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Tag: Wizards of the Coast (page 1 of 2)

Fresh new digs and the Game of the Week: Gauntlet of Fools

Whats New?
It seems like August has alot of new games with not so new ideas.

Forbidden Desert does a pretty mean Forbidden Island impression, mimicking the cooperative classic.

We have a few Skullport expansions left. This expansion clearly leaves a mark on whats turning out to be a hot game of this year, especially since tabletop revisited it.

New Power Grid Expansions allow people to play UK or Quebec (?) and their surely interesting power scenarios.

Finally some cool Krosmaster Arena Action for all the people that love chibi figures fighting (which should be everyone)

What’s Restocked?

Big names are back in.

Hanabi has a massive shipment coming back in this week with no more shipments planned until Christmas and Pandemic has arrived so all preorders have left and should be expected to arrive soon.

What’s the Game? Gauntlet of Fools

Got to try this quick one out this week. The game is a fun bidding game which ends with a dicey gauntlet of
The bidding was heaps fun and is a pretty cool minigame until the meaty and thoroughly luck based crawlfantasy tropes.
You start of bidding for a Class and Weapon combinations by adding stat reductions (aka boasts) to snap them up from your friends.

Once you are suitably classy and armed an adventure deck will serve up monsters to fight until everyone dies and the one with the most loot wins.

begins. There is ALOT of tokens to distribute and stacks of dice to roll. The full game closes at around 30 mins so the luck becomes meted out pretty well.
For this week only we can give out a slight discount for Boss Monster so be sure to check it out.I would recommend this as a meaty filler and would see this played again because the theme is so cool. Only problems would be the management of alot of tokens and you can really feel the mechanics rather than the game at some points.

Clash of Gruumsh 1914

March is coming up and its nearly then end of the megasale. There has been a ton of bargains on all the newest games and that doesn’t end in the last three days!


The Sale

Hi team, do note that in these awesome sale periods we do experience a slow down in service. We are managing a large influx of orders and we do place a priority on all the oldest ones. These slowdowns can take an additional 3-5 working days on a standard order.

Whats New ?

Coming in is a massive new shipment of Wizards of the Coast.

Blood of Gruumsh is the new Dungeon Command set. I’m pretty sure it has a warswine in it which is a tick of approval in my books.

Axis and Allies 1914- WW1 makes sure it isn’t quiet on the western front. The game is massive playing with eight people and is marked as a different change of pace to traditional Axis and Allies. Conserving units is key as they are conveniently a limited resource giving the game a meat grinder feel.

Clash of Cultures is all over the news. The next game from Marcussen who has created fine games such as Merchants and Marauders will lead the charge for civilization games played in less than 5 hours. This is a must try especially as i love the depth and theme of Merchants.

Finally Uchronia… for people who do not have Glory to Rome.

Star Wars Expansion Universe

Heaps of expansions are in this week and an all new limited edition poker set.
What’s new? 

A new poker chip set from Cartamundi boasts light saber poker chips and an awesome Death Star dealer chip.

Expansions for that awesome 2 player Card Revolver is in stock. Hunt the Man Down and Ambush on Gunshot Trail

War of the Ring is expanded with the Lords of Middle Earth Expansion mellon!

A Game of Thrones the Board Game is expanded with a print on demand expansion from FFG: A Dance with Dragons which reportedly spoils some of the story!

Cutthroat Caverns has a new expansion with the good old fit-all box that more publishers should look forward too.

What’s restocked?

Dungeon! , the Wizards of the Coast remake is back in stock. Its frantic push your luck mechanism is a great way to introduce people to rpg’s or board gaming in general.

Can of Worms is back in stock just in time for Christmas.

Post Essen and Pre Christmas World

Essen has come and gone with a few really big games that have got alot of attention.

Do you know what my worker placement game needs? Gears.  
Bioshock Infinity is getting a board game based on the game but not on the game play. I think it is great to see the stronger licenses break out to board game s and the design studio still has the control to make it COMPLETELY different to the video game.

What’s New? 

Stacks of stuff.

Remake of Dungeon! from Wizards for the dungeon crawling retro gamer.
Risk Metal Gear Solid, Halo Legendary Edition and Starcraft is in stock in quite limited quantities.
Wrebbit 3d Puzzles are in. Know the true power of Saruman with the tower of Orthanc model. This could inSPIRE the builder with these scale replicas of other Lord of the Rings models.

Finally we have the new Can of Worms board game based on that TV show. The show always created a bit of buzz around the kitchen table and I am sure that this would spark similar discussion.

The game play reminds me of Apples to Apples which is an amazing party game with the edge of the game ‘Cards against Humanity’.


What’s Hot: Ikusa


First it was Shogun, then it was Samurai Swords—now, a whole new generation can enjoy the last game in the original Milton Bradley Gamemaster series in this brand new, completely visually redesigned version from Wizards of the Coast: Ikusa!

Ikusa focuses on the chaotic feudal society of Japan during the sixteeth century. War rages across the land. Amid the chaos and conflict, players are one of five warlords mighty enough to extend their domain, defend their strongholds from their enemies, and defeat other armies for the right to be called Shogun. Send your daimyo leaders, samurai, and ashigaru warriors into battle to seize new provinces and lay siege to castles. Spend your hard-won treasury on building fortifications and bolstering your forces with ronin and ninja.

Prove the strength of your strategy, defeat your rivals, and earn the exalted title of supreme ruler!

The rules of this classic game have not been changed, but the box and game board design have been radically improved, with a new ‘period feel’ for the map. All of the classic sculptures used for the figures are back with new colors. If you’re a fan of involved, empire-level strategy and classic ‘dudes on a map’ games like Axis & Allies, Conquest of the Empire and Conquest of Nerath, now is the time to grab this fantastic game in this beautiful new version. Check out this detailed review on Boardgamegeek.

Contents: 1 rulebook, 1 game board, 1 deck of 72 Province cards, 436 durable, plastic play pieces, 6 12-sided dice, 5 reference screens and army cards, 5 planning trays, 5 turn order markers, 12 battle markers, 1 flag-label sheet.

Dungeons & Dragons Board Games

Dungeons & Dragons

Ahh, Dungeons & Dragons! What gamer—especially the older ones like me—doesn’t have a soft spot for the fantasy roleplaying game that started it all? Good ol’ D&D has been going strong for more than 35 years now, from the early TSR (Tactical Studies Rules) days of the ‘white box’ and the first Basic Set, through the amazing hardcover Advanced Dungeons & Dragons editions that were my constant companion back in my school days, through to the thousands of spin-offs, campaign worlds, miniatures, maps, adventure modules and the huge industry run by Wizards of the Coast of modern times. I discovered D&D way, way back when I was twelve in 1978, and I can safely say it changed my life, as it did many other young people back then. The games have changed and the desire to game has waxed and waned over the years, but D&D started it all.

Of course, as you get older and real life starts to intrude, you find yourself with far less time on your hands and it gets harder and harder to gather old friends around for a bit of roleplaying adventure. That’s where boardgames come in. While you can’t get quite the same total immersion in the adventure from a boardgame as you do in a roleplaying game, it’s still a great way to get that ‘fantasy fix’ with a far more practical committment of time and resources.

Luckily, Wizards of the Coast has recognised this market and has begun releasing some excellent Dungeons & Dragons-themed boardgames. There have always been ‘dungeoncrawling’ boardgames of course, and I discussed several in an earlier article. Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast released the D&D boardgame Dungeons & Dragons The Fantasy Adventure Boardgame in 2003, a game very similar to Games Workshop/Milton Bradley’s Heroquest, and aimed at younger gamers. It’s only recently however that D&D boardgames aimed at the ‘gamer’s’ market have begun to appear.

Castle RavenloftDungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft hit the shelves with a bang last year, and was an instant hit. This is dungeon-delving for gamers, but gamers with limited time on their hands who want the kill-the-monsters fun of D&D without the big time investment. Packed with high-quality plastic miniatures (40 in all), heaps of cardstock dungeon floor tiles, lots of cards, magic items, abilities and weapons, and a wide variety of fun scenarios, Castle Ravenloft is the essence of dungeon-crawling distilled into a deep cardboard box. It’s a co-operative adventure experience for 1-5 players, and while the rules don’t have much in common with the roleplaying game past the ubiquitous 20-sided dice, it’s received unanimous praise for its streamlined rules and fun play.

Quick on its heals was the release of Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon. Yes, it’s the same game system as Castle Ravenloft (with a few modifications and additions), and just as packed with new stuff, including 42 plastic miniatures, one of which is a great big classic red dragon.

Between the two of these games you’d have dungeon-delving adventures enough for many months, but there’s a new big box on the way: Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt. This one will focus on the adventures of dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden, a popular heroic character from a series of novels set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. Take on the role of the legendary drow ranger or one of his famous adventuring companions, battle fearsome foes, and win treasure and glory.

If that wasn’t enough, all these games can be combined for a truly epic amount of variety—over 120 plastic miniatures for a start—and there are rules included to play a basic campaign.

Conquest of NerathThe latest release by Wizards of the Coast is also set in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, but has a different focus: that of continent-spanning conquest! Conquest of Nerath is a spectacular game of strategic empire-building in the vein of classic like Risk and the old GameMaster games. Featuring 252 plastic pieces of troops, monsters and heroes, you can even send fighters and wizards into dungeons scattered across the lands to fight guardians and obtain treasure, while your armies battle over the land above. Muster armies of footsoldiers, siege engines, monsters, and dragons to attack your enemies. Fight across the waves with fleets of warships and raging elementals. The fate of empires is in your hands!

Wizards of the Coast have more in the pipeline when it comes to bringing the Dungeons & Dragons game settings to boardgamers. The Dungeon of Dread Board Game is just an entry on their website for now, but apparently it’s going to be another co-operative dungeon experience for 2-5 players, with the more traditional style of one Dungeon Master and 1-4 heroes. Keep an eye out here for more information as it comes to hand.

So grab your 20-sided dice, prepare your heroes, and grab a Dungeons & Dragons-themed boardgame. The adventure awaits!

What’s Hot: Conquest of Nerath

Conquest of NerathWage war between empires in the Dungeons & Dragons world in the Conquest of Nerath fantasy boardgame!

In the north, the undead legions of the Dark Empire of Karkoth march against the fragile League of Nerath, determined to sweep away the human kingdoms forever. To the south, the infernal Iron Circle launches its own goblin hordes in a campaign of conquest against the elves and corsairs of Vailin. From the snowy expanse of the Winterbole Forest to the sun-warmed coasts of ancient Vailin, four great powers struggle for survival.

Conquest of Nerath is a fantasy conquest game for 2-4 players, who muster armies of foot soldiers, siege engines, monsters, warships, elementals, and dragons to attack their opponents. Players employ heroes such as knights and wizards to lead their troops and explore dungeons in the search of magical artifacts and treasures to increase their power in combat. Fight across the waves with fleets of warships and raging elementals. Plunder ancient dungeons with bands of mighty heroes, searching for magical artifacts and awesome treasures that might tip the scales of battle in your favor. The fate of empires is in your hands!

This exciting new hobby game from Wizards of the Coast brings classic Dungeons & Dragons characters, creatures and settings to a large-scale empire conquest format. Cleverly, three different lengths of game are included, so you can go for a short game or an all-in epic slugfest! The factions all have their own themed card decks which makes them unique to play, and while your forces are doing battle your heroes can explore dungeons to find gold and magic items.

Conquest of Nerath includes the following components: rulebook, dice of lots of different colours and types, a large, colourful game board, 110 cards, and 252 plastic playing pieces: a huge variety of figures representing the champions and armies of Nerath, Karkoth, the Iron Circle, and Vailin—and it all comes in a well-designed plastic box insert! It’s fantastic value for money and a winner from Wizards of the Coast!

It’s a Kind of Magic

Magic The Gathering

Magic the Gathering cardI’ve been gaming in one form or another since I was about twelve years old, but there is one gaming gaming phenomenon that completely passed me by—the huge collectible card game that is Magic: The Gathering. This is probably because the whole thing took off about the same time I decided to ‘have a break’ from games in my late twenties and concentrate on other things, but when I returned to the world of gaming some years later (and began frequenting Ebay to buy back all the old stuff I’d foolishly sold, but that’s another story), everyone was going on and on about this strange card game called Magic!

Actually, I’m a bit relieved that I missed out on the initial phenomenon, because I often hear tales from old gamers about the crazy amounts of money they spent on Magic: The Gathering, or how they regret selling a single card years ago for $300 when it would now fetch about $1500. Magic went on to inspire countless similar games, and continues to be an all-consuming passion for gamers worldwide, and that can only be because it was, and continues to be, a fantastic game.

Magic: The Gathering (hereafter MTG) was invented by a mathematics professor, Richard Garfield, and first published by Wizards of the Coast in 1993 after several years of development. It was an immediate success, so much so that Wizards was initially reluctant to advertise the game because they couldn’t keep up with the demand! Garfield had cleverly invented an entirely new genre of portable, collectible, trading card game, especially suited to being played in the downtime at gaming conventions.

Duels of the PlaneswalkersIt wasn’t long before expansions and revisions of the base game (‘core sets’) began to be regularly released. Since 1993 there have been three major rules revisions—in 1994 (Revised Edition) ,1999 (Classic Edition), and 2010 (Magic 2010).

Another defining aspect of the MTG experience is tournament play. The Pro Tour, a circuit of tournaments where players can compete for tens of thousands of dollars in cash prizes, was established by Wizards of the Coast in 1996. In fact, as of 2009 and according to Wikipedia, Wizards has given out $30,000,000 in prizes at various professional tournaments, and tournaments with hundreds of competitors from around the world are arranged many times every year by the DCI (Duelists’ Convocation International), their official sanctioning body for competitive play.

Of course, competitive play, cash prizes, and the general obsessiveness that is commonly a charactistic of gamers have all combined to create a thriving secondary market for MTG cards. A few of the oldest cards, now long out of print, can fetch exorbitant prices. The record is a ‘pristine 10 grade’ Beta Black Lotus card, which was sold in 2005 for $20,000!

So, for the newbie, what is MTG all about? Players are powerful wizards called ‘planeswalkers’, battling for supremacy. You begin the game with twenty life points, and lose life points when damaged by summoned creatures or spells and the like. If reduced to zero points, or forced to draw from an empty deck, you lose the game.

Land cards provide mana, the magical energy that fuels your spellcasting; you can play only one land card per turn. There are various types of spells that may have instant or lasting effects, or summon creatures. You can even involve allies with their own magical abilities to aid you in your struggle.

Spells come in five colours—to play a spell of a given colour, at least one mana of that colour—normally generated by corresponding land cards—is required. White (plains) is the colour of order, equality, healing and righteousness; blue (island) the colour of intellect, illusion, logic and trickery; black (swamp) represents power, greed, death and corruption; red (mountain) is freedom, chaos, passion and warfare; and green (forest) is the colour of life, nature, instinct and interdependence. You can also find multi-coloured and colourless cards.

Now that I’ve brought you up to speed with the MTG universe, where to you go to learn more? A great place to visit is the Wizards of the Coast site, especially the Learn to Play section, which features an interactive demo, rules PDF download, and instructive videos.

Then it’s time to buy yourself some decks! Games Paradise has a good range of decks, packs and boosters. For example, you could start with the Magic 2011 Introductory Pack Set, which contains one intro pack (60 cards and one random non-foil rare card) of each of the following: Blades of Victory, Breath of Fire, Power of Prophecy, Reign of Vampirism, and Stampede of Beats.

Meanwhile, experienced players and collectors will want to check out the brand new Mirrodin Besieged set, the second set in the Scars of Mirrodin block.

It’s time to join the legions of MTG players worldwide—or to expand the powers at your bidding! Happy Gathering!

Friday’s Gaming News Update

Sample Dark Eldar armies from Games Workshop.

Obsessive Descent fan? Why not get yourself the unofficial Well of Darkness 3D board?

Sadly, Wizards of the Coast announce the end of the Heroscape line. Grab as much as you can before it all disappears …

Games personality Michael Barnes talks about Ten Games I Want To Play Again, Someday.

Tom Vasel, of Dicetower fame, reviews Castle Ravenloft.

Matt Drake Of Drake’s Flames reviews Heroes of Graxia.

Fantasy Flight Games release Arkham Horror pre-painted figures and City of Thieves pre-painted figures.

A new designer diary for Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Boardgame looks at the combat system.

Eat Laser, Mutie! Gamma World is Back!

The new 4th edition D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game has just hit the shelves, and I had to write an article on the early days of this venerable roleplaying game setting.

Way back in the 80s Gamma World was one of our gaming favourites, along with Empire of the Petal Throne, Advanced D&D, Star Frontiers and Call of Cthulhu. Gamma World is roleplaying in the post-apocalyptic wastelands of a future Earth, and one of the most fun and fascinating roleplaying game settings every created. The game has seen a lot of editions over the years, but the setting is just too good to go away, and it’s great to see this new (stand-alone) version using the D&D 4th edition rules.

If you’re a fan of the computer game Fallout, you’ll feel right at home here in Gamma World; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the makers of that game took a lot of inspiration from it. The original game was released by TSR (Tactical Studies Rules)—the company that originally published Dungeons & Dragons—way back in 1978 (I still have two of those original sets). The rules weren’t too different from the boundaries set by original D&D, but this was only the second science-fiction roleplaying setting (after Metamorphosis Alpha, a game set on a huge starship), and really started to show that the roleplaying concept could be applied to any genre that you cared to name.

In the game, players took on the roles of mutants, mutanted animals, or ‘pure strain’ (ie, non-mutated) humans. Crazy mutated animals were one of the game’s memorable features—things like giant bunnies carrying shotguns were par for the course in this post-apocalyptic world—and rolling up a series of weird mutations (physical and mental) for your character was always fun. Another feature of the game were the so-called Cryptic Alliances. These were bands of non-player characters who shared a common goal in the future world, for example the Knights of Genetic Purity, who wanted to exterminate all mutant humans; or the Followers of the Voice, who worshipped computers.

Another unique feature of the game was the collection of flowcharts that players had to navigate when they encountered technological items from Earth’s past; flowcharts that could lead to being able to figure out how the laser rifle worked, for example, or having it explode in your face. One of the challenges of game mastering a Gamma World campaign was describing items in such a way so the players would, like their characters, not be aware of the item’s use. So when the character found that funny metal object, you as game master might have known it was just a can opener, but the player might convince himself it was a sonic blaster!

Unlike D&D games, which tended to be set in dungeons or castles, with only the occasional wilderness jaunt, Gamma World really featured the wilderness, with players travelling over radioactive wastelands or ruined cities, encountering the remains of old spaceports or shopping malls, interacting with groups of survivors all with their own weird survival agendas. It really opened out the possibilities of roleplaying.

Gamma World went on to see six more editions by various publishers and using various different game systems—this new edition is the seventh! When it comes to roleplaying settings this one is definitely a survivor, and just a brief time in the post-apocalytic wastelands of Gamma World will show you why. If you love roleplaying and haven’t yet discovered the Gamma World, now is the perfect time to roll up a few mutations, grab that battered laser rifle and hunt some mutie!

There are already expansions on the way: Famine in Far-Go and The Legion of Gold are the names of two original modules, so it looks like that the new system is really appealing to old fans.

The D&D Gamma World Roleplaying Game offers hours of rollicking entertainment in a savage land of adventure, where the survivors of some mythical future disaster must contend with radioactive wastes, ravaged cities, and rampant lawlessness. Against a nuclear backdrop, heroic scavengers search crumbled ruins for lost artifacts while battling mutants and other perils.

This product is a complete, stand-alone roleplaying game that uses the 4th Edition D&D roleplaying game system as its foundation.

160-page book with rules for character creation, game rules, and an adventure
2 sheets of die-cut character and monster tokens
2 double-sided battle maps
Cardstock character sheets and mutation power cards
Mutation power card deck
Loot power card deck

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