October 12, 2010

Dominion Prosperity Expansion Hits Shelves

DominionProsperity.jpgFrom what we've heard the Dominion Prosperity Expansion [Amazon, Funagain] is the best one yet. Conversely this is probably the final expansion for our collection of the Dominion card game ... unless the designers start adding laser beams or carnivorous unicorns. Why? Well there are just so many cards you can add to your collection before the entire collection becomes completely muddled, or when portions of your collection becomes untouched for months.

Heck, we don't even bother with the Seaside Expansion anymore. There are just too many different things in that expansion that create numerous moving parts that don't really jive with the other expansions.

But Prosperity is different. Instead of tacking on a crazy pirate theme, or an alchemy theme, Prosperity invigorates a subsystem that has always had a huge part of any game of Dominion: the economy. Prosperity focuses on the upper echelon of inhabitants in the medieval dominion. There's the normal rich philosophy of "more money is better" across the basic spectrum as expected. Like the new Platinum card that supersedes the top tier cash of Gold, and the new Colony victory point card that costs 11 bucks for 10 victory points. Crazy.

And you're not going to save up to buy these cards simply by stocking up on platinum. Nope, there are tons of event cards that snowball your economy. Like the garden or the pirate ship of old, there are cards like Trade Route that get more powerful as play goes on, specifically focused on boosting your own economy. But they're capped in interesting ways, either via increased price or by adding negative aspects like a Forced Trash action to certain cards.

Add to do that a slew of treasure cards that have special actions, special buy rules, or special values, and you get a high quality Dominion expansion that tickles your money bags.

For a full review of of the game checkout The Dice Tower's Dominion Prosperity Review. It includes a very brief review of the cards themselves, too.

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.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

September 20, 2010

BGN Reviews Space Hulk: Death Angel Card Game

SpaceHulkDeathAngel.jpgSpace Hulk is a Warhammer 40k game with a far reaching dire-straits in space theme. It's all about you and your buddies staying alive in a ghost relic, working via squad coordination, focusing on overlapping lines of fire and moving into and out of offensive and defensive positions. Meanwhile genestealers are coming out of the wood work. Vile, wrathful aliens that pop their heads out of air ducts, lockers, door hatches and toilet bowls, each and brainlessly charging their way toward you to rip your squad apart.

And that's exactly whats going on in Space Hulk Death Angel [Amazon]. It's up to you and your friends to control a group of space marines on your table. Cards are placed to spawn new genestealers, to face your troops, and to lay down lines of fire or support your squaddies as they deal the hurt themselves. It's all about coordinating with each other to stay alive and deal some damage.

And Board Game News has a great review of the game. It combs through the game mechanics, citing some inconsistently difficult random elements that may ruin the fun of the game if drawn. It also does well to talk about the level of cooperation. Certain mechanics are in place to prevent one player from becoming the "Alpha Gamer", directing everyone to do this or that. We've noticed this to be true in previous cooperative board games like Pandemic, and we're glad to see someone's thinking of a way to solve these problems.

One of the best reviews we've read in a while. Nice job Mr Thrower.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

September 8, 2010

Ascension Deck Building Card Game is Now Shipping!

AscensionChronicleOfTheGodslayer.jpgWhen it comes to deck building games then you're got two mainstay choices: Dominion and Thunderstone. Both have the perks, both have their drawbacks. Ascension Chronicle of the Godslayer hopes to bring enough new things to the table that it'll be the next deck building card game of choice.

So what's does Ascension address? Easier setup, a dynamic tableau of cards to purchase and monsters to attack, permanent cards that sit out to give you constant buffs, and a fantasy theme and gameplay designed by Magic the Gathering tournament players. Don't let that last bit scare you -- the game is quick to learn and start playing.

The main deck that serves up the items you buy or monsters you kill has 100 different cards types (redundant cards bring the deck up to 200 cards). There are multiple avenue's to 'score points' so players can focus on different overall strategies like killing beasties, beefing their economy, etc. Therefore while players are in pitched head to head contest as they race for victory they might have different paths to their own specific victory, butting heads orthogonally instead of grinding it out head-on.

Plus your tactical move on your turn will be guided by the current 10 face up cards in the common area (when a card is purchased from the 10 face up cards then its replaced with another drawn randomly from the deck of 200 cards). No two turns are alike, and no two games are alike.

The endgame is dictated by a pool of crystals that players pick up as rewards. When the last crystal is removed, the game is over. Count up your little gems, and the points of certain cards in your constructed deck to determine the winner. Easy Peasy.

We picked up our copy and the game is honestly looking pretty sweet. Check out Bored to Death TV's video review and Game Salutes Overview for more details on the game.

Here's Ascension's nitty gritty official details.

Ascension is a fast paced deck building game designed by Magic the Gathering Pro Tour champions Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler, with artwork by Eric Sabee. Ascension is a deck-building game where players spend Runes to acquire more powerful cards for their deck. It offers a dynamic play experience where players have to react and adjust their strategy accordingly. Each player starts the game with a 10-card deck comprised of eight Apprentices and two Militias. Apprentices provide Runes when played, which can be used to recruit Hero and Construct cards during the game. Militias provide another type of resource, Power, when played, which is used to defeat Monsters. The game revolves around the Center Deck that contains Heroes, Constructs, and Monsters.

Contents: 200 cards, game board, storage tray, 50 deluxe honor tokens, and rulebook.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 22, 2010

Thunderstone Wrath of Elements Spoilers Posted

ThunderstoneWrathOfElements.jpgWe're day away from the first Thunderstone expansion hitting the shelves. If you're jonesin' for the next latest and greatest experience in the deck building genre like we are, then you might want to to peruse this entire list of cards in the set. It details everything from card names, their frequency, to their cost and powers, all in one nice neat location.

If you're looking for the art, too, well then you might just have to wait a few days till your box arrives.

The original Thunderstone left us concerned after a few repeat plays. While the base mechanics were interesting, the content in the cards didn't leave much for fun and interesting combinations. And, to us, that's half the point of any deck building game.

Our first peruse of the Wrath of the Elements set hasn't completely put our mind at ease but the cards read like they have pretty good potential. The Tax Collector and some of the weapons look very interesting, as do some of the heroes like the Diin. It looks like the game is slated to step up the interaction level between players. That's definitely good news. We're still trying to find the clever combos.. maybe this isn't the game for them.

We'll let you know when Wrath of the Elements hits shelves. From what we've heard, the game is shipping from the factory now.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 9, 2010

Ascension - A New Deck Building Card Game on the Horizon

AscensionReactorMonk.jpgWe're quite happy to see a potential triple-A title breaking into the Deck Building Genre, a format of game spearheaded by 2008's Dominion. Ascension is under development by a bunch of ex Magic the Gathering pro players. And by the looks of it, some old school Magic the Gathering artist aficionados, too.

Ascension seems like it's a refined and yet more fleshed-out version of Thunderstone, but where as Thunderstone lacks depth (hopefully resolved in its upcoming expansion), Ascension will ship well structured and complete faction decks with full-bore back stories.

Players will select a themed deck and place face down as a shuffled pool in the middle of the table. The game starts by dealing out a series of cards from the pool. These are placed face up in shared area.

Turns proceed where players either purchase an item (if they can afford it) or attack creatures from this shared pool. One a card is purchased, it goes into the player's discard pile, later to be reshuffled into his deck. At this time another card from the pool be drawn and placed into the shared area play.

The pool seems to differ considerably from the Dominion and Thunderstone system. Where as before every card type was available for purchase at any time, it seems that the Ascension system will keep things interesting by creating a randomly selected subset of cards to choose from. And if you're eyeing something then you better snatch it up quick , because it might not be there by the time your next turn rolls around.

Checkout the Ascenion Official Website for more information about this upcoming title, including and overview of the rules and more information about how each of these themed decks will play. It looks awesome.

We'll keep you posted of more information as its released. Till then, have a good weekend!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2010

Fictionaire - A 'New' Party Quiz Game Announced

FictionairePress.jpgPublisher Days of Wonder describes the upcoming party game Fictionaire (4-7 players) succinctly:

"You may know it as dictionary, fictionary, Balderdashâ„¢... or even "Call my Bluff", the classic British TV game show; but it could just as easily be called "the making up lies to fool your friends" game!"
- Days of Wonder

And it makes us wonder a few things. One, if the game has been all these things before, then why do we need another installment? Two: why would Days of Wonder, a maker of such unique, high-quality and well-balanced titles, push what's essentially a re0randing of such a long heritage of incredibly similar games?

We can't quite figure it out. Days of Wonder is quick to note that this title distinguishes itself in a few ways, but they're all related to the production materials and not in the game itself.

For one, each installment will come in a pack of cards the size of a cigarette pack that has been stylized like it's chalk full of ye olde cigarettes. Secondly there will be multiple installments centered around different themes. First up is the 'classic dictionary game', but other installments will be themed Tall Tales, Fool Science with quirky science history, and Naturals which tasks players to crafty zainy definitions of things straight out of the natural world.

But with only 120 cards in each pack, it might not take too long to start iterating over the same questions. And once everyone knows the true definition, or true background of scientific oddities, then it the replay value might not have the staying power.

You can read more information about the title in the official Fictionaire Press Release. Also, Days of Wonder has posted a nice little Preview Website here.

We'll keep you posted about more Fictionaire news as it nears release.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

June 23, 2010

Thunderstone's Wrath of Elements Expansion in July

ThunderstoneWrathCover.pngWe got word today that the upcoming Thunderstone expansion Wrath of the Elements is officially coming out in July. While this isn't that much of a surprise since June is just about done, it's good to know Alderac has at least tacked down a new shipping schedule.

Thunderstone is in second place when it comes to our ranking of games in the deck building genre. The veritable grand dad of all - Dominion - still leads th way. We thought that while the original Thunderstone laid the groundwork to something special, the variety and balance still wasn't the cool cucumber that Dominion was at launch, and continues to be through expansions.

So we have high hopes for Thunderstone to refine the deck building and dungeon romping experience in July with their first expansion Wrath of the Elements. Here are the official details:

"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.

2-5 Players | 12 and up | 45 minutes"

For more information about Thunderstand and Wrate of the elements, please check our previous stores: Thunderstone: The Next Deckbuilding Game After Dominion, and Thunderstone: Wrath of the Elements Card Montage.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

Mailing List
Enter your Email

Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg


Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

Recent Reviews



This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 6.3
All items Copyright © 1999-2016 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy