December 21, 2010

Battle Cry Civil War Board Game Returns to Shelves

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The much sought after Battle Cry [Amazon, Funagain] war game is back on shelves! For years this American Civil War tile was a legend among circles. Those who've played it would rave about it. Those who wanted to play it found that demand had nearly completely starved supply. Copies of Battle Cry cost $100 bucks plus.

Now, 10 years later, and on the 150th Anniversary Year of the American Civil War (happy anniversary?), Battle Cry has received a reprint.

The original edition hosted numerous American Civil War battles and was based on the popular and easy to learn Command & Colors battle system (BattleLore, Memoir '44, Battles of Westeros). The title was a tactical board game breakthrough when it arrived on the scene in 2000 due to its approachability and streamlined play. Now it's returning again with 30 scenarios - twice the number as before - new artwork an a few rule tweaks.

Here are the official details:


""From 1861 to 1865, the United States was at war with itself. The battles of the American Civil War have taken a place in the fabric of American history. And here is your chance to recreate 15 of those Civil War Battles.

Battle Cry elegantly and simply recreates the Civil War experience. The gameboard can be setup with woods, hills, houses, and other features to recreate the specific terrain of the battle. The game system involves using cards to issue orders to specific units on the board. Combat dice decide the outcome of an attack, modified for terrain, distance, and other factors. Whenever a unit is completely destroyed, the victor gets the flag from that unit. Collect six flags first and win the battle.There are also rules for campaign play. "


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December 17, 2010

Power Grid Board Game Sale at Tanga Today

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We know you old school gamers just found a great Christmas Steal for the new gamer in your group. Power Grid is 44% off at Tanga Today!

We waited a long time for the reprint of the fantastic neo classic Power Grid [Amazon, Funagain] to hit shelves. But we couldn't wait long enough so we settled on picking up a copy of Power Grid for $50+ at our local hobby shop. Now Tanga has put Power Grid on sale AGAIN. *shakes fist*

Power Grid is one of those award winning titles from Rio Grande Games that's approachable, plays quickly, and is very deep. It's a winner with staying power. The only major drawback we can think of is the depiction of the translated rules (originally German) which are more complicated than they need to be. Other than that, Power Grid is a huge addition for you gaming pile, especially when it's at this price.

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December 9, 2010

7 Wonders Hits Shelves Just in Time for the Holidays

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Card drafting. Civilization Building. Resource Management. Trading. Simple warfare. Direct Player Interaction. All these things are in 7 Wonders [Amazon, Funagain] and they come together marvelously. What else could ask for? How about easy to learn rules, fast concurrent gameplay, excellent artwork, replayability, and a short game: 30-45 minutes. You'll be cheering for round two when the game wraps up instead of looking to head home for the 11:00 clock news.

Not only is 7 Wonders in contention for 2010 game of the year in many circles, it also supports up to 7 players. In a day and age where everything is 4 players, 7 Wonders is a godsend.

For more information checkout Drakkenstrike's 7 Wonders Component Breakdown in HD. And, as always, here's the company's line:


"7 Wonders lasts three ages. In each age, players receive seven cards from a particular deck, choose one of those cards, then pass the remainder to an adjacent player, as in Fairy Tale or a Magic: the Gathering booster draft. Players reveal their cards simultaneously, paying resources if needed or collecting resources or interacting with other players in various ways. (Players have individual boards with special powers on which to organize their cards, and the boards are double-sided as in Bauza's Ghost Stories.) Each player then chooses another card from the deck they were passed, and the process repeats until players have six cards in play from that age. After three ages, the game ends.

In essence 7 Wonders is a card development game along the lines of Race for the Galaxy or Dominion. Some cards have immediate effects, while others provide bonuses or upgrades later in the game. Some cards provide discounts on future purchases. Some provide military strength to overpower your neighbors and others give nothing but victory points. Unlike Magic or Fairy Tale, however, each card is played immediately after being drafted, so you'll know which cards your neighbor is receiving and how his choices might affect what you've already built up. Cards are passed left-right-left over the three ages, so you need to keep an eye on the neighbors in both directions."


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cjv1JfFeQko&hd=1

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December 7, 2010

Battlestar Galactica Exodus Expansion Details

Thumbnail image for BattlestarGalacticaExodus.JPGWe have to admit that the Battlestar Galactica board game is already a pretty complex title. Thankfully playing through this complexity unfolds a very unique and amazing experience unparalleled in any game since. Mistrust seethes and yet you must work against potential unknown betrayals to keep you and your fellow compatriots aboard the Galactica alive long enough to reach Kobol intact. It's no easy task.

The Pegasus Expansion layered even more complexity on to the game. While it included some interesting Cylon leader mechanics, everything else about the game was just.. overly complex. Specifically the mechanics tacked onto the end of the game where players had to fight to survive Cylon occupation in New Caprica. We played it once and said 'Thanks, but no thanks' to that.

So we look at Exodus with somewhat reserved eyes. We'll doubt any mechanic that tacks on additional states of the journey. Meanwhile the mechanics that will fold into the original system relatively seamlessly are welcome with open eyes.

Thankfully it looks like that's what we're seeing. While we have the obvious new hero cards and new events coming our way, which will be nice, but that's just fillers. We're actually looking forward to two new mechanics.

First are the new loyalty cards as detailed in the preview article "You Can't Handle the Truth". Humans remain loyal humans, but now they're given potential sub plots and goals to strive for. Usually it's a determent to the group to fulfill these goals, so someone perusing the goal may seem to be doing suspicious things and thus breeding even more mistrust than before But the penalties for not fulfilling the goal can be catastrophic for the journey as a whole. Even worse, some of these cards essentially explode in a goo of crap if someone draws it from your hand to check loyalty so you'll really have to walk a fine line.

And the second mechanic is a welcome change to the combat system. Now the cylon fleet doesn't trickle in, but amasses ships on a seperate game board. Once triggered, the entire fleet pounces on the Galactica. Combat was ok before, but more of a distraction. Now it takes center stage. Morever, revealed cylons will be control of the fleet from their new cylon fleet agme board. Stepping any certain areas can cause things to go boom so the human Vipers will need to be on top of the cylon military incursion at all times.

There's a lot going on here including new jump rules and a CAG Officer title that lets the humans focus fire Vipers a lot more easily. Checkout "The Relentless Pursuit" for all the glorious details.

Battlestar Galactica Exodus is due out sometime before Christmas. We'll let you know as soon as it hits shelves.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

December 2, 2010

Memoir '44 Winter Wars Expansion Released

Memoir44WinterWars.jpgThe award winning and approachable WWII war game system Memoir '44 just got considerably bigger. Winter Wars [Amazon, Funagain] not only add winter terrain, ,more tiles, combat cards, and WWII scenarios to the system, but it also includes new elements for Memoir '44 gameplay across all sets.

Things like 80 new cards tailored for playing the Breakthrough Expansion (large maps of Memoir '44 for epic awesomeness) , new Anti Tank units, new Tank Destroyer units, new machine gun units and mortar units. It's a cornucopia of WWII combat just in time for Christmas (exploding trees not included).

For full details check out the rules and the official description below:


"As would befit your ration pack if you were about to embark on one of the coldest and most bitter fights of the war, after 5 long years of weary battles, we have packed this expansion with every thing you could ever need to combat in a snow-covered environment.

But judge for yourself, soldier! Inside this pack you will find:

  • 88 double-sided Winter tiles, 28 Special Unit badges, 20 round markers and 16 obstacles
  • 20 Winter Combat cards, similar in concept to the Urban Combat cards introduced in Battle Map Volume 3 - Sword of Stalingrad
  • 80 new Command cards, designed specifically for Breakthrough battles
  • New Winter Combat rules
  • New Troops, including the all new Tank Destroyer and Heavy Anti-Tank Gun units and Late War model versions of an Anti-Tank Gun, Mortar and Machine Gun

These will all be critical to fighting (and winning!) the ten scenarios this expansion contains, all focused on those crucial 2 weeks of Christmas 1944 in the Ardennes. The first six scenarios included are all standard scenarios, playable with a single base game and this expansion alone (though a Winter/Desert board will add a nice cosmetic touch to your battlefield). The four scenarios that follow are gigantic Breakthrough renditions of the Battle of the Bulge. These will require a single copy of the already released Eastern Front expansion, and the Breakthrough kit of board maps, in addition to the aforementionned expansion."


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November 26, 2010

Critical Gamers' 2010 Holiday Gift Guide - Board and Card Game Gift Ideas

Welcome to you one-stop index page for all of our Holiday Board Game Gift Ideas for 2010! The year has been boon year for gaming as boards games have truly hit a new golden age. We'll keep you in the know about all of this year's best releases.

We've organized our 2010 list as spectrum starting with the easily approachable family games all the way down the the strategic and tactical war games. There's bound to be the perfect gift idea for your specific gamer in mind somewhere here on this page.

And if you're looking for even more recommendations then check out our last four Holiday Gift Guides from 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006.

Let's get started!

ArrowContinue reading: "Critical Gamers' 2010 Holiday Gift Guide - Board and Card Game Gift Ideas "

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November 24, 2010

Defenders of the Realm The Dragon Expansion

DoTR: The Dragons Expansion [Funagain] is first major expansion for the smash hit cooperative board game Defenders of the Realm has shipped to stores. The expansion adds the obvious new monster bosses - zee dragons - the fantasy themed 'save the world' board game.

Interestingly enough are new rewards that carry over between each plays. How cool is that?

Our only downside is we're used to expansions opening up games to more players, but your defenders experience is still limited. The game still only supports a messily four players which makes this a tight fit for most gaming groups. Come on Eagle Games, get on that!

For cool details about The Dragon Expansion check the Board Game Geek Gencon Interview video above. Also here are the official details:

DefendersOFTheRealmTheDragons.jpg


The King's eyebrows lifted--revealing his disbelief. "More Dragons?" He mouthed the words in an alarmed whisper. The messenger nervously nodded. Dragons had not been in the Realm for centuries. Not since the days when the High Wizard Amarak advised the Royal Court. But now, not only had the Blue Dragon attacked the settlements on the frontier of the Blizzard Mountain Range with an army of her dragonkin, but other new Dragons had been sighted, clearly in the service of the Dark Lord's army. Hemlock, perhaps the most evil of all of the Dragon Generals, was en route from the East. Brimstone was already setting fire and laying waste to settlements near the Realm. And Onyx, the most feared dragon of all, was fast approaching from the North. The King contemplated the bravery and skill of his Heroes. Would it be enough...?

The Defenders of the Realm: Dragon Expansion allows players to increase or decrease the difficulty level of gameplay using variants and scenarios. 3 new Dragons, 3 Agents of the Dark Lord and 4 new minions enter the Realm!


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 22, 2010

Dominion Prosperity Expansion on sale at Tanga

Thumbnail image for DominionProsperity.jpg Dominion Prosperity [Amazon, Funagain] is the highest rated expansion to Dominion to date. It's also the latest and greatest in the award lining line of deck building games in a box. If you know a Dominion fan and you're looking for a great, cheap Christmas pickup, then you've just found it. Act fast!

This is quite a deal. Tanga has claimed that Dominion Prosperity [Amazon, Funagain] is on short order at most major retailers. We made a check and it's somewhat true. Amazon has a stash ready to ship. What Tanga has over Amazon, though, is price. Today Dominion Prosperity is cheaper on Tanga than anywhere we can find.

And they even throw in some deck sleeves to boot. Cover those cards before a spilled beer consumes them.

Here are the official details:


"Ah, money. There's nothing like the sound of coins clinking in your hands. You vastly prefer it to the sound of coins clinking in someone else's hands, or the sound of coins just sitting there in a pile that no-one can quite reach without getting up. Getting up, that's all behind you now. Life has been good to you. Just ten years ago, you were tilling your own fields in a simple straw hat. Today, your kingdom stretches from sea to sea, and your straw hat is the largest the world has ever known. You also have the world's smallest dog, and a life-size statue of yourself made out of baklava. Sure, money can't buy happiness, but it can buy envy, anger, and also this kind of blank feeling. You still have problems - troublesome neighbors that must be conquered. But this time, you'll conquer them in style.

This is the 4th addition to the game of Dominion. It adds 25 new Kingdom cards to Dominion, plus 2 new Basic cards that let players keep building up past Gold and Province. The central theme is wealth; there are treasures with abilities, cards that interact with treasures, and powerful expensive cards.

Note: You need to have Dominion the base game to play this game."


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 19, 2010

Civilization Board Game Ships to Stores

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Civilization the Board Game
[Amazon, Funagain] is now and shipping from stores and to a gaming table near you. Oh joyous joy of joys.. Our favorite board game system on the computer (aka Civilization 5) just got it's board game treatment from the high-quality board game house Fantasy Flight Games. Oh, and it looks awesome.

What does Civilization entail? Simple: grooming your peoples from a small city state in ancient history a full blown world civilization in the not-so-distant future through civic growth, through research, the growth and spreading of culture, and through warfare (of course). Every interesting gaming aspect of that struggle that you can think of is in the Civilization formula, or it has been groomed and reinvented through 5 award winning iterations. And they latest and greatest are in this board game incarnation.

For more information checkout the following links:

And here's Civilization's official details:


"Designed by Kevin Wilson, Civilization: The Board Game is inspired by the legendary video game series created by Sid Meier. Players are tasked with guiding an entire civilization throughout the ages, taking ownership of your people's technology, economy, culture, and military, as well as all the choices that go along with them. There are four different paths to victory, and each is riddled with opposition.

In Civilization: The Board Game, 2-4 players take on the roles of famous leaders in charge of historical civilizations, each with their own abilities. Players will be able to explore a module game board, build cities and buildings, fight battles, research powerful technology, and attract great people by advancing their culture. No matter what your play style is, there is a civilization for you!"


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November 10, 2010

The Betrayal at House on the Hill finds its Rennisance

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Click. The door to the neighborhood's creepy mansion has just locked behind you and your friends. It's up you to search the mansion for a way out.. or is it just to survive? Through the exploration of a modular board you and your fellow players will build the map of the mansion room by room, picking up useful items and discovering evil omens as you go. Everything is eerie but not too dangerous.. at least not until the haunting is revealed.

That's when the betrayer is revealed in The Betrayal at House on the HIll [Amazon, Funagain]. Depending on the omen card drawn, and the player who drew it, one player becomes the Traitor and one of fifty horrific scenarios will be unleashed. Yes, fifty. Hello replay value! Things like a giant blob that grows out of control, converting everyone it touches into a blob person, or a zombie attack, demonic sacrifice, the works! Defeating this ultimate evil is in the cards. Players must scramble through the mansion to search rooms and assemble the correct items to defeat the traitor and his army of evil, either through force or subtlety (depending on the scenario) before it's too late.

This game was a huge success (despite some major misprint problems) when it was released in 2004 but it's lately become short in supply. Now Avalon Hill has reprinted the game, released it with new high-quality materials and tweaked the gobs of scenarios. Despite its age this reprint is one of the forefront releases of the year. The game is just that good.

For more information about the game checkout Betrayal's BoardGameGeek page and the Component Breakdown Video from drakkenstrike (now in HD!)

Here are the official details:


"New spooky nights await you and your friends!

The creak of footsteps on the stairs, the smell of something foul and dead, the feel of something crawling down your back - this and more can be found in the exciting refresh of the Avalon Hill favorite Betrayal at House on the Hill. This fun and suspenseful game is a new experience almost every time you play - you and your friends explore "that creepy old place on the hill" until enough mystic misadventures happen that one of the players turns on all of the others! Hours of fun for all your friends and family.

Designed for 3-6 players aged 12 and up, this boardgame features multiple scenarios, a different lay-out with every game, and enough chills to freeze the heart of any horror fan."



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