Board Game News – Gateway Gazette – 28/04/2017

I’m sure most of us would happily choose a Ragnarok brought about by the wonderous Cate Blanchett over the slowly encroaching real world doom currently dominating headlines, but alas the closest we’re likely to get to rescue by Norse God is the Marvel Legendary deck-builder. The Last Jedi trailer also dropped recently causing everyone to wonder if Luke has gone and lost his damn mind, but fortunately the realm of cardboard remains in full control of its faculties.

No Thors or Hulks in this weeks news either, but there’s still plenty to get excited about, and a nice long weekend to plan your ordering schedule too. Or find a better paying job. Or donate a kidney. People still have money after the Gloomhaven Kickstarter?

Speaking of the Legendary deck-builder series which includes the rather excellent Encounters, Aliens and Predators come out to play in Ninja Division’s 2nd Edition of AVP: The Hunt Begins. Two challenge modes – competitive and co-ooperative, and the promise of claustrophobic combat. Competitive mode is essentially each player choosing Marines, Aliens or Predators and then every person for themselves, but interestingly cooperative puts the Marines and Predators in a fragile alliance against the Xenomorphs. All of this with 23 detailed miniatures and a 30 to 90 minute play length, and I’m eager to see how this one performs.

Rise to Nobility is a beautifully colourful worker placement game heading into its final five days on Kickstarter. The artwork on the game may look familiar, if you’ve played anything in the Valeria series you’ll recognise The Mico’s very particular style. Or you might recognise it as being from the same team behind Cavern Tavern, a project we previously featured that also utilises the worker placement genre. Aside from the absolutely gorgeous look of the game, what sets it apart from both Cavern Tavern and other titles within that genre? Well, your options aren’t just limited by your dice rolls at the start of each round, but also your reputation. Not only do you need to concern yourself with where you place your workers, but in ensuring that your reputation doesn’t limit your options, as a number of events can increase and decrease your standing.

Arguably the news that has the biggest number of hobbyists hearts’ all a flutter, is that Legend of the Five Rings is rising from the ashes as an LCG. There will be similarities to AEG’s original CCG, but FFG will very much be putting their own spin on the IP. I’m not going to go into too much detail of what is already a well fleshed out setting, you can read more on the Wiki page, but as you can tell by the images, L5R is an Orient inspired setting in which seven Great Clans are doing their best Westeros power-grab impression, only that these Clans have a strict code of honour they need to adhere to. If you’re a returning L5R player, or have been enticed enough by the gorgeous artwork and theme, L5R comes with the same barrier to entry that Thrones 2nd Edition has, which is that if you’re contemplating playing this competitively, you’ll be forking out for THREE core sets.

Keeping with breathing new life into existing IPs, one that will be familiar to digital gamers but has yet to see a cardboard variant – the world of Fallout is coming to a table near you. Wasteland Warfare is Modiphius Entertainment’s miniatures entry into the market. Solo AI play, proper campaign mode or even tournament style player vs player, Modiphius will be incorporating all the iconic references from Nuka Cola to Combat armor. They will also be releasing Organized Play packs, which hints that Modiphius are viewing this far more through the lens of wargaming than just another dungeon crawl, even though Wasteland Warfare includes a narrative campaign.

We recently did an overview for FFG’s Runewars Miniature Game, and with dozens of copies still in shrinkwrap, Guardians of the Deepwood has already been announced for Q3 of this year. Drawing from the ranks of the Latari Elves, Guardians brings eight new figure sculpts to the battlefield such as the Leonx Riders, a slightly less traditional cavalry role, and Aliana of Summersong their greatest champion. The Latari will also introduce the new Overgrow keyword, which allows a player to place tokens across the battlefield that only the Latari can make use of. They’ll also make use of the new Lethal keyword, which adds additional hits to the damage pool.

Brass breaks out of the trappings of the traditionally mundane aesthetic of many a Euro game by introducing the KS campaign for the second edition with some of the most striking boardgame covers I’ve seen since Abyss. The campaign also takes quite an unusual approach by offering two new versions; Lancashire, which is a slightly tweaked version of the original but with new artwork and components, or Birmingham which is a true sequel with new actions, mechanics and strategies. The original is held in high regard and seen by many as one of Martin Wallace’s finest designs. If you’re a fan of the original you’ve probably already backed this, otherwise if economic strategy rustles your jimmies you absolutely need to check this out.

It’s just good looking games as far as the eye can see this week, and Barbarians: The Invasion is no exception. It pleases me even more to inform you that appearances can be deceiving, Barbarians is not a miniatures battle game as you may have initially thought, but it is in fact a worker-placement and area control hybrid. Gameplay centers around the volcano, which is a series of interlocking dials that turn under various conditions. Since you’re only allowed to place workers adjacent, how and when the dials turn is very important. If the concept sounds appealing but your really could do without the expense of the miniatures, Tabula Games have got you covered. You can pick up the Wooden Edition for $50, a whopping $35 cheaper than the pimped out Iron edition but identical functionality.

And yes, Timeless Board Games is having yet another ridiculously fun gathering this weekend and you should totally go if you’re in the area, but guess what! For a change, Capetonians don’t care! Because it’s Fancon this weekend! That’s right, from tomorrow until Monday evening you can make your way down to the CTICC for not only loads of tabletop gaming, but cosplay, art, comics and panels featuring a range of local and international guests.

We’ll be there as well, but if you can’t make it to either event, make sure you still grab some friends around the table, as tomorrow also happens to be International Tabletop Day. Good gaming all!