April 16, 2009

Wings of War Miniatures Enters WWII (Finally)

WingsAtWarMiniaturesSpitfire.JPGThe Wings of War table top game made the slick transition from 2D card game to 3D miniatures a while ago without ever missing a beat. But now the miniatures have made that fantastic jump from from the original knights of the sky dogfights of the First World War, into the boom and zoom dogfights of the Second. We have respect for WWI themed, because there really isn't much out there about that war. Still, we're ready to admit that we're shallow, and with this one step of migration from WWI to WWII, we're now entirely interested in this game.

Wings of War is a pretty unique sort of game. Players pit fighters against one another in a aerial dogfight that exists as far as their table allows. Traditionally each fighter was represented as a card, but with the somewhat new addition of miniatures -- the game takes on a life of its own.

Players then play maneuver cards from their hand, laying them on one of the edges of their fighter, and repositioning their fighter exactly where the card displays. Picture yourself putting a card down in front of your plane which moves your plane forward but also makes a 90 degree turn to the right. You place your fighter where the arrow points, and your turn is done. And so with the cards in your hand, you jockey for firing position against your enemy, who's doing the same.

There have been many card sets, with different maneuver styles and a large collection of fighters. The game has both dabbled in WWII (traditionally it was WWI) and dabbled with miniatures, but now - at last - both WWII and miniatures are converging.

And both the WWII buff and the Gamer buff are really freaking excited.

For more information about the upcoming WWII Minatures, check out "The Heroes of the Sky Come to Life Once More" story on Fantasy Flight Games, and keep an eye on the official Wings of War website. So far we know that the Supermarine Spitfire and Messerschmitt BF109 will be part of the first release. The classic turn fight v boom and zoom Battle of Britain coming right at ya.

The WWII Wings of War Miniatures will be released in Summer 2009. We'll keep you posted on the details as they emerge.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 15, 2009

Settlers of Catan Geographies: Germany

Attention Settlers Fans, the designer and publisher that brought you the most famous Eurogame of all time decided to put their heads together once again for the 60th anniversary celebration of the founding of Germany. The result: Catan Geographies: Germany [Amazon, Funagain], a well-themed and streamlined version of the Settlers of Catan experience.

There are a few major difference between this title and your average Settlers. The elephant in the room is that the map is set in stone: You'll be settling Germany from towns all the way to a full nation, and not populating a randomly drawn set of terrain (this is very similar of what Catan Histories did for Western Europe). Additionally you'll start with three settlements instead of two, and there's no city building; instead you're tasked with building your faction's catan-like infrastructure, and tasked with building a collection of famous landmarks pulled from German history.

But like Settlers, things that affect you happen on every turn, and the first person to 10 victory points goes home the victor.

'Catan: Germany' was first available in Germany in 2008, but has rolled up on American shores this year. That means it's been out for a long enough time for the community to put it through its paces. Check the Catan Geographies: Germany page on BGG for a selection of user reviews and raitings.

Here are the game's official details:

A Game of Discovery, Geography, and History in the land of Poets and Thinkers.

Explore and settle the storied land of Germany using the elegant, award-winning game design from The Settlers of Catan®. Here, you will find great social interaction, simple rules, beautiful German geography, rich history and lore, and 12 wonderfully-sculpted landmarks.

"Catan Geographies: Germany" is a game about trade, building, and settlement. Start with town halls in 3 cities. Then build roads to neighboring cities, where you can purchase landmarks and new town halls. Town halls create resource production, while the unique landmarks generate special awards. Both yield victory points-- as do the Longest Road, Largest Army, and the historically-based victory point cards.

So, have fun with friends or family while casually discovering the novel geography and history of Germany.

"Catan Germany" contains:

  • An amazing, color map board depicting 28 different city scenes and 12
    historic landmarks.
  • 120 cards (including 90 resource cards, 26 development cards, and 4
    building cost cards).
  • 141 game pieces (including 12 landmarks, 80 roads, 48 town halls, and 1
    "Götz von Berlichingen").
  • 2 dice.
  • Rules and an illustrated geographic almanac

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 14, 2009

Board Game Spring Clearance Sale at Funagain Games

FunagainGames.gifOne of our favorite game sellers Funagain Games is hosting a Spring Cleaning sale, putting gobs of board games on sale. We're talking nearly 450 items on sale.

They're saying it's their biggest sale ever, and we're pretty sure we can't argue.

With all clearance sales, there is an excess inventory of crappy merchandise that nobody truly wants, but still there are quite a few diamons in the rough. Such as:

  1. Hamburgum: a fantastic eurogame with perhaps the worst cover of 2007. Actually, it's probably why it didn't sell well. Such a shame. Anyway, it's at 46% off, nab a copy.

  2. Conquest of the Empire at 40% off

  3. D&D; 3rd Edition Materials at 30%-40% off. We know some of you decided not to take the leap to 4th Edition, and now's your chance to clean up. There's about 50 items here, so grab a crate.

  4. Eye of Judgement Booster Packs for just a buck.\

  5. Puerto Rico for the PC: At five bucks we're not sure how it's stuck around long enough to make on to two consecutive clearance sale lists.

  6. World of Warcraft TCG Stuff: Raid Decks, the Fest of Winter Veil and the Darkmoon Faire Collections, and Dark Portal Starter Set are all up for grabs.

Remember: shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 13, 2009

Small World Hitting Shelves April 22nd

SmallWorldRaces.jpgJust a quick note about a game we've been covering the last few months. Days of Wonder has announced that it Civilization Game meets Fantasy themed quirkiness - Small World - is slated for release on April 22nd in just over a week's time.

The family friendly game (Ages 8 & Up) from the publisher of such greats as Ticket to Ride, Memoir '44, and Mystery of the Abbey, puts each player in control of their own fledgling civilization. Players will quickly determine that the island that everyone is stuck on is just a tad too small for things to remain friendly. Through the adoption of a choice Fantasy-themed races, and unique special powers, players can customize their Civ to defend their territories and exploiting weaknesses of their neighbors.

While there have been a sea of complicated Civilization style games over the years, there are few that remain light enough to be appropriate for casual and family gamers. We've covered a few, like Tempus, which was easy to play, but portions of the title were a bit unbalanced, and the game itself didn't LOOK approachable. But seeing the accoutrements of Small World, and knowing the pedigree of Days of Wonder's - a publisher known for approachable and high quality titles - we have faith that this title will make quite a splash.

For more information about Small World, please checkout our previous stories:

  1. Small World coming this May from Days of Wonder
  2. Small World Board Game Previews

We'll pipe back in about Small Worlds in just a few weeks, when we confirmation it's hit stores shelves.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 10, 2009

Zoloretto Coming to iPhone and IPod Touch


The 2007 Spiel des Jarhes (German Game of the Year) winner is coming to your jeans' back pocket, and within just a few weeks to boot. SpinBottole Games has announced that they're porting Zooloretto to the iPhones and iPod Touch. The title includes the standard Zooloretto Board Game, but also includes these following other features:

  • Use the touchscreen to drag and drop animals and vending stalls into your zoo

  • Drag the "roller blind" from the top to gain an overview of your zoo and the zoos of the other players

  • Unlock new player characters and future add-ons in the integrated shop

  • 3D-view for zoos, animals and vending stalls

  • Animations and sounds of the animals makes you feel like you are in a zoo

  • Learn exciting details about all animals from the game in the encyclopedia

  • Play against the computer or up to 4 other players (Pass'n Play)

iZooloretto is slated for release in "April 2009", which is sometime between now and the next 2 weeks -- we worked that out for you in case a panda accidentally ate your calendar. So look for the game to soon appear in your Grocer's Freezer (ala the Apple App Store)

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 9, 2009

Battles Magazine - A New Wargame Mag Emerges


Alright Grognards, listen up. A new independent Wargame Magazine just made its presence on the net, and it's available for order before its official launch at the end of April. Battles Magazine is slated to deliver 124 color pages of wargame news, reviews, scenarios and interviews about three times a year.

Battles Magazine is a collaboration of war gamers seemingly from England and France who banded together to create a publication that ships worldwide. We should mention the cost of the issues are listed in Euros. If you order the first issue before April 20th then you can nab it for 20 Euros, instead of the standard 26 Euro cover price It's a bit of a hit on the wallet, but given the amount of the content in each, and the quality we see in the previews, it makes us feel it's gonna be worth the price of admission.

The premier release also includes a wargame "Striking the Anvil" about the liberation of southern France in 1944, complete with map, chits and rules. A Striking the Anvil plugin for Vassal is also slated for release, so you know these guys mean business. Additionally, the next 2 issues - slated for release in September and December - will also include a new games, too, including Rome v Gauls, and the Vietnam War battle of Hue.

Looks like great stuff. We wish the folks there the best of luck with their new enterprise.


Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 7, 2009

WoW TCG: Blood of Gladiators Crafting Redemptions

We assume that by now you've ripped through all the shiny foil wrappers that separated you from your WoW TCG Blood of Gladiators cards, and you're elbow deep in a slew of arena grudge matches.

But is you savant friend still kicking the snot out of you with his uber hero, even with your new collection? Yeah, we know the type, and yeah, we hate him as much as you.

Its time to gather up all your UDE Point / Tradegood cards and give your favorite hero that extra oomph that might push your guy over the edge. The following are this set's custom crafted armor, created by sending in a mass of your collected Trade Good cards as part of the Blood of Gladiator Crafting Redemption Program.

You haven't been throwing those things away, have you??

WoWTCG.BattleCastPants.jpgBattlecast Pants [WoW TCG DB]

Some slick Hot Pants for you Caster Types.

Click Image to Enlarge.
  • 4xPrimal Air
  • 4xPrimal Fire
  • 4xPrimal Earth
  • 4xPrimal Water
  • 4xPrimal Mana
  • 6xBolt of Imbued Netherweave
  • 1xPrimal Nether

WoWTCGCloakOfDarkness.jpgCloak Of Darkness [WoW TCG DB]

A haiku (ahem):

A Buffed Cloak for All
Like Cheese it Matures with Age
Store in a Dry Place.

Click Image to Enlarge.
  • 8xPrimal Shadow
  • 6xHeavy Knothide Leather
  • 8xBolt of Soulcloth
  • 2xPrimal Nether

WoWTCGShadowprowlersChestguard.jpgShadowprowler's Chestguard [WoW TCG DB]

Reason enough to put allies in your Rogue deck? Hmm.. perhaps... but seems like it's cut more for a Druid.

Click Image to Enlarge.
  • 5xHeavy Knothide Leather
  • 6xPrimal Earth
  • 6xPrimal Shadow
  • 8xBolt of Soulcloth
  • 1xPrimal Nether

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

Age of Conan Board Game Trailer Hits the Net

Publisher Fantasy Flight Games just published a trailer for the recently released Age of Conan Board Game [Amazon,Funagain].

We love it when a publisher puts this much energy into promoting top of the line games. Enjoy!

For more information about the game, please see our stories:

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 3, 2009

Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition is Almost Gone


Over the last few days we just noticed that it's getting hard to find a good deal on the mammoth Axis & Allies Avalon Hill 50th Anniversary edition [Amazon, Funagain] . We did some poking around Amazon and Troll and Toad and noticed that the game has actually gone up on price by about 30% already. Someplaces it's up 100%. Considering that this title came out only 5 months ago, that's saying something.

And being an Anniversary Edition, we're thinking that this may be a one time dealio. They probably wont spin-up the presses in 2010 for an 2008 released 25th Anniversary Edition. We wouldn't be going out on a limb to say we won't see an Axis & Allies release this big again for a decade or more, either. After all, this thing sports a 8 square foot board, rebalanced with two new factions, custom dice, custom pieces, new gameplay mechanics and units, the works.

The love that went into this title might never be matched in another A&A; game (you can read all about the details of the game in our Release Story from in November '08)

So we're giving you a heads up. You can still find a few copies on Ebay every once in a while, and still at the MSRP to boot. But their getting rare, and the retailers are jacking up the price like its the Cuban Missile Crisis, so act now.

Good luck. And have a good weekend!

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 1, 2009

Critical Gamers' March 2008 Board Game Roundup

EmpiretotalWarBox.jpgWe can safely say that this month we're become completely addicted to Empire Total War. While it's technically not a board game, we believe we've fairly equated it to a living board game on your PC, and the fact that it oh-so-sweetly mixes strategy, tactics, and historic content, makes it the best game released last month in any medium. We'll continue to post tips for those who are interested, and links the user created modifications that give an already exciting game that extra edge.

On the actual board game front, this March saw the release of Age of Conan, another strategy war game from the folks who brought us The War of the Ring. Thankfully unlike its spiritual predecessor, Age of Conant is easier on the rules, easier to setup, and well, easily fits in a game night session. Well done FFG.

And of course, while it only just came out, we can't fail to mention that our favorite collectible game is back kicking butt after a 5 month hiatus. The World of Warcraft TCG release Blood of Gladiators hit store shelves last week with new Arena themed gameplay which should lead up nicely to the new PvP game mode slated for release this summer by Upper Deck. We'll have our thoughts on Blood of Gladiators as soon as we've been able to fully put the game through its paces.

Here's to a good April!

What We're Playing Right Now

  1. Empire Total War
  2. WoW TCG: Blood of Gladiators
  3. Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition
  4. Battlestar Galactica Board Game
  5. Age of Conan

Board Games

Collectable Card Games

Gaming Culture

Gaming News


World of Warcraft TCG

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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