November 24, 2009

WoW TCG Naxxramas Preview Week

AnubRekhan.jpgUpper Deck has started releasing previews of the upcoming release of the Naxxaramas Raid deck. The gritty details of the floating citadel of undead pain will be portrayed in raid deck form are still unknown, but finally we get a small glimpse of how things might pan out in "Introduction . . . to Doom!".

Now recall that the raid dungeon Naxxramas in World of Warcraft has four different wings within it: the Plague Quarter full of animated undead ghouls, the Military Quarter full of Death Knights, the Construct Quarter full of biological abominations, and the Arachnid Quarter full of .. well, giant demon spiders. At the top of it all are the frozen undead wyrm Sapphiron, and the lich Kel'Thuzad.

But lets not get ahead of ourselves. The previews don't want to ruin too much for the players, so they start in the Arachnid Quarter. "Introduction to ... Doom!" gives some details of powers that will be across all bosses you'll fight in that area of the dungeon, and also specifically previews Anub'Rekhan, one of the easier boss fights in the Naxxramas gamut. Also, "No Quarter" steps through how the various Quarter Abilities will work as the adventures wind their way through the various boss fights.

There are also two previews of the Treasure Cards you'll get with the Raid Deck in "Ring-a-Ding-Ding!" and "Axing Questions". These loot cards are looking mighty fine. Can't wait to get our hands on 'em!

You can stay tuned to all Naxxramas preview articles on the WoW TCG Feature Article Index. We'll let you know if anything fascinating turns up as we get closer to its release.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 12, 2009

Warhammer LCG's First Expansion on the Horizon

Sometime in November - so sometime very soon - the first Living Card Game expansion to Warhammer LCG is slated for release. We've really been digging the Warhammer Invasion Base Set since it came out last month, so we're really looking forward to seeing how this game moves forward with their expansion model.

Just a reminder: Living Card Games don't have the rarity curve that Collectible or Trading Card games have. When you buy a booster for a Living Card Game, you receive all the cards of the set. Basically think of each of these booster injections that push your base collection of cards through a long term story arc, introducing new characters, abilities, locations, etc, along the way.

So where do we stop first? With an invasion of rat people of course. The Skavenblight Threat kicks off the 7 installment Corruption Cycle. Here are the details:

The armies of Order are locked in a fierce struggle with the forces of Destruction. And now a new threat, the Skaven, make their way into the Warhammer: Invasion card game.

The Skavenblight Threat is the first monthly Battle Pack installment of The Corruption Cycle, a linked expansion series for Warhammer: Invasion, a card game of intense warfare, clever kingdom management, and epic questing. This 40 card pack contains 20 different never-before-seen cards designed to augment existing decks and add variety to the Warhammer: Invasion metagame.

For more indepth information, checkout the Fantasy Flight Games' feature preview article Sounds Like Rats.... We'll let you know as soon as it ships!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 10, 2009

World of Warcraft TCG: What to Expect in 2010

Sneaked in between the upcoming Scourgewar expansion previews, Upper Deck has posted a sort of State of the Union article, "The Future's So Bright I Have to Wear (Tankatronic) Shades". In contains some great details on where the franchise plans to go over the next year.

Interestingly enough this latest expansion to be book ended by TWO Raid Decks. First up players will tackle the multiple wing, and multiboss fight inside the floating undead necropolis of Naxxramas. That goes down this fall, in December to be exact. Then in 2010, after your collection is saturated with Scourgewar's death knight and nerubian goodness, your group will take the war to the Lich King himself in the Icecrown Citadel raid deck.

2010 will also see the appearance of a Class Decks, a new, friendly way to introduce players to the game. Each Class Deck will sport all the cards custom tailored for the class (Warrior, Hunter, Mage, etc) and should be balanced and somewhat competitive when played against modern collections of cards. Die hard fanatics might not find much here, but if you've had a friend looking from the outside in, then getting them hooked on WoW might be a no fuss solution of asking which class they'd like to play.

Here's the full schedule for the upcoming cycle, raid deck, and class deck releases:

"Schedule of Upcoming World of Warcraft TCG Product Releases
  • November 2009 - Scourgewar Boosters
  • December 2009 - Scourgewar Epic Collection
  • December 2009 - Naxxramas Raid Deck & Treasure Pack
  • March 2010 - Class Decks
  • April 2010 - Wrathgate Boosters
  • July 2010 - Icecrown Boosters
  • Winter 2010 - Icecrown Citadel Raid Deck & Treasure Pack "

Also be sure to checkout this feature article for a full breakdown of all the good details of what to expect in 2010.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 3, 2009

Magic the Gathering: Tactics Announced

Details are slim. Here's what we know: Magic the Gathering Tactics is being developed by Sony Online Entertainment for the PC and Playstation 3 (Sony hates Microsoft, so no XBox360).

The title will include card sets with packs and tournaments for sale onilne just like Magic Onilne -- you'll be paying for virtual merchandise and a virtual collection of cards. To us, that's not necessarily a bad thing.. we have a closet full of cards already, and we don't feel like we wasted any money playing Magic the Gathering Online back in the day. You know, when it was good.

The game also promises a sort of tactical element with a collection of creatures. Like we said: details are slim. Exactly how much emphasis will be placed on cards, and how much on your creature collection, their positioning, etc is up i the air. Here's the exact wording from the Wired story:

"Tactics will feature characters and spells from the universe of the popular collectible card game. Players will be able to take their customized team of creatures to battle through solo scenarios or take them online to compete against others."

Other than "Coming Early 2010" the official website has little information. We'll keep you apprised of new info as details emerge, including what appears to be an upcoming beta test. Woot!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

November 1, 2009

Critical Gamers' October 2009 Board Game Roundup

WarhammerInvasionBox1.jpgWe played a lot of games this month. A real lot. Its like we're waking from our standard Thanksgiving Turkey Hangover but it's only November 1st. Scary.

We played new games we've thoroughly enjoyed, like both Warhammer Chaos in the Old World board game, and the Warhamer Invasion Living Card Game. We played old classics like Power Grid, Dominion, A Game of Thrones, and D&D;, and had a blast with all of them. Then we played the new Battlestar Galactica expansion Pegasus and left the table shrugging 'meh'.

Seriously though. So many games. So little time. If you pick up anything from this month, then we suggest Dominion Seaside, Warhammer Living Card Game, and Warhammer Mark of Chaos. Yes, two Warhammer titles. And we're not known to be Warhammer fans at all.

Here was all the news from last month:

Board Games

Card Games

Cheap Deals & Sales

Collectable Card Games

Gaming Culture

Gaming News


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

October 23, 2009

Dominion: Seaside Expansion

DominionSeaside.jpgThanks for the large collection of card types, last year's fantastic 'card game in a box' Dominion [Amazon, Funagain] can be played countless times without ever running into the same game twice. Then Dominion Intrigue [Amazon, Funagain] hit the shelves and added 25 new card types. Seeing as you only play with 10 randomly selected card types in any given match, the chances you'd play a game with the same collection of cards is nearring same probability that Burt Reynolds will make appearance as a nun in a fat suit in Martin Scorsese's premier rock opera.

So when we heard that the Dominion: Seaside Expansion [Amazon, Funagain] just washed up on shores (Dominion Intrigue launched only 3 months ago), we were wondering what the point was. We could play Dominion and Intrigue for 30 years, build a time machine, and go back to 1984 and continue playing for the next 30. Chances are we'd still be playing the game with new and interesting card combinations.

Thankfully Dominion Seaside doesn't just add more content inside the current idea of Dominion, but changes the meta rules of the game. We'll quickly explain.

Seaside is themed with oceanic travel. Pirates, islands, merchant ships and ghost ships. What's interesting is how these themes play into the elements of the game. Most importantly are the new card mechanics that effect both your turn, and your NEXT turn, like tides rolling in twice. Or the light house card that remains in play until it's your turn again, keeping a watch out for you against attackers. There are definitely some interesting game changers that are implemented in interesting ways.

Our frustration subsided once we learned all this. Checking into player experiences with the game, early-bird gamers seem entirely satisfied and enthusiastic about where this series is going. Its not just a shotgun blast of more cards but the game is changing with this expansion - just as a CCG would and should do with its next set release.

Bravo. That's just what the doctored ordered. And it seems to have been very well executed to boot.

Here are the official details:

All you ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. And someone who knows how to steer ships using stars. You finally got some of those rivers you'd wanted, and they led to the sea. These are dangerous, pirate-infested waters, and you cautiously send rat-infested ships across them, to establish lucrative trade at far-off merchant-infested ports.

First, you will take over some islands, as a foothold. The natives seem friendly enough, crying their peace cries, and giving you spears and poison darts before you are even close enough to accept them properly. When you finally reach those ports you will conquer them, and from there you will look for more rivers. One day, all the rivers will be yours.

This is the 2nd addition to Dominion. It adds 26 new Kingdom cards. Its central theme is your next turn; there are cards that do something this turn and next, cards that set up your next turn, and other ways to step outside of the bounds of a normal turn.

We should point out that Dominion Seaside is an expansion, and requires either Dominion or Dominion Intrigue to play. Enjoy!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

October 21, 2009

WoW TCG Scourgewar Preview Articles Begin

ScourgeWarArmyOfTheDead.jpgIt's about time. Upper Deck has shelved all of the tournament coverage and card strategy discussions and started focusing on the real meat and bones: feature previews of the new abilities, cards, and paradigms of this November's World of Warcraft Trading Card Game set expansion Scourgewar.

We both love and dislike the things we're seeing. For one: we're tired of cards that request you do silly things in order for an effect to happen, like Encrusted Zombie Finger does. We make enough "braains" references already, we don't need a catalyst for more. It's like someone at Upper Decks is swinging a cumbersome 'Fun' Hammer and hits our finger instead of our head.

Meanwhile, on the Awesome town side of the tracks is a new Assault keyword which adds to a ally's attack value whenever it's your turn. Things look even more interesting with the new set of armor smith allies that pump up attack based how many pieces of armor your wearing.

We welcome the cross cooperation of elements of the deck; it's been somewhat lacking in this game. Hopefully they keep up the work on that regard. We also love how you use your armor top protect yourself when its your opponent's turn, but then work to move that same armor into an Assault force when it's yours. Very interesting stuff.

Scourgeware is slated for release November 24th; just before a nice long Thanksgiving weekend. We'll keep you posted when new interesting cards appear, and when we learn more about this set's new key words, too.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

October 7, 2009

Warhammer Invasion LCG Launches

It's official. Fantasy Flight Games has launched the new Warhammer Invasion Living Card Game [Amazon, Funagain]. We're stoked. Not only does the game look top notch, different, deep, well-themed and fun, it's also launching during a dormant patch of the World of Warcraft TCG. Don't be confused though - these games aren't similar except for the fantasy settings (Warcraft ripped off Warhammer after all).

What makes it pair well with the WoW TCG lull is the approach of the system. Warhammer is a Living Card Game, not a Trading Card Game or a Collectible Card Game. You don't buy gobs of boosters in shotgun's hope of collecting rares. Instead you can buy what are essentially story packs - injections of cards for a specific faction, each containing the entire set of cards for the expansion. If you decide you like the Orks best, for instance (this launch of the base set has cards for six different factions) , then you can keep the game fresh by paying 10 bucks for each Orc story pack every few months.

In other words, compared to a TCG or a CCG, an LCG can be quite cheap, and we expect to be playing both going forward in parallel lines.

And what a looker this is, too. We recommend you checkout the full blown preview / tutorial videos of Warhammer Invasion published from Fantasy Flight Games themselves. They're entertaining and thorough enough that we might just very well throw away the rulebook. The Introduction video is up top, and there are four more sections that follow. Enjoy!

  1. Introduction
  2. Capital Board Overiew
  3. Card Overview
  4. Setup - First Turn
  5. Play Example - Conclusion
Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

September 17, 2009

WoW TCG Scourgewar Set to Unleash November 24th

WoWTCGScourgeWarSpectralKitten.JPGNothing says Scourgewar like a toy kitten. It's true!

This new World of Warcraft set expansion Scourgewar is officially pinned on the release calendar, so pack your bags and extra sweater for Northrend. Scourgeware will kick-off a new three set cycle set around the events of the World of Warcraft MMORPG expansion Wrath of the Lich King. The 'scourge' refers to the evil undead menace that have pledged their allegiance with the undead Lich King himself. Don't confuse these baddies with the Undead faction of the Horde, though, who are upstanding citizens, at least for the most part.

Details on the set are still light. We expect to see plot lines of a few of the new secondary races, like perhaps the murloc cousin Oracles, or the badger folk Wolvar. Perhaps we might see seeds of the Worgen, too, a werewolf like race recently announced as a playable faction in next year's World of Warcraft expansion 'Cataclysm' (and who played a minor role in Lich King). And since we're entering the land of the Death Night we figure we're sure to get a substantial boost to the content for those new kids on the block, too.

Now the first Featured Preview Article is the Loot Card Preview (hence the cute kitten) so official details are still sparse. Honestly, the article came out a while ago and we've been holding back a few days to see if any other juicy tidbits would come out. Unfortunately: bubkis. Hopefully things will pick up next week.

The biggest news for us was the confirmed release date. Gotta say that it fights our schedule nicely considering it gives us amble time to play the massive amount of fall releases before we get sucked back into WoWage.

As always we'll keep you posted of more details as they emerge.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

July 9, 2009

Warhammer Invasion Living Card Game Announced!

WarhammerInvasionBox1.jpgFantasy Flight Games has announced a whole new franchise that has us stoked for both its subject matter and for its distribution design. The Warhammer Living Card Game (we'll talk about what that means in a moment) called Warhammer: Invasion will pit the factions of Order and Destruction against each other in the Warhammer Fantasy universe (sorry, no Warhammer 40k love, yet again). Each faction will have multiple races, with which you can mix and match, but 'Good' has to stick with their fellows, and 'Evil' sticks with their own.

The franchise is helmed by the designer of the Call of Cthulu and A Game of Thrones living card games, so there's a bit of pedigree going on here, which is nice.

So what separates a LCG form a Trading Card Game or a Collectible Card Game? Think of the set releases being small, self contained updates that come out a little more frequently, but only retail for about 10 bucks or so. Each of these injections include new updates to the story and factions that keep the game fresh and moving along. The Game of Thrones LCG, for instance, also follows a themed narrative of the G.R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels, and we assume that the Warhammer LCG will also follow a long, epic plot as well.

Aside from the narrative, the best thing about LCGs is in the pricing and distribution model: you wont't have to drop a ton of money on a set of boosters hoping that you get some sweet epics. Instead you get everything you need in one box, for the price of only 2 boosters. This is fantastic, since it won't bite into our WoW TCG budget, like, at all.

For the preliminary information on Warhammer Invasion, checkout the official announcement story and this fairly in depth game overview. We'll keep you posted on the key details as more are released.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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