Every year around this time, gamers try to predict which games will be nominated for the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award, signifying the best tabletop games of the previous year. From the early aughts, I’ve been one of those gamers, always wrong with my guesses and then trying to nab each nominated title as soon as possible because, they have to be good, right? This year is a bit different. This morning it dawned on me that I don’t give a shit anymore.
iOS, Android • When I first saw the news about Mordheim: Warband Skirmish this morning over at Pocket Gamer, I was excited. Other than Talisman, has Games Workshop done a mobile title not set in the Warhammer universe? Then I read the article and saw words like Skaven and realized my Warhammer ignorance was showing. Mordheim is set firmly within the Warhammer universe, just not the 40K one.
Tabletop • As a sad and lonely man, it’s only natural that I would gravitate toward games I can play by myself. This used to mean playing a game meant for 2+ players alone by taking control of all sides. Over the past year or two, however, I’ve discovered that there are great solo games out there, you just have to look. GMT is one company that regularly puts out games that play great when you’re all by your lonesome, and Victory Point Games is another. To be honest, before HexWar brought Infection: Humanity’s Last Gasp to digital, I wasn’t familiar with VPG’s offerings. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with several of their designs, and have Kickstarted several others (including their latest Kickstarter for Chariots of Rome). The latest to draw my attention is one with a unique board game theme, Healthy Heart Hospital.
Tabletop • Warning: Guard your wallet. We’re about to enter into some dangerous Kickstarter territory for a couple of cardboard titles that you’re going to want to back. Just remember, it’s not my fault. I’m just the messenger. Actually, I’ve already pledged for both and this it my way of trying to spread my pain around. Blame me all you want.
The board game Scythe has had its share of space here on Stately Play due to the fact that a digital version is in the works and should be coming sometime in 2017. It never really dawned on me that the rest of you aren’t spending half your waking hours skimming game info over at BoardGameGeek, or lurking on Kickstarter waiting for The Next Big Thing to arrive in board games. I just assumed that you’d be as excited for a digital Scythe as I was. Let’s talk about the tabletop game a bit, and maybe you’ll see where the excitement is coming from.
Tabletop • When it comes to word games on tabletop, there’s Paperback and then there’s everything else. Designer Tim Fowers somehow managed to take a rather stuffy genre and make it interesting by crossing it with everyone’s favorite and most overused mechanism, deckbuilding. Yes, I’m not a huge fan of either word games or deckbuilding, but put together it’s near perfection. Today, Tim Fowers announced a new game in the series: Hardback.
Tabletop • The last time Eric Lang and Cool Mini or Not joined forces on Kickstarter, it cost me just shy of $300 to get about a million boxes full of some of the coolest plastic figures I’d ever seen. While this made me happier than the birth of my 3rd child, my wife thinks Eric Lang is the devil incarnate and Cool Mini or Not a writhing den of pure evil intent on destroying our bank account. Not sure about the Eric Lang part, but she’s not too far off on Cool Mini or Not. Unfortunately, yesterday they launched their latest joint Kickstarter and, yes, I’ve already pledged.
Tabletop • In the comments following our review of Arkham Horror: The Card Game, there was short discussion of Fantasy Flight‘s recent decision to split their rulebooks into two separate tomes, a Learn to Play guide and a Rules Reference. Victory Point Games has done FFG one better. Actually, four better. That’s right, when you pull the lid off of the latest edition of Dawn of the Zeds you’ll find no less than six rulebooks staring you in the face. Six. If the tech writer at VPG was writing A Song of Ice and Fire the series would have ended back in 2005. I’ll admit, the six manuals seemed like a whole lot of overkill until I actually got this to the table. Dawn of the Zeds can be a massive, complex game if you want it to be, or it can be a simple struggle against invading hordes. Either way, it’s harder than hell and hell of a lot of fun.
Tabletop • While the Cthulhu Mythos burst like a purulent, racist boil from the twisted mind of H.P. Lovecraft way back in the 1920’s, it’s only been in the last 10 years or so that Fantasy Flight Games has managed to turn it into a means to print money. Fantasy Flight has mastered the genre and has created a handful of tabletop titles rife with existential dread and, of course, tentacles. Their latest recalls their first, and most popular, game to tread these dark paths: Arkham Horror. Only this time, there’s no board, no 8,000 cardboard chits, and no FAQ full of rules exceptions. Just cards. Lots and lots of cards.
If you’re only exposure to the Red Planet comes from visuals of Matt Damon pooping on his potatoes or mutant women with three breasts, I have some news for you. First of all, those are movies and, secondly, those weren’t real breasts. Don’t worry though, because Mars is an actual, real-life place and it’s only 140 million miles away. Best of all, according to Terraforming Mars from Stronghold Games, its surface is covered with a resource more valuable than unobtainium: Victory Points.