-testing, is Zombies & Survivors, a zombie-themed cooperative card game. We don’t know much about Z&S yet, but the words “zombies invade your deck” make us hope for a cooperative zombie deck-building game. That would be pretty cool, even with the zombie fatigue I’ve been feeling lately. We’ll let you know as soon as we know more.
The first expansion for MAGE Company’s Raid & Trade is on Kickstarter now. The players are still rushing around the post-apocalyptic wastelands to try, in different ways, to earn access to the safety of the Golden City. Finding safety is now more urgent than ever, because one part of War on the Streets is the Rats Gang, a gang of wasteland exiles out hunting the players. There will also be new suburb tiles to give players new things to explore, four new characters to play and new scenarios allowing for cooperative play.
Rule & Make
Burgers are one of the worst foods to have with gaming. In a good burger, pretty much by definition, you bite one side of it and tasty, tasty ingredients squish out the other side. Right onto your first edition Catan. So no, no burgers while gaming. Gaming about burgers, on the other hand, sounds pretty good, at least the way Matt Parkes’s Burger Up does it. It’s not a particularly complex game, but for a good burger you will have to do some planning because every ingredient card tells you what the next ingredient must be. That would be easy enough if you just wanted to build a high burger, but as a gourmet burger chef you have to keep customers’ orders in mind. If they order the infamous Even Steven, for instance, your burger must have the same number of cards with Meat, Sauce, Salad and Cheese, which is not so easy if all your Meat cards need Salad to follow and all your Salad cards Meat. And when you finally managed, one of the other players picks that order before you, because those things are public. Like I said, it is a lighter game, but it does sound like a lot of fun, and the burger art on the Kickstarter page looks appetizing.
This week’s featured photo was not, contrary to appearances, taken on Tatooine. The desert fortress in the photo, Quseir Amra, is located in the Eastern Desert region of Jordan and was built in the early 8th century. Thanks for the photo go to Flickr user Gusjer who shared it with a CC-BY license. Thank you, Gusjer.