PAX Unplugged—Ares Games

Just in time for PAX, Ares Games’ launched to retail Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles ($60). It’s a spaceship miniatures combat game in some ways similar to other such games on the market. Movement is facilitated by templates. There are cards for various pilots. And draw tokens to determine damage.

Like its namesake television show, however, the game features an added level of realism for spaceship movement. Ships carry momentum from round to round. They can face and fire one direction while moving in another. And the game even carries rules for elevation. Kinetic energy and other maneuvering factors are tracked for each ship on a small, individual plastic control panel.

Battlestar Galactica Starship Battles starter sets come with four prepainted plastic ship figures, two Colonial Vipers and two Cylon Raiders.

PAX Unplugged—North Star Games

North Star Games has brought to the American market The Quacks of Quedlinburg ($55), winner of the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres (Connoisseur’s Game of the Year) award. Nothing to do with ducks, the game is about concocting miracle cures from such fantastical ingredients as toadstools, mandrake, spiders, pumpkin, and crow skull.

Each round, players draw ingredients from their personal bags and place them around the swirling spaces of their cauldrons. Depending on how far they’ve gone that round, and assuming they’ve managed to avoid blowing up the concoction, they’ll score victory points and purchase additional ingredients.

Some of the ingredients also allow for special actions when placed in the cauldron. For example, crow skulls may allow a player to draw bonus ingredients and mandrake may help prevent blow-ups. Alternate ingredient books are included with the game to vary these impacts.

PAX Unplugged—Brain Games

Brain Games’, who’s big hit is the penguin-flicking Ice Cool, has remade Curse of the Mummy (previously published by Ravensburger) also with a penguin theme. Game-play is essentially the same. Pyramid of the Pengqueen ($30) has a two-sided, vertical, magnetic game board. On one side, a group of players move penguin pieces around the pyramid to collect sets of treasure. On the other, one opposing player moves the mummy piece trying to catch the penguins with its magnet.

Passing on the penguins, Brain Game’s Orc-Lympics ($15) goes with a fantasy theme. Players draft teams of human, goblin, dwarf, elf, halfling, djinn, and orc contestants for a variety of sporting events. Each group has strengths for certain of the sports but at the end of the draft, each player can keep representatives from at most three of the fantasy races.

Pikoko ($30) is a trick-taking card game where players wager on the number of tricks they can take. There’s a twist, though. Instead of seeing one’s own hand of card, players only get to see everyone else’s cards.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesHollandspiele’s Hollandays Sale includes all the company’s games. Additionally, use discount code “MONSTERDEAL” for 10% off orders of $100 or more.

Michigan Savings and More is giving away Utter Nonsense Family Edition from PlayMonster.

Auroch Digital’s Steam games are on-sale. Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is 20% off and Ogre is 50% off.

At DriveThruRPG:

Amazon roleplaying game deals:

Amazon board game deals:

Renegade Game Studios is giving away a new game every day on Twitter though December 18th.

USAopoly is also giving away a new game every day, through December 12th, but the winner must follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Get a free Christmas-themed miniature for every $40 of order from Reaper through the 16th.

Use promo code “GAMEAWARDS” for a free 25 card set in Magic: The Gathering Arena.

Try Small Things is giving away Googly Eyes, Mastermind, Wordsearch, and Sequence from Goliath Games and Pressman Toy.

Enter to win a weekly giveaway by Asmodee UK.

Terraforming Mars upgrades are 15% off at Top Shelf Gamer.

Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast have announced a major new esports initiative for Magic: The Gathering, one that seeks to more closely integrate the game’s tabletop and digital competitive scenes. The companies are launching a Magic Pro League (MPL) with 32 people being offered play and streaming contracts totaling $75,000. Another part of the initiative is a new series of flagship competitions, Mythic Championships, for both tabletop and electronic play.

Mythic Championships will feature Magic Pro League players facing challengers qualified through play on Magic: The Gathering Arena. Details on how the ranking system will work are promised for January.

The first of the new tournaments, a $1 Million Mythic Invitational, will be held at PAX East in Boston (March, 2019). For the whole of 2019, Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast are more than doubling the overall prize pool to $10 million across digital and tabletop platforms.

Pro Tour events previously scheduled for Dallas and Sydney are being cancelled, while those in Cleveland, London, Barcelona, and Richmond will become part of the Mythic Championship series with prize pools of $500,000 each.

Nationals, World Magic Cup, and Team Series events are also being eliminated. However, the 2019 World Championship will bring together players from both MtG Arena and tabletop. And partner-organized tournaments, such as the Grand Prix circuit run by ChannelFireball will continue with increased prize support.

PAX Unplugged—Winning Moves

Winning Moves’ newest games include an original abstract and two revived classics.

The abstract is Triple Cross ($20), which has players filling a vertical device with orange and green pieces to score the greatest number of three-in-a-row sets. The pieces slide in to horizontal rows and can be used to push an opponent’s pieces out the other side. Or a player can snap a clip on the end to fix that row.

Clue Master Detective ($30) is a super-sized version of the classic deduction game, with additional rooms, weapons, and suspects. The mansion board also has snoop spots, which allow a player to look another player’s cards.

A Milton Bradley title from the early ’90s, 13 Dead End Drive is kind of the inverse of Clue. Players divide up the game’s 12 characters in secret and then try to kill off all but their own. Each turn they can move any of the characters around a three-dimensional game board. When they manage to maneuver a character pawn in to one of the various danger spaces, they can press a little lever or switch and literally topple a statue or drop a chandelier on the piece to kill it. 13 Dead End Drive is exclusive to Go! Calendars & Games until January.

PAX Unplugged—AEG

At PAX Unplugged, AEG previewed Tiny Towns (April, $40), a title that pairs resource collecting with polyominoes. Players take turns calling out a resource type for everyone to place in one space of their 4×4 town board. Resource combinations that match specific patterns can then be replaced with a building type—all of the resource pieces are removed and the appropriate building is placed in one of the emptied spaces. Play continues until no one can possibly make another move.

Buildings score victory points, as well as potentially providing some benefits during play. In addition to those available for everyone to build, each player has their own secret building type (referred to as a monument), tougher to fit on the board but with greater benefits.

PAX Unplugged—Gamewright

Gamewright’s newest release is Twin It! ($15), a fast-play matching game with cards in more than 100 different patterns. Each player gets a stack and everyone turns over a new card at the same time. The first to correctly point to a pair of matching cards scores the point.

The cards are also two-sided, making the cards on top of each player’s stack fair-game for matching.

Tsuro Phoenix Rising

For the 10th year of the company, Calliope plans a new release in the Tsuro line. Like previous entries, it’s a path-building game that takes up to eight players. But in this one, Tsuro Phoenix Rising (June, $40), players fly their phoenix pawns through a tile to promote any floating lanterns there in to stars. Then the lantern piece is moved to another tile with a matching colored lantern to show that it has now been released in to the air. The first player to promote seven stars is the winner.

In an advanced version of the game, players not only add new tiles to the sky, they can flip and rotate existing tiles as well.

Of course, the copy of the game previewed at PAX Unplugged was just a prototype. However, already I could see that Calliope’s plans should produce a game that looks as elegant as its theme.


Dire Wolf Digital has announced plans for Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated to release in the fall of 2019. This version of the company’s dungeon-exploring, deck-building game will have players building their own franchise of the fantasy adventuring company featured in the popular live roleplaying stream, Acquisitions Inc. Also, the board, the game, and the setting will evolve as the players progress through a campaign.

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