Pokémon TCG: EX Power Trio Tins Giveaway!

PKU10919 horizontalIt’s time for another Pokemon TCG giveaway! This time we’re giving away a set of the new EX Power Trio Tins.

These tins each include:

  • 1 of 3 special foil cards: Venusaur-EX, Charizard-EX, or Blastoise-EX!
  • 4 Pokémon TCG booster packs!
  • A code to unlock an item in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online.

All you need to do to enter is comment below with which Pokemon TCG card you believe is the strongest. Get your comment here before October 24th at 6pm EST, after which a random winner will be chosen.

The Pokémon Company International is not the giveaway sponsor nor coordinator, nor has any formal association with the contest, but is a supplier of the product.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesPatch Products is giving away 10 copies of Stratego via Facebook.

TOR is giving away three copies of the Mistborn Adventure Game and Alloy of Law setting supplement.

The Once & Future Podcast is giving away 10 autographed copies of the Battlestar Galactica RPG.

Ares Magazine is running a game design contest open only to women. The prize is $100, or $1,000 if the game is published in the magazine.

unnamedWizards of the Coast has just announced that Garruk’s Revenge, the new expansion for Magic 2015 – Duels of the Planeswalkers, will be available starting November 5 on PC via Steam and Android via Google Play, with Apple iPad, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Amazon Kindle to follow soon after.

The expansion will cost $4.99, and will feature fan-favorite cards from the Alara block. This expansion also makes it possible to earn every card from the base game and the expansion through game play alone, something that wasn’t previously possible. Once players complete the main storyline, they can earn Battle Boosters by winning multiplayer battles. Previous called Premium Boosters, these packs will feature the cards that were previously unavailable unless purchased.

Stockpile—A Kickstarter Preview

Stockpile LogoStock market games have a reputation for being, well, boring. And though I couldn’t say that Stockpile—which has players buying and selling stock certificates with the goal of accumulating the greatest net worth—is a laugh-out-loud kind of experience, I am quite comfortable recommending it as a very interesting and engaging strategy game.

First of all, Stockpile really is easy to learn. The game proceeds in rounds of buying and selling. Buying takes place in a combined auction of various bundles—primarily stock certificates, but also trading fees and the occasional bonus action—assembled by the players themselves. Selling takes place in normal round-the-table turn order, each player having the opportunity to sell any number of stocks at the current market price.

Second, buying and selling are both spiced up with a bit of hidden information. At the beginning of every round, each of the players is dealt a set of company and forecast cards, which are later used after the selling phase (at the end of the round) to adjust market prices. In between, as the players add certificates from the draw pile to the stockpiles for auction, each places one face-up and one face-down.

Simple mechanics with a twist of secret knowledge makes for some interesting choices and results in some tense moments, in both the auction and selling phases. For example, the selling phase can see runs develop on a particular stock when one player sells it and the others suspect insider information.

As company stock values move up and down in the market, they may occasionally split, go bankrupt, or pay dividends. Relatively easy to track, these thematic details further enhance the sense of market volatility without appreciably adding to the complexity of the game.

Overall, while no real-time zombie game, Stockpile does a great job of finding fun in the world of finance.

A game of Stockpile takes about an hour and handles up to five players (in fact, it probably works better with the full complement of five, which is how I played it each time). The Kickstarter project was launched today by Nauvoo Games with a goal of $25,000 and an estimated delivery date of July 2015.


A prototype copy of Stockpile was provided free for review by Nauvoo Games.

Second Look—Magic the Gathering: Khans of Takir

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.It’s taken me a bit longer than usual to get my thoughts together about Khans of Takir, the latest block in the Magic the Gathering universe. This block, unlike many other, really shines when it comes to triple color decks. Even the Intro Decks are all tri-color. That makes it a bit harder few newer players, and this block seems squarely focused on the established Magic player.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of this block. The way the cards work together is nothing less than you’d expect. The art is fantastic, the card list is great, and this is a solid set overall. I’m very much looking forward to the next two sets in this block, and it’s got me excited to a level I haven’t been at since Return to Ravnica.

03e55l4d43Wizards sent me a Fat Pack and 4 Intro Decks. The Intro Decks I split between myself and my 9-year-old son. Both of us quickly dissected them and beefed them up a bit. Out of the box, they’re great decks. Tweak ‘em a bit and they’re excellent decks. The Fat Pack went to my 7-year-old daughter to get her collection started. In hindsight, this probably wasn’t the best idea. Like I stated before, this set isn’t really for beginners. After some sorting and subbing in some extra cards I have from previous blocks she was golden. For someone her age I would recommend getting them started with the M15 Core stuff.

Overall I’m exceedingly happy with the new set. Not only that, but we have a new Magic player in the house. You can’t beat that.

A Fat Pack and 4 Intro Decks were provided free for review by Wizards of the Coast.

The Last Parsec

The Last ParsecThe Last Parsec is a new campaign setting being developed by Pinnacle Entertainment for the Savage Worlds roleplaying game. As the name implies, it’s a science fiction setting. Yet besides that, The Last Parsec is bit difficult to pin down. It has a little bit of everything. As lead project manager, Timothy Brian Brown, explained to Purple Pawn:

The Last Parsec uses the Savage Worlds core rules and the Science Fiction Companion, which gives Game Masters the key sci-fi elements that we feel introduce the most exotica into galaxy-spanning roleplaying fun. Then, rather than focus on just a few central conflicts or themes and funnel everybody into those, we created a vast panoply of possibilities where GMs and players can engage in whatever sort of sci-fi fun they choose. It’s a big universe, and The Last Parsec reflects that.

Pinnacle’s approach to product roll-out for The Last Parsec is also a little different. Instead of starting off with a core book, Pinnacle’s initial release will be three campaign books. Six short-fiction works are already available.

In short, our goal is maximum adventurous fun at launch. We’re providing a Primer free as a PDF download to anyone and everyone, which gives all the information on The Last Parsec’s Known Worlds to get everyone started, including the GM. The Plot Point Campaigns and Savage Tales in each of the first three adventure books should keep players plenty involved until we publish the setting book—which will open up every aspect of The Last Parsec for limitless campaigning.

The Last Parsec is up on Kickstarter for another 3 days but has already funded over eight-times over. Pinnacle estimates delivering PDF versions of the books in November, print versions in May.

Tiny Epic Kingdoms

GSGLYTINY01An entire 4X game in a pocket-sized package and a MSRP of $25? That’s Tiny Epic Kindgoms. Put out by Gamelyn Games, and distributed by Game Salute, Tiny Epic Kingdoms has you play through an entire 4X game in only 60 minutes. Players take control of different factions, each with different technology trees and abilities, and work to “eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate” (the 4x model.) The first to build a great tower to protect their realm wins.

After a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, the game is finally hitting shelves on October 31st.

Free Trader App

FTFree Trader is a faithful port of the print-and-play solitaire version of the same game by Felbrigg Herriot. Developed by Baby Marsupial Creations, the game features space exploration, pirates, trading, smuggling, and pretty much everything you’d expect from this type of game. These types of games have been around forever, and I was actually surprised to see the original Free Trader as a physical game. I remember playing something similar way back when on my Palm Pilot.

Free Trader is available for purchase through iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon for $1.99.

Kickstarter Preview—Phoenix Covenant

Billed as Magic The Gathering meets Final Fantasy Tactics, Phoenix Covenant hit Kickstarter and is already off to a great start.

I first got a chance to sit down and play the game at Connecticon this year, and since have received a preview version of the game to take my time with here at home. Played on an 8×6 board, players pit their decks against each other trying to knock the other’s hit points down to zero. This can be done by making it across the board and attacking, or by attacking the other player’s reinforced hard points. Decks include units, structures (that can be built on hard points), commanders, and more. Commanders have the ability to pull new units onto the field near them, instead of in the summoning areas of the board.

Depth is served not only via the units and their stats, but also by weak points, armored areas of cards, and a bit of resource management with your Mana and Command Points. While the board may seem a bit large at first, units have a good range of motion and the action is rather fast paced. Cards work well together, so making sure you’ve got a deck that meshes well is important to victory. If it sounds interesting to you, you can download the manual and a print-and-play demo. The game really only takes 10-15 minutes to learn how to play, as the core rules are relatively simple.

I played this most with my 9-year-old son whose a huge fan of MtG. We’ve had a great time with it, and I really can’t wait to see the final product once the project is funded. Speaking of which, a $15 pledge will get you the full print-and-play version, while a $50 pledge guarantees you a physical copy of the game. There’s also some great perks at higher levels, and some sweet looking stretch goals.

A preview copy of Phoenix Covenant was provided free for review by Adam Porroni.

 

Magic the Gathering Strategy Board Game Details!

 

Magic The Gathering Strategy Board Game2 - UNDER EMBARGOThe following is straight from Hasbro’s PR department, and covers pretty much what anyone knows about the Magic the Gathering Strategy Board Game. Normally I’d condense this, but I want to get as much of the facts into this as possible, so really, here’s all the facts. From what I’ve read here, I’m ready to play the game now! Hopefully I’ll be able to get my grubby little paws on it as soon as possible. From the look of the pictures, and the explanation of the game, it almost sounds as if they’re using a lot of material from Heroscape, and that’s something to be even more excited about.

 

What is the Magic: The Gathering® Strategy Board Game?

  • The Magic: The Gathering® Strategy Board Game is a tactical miniatures game. Play as a Planeswalker—powerful beings from the Magic™ Multiverse—as you summon armies, cast game-changing spells, and outmaneuver your foes on the battlefield. Be the last Planeswalker standing to win!

What is the official name of the game?

  • The final name will be announced at a later date. Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game is a placeholder name.

Who is developing the game?

  • The Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game is being co-developed by Wizards of the Coast and the Hasbro Gaming team responsible for RISK LEGACY and HEROSCAPE.

Who is this game for?

  • The game is for new players looking for a great strategy game, as well as long-term Magic fans! The Strategy Board Game pays homage to the TCG by including many elements and references to the card game, but no prior knowledge of Magic is needed to play the game, making it great for first-time players.

How much will the game cost?

  • Suggested retail price will be announced at a later date.

When will the game be available?

  • The game will be globally available in Fall 2015.

Where will the game be available?

  • It will be available at hobby shops and mass retailers.

Where can I find more information on Magic: The Gathering® Strategy Board Game?

  • Stay tuned to Magic.wizards.com/boardgame and @HasbroNews for more information.

 

GAMEPLAY

How is the game played?

  • In the Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game, players customize the battlefield by designing the map then placing terrain and powerful gylphs. Then players choose one of five different Planeswalkers and move their figure and unique creature squads around the map in a race to out-maneuver opponents and gain tactical advantages! Cast devastating spells, summon powerful squads, and tap into your unique Planeswalker abilities to defeat your opponents. Be the last Planeswalker standing to win!

How many players can play the game?

  • 2-5 players.

How long does it take to play through the game?

  • Between 25 and 45 minutes, depending on the number of players and their level of expertise.

Will the game include any collectible pieces?

  • Each game will include the same five highly detailed, fully painted Planeswalker mini-figures.

What are the five Magic Planeswalker characters who will be featured in the board game?

  • Chandra Nalaar®, Jace Beleren®, Nissa Revane®, Liliana Vess®. The final character will be revealed at later date.

Does the game include Magic trading card game cards?

  • No, the game does not include Magic: The Gathering cards, but it pulls directly from Magic lore and includes references to many classic cards.

Does the game work with the Magic TCG system?

  • No, the Magic: The Gathering Strategy Board Game is a stand-alone experience from the TCG. Many familiar concepts will be present, but streamlined for the board game.

Does the game use any mechanics from the Magic TCG?

  • Yes, the game utilizes several classic Magic mechanics, including deathtouch, flying, and first strike.

What plane will the game take place on?

  • The game will take place on the drifting, mana-rich world of Shandalar™.

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