The Crystal Ball: November

It’s been over my customary week per post mark that I made a feeble attempt to adhere to. It’s not like I don’t have stuff to write about, but life has a nasty way of slipping in something you didn’t expect, and throwing off your game. Oh, and not having power for awhile didn’t really help matters, either. I’m just glad I wasn’t working on something important when the whole neighborhood went black.

 
Oh well, there’s no use crying over spilled potion, is there? There’s lots of cool stuff to look forward to in the coming months!

 
Starting off the line of exciting things upcoming is from Fantasy Flight Games! Oh, Fantasy Flight Games, you always know what this wizard wants, don’t you? From the “Shut up and take my money” department, its:

 

You should have stayed inside…

MANSIONS OF MADNESS: CALL OF THE WILD EXPANSION

It was around this time last year that I made a prediction about Mansions of Madness after the ill-fated and rocky release of Forbidden Alchemy; that the next big Mansions expansion would take you out of the mansion, and into the haunted wilderlands! My prediction, it appears, was confirmed to be spot-on when I attended GenCon this year, and saw Call of the Wild in one of the display cases!

This time around, I don’t have too many fears about the release of any future expansions, due to the new BETA test process that FFG goes through. So, what should we expect from this bad boy when it hits store shelves?

Well, according to their official release announcement, we can expect the whole game to change for the Keeper! It looks like the Keeper is going to have a far more active role as a “player,” being able to construct his own hand of action cards, and revealing each one only when it is activated for the first time! This will seriously throw players off-guard and keep them on their toes. The Keeper is also tasked with his own objectives (other than driving the players nuts or killing them outright), such as collecting grisly artifacts and performing a ritual with them, marking a first for Mansions; a puzzle specifically for the Keeper.

Allies are going to be a new addition to the game, as well, not acting as opponents or investigators, but able to participate in combat, be talked to for information, and players will be able to complete tasks for them to receive rewards.  With this level of social interaction, Mansions of Madness is moving into whole new dimensions of gameplay.

We can also expect plenty of item cards, clues, probably a few new spells, and of course, new monsters! From the display case at GenCon, I know I saw Byakhees, Dark Young, the Dunwich Horror, and I believe I also saw Wizard Whately.

While Forbidden Alchemy was a nice “supplement” to the game, Call of the Wild is going to truly be  one of those expansions that gives you a whole new way to play the game. It looks like Mansions of Madness isn’t going to be an endless grind of expansions that grows stale; it’s looking to constantly evolve and reinvent itself without having to resort to a new edition. Bravo, FFG! I hope it lives up to the hype. I’m certainly excited.

Quit “dragon” your feet! There’s adventure to be had!
…sorry.

DESCENT: JOURNEYS IN THE DARK 2E: LAIR OF THE WYRM EXPANSION

Back in the day, I loved Descent: Journeys in the Dark. I was stoked when they announced at GenCon 2011 that they were making 2nd edition, and when I finally got to play it, I never looked back at 1st edition. I enjoy the streamlined gameplay, and the built-in campaign option. Best of all, they released a conversion kit to convert ALL of your Descent 1e monsters and heroes!

A few scant months after its initial release, I saw at GenCon 2012 that there’s already an expansion in the works!  It’s a smaller expansion, sure, but it’s got plenty to whet your appetite for a new campaign down the road!

Lair of the Wyrm is going to give us five new quests (stand alone or used to supplement a larger campaign) that aren’t your standard dungeon delve, such as saving survivors from a burning inn, and stealing ore from a greedy Ettin.
Two more heroes join the fray; a warrior named Reynhart the Worthy and a mage named High Mage Quellen. The Overlord is getting a couple of new minions; destructive Fire Imps and half-dragon warriors called Hybrid Sentinels (Dragonlance Draconians, anyone?), not to mention the Wyrm queen Valyndra herself!

It looks like the heroes are getting a couple of new tricks up their sleeves, as well. There will be two new classes for both the warrior and mage archetypes; “Champion” for the warrior, and “Geomancer” for the mage. Don’t count the Overlord out, however, as they’ve revealed a new class: the Punisher! (Your Overlord for this evening will be Frank Castle) The Punisher class is designed to make heroes pay for any good fortunes they experience. Sadists, start your engines…

Aside from some lovely new board pieces, we’re getting new cards to add to the travel deck, new search deck cards, and new cards for both act I and II shop decks. It may not be a big box expansion with a new campaign on the level of Mansions of Madness’s Call of the Wild, but it certainly has enough crunchy bits to last you until that new campaign comes out!

Next exciting news comes from Arcane Wonders…

C’mon, kid…yer gonna eat LIGHTNING, and crap THUNDER!!!

MAGE WARS: FORCEMASTER AND WARLORD 2-MAGE EXPANSION

Mage Wars has only been out for a couple of months, but it’s popularity is starting to spread like wildfire, and rightly so! Games like Dungeon Command, Magic: The Gathering, and Summoner Wars have been weighed, measured, and have been found wanting when compared to Mage Wars! I fell in love with this game the moment I played it at GenCon 2011, and I HAD to get my copy when GenCon 2012 rolled around, and even then I almost wasn’t able to get it.

This game has everything; creatures to summon, equipment to wear, attack spells to blast your enemies, elemental attributes to experiment and strategize with, conjurations to change the field of battle, and plenty of of incantations and enchantments…best of all, no random draws! Just keep an eye on your mana supply, and cast any spells you want!

There’s so many possibilities with new spells they can throw into this game, and some effects are mentioned on cards, but aren’t implemented into the game yet! For example, a Steelclaw Grizzly has the Frost -2 trait (-2 damage dice from frost attacks)…well, it just so happens that there are NO frost attack spells in the game yet. This is an example of ingenious expansion-planning, and Arcane Wonders mentioned before the game’s release that they had at the very least 4 more mages (Forcemaster, Warlord, Druid, and Necromancer) coming out in the upcoming months!

Well, the wait will be over in January 2013, as Arcane Wonders is releasing their first expansion to Mage Wars! This new expansion includes two new mages; in one corner, the Forcemaster, who specializes in Mind magic to enthrall opponents and confuse, and  fields of force used to crush her foes…then in the other corner, weighing in at a metric ton, is the Warlord and his horde! He brings out legions of warriors and goblinoids with their war weapons, siege engines, and battle blessings from the god of war.

The set will include:
2 new mages and their ability cards
216 spell cards (wizardly squee of joy!)
2 new spellbooks
Assorted cardboard markers
A full-color expansion rulebook

Until this baby comes out, we’ll have Mage Wars Organized Play to look forward to!

…still better than GURPS.

MUNCHKIN: APOCALYPSE

I think it’s a fact of life that Munchkin is the card game equivalent of the cockroach…nothing seems to be able to kill it. Along with Magic: The Gathering, I think it’s destined to go on until Judgement Day…
…yeah, speaking of which…

…Munchkin: Apocalypse. (This lame segue brought to you by Doctor Belmont!)

Yep, a new Munchkin skin. Munchkin has always been the GURPS of card games, both constantly being re-skinned and touted as the greatest thing since the invention of the gaming genre they represent; difference being that I will actually PLAY and even ENJOY Munchkin.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh (on Munchkin; I could care less about GURPS’s feelings…). Sure Munchkin: Apocalypse is going to have all of the usual Munchkin tropes; monsters, bonus items, classes, game condition cards like dungeon rooms and such, and they’ll throw in a new “mini-chanic” to spice things up. I wouldn’t mind getting a look at those cards, though. Half the fun of Munchkin is laughing at all of the goofy John Kovalic art and fantastically “punny” card names.

I highly doubt that Munchkin: Apocalypse is going to be the eponymous end of the Munchkin line. There’s no WAY Steve Jackson is giving up that cash cow. It will still be an interesting and humorous addition to the shelf reserved entirely for all of the Munchkin card sets…

Shouldn’t you be working on another Prophecy expansion, Mr. Chvatil? Either that, or tell Z-man to get off their arses and give us the english version of Water Realm…

MAGE KNIGHT: THE BOARD GAME, THE LOST LEGION EXPANSION

As interested as I am to get this, it’s a pretty straightforward expansion. New cards, tiles, and new Mage Knights…there’s nothing really “new” on a game-changing level. It’s really just making the game bigger.

Of course, I don’t mean any disrespect to the game proper, as I’ve enjoyed the times I’ve played it. It’s just that for a game that’s coming out in less than 2 months, there’s not a lot of info out on it. Well, there’s that and the fact that I’d really like Vlaada Chvatil to continue on with the Prophecy board game rather than Mage Knight. Mage Knight felt like a finished game…Prophecy feels like it petered out when it really didn’t deserve to.

Stories about General Volkare and his Lost Legion are whispered amongst the Atlanteans – some in hope, all with at least a sliver of fear. Now with word of what appears to be Volkare and his Lost Legion reappearing and yet another new Mage Knight to contend with, the scattered forces across the land are deciding which side is likely to be victorious. Are the Mage Knights the lesser of evils, or is Volkare the true savior they have been waiting for?

Continuing the saga of the worldwide acclaimed hit Mage Knight Board Game, designer Vlaada Chvatil and WizKids present Mage Knight Board Game: The Lost Legion, an expansion that offers players a new Mage Knight — Wolfhawk — and also adds a new foe for the Mage Knights: the mysterious and powerful General Volkare! Included in the expansion set are new location tiles, enemy/ruin tokens, Unit cards, Advanced Action cards, Artifact cards, Spell cards and a rulebook expansion that features new game scenarios and rules to support play for five players.

Whether you and your fellow Mage Knights decide to work together or at cross purposes this expansion supports new play styles and tactics and a new foe that can challenge even the most veteran players.

‘Quire this expansion! ‘Tis Quite Quintessential!

QUARRIORS! QUEST OF THE QLADIATOR

Oh, Quarriors! Quit with the Qonstant Qannonade of Queer Q-related humor…

…WE GET IT…

…and it’s giving me a headache.

Quarriors marks a first in gaming history. Dominion was the first “Deck-building” card game. Quarriors! is the very first “DICE-building” game. You roll different colored dice that represent spells, summoned creatures, and the like to attack your opponents with, and score points if all of your dice (troops) live until your next turn. On the surface, this game sounds incredibly stupid, but this wouldn’t be the first time a stupid idea for a game turned out to be an instant hit.

This isn’t Quarriors FIRST expansion (namely Rise of the Demons! and Quarmageddon!), but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

In Quarriors! Quest of the Qladiator, the third expansion for Quarriors!, you have been selected to compete in the Qladitorial Games! Quadrennially, Empress Quiana calls together the mightiest Quarriors across the land to compete in the great Quolosseum. Will you defeat all other competitors for the greatest Glory?

Quarriors! Quest of the Qladiator adds forty new custom dice powering six new creatures and two new spells, in addition to a new “Lock” mechanism that allows some creatures to have long-lasting game effects.

“Hows’about you shuffle me into a Jill sandwich? There’s only one Redfield allowed in it, and it ain’t the one packing the extra gun, you follow?”

RESIDENT EVIL DECK-BUILDING GAME: MERCENARIES

Good Lord, Resident Evil must be selling like Gangbusters, because the number of expansions this deck-building game has is starting to catch up  with Dominion (the pioneer of the deck-building game), not to mention the number of Resident Evil games proper!

This month, Resident Evil releases it’s FOURTH expansion to their game…that’s FIVE sets, folks. It looks this expansion is actually upping the ante a bit, too. It’s not just new cards:

Resident Evil Deck Building Game: Mercenaries, a stand-alone game that also functions as an expansion for any Resident Evil DBG title, brings the Mercenaries theme to life, giving your characters brand new Skill cards to be used in any style of play. Draft Skill cards at the beginning of a game to give your Character a completely different play style.

Your character will learn from those failures and successes as you continue to play, using that experience to activate the Skills they have to give them an edge in battle.

Mercenaries also introduces three different Mansions with three different challenges. Will you face the unruly Ganados horde, the creepy Illuminados, or the onslaught of Majini? Each Mansion attacks the player in a different way, leaving a multitude of combinations for ultimate replay value!

Well, folks, that’s all in the crystal ball for this evening. I hope everyone had a frightening,  fun and festive Halloween. I’ll try to make the next predictions a little more timely, but a famous wizard once said: “A wizard is never late; nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an important potion that needs tending.

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Board Games, Living Card Games and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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