18xx or: how I learned to stop playing euros and love the Train

March 21, 2019 David Neumann 9

I’ve been playing board games since the Reagan administration and, in that time, my tastes have ebbed and flowed from tabletop RPGs to euros to wargames to DOAM to…whatever. I fell in love with deckbuilding when it was the big thing, and then wouldn’t pass up a worker placement game even if the theme was exciting as toenail fungus. I bought every damn Savage Worlds and Deadlands rulebook and read them back-and-forth until I realized I’d never find anyone to play it with me and moved, instead, into engine building and resource management. I devoured every new title I could find for fear of not getting a chance to play “the next big thing”, and I relished with delight the most sought after and delectable European morsel: the Victory Point. Then I played 1889. The conversion wasn’t instantaneous, but the past five years have led me to an inexorable conclusion: 18xx is the greatest game on the planet.

Shards of Infinity ready for polishing

March 11, 2019 David Neumann 49

iOS, Android, PC Temple Gates came out of nowhere in 2017 to rock our worlds with the, still fantastic, digital port of Race for the Galaxy. While we know they’ve been working on it’s dicey cousin, Roll for the Galaxy, we also know that they’ve hooked up with Stone Blade Entertainment and have been working on their 2-player card battler, Shards of Infinity. Looks like the latter has been getting the bulk of the attention because, today, they announced that beta signups are open.

Galaxy Trucker sets course for a new star system

March 7, 2019 David Neumann 3

iOS, Android, PC/Mac It’s no secret that we here at Stately Play feel that Czech Games Edition can do no wrong. First of all, they have Vlaada Chvatil designing games for them, which puts them one step away from God. Secondly, they created Galaxy Trucker back in 2014 and it reshaped how we thought about digital versions of board games. Not only did they include a lengthy, somewhat open-world campaign, but they also created entirely new rules so we could play the way digital board games were meant to be played: asynchronously. Five years later there still aren’t many apps that match it (and one of the ones that did is also from CGE: Through the Ages), and so it’s time for Galaxy Trucker to spread its wings (made of crepe paper and duct tape, I’m sure). Today it’s made the move to the big screen and released for PC/Mac on Steam.

Mystic Vale gets more Vale. The amount of Mystic remains unchanged.

March 1, 2019 David Neumann 8

PC/Mac If you need proof that we’re living in a Golden Age of digital board games, I offer up Mystic Vale as evidence. Releasing less than a month ago, I’m guessing many of us have already moved on to other games like Evolution or the latest darling, Castles of Burgundy. If a game with the name recognition and polish of Mystic Vale had appeared back in 2013 our heads would have exploded. To bring Mystic Vale back to our collective subconscious, today Nomad Games released its first expansion: Vale of Magic.

Castles of Burgundy coming on Thursday

February 26, 2019 David Neumann 65

iOS, Android, PC/Mac Remember way back in 2015 when we’d be lucky to get 3-4 board game apps released a year (and half of them would suck)? Times have changed. Hot on the heels of Evolution from North Star comes The Castles of Burgundy from Digidiced, releasing for iOS/Android this Thursday.

Cardboard Critique: Black Sonata

February 20, 2019 David Neumann 25

Tabletop Remember those math puzzles your friends would quiz you with when you were a kid? They’d always begin by asking for your birth year, adding the day you were born, subtracting the hour, dividing by the number of eggs you had for breakfast and, viola, the answer would reveal, correctly, how many pet otters you’ve owned since the age of six. Having that answer always pop up correctly, no matter who you tried it with, was like a small miracle. It was like opening a portal to universe where magic existed and everything fit into a specific place. As I grew older and submerged myself in math, the magic was replaced with the cold dissection of numbers and seeing the trick for what it was: a simple math equation. Enter Black Sonata from Side Room Games, which feels like the most complicated math puzzle I’ve ever been dealt. The cool thing is, I can’t see the math and, even if I could, I don’t think I’d be able to suss out how the trick works. The only explanation that makes any sense: Black Sonata is magic. Real magic.

After an epoch, Evolution has been released

February 12, 2019 David Neumann 18

iOS, Android, PC/Mac I like to poke fun at the guys from North Star Games for being the Blizzard of board game app development. After all, it took Blizz 10 years to bring us Diablo 3, whereas North Star has been working on Evolution for the last five. Of course, that’s board game years, so its roughly equivalent. Still, Blizzard games are known for their polish and sheen right out of the box, and that was North Star’s plan with this elongated dev cycle: make the board game app that all others will be (unfavorably) compared to. Well, it’s out in the wilderness now, so you can go see if they accomplished their dream.

Stately Scrying: What we’re playing this weekend

February 8, 2019 David Neumann 14

I’m going to save you a little time this week by not including my scry. That’s because you can go back to last week’s and just re-read that one if you’re curious. It’s all Slay the Spire all the time at my house, and I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon. So, here’s the rest of the crew with their takes for the next few days. Get out there and enjoy your weekend, everyone!

More viking game goodness appears to be on deck

February 8, 2019 David Neumann 2

PC/Mac Sorry for the lack of content this week, folks. Real job getting in the way of fun these days. Thus, I don’t have time for a lengthy post bemoaning the rise in viking-themed pop culture stuff and will, instead, just bring the thunder up front. Champions of Midgard is a viking-themed board game of worker placement and dice chucking and, apparently, it’s coming to digital.

Hiding in plain sight: Victory Point Games’ Gem Rush is worth a gander

February 6, 2019 David Neumann 13

I was a backer of the Kickstarter for Victory Point Games‘ recent release of Gem Rush Second Edition. I had never played (or even heard of) the first edition, but I love the “premier” stuff VPG has been putting out recently not to mention that most (all?) of their games are playable solo. Oh, and the designer is Jeremy Lennert, who I fell in love with via a previous VPG title, Darkest Night Second Edition. My copy of Gem Rush arrived before the holidays and has sat, untouched, since. Not the game’s fault, just my crappy time management. Anyway, I had forgotten (until prompted in the forums) that the Kickstarter had mentioned a digital version. With little to no fanfare, the digital version of Gem Rush was released way back when and has completely slid under our radar. Time to fix that. Gem Rush is a polished, tight app of a pretty great board game that no one is aware of. Let’s change that.

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