Posts Tagged ‘BOARD GAMES’

The UK Games Expo 2016 Preview

Posted on May 20th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

The UK Games Expo 2016 Preview

It’s just a two weeks to the UK Games Expo, the UK’s largest tabletop gaming convention, held at the Birmingham NEC between the 3rd and 5th June. There’s plenty to be excited about; games, shops, cosplay and even more games but if you’re still not sure what to expect we’ve gathered together all the new and shiny games you’ll get to see at the Expo.

Some of these will be fully released retail versions of the game that you can take home with you. Others will be early demo versions, allowing you to get the first chance to play the game before it hits retail or Kickstarter. But they will all be new games that very few people have played before.

Keep coming back as we’ll be updating this list as more publishers and designers release news of their upcoming games.
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Advanced Squad Leader; My Apprenticeship

Posted on May 12th, 2016 under , . Posted by

By Mitch Reed with Dave Garvin

I have been a gaming junkie since my early teens; perhaps even before if I include Hi-Ho Cherrio and Rock-Em Sock-Em robots.  Like many of us with gray hair, I cut my teeth on the wargames produced by the now defunct companies called Avalon Hill and SPI.  One game that stood out from my teens was Squad Leader, a game by Avalon Hill that dealt with small unit tactics in WWII. Out of all the games I played back then, for some reason Squad Leader always seemed stuck in my mind and when I started playing Flames of War 4 years ago, I was once again reminded of this great game I played in my youth.  In reality, Squad Leader and FoW are worlds apart in many ways besides one being a board game and the other being a miniatures game.  They both cover the sharp end of war; company level combat in close quarters and teach the player how combined forces work in a tactical situation.  I feel the comparison ends at that point; and Squad Leader takes the player into a deep immersion of the subject.

The Pocket Edition of the rules

I want to first be clear of my history of the game; I played Squad Leader (SL) a John Hill design which came out in 1977.  The basic game was a smash hit in 1977 and Avalon Hill expanded the game over the next 6 years by adding modules that expanded the rules and nations that were not included in the original game.  In 1985 Avalon Hill doubled down on the series and created Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) which was designed by Don Greenwood. While many hard core grogs would say they are two entirely different games I would argue that if not for SL, you would not have ASL.  In all fairness I never played ASL when it came out, by 1985 sports and rejection from women were more important in my life than gaming.

Throck with the full rules binder

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Aya Review

Posted on May 9th, 2016 under , , . Posted by

aya board game review

Imagine someone had created a cooperative board game out of domino rally. There you go, you’ve just imagined Aya and to be fair I could leave the review right there.

In Aya you and your friends have discovered a new land and are travelling inland via river, exploring the untouched wilderness and photographing the local wildlife and breathe taking scenery.
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T.I.M.E Stories: Under the Mask Review

Posted on May 5th, 2016 under , , , . Posted by

TIME Stories Under the Mask board game review

If you read my review of A Prophecy of Dragons, you’ll know I was disappointed with the previous adventure for TIME Stories, the time travelling cooperative game which I still believe is one of the best cooperative board game experiences on the market. Thankfully, I am happy to say that Under the Mask is a return to form, a fun puzzle and adventure that gets everything just right.

TIME Stories is a mystery and as such your experience will rely on not knowing the puzzles ahead so I’m going to attempt to keep this review as spoiler free as possible. However, there will be some very mild spoilers from here on, so if you want the Under the Mask to be a complete surprise then come back later.
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Aether Captains Giveaway

Posted on April 28th, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by

Aether CaptainsI am happy to announce that Mage Company and I have teamed up to bring you the Aether Captains Giveaway! This giveaway is for one copy of the game will be given along with any unlocked stretch goals. This contest will end May 27th, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST and is open to Worldwide. From Kickstarter Campaign: One

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Salute 2016: River Horse The Hunt for Red October Interview

Posted on April 24th, 2016 under , , , , . Posted by

Salute 2016: River Horse The Hunt for Red October Interview

At Salute 2016 we spoke Jack Caesar from River Horse games who talks about his latest game The Hunt for Red October and gives us a hint about the Hunger Games board game.

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Forge World Newsletter

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 under , , , , . Posted by

Some armour upgrades for the Space Wolf players from Forge World…

Warhammer 40,000 The Horus Heresy
Forge World
Space Wolves Legion Upgrades
Forge World logo
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2016. GW, Games Workshop, Citadel, Forge World, Warhammer, Warhammer Forge, Warhammer 40,000, the ‘Aquila’ Double-headed eagle logo, Space Marine, 40K, 40,000, Imperial Armour, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Stormcast Eternals, The Horus Heresy, The Horus Heresy Eye and all associated logos, illustrations, images, names, creatures, races, vehicles, locations, weapons, characters, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are either ® or TM, and/or © Games Workshop Limited, variably registered around the world. All Rights Reserved.

From Russia with love

Posted on April 21st, 2016 under , , , . Posted by

We went berserk in the Battleshed last night. Instead of our planned game, Sam of Wee Blokes headed over and eagerly revealed his latest purchase.
A shiny new game box was placed on the table with some rather nice fantasy artwork on the cover. It even had that enticing ‘new’ smell. He did warn me that he had something different to try out so I was pretty much in the dark when I got to play Berserk: War of the Realms.

So what is it?Good question, that was mine too. Published by Asmodee / Hobby World, it’s a customisable, high fantasy ‘tactical’ card game from Russia that comes with six 30-card factions (Dwarfs, Orcs, Elves, Demons etc) and a separate deck of 63 customisation cards played over two game boards which are placed together. It incorporates deck-building and, as dice are involved, a bit of luck!
Now, I’m not particularly experienced when it comes to card based games. Not for any particular reason, it just comes down to who plays what locally. For example, I’m vaguely aware of the whole ‘Magic‘ thing – especially as The Teenager plays it and more often than not on the rare occasion I’m permitted into his lair I come away with some intricately detailed card stuck to my foot.
The game also contained a bag full of various tokens, 4 ‘custom’ dice – that immediately indicates weird symbols on them – 2 reference cards, a kind of comic-strip quick start and the main rulebook. This was our first play, as Sam had only owned it a few days and had quickly scanned through the rules. Which probably explains a lot of head scratching throughout our first contact. And I still am.
We opted for the suggested ‘easy start’ game where each player has a reduced pile of 10 Gold and 10 Silver to recruit their troops from 15 random cards drawn from their faction deck.
Naturally, I got the dwarfs. Each card has a point…ahem, gold or silver…cost, along with Movement, Health, Fight stats and individual traits. It soon became apparent that in this high inflation world 10 gold and 10 silver doesn’t buy much. We both ended up with five cards each.
Cards are placed face-down on the middle section of the combined game boards (3×5 squares on each player side), the first player then revealing all, the second player the first two ranks only. Although we accidentally missed this bit for our first game, revealing all anyway! The first player then activates all of their cards each turn, with two Actions‘move‘ and ‘axe in face‘ sort of thing. It then basically boils down to attacking enemy cards by rolling one of those customisable die which has three symbols indicating a Light, Medium or Heavy attack with corresponding Wound values.
The opponent may be able to defend with a defence die which has symbols representing something like ‘Oh, is that an axe in my chest?‘, ‘Ha! Your axe is blocked!‘ and ‘Here, have an axe back!’ Fail to defend this Basic Attack and the character takes the relevant amount of wounds up to his maximum health. Exhausted – or tapped cards (now I finally know what that means!) can’t defend.
Beyond the basic attack, there are Special Strikes (blasts, shooting etc) and Magical jiggery-pokery attacks. Crucially – and this is the part that started the whole head-scratching thing – you cannot defend against anything other than the Basic Strike. So it appeared that shooters were basically auto-hitting and only restricted by any range modifier on their cards. This felt a bit unnatural for both of us more used to miniature gaming where some chance against ranged is common. But it appears not with Berserk.
Example cards from the Dwarf deck
So I guess it all comes down to the placement and tactical combinations of your ‘troops’. Some cards act as Protectors for basic attacks (i.e. melee), so if they are alert they can roll defence die for their adjacent comrades. It seems this is pretty much more a hand-to-hand focused game, where ranged characters may be useful but you have to balance their cost against their vulnerability. I may be wrong, after all we only played through a couple of games at the basic level.
The basic mechanics appeared to be quite straightforward. However, the rulebook and the comic-strip style example sheet proved to be ambiguous and confusing in places. Possibly lost in translation somewhere. We certainly had many questions once we finished playing. With a quick trawl through the web forums, this appears to be a common criticism. So much so that a ‘semi-official rulebook‘ has been created that should help remedy the deficiencies with the box-supplied rules.
A wounded Dwarf Mercenary and a ‘tapped’ Dwarf Shieldman
From what I can garner, Berserk was first published in Russia back in 2003 and has a respectable following in that part of the world. The version we played is the second English language edition. Apparently, there are now over 4000 different cards available. The ambiguities in the supplied rules may put off some on first contact, which is probably a shame as its no doubt a very popular game. 
That aside, there are whopping price reductions currently available (I found a set for £4.94 + £5 UK p&p!) and there is much free support material online. Now I’ve read some of it I’m ready to try Berserk: Battle of the Realms again.

Dark Souls Board Game Preview

Posted on April 17th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

Dark Souls Board game preview

At Salute 2016 I was had the opportunity to play a demo of the new Dark Souls board game. It was a shortened version of the game, concentrating on an end of level boss character, but I can tell you now, it manages to capture the feel of Dark Souls in board game form.

The full game will involve a dungeon crawl, venturing forth from the bonfire and facing off against low level minions such as undead and Knights, reach the end of the dungeon and you have to fight the boss. If you die then you drop any souls you have acquired and respawn at the bonfire Dark Souls players will all find this familiar.

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CanOpener 2016 – Boardgames

Posted on April 13th, 2016 under , . Posted by

Board Gaming to benefit charity. Our Clubs annual charity event. Come enjoy your Board games so we can all help to fill the cupboards of the ‘Auckland City Mission’, as they approach the cold winter months. With the help of our sponsors and in association with the Auckland City Guard Club, we host CanOpener 2016.

When: 23rd of April, 10am to 9pm
Where: Auckland Rose Park Hotel, Parnell.
Entry: $10 at the door.
Please bring a few cans to donate to the Auckland Mission as well.
A.C.G Games events are family friendly. 
The average attendee is 25-45, male and female, 
and some of them even bring their kids!
Children 14 and under can enter for free, 
but must be accompanied by a supervising adult.
There will be …
A board game library so you can play to your heart’s content!
Feel free to bring along your games that you would like to share too.
FREE prizes and giveaways all through the day!
The Rose Park Hotel is fully licensed and will offer reasonably priced lunch, dinner and refreshments. There is plenty of onsite parking and also off street parking. 
Centrally located for your convenience.
Mny thanks to our Sponsors who made this event possible.

Scoville Giveaway

Posted on April 5th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

ScovilleI am happy to announce that Tasty Minstrel Games and I have teamed up to bring you the Scoville Giveaway! This giveaway is for two copies of the base game and will end May 4th, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST and is open to US only. From BGG: The town of Scoville likes it hot!

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Star Trek Ascendancy Preview

Posted on April 5th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

One of the biggest highlights from Adepticon for me was getting a chance to participate in a demo of the new Gale Force 9 board game Star Trek Ascendency (STA), run by none other than John-Paul of Battlefront Games. STA … Continue reading

Celestia Review

Posted on April 4th, 2016 under , , . Posted by

Celestia Review

The best word I can find to describe Celestia is ‘delightful’; maybe even ‘whimsical’, how about delightfully whimsical. Celestia, a reprint of Cloud 9 with a slight re-theme and much better art, is a game of pushing your luck while navigating floating islands and searching for treasure.

But it’s a dangerous journey, and you’ll have to fend off pirates and murderous flocks of birds as well as the machinations of the fellow crew.
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Gothcon XL summery and thoughts.

Posted on April 1st, 2016 under , , . Posted by

A couple of days have passed sins Gothcon XL in Gothenburg Sweden ended and I have had time to reflect on the high point of the hobby year. It was the first time for me to demo a game on an convent and also the first time to be part of my gaming club Yggdrasils endeavours at Gothcon.

Short summery of the convent:
I spent two hole days at Gothcon. Friday started with setup of guildball corner in the Yggdrasil gaming room and tape flyers for Guildball and X-wing demonstrations all over the Gothcon area. After that was it time for some serius gaming. I have looked at Pike & Shot from Warlord games and there was an large scale battle planed. I was just in time for it to start (see pictures below). I played roughly half the game and it took only 4 hours.
We took a proper lunch at the local China restaurant. then was it time for first role-play gaming for me in several years. We had booked a session for the new Mutant age 0 addon with robots! Only bummer was that it was cancelled because one game master had to leave. This was a disappointment but we went and had a nice indi roleplay game instead. This was the Friday gone but with allot of nice meetings and gaming.

Yggdrasil game room!

Saturday was my plan to demonstrate Guildball the hole day. We open at 10:00 and there where some people that wanted to play directly. In total do I demonstrated for 16 people during the day. I also managed to play one complete game for my self and I lost horribly to the nasty morticians. But I learned that they are sneaky and evil typ of game play. After 10 hours of demonstration was I abit tired and tried to get some shopping done before I had to leave. I tested Star realms and I liked it and bought the complete range directly and played two additional games with all the expansions.

We also witnessed the world largest Caracsonne game, it continued for 3 days straight. They used no farmers on this size :)

High points:
+ Lots of people played at the Guildball table and seamed to like it.
+ Tried Pike & Shot in an very large game (pictures below)
+ Constant flow and interest for the Yggdrasil game room. It´s where I demonstrated Guildball.
+ Star realms was a nice small filler game.

Low points:
–  No Mutant roleplay because one game master had hinder, we played some other indi roleplay instead but still a bit down.
– Should be sun and 15deg C, instead we had rain and gloomy weather the hole weekend.

That was all for this weekend and Gothcon  XL (2016). I had a lovely time and will be there next year to and hopefully demonstrate some new game for the fellow geeks.
Until then Happy gaming.

Onitama Giveaway

Posted on April 1st, 2016 under , , , , , , , , . Posted by

OnitamaI am very pleased to announce that Arcane Wonders and I have teamed up to promote the launch of Onitama, their new game in the Dice Tower Essential line; “games loved and adored by noted reviewer, Tom Vasel, that he believes are essential to every gamer’s collection.” This giveaway will end April 30th, 2016 at

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Steamforged Games announce a Dark Souls Board Game

Posted on March 31st, 2016 under , , . Posted by

Steamforged Games announce a Dark Souls Board Game

Hot off the heels of the announcement a couple of weeks ago that Eric Lang and Cool Mini or Not will be creating a Bloodbourne card game, Steamforged games have just announced via their Facebook page that they are working with Namco Bandai on a Dark Souls board game.
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Raid and Trade Review

Posted on March 30th, 2016 under , , , . Posted by

Raid & Trade board game review

When the apocalypse arrives us gamers are going to be very prepared. Whether it’s fighting zombies or curing diseases we’ll have played enough games set in the post-apocalyptic wasteland that we’ll know exactly what to do and Raid and Trade is another game that can train you up for the worst.

Set in the remains of a once great city, you will venture forth from a central base, raiding dwellings, gathering junk and crafting items in a hope to gain entry into the Golden City. It’s kind of like a board game version of Fallout 4 but without the 50s Americana.

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The Siblings Trouble Giveaway

Posted on March 25th, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by

The Siblings TroubleI am happy to announce that Eduardo Baraf of Pencil First Games and I have teamed up to bring you The Siblings Trouble Giveaway! This giveaway will end April 24th, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST and is open to US only. Please make sure you read the official Board Game Giveaway rules before entering. For any questions, thoughts

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Piratoons Review

Posted on March 21st, 2016 under , , . Posted by

Piratoons board game review

There are two kinds of pirates; the yo-ho-ho, bottle of rum cartoon pirates and the real life murderous thieves. Thankfully Piratoons is well into the cartoon version as you compete with other pirates to make the best possible pirate ship.

Piratoons is an auction and set collection game, you will have a short auction over a limited number of ship components and then at the end of the game you will score points based on a number of criteria; such as biggest ship, most sales, prettiest ship and collecting full sets of crew, canons and cabins.
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The Lounge: A Mafia Game Giveaway

Posted on March 17th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

The Lounge: A Mafia GameThank you all for joining me on another great game giveaway. This time I have teamed up with Crimson Games to bring you, The Lounge: A Mafia Game! This giveaway will end April 1st, 2016 at 11:59 PM CST. The giveaway is open to US residents only! By the way!

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Cool Mini Or Not Announce Bloodborne the Board Game

Posted on March 16th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

cool mini or not bloodborne board game news

At the time of writing this article I am 30 hours into the Bloodborne video game. 30 hours of despair, swearing and nearly throwing my controller at the TV. 30 hours of fighting beasts and barely surviving fights with an electrified werewolf the size of a house. And I have enjoyed every minute so I am really excited that Cool Mini or Not and Eric Lang have announced a Bloodborne board game.
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T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons Review

Posted on March 12th, 2016 under , , , . Posted by

T.I.M.E Stories: A Prophecy of Dragons Review

A Prophecy of Dragons is the second expansion, and therefore third adventure module for T.I.M.E Stories, and while T.I.M.E Stories remains one of my favourite games of 2015 and one of the best cooperative game experiences to date, A Prophecy of Dragons is by far the worst adventure for the system and its approach to rules and story threaten to undo all the great work accomplished by Asylum and The Marcy Case.

I will try and keep this review as spoiler free as possible; however some mild spoilers will come out in the discussion.
Read more » – Dead Men Tell No Tales Giveaway

Posted on March 11th, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

Dead Men Tell No has teamed up with Minion Games to bring you the Dead Men Tell No Tales Giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a copy of Dead Men Tell No Tales. Contest ends March 23, 2016 at Midnight MST and is open to US residence only. You may enter this contest from

Read More – Flag Dash Giveaway

Posted on March 3rd, 2016 under , , , , , . Posted by

Flag has teamed up with PieceKeeper Games to bring you the Flag Dash Giveaway. Two lucky winners will receive one copy of Flag Dash. Contest ends March 9, 2016 at Midnight MST and is open  WORLDWIDE. You may enter this contest from this page: Find out more about Flag Dash at

Read More – Karma and SET Junior Giveaway

Posted on March 2nd, 2016 under , , , , , , . Posted by has teamed up with SET Enterprises Inc to bring you the Karma and SET Junior Giveaway. The winner of this contest will win one copy of Karma and one copy of SET Junior. Contest ends March 9, 2016 at Midnight MST and is open to US residence Only. You may enter this

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