April 22, 2010

Fury of the Bear Expands Tide of Iron this Fall

FuryOFTheBear.JPGMan Fantasy Flight Games is on a roll. They've just announced an expansion to our favorite figure-based war game game system on the market today. Grab your hats, your boots, and your motorcycle, because Tide of Iron is marching east.

Yep, sometime this late summer or early fall Germany is going to invade Russia WWII style, and Russia is going to make them pay. You'll plan out every move right down there in the tactical level in some of the Eastern Front's major battles. The expansion will ship with all the Russian troops and equipment required, and some new units for Germany, too (read: you'll still need the base set to play). The game will have an emphasis of the massive tank battles on the Russian plains, and we expect massive artillery barrages, mine fields, human wave tactics and mud. Lots and lots of mud.

The game will also ship with new decks of cards including counter intelligence, nine new game boards, new unit types, and three fingers of vodka. That's all we know as of now, but FFG has promised previews galore all summer long so we'll keep you posted.

For more information check out Fury of the Bear's announcement article.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 20, 2010

Warhammer Invasion LCG Warpstone Chronicles Released

WarhammerLCGWarpstoneChronicles.jpgThe penultimate expansion to the premier Warhammer Living Card Game cycle has just been released. By now your library should be fleshed-out with the previous expansions and your main forces are all assembled and sitting restless, waiting for a fight in your hand-tailored decks. Enter the Warpstone Chronicles [Amazon, Funagain], a set which focuses on outfitting your troops with powerful relics to boost their strength in battle. Some even resurrect your troops that have fallen victim to death. Nasty.

The following preview articles go into the in-depth gritty details of three of the twenty different cards you should expect to get in the expansion:

  1. A Worthy Death
  2. Charging to the Front Line
  3. A Dangerous Development

And here's the official product description:

"The War Crown of Saphery... Basha's Bloodaxe... The Rune Fang of Solland... The forces of Order and Destruction have turned to the ancient relics of the Old World in the hope of gaining a deadly advantage in the ongoing war.

The Warpstone Chronicles is the fifth monthly Battle Pack installment of The Corruption Cycle, the first 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.


The Warpstone Chronicles are now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 19, 2010

Horus Heresy Wargame Hits Shelves

HorusHeresyBox.JPGThe latest and greatest epic war board game from Fantasy Flight Games has hits shelves, and score! it's set in one of the most rich sci-fi gaming settings of all time. Horus Heresy [Amazon, Funagain] is set during an epic show down in the Warhammer 40k history, and involves massive firefights, explosions, and tide-turning acts of betrayal.

Aside from a solid war game this title has a quite a few interesting mechanics in it. Like, for instance, after each scenario setup, the game goes through a traitor mechanic. Here, the superior forces sitting all high and safe in their the superior fortifications might find that some of their comrades are suddenly in control of the opposing faction. Awkward. There's also some interesting initiative mechanics that you'll have to consider that playing an amazing card might force you to sit on the bench for a few turns. It had better be worth it.

We haven't gotten our mitts on this game ourselves, but it looks awesome. For more information checkout our previous coverage Horus Heresy Redux Coming Your Way Shorlty from FFG. Also checkout the game's components in this nice Horus Heresy unboxing video, and - of course - the game's official website.

Here's the official line:

"In the greatest betrayal the universe has ever known, the Warmaster Horus - once humanity's greatest general, now corrupted by Chaos - has turned against the Emperor and hurled the Imperium of Man into ferocious civil war. The galactic conflict has risen to its climax. The Warmaster's ruinous legions have assaulted Holy Terra itself, the Emperor's seat. Here the fate of humanity hangs in the balance during the greatest military campaign ever seen.

In the Horus Heresy board game, this legendary battle unfolds across the razed plains of Terra and in the frozen orbit above. Deadly fighting ranges from the Emperor's golden Inner Palace to Horus's flagship, the Vengeful Spirit. Taking the side of either traitor or loyalist, two players control either fearless Space Marine legions or deviant Chaos Space Marines, mighty Titans, Imperial Armies both loyal and traitorous, and a fearsome array of other units, including the Emperor and Horus themselves.

An innovative order and initiative system forces each side to carefully consider the commands they issue to their troops. A dramatic, card driven combat system incorporates escalating damage, gives players the opportunity to allocate resources between attack and defense, and brings to bear the unique special powers of each unit type, from fortification-destroying Titans to the perverse daemons of Chaos. Brother fights brother, and the universe hangs in the balance!

Horus Heresy includes over 120 detailed miniature models including 10 plastic terrain pieces, and more than 200 cards to bring this sweeping conflict to life on a stunning map of the war-torn Terra."

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 15, 2010

Constantinopolis Board Game Announced

Constantinopolis.JPGA slick title was just announced by Fantasy Flight Games. Taking place following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Constantinopolis puts players in leadership roles of one of the most influence trading ports of the first millennium. Buying goods, manufacturing them and sending them out for a profite seems to be the main beef of the game.

Hosting up to 5 players, taking 90 minutes to 2 hours, and a game about incoming goods manufactured into outgoing goods? Gee, on the surface this reminds us very much of 2008's La Havre. This was a fantastic little game if you recall. While a repolished version of that game in a more timely setting might seem derivative, we have to take a look at who's doing the polishing. Fantasy Flight Games sure knows how to make a game's components shine and understands the intricacies of building on familar mechanisms in interesting ways. And their inspiration was one of the best games of that year. They're like the Blizzard of board games.

Considering these things.. Constantinopolis might be a nice little game to add to the FFG repertoire.

For more information about Constantinopolis (oomph that's tough to type) check out the game's official website. Also, here's the official company line:

Can you become the most famous trader in Constantinopolis? Effectively build up your trade district to produce goods, generate money, and earn fame points to ensure that your name stands above the rest!

Constantinopolis is a board game of economy and trade for 2-5 players. With light rules and a moderate play time of 1-2 hours, Constantinopolis is the perfect game for aspiring 7th century merchants.

Constantinopolis features a colorful game board and five detailed player sheets to immerse you in the intriguing world of Byzantine trade. With over 125 tiles and tokens, as well as more than 150 cards and 125 wooden pieces, Constantinopolis is an engaging and accessible entry into the world of European-style board games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 14, 2010

WoW Adventure Board Game Character Pack Blowout

TangWoWBGCharacterPack.jpgA few weeks ago we posted that Tanga had the World of Warcraft Adventure Board Game on sale for the cheap. We got our order in and it was all sealed in a nice Fantasy Flight Games shipping box, which probably means that FFG is clearing its inventory.

Today they're following up with a really slick deal for you collectors. The complete set of character addons is on sale today-only at Tanga, too. Normally this would cost about $80-$100 bucks, but all eight of these characters are bundled together for 40 bucks on Tanga.

Total score if you ask us. Here's the details:

All Eight World of Warcraft Adventure Game Character Packs!

In the world of Warcraft, there are many heroes and many perils. As each foe falls, a new enemy is revealed; as each hero falters, a new champion stands forth. Now, a new hero has risen to take his place in the Hall of Legends!

Each order contains Eight Character Expansion Packs:

Each Character Pack contains:

  • 28 Challenge Cards
  • 23 Ability Cards
  • 9 Character Tokens
  • 4 Character Cards
  • 1 Character Miniature
  • 4 Quests
  • 4 Discovery Tokens

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 12, 2010

Dominion Alchemy Expansion Is Nigh

DominionAlchemy.jpgRumor and scuttlebutt has it that the highly anticipated expansion for the new Rio Grand Games flagship Dominion should be shipping to stores soon, very soon. Some local stores have it shipping April 15, 2010 (link). This seems a tad early to us, but it's not completely out of the question considering that some people have already picked up a copy at a few toy shows (link). There's also word that the game will be demoed in toy shows in April in Germany, and go on sale in that massive board game market in the middle of May (link)

Finally, and most importantly, Amazon is accepting preorders for an early May Ship Date (link).

So expect to have the latest and greatest Dominion set of cards in your hands before the Summer officially begins. Boosh! And in case you missed our previous coverage of Dominion Alchemy, here are the official product details.

"There are strange things going on in your basement laboratories. They keep calling up for more barrels of quicksilver, or bits of your hair. Well it's all in the name of progress. They're looking for a way to turn lead into gold, or at least into something better than lead. That lead had just been too good of a bargain to pass up; you didn't think, where will I put all this lead, what am I going to do with this lead anyway. Well that will all be sorted out. They're also looking for a universal solvent. If they manage that one, you will take whatever they use to hold it in and build a castle out of it. A castle that can't be dissolved! Now that's progress."

Dominion Alchemy is available from preorder from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 8, 2010

Invasion from Outer Space Coming Soon

InvasionFromOuterSpace.jpgRemember how amazingly well themed and entertaining Flying Frog Production's cooperative zombie board game Last Night on Earth was? Yeah, well now they're back another zany and outrageous setting (we weren't strong enough fans of the theme of 2008's classic monster mashup).

Survival horror will soon hit all new levels of craziness when 1950s styled Martians make landfall on earth. Too bad they picked an open field next to a circus tent jam packed of humans with quirky superhuman qualities. And were' not just talking about mundane circuis jerks or monocled grifters guessing weights, either. We're talking strong men in wide striped bathing suits, and yes, even you, too, could play as JoJo the Dancing Bear.

And the best news yet? The game will be compatible with Last Night on Earth. So you could mix Circus Freaks and Zombies, or perhaps a Martian versus Zombie apocalypse. Dibs on the movie rights.

Here are the official details:

"Invasion From Outer Space, The Martian Game is a fast-paced game of fiendish Martians, Big Top Heroes, and SciFi Movie Action. Players take on the role of either the Carnival Heroes, using their special talents and working together to fight off the Martian Invasion; or as the invaders themselves, waves of Martian Soldiers and Flying Saucers, blasting Humans with Ray Guns and unleashing their vile alien technologies upon the Earth.

Featuring a modular game board, eight Carnival Heroes to choose from (such as the Fire Breather, Strongman, or Jo Jo, the dancing Bear), an army of Martians to start the invasion (including Martian Champions such as the dreaded Zard Beast), and several different Scenarios to play that drastically change the game; Invasion From Outer Space is designed to create a cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds."

We'll let you know when this puppy gets a shipping date. So far all we know is 2010. We're thinking summertime.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 7, 2010

Mystery Express a Fantastic Who Done It Board Game

MysteryExpress.jpgPublisher Days of Wonder has shipped their first, and the latest and greatest, take on the classic Who Done It board game. Mystery Express [Amazon, Funagain] takes the murderer deduction game to the Orient Express.

The game features the heavy production value that attain a level that only Days of Wonder can achieve, and the gameplay matches that high level of craftsmanship. Fans of Clue, Mystery at the Abbey, or .. well, Whodunit? should find a game that's a more complex (and therefore interesting) deduction game, and definitely worth your time.

And here are some resources for you to check out. First up is Our Previous Coverage about the game. Also, checkout this great user review that Compares Mystery Express with other leading deduction games. Finally there's Dice Tower's Video Review which are always great to watch to get a grasp on gameplay.

And finally here are the game's details from the game's official website:

"Mystery Express is a whodunit deduction game from Days of Wonder. The murder that takes place on the Orient Express incorporates 5 different elements represented by a set of Crime cards. Players take on the role of one of 5 traveling characters, each who has their own special powers of deduction. The player who figures out the who, what, when, where and why of the murder before the end of the journey wins.

Designed by Antoine Bauza and Serge Laget, Mystery Express is an imaginative new take on the classic deduction board game, made up of top-notch components and unique, period-perfect illustrations."

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 6, 2010

Combat Commander Normandy Review on BGN

CombatCommanderNormandyFFG.jpgThe serious gaming lads over at Board Game News have posted a a very in-depth review of the Combat Commander Normandy board game expansion to the original Combat Commander system.

Overall the review is extraordinarily positive, as we knew it would be. Combat Commander really is the current high watermark of WWII tactical gaming systems that's in depth yet approachable at the same time. The review hits all of the important parts, from new terrain rules, combat rules, and a review of the scenarios and the campaign, so it's definitely worth your while.

Here's a snippet:

"So what's to be found in the innocent-looking, tranquil-green folder? Eight new maps, all about Normandy (with bocage galore); a metric ton of new markers, with more new leaders than you can shake a BAR at; 17 new scenarios to get your Ranger adrenaline pumping (get those gliders ready); and special rules to cover situations specific to the Normandy topographical and military situation, including a unique rule set for a multi-scenario campaign game.

If that's not enough, you can go sit on a Teller mine. "

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 5, 2010

Battles of Westeros Continues to Intrigue Us

The preview details of the Battles of Westeros (the Song of Ice and Fire wargame system) continue to march on. Previous installments have spoken to the game's combat mechanics, the roles of battle leader's, and the various terrain we'll encounter in the board game.

The latest installment of the preview series "Control in the Field" details the numerous ways you'll control your force on the board. Like most FFG war games, tokens will be placed on activated units showing you that you've moved them this turn. Troops moved in this most basic way can be do their most basic things, like attack, pet their direwolves, and swear at mummers.

There's a bit of added complexity at this level, and we're not quite sure how it's going to pay off. Various troop types require different colored tokens to move. Green troops of the lowest veterancy (we assume) are activated by green tokens, but there are also blue, red and purple tokens as well, which are used to activate other levels of troops. We'll get back to this in a second.

But then there are the leaders, which is where things get pretty freaking interesting. Leaders can control forces within a small range around them (presumably earshot) and are activated with cards from your hand. These will let troops to some extraordinary things. Some will require you to have placed a certain number of specific color activation tokens on the board first, which is pretty interesting. A card might require you to have certain quantities of spare veteran troop movement tokens left over before using it, but that means that for this turn, some of your veteran troops might have to sit on the sideline.

The article mentions this level of balance that you have to consider each turn. When to commit certain forces to either force your opponent's hand, or to enact your will upon your enemy. All the while you're working at the goal of getting the correct number of certain color activation tokens to time your special leader abilities in your hand. Meanwhile, your opponent might be playing a cat and mouse game waiting to pounce on you, too.

That sounds really deep. And really darn exciting.

For more information checkout the Battles of Westeros official website. We'll keep an eye peeled for more insightful articles as they're published.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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