I’ve got a small collection of game-related news and items that may be of interest to some of you. These are in no particular order, but some do have a time limit on them.
X-Wing Miniatures – 2nd Edition
“Fourteen waves and 58 distinct ships” — and Fantasy Flight Games is offering more to its 2012 hit game. Gameplay will be tweaked, and The Force is going to make an appearance… and I imagine more waves and more ships. Change in how factions (changing from three to five) are played is mentioned as is a new squad building app. There’s not much else to go on except for the brief news release you can read here.
I am curious to see how fans of 1st edition react – Prediction: most not with open arms. You can bring in your existing ships, but they mention conversion kits (PLURAL) and I wonder if the three shown in the link above will contain kits for all ships of a type (Empire, Rebel, Scum) or just a few. If the move to 2nd edition is easy and relatively inexpensive… this could be a great thing. But what about players who own ten X-Wings? How will they get the updated cards for 10 ships if the Rebel Conversion Kit only comes with a single X-Wing card? Lots of questions, I guess…
Frostgrave: The Grimoire and Frostgrave: Maze of Malcor (spell card deck and expansion book)
I received review copies of both Maze of Malcor and the Grimoire spell card collection. Maze of Malcor is the fifth expansion for Frostgrave, and this new book offers up a ton of new content for fans of the game. The Frostgrave core rulebook offers up ten schools of magic and ten spells from each, and I must admit that I’ve only played four of the ten schools so far. But for those players who have tried them all and are looking for some new challenges, Maze of Malcor offers up five new schools to go up against. I’ll be sharing a more in-depth review of the full book soon, but just know that there are rule updates, new scroll spells, new creatures, new items, new base options, and … a full-length 12-episode campaign for players to explore the newly revealed Collegium. The book is not the standard 64-page length, but has been expanded to 96 pages, so it’s a major must-have addition to the Frostgrave universe.
As for the Grimoire, Osprey Games did a smart move here — not only did they include spells from the core rulebook and the existing expansions but they’ve also added cards from the new Maze of Malcor expansion. These cards are a welcome addition to my game — most of the time I just take screenshots of the spells I want (from my Frostgrave digital rulebook copy) and cut and paste them into a single document that I print out as a reference. No more! Now I can quickly pick my eight spells and they fit perfectly in a single 3×3 protective sleeve. (Even without the sleeve, the cards are made from durable and high-quality material.) Each card displays the name of the spell, its base casting cost, full description, and the source of the spell (either core rulebook or one of the expansion books).
Last Days: Zombie Apocalypse (skirmish wargame)
Another skirmish game from Osprey Games, this is one I’ve been waiting for… zombies! I’ll be doing a more in-depth review of the rules in an upcoming post, but this 112-page full-color rulebook will be released in June 2018 and contain all the rules you need to run a game… dice and miniatures not included.
Here’s what I am already loving after just skimming over the basic rules — the zombies are just icing on the cake. The skirmish game is still your survivalist versus another team (or two or more). You pick a Leader — this can be a knight in shining armor, a thuggish bully, or a military guy. You then grow your group of survivalist by purchasing members who ‘fit’ with the leadership type you have selected. Weapons and skills factor into your decisions, too. After your group is gathered, you’ll pick a base of operations that has its own pros and cons depending on whether you’re looking for space to grow into or need more room for a larger starting team.
As with most skirmish games, the rules lean towards fast play and simple combat. The simple stat block provided for zombies and survivors is easy to figure out, and it appears there are rules for experience and ‘leveling up.’ I’m going to dig deeper into the rulebook this weekend, but so far I’m really liking everything I’m seeing… including the goals of the game’s design by author Ash Barker in the Foreword.
Ghost Archipelago Snake-men Miniatures Box
Frostgrave’s spin-off, Ghost Archipelago, takes place in the Lost Isles. One of the numerous inhabitants of these islands are the Snake-men, a feared and dangerous race that can easily reduce an unprepared crew to zero. For those players who have been waiting for official Snake-men miniatures… they’re here from North Star Military Figures. The box of 20 unassembled Snake-men plastic minis contains some outstanding sculpts. You can pose them as you see fit and add weapons, shields, and other accessories. Paint them up — and there are no hard and fast rules about color-schemes for the Snake-men as the box cover image clearly shows — and then either recruit them as crewmen or prepare to fight these creatures.
Star Wars: Legion
Fantasy Flight Games is offering up details on another miniature expansion for Legions — the Snowtroopers. The box of seven unpainted minis will be releasing soon, offering those of you who enjoy playing on the side of the Empire not only the figures but some new weapons and abilities, including a free ranged attack after a movement! You can read more details here.
If you’re interested in the new Star Wars: Legion wargame, you can find the Learn to Play guide here. An additional, more detailed Rule Reference PDF can be found here. One of the best video tutorials I’ve seen so far is from Watch It Played. You can watch the Learn the Rules video here and Part 1 (of 3) of its Play-through here.
Kickstarter Alert: Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection Board Game
At the time I’m writing this, there are only seven days left on this Kickstarter. The game comes in a box designed like an old tome, and the 2-5 player game has unlocked almost all of its stretch goals that will add professional art and stories to the mix. For fans of Lovecraft (like me), a new Mythos-based game is always a welcome addition to my own (game) library’s Restricted Collection.
Kickstarter Alert: Crypt
This one just finished up (sorry, I’m a last-minute finder/backer), so by the time you’re reading this… it’ll be too late. Catch it in retail. (Or maybe they’ll have a post-KS order option?) The game looks cool, and at 9$ and with all 20 stretch goals added, it’s looking to be a fun little 20-minute game. The box is portable (and awesome looking), and the rules that I’ve read over sound fun to play. The push-your-luck aspect is something my boys like, so this will be a great little game to keep them entertained during short waits.
Arkham Horror: The Card Game
Long-time players of Arkham Horror: The Card Game have probably given little thought to the first adventure, Night of the Zealot. It was our first experience with this legacy card game, and it offered up a great introduction to the game’s mechanics and play. But players really should reflect back on that campaign, because an upcoming expansion is going to allow you to replay it with some major changes.
Fantasy Flight Games is releasing Return to the Night of the Zealot as a premium box with dividers that will hold 46 new Encounter cards and 20 new player cards. (I’m assuming the player cards will be for use with any of the currently released characters for those of us who have developed one of the many characters that have been released with expansions since that first core box.) The new Encounter cards (that include a new Act for Scenario 1) are going to make the original Zealot campaign more difficult and challenging. I. CANNOT. WAIT.