April 4, 2008

Warhammer 40K Dark Heresey RPG Website Launches

DarkHeresyCoreRulebook.jpgFantasy Flight Games have launched a new website to coincide with the eminent release of the new Warhammer 40,000 Dark Hersey RPG. The website is chalk full of gobs of game information in true FFG style, including Developer Preview Articles, Rules Errata [pdf] and some Sneak Peaks into the 4 core rulebooks themselves.

Here are the official Dark Heresy RPG details:

"You are an Acolyte in the service of the Emperors' Inquisition. You stand in the front line of a great and secret war where your duty is to hunt out the foul stench of heresy, the vile alien, and the twisted influence of Chaos. You will tread where others fear, venturing to distant planets, ancient space hulks and the unsavoury depths of the under-hive.

You will never know fame nor reward, yet if you stand resolute your deeds will be whispered to the God-Emperor of Mankind and your name will be revered for millennia.

Dark Heresy is the new roleplaying line from Fantasy Flight Games based on the grim far future universe of Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop. The Dark Heresy core rulebook contains everything you need to start your adventure in the Warhammer 40,000 universe." - Dark Heresy Official Webiste

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April 3, 2008

WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer

Servants of the Betrayer Booster Boxes
Box of 24 Boosters [Amazon, Toywiz, Troll n'Toad]

Servants of the Betrayer Boosters
Individual Packs [Amazon, Funagain, ToyWiz]
Packs of 3 [Amazon]

The second set in the Outland series of WoW TCG releases is now in stores! WoW TCG: Servants of the Betrayer introduces a new hero type to the mix: The Traitors. Playing a betrayer unlocks some pretty powerful and aggressive cards, but heroes lose all other trait abilities. Thankfully this set includes some pretty exciting replacements, and should bring quite the interesting twist to deck building potential.

Additionally the Aldor and Scryer factions with their Inspire and Sabotage abilities continue where they left off in March of the Legion. You'll have even more interesting possibilities on that front, too. With so many options the WoW TCG is really opening up for a variety different play styles. It's hard not to get excited. Seriously. If you're not then check your pulse, cause you might be dead.

Please see our other stories for more Servants of the Betrayer information:

Upon release we've found stores packed with booster packs (19 cards), and boxes of boosters, and preorder boxes of starters (Starters slated to ship April 15th) for sale in various places and in various forms. But no Starter Decks at release? Maybe they really don't exist.

We'll keep the list at the top updated as much as we can for the next few weeks. Enjoy!

The Company Line:

"Prince Kael'thas Sunstrider and Lady Vashj grow in strength, extending their reach across Outland as they corrupt the land. They twist the energies of the Nether and drain the waters of the Zangarmarsh. Who dares to confront the might of the Sunfury, or face the wrath of the naga?
Will you stand against them or betray your allies? Decide quickly-before your fate is sealed! You are not prepared!
New changes are taking place in the 5th Expansion titled Servants of the Betrayer. New Configuration! Find 4 additional cards in each pack for the same price! that's a total of 19 Cards Per Pack!! Along with this a New Consumable Loot item will be randomly inserted into booster packs providing better chances of upgrading your Online WoW Toon!

Fans will enjoy a once again Art-Filled Set of Rich and Detailed Illustrations from the WoW Universe as they have come to enjoy with each set thus far. UDE Point Cards will also be found 1 per pack that can be used at the UDE Rewards site in exchange for Special TCG Cards, Promo Materials, and Online Upgrades only available through this redemption."

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

April 1, 2008

Crtical Gamers' March 2008 Gaming Roundup

Thumbnail image for RoundUp.jpg
Guess what, it's here: Happy Spring folks! March disappears down the back of the horizon and we're anxious to emerge from another cold, dark winter in the northeast.

March was more about prerelease news, but we did see a few new titles ship this month.

The Descent: Journies in the Dark expansion Road to Legend should keep advanced adventure-gamers busy for about a year or even longer - seriously that expansion is crazy big. And on the lighter side of the fence the family friendly eurogame Thurn & Taxis expanded this March for the second time in as many years.

The main news stories this month have an eye looking down the pipe of releases, some beyond April still and into June. D&D; 4th Edition is gigantic blip on our anxious anticipation radar, as is the WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer set release, and the new Carcassonne installment New World. Surely it's not a shotgun blast of releases, but each of these will be high impact release that host some considerable staying power.

Here's to a good month.

What We're Playing

Board Games

Card Games

Cheap Deals & Sales

Collectable Card Games

Gaming Culture

Gaming News


World of Warcraft TCG

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 31, 2008

New World: A Carcassonne Game - Coming Soon

CarcassonneNewWorld.jpgAh, how we love Rio Grande Game's Carcassonne and it's 72 different flavors. It looks like someone spilled Mayflower on the latest incarnation entitled New World [Funagain], which has players exploring and settling the North American east coast frontier. Slated for June this installment couldn't have come at a better time as we ride our John Adams HBO miniseries fanaticism (we're suckers for historical dramas). The game also seems to sport some snappy tiles, at least in comparison to the drab Carcassonne title The Discovery, which really didn't do it for us esthetically.

The company line:

"In this Carcassonne game, players begin as the early settlers of the United States did on the east coast of America. As they explore westward, they build towns, farms, roads, and compete to score more points than the others players. As exploration moves to the west, players who are slow to complete the features they have started will find themselves left behind - with no points!"

New World is slated for a release in June 2008, and is available for preorder from Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 28, 2008

WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer Previews Wrapup

The Servants of the Betrayer Preview Weekend is upon us, and so the exciting conclusion of the class preview articles from Upper Deck's official website comes to a close. And we really like what we see. The new standard heroes look pretty sweet in this set, sporting some pretty slick flip abilities. But even more interesting is that they contrasted by the new traitor heroes, who do similar things but more aggressively. Overall the traitor abilities look pretty darn powerful, and they should be since Tratior Heroes lack any other specializations, and their abilities are a flash-in-the pan release and they may not be expanded up on any time soon.

Some people might see that as a drawback - a waste of cards that might sit dusty in their collection. We welcome it. After the first three set releases we began to become wary of a lack of specific themes in the sets. Things seem to be improving, though. The Aldor & Scryer lineage which started in March of the Legion, continues on in Betrayer. And now we have some focused Traitor content that can be very, very interesting and unexpected ways.

And the game hasn't even touched the foundation of the heroes' tradeskill abilities yet.

Here are this week's feature articles. For information about the Druid, Hunter and Mage, checkout WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer Previews Week 1.

Class Articles:


  • Wrath of Turalyon: Commander Michael Goodchilde, Lelora Sunlancer, Wrath of Turalyon
  • Seal of Betrayal: Crusader Michael Goodchilde (traitor), Lelora the Dawnslayer (traitor), Seal of Betrayal
  • Evasion: Resssa Shadespine, Jonas White, Evasion
  • Gut Shot: Ressa the Leper Queen (t), Jonas the Red (t), Gut Shot

  • Totemic Recovery: Ixamos the Redeemed, Kil'zin of the Darkspear, Totemic Recovery
  • Totem of Decay: Ixamos the Corrupted (t), Kil'zin of the Bloodscalp (t), Totem of Decay

  • Shield Slam: Fallingstar, Lionar, Unbound, Shield Slam
  • Bloodbath: Fallenstar (t), Lionar the Blood Cursed (t), Bloodbath

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 26, 2008

Descent: Road to Legend Released, players See the Light

Descent Road to Legend.jpgFans of the epic adventure series Descent: Journeys in the Dark [Amazon, Funagain] are really in for a shock: someone leaned on the epic lever and pushed it from a stout '9' to and inconceivable '50'. Descent: Road to Legend [Amazon, Funagain] lays a topographical map over a series of dungeons, adds lieutenants who sack cities and cause mayhem under the evil players control, and potentially extends campaign sessions to weeks at a time.

Yes weeks. The game ships with a set of rules and boxes that aid players who need to store the state of the game. Truly some epic adventuring going on here.

We won't talk your ear off by regurgitating too many details. For a full list of features, and links to various preview articles from Fantasy Flight Games, please see our story from early march: Descent: Road to Legend Previews Galore. Its definitely worth checking out.

Here's the company line:

"In the darkest of night burns the glimmer of hope. When foul Overlords rise up to blot out the sun and enslave all living things to their infernal will, great heroes always rise up to oppose them... and now, you must be those heroes.

Venture forth from the peaceful town of Tamalir and journey into the darkness beneath the earth. Search for clues in the twilight beneath the trees in forgotten forests. Brave the horrors of treacherous swamps. Uncover new treasures, learn powerful new skills, and rise to dizzying heights of power.

But beware... the Overlord will not sit idle...

Descent: the Road to Legend includes:

  • New campaign rules for your Descent adventure!
  • New terrors to explore and new adventures to be had! Swinging ropes, nourishing fountains, outdoor maps, sheltering trees, and more!
  • Deadly new powers and plots for the Overlord, including terrible new Lieutenants!
  • Exciting storylines -- save the world, or fall to darkness.
  • New silver and gold power dice for heroes and monsters of incredible power.
  • Fighting the Overlord in person with new Avatar rules!"

Descent: Road to Legend is now shipping from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 25, 2008

Lost Cities Card Game Coming to Xbox Live


Update: Team Xbox has also posted a hands-on preview of Lost Cities for Xbox Live

Ask just about any crazy-eyed gamer what their suggested 2-player game is, and they'll quickly respond "Lost Cities" and shove a copy of the game in your hands and as you to give it a go. Seriously, there's a cult following behind this way, and no because it's some obscure unapproachable piece of culture like the Rocky Horror PIcture Show. Nope, instead people enjoy lauding this game because it's good. It's really, really good.

And now Shacknews reports that Lost Cities is coming to Xbox Live.

When released, it will be part of an extensive library of Xbox Live board game and card game titles, including the slated Talisman, Wits &Wagers;, Puerto Rico, Magic the Gathering (recently suggested), and the already released Carcassonne, Settlers of Catan, and, well - Uno. Yes Uno, which you may shrug-at, but whos success inspired this new-aged Xbox Live board/card gaming craze.

We're excited about the explosion of these types of games on a digital / social platform. However, as we watch our gaming stack digitizes before our eyes, it would be also nice to see new titles come to this medium as well. There has been a lot of backwards-porting work, but some new content that isn't revisions of games past would really make our day. Culdcept Saga was a nice step, but we want more like the greedy game consumers we are.

No word yet on when Lost Cities is due to be released. We'll let you know as soon as we know. Until then feel free to drool over the screenshots.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 24, 2008

Thurn & Taxis Expands Twice with All Roads Lead to Rome

TnTRoadToRome.jpgAfter a long drought of eurogame goodness the second boxed expansion to Rio Grand Games 2006 award winning Eurogame title Thurn and Taxis hits stores today! Following the successful first expansion Power and Glory, Thurn & Taxis: All Roads Lead to Rome [Amazon, Funagain] actually includes two new games in one box.

In the new scenario "The Audience", players compete to deliver their 5 clergymen to Rome for an audience with the Pope in St Peter's Basillica. This of course requires a new board which paths a trip starting in Germany, passes through the Alps, and on into the many cities of northern Italy. The second "Offices of Honor" optional scenario adds new gameplay mechanics around office holders in the game, and can be combined with the game's prior scenarios.

The official details are below. Those looking for further info can check out the Thurn & Taxis: All Roads Lead to Rome instructions [pdf] on the Rio Grande Game's website. The instructions are somewhat confusing, they include some typos, and a few mistranslations at points (from German), but you should get the overall feel of the game.

Here's The Company Line:

This 2nd expansion for Thurn and Taxis is actually two in one!
In Audience, each player sends 5 clergyman to attend an audience with the Pope in Rome. The players endeavor to make certain the carriages with the clergyman arrive, but not too early! A player who arranges for his cardinal to arrive at just the right time will score more points than the player who manages the same with a simple priest.

In Offices of Honor, the players try to use the office holders as evenly as possible, in order to receive different office tiles. The more different tiles a player can return at one time, the greater benefits he receives.

Whether you play Audience or Offices of Honor or both together with Thurn and Taxis, they will take you and the game to a new dimension.


  • 1 game board
  • 5 wooden carriages
  • 26 office tiles
  • 4 summary tiles
  • 12 victory point chips
  • 20 audience tiles
  • 1 rule booklet

Thurn & Taxis: All Roads Lead to Rome is available now from Amazon and Funagain Games.

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 21, 2008

WoW TCG Servants of the Betrayer Previews Week 1


Upper Deck kicks the prerelease media blitz this week for the next WoW TCG set release Servants of the Betrayer due out in early April. Following the March of the Legion set release - one that we thought really did well to increase the deck building potential of the franchise - Betrayers will expand upon the faction-specific Aldor and Scryer themes.

But even more importantly, Betrayers asks the question of "What if your hero chose a darker path?" Answering that question will be a new set Traitor Heroes, who are darker and more aggressive forms who appear alongside the standard heroes also slated for release in this set. Most of these Traitors have flip powers that push them on the offensive in some very interesting ways, including the ability to play cards out of your opponents graveyards. Very, very nice. Supporting the traitors, and the Aldor and Sryer, will also be a new cast of allies pulled from the Outland mythos of the World of Warcraft MMORPG, and are only valid to be played from Traitor hero decks.

To balance these new abilities, the Traitor keyword replaces the Hero Specialization key words, which removes the ability for the Traitor heroes to play Talent Spec abilities. For instance, while a Traitor Mage couldn't play cards which require a Frost Mage, or a Fire Mage, because you sir, are a Traitor Mage. Jerk.

Upper Deck feature writers have truly outdone themselves this time around, writing up a storm of great card and mechanic previews articles. It all kicks off with "Acts of Betrayal" which describes the intension behind the Traitors, the issues in balancing them, and how they fit into this second Outland set release. Things spiral into bad-ass bliss from there.

We think that Servants of the Betrayer really has a good chance of shaking things up in some very interesting ways. March of the Legion answered questions we had about if the game was turning stale. As it turns out, it wasn't. And Servants of the Betrayer really could take it to that next level.

Overaching Set Introduction:

Class Articles:
The articles then went onto detailed the new heroes in the set. Two articles were released every day, one detailing the two standard heroes for each class. The second article decscribes their corrupted Traitor counterparts:



Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

March 19, 2008

Wits & Wagers: the next Xbox 360 Arcade Party Game

WWBox.jpgNorth Star Games today announced that their award winning triiva game Wtis and Wagers [Amazon, Funagain] is getting Xbox Live Arcade adaptation. Dubbed " the first trivia game can you can win without knowing any trivia", the Wits and Wagers gameplay centers around a player's ability to wager on which player suggested answer lands closest to the true answer to an outlandish obscure trivia question. The game is a cross between the opening bid round of the Price is Right and seven rounds of archaic Jeopardy questions, like "In what year were Boston Baked Beans first canned?" for instance. 700 of these questions are included, and chances are you don't know the answer to any of them, unless your some sort of obscure trivia Rainman.

The Xbox Live installment of Wits & Wagers has been marked as "Coming Soon." More information can be found on the Hidden Path Entertainment website, which is the company behind this console adaptation of W&W.;

Overall we liked Wits & Wagers [our review] but felt the bits and pieces lacked luster. In fact they seemed downright cheap. The Xbox Live version of the game might fix this issue, but we fear the interface - which we haven't seen - could be somewhat cumbersome compared to the physical baseline. The joy of Holding and toying with poker chips and felt betting mats is always more fun in real life than in a simulated Xbox Live world, and for this overall simple title there really isn't anything gained by a computer overseeing the correct placement of the pieces and rules.

The product description includes notes about Xbox Big Button Pad support, which we believe is the same controller that shipped with the Xbox Adaptation of Scene It? trivia. A nice touch to keep up support with what seemed like a one-shot chincy item. Perhaps it will rise from the ashes and be the controller of choice for party games for hte next few years (until the next Xbox comes out in 2009..?)

Wits & Wagers is the fun trivia party game where you don't need the right answers to win! For each question, bet on the answer you think is closest to the truth, whether or not that answer is your own.

With up to 25 hours of unique questions, local and online play, plus the ability to link one group of local users to another group via "couch-to-couch" multiplayer, Wits & Wagers is a party waiting to happen.

Get 700 questions, great character costumes and dance moves, catchy music, achievements, leaderboards, support for the Xbox LIVE Vision camera, the Xbox Big Button Pad, and more.

Based on the award-winning board game of the same name, Wits & Wagers brings trivia and party fun to Xbox LIVE Arcade on your Xbox 360.

Key features:

  • Supports 4 local players or a total of 6 players online
  • Supports "couch-to-couch" multiplayer with more than one person in an online game per console
  • Supports the Xbox LIVE Vision camera
  • Supports the Xbox Big Button pad

Critical Gamers Staff at Permalink social bookmarking

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