Board Game News – The Gateway Gazette – 23/09/2016

It’s certainly been a fascinating week for those of us with an appreciation for watching the cogs of the industry machine turning. Writing the weekly news for nigh on a year now means that we’re in a pretty good position to be able to comment with some accuracy as to the standard approach the industry has toward the dissemination of information to the consumer, and for the most part I don’t think we’d be wrong in stating that in many instances archaic would be an over-exaggeration.

It’s often an exercise in frustration pulling the disparate threads of news releases together to form a coherent tapestry of detail for a particular game, what with sometimes a single photograph or a three sentence blurb. And sure, one can understand this for games a year away from release, but I’m talking games that are sometimes two months away from hitting shelves. It just feels as if many publishers are pursuing the same mode of marketing they’ve been doing for years based off assumptions that are outdated. So whether you’re fearful that the hullabaloo around Riot’s recent announcement is one step closer toward a horrifying abyss of anti-consumerism, or you’re simply enjoying watching a new player school the older kids, we live in interesting times indeed.

General Announcements

Remember the game that sparked a whole new genre? I think it was called Dominion, or something like that. Apparently people still play it to this day? Anyways, in somewhat surprising news but in hindsight probably news we should have seen coming, 2nd editions of Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue will be out pretty darn soon. If you have first ed stuff, there will be update packs available at a lower price. It’s an odd one, not sure we can technically call it a full on 2nd edition, more a case of a facelift and certain cards being replaced.

Dominion is a great game, and this is indeed good news, but without sounding as if I’m picking on Rio Grande this is a perfect example of what we mean about old fashioned marketing sensibilities. The game is being shipped to distributors next week, and we’re getting updates via a BGG forum? It’s not even in the News section of Rio Grande’s website.

What is in the news section of a publishers site, is Deus Egypt, the first expansion for Deus. I’ve been itching to play Deus for a while now, and this sounds like a great reason to correct this horrible oversight asap. Six completely new decks riffing off the power of the ancient pharaohs, choose which deck you want to use during setup and the new combinations increase the varied permutations of what is already a highly replayable game.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island gets a new release in November. It’s not officially a 2nd edition, but there will be a number of notable changes (all listed here) including an additional scenario and a reworked rulebook, which is anyone who’s read the original will tell you is a very good idea. Portal and Ignacy have always had a great sense of humour, but I must admit to a growing appreciation especially after having played 51st State recently – their image of the differences between versions is delightfully tongue-in-cheek.

Passport Games, a studio whose releases include Food Chain Magnate and the CV series as well as the Gencon sleeper hit Quartz are collaborating on the gorgeous looking Hop. Grab a handful of balloons and race to discover a hidden realm above the sky. I’m not the only one who sees a similarity to a certain Pixar release, am I? Dammit, now I’m thinking about Carl and Ellie and damn, someone needs to vacuum my office all this dust…

It wasn’t going to be long before we got an expansion for Mystic Vale, and indeed Vale of Magic has just been announced. Deckbuilders rely on expansions to provide longevity and keep gameplay fresh, and this one includes 58 new advancement cards and 18 new vale cards, as well as a new magic type. Coming in October already.

Given how popular Kemet and Clash of Cultures are, it’s rather nice to see Cyclades is still going on strong. The latest expansion for the Cathala/Maublanc classic is Cyclades: Monuments. Ten new monument minis, construct them to gain additional abilities such as free armies or deploying mythical creatures.


A Heroes of Normandie Tactical Card Game? Why not! Switching minis out for cards creates a very different feel, just ask anyone who’s played Summoner Wars. Multiple scenarios, events to mess with your opponent and stretch goals that include the D-Day expansion. The early buzz is sounding good, Devil Pig Games may just have a winner on their hands.

From historical wars to those a slightly less realistic nature, Masters of the Deep is a tabletop minatures war game from designer Chase Layman. If that name and artwork sound familiar, that’s probably because the similarly themed Rivals was successfully Kickstarted last year. $100 isn’t bad for a war game that comes with 55 miniatures…really good looking miniatures…and I can’t think of many war games set in an undersea universe, but it’ll be interesting to see how the game performs post Kickstarter.

Ever caught yourself playing Suburbia and thinking to yourself, man I wish this was an Enchanted Castle or an Elven Treehouse instead of a Warehouse or an Office Building? Well Unreal Estate from Grand Gamers Guild has got you covered. Build the best fantastical cityscape in this card-drafting and set collection 2-4 player hand management game that takes around 20 minutes to play.

What if I told you that a two-mile wide asteroid was about to prove all those sign-toting bedraggled crazies right? That in a few hours, unless you can find a way to put thick steel walls between yourself and the earth formerly known as civilisation, you’d be well, formerly known? You might thank me for warning you just in time to secure a spot in a bunker. Only, secure isn’t quite as secure as you might think. The End is Nigh promises classic deduction that doesn’t rely on poker faces or player elimination and heck, the publisher is called Mystic Ape Games. Can a name that cool create anything other than awesomeness? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And I Feel Fine…

So with the apocalypse just around the corner, how else to spend your final days upon the earth than with friends around the table, playing games? And no excuses, here’s our weekly round up of some happening, as the kids say, places to check out this weekend.

Quantum is not running the X-Wing Nationals…oh wait, they’re running Not-theXwing-Nationals tournament tomorrow. No Timeless Board Games party this weekend, but they have joined up with Solarpop Distributors to bring you the best damn section of this year’s rAge Expo. It all goes down on the 7th, 8th and 9th of October so make sure you reserve that weekend NOW. The awesome Unseen Shoppe in Westville is having a birthday weekend, kicking off with a MTG Kaladesh pre-release in the morning followed by a Pokemon Cosplay Picnic. Sunday is the official store party, and there will be cake. Happy 4th birthday!

If you haven’t yet, you can read our musings on the question of hype and art, and next week we’ll be dropping two reviews. And just after rage, the big daddy begins – Essen Spiel. Kicking off from the 13th, we’re thrilled to have a pair of official CBQ feet on the ground this year! Here’s hoping for loads of photos, some first hand accounts and…flip, we should probably print a t-shirt or something with our logo? Stuuuuuuaaaaarrrrt!!!