Tag Archives: boardgame

Guardians of the Galaxy Campaign Expansion Announced

Fantasy Flight have announced today that The Galaxy’s Most Wanted, the second campaign expansion for Marvel Champions: The Card Game, is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2021.

The most enticing aspect of the Marvel Champions Living Card Game has always been the promise of these campaign expansions. I’ve played what amounts to an unreasonable amount of both the Lord of the Rings LCG and the Arkham Horror LCG, and it has always been the campaign elements that have these games returning to the table time and again. It is deeply satisfying to work co-operatively through a rich and thematic story-line with friends.

So it is no surprise that I’m thrilled with this announcement, though I have to say disappointed that it hasn’t made a Christmas release date.

Similar in structure to the Red Skull expansion, The Galaxy’s Most Wanted will have five distinct but linked scenarios with an additional seven modular sets that can be combined with any other scenario that you own. There’s two new hero decks – fan favourites Groot and Rocket Racoon – and a bunch of new mechanics including ships and a market place for deck upgrades between campaign adventures.

There’s four new villains in the expansion: Drang of the Brotherhood of Badoon, the Collector, surprisingly Nebula, and the BBEG Ronan the Accuser. Of these, the Collector’s mechanics seem to be uniquely interesting: his Stay Awhile treachery card thins out your deck as he adds player cards to his ‘Collection’. Lose too many cards, game over…

We’ve loved our family games of Marvel Champions, which strike the right balance between fiddly upkeep and the dynamic fastpaced cardplay that you hope for in a game about superheroes. This is a must have for us.

It is available for pre-order from your friendly local game store right now.

Fire of Wrath: The HeroQuest boardgame Relaunches!

HeroQuest was the boardgame that started it all for so many of us.

It was published in 1989 by Milton Bradley and Games Workshop, and in all the significant ways it defined the genre of accessible dungeon-crawl adventure games for kids. It remains beloved to this day, despite being out of print for decades and original versions fetching absurd prices on eBay.

Fueled by some combination of nostalgia and market research, game giant Hasbro have launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new release of the board game, but only for US and Canadian backers. It has been launched on Hasbro’s own crowdfunding platform – HasbroPulse – with the arguably modest target of $1 million in pledges.

Stretch goals which include new miniatures, more dice and an entire new QuestBook designed by original designer Stephen Baker, will all be unlocked at $2 million.

Right now, with a month and a half to go, more than $1.1 million has already been committed, so it is safe to say that this game will smash the crowdfunding targets, and likely see mass production worldwide. For those of us outside North America, we can anticipate the game on store shelves in time for Christmas 2021.

The genre has evolved significantly since 1989, and whilst I treasure the memories of late night sessions of HeroQuest with friends (and using the same minatures later for innumerable D&D adventures), I don’t think the original mechanics are going to stand up to the gamer market by modern standards. The 2012 game Mice and Mystics – a dungeon-crawler targeted at 7 year olds and frankly with a more engaging and age-appropriate theme – shares many of the design mechanics, but exceeds them in fun and memorable ways. The spiritual successor to Mice and Mystics – Stuffed Fables – was released by Plaid Hat in 2018, and is a quantum leap in terms of innovation and modern gameplay.

At the other end of the heavy cardboard spectrum, it would be tough to market the rebooted HeroQuest to a gamer audience that has since embraced the complexity and depth of Gloomhaven, the number one ranked boardgame (boardgame franchise?) worldwide with no signs of slippage in popularity.

But of course, this is not the target audience of the HeroQuest reboot. This is a sweet nostalgia hit, and given that it funded in less than 48 hours, it is a hit that will not be denied. HeroQuest was the inspiration and touchstone behind all of the dungeon-crawling games that have succeeded it, for designers and players alike.

And for me as well. I still do room reveals in tabletop roleplaying games exactly how I did 30 years ago playing as Zargon the Evil Sorcerer. The tension and suspense of opening a dungeon door is as thrilling to me now as it was then.

So the decision to remain as close as possible to the original game is a double-edged broadsword. There are welcome changes to the depiction of the genders of heroes and some of the monsters, and some of the Games Workshop lore has been removed for licencing reasons, but on first blush the mechanics and even the card art are deeply faithful to the fan base.

And while this will satisfy us Gen-Xers with fond memories, it is unlikely to hold up on its own merits against its contemporaries in the tabletop genre that have long passed it by on the trial it blazed.

Relaunch of Scott Pilgrim Minatures the World Kickstarter Defeats Its Own Ex

I was very impressed with professional way that Renegade Game Studio handled the cancellation and relaunch of the Scott Pilgrim Miniatures The World Kickstarter in response to community feedback this month. I’m quite sure this was no easy decision, but their willingness to listen and pivot their marketing approach is a critical lesson for others looking to kickstart their dream boardgame or tabletop project. Continue reading Relaunch of Scott Pilgrim Minatures the World Kickstarter Defeats Its Own Ex

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