Category Archives: News

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

No ‘Bones’ about it!

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One of my biggest regrets in gaming is not making better use of miniatures. Most of the time I end up cannibalizing my Descent and Dragonstrike board games for tabletop minis, but I die a bit on the inside when I tell my players that those Skeletons with the bows are actually armored warriors…because they’re totally not.

 

 

Not having enough proper minis for gaming always boiled down to “meh. I don’t really have the cash to spend on minis.” I’m fairly certain I just heard all of the scoffing from every Warhammer player reading this. Well, that’s nice that you spend HUNDREDS of dollars playing Warhammer, but I’m pretty damned sure that it’s the only game you play. With Games Workshop‘s practically criminal pricing, it’s the only game you can AFFORD to play.
Even non-GW minis are friggin’ expensive; that is, if you want high-quality minis. Sure, you can make due with some of the pre-painted plastic minis that Pathfinder usually ships in randomized boxes, but you’re never certain of what minis you’re going to get. After all, what in the hell am I going to do with 8 copies of a “half-elf Cleric?” Host a revival? Don’t get me wrong; I’m a fan of Pathfinder minis…sure, they’re cheap, pre-painted plastic that some may turn their nose up at, but they work great for any gaming table. I just don’t care for the random  element for buying minis. At $12 a box, those minis still boil down to $3 a pop for crap I don’t need.

 
Most metal, high-detail miniatures run between 5 to 7 dollars per mini…or upwards of 10 to 12 (and higher) if you’re Games Workshop. This is standard for a single medium mini. This means it just cost between $25-35 to just have a party of 5 heroes on the table. Thus, for those of us who aren’t financially blessed, miniatures are a huge luxury of gaming. 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

A first look at Shadowrun Returns

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It started as a humble little video game homage that took it’s chances on Kickstarter, with a hope that the Shadowrun brand name still garners at least enough respect and popularity to generate a sum of money large enough to fund it. Harebrained Schemes decided to shoot low for a video game project; $400,000. “Surely,” they tought,  “we can produce a small game that will please some old-school fans of Shadowrun?” None of them were prepared for the tidal wave of fan-backing that they received in record time. In just over 24 hours, Harebrained Schemes had it’s $400,000…and the fan generosity did not stop there. By the end of it’s Kickstarter life, Shadowrun Returns had earned a staggering $1.8 MILLION dollars. Read the rest of this entry

Shadowrun 5: Raising the Glass Ceiling

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It’s no big secret anymore, chummers; Shadowrun Fifth Edition is on it’s way, and like it or hate it, there are going to be some changes. Now, before you toss your dice, burn your 4th Edition books and flip the game table, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind.

 
First of all, Fifth Edition is keeping all of the basic systems of Fourth Edition. This isn’t like coming off of Third Edition where you basically had to learn the game from the ground up. Dice Pools are still calculated in the same way, and all of the tropes you’ve come to expect are present and accounted for.

 

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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

Wizards of the Coast has Resurrected Dungeons & Dragons!

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I haven’t played Dungeons & Dragons in YEARS. I know, for one who claims to be a lore-master of gaming, this is a pretty damning admission. I’ve moved on to greener pastures. When Wizards of the Coast announced 4th edition, I wasn’t exactly thrilled…when I actually got a copy of 4th edition, I converted to Pathfinder and never looked back. Sure, “DnD Next” is on it’s way, and while they’ve made strides to improve the game for grumpy old wizards like myself, it’s still a long way from being satisfying…but that’s neither here nor there.

 

 

Yesterday, Wizards has announced the opening of their new website, “DnD Classics.” This website is devoted to codgers like me who yearn for “the good old days,” and keep shouting at “those new adventurers to get the hell off our lawn.” Essentially, Wizards is releasing the entire back catalog of Dungeons & Dragons products, all the way back to first edition! 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