Fantasy Flight Introduces Multiplayer to Star Wars: The Card Game

16 07 2013

BalanceForceCoverBy Firestone

In their continuing effort to get me to deposit my paychecks directly into their bank accounts, Fantasy Flight announced yesterday that the new Star Wars: The Card Game expansion, Balance of the Force, includes two new multiplayer options, and new objective sets.

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What You Missed…

12 04 2013

Smallworld2News! Reviews! Poohs! We had a cram-packed week here on the blog.

First we brought you news that Z-Man Games is reprinting an old Alan Moon trick-taking game: Black Spy. And Z-Man also revealed that the anticipated game Terra Mystica will come out May 1.

We had two interviews: first was Jason Tagmire of Pixel Lincoln fame, sharing about upcoming projects. And then we interviewed Shane Steely and Jared Tinney, designers of Walk The Plank.

We also discussed some of the odd choices of the Origins Awards. And Tom Vasel gave us some behind-the-scenes info on the nomination process (in the comments).

We had a Double-Take Review of I’m The Boss: The Card Game—and we had wildly different experiences with it.

THEN, we talked about the newly announced deluxe expansion for Star Wars The Card Game—with wookies!

And finally (whew!) we talked about a bunch of new Kickstarter projects—including the new Gryphon Game Francis Drake.

Thanks for reading! We’ll have more for you next week; have a great weekend!





Oh, What a Wookie!

10 04 2013

SWC08-box-rightChewbacca is on the scene in Star Wars The Card Game. Fantasy flight has announced the first deluxe expansion of the game “Edge of Darkness” adds 22 new objective sets, which is a total of 132 cards, adding two new affiliations: DS Scum and Villainy and the LS Smugglers and Spies. It’s within this deluxe expansion that Fantasy Flight revealed today (4/10/13) that the objective set “Wookiee Life Debt” will in fact feature Chewbacca himself.

And at a quick glance he will be ready to tear into the Empire and deal some serious damage, even if he takes damage during an encounter! It’s not wise to upset this wookiee.

chewbaccaWe’re still waiting on the multiplayer expansion for this game, to really see the full potential of the title, but from looking at the new wookie objective set, LS players have been given some much-needed fire power to stand up to the Empire.

You can find the full review of the new objective set here.

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to tell your friends about us, and do those social Facebook and Twitter things too!





What You Missed…

22 03 2013

planklogoA fun week here at TOG. Thanks for joining us; here’s what you might have missed.

AEG announced they’re bringing the surprise Essen hit Trains to the US.

We reviewed the classic card game filler Coloretto.

Then we had the opportunity to bother the gracious Eric Lang for another interview. Now with 100% more Monty Python!

And finally, we brought you Walk The Plank!, a new Kickstarter project from a couple of Firestone’s pals.

Next week, we’ll be reviewing The Great Heartland Hauling Co., and bringing you more news, reviews, interviews, and shampoos nevermind…we’re both bald. Thanks for reading!





Another Interview With Designer Eric Lang

20 03 2013

cropped-Eric-Head-ShotWe’re glad to welcome back to TOG Eric Lang, game designer extraordinaire, to chat about some of his upcoming projects, the latest Star Wars The Card Game news, and much more!

Eric, so glad we didn’t scare you away the first time; thanks for coming back!

WHAT?! Oh, sorry. You frightened me there.

So, from the looks of your twitter account @eric_lang you’ve been doing some serious game design work away from home. Tell us a little bit about where you were and the project(s) you’ve been working on?

I’ve been in my comfort zone for the year, at all times juggling 2-4 games in various stages of completion. Two of them are currently in post-design, and ready for announcement within the month.

So, in total, how many projects have you had your hands on since we last talked?

Seven, I think? Maybe? It’s hard to keep track. Some games are ongoing developments, others are near-completion, and yet other ongoing games are in publishers’ capable hands but still need attention (like Star Wars LCG and Quarriors).

Via Twitter you’ve given each of your projects their own code name. You said several weeks ago that “Project Phoenix” is heading to production; can you tell us more about the game, who is publishing the game, and when we can expect to see it hit the shelves?

It will be published by Cool Mini or Not, and my producer is the extraordinarily talented David Preti (from Dust Games). They will be announcing it soon. I wish I could tell you more, because this is a game (and original IP) I’ve been working on for a long time.

How often do you leave town to get work done? Do you make the same pilgrimage every year, or do you travel to other places around the world? If so, what’s been your favorite place to work so far?

I generally get work done at home, actually, and travel for inspiration or to crunch on administrative or production deadlines, which are easier on-site with publishers.

I love Brazil for the climate, the gamers, and the food. Singapore for the space-age lifestyle, the gamers, and the food. Malaysia for the gamers, the amazing islands, and the food. Minnesota for all my longtime friends, and the food. There’s a general food theme.

kaosballYou said that “Project Phoenix” is something you’ve wanted to do for a long time; where did the idea first come from, and how did you get it to production?

Project Phoenix is a game I’ve wanted to do for about five years. It is a hybrid of two genres I really enjoy in gaming (which I sadly can’t talk about until the announcement). The nucleus of the game coalesced while I worked on other games, but crystallized when I met with David Preti in Brazil and pitched the basic concept. He said, “We’re making this game,” immediately, and then asked me for an IP to go with the game. I built the foundation of this world over a weekend, and we worked together to flesh it out (me on world details, he on visual direction).

We’ve also heard that your funding a project through Kickstarter, what can you tell us about that, and when will we see it over on KS?

I actually have four projects, with various publishers, slated for Kickstarter this year. Unfortunately I can’t talk about any of them 😦

Since we last spoke with you, Star Wars The Card Game was released; we’ve enjoyed the base set and are looking forward to the multiplayer expansion. What can you tell us about the multiplayer experience?

Sadly, nothing of substance (NDA, as you’d guess). I can say that multiplayer completes the core vision I had for the game.

The idea of having multiple players team up against a single dark side player is really making me kind of giddy! And it seems that you had this in mind all along. Is there a reason the multiplayer expansion is delayed, or wasn’t a part of the base set?

It was part of the game’s DNA from the start, but we realized during development that it would take a significant chunk of the core set’s card pool to execute as fully as we wanted. And we wanted to maximize variety in objective sets for regular play, both because variety is good and this game was experimenting with a new deck-building philosophy, so we wanted to give it breathing room.

It didn’t take long to realize we could easily take the multiplayer component and expand it even further if we made it a deluxe expansion box. Expect some surprises!

QuartifactsWe’re both pretty big fans of Quarriors, is there any news of what’s coming down the line for that title?

The Quartifacts expansion is coming soon, which adds quests—an entirely new play pattern—to the game. Beyond that, they announced the exciting “Light and Dark” expansion that Mike and I finished a few months ago, so it won’t be coming for awhile.

We got the press release from Wizkids about Train Stations. There’s scant information so far, but the description reads like a standard pickup-and-deliver-type train game—but then we noticed it comes with 50 custom dice… Is this some sort of Quarriors/Age Of Steam mashup, or what?!

There are lots of dice, but the game is nothing like Quarriors. It’s more of a risk management game with a ton of player interaction (with mild cooperative elements, even though there is only one winner). I designed this game as an homage to Sid Sackson, one of my favorite designers, and even though it shares no mechanics with his games, my guiding process during design would often be to ask myself, “What would Sid do?”

Are there any other new and exciting projects that you can tell us about?

Absolutely! I am working on two games with my good friend and awesome designer Kevin Wilson, codenamed Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The games are not related; the codenames symbolize something else (shhh). One is a really fun little strategy game that “scratches your OCD itch” and the other is an intense psychological social game dripping with warped theme. Both are based on really cool existing IPs, and will be out later this year.

Last year I finished design on a risky but really compelling game that adds a new twist to a classic genre. I call it Project ZOMG, and have described it as a “youthful power fantasy come to life.” This one will be announced by a major publisher shortly. I can’t wait to talk more about it.

Finally, I started work on another big game for FFG. This one won’t be out for awhile, but the initial design is already mostly done, and I’ve scoped out some crazy ambition. One thing I can say is that I love how FFG is a big game company and still likes to take risks and try new ideas.

Here’s another round of 1-word questions!

2861869-monty_footFavorite Monty Python member?

The Foot

Kirk or Picard?

Sisko

Favorite Star Wars film?

Empire (obviously!)

Bill S. Preston esq. or Ted Theodore Logan?

Bogus!

Favorite comic book hero?

Ozymandias

Thanks again for taking the time to chat with us!

Thank you! Fun questions as always.

Update: Shortly after we finished this interview with Eric, Cool Mini or Not leaked some info on the Project Phoenix game, which is Kaosball. From Eric’s Web site:

“Kaosball is a fantasy sports game based on modern world pop culture. It has a different approach than most sports games, using card play rather than standard miniatures style simulationist rules for resolving conflict. There’s luck and variance, to be sure, but key skills like bluffing and reading your opponent enhance the drama and can turn the tide.

The sport (a 2-4 player cross between rugby and domination-style e-sports) is designed from the ground up to play well as a team management board game focused on special powers and their interactions. It’s bloody and lethal; in fact, kills help your overall score! Four teams come in the core set, but I have already designed over a dozen more.

More details and blog updates to follow over the next few weeks. I have been waiting a very long time to talk about this game!”

We can’t wait to hear more about all of the games Eric is juggling right now. Thanks, Eric, for the interview, and thanks to you for reading—and please check us out on Facebook and Twitter.





The Best Board Games of 2012!

7 02 2013

Thanks for joining us for Post #200 here at Theology Of Games. In the Better Late Than Never category: Here they are—our picks for the best games of 2012! Now, realize that even though we both have a board game group that meets weekly, there are some games we just didn’t get a chance to play. So games such as Mage Wars and Snowdonia and Myrmes just didn’t get played. They might have made the list, and I’m sure we’ll play those at some point. You’ll just have to wait for the review. 🙂 We also went off of the release dates as seen on each game’s page on Boardgamegeek. There are a number of games I was sure came out this year, but I was surprised to see they were actually released earlier (Mage Knight, King of Tokyo, Kaispeicher). So without further ado…

Mice & Mystics10. Mice & Mystics—It’s essentially a dungeon crawler. You go through rooms, you fight swarms of baddies, you have weapons and armor and special powers, you roll dice, and you’re following a loose sort of plot. My group is eight missions into the campaign and we’re having great fun. One big reason it doesn’t rate higher is that once I’ve played through the campaign, I’ll likely never play the base game again. (Or at least until the expansion comes out.)

Lords9. Lords Of Waterdeep—This is a worker placement game with a thick veneer of fantasy to it. There’s a fair bit of mess-with-your-neighbor-ness to it, but I was okay with it.

smashcover8. Smash Up—A card-battling, shuffle-building game, featuring different factions that you can combine to smash up one of several bases on the table. Light rules, cool cards, and fun faction combos. Check out our review here.

PlatoCover7. Plato 3000—This was a surprisingly fun little filler! It’s basically rummy with special powers—if you can snag a copy, you should do so! You can read the review here.

gauntlet6. Gauntlet Of Fools—This is another filler that grabbed our attention. You grab your hapless hero and head into the dungeon, where you’ll almost certainly die. Sounds fun, right?! Well it really, really is. Read our detailed thoughts on it here.

cover5. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game—The minis are way cool. The gameplay is fast and fun. AND IT’S STAR WARS! This is the kind of game I expect to sink a ton of cash into, but the looks on my kids’ faces when we play makes it worth it. Here’s our review of this terrific game.

cover4. Android: Netrunner—The first of two LCGs on the list is a remake of the classic CCG from the 90s. This reboot is excellent. The key is the asymmetrical play—with one playing the powerful corporation and the other playing the plucky, tricky hacker. This has so much potential for interesting expansions…I can hear my wallet screaming now… Here’s our review.

box-SWLCG-left3. Star Wars Card Game—This is the start of something really great; the base set is already climbing to the top of our lists, and they haven’t yet expanded it for 4 players. With the unique Edge Battle mechanic, paired up with some pretty awesome card artwork, the sky is the limit for this LCG. We’re really looking forward to what Fantasy Flight has in store. In the meantime, check out Jeremiah’s review.

Mayancover2. Tzolk’in—I can’t remember the last time I was this enamored with a game. Rather than gush over it here, I’ll just point you to my review.

Avalon1. The Resistance: Avalon—What can we say about this game that we haven’t already? The Resistance is one of our favorite titles of all time, and Avalon adds just enough variance and depth to keep us coming back for more back-stabbing, lying, skulduggery and intrigue. The new/optional roles have increased re-playability even more. Read our review here; then go get the game. Now. What are you waiting for?!

So what did you think were the best games of last year? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you “Like” us on Facebook. And over on Twitter too!





More Star Wars and More Netrunner!

21 01 2013

netrunnerstarwarsFantasy Flight is working overtime! They’ve announced A Dark Time—the third Force pack for Star Wars The Card Game. As if that weren’t enough, they also announced Humanity’s Shadow—the fifth Data pack for Netrunner.

“With a new Criminal identity, a daring new resource, and unique sysops for the Corporations, Humanity’s Shadow profiles some of the most talented individuals pulling the strings behind the game’s cyberstruggles. New events for the Runners allow you to customize your strategies while the game’s Corporations look to increase their security with a more hands-on approach based upon new operations, talented sysops, traces, and traps.”

The Star Wars pack includes assassins from Anzat: SWC04-card-fan

“Long-lived and ruthless, the Anzati are tentacled predators, nearly indistinguishable from humans when their tentacles are withdrawn into their cheeks. Anzati have telepathic powers that grow in strength as they age, and they are frequently sought as highly paid assassins and mercenaries. In standard practice, they stun their prey with a telepathic blast and then feed on their victim’s life essence.

Anzati aren’t naturally evil, but their need to feed on the life essence of other, often sentient, races makes them susceptible to the lures of the dark side, as does the hunger that grows as they age. In Star Wars: The Card Game, the Anzati Elite (A Dark Time, 239) appears as a sleek and stealthy four-cost dark side Character. The Sith excel at manipulating their opponents by making tactical strikes, and the Anzati Elite fits right in with her two [Target] icons and Force Sensitive trait.

Part of the Sith affiliation’s Serve the Emperor objective set, Anzati Elite costs just as much as such iconic light side units as Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, though it has considerably less damage capacity. Nonetheless, the [Target] icon is an incredibly versatile combat icon, both on attack and defense, and the fact that the Anzati Elite has two, neither of which is edge-dependent, means she’ll likely feature prominently in future Sith decks.”

Sounds fun to us! Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, and Like us on Facebook!








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