Rescue Run, A Star Realms Novel

Rescue Run by Jon Del Arroz is a new novel based on the science fiction deck-building card game, Star Realms.

Since being court-martialed by the Star Empire, smuggler and thief Joan Shengtu has done what she needed to do in order to survive—gaining a reputation along the way. When a new client’s mission goes sideways, Joan finds herself caught in the middle of dueling gambits between the Star Empire and the Trade Federation. Recruited to perform the heist of a lifetime, the fate of the Star Empire rests in her hands.

On the opposite side of the galaxy, Regency BioTech manager Dario Anazao sees an unsustainable situation brewing that promises a full-scale revolution. The megacorporations of the Trade Federation have kept the population in horrible working conditions, violating their human rights. With no one else to help, Dario must take it upon himself to rescue the workers of Mars.

Can two heroes from warring factions come together to make a difference in the galaxy?

It’s available now via Amazon: $12.95 paperback, $2.99 Kindle.

Yamataï Announced by Days of Wonder

Designed by Bruno Cathala and Marc Paquien, Days of Wonder’s new title, Yamataï, is expected to hit stores in Europe in March and in the US in May at a suggested retail price of €54/$60.

In the game 2 to 4 are competing to build the best city, the capitol of Yamataï. The full rulebook, along with some of the game’s beautiful artwork, can be found on Days of Wonder’s site.

A new Days of Wonder big-box release is always exciting, and Yamataï looks to be no exception.

MASHED, the Roleplaying Game

MASHED is a Korean War Powered-by-the-Apocalypse roleplaying game set in a U.S. Mobile Army Surgical Hospital. Its official description includes the expected disclaimer about not being associated with the earlier M*A*S*H media property (TV show, movie, or novel). However, whether acknowledged or not, the game appears to share its namesake’s sensibilities.

Although your characters spend long hours performing surgery, MASHED compresses these into short events to focus on the most dramatic moments. Much of the game actually occurs outside of the operating tent, at times when the flow of casualties has ebbed. Here you may fall in or out of love, fight the orders of ineffective top brass, set up pranks, help your South Korean allies, pick fights, seduce your way through the unit, pull rank, and much more.

Included in the MASHED RPG PDF ($15) are seven playbooks (Angel, Corpsman, Cowboy, Cutter, Doc, Grunt, and Padre), a patient playsheet, commanding officer field manuals (guidebooks and workbooks), a personnel tracker, a calendar, and camp maps for the 8099 MASH.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesDriveThruRPG is in the middle of its annual New Year, New Game sale. Among the 948 items discounted, a few highlights:

A Humble Book Bundle for Pathfinder Worldscape features the comic, Pathfinder rule books, and a complete adventure path.

Bundle of Holding features Adventurer Conqueror King for epic-scale adventures in and old-school RPG.

The first edition of King Arthur Pendragon RPG is free on DriveThruRPG until the 31st.

Osprey Publishing’s January Sale includes more than 400 items at up to 70% off. The company is also running another modeling competition, this time for work based on ancient Rome.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away a Vikings Gone Wild Ultimate Set from Lucky Duck Games.

Get a free pack of A.J.’s Toyboarders (toy skateboarding figures) with the purchase of either Ramps & Rails or Skateboard Madness board games from Mindtwister USA.

Through February, new and renewed premium memberships to the U.S. Backgammon Federation will get free access to the GammonSite Backgammon server for 1 year.

Subscribers to HarnQuest can get any of Columbia Games’ Harn titles in PDF form for 50% off.

To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Reaper Minis is giving out free Grim Reaper figures, one for each $40 of product ordered.

Operational Studies Group is holding a Winter Sale.

Dog Might Games’ new Fiery Dice Chests are an introductory 20% off.

Bunny Rabbit Playing Jenga

Shogi de Chocolat

From Isshindo Honpo Co. in Tokyo, it’s a set of chocolate Shogi pieces, one each king, rook, bishop, knight, lance, pawn, gold general, and silver general. The pieces are regulation shape and size, and endorsed by the Japan Shogi Association. Though made of the same chocolate, the different pieces are said to present different textures, mouth-feel, and scent.

Available January 26th, a set of Shogi de Chocolat will retail for ¥1400.

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Back in November, I had posted about the digital release of Colt Express for Steam, Android, and iOS. I finally got a chance to sit down and give the Steam version a try and put it through its paces.

What hit me right off the bat was how thematic the digital port is. Just like the tabletop version, the digital version is just oozing with that western train robbery theme. Initially, you’re brought into the tutorial which pretty much covers anything you need to know about playing the game, all while getting you familiarized with the interface and how things work. Everything is extremely streamlined and easy-to-follow.

Colt Express gives you pretty much what you’d expect in a digital tabletop port. You can play the game against other people, play online, and play against the computer in Classic Mode. What really makes the game shine is its Story Mode, a single player campaign with 6 playable characters and over 30 different missions. It’s a bit more rewarding that just playing the game over and over with bots.

It seems that digital tabletop adaptations are getting better and better, and Colt Express really shines. It’s certainly not a hastily thrown together port, but a finely crafted, polished game that’s worth every cent. If you’re a fan of Colt Express, there’s no reason for you not to snag this now. If you’ve never played Colt Express, I can’t think of any better way to give the game a shot and familiarize yourself with it.

Colt Express can be purchased on Steam for $9.99, Google Play for $6.99, and iTunes for $6.99.

If you’d like to see how the game actually played, I recently streamed myself through the tutorial.

A Steam copy of Colt Express was provided free for review by Asmodee Digital.

 

The wait is over. Asmodee and Playsoft have released Mysterium on iOS and Android for $6.99 and on Steam for $9.99. Up to 7 players can play, but the game also offers a solo mode with several hours of investigation to unfold.

When developing a game, American game designers often weigh the advantages of printing locally in the United States with printing overseas. Overseas printing is usually cheaper, but slower to produce. For small companies or individuals fulfilling their first Kickstarter campaign, this can be a simple decision to make. For larger companies, overseas printing can result in substantial savings as current U.S. corporate tax laws can allow toy and game manufacturers to deduct the cost of imported goods from their profits. But a proposal to apply a broad adjustment to tax law would strip larger companies of that ability.

“The border adjustment, part of the Republicans’ plan for a revamped tax system, would apply taxes based on where a product is sold rather than where it is made or where the maker’s operations or executives are based. Imports couldn’t be deducted as a cost of doing business, while exports would be exempted,” reads an article published in the Wall Street Journal. Timothy Conder, a toy-industry analyst for Wells Fargo, stated that Hasbro generates about half its revenue domestically but manufactures about 95% of its product overseas. Under a worst-case scenario, he estimates Hasbro’s 2017 earnings would drop from $4.76 a share to $4.14 with the tax code change.

Additional reporting can be found at The Wall Street Journal.

New fellowships are available for research at the The Strong’s National Museum of Play. The idea is to support researchers accessing the museum’s library; collection of toy, doll, and game artifacts; and video and electronic game resources. The G. Rollie Adams Research Fellowships will provide academic professionals, independent scholars, museum scholars, and advanced graduate students at the masters or doctorate level with $500 per-week stipends. Applications are due April 20th.

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