Base Raiders is a Kickstarter funded role playing game (RPG) with the best premise I’ve ever seen for a superheroes game: all the superheroes and supervillains have vanished, leaving their secret bases and the secrets to their superpowers behind. The players of the game are, , lwell, base raiders, looking to find these hidden troves of loot and knowledge.
Star Trek Attack Wing is yet another game set in the Star Trek universe. Unlike Star Trek Catan, Attack Wing is set in the Next Generation universe, and is focused around a more exciting topic: space battles. As a miniatures game, a player is expected to buy more than just what’s in the box, which is merely just a “starter kit” containing the minimum necessary for a playable game.
Battletech. Shadowrun. Mage Knight. These games have left their mark on the face of gaming, with imagery and concepts (like “big fighting robots”) that even my non-gaming friends have no trouble identifying. They also have a common name behind them: Jordan Weisman, and if he has his way with Golem Arcana, he’ll put a boot stamp into gaming’s face that will change miniatures play forever.
Golem Arcana is a miniatures game with a new solution to the problem of “miniatures are cool, huge rulebooks telling you how to play with them are not cool.” As you can see from the picture, the cool look is definitely there. In the background you can how the rulebook problem is to be solved: the game will be fully integrated for your tablet or even phone, so players won’t have to spend time record keeping or looking up rules.
As part of Wizard of the Coasts’ (WotC) program of reprinting the older Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) books while they retool the rules for the next edition of D&D, D&D Next, they’ve re-released the Slave Lords series of modules, in hard back form. These old modules may not have the flash of Dungeons of Dread, but they’ve aged surprisingly well, and give great insights into how D&D has changed over the years.
hile “the boy” Wesley Crusher was far from the most popular Star Trek character, actor Wil Wheaton has successfully won over many gamers as fans. Continuing in that vein, he’ll play as part of Mayfair Game’s Star Trek: Catan Warp Speed charity event. The first 48 gamers who sign up for Gen Con (and donate $100 to the event) will get the chance to play Star Trek: Catan with Wil “the man” Wheaton. In addition to playing a cool game with a cool guy, the benefactors will know that their money goes to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, a most worthy cause.
Dungeons of Dread is a collection of dungeons, but not just any dungeons. Old school dungeons, dungeons from the earliest era of Dungeons and Dragons, when life was cheap, and your game master would laugh at you if you thought your character would respawn ten seconds after he died. See that demon face on the cover of the book? That face was the last thing that probably hundreds of character saw before they were destroyed. Not just killed, but rip-up-your-character sheet destroyed…and that’s just the first room in the first of the four dungeons here.
Perhaps the most famous battle of the 19th century is Waterloo, where two titanic armies, led by the finest military minds of the age, Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, clashed. Napoleon lost, forever changing the destiny of Europe; had he won, what we call Europe would probably be better known as the “Greater French Empire.” There have been a few boardgames based around the classic battle, but perhaps the most popular was Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign 1815. It addressed the mighty battle (along with skirmishes in the area in Waterloo) in a mere two hours, using a rules system that anyone can pick up and play without studying the rulebook. It’s been 20 years since the third edition of the game came out, so Columbia Games figures it must be time for new edition.
This time of year, I start to fantasize just a little bit about going to the beach and being warm, and such fantasies attracted me Tahiti, a game where players take the role of tribespeople on a Pacific island, exploring the local islands and gathering resources, with the winner being the best gatherer of food. Tahiti exits only due to a successful Kickstarter campaign; it’s amazing how many little game products come to market now through Kickstarter.
Easily, the best board game I played in 2012 was Mage Knight, no doubt about it. I played it long after I was done reviewing it, only putting it away when I really needed the space for a Christmas tree. It was also the most complicated board game I’ve played in years (and I’ve played hard core games like Squad Leader), meaning I could only play it with serious gamer friends, “pick and play” gamers took one look at the many cards with the eensy print and asked if we could just play Smallworld instead.
Welp, I was wrong. With a few hours to go, the Pathfinder massively multiplayer online game (MMO) found it’s way to a million dollar Kickstarter goal. It’s amazing what goodwill can do for a company when it comes to raising money, as the average backer kicked in over $100 to see this sandbox game come to reality. A few backers kicked in thousands of dollars (including one guy for $10,000) for the privilege of contributing to the game. Funny thing is, the MMO doesn’t even plan to play like Pathfinder, promising a classless system–tabletop Pathfinder, based on 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons rules, is all about developing your character along optimal class lines.
There was a time when there were many gaming magazines on hobby shop shelves: Dragon, Scrye, InQuest, TopDeck, and others. They’re all in the graveyard now (except for Knights of the Dinner Table, more comic book than magazine), like so many other victims of the digital age. Despite the track record of magazines, Ernie more »