Meople News: Battle for the War of Explosions

Fireside Games

What has the world come to when even a game where you play a giant monster and want to crush a city needs strategy? For the giant monsters in Fireside Games’ Kaiju Crush crushing cities is a way of life. But you can’t just crush whatever comes under your feet any more, these days even monsters use movement cards. Some of those are public, others wait in players’ hands to be used and then become public. So you can’t just stomp wherever you want. And you don’t want to destroy whatever neighborhoods, either, you have objective cards to complete. And sometimes, to complete your objectives or stop another monsters from completing theirs, you’ll fight. It’d be too much to call Kaiju Crush a deep strategy game, but there’s enough planing involved to make it interesting. The modern world is a place for smart monsters!

Archona Games

After more than 300 years of peace, war has returned to the galaxy. I’m just mentioning that because the title of Archona Games’ new Kickstarter doesn’t really make it clear what we’re dealing with. Galactic Warlords: Battle for Dominion … this could be a game about anything, right? War is not generally our thing, but  this game is nevertheless interesting for what it has under the hood: a collection of intricately connected game mechanics. You want to occupy planets with your troops, of course. But the same troops could also act as guards for the mercenaries you hire. The mercenaries, in turn, provide you with more troops, objectives to earn points, and sometimes special actions. But you can only take the actions with two identical icons, and you can only get those if no one assassinates your mercenaries. You also want to consider the reputation bar where you can gain tasty bonuses, but only for taking the right actions at the right time – and they might not be the actions that help you most in the game right now. For every decision there are many things to take into account. I may mock the name, but the game intrigues me.

Renegade Game Studios

Planet Defenders (Renegade Game Studios)
Planet Defenders (Renegade Game Studios)

Planet Defenders deals with a serious problem we’ll have to face one day: What do we do with all the decommissioned robots? In the game, some of those robots are suddenly, mysteriously recharged and start acting without any human supervision. A dangerous event, and so it must be prevented from happening again. That’s where you come in. Your Planet Defenders travel from planet to planet to gather energy and collect the disposed robots before anything worse can happen. Resource management is key, there are different forms of energy plus the batteries you need to move your defenders. Each planet gives you an option to convert between these things in some way, but first you must be able to get there. Catching robots and researching technology isn’t free, either. You could get Planet Defenders at the EmperorS4 booth in Essen last year, but the Renegade Game Studios release should make it much easier to find internationally.

Plaid Hat Games

Now that we know the basic rules we’re getting to the meat of Crystal Clans: The latest preview gives us the first in-depth look at one of the clans. The Skull Clan have a great respect for the dead. You would, too, if the dead could suddenly be standing behind you and smack you upside the head. In more game relevant terms, what makes Skull Clan special is that many of their units have the clan’s signature Undying ability. Those units can be summoned from the discard pile just as easily as from the player’s hand. Playing against Skull Clan, that means you’ll never the last of their troops – including one of the clans three heroes. That’s going to be annoying.

John Wick Presents

It’s time for another episode of “Boardgames for people who don’t need Friends.” This time, we have 7th Sea: War of the Cross, a Diplomacy-like game set in the magical swashbuckling world of the 7th Sea RPG. Just like good, old Diplomacy, the point of War of the Cross is to make alliances that ultimately help you control the most land when the war is over. However, from the description on Kickstarter, War of the Cross is less free-form than Diplomacy. You can’t just make alliances any way you like, for example. Each round you can only be formally allied with one other player, and only if you picked each other as a partner. A one-sided attempt at an alliance means nothing, and if your troops meet they will fight. Each faction has a hero with a special ability, Story Cards will advance the game’s plot to the benefit of the highest bidder, and that’s not all. Despite the similarities, War of the Cross looks like a more structured game than Diplomacy, but I bet it can still make you lose all your friends.

Horrible Games / CMON

Fifth Ingredient (Horrible Games / CMON)
Fifth Ingredient (Horrible Games / CMON)

You took your potion making exams in Potion Explosion with more or less success. Let’s call it more since you didn’t blow yourself up. But that wasn’t all there is to learn in the world of magic potions. The Fifth Ingredient changes everything you knew about making potions, because the newly discovered Ghostly Ectoplasm can take the place of any ingredient. It’s not just a wildcard, though, it also opens the path to whole new potions, like the excitable Dram of Poltergeist Sweat. No idea what it does, but it sounds exciting. In typical, modular game expansion style, you can add any of the new potions to your game, the Ghastly Cauldron where Ghostly Ectoplasm comes from, and the new Professor tiles that change the rules for the game a little and let you earn extra rewards – or punishments. And I should mention that Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient is in stores today.

Fantasy Flight Games

Evil, mind the capital E, never stays locked up for long. So we all knew that the Evil in Mansions of Madness would spill out of those mansions and into the streets. The Streets of Arkham. And where Evil goes the investigators follow. They follow into a diner, they follow to the museum, and they follow to other places in the three new adventures this expansion brings. I don’t know how playing Towers of Hanoi in the companion app connects to any of this, but that’s also new. Now, did anyone else think to sing Panic in the Streets of Arkham?

This week’s photo of the week shows the famous stone lanterns leading up to Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara, Japan. It was taken by Flickr user Travis and kindly shared with a CC-BY license. Thanks a lot for sharing this beautiful photo, Travis! (Nara_Stone_Lantern_11, Travis, CC-BY)

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