Category Archives: Gaming News

Twilight Imperium: SU & SD review

Shut Up & Sit Down have posted their video review of Twilight Imperium 4th Edition.

Even if you are not interested in the game, just have a look at the video to see what this is all about, because this game is an absolute classic and the game that made FFG as we know it today possible.

Imperial Assault will get app support soon

FFG has published more details about Legends of the Alliance, the app for Star Wars – Imperial Assault:

Legends of the Alliance is a free companion app for Imperial Assault that promises to revolutionize the way that you play the game. Until now, your campaign games of Imperial Assault have been divided between two sides. Up to four players became heroes of the Alliance, fighting for freedom across the galaxy. The final player took on the role of the Empire—commanding Imperial forces, triggering powerful events, and serving as the heroes’ opponent over the course of the campaign.

With the Legends of the Alliance app, you immediately have the chance to challenge and reform these existing roles. The Legends of the Alliance app assumes the role of the Imperial player—handling every aspect of the game once controlled by that player, whether commanding the Imperial forces in battle, springing traps on the Rebel heroes, and inviting you to explore secret bases and strange planets in entirely new ways.

At its core, Legends of the Alliance introduces a fully-formed, cooperative way to play Imperial Assault, controlling all of the soldiers and responsibilities once handled by the Imperial player and freeing you and your friends to unite against the Galactic Empire.

The app will include a tutorial and a new five-mission campaign, playable with only the base set. But as with the Descent app, you can add your expansions to the in-game collection and expand the content available in the app.

According to the article, the app will get released soon. If it will be the same as with the Descent app, it should be available for iOS, Android and steam.

Link: FFG Announcement

Wizkids aquires Magic licence

Wizkids and Wizards of the Coast already have a licensing relationship for D&D board games and miniatures. This licence has now been expanded to include Magic: The Gathering. Again the agreement includes board games and miniatures.

The first products will be miniatures players can use to represent creatures during Magic games. The first board game is expected to get released in autumn 2018.

Link: ICv2 News

Z-Man Games announces new Kingsburg edition

Z-Man Games has announced a new edition of the classic dice placement game Kingsburg.

Z-Man Games is pleased to announce the upcoming release of a new edition of Kingsburg, a game of city building and courtly intrigue for two to five players!

In every game of Kingsburg, you are free to construct your province as you see fit and this definitive edition offers more choices than ever before. Containing the base game, all five modules from the To Forge a Realm expansion, and the brand-new Alternate Advisor Rewards module, you will have more options than ever before!

Z-Man Games has also published an interview with the game designer of Kingsburg Andrea Chiarvesio. He explains some of the new elements of the new edition and why in his opinion Kingsburg is still such a popular game.

Links:

After-Essen reports: Two Podcast and a video

Essen ended a week ago, but many of us are still busy reading all the reports about the show to get a feeling for the most interesting games coming out of Essen this year.

Two podcast teams (and I guess there are much more out there, but these are the two I’ve found in my newsfeed) have been at Essen and have now posted their after-Essen show report.

And Paul Grogan, aka Gaming Rules!, has posted his Essen 2017 haul video:

 

 

Essen 2017: Geekbuzz and Fairplay Ranking

Essen 2017 was last weekend and the results of this years Geekbuzz and Fairplay ranking are in.

Geekbuzz 2017 (Source):

1. Azul
2. Charterstone
3. Altiplano
4. Fog of Love
5. Clans of Caledonia
6. Dragonsgate College
7. Photosynthesis
8. Noria
9. Agra
10. Anachrony
11. Indian Summer
12. Meeple Circus
13. Codenames Duet
14. Viral
15. Gaia Project
16. Pandemic Legacy
17. Chimera Station
18. Dragon Castle
19. Barenpark
20. Muse

Just relying on the Geekbuzz is a risk because of the way the data gets collected in Essen. So let’s have a look at the Fairplay Scouting, a different ranking done by a German gaming magazine who are doing this now for years.

Here are the final results from Sunday (source):

1. Gaia Project (Geekbuzz: 15)
2. Clans of Caledonia (Geekbuzz: 5)
3. Azul  (Geekbuzz: 1)
4. Rajas of Ganges  (Geekbuzz: 50)
5. Altiplano (Geekbuzz: 3)
6. Istanbul Dice Game (Geekbuzz: not inside the Top 100)
7. Heaven & Ale  (Geekbuzz: 35)
8. Memoarrr (Geekbuzz: not inside the Top 100)
9. Noria (Geekbuzz: 8)
10. Calimala (Geekbuzz: 29)

So the four games with a high scoring on both rankings are Gaia Project, Clans of Caledonia, Altiplano and Noria.  Let’s see if these four games will establish themselves as the leader of the pack in the next weeks and months.

 

Essen releases 2016: Staying power or hype?

Every year more and more games get released at Essen. One of the instruments I’m using after the show to sort through all the games and find the ones I need to get for the shop is the Geekbuzz. The Geekbuzz is based on ratings visitors to the show can leave at the Boardgamegeek stand at Essen after they have played a game.

But the question for me is are these ratings a good indicator for a game becoming a big hit or are just the result of the show hype around certain games?

So I had a look at last years Geekbuzz results, more specific the Top 30 and compared them to the shop sales beginning at the end of last years Essen show going all the way to the beginning of this years show. Which games out of the Top 30 have been a success for us not just in the aftermath of the show, but over 12 months and which games have flamed out after the initial hype?

Geekbuzz 2016 Top 30:

  1. Terraforming Mars: Success, ended up in #4 of the sales Top 30 and has also spawned two already very successful expansions.
  2. Cottage Garden: Another big hit and it actually overtook Terraforming Mars as our top game of the last 12 month. Let’s see if Indian Summer can come near to this.
  3. Inis: The first smaller disappointment – after all the hype (especially after the SU&SD review) the game was quite hard to get for a while but after it was available again it didn’t came close to the sales number of other top games and ended up outside of the Top 10 Sales.
  4. 7 Wonders Duel – Pantheon: A big hit for us when it was released, but after the initial demand it didn’t show the constant sales the other top hits have shown. Maybe because it is an expansion and not a full game. End result in sales: #24
  5. Adrenaline: the first flop for us. We sold a few copies based on pre-orders, but had a hard time to sell the rest of our initial stock. End result: Outside of Top 75 in sales.
  6. Great Western Trail: Number 2 on our sales list and one of our biggest sellers at the UK Games Expo.
  7. Codenames Pictures: Party games are usually not so important for us, so no surprise that it didn’t make it into our Top 30 in sales.
  8. A Feast for Odin: Hampered by a massive price tag and even bigger stock shortage in the UK this game never had a chance to match the Essen hype.
  9. Fabled Fruit: After Adrenaline the second flop in the Top 10. One of my favourite games of Essen 2016, this never sold in larger numbers. Surprisingly the Fast Forward games which are based on Fabled Fruit are doing much better.
  10. Not Alone: very low number of copies available everywhere also meant that this game never had a chance to match the hype. A new edition is now available, but unfortunately too late.
  11. Captain Sonar: one of the surprise hits of Essen 2016 it did also very well in sales. Again this could have done better with more copies available during the year, but it still ended up as a respectable #15 in sales.
  12. Dream Home: great family game and did – in part also because of a great price point – very well. End result: #27 in sales.
  13. Scythe: The Geekbuzz for this game was a near perfect indicator for the sales success. End result: #14 with Scythe: Invaders from Afar also in the Top 30.
  14. Cry Havoc: Another flop. By the time Essen 2016 came around the game had already lost alot of the steam generated at a prerelease at GenCon 2016 and it never recovered from this. End result: Outside Top 50 in sales.
  15. 4 Gods: The biggest flop of them all, sold just a couple of copies from the initial stock, had to get rid of the rest in a sale after Christmas.
  16. 3 Wishes: Did quite well after the release as a possible Love Letter replacement, but never sustained the demand. Result: Inside Top 75 in sales
  17. Power Grid – The Card Game: Was expecting more of it, because Power Grid is normally doing quite well. But this one well straight on its face.
  18. Fog of Love: We didn’t sell the game, so can’t say if it has been a success
  19. Fields of Green: Good initial interest in this one, but like quite a few games in this list never produced any significant sales after the pre-orders had been shipped. Result: Top 100 in sales.
  20. Bios Genesis: Did quite well for such a complex game. But too much of a niche game to match the Geekbuzz ranking. Result: Top 75
  21. The Colonists: A big game from Mayfair that was very popular. It nearly reached the Geekbuzz Ranking and ended up at #26.
  22. Armageddon: Big disappointment for me. I liked the game a lot, but it did nothing for us in sales.
  23. London Dread: Very well received at Essen as a Time Stories alternative it didn’t do too well, once reviews after Essen started to come in. Result: Outside Top 75
  24. In the Name of Odin: Same as Armageddon, personally I thought a very good game, but in a year with lots of Viking games maybe not special enough. Result: Outside Top 100.
  25. Pandemic – Reign of Cthulhu: Pandemic always sell, not enough to get into the Top 30. Result: Outside Top 50
  26. Key to the City – London: Another flop. Despite Keyflower being a great game, this did nothing and we still have copies collecting dust on our shelves
  27. Ice Cool: Won Children’s Game of the Year award and good sales for a  Children’s Game (which normally do next to nothing for us), but not anywhere near the Geekbuzz Ranking.
  28. Ave Roma: We sold our initial stock quite quick, but the restock didn’t do anything at all. End result: Outside Top 75.
  29. Flamme Rouge: One of the biggest hits of 2017. At times we couldn’t get stock in fast enough. Even managed to beat Terraforming Mars and reached #3 in sales.
  30. Capital Lux: We didn’t sell the game, so can’t say if it has been a success

So in the end, 10 out of 30 games fulfilled their promise. Not too bad and I was expecting worse. Now the interesting question is which games of this year’s Geekbuzz list will stand the test of time.

Sagrada: Reprint expected in December/January

Sagrada is a highly sought after game at the moment, but unfortunately, it is out of print. But the good news is that there is a reprint coming. The exact date is not clear yet, but the publisher is expecting it to be available sometime in December. Which would mean that the game could be available in the UK in December/January.

We will post further updates as soon as we know more about the UK release of the reprint.

Asmodee on Twitch at Essen

Throughout Spiel this week in Essen, Asmodee will be hosting the Discoveryzone streaming stage, which will be streamed live on Twitch.

You can download the schedule for all four days here, the highlights for me are (all times are UK time):

  • Thursday: 4PM Tea & Talk – Eric Lang
  • Friday: 12PM Fallout – Fantasy Flight Games
  • Friday: 5PM Gaia Project – Z-Man Games
  • Saturday: 12PM OTYS – Libellud & Pearl Games

Link: Streaming Schedule