Gloomhaven – the game which released as five expansions in one – is getting a big box expansion, which promises as much content as the base game but in a smaller package. This is one of the enticing announcements from Gloomhaven designer Issac Childres, who just finished up a very generous AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Gloomhaven subreddit. He also revealed his design process, and who in Gloomhaven he’d most like to sit done with at the Sleeping Lion for an ale. Continue reading Big Box Expansion for Gloomhaven in the Works, says designer Issac Childres
Earlier in the week, I reviewed the newest release from Matt Fantastic and Tuesday Knight Games called That’s Not Lemonade – a wickedly clever and addicting push your luck game being marketed as a drinking game for kids.
Twist Gaming put out a video with the designer of That’s Not Lemonade himself, Matt Fantastic that introduces the game in its advanced prototype format. The video was recorded live at Origins Game Fair in June this year, and is great fun to watch. And at the end of the day, who better to learn the game from the original designer himself?
If you were ever interested to discover a way to introduce your kids to high stakes Blackjack and other ‘press your luck’ style games, but felt judged by friends and neighbours, then That’s Not Lemonade by Matt Fantastic could be the Kickstarter you need to back. There’s a bonus as well – it doubles as an introduction to drinking games to boot. Cheers! Continue reading Introduce Your Kids to Gambling and Drinking Games with That’s Not Lemonade
The critically acclaimed party deduction game Spyfall has been a much loved filler at our game nights for seasoned gamers and casual players alike. The premise is simple, the gameplay rapid and intense, you are never out of the action, and there are great metagame rewards for multiple playthroughs. It isn’t uncommon for a dozen plays in a given sitting, each one racheting up the pressure and suspicion. The most recent release from the Spyfall franchise and Hobby World promises more of the same, but this time with an ingeniuous twist. Instead of the spy attempting to work out where they are, in Spyfall: Time Travel the spy has to work out when they are. Continue reading When am I? Spyfall Three: Time Travel
In their ongoing efforts to print money, global gaming companies Hasbro and their subsidiary Wizards of the Coast are set to release a new trading card game based on the globally renowned Transformers franchise. The trading card game space (or TCG) is exceptionally well traversed by these companies, who continue to publish the definitive TCG in Magic: The Gathering. Should they bring the design sensibilities and innovation acquired over the twenty years of Magic development, it is hard to imagine that Transformers will not be a breakout success when it is first released later this year at Comic-Con International and GenCon. Continue reading Hasbro, Wizards of the Coast To Release a Transformers Collectable Card Game
Crownless Kings is a solo campaign journal of the Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game by Fantasy Flight Games. It chronicles each of the published adventures in more or less chronological order, with more or less thematic decks. Each adventure includes a spoiler free strategy overview and deck tech and a separate (spoiler-filled) gameplay runthrough. There’s a sprinkle of Tolkien lore here and there for extra flavour.
The Hunt for Gollum
In this scenario, the heroes are searching for Gollum at the request of Gandalf in the Anduin Valley between the Misty Mountains and the Mirkwood Forest. Rumours have suggested that Gollum is in this area, and the heroes are looking for clues that might put them on the elusive creature’s trail. Continue reading The Hunt for Gollum: Lore and LOTR LCG Deck Tech
Nothing says Summer like sitting in the dark at your computer playing digital implementations of board games by yourself.
Fortunately for some of us, it isn’t summer at all. Quite the opposite. And this is actually the perfect time of year for staying indoors where it is warm and dry, and playing board games. On your console or computer or at the table. Either way is fine.
Which means that the Steam Summer Sale couldn’t be happening at a better time. Here’s a collection of some of the better deals on offer for those interested in picking up a bargain.
Tabletop Simulator: I finally caved and bought TTS about two months ago. It is an outstanding product, supported by an outstanding community, and I now have no idea why I resisted for so long. Right now, it’s 50%, and frankly it was a bargain at twice the price.
Sentinels of the Multiverse – This game is loads of swashbuckling, superheroing fun at the table, but it’s major downside is that the constant accounting and fiddly tokens really detract from the feel of being a superhero. The online implementation gets rid of all of that. It’s 70% off the base game right now. That’s hard to resist.
Through the Ages – TTA is currently ranked as the third best board game ever made. The digital version is reduced by 38%. No brainer.
Ticket to Ride – Speaking of the greatest games of all time, Ticket to Ride is 60% off. If you don’t know, now you do. Easy pick.
Ascension – It isn’t my favourite deck-builder, and I don’t have the steam version. But I do have it on Google Play AND on IOS, and the phone-based version is so easy to play and addictive that I’m happy to recommend it at 60% off.
Le Havre – This is one of those games I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never played, despite knowing that it is a much-loved classic. It’s 57% off, so I’m getting it. I mean, it’s $3. I’m sure I will review it shortly here.
The Witcher Adventure Game – I bought this to see whether or not I wanted to get the physical version. Turns out, it wasn’t that interesting to me, and I settled for a few runs of the Steam version. The so-called “Adventure Game” genre is a real hit and miss category for me, and this one didn’t have enough going on to keep me engaged. But, as a fan of the Witcher Universe, I was happy to have given it a shot. If you love the Witcher, then this is worth a look at 75% off (but otherwise, frankly, hard pass).
What did I miss here?
The digital version of The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game now has a launch date – it will be available in Early Access on August 28 this year.
Since I heard about this digital version, I have been eagerly following its development, watching the twitch stream of playthroughs and paying attention to the changes and tweaks as hey have evolved. This is more than I would usually commit to the promise of a digital version of a much-loved board or card game – frankly I have been deeply invested (emotionally and financially, frankly) in the Lord of the Rings Card Game for the past four years at least.
The LOTR LCG is easily one of my favourite boardgames of all time. Part of this is due to it solving many of my persistent complaints about Magic the Gathering – by being both co-operative and a Living Card Game.
The Living Card Game (LCG) model, which was pioneered by Fantasy Flight Games, provides a fixed distribution approach in contrast to the traditional Collectible Card Game model. Instead of the blind purchase of randomly arranged ‘booster packs’ that is the norm for games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon, the expansions for LCGs always contain the same cards, and are always known in advance. Not only do you know what you’re getting, but the fixed format means that every player has equal access – more or less – to every card needed to optimise their deck.
That means no secondary market in expensive or unavailable rares/ultra-rares, no bidding or chasing promos, no ‘pay to win’ game experience. Instead, the LCG model provides a complete and self-contained game experience, with expansion packs that you can purchase at your convenience at an easily affordable price. The depth of your involvement is up to you, and there is enough content available now to ensure the game is immersive and endlessly replayable, while still providing a memorable gaming experience for casual players.
The fact that the LOTR LCG was co-operative also means that it doesn’t present the same barriers to entry that Magic presents. I get all of the stimulation from the analysis that goes into complex deck-building, but knowing that bomb deck is going to increase the chances of people playing with me again, not the reverse.
There’s little surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the drop of the The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game on Steam, and today we find out that it will enter into Early Access at the end of August, and will arrive with the Adventures in Mirkwood campaign, a core set of starter cards and an set of 21 unlockable cards. Early Access will last about 3 to 5 months, and the game will be released as a free-to-play title after that, with a robust schedule of updates to follow. Co-op play has been identified as a major feature that FFI are scheduled to implement by full release, but the Early Access will only accommodate single-player.
To be honest, from what I have seen to date, the digital version shares the artwork and basic mechanics of the tabletop version, but little else. It seems to be an entirely distinct product more akin to Hearthstone than to the card game itself. This is coupled with my general skepticism of free-to-play games, which tend to end up costing a lot more to play in the long run. But I’m open-minded here, and ultimately I’m looking forward to testing it out during early access.
I’m pleased that Fantasy Flight Interactive have made so much effort to getting the game right, to responding to feedback and to meet the needs and requests of fans of the LCG. This is the newly launched FFI’s first-ever title, and their commitment to community engagement bodes very well indeed.
You can register for Early Access on Steam here.
If you’re interested in getting into the tabletop card game, you can check out the deals at OzGameShop, including discounted expansions. Delivery is free for orders over $50, and purchases via this link support the House of Nerdery. Just saying.
When it comes to boardgames, rules mistakes are as embarrassing as they are inevitable. If you’re lucky, they don’t result in brawls or tableflips, but they almost always lead to a less enjoyable night than you had otherwise planned.
If you are playing a boardgame that has been professionally published, you should be aware that it has gone through an endless stream of revisions and improvements, a suite of fault-finding playtesters, and run the gauntlet of the hostile review community. That means if the game seems broken, it’s (ahem) not them, it’s you.
Don’t take it to heart, necessarily. Generally, rulebooks are great, poorly written, ponderously structured tomes that take a lifetime of experience and an undergraduate degree in literary interpretation to get across. It’s no surprise that boardgame media like Watch it Played and Gaming Rules that specialise in teaching rules enjoy such popularity and acclaim.
There are rules mistakes that are so common to be famous. For instance, you don’t have to eradicate all the diseases in Pandemic to win. I know you didn’t ask, but I’m saving you the embarrassment of having to ask later.
I know a family who bungled the rules of Ticket to Ride so badly, that they have created an entirely new game out of the components. It more or less works, incidently. I have since tried to teach them the actual rules, which to be honest are quite straightforward, but they continue to prefer their own, weird confection.
But easily the most impressive, most renowned rules mistake in the history of boardgames on the internet, was the group who mistakenly thought Hanabi – one of the most deeply cooperative games ever conceived – was a competitive game.
Just got this game and tried it. What confuses me is the end game.
So, the rules state that if all three fuses are blown, then the game is a loss… so nobody wins, right? Score is irrelevant?
What happened was that I was winning a round, then the next player picked up the last card, so everyone gets one more turn. They knew I was winning, so just dropped cards, knowing the fuse would blow and I wouldn’t win the game… nobody would.
Sounds to me like the rules are broken there?
The responses were swift.
“You can’t be serious. It is not a competitive game.”
“If he is serious then this is the most hilarious rules misunderstanding I’ve seen.”
“Either this is an awesome spoof or you definitely aren’t winning at reading the rules.”
“That’s not how this works… That’s not how any of this works.”
“You just made my day :D”
To the original poster’s credit, they fully owned the mistake, and in a display of admirable humility, have yet to delete the post from Reddit. It remains to this day as a reminder that no matter how experienced or skilled we may think ourselves, we all make (rules) mistakes.
LOL Yeah, we totally misunderstood the rules. I was watching a video online of how to play, and it didn’t really make it clear, so we got it wrong.
Needless to say, it suddenly makes so much sense.
When we played it, we thought it was.. try to build us much as you can, individually, in front of you… and hint to others to help them, so everyone doesn’t lose. It was wierd, which is why we were confused.
We always play competitive games, so this is the very first co-op card game we have ever played. Needless to say, we’re keen to try it again…. with proper rules 🙂
See the original post here.
If you’d like to get a copy of the co-operative game Hanabi or its competitive counterpart Ikebana, consider Oz Gameshop. Purchases from these links help support The House of Nerdery.
What starts out as an nostalgic story about playing D&D in college becomes a triumphant tale of victory, with a stinger in the tale that hit me right in the feels. I can’t but save this here for future reference.
Incredible story, brilliantly told. (By the way, what’s the twitter equivalent of a page turner?)