Board Game News -The Gateway Gazette – 19/08/2016

A hush falls over the crowd as Asmodee makes his way to the apparatus. He’s been training the last four years for this event Bob, but all those hours mean nothing now, just the next two minutes. He’s gone for a higher degree of difficulty, perhaps unnecessary but if he sticks the landing he should have gold wrapped up. The hopes of a nation rest on his shoulders…

Rio 2016 may have sounded the bell on its last lap as we head into the weekend, but the industry we know and love is still hard in training, hoping to make the following months into the Christmas stretch in top form and ready to break some records. The aroma of Gencon still lingers in the air, but it was a strange one this year. We had the inevitable must have games selling out before the convention even opened to the public, SeaFall and Cry Havoc at the heart of many a disgruntled convention goers ire, but it certainly wasn’t the year of surprise announcements, more a time for most to finally crack open titles they’ve been waiting ages for. From an attendance standpoint it was record numbers again, but (and I know Stuart disagrees somewhat) I didn’t feel the same pang of disappointment at missing out as I have in previous years.

Anyways, to the news! Because there’s a lot of it!

Asmodee, being the Michael Phelps of boardgame publishers, are up first with their new title built around the achievements of histories most famous inventors. Creatively (ahem!) named Legendary Inventors, you’re put in charge of a team of four inventors attempting to create increasingly more complex contraptions. The twist is that your team has to work together with their rivals (controlled by your opponents) to actually complete inventions, but only some players will reap the benefits. It’s a familiar theme, but I like the idea of competition requiring a degree of collaboration.

More Asmodee with an expansion to 7 Wonders: Duel. This was one of my favourite games of 2015 and still sees regular play, so I’m particularly enthused. 7 Wonders: Pantheon will apparently operate in a similar way to the Leaders expansion, building up favour with certain gods in order to use their unique abilities, such as building a Wonder using cards from the discard pile. Arriving Q4 of this year.

CMoN have been watching Asmodee closely and clearly decided the ‘gobble everyone up’ is a fortuitous path, however for the moment they’ll just be partnering with Fishwizard Games to release Gateway: Uprising. What’s with all the Colons, publishers? I mean, am I the only one getting a bit tired of seeing it in every second release? But I digress. Gateway is an area control deck-builder with, you guessed it, a unique twist. That art though! Also due in the last quarter of 2016, and also a collaboration this time with Horrible Games, Raise Your Goblets is all about poisoning your fellow toasters, between 2 – 12 of them! Swap your goblet, pour some wine, and hope you haven’t wasted your antidote.

Jason recently reviewed the highly popular One Night Ultimate Werewolf, just in time for the announcement of One Night Ultimate Alien. I’m not sure why all these mythical creatures have such temporary plans for world domination, but perhaps being King for a day is better than putting up with bureaucracy for a year.  This iteration of the series introduces the Dynamic Rules system. Which is…er…dynamic and stuff! What it really means is that the rules for each role will change each game. You know, dynamically.

How does one improve the already highly successful Flick ’em Up? Zombies. Add zombies. Oh, and a name that carries a lot of weight. Yes, details may be sparse but we will indeed be getting a Flick ’em Up! Dead of Winter. It’s the mashup you never knew you always needed.

FFG also have a slew of new titles to look forward to – XCOM is getting the expansion XCOM Evolution, Star Wars Armada is getting wave Five, X-Wing is getting wave Ten, Imperial Assault fans can expect Jabba’s Realm in Q4 and the biggest FFG news of all, RuneWars: The Miniatures Game.

The great powers of Terrinoth have clashed countless times over the ages, spilling the blood of man and beast alike on the battlefields of war. Through innumerable battles, armies have maneuvered and conquered, and legendary commanders have risen from the ashes to lead their warriors to victory and greatness.

The miniatures look amazing and it’ll be fascinating to see whether FFG can finally make some sort of dent into Games Workshop, but I’ve got little experience with this style of game so I can’t comment on what their prospects look like.

You thought that was all for FFG? You were wrong! In their ‘oh, they publish other stuff too?’ line is an expansion for Letters from Whitechapel, which given how long the original has been out is news that surprised a lot of people. Dear Boss introduces miniatures, as well as new variants and a modular deck. Cosmic Eons will be the latest expansion for Cosmic Encounter which will up the Alien races count to like a gazillion (yes, that’s a number), but more interestingly introduces a Hidden Alliances variant. And lastly, hot on the heels of crater-like impact, the new edition of Mansions of Madness already has ways to expand by helping you convert your first First Edition monsters and tiles as well from the Call of the Wild and Forbidden Alchemy expansions. And if you don’t own First Edition, Recurring Nightmares will provide that content and allow you to access a brand new scenario.

Geez, I’m exhausted and we haven’t even hit Kickstarter projects yet. One of the bigger KS projects at 2015’s Gencon was Blood Rage, and never one to be far from the headlines, Eric Lang recently announced the development of Rising Sun. A ‘spiritual successor’ to Blood Rage, this one takes place in Feudal Japan. Not a lot of info yet, but those minis. Hoo boy, those minis.

If you’re finding onslaught of fantasy and scifi and Lovecraftian nonsense all a bit much, Fields of Green might be your next refuge. From Among the Stars designer Vangelis Bagiartakis, this economic engine builder with a farming flavour seeks to differ itself from the pack not only with its gameplay, but it’s also refreshing to see a farming game set in the 20th century. 2- 4 players and just 30 minutes a session, Fields of Green aims to ship in December already.

If you’re not familiar with the name of Monte Cook, you’re clearly not a tabletop RPG player so this next bit won’t interest you. For the rest of us, the incredibly ambitious Invisible Sun is on Kickstarter for the low low price of $197 you too can be the recipient of the Black Cube (here’s a handy list of the components), promising a very mature, adult-oriented world where characters wield guns made from demons or possess constantly swirling faces. With the aid of an accompanying app, Invisible Sun hopes to be the kind of campaign that can still be played even when the group is not at the table together.

I have a softspot for the PC game Rollercoaster Tycoon and Theme Parks in general (Six Flags New England was a magical day), so Unfair is pressing all the right buttons for me. Add in the fact that you can pay off safety inspectors or higher hooligans to vandalise your opponents parks? Yes please. Hiring staff, building attractions…and the artwork is just perfect. And a Print and Play version!

Sandy Peterson’s Cthulhu Wars is pretty highly regarded among those who’ve been able to play it, and while some designers may follow up a massive project like that with someone a little more intimate, that sure isn’t Sandy Peterson. Glorantha: The Gods War is his incredibly ambitious follow up with a focus on highly asymmetrical gameplay. Tons of stretch goals and add-ons, going all in will not be for the faint of heart and of wallet.

There’s lots of activity this weekend, so no excuse to miss out supporting your local community! The Unseen Shoppe in KZN is running a Stage 1 LLDS Tournament on Saturday, and Pretoria finally gets in on the action as Timeless host the inaugural board game party in the land that time forgot. Down here in Cape Town, Skycastle are running an all day event to preview some Gencon goodness and if Netrunner is your thing, Quantum are hosting a Limited Tournament.

Lastly, massive congrats to Ryno and his team at Photon Games, as Sultan’s Library has begun shipping to backers!

You may have noticed we’ve been back up to full strength here at CBQ this week, Stuart had a look at the rather excellent Mr Jack and Jason reviewed the evergreen One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Next week is shaping up to be another bumper filled one, including a review of arguably 2016’s most anticipated game. Have a great gaming weekend all!