December 30, 2010

Battlestar Galactica Exodus Rules Posted

Thumbnail image for BattlestarGalacticaExodus.JPGWe've been drooling over facets of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica board game expansion "Exodus" for the past few months. Specifically we're looking forward to the optional overhaul to the ship combat system. New Viper types, new Cylon launch rules, and a Cylon armada that continues to build even after the Galactica hits warps speed. Any ship you leave behind will amass on a separate Cylon fleet board, only to resurface the next time the robotic fleet catches up with with the squishy flesh bags. Oh the humanity!

Now, veterans of Battlestar Galactica already know that it's a game that places the Humans in dire straits right off the bat, so FFG isn't just going to toss more ships at you and call it a day. Nope, they aim to give you new tools for you to fight back against the increased threat. To that end the expansion provides new viper abilities which, in part, allow you to escort Civilan ships home. There are alsao new zippier Viper VIIs (if you fix them by taking out their cyclon susceptible network computers) to mix in with your older Galactica Viper Museum Relics, new rebuildable nuclear warheads, and a new CAG officer who's seriously adept at coordinating viper patrols.

All this is just one of the expansions three optional addons. Other options include a new Final Five Cylon mechanic, which seems reasonable and more interesting that the super Cyclon boss mechanic from Pegasus, and a new Ion Nebula Human Trauma / Exploration of Ship to Find Allies But Watch Out for Landmines mechanic. This final one sounds WAY too complicated for us. The rules even suggest you don't play it until you've played with the other options numerous times. For us, that probably means never, especially considering we thought the previous Pegasus Expansionseriously screwed the pooch on the complexity level.

Checkout the full rules on the FFG website. We'll let you know when Battlestar Galactica Exodus hits shelves.


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December 23, 2010

Thunderstone: Doomgate Legions Expansion Released


The deck building hit Thunderstone has just received its second treatment. Thunderstone: Doomgate Legions [Amazon, Funagain] adds more monsters, more items and heroes types to the deck building dungeon romp formula. Additionally new treasure card types reward plays for defeating monsters in the dungeon.

Now, while we would like to have a new game mechanics that would spice up the the players' decisions about whether to delve into the dungeon or head into town (it's currently just a math formula of 'can I kill a monster?') , we wouldn't shrug away new variable and intriguing content, either. The theme of this game is still stellar.

Here are the official details:

"Hiding away in secret for centuries, the order of the Doomgate Legion have guarded the Stone of Avarice from friend and foe alike. Their cult-like existence known only to a few, the Legionnaires dedicate themselves to the secrecy, protection, and worship of the stone. They are its champions. Its sentinels. Its vanguards.

It is up to you to defeat them.

The second expansion to Thunderstone adds more to the game of "deck-building with a purpose." Doomgate Legions introduces the Cult of the Doomgate, who have guarded the Stone of Avarice for centuries. This cult, along with a sect of evil druids and other all-new monsters await your heroes as they race to secure the third Thunderstone!

Doomgate Legions features two all-new card types: Mercenaries and Treasures! Mercenaries are henchmen for hire in the village who bring all new abilities to the dungeon. Treasures are found after defeating monsters, providing powerful new benefits for your party! Mystic amulets and legendary armor will take your deck to new heights. But beware: the cultists have been at work on strange and horrifying new Diseases that will pose major hurdles for your heroes!"

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December 21, 2010

Battle Cry Civil War Board Game Returns to Shelves


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


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 14, 2010

2010 Holiday Board Game Sale at Amazon

BetraylAtHouseOnTheHillNewEdition.jpgWe were just doing a little last minute Holiday Shopping and we came across a new sale going on at Amazon. Now usually their Toy and Game sales are chalk full of sad, plasticy titles from ages past. We're talking about games like Sorry!, Monopoly Flavor-Of-The-Year, etc. Well this time there are some pretty good title at some serious discounts!

Here are our picks of the litter:

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December 9, 2010

7 Wonders Hits Shelves Just in Time for the Holidays


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.";=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.

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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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