August 30, 2010

Space Hulk Death Angel the Card Game Up and Coming

SpaceHulkDeathAngel.jpgCooperative games are all the rage these days. So are card games in a box. And now with the latest Space Hulk board game, and the release of Starcraft II, nothing says loving like a mechanized space marine pumping ravenous aliens full of lead until their primordial goo.

Space Hulk Death Angel looks to be a mix of all these things. The game supports 1-6 players in a difficult ballet of cooperation, and the threat assessment. Players will have to chose between either shooting down hordes of vicious aliens, supporting their allies or moving closer to the final exit of the game. Action cards for these options are selected and placed face down, and the resolved all at once. Choices made on one turn may not be selected for the immediate subsequent around, so choice wisely.

The actual baddies, the Genestealers, are controlled by a deck of cards instead of a player fulfilling the role of the antagonist. While this may make them slightly unguided in some facets, it also allows everyone to be on the same side. If the team loses then there isn't a gloating dork with Brain 1 sitting in the corner; you can only take the anger out on yourself. We like that.

Like the recently released Space Hulk board game the new Death Angel Card Game sounds amazingly simple to play, and from what we've heard, a damn hard experience to win. All this cooperation against the face of adversity is brought to you by designer Corey Konieczka who hammered out one of our favorite cooperative games ever: Batltestar Galactica. The theme, the mechanics, the ability to support up to 6 players, and all for 25 bucks makes this upcoming game shine bright solid gold on our radar. Too many other titles top out at 4 seats these days and for 60 bucks. It's an annoying trend we wish would cease immediately.

For more information about this upcoming release, check out the following FFG preview articles:

  1. Announcing Death Angel, a Space Hulk card game coming this summer
  2. A Look at Action Cards in Death Angel
  3. A Look at Genestealers and Movement in Death Angel
  4. A look at combat in Death Angel
  5. A look at locations and events in Death Angel
  6. A preview for Death Angel
  7. The rules for Space Hulk: Death Angel - The Card Game are now online!

And here's the official description:

"Players choose from six different combat teams, each consisting of two Space Marines with different abilities. Each player receives three Action cards for each of his combat teams. After all of the Space Marines have fallen into formation, prepare for the first wave of Genestealers!

Action resolution keeps all players involved while the overwhelming odds inspire them to work together to survive. The Action Resolution Phase consists of each player revealing and carrying out their chosen Action. The lowest number card goes first, which means Attacks are resolved after Supports. Support tokens enable Space Marines to reroll, so make sure to cover your fellow Blood Angels!

The Genestealer Attack Phase happens after all the Actions have been resolved, so hopefully you thinned out the swarms since you have to roll higher than the number of Genestealers in the swarm to successfully defend. Finally, an Event card is drawn to spawn more alien adversaries. Once all the Genestealers have emerged from the darkness, its time to move forward, drawing a new location card. And then it's back into the fight!"

We'll let you know as soon as this puppy starts appearing on shelves.

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August 26, 2010

Axis & Allies Europe 1940 Board Game Hits Shelves

AnAEurope1940.jpgSweet day in the morning. Axis & Allies Europe 1940 [Amazon, Funagain] is out. This is huge. We love the latest and greatest A&A; games. Sure some of the components have sucked it up (getting rid of money, really?) but the maps, the units, the sheer scope have only gotten bigger.

Now we're diving down to zoom in on the multinational European Front. Tanks, massive amounts of infantry, an African side show, strategic bombings, full on amphibious invasions, the works.

And of course the main event. You can ( and we immediately will ) combine last year's A&A; Pacific 1940 with the new Axis & Allies Europe 1940 to make the largest, most involved, and most intricate A&A; game yet. Even bigger that the Monolithic Behemoth that is the Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition. So if you missed out on that limited run release, then just scoff off a laugh and pickup these baddies.

For more information on A&A; Europe 1940, checkout our previous coverage:

Here's the official line

"With the invasion of the Low Countries and the allied evacuation from Dunkirk, the German army is poised to march on Paris. Axis & Allies Europe 1940, designed and developed by Larry Harris, builds on the success of the acclaimed A&A; Anniversary Edition. France appears for the first time in Axis & Allies and will represent a new playable ally! Italy will be included as a second Axis power along with Germany. The UK, USSR and the US find themselves vulnerable at this early and uncertain point of the war. Two new combat units that debuted in Axis & Allies Pacific 1940, Tactical Bombers and Mechanized Infantry, will also appear in this game.

Axis & Allies Europe 1940 features an oversized board that measures 35" wide by 32" high. With over 550 combat units, deluxe game components and local storage boxes, this game will raise the standard established by A&A; Anniversary Edition. All new rules for neutral nations, naval & air bases, and convoy disruption will add even more depth and historical accuracy to this giant game.

Finally, this deluxe theater-level game is designed to play together with Axis & Allies Pacific 1940. Together these two games will create the greatest Axis & Allies experience to date, with a combined board measuring 5' wide by 32" high and over a thousand sculptured combat units. Both games are designed to play alone or together to offer the 2-6 player global 1940 scenario, complete with weapons development, and national objectives."

Axis & Allies Europe 1940 is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

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August 23, 2010

Thunderstone Wrath of Elements Expansion is Finally Out

ThunderstoneWrathOfElements.jpgThe time is finally here. After delays, delays, delays, the first expansion to the deck building game success Thunderstone has hit shelves. Wrath of the Elements [Amazon, Funagain] adds new cards to every facet of the game, from weapons, heroes, items, and monsters. There's even a replacement to the Thunderstone.. though that aspect of it is slightly underwhelming.

Now, we've said it before and we'll say it again: Dominion remains seated at the throne of the deck building genre. While Thunderstone did some interesting things in it's gameplay formula to take the genre one step further (mainly in the player's dual focus of economy and monster slaying), the original Thunderstone stand alone didn't have enough interesting card combinations in it's implementation to entertain us enough to overthrow the king Dominion.

Now it's time for Wrath of the Elements to prove that Thunderstone has staying power and we're stoked to find out if it can get the series kicking butt and taking names.

Here's the official description:

Thunderstone returns with all new monsters heroes equipment and now? traps! Thunderstone brought dungeon crawling to the deck-building game genre and Wrath of the Elements takes Thunderstone to a new level. With four new heroes six new monsters and many new village cards Wrath of the Elements can be stand alone or mixed in with classic Thunderstone for a larger experience. Wrath of the Elements also introduces Traps. This new card type creates perlious dangers for your adventuring party when revealed from the Dungeon Deck. Can you overcome the new monstrosities and claim the Thunderstone?

Wrath of the Elements also features an attractive and durable card box large enough to hold both Wrath of the Elements and classic Thunderstone and is even more compact and easy to transport! The box also comes with all new labelled card-type dividers for both the new cards and classic Thunderstone cards. Jason Engle returns again with more amazing art as well

Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

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August 18, 2010

Cadwallon: City of Thieves Unveiled at Gencon

CityOfTheives.jpgWe love to backstab each other -- we grew up playing Diplomacy after all. So we got excited when we heard that Cadwallon: City of Thieves is cast as a tactical board game of thievery, dynamic quests, scenarios, backstabbing, and backstabbing (two daggers just to be sure). A game like this fits the dynamic of our group perfectly.

Players compete to haul in the most loot stolen throughout the city, and are given four thugs to scour the city scape. Monies could be collected by looting the houses of Cadwallon, by fulfilling random quests decreed by the local thieving guild, or by pouncing on your opponents who've done all the hard work for you. Players have a tastey amount of strategic choices in each game, being able to tackle the ultimate goal in numerous ways, while toying with the tactical execution of their four servants in the field. Action points are shared amongst your pawns, which can be spent on movement, picking locks, trashing doors, grabbing loot, etc.

Picking a successful strategy, implementing it at the tactical level, and avoiding your foes attempting to achieve their own goals while undermining yours .. sounds like the perfect game.

We'll let you know more about when this exciting game is slated to hit shelves. For more information check out the Cadwallon: City of Theives website.

Here are the official details:

Cadwallon: City of Thieves is a fast-paced game of cunning thievery and ruthless skullduggery in a fantasy city steeped in magic and intrigue. Two to four players each control their own gang of four thieves, competing to amass the greatest haul of loot from the many carefully locked chests scattered about the board. This is no friendly competition, however, and there is little loyalty among thieves in Cadwallon! The most successful players are as likely to claim their loot from the other gangs as they are to do the time-consuming legwork themselves. And always there is the Guild, directing the gangs from the shadows, and offering rich rewards to those who follow its will. But there is little time to waste; even the slow-witted militiamen will eventually raise the alarm... and woe be upon any thief who fails to creep away before the lawmen seal the district!

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August 17, 2010

Gen Con Coverage from The Dice Tower

Tom Vasel just sent us a line that he's back from Gen Con and he has video coverage to prove it. While some of the coverage includes some knife juggling and uncomfortable cos play that, frankly, we'll never understand, most of the video is focused on the good stuff: upcoming board games from Fantasy Flight, Mayfair, Zman, and Rio Grande Games. Man, what a year for gaming.

We just had our own local Gen Con ourselves. Simply Coincidental. We wear our nerd on our sleeves so we simply called it Dork Fest Summer 2010. Great games, great beer, and more Funions than you can shake a stick at. We'll soon post our thoughts on the new games we played. Stay tuned.

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August 13, 2010

Dominon's Prosperity Expansion Reviewed at BGN

DominionProsperity.jpgNow that the small-ish Alchemy expansion is behind us it's time to move on to bigger things. The next expansion tot the venerable Deck Building Genre King Dominion has hit players' hands at Gen Con, and Board Game News has a full review.

While Dominion has always been about snowball your economic powers, Prosperity will shoot that up with 500cc of strontium 90. The set focuses specifically on turning a meek pittance into a Scrooge McDuck fortune, and it even ships with new money type: Platinum. This baby costs 9 and is worth 5, and you'll need them to buy some of the more expensive cards in the set. After all, what's the point of Prosperity if it doesn't lead you to bigger, better, and more costly things?

Check out the BGN review for more details. This one looks juicy.

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August 11, 2010

Axis & Allies Europe 1940 Previews

AnAEurope1940.jpgWe're only a few weeks away from the release of the landmark A&A; Europe 1940. Tick freakin' Tock.

We normally consider ourselves lucky folks, but it's our friends over at have gotten their lucky mitts on a review copy of the game. They're not sitting back and gloating, but instead releasing preview details of the game's components and rules.

The game looks stunning. Despite this we may never play A&A; Europe 1940 -- at least not as it's known. Instead we plan to ram A&A; Pacific 1940 into the boards of Europe 1940 and have a giant, world dominating slugfest (the game ships with rules on how to do this). All of the intricate details, specific units, and flavored rules of a theater level of A&A; game but on a global scale with the combined board size of a mulberry. That's pure A&A; bliss right there.

If you're looking to purchase A&A; Europe 1940 as a stand alone game, or combine it with your Pacific 1940 purchase from last year, then definitely checkout the following A&; previews:

  1. Out of the Box
  2. French and Italian units
  3. The RulesThe Global Rules

We'll let you know as soon as we see this puppy showing up in stores.

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August 9, 2010

Defenders of the Realm Cooperative Board Game Released

This title answers the question "What happens when you mix the cooperative board game Pandemic with a hero based fantasy themed adventure board game?" Pretty much right there you know that Eagle Games' new Defenders of the Realm [Amazon, Funagain] is something special.

Board to Death does a good job of breaking down the game in its review (above). If you want an even more in depth review, including a once in a lifetime (hopefully) board game seduction and birthing scene involving Dungeon Quest and Pandemic, then checkout the Board Games with Scott Video Review. Yikes. Best skip to 1:50 unless you're a true board game geek.

Now while Defenders of the Realm is easily compared with Pandemic, we should note that games take a lot longer to play. There's also more stuff going on, so the complexity lever is elbowed up a few clicks. If you're friends aren't into the fantasy setting, or slightly more complex games, then you might want to save yourself some money. However, if they're willing to give the game a chance then you've hit pay dirt.

Lets just put it this way : we won't be playing Pandemic again any time soon.

Here's the official details on Defenders of the Realm:

"Our Liege is in desperate hour! From what grievous cause have these accursed races arisen? Orcs, Dragons, Demons and the Dead make haste towards Monarch City. The King and Countryside of Monarch City are in need of valiant Heroes!"

Will you answer the King's call?

In the ancient Citadel of Monarch City, the King calls to arms the finest Heroes to defend against a Darkness that engulfs the land. You and your allies must embark on a journey to defend the countryside, repair the tainted lands, and defeat the four creature factions before one of them enters the City, and they approach from all sides -- fast populating Orcs! fierce Dragons! Undead that bring terror! And demons! -- all tainting the land in their wake. There are several paths to defeat, but only one path to victory, and only the most valiant Hero will be named King's Champion.

Defenders of the Realm is a cooperative fantasy board game in which 1-4 players take a role as one of the King's Champions (Choose from Cleric, Dwarf, Eagle Rider, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer and Wizard). You, as one of the King's Heroes make use of strategy, special abilities, cooperation, card play and a little luck in Defense of the Realm for a unique experience every adventure. But be forewarned! There is never time to rest. As each Enemy General is struck down in battle, the remaining dark forces only grow more difficult to vanquish and their march to Monarch City gets faster with each Hero victory!

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August 6, 2010

Dust Tactics Miniatures Board Game Featurette

This is a week of things we love. Yesterday we swooned over the Civilization series. The day before that we professed our love for zombies (not in that way). And now we're adding another thing to the list: we obsess over WWII.

But the world of Dust isn't exactly WWII. It's more an alternative history where technology salvaged from crashed flying saucers early on in the conflict. The end result? Walking Tanks and slick infantry rifles throughout the war torn battles of 1947.

Dust Tactics packs in some incredible detailed models, and for good reason. While this is a board game system release with promised 'easy to learn rules' (we'll wait and see FFG), it also includes rules for a full on table top miniatures game. The models themselves are primed for painting so you can craft your own style of uniforms, equipment and battle-worn tank plating. We thought our days of painting miniatures had long passed, but these models and figures are so detailed that it seems like it will be hard to resist.

Checkout the movie above for more information about the upcoming Dust Tactics. The official website also has a few interesting preview articles, too.

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August 5, 2010

New Civilization Board Game Announced

civilizationboardgame.jpgOh boy. We're HUGE fans of the Civlization line of PC games (loyal readers might note that we're stoked about next month's upcoming Civilization 5). The series plays like a board game on your PC, which makes sense considering it was based on a board game in the first place.

But it's been a long time since the early 1990s when the first Civ game came out for Windows. The series has evolved considerably over the last few decades, incorporating new ways to win the game, new ways the sow the lands, new cultural elements, new armies and discoveries. Aside for striving to be the most influential Civilization in human history, from stone age to space age, the latest incarnations of the Civilization line of PC games are nothing like the oldies.

So is it time to remake the series into a board game? Heck yeah. And who better to do it than the masters of complex game elements: Fantasy Flight Games.

Below are the details. For more information check out the game's Product Description on FFG. We'll keep you posted as more information is released by way of preview articles. Enjoy!

"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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August 3, 2010

Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead is On Our Radar

ZombieStateOfDeplomacy.jpgLast night was a crazy blur, well for one of us. For a lack of a better name let's call him Russ. Well Russ was minding his own business at a party last night, hanging out by the cheese log and grapes, admiring the high quality disposable tablecloth. Meanwhile across the room Russ' wife let loose that he's a Critical Gamer. Normally that means bubkis, but suddenly before Russ knew what hit him there was an overly excited gamer in his face spitting Ritz as he gushed over 2010's quite release of Zombie State: Diplomacy of the Dead [Amazon]

Now we haven't played this title yet, but from what Russ could gather between dodging food particles and drunken hand gestures is this potential gem of the year is a mix between Diplomacy and Pandemic. That is: while everyone is dealing with an world wide outbreak, the game is not entirely cooperative to seal the disease off. Instead everyone serves their own best interest. Plus, Zombies. Gotta love the zombies.

Players acts as leaders of different regions of the world, complete with distinctive population levels, wealth for armies, and natural resources that aid in researching zombie killing technology, But war isn't forged amongst these disparate regions. Instead zombie outbreaks pop up and plague different portions of the planet. While you may let a zombie out break stew in foreign lands while you sit pretty and become more powerful, you may want to start lending a hand to an opponent in case the Z really hits the fan and zombies start pouring over your borders, too. Hence, the delicate balance of Diplomacy in a world stricken in zombie Apocalypse.

Details of the game intrigue us. Enough so that we've ordered a copy of the game, and its going to be the centerpiece for our August 2010 Dorkfest coming up in just a few weeks.

If you want more details on the game then checkout the game's rulebook, and the game's official website. We'll let you know how our Apocalypse turns out in a few weeks.

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August 2, 2010

Critical Gamers' Board Game Roundup July 2010

CatanHistoriesSettlersOfAmerica.jpgMan, what a summer for board gaming. Usually we're outside soaking in the rays, but spending any length of time under the sun this summer would turn us into crispy pieces of human bacon. Thankfully there have been gobs of great releases to keep us busy in the sanctuary of indoors.

Mainly the new Settlers of Catan game Settlers of America. That title is a throwback blue ribbon prize wrapped in a blanket of awesome new game mechanics. And July also saw two major wargame system releases for the tacticians out there: The Song of Ice and Fire themed Battles of Westeros, and the inaugural release of the Battles of Napoleon wargame system: Eagle and the Lion. We love high-caliber system releases like these because you just know that expansions, new content and new factions are already in the works.

August is looking pretty darn sweet, too, with the mass distribution of the Thunderstone Wrath of the Elements expansion, and with the release of Axis & Allies Europe 1940 which, when combined with Pacific 1940, should prove to be as epic as One Man On a Bench versus a Fifteen Foot Long Sandwich. Can't wait.

Here are our stories for July:

Board Games

Card Games

Cheap Deals & Sales

Gaming News

Party Games

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