Category Archives: Board Games

Into the Woods!

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Love it or hate it, Talisman is a board game with a long history. Since it’s release in 1983, it’s 30+ year history spans four editions and numerous expansions. However, for the first time in that three decade existence, players will finally see all four corners (or sides) of the Talisman board filled! Does this mean that Talisman is finally “finished?’ I’m not so certain. Fantasy Flight has recently tapped into the fanbase for expansion material for Talisman, and it appears to have gone over well. Talisman will most likely continue on, as it always has. 4th edition is bigger and more popular than it ever has been!

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Dark Gothic Omens Point to a Rain of Flying Frogs

 

“The clock strikes midnight, and I hear the howl of the black winds and the rapping of twisted branches upon the window panes. The last dying embers of the hearth fire cast ghostly shadows upon the walls. Heady vapors of incense dull my earthly senses and open my mind’s eye to the occult perceptions of the darker realms of understanding. The fog lifts from the crystal of scrying, showing me prophetic visions of the times to come. I see before me a shadowy potent of dire evil, brought by the harbinger whose shape is that of a Flying Frog…” ~excerpt from the journal of Dr. V. A. Belmont

“Way to make a potion bender sound grandiose, Belmont…” ~snark, courtesy of Dr. G. A. Martin

“Silence, you!” ~Belmont
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2014 is shaping up to be a great year for Flying Frog Productions. While we’ve been getting a steady stream of expansions for it’s five core games, we haven’t seen any new titles in over two years. This year, FFP is unleashing two deliciously evil theme-packed games! I’m quite excited, myself, as I have never seen Flying Frog Productions make a game I didn’t like. Read the rest of this entry

Eldritch Horror: Well, that was fast…

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No sooner than when I sat down to type out my thoughts on Fantasy Flight Games’ new board game of globe-trotting Lovecraftian horror, did I visit the FFG website and see the announcement. Eldritch Horror is getting it’s first expansion in the second quarter of 2014. I love Eldritch Horror, but my single real complaint about it was that it’s card decks and ancient ones were very light, making the game feel like it was incomplete. A little over two months later (remember, we only got this thing at the very end of November), we see that we’re getting a band aid for the sparse game content.

Part of me feels like this is something that should have been included in the base set. Most certainly, meatier interaction and richer experiences with the ancient ones of Eldritch Horror carry more weight than it’s Arkham Horror counterpart, but a game containing a paltry 4 ancient ones makes this the weakest game in terms of variety, even compared to the quick pick-up-and-play Elder Sign. Read the rest of this entry

Descent Comes Back to the Surface for a Spell

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Fantasy Flight Games has been well-known for being closed-mouthed about a project until the last minute to surprise fans. Now, it seems like they’re intentionally saying one thing, but doing the opposite. Fortunately, FFG’s latest stunt isn’t “I totally didn’t put a rattlesnake in your bed” only to be greeted by the horror of feeling a scaly bedmate when you slip under the covers, but rather “honey, I didn’t do anything for our anniversary” but  surprises her with a week-long cruise anyways. If the following announcement is an example of the kind of “lying” that FFG is going to be doing, well, Fleetwood Mack sang it best, I suppose.

 
Latest news out of FFG for Descent, 2nd Edition is Oath of the Outcast, a hero and monster expansion. What heroes and monsters? Well, the monster lineup is the Razorwing, Beastmen, and Bane Spiders…our heroes include Shiver, Laurel of Bloodwood, Elder Mok, and Trenloe the Strong.

 

Why, Hello thar, familiar faces!

Why, Hello thar, familiar faces!

Sound familiar? Read the rest of this entry

The Stink of Brimstone

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Okay, folks, enough is enough.

 

For anyone just joining this article, I posted an unpopular opinion about a Kickstarter I supported. As I expected, quite a few folks don’t agree. That’s fine. I don’t expect you to agree. Hell, I expected many of you to call me every name in the book, and you did. That’s fine. Sticks and stones, and all of that.

 

I even expected a few hate mails telling me how much of a dick I am. That’s fine. I received plenty of them.

 

What I did NOT expect is for someone to look me up on Facebook and then send a vaguely threatening email that included me, and my fiancee. That’s where I draw the line.

 

I took down the article. It can’t hurt you anymore.

 

Forked-tongue-wagging in the Sorcerer’s Sewing Circle

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Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ~Genesis 3: 1-4

I discovered a game at GenCon this year that took hold of me instantly. It struck me with the nostalgia of the first time I picked up a copy of Mage: The Ascension, and was drawn in by the genre of modern mystics in role-playing games. This kind of game is right up my alley, and I can’t believe I completely missed out on the Kickstarter for it. I only found out about it on the last day of GenCon when I happened by the booth for it. Christopher Gabrielsson, the lead designer, was giving a demo, but I didn’t have time to stay for it. All I could do was snap a picture of their banner, and check it out when I got home. Serpent’s Tongue, the game in question, was seemingly designed especially for guys like me.

Serpent’s Tongue is a spellcasting card game for 1 to 8 players by UnBound Games. This card game, however, is unlike any other.

Games such as Magic: The Gathering simply have you tapping resources, playing cards, and resolving effects, The Serpent’s Tongue takes this a few steps further. First of all, selection of spells to play is not random. Each player has a physical grimoire of spells that they can select from, eliminating many of the most frustrating random elements of game play, and gearing the experience more towards strategy. Read the rest of this entry

The Crystal Ball: GenCon 2013

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of the year again, as GenCon is literally next week! I’m as excited as one can get without experiencing incontinency. It’s the 46th year of the biggest gaming convention in North America. Like last year, GenCon broke pre-registration records, and we’ll probably see record-breaking attendance numbers this year as well. This year in particular is going to be extra-special, but I can’t reveal why just yet. A tease, I know, but if I told now, it’d spoil the surprise for someone special!

For such an important yearly pilgrimage to the nerd holy land, one must be armed with the knowledge of just what to spend your accumulated wealth on. Let’s look into the crystal ball and divine what goodies will be available at GenCon! Read the rest of this entry

Unseen Forces descend upon us…

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Anyone who peruses forums devoted to favorite game franchises have seen those whiny doomsayers that cry that “The game is DEAD!” just because they haven’t heard news about said game in over a few months. Some gamers are impatient like that. Even a game company as prolific as Fantasy Flight Games, who has DOZENS of expanded properties to produce content for on a regular basis, has the occasional Chicken Little who starts screaming that the “sky is falling” when they aren’t fed news of upcoming expansions every couple of weeks. I don’t really get it, but I know that with that many properties to juggle, even with doing an expansion a week they’d take at least a year to go through their entire catalog.

It’s one thing for a company to continually promise an expansion to an existing game and never deliver on it (I’m looking at YOU, Z-Man Games), but to say that a game is dead just because you don’t have new content at a pace you want is rather arrogant a presumption.

On the other hand, it may be safe to presume that a game is dead if it doesn’t receive a first expansion for almost two years… Read the rest of this entry

The Crystal Ball: January

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Well, it’s that time again! Let’s take a look into the crystal ball to see what kind of gaming goodness is being conjured up for your entertainment…

Recommendation Ratings:

1) Pass it by; nothing interesting here…

2) Only buy it if you’re REALLY a fan of a genre

3) Not a hot item, but worth having; Put it on the “to buy” list.

4) Rave reviews or a great addition to an existing game! Get it soon!

5) Must Buys; Either a hot new game you MUST have, or the next great expansion you can’t wait to pick up and play.

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Apocalypse Not Now

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It was foretold long ago in centuries past by the ancient Mayans. The end of a B’ak’tun; a time period in the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. Some New Agers think that it was going to mark the birth of a new positive spiritual or physical transformation for mankind, and others think that it marked the end of it all.

What does this entail? Well, four good friends of mine have always put it best… Read the rest of this entry