Archive for November, 2003

WarCraft: The Board Game reviewed

Friday, November 28th, 2003

My playtest report just kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, so I decided it was a review. Some aspects of play are sketched out only briefly, but I’ll be playing this one again (watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat – this time for sure!), so I’ll probably be able to fill more stuff in as I regale you with tales of my victories. So click the friggin’ link and get Ready To Serve, baby!

OgreCave Interview: Matt Forbeck

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

As a special treat this Thanksgiving holiday, we’ve got a new interview for you to tear into. This time around, our target is Matt Forbeck, freelance author and game developer extraordinaire. From Deadlands to Space Hulk, from Redhurst to Dark Sun, Matt’s been there, done that, and still going strong. Come, pull up a seat and hear what Matt’s been up to lately and what he has to say.

OgreCave review: The Penguin Ultimatum

Thursday, November 27th, 2003

Demian’s got a new card game review for us, appropriate for the long winter months ahead. The Penguin Ultimatum by Eight Foot Llama. Sounds like a company that could give an ogre a run for his money.

FFG CoC CCG

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

I love when I can use that joke. Anyway, Fantasy Flight seems to be okay at making solid, sustainable CCGs from somewhat nichey source material, so this new entry, a non-Mythos-compatible new design for a Call of Cthulhu CCG due in the spring, certainly has a shot. Nothing on FFG’s site actually mentions it yet, so I’ve put the whole release below. In a GR post, some amusing comments further reveal the conservatism of some Cthulhu fans – yes, as a matter of fact, they should fail in an original way, except given the amazing run FFG’s had lately, they likely won’t. But man, between this and that Cyberpunk game, it’s like 1996 all over again.
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Paper Pirates, Bouncing ‘Bots and other Alliterative Amusements

Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

Another Rio Grande Games newsletter has been released. Pirate fans (whose numbers have increased lately due to a certain film) should be pleased by Corsari, a crew-building card game due out in December or January. Those waiting for the reissued Ricochet Robots (complete with new boards) will have to be patient, as its release (along with that of Attika, Samurai and Alexandros) has been slightly delayed due to printing problems. Still, the flow of English-friendly editions of German games remains strong.

Mystery at Redhurst Academy

Monday, November 24th, 2003

The guys at Human Head Studios have released yet another free download for The Redhurst Academy of Magic. This time, the d20 goodness comes in the form of What’s in Her Name?, a mystery adventure by Sandy Antunes. Human Head describes Sandy’s adventure thusly: “If you like your adventures sneaky and thoughtful, this is the one for you. Can your players uncover the true name of a mysterious visiting professor before the clock runs out?” Well? Can they? Go download the adventure and find out.

Conan RPG previewed

Monday, November 24th, 2003

To start Monday off right (and give d20 gamers something meaty for Thanksgiving weekend), Mongoose Publishing has launched the Conan RPG section of its website. Among the goodies offered there are a close look at the Chris Quilliams cover art, and two PDF previews of parts of the rulebook. Written by Ian Sturrock, the 352-page RPG will arrive in January for $49.95.

And knowing is half the purchase

Monday, November 24th, 2003

Wizards of the Coast has announced plans for a new CCG based on one of parent company Hasbro’s biggest properties, G.I. Joe. The G.I. Joe brand turns forty next year, and what better way to celebrate the creation of the “action figure” than a collectible card game. The game will be based “on the rich mythology created for the 1980s G.I. Joe comics and cartoons.” Yep, by Fall 2004 you’ll be able to command Duke, Scarlett, and Snake Eyes as they battle Destro, Storm Shadow, and Cobra Commander. Expansion sets are scheduled to follow in 2005. This could either be seen as a damn good idea, or as WotC grasping at any idea for an uber-CCG to replace Pokémon. Better this than a Tonka CCG.
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Confused Agent Doesn’t Recognize Home

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

The latest of Invisible City‘s games of the month has arrived. In Quadruple Agent, a confused secret agent wanders around a board following instructions sent to him by multiple commanders (the players). The goal is to allocate resources and arrange orders in a manner that eventually leads the agent to your side of the board. Get out your cardstock and scissors and have some fun!

James Ernest to judge American Idol

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

You know you believed that headline for a second. But the real story is that Fleer has allegedly contracted him to design a mass market American Idol card game. Thousands sing, millions kill, one dies! Or something like that. This is still in rumor territory and we’ll follow up. Update: Ernest has confirmed his involvement in a message to the Cheapasses mailing list. He added that Fleer has been good to work with and doesn’t seem likely to instigate a Looney Tunes-esque disaster.

Looney Labs ships Stoner Fluxx

Thursday, November 20th, 2003

This is not a joke. Stoner Fluxx is a new version of Fluxx with appropriately (or inappropriately) adjusted Keepers and Goals, as well as some special rules you can probably imagine. Looney Labs will be donating one dollar to organizations such as NORML and the Drug Policy Alliance for each copy of Stoner Fluxx sold. The Looneys originally conceived this product with the title NORML Fluxx… I wonder if they got negged on that. I also wonder if this isn’t gonna backfire on them in a big way – their core audience of young-ish casual players probably has high overlap with those who would favor legalization in this country, but do they set foot in game stores often enough, and will they want to buy the game anew? And what about the families and schoolteachers that love Fluxx so much? And who has the Cheetos?

PIG releases Smuggler’s Bane

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Politically Incorrect Games has just released a new PDF adventure for Deep7′s Arrowflight. Dubbed Smuggler’s Bane (which evokes Star Wars images for me), the adventure includes full-color maps and paper miniatures from PIG’s Disposable Heroes line, five of them unique to the adventure. If the $5 download had dice and players, PIG would have the complete package. The bandwidth would be a real pain, though.

GAMA running Origins trip contest

Wednesday, November 19th, 2003

Apparently GAMA wants to flesh out its library of old Origins convention materials, ‘cuz we just got word of a contest. Anyone who sends in photos from previous Origins conventions, or program book covers, or entire program books, will be eligible to win a trip for two to Origins. Or a sports bottle. See the press release below for details, and start scrounging through your garage for that old program you’ve got stashed away.
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West End Games sold; Torg 2 gets new life

Sunday, November 16th, 2003

As we’ve heard whispered on various industry lists, the long-languishing company that is West End Games has changed hands again. This time, the new owner of WEG intellectual properties and such is “Eric J. Gibson and the still forming Purgatory Publishing Inc.” Among the few projects already mentioned for the renewed WEG is Torg 2.0, which will hopefully finally see print. Reportedly, its first draft has been sitting at WEG as a 2″ thick unedited manuscript for years. Frankly, as a Torg GM, it’d be nice to get some better closure than the hastily thrown-together War’s End adventure. Wrapping up five years of storyline in one softcover adventure just didn’t work.
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More virtual cards for your virtual free time

Friday, November 14th, 2003

If you’re like me, you had no friggin’ clue about Decipher Online Gaming, but lo, you can play both the Lord of the Rings CCG and the original Star Trek: TNG CCG in a manner similar to that of Magic Online. Also, look at this weird thing Sega is doing in Japanese arcades. Hold actual cards in your hand, but play with them on a touchscreen monitor? Brilliant, or the worst of both worlds?