All posts by J. Mackenzie Bodsworth

Listen up Chummers, Shadowrun 6th Edition is Now Available

I got my hands on the first edition Shadowrun core rules in 1992, and loved everything about the setting. Admittedly, the year 2050 seemed a lot more distant then than it does now. I haven’t played Shadowrun as a tabletop roleplaying game since the mid-1990s, but it is a world that remains near and dear to my heart. Continue reading Listen up Chummers, Shadowrun 6th Edition is Now Available

Add the ‘Elon Musk’ Phase to Terraforming Mars with “Prelude”

Terraforming Mars: Prelude is exactly what I look for in an expansion from a game that I already love. It adds depth and diversity, without making the game more complicated. It fixes some of the (alleged) issues in the base game, by guiding players with their early game strategic choices and gives a boost to the notoriously slow early game. If you like Terraforming Mars – the 2017 breakout boardgame blockbuster from Fryxgames – then you should buy Prelude. End of review. Continue reading Add the ‘Elon Musk’ Phase to Terraforming Mars with “Prelude”

The Ultimate Fan Fiction: Asmodee Announces Novels Division to Turn Board Games into Books

Last month, Asmodee announced the creation of ACONYTE – the novels division of Asmodee Entertainment – to turn the incredible array of intellectual properties under the Asmodee banner into books under the slogan: “Great games, amazing stories!”.  Continue reading The Ultimate Fan Fiction: Asmodee Announces Novels Division to Turn Board Games into Books

Ticket to Ride Is Being Turned Into a Television Game Show?

According to this article on Deadline, production company Propagate has teamed with Asmodee Entertainment to develop a TV adventure competition series based on Alan R. Moon’s best-selling adventure board game, Ticket To Ride. Continue reading Ticket to Ride Is Being Turned Into a Television Game Show?

Gloomhaven Digital Adaptation Launches

The digital adaptation of the number one ranked board game of all time, Gloomhaven, will launch on Steam on July 17th. The much anticipated release “Early Access” release will see the tactical combat and dungeon-crawler made available in an exclusive Adventure Mode for early adopters. Continue reading Gloomhaven Digital Adaptation Launches

Shadow in the East: New Deluxe Expansion for Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

Fantasy Flight today announced A Shadow in the East, the eighth deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is available for pre-order at your friendly local game store, or online through the Fantasy Flight website. Continue reading Shadow in the East: New Deluxe Expansion for Lord of the Rings Living Card Game

Protect your thatched roof cottages: Trogdor the Boardgame on Kickstarter

Homestar Runner was one of the internet’s first meme generators. There was a time when I would go out of my way to get online just to see if Strong Bad had answered any emails lately, or if Homestar had released any “TOONS!” in celebration of a holiday or season. The Homestar Runner franchise has been quiet of late, but no doubt still enjoys the favour of a legion of fans around the world, if the response to their recently launched Kickstarter board game campaign is anything to go by.  Continue reading Protect your thatched roof cottages: Trogdor the Boardgame on Kickstarter

Legendary Marvel Studios Announced for GenCon, but it’s a hard pass from me

Allow me to provide an unpopular opinion. It’s no secret that I deeply invested in the Marvel Legendary franchise, designed by Devin Low and published by Upper Deck. I have referred to it often as my favourite deck-building game, not just because of the depth of gameplay that it currently provides, but also for its versatility. It can be played as pure co-op, or as a cutthroat competitive game, and it scales from gateway to brainburner, depending on the company. No other deck-builder, in my experience, has the versatility to provide for such diverse audiences and gaming experiences. For that reason, it has pride of place in my collection.

But.

There is a limit to how deep I will go in my dedication to Legendary, and I found it this week.

Upper Deck have announced what seems to be a re-release of the original base game, but with art and characters from the first phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to be unveiled at this year’s GenCon. The art will no longer be the gorgeous and diverse comic book art style that makes Legendary pop so hard on the gaming table, but stills and photos from the blockbuster Marvel movies. According to the publisher:

The Avengers are back in a new setting with images straight from the Phase 1 movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers). Black Widow, Iron Man, Captain America and more face off against the Villains of the first six movies. Three Masterminds including the all new Iron Monger and his Iron Foes try to complete their evil schemes.

I had this moment with the release of the Spiderman Homecoming expansion. It is one of the few Legendary expansions that I have passed on, and ultimately it was only due the fact that the use of movie image stills would just be so out of place with the rest of the game.

nhpHLQPYdwsKZaYj3TZiR2eRpJUd7D_zv8AD8vJph-8

Superficial? Maybe. But surely a big contributor to the love of the boardgaming hobby is the aesthetic. Part of what constitutes the magic circle of gaming, what transforms the experience of shuffling cardboard and plastic about on a table, is the immersion in the gameplay aesthetic. And the mix of art and screen capture is going to undermine the immersion in the consistent aesthetic. So, despite my abiding love of this game, the Legendary Marvel Studios: Phase One set is going to get a hard pass from me.

That said, I do hope it brings in a whole new audience for Legendary, and for deck-building games in general. Legendary is still the exemplary and quintessential Marvel gaming experience bar none, and if this leads to a revamp of the franchise and the production of more content in the longer term, I’m all for it.

You can find out more about this expansion as it releases over on BoardGameGeek.