It's getting cold out here in the northern hemisphere. Winter winds are quickly approaching. And that's not the only cold thing headed your way. Cephalofair Games has announced Frosthaven. Yes, it's a new Gloomhaven world to explore around in. The company is also taking the chance to update some of the mechanics of the game, effectively making this Gloomhaven 2nd edition. Considering how many of you love the original, I'm sure you'll be excited about this.
From the announcement:
"Frosthaven is coming!
I know, I know, we just announced Jaws of the Lion, and now there's this, too! So much new Gloomhaven! Or, err, I mean Frosthaven.
While Jaws of the Lion is geared towards bringing in new players to the Gloomhaven world, Frosthaven is my chance to tell another epic story on the scale of the original game, with the same complexity and grandeur. This is Gloomhaven 2.0, with 16 new characters, over 25 new enemies, over 100 new items, somewhere around 100 new scenarios, and so much more.
So why Frosthaven? Well, that is the name of a small outpost far to the north of the capital city of White Oak. There, a group of mercenaries at the end of their rope will help bring back this settlement from the edge of destruction. Not only will they have to deal with the harsh elements, but there are other, far more dangerous threats out in the unforgiving cold as well.
There are Algox, the bigger, more yeti-like cousins of the Inox, attacking from the mountains, Lurkers flooding in from the northern sea, and there are even rumors of machines that wander the frozen wastes of their own free will. The party of mercenaries must face all of these perils, and perhaps in doing so, make peace with these new races so they can work together against even more sinister forces.
I could probably rant for a good while about everything that is going to be in this game, but I don't want to throw out any potential spoilers, and also I am going to be doing a lot of ranting already on Saturday at PAX Unplugged. On Saturday at 10am in the Mothman Theatre, I'll be doing a live Q&A with Tom Vasel about all things Frosthaven. I'll answer his questions, and questions from the audience, and it will be a grand old time."
Gloomhaven. It's one of the highest-rated board games ever. If you want to go get some fantasy dungeon crawling adventure, you can't really do much better than it. But sometimes you want to have something else deal with all the fiddly bits and to just play the game. Thankfully, they're porting the game to an electronic version, which you can get via Early Access on Steam now.
From the post:
In Gloomhaven, you play as a team of mercenaries on their own personal quests and will journey through terrifying randomly generated dungeons. The digital adaptation of the acclaimed board game, mixes Tactical-RPG and dungeon-crawling.
3-day weekend Fridaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!
Dice mail Fridaaaaaaaay! (expect more on that in the upcoming days)
Woo! *runs around until I see a platter with some bite-sized gaming stories on it, and comes over to chow down*
Today we have: Stormhost Heads Available to Order From Forge World and Sinister Fish Games Opens Pre-Orders for Villagers and the Removable Sticker Set for Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles.
Customise your Stormcast Eternals with this upgrade set of new heads! Inside the pack, you'll find 10 unique designs, perfect for adding additional character to your Primes and Heroes or even upgrading entire squads. This set is fully compatible with Sequitors, and will also work well with a range of other Stormcast Eternals kits.
This kit is supplied in 10 resin components.
Villagers, the beautifully illustrated 1-5 player card drafting & tableau building game from UK publisher Sinister Fish Games is now available for pre-order at the publisher's website
What can't be accomplished on a day like today?
Well, I can accomplish some RPG-ing. You can even watch if you want.
But what I know you're actually here for: Reviews! So let's get to it.
Today we have: Outpost: Amazon, Gloomhaven, Clank! The Mummy's Curse, Covalence, Ganz Schon Clever, Helionox, The Mind, Wreck Raiders, Getaway Driver, and Boss Monster: Rise of The Minibosses.
Board Game Quest:
Outpost: Amazon Review
The goal in Outpost: Amazon is to not only endure every card of the expedition deck, but to also capture wild monsters in cages. In this cooperative game, each player controls a unique explorer with their own special powers and hit points. The actual game is played over a series of rounds in which each player takes a turn.
Quick Hits: Gloomhaven Review
Gloomhaven is a legacy style, dungeon crawler board game that will have you controlling a fantasy character throughout their career. The goal of the game, other than to beat the scenarios and advance the overall campaign, is to get your character to finish their personal quest, thus retiring them and unlocking new characters for you to play next. The main part of the game is handled in a dice-less dungeon crawl that uses cards for combat abilities and also as a randomizer. There is a wealth of content in Gloomhaven and you can expect to put in 100+ hours if you intend to finish everything.
Clank! The Mummy’s Curse Expansion Review
The title for Clank!: The Mummy’s Curse basically explains everything gamers want to know. There’s a mummy wandering around the dungeon, moving between 4 different dungeon sections. There are also curses. Each curse acquired by a player yields -2 victory points. Sometimes these curses are acquired from just moving, but also attacking the mummy grants a curse.
One player takes on the role of the Knower, who looks at the hidden structure of the compounds that the rest of the players, known as Builders, need to construct. Each Builder gets a set of atoms tiles (carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen) each double-sided to provide various options for bonding. Clue and guess tokens are then assigned to the builders based on player count and desired game difficulty, with less tokens for a harder game. Three unknown compounds are then dealt out to each player, with difficulty of the compounds adjustable based, the level of challenge.
Ganz Schon Clever Review
Ganz Schön Clever is a roll-and-write game for one to four players. Each round, each player will be the active player once and the passive player on each other player’s turn. Players will complete their personal sheets using the different dice that are rolled. The player with the most points wins.
Board to Death TV:
Helionox Video Review
Helionox is a movement based deck building board game where great leaders vie for control in a shattered solar system. One to four players can attempt mastery over competitive, cooperative, and solo modes. Designed to play fast with a quick setup and an imminent ending, Helionox has tension to spare from the first turn to the last.
The Deluxe Edition of Helionox brings together the original core set of Helionox: The Last Sunset and incorporates it with a brand new expansion called Mercury Protocol. The Kickstarter will offer a full sized box and game board along with the expansion and can be purchased via Kickstarter with or without the original core set.
The Mind Review
From time to time there is a discussion around whether or not something is a game or an activity – Apples to Apples comes to mind. These are games which have minimal depth of strategy and derive their enjoyment more from the social interaction than the rules and gameplay. Recently, Spiel de Jahres nominee The Mind has renewed this debate amongst board gamers. Read on to find out if it might be a game for you.
Wreck Raiders Review
Getaway Driver Review
Boss Monster: Rise of The Minibosses Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the brand new installment of Boss Monster - Boss Monster: Rise of The Minibosses. Oh ya baby, its Boss Monster 3 in all its glory! This version is great and offers two main new mechanics: coins and minibosses. Both are implemented very well and it adds even more robust customization of your deadly dungeon. Bring on the epic heroes, for they have no choice but to give you their soul for the win!
But at the moment, I know you're all interested in what sort of reviews we've got for you. Well, I won't make you wait any longer (Saturday won't go on forever, after all).
Today we have: Dice of Crowns, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask, The Undercity: Black River Irregulars Expansion, Legendary: Deadpool Expansion, Firefly: Crime and Punishment Expansion, Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle, Tokaido App, Gloomhaven, Potion Explosion App, Planetarium, V-Commandos, Maximum Apocalypse, Jump Drive, The Colonists, and Stinker.
Toucan Play That Game:
Dice of Crowns Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Dice of Crowns by Thing 12 Games.
Play Board Games:
Pathfinder Adventure Card Game: Mummy’s Mask Review
Mummy’s Mask is the fourth adventure path in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game system. It adds more adventure, more fun and a few new rules.
The Undercity: Black River Irregulars Expansion Review
The Black River Irregulars expansion adds new heroes, a 5 or 6 player count and epic heroes to the Undercity board game.
Legendary: Deadpool Expansion Review
The Deadpool expansion adds Marvel’s looniest anti-hero to the Legendary deck-building series. It is a fairly typical Legendary expansion except that it brings Deadpool’s lunacy with it.
Firefly: Crime and Punishment Expansion Review
Crime and Punishment is the latest small expansion for Firefly the game. It adds more Misbehave cards, Alliance Alert cards and some new Setup and Story cards.
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle Review
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle is a cooperative deck-building game. You play as Harry or one of his friends to defeat Lord Voldemort.
Tokaido App Review
Tokaido is a unique board game about taking a journey. You gain VPs by stopping at different places along the path. Read about the digital implementation.
Board to Death TV:
Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Players will take on the role of a wandering adventurer with their own special set of skills and their own reasons for travelling to this dark corner of the world. Players must work together out of necessity to clear out menacing dungeons and forgotten ruins. In the process they will enhance their abilities with experience and loot, discover new locations to explore and plunder, and expand an ever-branching story fueled by the decisions they make.
Potion Explosion App Review
So let's get this straight; Potion Explosion is a board game, based on a mobile app that now been turned into a mobile app. Confused? Don't be, because Potion Explosion is a fun little game that works just as well on both the tabletop and your telephone or tablet.
The premise is simple, you need to brew potions and do it better than your opponent. To do this you will need to gather four different ingredients each represented by coloured marbles, in varying quantities. Each turn you are only allowed to collect one ingredient from the rack, but if by doing so two ingredients of the same colour come into contact then they explode and you get to collect all of those of the same colour. If by removing these ingredients you then cause another group of the same colour to come into contact then you also get to collect those as well. It means you can set off a cascade and grab a handful of ingredients by simply removing one key ingredient.
A few months ago when I took a peek at Eclipse: New Dawn for the Galaxy, I may have let slip that I was a student of Astrophysics. Sitting in or on an observatory in the middle of winter was all very well, but it did have a habit of reducing one’s tackle to the size of a cashew nut given that the observatory in question was in Scotland. Thankfully it wasn’t all steering telescopes and going cross-eyed trying to discern one speck of light from another. Part of my study of all things “space” involved the formation of stars and consequentially, the formation of planets. I could start harping on about accretion disks, gravitational fields and potential wells, but I’m sure Steve doesn’t want to lose our readership.
Having said all that, it seems that Game Salute have an interest in planetary formation because they’ve recently released Planetarium following a Kickstarter campaign. Every time I hear that word, I instantly think of the South Park episode – not because of Cartman’s cheesy poofs try-out, but because Dr. Adams can’t pronounce the “T” in Planetarium. According to my better half, saying that repeatedly for 6 weeks starts to wear thin. I fail to see the problem myself.
Board Game Quest:
Players in V-Commandos are WWII soldiers taking on missions of various types including assassination, rescue, stealing plans and overall sabotage. Even if certain commandos are killed on the mission, the team wins (usually) or loses as a whole.
Maximum Apocalypse Preview
Maximum Apocalypse combines the replay value of classic endless dungeon roguelikes (e.g. Rogue, NetHack) with the best parts of mission directed dungeon crawlers and campaigns (e.g. Imperial Assault, Conan). After randomly generating the map, players choose which survivor role to take on and then determine the post apocalyptic flavor of the day: zombies, aliens or nuclear fallout. Each hellish landscape has a unique set of monsters and missions to overcome and all the while, players are attempting to mitigate limited resources and degrading health.
Tokaido iOS Review
If you aren’t familiar with Tokaido, can you start by reading our full review. However if you want the quick summary, Tokaido is a game about a journey from Kyoto to Edo (modern-day Tokyo). However unlike in race games, the pace in Tokadio is a leisurely one. It’s about taking in the sights, sounds, and experiences of the journey.
Over the course of this four day trip, players will be stopping at inns, hot springs, temples, and other scenic locations. The goal, of course, is to earn the most victory points by the end of the trip.
Jump Drive Review
Jump Drive is a hand-management card game for two to four players set in the Race for the Galaxy universe. Players are expanding their space empires through researching technologies and colonizing (or conquering) worlds. The player with the most points wins.
The Colonists Review
The Epic Strategy Game. It’s emblazoned on the front of the box like a badge of honor. Or perhaps it’s a warning. With a self reported playing time of up to 4 hours, The Colonists isn’t shy to let you know that you’re in for a long night of gaming. But worry not. For a game that aims to steal away your evening, it’s relatively easy to learn and play. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not ‘My First Board Game’ material, but it’s not as intimidating as eight pounds of cardboard might initially suggest.
Stinker is a party game for three to six players. Players use their letter tiles to create the best answer to the prompt, judged by another player. At the end of the game, whoever has the most points wins.
From the campaign:
It's time to join the adventure! Whether you are a veteran mercenary or this is your first foray into the wilds of Gloomhaven, I am happy to have you on board.
Through this Kickstarter, you can pledge to receive a copy of the second printing of Gloomhaven, complete with new health and experience trackers and a revised rule book and scenario book. Your game will come with miniatures for all the character classes, but you can also purchase extra sets of miniatures and standees.
If you already own the game, you can pledge to receive just the upgraded trackers and revised books. In addition, there is also an all-new mini expansion of 17 solo scenarios available.
The Kickstarter is doing alright...
By that, I mean it's already over $1mil and still has 25 days to go.
But that's for later (well, later to me now as I'm typing this, not later from the time you read this, since I'm typing this at 6am and will be gaming at 2pm when it posts).
Right now we've got reviews of: London, Colosseum, Ophidian 2360, Ore-Some, Critter Combat, Gloomhaven, Runebound: The Gilded Blade Expansion, Mage Wars: Arena Paladin vs Siren Expansion, Conquest of Speros, Castles of Burgundy, Flamme Rouge, and Ponzi Scheme.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (02:11); final thoughts and review (16:58)
Intro (00:00); game overview (00:50); final thoughts and review (13:57)
Toucan Play That Game:
Ophidian 2360 Review
In this video you can find out my thoughts on Ophidian 2360 by Hack and Slash Games.
In this paid video you can find out about Ore-Some by One Free Elephant.
Critter Combat Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at the new Critter Combat from Rare Mind Games. This is currently on Kickstarter with a super low funding goal. Please go out there an check this out as it is really a great little card game for kids and adults.
The mechanics are simple but the game still offers a good level of strategic thought process as you decide how to use 1 of your 3 available actions on your turn.
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Gloomhaven! This is the game play review featuring game mechanics, my thoughts on quicker startup, layout and all the goodness that makes Gloomhaven. I will have to say, it will not be surprising to see this game make best game of 2017 as it is fantastic and the more you play the more you want to play and build out your board. It really offers a full RPG experience in a traditional board game setting.
So get out there and pick up a copy when it hits retail as this is a gamer's paradise!
Runebound: The Gilded Blade Expansion Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at The Gilded Blade a Runebound 3rd edition expansion featuring a new miniature, items, abilities and adventure cards. So as the festival takes place, buy sell and loot all you can - but watch out for thieves because they are everywhere in this one.
Play Board Games:
Mage Wars Arena: Paladin vs Siren Expansion Review
Paladin vs Siren is the newest expansion for Mage Wars Arena. It adds two new mages with unique playing styles and new creatures and spells.
Board Game Quest:
Conquest of Speros Review
In Conquest of Speros, each player will take control of one of four different factions and battle for various locations. Location types and resources from those locations translate into points at the end of the game, with the player having the most points being crowned the winner.
Castles of Burgundy Review
Based on The Castles of Burgundy, the card game of the same name has players as lords of lands in renaissance France. Their goal is the expanding of their estates through the construction of buildings, creating farms, mining, shipping goods, and constructing castles. This is accomplished through the playing of cards to form sets and using cards with dice symbols as virtual dice. The player who earns the most points from this variety of activities wins.
Flamme Rouge Review
There’s a fundamental question that every race-themed board game has to ask and answer, and that is this: what makes the track any more than a simple scoreboard? Or, in other words, what makes the race a race?
Ponzi Scheme Review
Ponzi Scheme is an economic trading game for three to five players. Players are fraudsters luring investors with impossible promises, trying to build the most profitable shell companies. The player with the most points in industries (without going bankrupt) wins.
Today we have: Runebound: Fall of the Dark Star, Runebound: Caught in a Web, Castle Panic: Engines of War, Pests, Gloomhaven, Mysterium Digital Edition, Insider, Hands in the Sea, Villages of Valeria, and Covert.
Runebound: Fall of the Dark Star Expansion Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at Fall Of The Dark Star, a Runebound 3rd edition expansion. This expansion is a little different than what we have seen so far and I like that. Fantasy Flight does a nice job with changing up the feel of each expansion, adding new game mechanics and player interactions. I don't want to spoil the end game on this one, so I will leave it to you to discover!
So go grab this expansion, to an already fantastic game!
Runebound: Caught in a Web Expansion Review
theMCGuiRE review takes a look at one of RuneBound's 3rd edition expansions, Caught In A Web. This is a great expansion that adds a new villain to the game! All you need to do is have the base game and this easily integrates with the startup rules. You also get a brand new character to play with including all new skills and abilities.
So go grab this expansion, to an already fantastic game!
Play Board Games:
Castle Panic: Engines of War Expansion Review
Engines of War is the third expansion for Castle Panic. It introduces siege weapons to the game and new monsters to defeat.
The game is a 2-6 player light strategy tabletop game where the aim is to clear the house of Pests using your exterminator, his traps and a toolbox full of tricks, before any of your oppenents!
Mechanicaly this game is ticking all the right box’s, you never really know who is going to win until the last minute as everything can change with a well played toolbox card or an unfortunate roll of a dice, this makes sure that even people falling behind the obvious leader still has a hope in hell of pulling it all back at the last minute. The only rule i’m never too keen on in any game is the elimination rule which knocks a player out before the game has ended, but in this game you would have to be extremely unlucky to get eliminated in the early stages.
Drive Thru Review:
Intro (00:00); game overview (03:15); final thoughts and review (27:27)
Mysterium Digital Edition Review
I hope you’ve had a chance to play Mysterium in its cardboard form. We reviewed the unpronounceable Polish version, and while largely unchanged the North American release is beautifully produced with some great rules updates that add to the fun.
If you’re unfamiliar with the game, it plays out a bit like a murder mystery with a supernatural twist. One player, the Ghost, must communicate to everyone else via “dreams” – represented in the game by works of abstract art – in order to get each player to correctly select a suspect, location, and weapon from a wide array of options. Once all players have discovered their correct selections, a final round is played to see if players can guess the true culprit of a murder with a single set of clues.
Insider is a guessing/social deduction game for four to eight players. Players ask the Master yes or no questions to discover the hidden word. The Insider knows the word and tries to direct conversation toward success. The Insider wins if the word is guessed but he or she goes undetected; the other players win if they can discover the hidden word and find the Insider.
Hands in the Sea Review
In this two-player war game you will command Rome or Carthage as the city-states battle for supremacy of the central Mediterranean. It’s also a deck-builder. If visions of a Few Acres of Snow are dancing in your head, all you need to know is this is the ancient version and you may want to skip to the critique below.
Board Game Quest:
Villages of Valeria Review
In this village-building card game, players are trying earn the most victory points at the end of the game. This is accomplished by developing resources, constructing buildings, and recruiting adventurers. Players will be using the game’s 5 actions in a Lead-Follow mechanic to develop, harvest, build, recruit, and tax. In addition to points, many of the buildings and adventurers will provide special powers for the player to exploit, giving the game a bit of an engine building feel to it.
Mysterium iOS Review
Mysterium is a cooperative game where one player assumes the role of a restless ghost, while the other players act as psychic, paranormal investigators trying to put the spirit’s soul to rest.
To do that, the psychics need to find out who the true culprit of a murder is. The ghost will be communicating with the psychics through dreams. In game this is handled by the ghost passing the other players dreams: cards with abstract artwork on them that should clue the psychics in to a specific card in the array before them.
Covert melds together a theme of secret agencies operating in post-WWII Europe aiming to complete a variety of missions. Players will need to manage dice-as-workers, placing them on various spots to move agents to locations and gather resources. This couples with some light puzzle-solving masquerading as code breaking and the disruptive influence of other players to create the right feel for a spy-vs-spy game. The player who best breaks codes and completes the most valued missions is declared the winner.