July 15, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Pegasus: Cylon Leaders and You

PegasusBox.JPG

The first in-depth preview article "A Dark Agenda" detailing the new Battlestar Galactica board game expansion Pegasus has hit the web, and we are very, very impressed. We already knew that the game would expand upon the board with a new Pegasus Battlestar flying alongside the Galactica, complete with new spaces and Events that characters can move to and use. We also knew that there was going to be a new series of cast members to expand upon the collection of main characters from the show.

What we didn't' know was that some of these new characters are Cylons - 'Cylon Leaders' to be exact, and they're Cylons right from the start of the game all the way to the end.

So what makes these guys different from the Cylong sleeper agent? Well, a lot actually.

ArrowContinue reading: "Battlestar Galactica Pegasus: Cylon Leaders and You"

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 13, 2009

Dominion: Intrigue Expansion Hits Shelves

DominionIntrigue.jpgThe first follow-up expansion to 2008's game of the year Dominon is now in stores, and it very well might be the best release of the summer.

Dominon: Intrigue [Amazon, Funagain] adds 25 new card types to the already fantastic collection of interesting Dominion cards, which means there are all sorts of new quirky combinations added to a game that already has some amazing replayability.

Intrigue also expands the number of players to 6, which is a welcome bonus. The only drawback of the original Dominion that we've found is the limiting 4-person maximum. Well, no more! And If you combine the original Dominion set, you can even play in a special 8 person format. How about them apples?

Here are Intrigue's official details:


You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner.

Dominion: Intrigue adds rules for playing with up to 8 players at two tables or for playing a single game with up to 6 players. This game adds 25 new Kingdom cards and a complete set of Treasure and Victory cards. The game can be played alone by players experienced in Dominion or with the basic game of Dominion.


Dominion: Intrigue is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 8, 2009

Dominion Wins Game of the Year

Dominion.jpgThe preeminent board game award committee the Spiel des Jahres - or German Game of the Year - has chosen Dominion [Amazon, Funagain] as the best game of the 2008. Having obsessed over it ourselves over the last few months, we concur. Dominion is the freshest set of gaming fun to come in a box since the NES shipped back in 1985.

OK, perhaps that's an overstatement. But man, Dominion has grabbed us by the hair and bonked our heads around the room. It's just flat out surprising many options there are in any given game, how each game seems very different and very interesting from the last (randomly drawn configurations of the games pieces), and the speed at which the game unfolds, all make it one of these best games we've gotten our hands on since we started playing Eurogames and board games oh-so-many years ago. Plus, it's approachable as all heck, and that's nothing to shrug off, either.

The only drawback is that the game was designed for only 4 players. That's just not enough for our standard group. Thankfully, the first Dominion expansion is slated to ship in about a week, and that ratchets up the number of participants to a more comfortable 6 players ( and perhaps even more with alternative rules ).

Dominion has also won a few other awards of note, including like The Dice Tower Game of the Year nomination, and a Mensa Select winner for 2009.

We highly recommend that you check out Dominion if you haven't already. More information can be found in our previous coverage Dominion - A Standalone Collectible Card Game in a Box. Also, here's some flavorable official details pulled from Dominion's game page at Funagain Games:


You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion! In all directions lie fiefs, freeholds, and feodums. All are small bits of land, controlled by petty lords and verging on anarchy. You will bring civilization to these people, uniting them under your banner. But wait! It must be something in the air; several other monarchs have had the exact same idea. You must race to get as much of the unclaimed land as possible, fending them off along the way. To do this you will hire minions, construct buildings, spruce up your castle, and fill the coffers of your treasury. Your parents wouldn't be proud, but your grandparents, would be delighted. Dominion is not a CCG, but the play of the game is similar to the construction and play of a CCG deck. The game comes complete with roughly 500 cards. You select 10 of the 20+ Kingdom card types to include in any given play -- leading to immense variety.
Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 1, 2009

Critical Gamers' June 2009 Board Game Roundup

Dominion.jpgWe just can't believe it. The year is already half over. Our liver only just got over our holiday party, and it's already almost 2010.

That's quite the sobering number; when we were kids back in the 70s and 80s we thought 2010 was officially "the future" (2001 A Space Odyssey was before our time, an obviously not an accurate target, so we only had John Lithgow and Roy Schnieder versus the friendly space Russians as our version of potential future events).

And the way we see it, Jupiter will go Nova in just 6 months time, so it's time to get some gaming-in while we still have a night time. Thankfully our countdown starts with a bang. The World of Warcraft set release Fields of Honor is hitting stores right about now. Also our new board game obsession Dominion is slated to expand in just a week's time. We're giddy over this, considering the game already doesn't seem to play the same way twice. Oh boy, it's going to be a good July.

And of course we'll continue to get more updates on upcoming releases, including Battlestar Galatica Pegasus, the Warhammer Board Game "Chaos in the Old World", Middle Earth Quest, and the new Axis & Allies 1942 baseline, all of which should rock our world this fall.

Here's a look back at the news of June:

Board Games

Collectable Card Games

Gaming Culture

Gaming News

Party Games

Variants

World of Warcraft TCG

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2009

BattleLore: Heroes Expansion Goes Epic

battleloreheroes.jpgLate last summer the Battlelore Fantasy Wargame System franchise changed hands from the slick, colorful and approachable publisher Days of Wonder to the rich, enthralling, but sometimes rules-heavy Fantasy Flight Games. Both of these houses are on our top 5 publisher's list, so we weren't too worried with the hand off. Still, we were a bit concerned that Fantasy Flight Games might complicate a nicely stream-lined system with a slew of extra chits and rules.

And while it seems seems that the game will in fact notch-up the complexity scale with the newly announced Heroes Expansion, the additions to the game are being done in a really interesting and potentially rewarding way.

BattleLore Heroes - due out by the end of the year - introduces persistent characters that level up through numerous adventures (ie: battles). Its kind of like D&D meets a Battle Field (which kinda brings things full circle if you think about it).

The expansion will include 10 different classes, each with their own set of upgradable skills and abilities. Details on the first two classes have already hit the web, with preview articles for the Rogue and Cleric classes.

The articles are short, but the ideas are enough to pique our interest in the BattleLore system again, which has been a little slow in its development recently. We'll keep you posted of any more interesting news as more details emerge. Until then, here are the Expansion's official details:


"BattleLore: Heroes introduces player-created Leaders and Champions to augment your camp's forces in battles.

As with all journeys, the beginning is never easy. As a fledgling adventurer, you begin with a bare minimum of skills and artifacts to help you combat the enemy. Adventures have the potential to reward your intrepid Hero greatly if he performs well. But beware, battlefields are not without peril, and taking too many wounds may force your Hero into an unwanted early retirement.

Prepare yourself for the journey of a lifetime!

BattleLore: Heroes includes 10 unique Hero figures, a Rules booklet, 110 Skill, Artifact, and Landmark cards, and much more!"


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 26, 2009

The Willy Wonka Dice Machine

Simply crazy - or crazy brilliant - take your pick. This jobber was built for two major reasons. The first was that it was hobbyist's dream, but more importantly it's the manifested answer to overly critical players of GamesByEmail.com. We remember some bickering last year regarding the 'trendiness' of the Random Algorithms the site used to create the dice rolls of their games. These weren't horrible algorithms, actually they were top notch, using numbers from Random.org and another tested random number generator algorithms. Still, that wasn't enough to silence the critics. Apparently players can get pretty defiant when a bunch of rolls don't go their way.

The new Dice-O-Matic should shut them up. Here's the full story.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 24, 2009

Top 5 Board Games From Our Childhood (aka the 1980's)

TheATeam.jpgWe've been around the webosphere for a while, and some of you might have gotten to know us quite a bit. But still nothing paints a picture about our style of gaming better than regressing into our childhood memories and hand picking the best games from our younger years.

We've taken a considerable amount of time with this exercise, surveying the group and pacing the games in order using the most agreeable means possible. You could imagine this being a difficult process with all the pretty-haired egos sitting around our gaming table, so we just went all Stalin and 'liquidated' the unbelievers in our group. The survivors agreed upon the following list in short order:

ArrowContinue reading: "Top 5 Board Games From Our Childhood (aka the 1980's)"

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 22, 2009

Stay Frosty with Your Board Game News

FiresideChat.jpgWe interrupt our normal line of Board Game News updates for this important update...

Are you browsing the web like a sucker? Have you ever thought that you'd have a lot more free time in your day if you didn't have to go trough your daily rotation of web sites? Are you feeling stressed, experiencing hair loss, and generally bored with how you look in the mirror?

Well it's time to put the Internets to work for you.

Critical Gamers offers a wide variety of ways to deliver the latest latest Board Game news and previews delivered to directly to your Email Inbox, Twitter Homepage and/or RSS Reader (like Google Reader). Just click on your preferred method of delivery and chose 8 Track, Cassette or CD, and we'll ensure that your mailbox will be chalkfull of gaming news just in time for Bastille Day.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 16, 2009

Battlestar Galactica Expansion: Pegasus Announced

BSGBoardGameCover.JPGThis is perhaps the best board gaming we'll hear all year. Last year's Battlestar Galactica board game was probably our favorite release of the year, and now it's first expansion has been announced! Even better: it's coming out before the end of the year.

The title of the expansion "Pegasus" will be familiar to fans of the TV series. The Battlestar Pegasus was another Battlestar that survived the initial cylon attacks, though the Pegasus and Galactica were unaware of one another's existence, and each thought they were the sole survivors of the Human race. The disparity in the crew's philosophies ranging topics from the rights of cilivians, the impacts of martial law, and the question on how human cylons really are (and if they should be treated humainly), made for some pretty entertaining social and physical conflicts during the short run the Pegasus crew remained.. alive.

It'll be very interesting to see how the characters from the Pegasus' crew will mix with the ones of Galactica old. Surely they'll have some more aggressive and cylon-phobic tendencies, and maybe even a bit more firepower to boot.

Along with Pegaus flying along side Galactica, the expansion will comes with yet another companion board, sporting locations from the colony of New Caprica. Details are a bit sparse on how this will play with the original content, but the fact that its optional, and that it's generally MORE Battlestar Galactica goodness, has us excited.

More information, including images of the new board layout, can be found in the Fantasy Flight Games preview article Evolution and Rebellion. We'll also keep you posted as new preview articles are published on FFG's website.

Here are the expansion's official details:


This fall brings the first expansion for Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game. The Pegasus expansion adds two new supplemental game boards featuring the Battlestar Pegasus and the planet of New Caprica, seven new characters, a new Cylon Locations overlay, two plastic Basestars, as well as new Destination, Crisis, Loyalty, Quorum, Super Crisis, and Skill cards.

The new Pegasus board can be used by itself or together with the New Caprica board to create the game you desire - use the Pegasus alone for the additional firepower she provides, or add the New Caprica board to simulate the rebellion on the human colony, bringing the game to an epic level.

New rules introduce the ability to play as a new character type - the Cylon Leader, with a new Treachery Skill card type.

How will the crews of the Galactica and the Pegasus mesh when they join each other on your game table? Will the Cylons be able to subjugate the human rebellion on New Caprica? Will an open Cylon Leader be able to vent the last remaining humans into space, giving the toasters control over the galaxy?

Pegasus will be FTL jumping into your friendly local game store this Fall. Be on the lookout for previews leading up to the expansion's release.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 11, 2009

The Kids of Carcassonne - You Know, for KIds!

TheKidsOfCarcassonne.jpgIt's never too early to introduce kids to board gaming (unless they're hellbent on digesting a healthy variety of colored pieces of course) And now once they've conquered the traditional Candyland you can easily start your child's gaming tastes along the line of Eurogame titles that we know and love.

The Kids of Carcassonne [Amazon, Funagain] sports easier rules, always matching pieces,and is the perfect stepping stone to more advance Carcassonne titles. The game is also targeted for players Age 4 and up, which means it quite the sweet spot for the young ones.

Here are the official details:


"On 14 July, the national holiday in France, the sheep, chickens and cows are set free in the town of Carcassonne. The children have lots of fun catching the animals before dusk.

The players in turn draw a landscape tile and place it; unlike in normal Carcassonne, they always match. Amongst other features, the tiles show children in the player colors on the roads. Whenever a road is finished, every player places one of his meeples on each appropriate picture. The first player who manages to place all of his meeples wins the game."


Also checkout the Game's BGG Page for user reviews and more info. One of the most popular reviews there cites the game as "The perfect 'gateway game' for geek parents."

The Kids of Carcassonne is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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