Well it's here!! Just in time for Gen Con, the Spiel Awards have been announced! This year there was a pretty good selection of games nominated. Congrats to all the nominees, to be nominated is no small feat! Ok, enough of me typing...
It's another week and another new batch of Kickstarter games for your to take in. This week we've got conspiracies, calamari, and one of the best deals on a game with miniatures we've seen in a long time. Let’s see what’s out there!Read More
If Theology of Games was a child, our parents would be discussing the virtues of sending us to kindergarten in the fall, or waiting a year to let us mature a bit more.
That's because today we're celebrating five years of bringing you news, reviews, and interviews!Read More
Well, things have been a little, ok a lot crazy around here for the past few weeks. I (Jeremiah) had an emergency appendectomy, and spent the better part of about 7-10 on the couch -I don't really remember how long it was... And Scott has spent the last several days out of town. But amidst all of the craziness, we got a spiffy little email from our friends over at Looney Labs sharing with us some cool news!Read More
Well we all know my obsession with pirate-type games, and vikings are pretty much pirates of the frozen north, so this one looks right up my alley.
Essen, the BIG con over in Europe, is coming up soon, and like any major con we're seeing an influx of games that are releasing around that time.
Rebel.pl has announce that Vikings: Warriors of the North, a 3-4 player adventure/area control/battle/card-driven/dice-rolling game will be available at Essen. The game looks to be thematically what you'd expect from a viking game: sailing to islands, looting, pillaging, stealing daughters to take back to port with you. Wait, what? Okay, maybe this isn't one for me...
Have you been checking out the news on the latest releases scheduled to make their debut at Essen? What are you looking forward to the most? Let us know down in the comments!
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Some may say that it's impossible to catch up with the popularity of the likes of Monopoly and Settlers of Catan, but Carcassonne is doing its best to pump out fresh versions, expansions, and editions of the game until the market is oversaturated. Hans im Gluck, publisher of Carcassonne, announced the franchise's next step toward that end.
Carcassonne: Sudsee will be released on October 21 of this year, as the franchise continues its trip around the world. Some would say it's impossible to build the French city in such places as North America, or...I don't know...a tropical island? But those are the words of fools!
Sudsee will keep "the familiar tile-laying gameplay of the original Carcassonne, with players adding a tile to the playing area each round and optionally placing a token on the tile to claim ownership of...something. Instead of the familiar cities, roads and farms, however, players in Carcassonne: Südsee use their meeples to gather bananas, shellfish and fish, then ship those goods to traders in exchange for points."
Can't get enough Carcassonne? Want to see it in more places? You're in luck, because this is being touted as the first in a series dubbed "Carcassonne Around the World".
What do you think? Will you pick up the newest iteration of the tile placing classic? Is it necessary?
Even though we already had a Kickstarter Weekly post this week, we wanted to give you a quick preview look at a campaign being launched by Board to Death TV. That's right, some board game reviewers decided to try their hand at design, and CarmaRace was born.
CarmaRace, from first glance, looks to be a humorous card-driven board game. You're moving on the board as a hitchhiker, and the cards you play affect your movement, as well as your opponents.
Here's the catch: When you play a card that hinders your opponent, that opponent can then take that very same card into their hand. So, yes, what goes around, comes around! The luck you're pressing in this game is in the form of your opponents' good graces! Yeah, good luck with that...
The game looks very well done—we've included some preview art in this post—and they'll be launching the campaign July 18, and early birds can get a copy starting at $45. You can check out their launch event on Facebook here.
About a year ago Z-Man Games ended up with the distribution rights to the Carcassonne franchise in the US. There's been a few expansions to come out since then, including a set of 6 mini expansions that each include a tile to a 7th expansion.
Today Z-Man announced the upcoming release of Carcassonne: Winter Edition. The announcement came through their Facebook page; very few details were given except that there will be an included Gingerbread Man expansion.
This appears to be another stand-alone version of the classic tile-laying game—this time around with a wintery, dare I say "Christmasy," theme... This is the first stand alone edition (aside from the base version) that has caught my eye, and will definitely be making its way onto my Christmas list! You can check out the post from Z-Man here.
Thanks so much for reading, and don't forget to subscribe over on the right for a chance to win free stuff!
Game designer extraordinaire Paul Peterson is at it again with yet another expansion for the smash title Smash Up! Paul, being the friend of the blog he is, agreed to once again have a cyber chat with us about Smash Up, and he brought along Todd Rowland, Director of Marketing and Senior Brand Manager for Alderac Entertainment Group.
Paul, thanks again for visiting us here at TOG, we’re glad to bring you back for another chat!
And Todd, welcome to the party! Glad you could make it!
So it got leaked a little earlier than AEG had planned. But the cat has escaped the confines of the bag, and word on the street has it that the next Smash Up! expansion will be a Cthulhu theme.
When the this was revealed, some folks were a little critical of the idea that the expansion is so singular in its focus—that is, that it all revolves around the Cthulhu Mythos. What is the thought process behind that decision, and what would you say to the nay sayers?
Todd: Well, one thing we know that we want to do over time with Smash Up is include the occasional themed-release mixed in among “normal” mixed up releases. Smash Up relies on tropes (even our own twist on them) and Cthulhu is probably the biggest trope in hobby gaming. So we took on the mythos and put our own spin on it, cracked a few jokes, and weaved it into the Smash Up universe.
Paul: It’s also a mythos that has a lot of room to explore. It’s not all Cthulhu, there’s other elder gods, the ancient races, and the human factions with different goals.
You’re also adding a new card type to the game; what can you tell us about that?
Paul: Anyone who’s ever read Lovecraft or played a Cthulhu game knows how deeply the theme of madness runs, so I wanted to try to capture that, and a themed expansion seemed like a good place to explore some new mechanics for the game. So we added a new card type; Madness cards. No one starts with Madness cards in their deck, they only get added by other cards.
Madness cards are bad for the player. At the end of the game a player gets one less Victory Point for every two Madness cards in their deck, so some factions try to put them into other player’s decks as an attack. However, this isn’t always a bad thing. Madness cards can be played as an action to draw 2 cards, so you could end up helping the player if they embrace the cards. Also, as an action a player can get rid of the card altogether, so some factions will just do that to negate the penalty.
Just making them attacks in all four of these factions would have been a little boring, so I made several of the factions actually want them. Cthulhu has cards that are more powerful, but they have to take a Madness as a penalty, and Miskatonic takes them and then burns them to power their cards.
Todd: Our intention at the moment is to have two expansions per year. We aren’t married to that and it may change, but that’s the working plan right now. Usually around early spring and September.
What are your favorite factions in Awesome Level 9000? (My [Firestone] 8-year-old’s favorite is definitely the Bears...)
Todd: I like Dinosaur-anything. Though Dinosaur-Elder Things is a massive power surge.
Paul: It’s hard to pick a favorite, but at the moment I think I’m having the most fun with Steampunk.
Paul, last time we checked in with you, you had a few things in the works—something that involved rolling dice... Any news on that front?
Paul: I have a bunch of projects going on right now, and the stack just keeps getting bigger. The Pathfinder Adventure Card Game that I helped develop should be out soon. I’m still working on the dice game you mentioned, but I keep making massive changes to it, so who knows what will happen with it. And of course, there’s more Smash Up on the way!
Todd, we chatted with Jason Tagmire about the upcoming release of Maximum Throwdown. We’re super excited about that. Is there anything else exciting coming down the line from Alderac that you can share with us?
Todd: Well we have Maximum Throwdown which is a blast. We also have Agent Hunter from Mike Elliot which is a fun, fast deduction game for two players. We have our Big In Japan line which includes Trains, Love Letter, and many more coming soon such as Cheaty Mages, Sail to India, Mai Star, and... yep Lost Legacy. People were expecting that I think. We also have some new games we’re discussing with other designers from Japan. And finally we have our own AEG stuff we’re working on for 2014 but it’s way too soon to spill on those yet.
Todd, you recently announced the Eastern Skies expansion for Nightfall. Can you tell us what that one brings to the table?
Todd: Eastern Skies is very cool! It introduces some new starting minions, but the main new effect is known as “Link”. Cards with Link have an effect the moment the are placed in the chain, rather than when it is resolving. There is also a new wound effect.
5-Questions 5-words to answer them -
Captain America or Thor?
Todd: Captain America all the way.
Autobots or Dinobots?
Todd: Dinobots are a smash up.
Paul: Me, Grimlock, likes Dinobots!
Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Todd: Cesar Romero was best Joker.
Paul: Only the blood moon.
Classic Star Trek, The New Generation or J. J. Abrams?
Todd: I really prefer Star Wars.
Paul: I like them all.
Favorite bacon-based meal?
Todd: Mushroom Chicken wrapped in bacon.
Paul: Bacon wrapped prawns.
Gentlemen, thanks so much for talking with us. We’re excited to see what you have in store for us in the future!
Thanks for joining us for this special interview here on TOG, we had a chance to catch up with Paul during the Origins Game Fair, and we'll be posting that video soon as well!
To start the week off we brought you some info on new expansions from games by Eagle/Gryphon and Cryptozoic.
Later in the week the Spiel des Jahres were announced.
Firestone warns us: Don't believe the hype about Love Letter.
And AEG's plans to keep the next Smash Up expansion under wraps were thwarted—but we didn't spill the beans! We just reported on it, post-spillage.
We'd also like to give you a heads up about a few things we have in the works!
We've got a TON of interviews in the works, including Paul Peterson, who will discuss that new Cthulhu Smash Up expansion. We'll also be chatting with Jamie Stegmaier, designer of Viticulture, about his latest Kickstarter campaign for Euphoria, and we'll check in with David and Fred Mackenzie of Clever Mojo Games about the epic board game Princes of the Dragon Throne! (And that's just for starters!)
Also be on the lookout for our newest delve into social media as we introduce out newest feature: The 6-Second Review via Vine! Don't wanna miss this!