Around The Republic
Last week was choc full o’ previews, and this week we have a review of King of Tokyo. Rawr! On the podcast, Dave Gordon and I spend some words on Mythology in RPGs and headbutting in 1800s NYC. As per usual, we also have your weekly casual Magic: The Gathering fix with a piece on Vault of the Archangel. We say things other places, too, so make sure you follow us on Twitter (@CardboardNews) and Facebook.
You’ll notice that this week’s news is a little different. I’m experimenting with a new format, so your feedback is extra specially treasured at the moment. Like it? Hate it? Let me know!
Games & Expansions
Title: Five Tribes
Publisher: Days of Wonder
Designer: Bruno Cathala
Anticipated Release: September 2014, with previews at Gen Con
Why You Should Care: Well, Days of Wonder. If that’s not enough for you, Five Tribes aims to revitalize the worker placement genre. Instead of starting with a handful of meeples to place on the board, the board has a handful of meeple already in place. Your job is to strategically move them around, bumping them from one place to the next and scoring points accordingly.
What I’m not sold on, though, is the use of “slaves” as a type of good. I think that’s totally inappropriate and unnecessary for most any game, never mind one set in a fictional city and produced in 2014. And I’m not alone on that, as it turns out, if the Internet has anything to say about it.
Title: Firefly: Blue Sun
Publisher: Gale Force Nine
Designer: Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski, and Sean Sweigart
Anticipated Release: No official date. Unofficially, it’ll likely be shown off at Gen Con with a fall 2014 release like the base game.
Why You Should Care: The Firefly game is not exactly well-loved due to the lack of interaction between players, but it’s one of my favorites. If you like the base game, you’ll be interested to know that this adds a new board segment
Title: Race for the Galaxy: Xeno Invasion
Publisher: Rio Grande Games
Designer: Tom Lehmann
Anticipated Release: TBD – Hopefully 2014. (But given how long Alien Artifacts took to come out, we wouldn’t bank on that.)
Why You Should Care: Race expansions don’t come out very often, so they’re something to take note of. XI adds a new race of violent aliens, as well as new tactics to combat them including military worlds, military bonuses, and a new key word (which likely also means a new 6-cost card). Unfortunately, just like Alien Artifacts, this expansion isn’t compatible with other expansions.
Publisher: Asterion Press
Designer: Andrea Chiarvesio and Pierluca Zizzi
Anticipated Release: Aug, 2014 (Gen Con)
Why You Should Care: It’s a light civ game about balancing corruption and waste against progress and growth. I love the idea behind that mechanism – the more new technology you produce, the more waste you generate. You have to keep your civilization simple enough to be sustainable without becoming stagnant, and if that’s not a timely lesson, I don’t know what is.
Other Interesting Things
What: Rampage will be renamed to Terror In Meeple City due to copyright issues.
Why: The game is a hit, so it’ll be interesting to see how a change to a less-snappy name plays out. Hopefully it doesn’t generate too much confusion.
What: Dungeons and Dragons released the character sheet for 5th Edition and an Unboxing Video.
Why: It’s D&D, and this sheet looks slick. They managed to fit everything on one page. Of course, there always end up being more fan-made character sheet variants than you can shake your dice at, so if you don’t like it, don’t worry.
What: Campaign Mastery posted an article on using locations effectively.
Why: It’s not always easy to work into a setting all the bits of plot and flavor that you’ve created, but Mike Bourke has a few tips for making your location come to life. Actually, to be more accurate, he has a lot of tips and some great advice on how to prioritize certain aspects of location selection and development based on how you want the game to unfold.
What: Character Death Certificate
Why: It’s actually pretty clever and could be fun at the table. Plus, it’s free.
What: Geister, Geister, Schatzsuchmeister! won the Kinderspiel des Jahres.
Why: The Kinderspiel is the most prestigious award out there for family games. So, you know, if you have a family and speak German, you should probably get on this.
Crowdfunding Corner Top Three
Title: The Great Kingdom
Publisher: The Great Kingdom
Why It’s Special: This isn’t a game but the story of one of the most enduring and popular games of all time. The Great Kingdom is a documentary of the rise and fall of early D&D, with a special focus on the people and families involved.
Title: Yardmaster Express
Publisher: Crash Games
Designer: David Short
Why It’s Special: A micro-game by the same mind that designed Ground Floor (which is definitely not a micro-game) is worth checking out. Yardmaster Express has players draft cards in an attempt to build the longest train, but it also places an emphasis on hate-drafting: the act of taking a card in a draft that would greatly benefit someone further down the drafting line, even if that particular card doesn’t do much to help you personally. While this form of drafting can be competitive, in a micro-game it should be a fun, quick way to learn a useful strategy.
Publisher: Bellwether Games
Designer: Dennis Hoyle
Why It’s Special: Antidote is a short filler game about a group of scientists working to find a cure to a toxin they’ve accidentally been exposed to before they, well, die. While it’s difficult to tell exactly how Antidote would play without having tried it, I’m interested in the core mechanic of each player deciding, on their turn, what each other player does.
And if you have any updates or interesting stories, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.