Card games are any types of games played primarily with cards, excluding collectible card games, but including Poker, Rummy, Bridge, and games with specialized card decks.


ThinkFun has been acquired by international toy company Ravensburger AG. ThinkFun, perhaps best known for its logic puzzles, such as Rush Hour, also produces educational games like Math Dice and the new //CODE series, and recently acquired Khet: The Laser Game.

ThinkFun will join the Ravensburger North America division along with Wonder Forge and Brio. The company, however, will continue to operate out of its Alexandria, Virginia offices and will retain current staff.

Game Blotter

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with games

Someone pilfered uncut sheets of unreleased Magic: The Gathering cards from the factory and posted them for sale online with images. The alleged thief has been arrested and the card sheets recovered. However, with card images already circulating, Wizards of the Coast has ramped up previews for the Ixalan set.

A 31 year old man from St. Cloud, Minnesota was arrested for stabbing his 20 year old Magic: The Gathering opponent seven times in the neck, and for hitting him in the head with a mallet. The suspect has a previous conviction for possession of explosives with criminal intent.

Cary Young is suing Rob Elliot in Victorian County Court (Australia) over royalties he says are owed for contributing 4,000 trivia questions to the board game Smart Ass. Young is a master at trivia who had a legendary run on the television game show Sale of the Century. Elliot, creator of the board game, was also host of Wheel of Fortune.

James Damore, the Google engineer fired by the company after circulating a memo critical of the company’s diversity policies, claims to hold the Chess rating of FIDE Master but no evidence supporting this has been found or provided.

The National Chess Federation of the Philippines banned player Jomel Sinagula for life “for recidivist cheating and identity theft.” Sinagula adopted various aliases for team competitions in order to position himself against lower ranked players. Several of Sinagula’s teammates were banned for 6 month periods for collaborating with the scheme.

Chess player Fernando Alberto Braga has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport a decision by the World Chess Federation (FIDE) not to grant him the title of Grandmaster. Central to the question of Braga’s qualification is whether a rule change made in 2005 should apply to the counting of games he played in 1992 and whether his brief stint with a 2500+ rating in 1998 took place too long ago to meet the requirement.

The U.S. Embassy in Iraq has returned to the Ministry of Culture an antique Chess set formerly owned by Saddam Hussein and stolen in 2003.

At the 2017 Canadian Chess Championship, GM Bator Sambuev and IM Nikolay Noritsyn were in the second blitz game of a tiebreak series to determine the winner, when Noritsyn attempting to promote his passed pawn couldn’t find a spare queen next to the board. So instead, he called out “queen” and replaced the pawn with an upside-down rook (common practice in non-tournament settings). At that point, an arbiter interrupted and ruled the upside-down piece to be a rook, not a queen, noting the presence of a queen there at the side of the board. Later review of video recorded at the tournament, however, revealed that at the time Noritsyn was looking for the queen piece, it was in the hand of his opponent.

Effective July 1 under the FIDE Laws of Chess it became illegal to make a move with two hands (such as when castling or promoting a pawn). Making such a move has the potential to cost a player the game, though in several high-profile games (including the Canadian one mentioned previously), arbiters have failed to intervene over the issue.

A burgler was caught on surveillance video breaking in to a Bronx, New York apartment and stealing board games. Police are looking for help in identifying the culprit.

Recently released government records reveal that in the mid-1990s, conflict and accusations within a San Francisco-area group of Dungeons & Dragons players triggered an investigation by the FBI. Agents were looking for the Unibomber but found just “that the typical war gaming enthusiast is overweight and not neat in appearance.”

Eighteen people were arrested for gambling at cards in Anlong Veng, Cambodia. Police in the village, known for being the last holdout of the Khmer Rouge and final resting place of Pol Pot, took the players back to the station and “educated” them on the dangers of their habit.

A Muslim Cricket player in India suffered harassment online after posting to Facebook a picture of himself playing Chess with his son. The harassers apparently side with the Muslim televangelist in Turkey who said that “playing Chess is worse than gambling and eating pork.” Several Indian Muslim clerics, though, have come to the Cricketer’s defense, saying that there is nothing wrong with playing Chess as long as gambling isn’t involved.

A homeless man was playing Chess in Union Square Park in Manhattan at 3:30 AM when three other men approached and got in to an argument with him, and then one of them stabbed him in the chest.

In Santa Monica, California’s Chess Park, two players were assaulted by a couple of homeless men, who were apparently drunk and raving about some drug dealer. “I bitched to the police about losing our beloved chess park to these roving bands of dangerous homeless, but didn’t see the point in pressing charges given the reality of our legal system.”

Rubik’s Brand Limited is suing in U.S. federal court Duncan Toys and Toys “R” Us for trademark infringement. Rubik’s claims that the appearance of Duncan’s Quick Cube puzzle, sold at Toys “R” Us, copies the trademarked design of the Rubik’s Cube without permission and will cause confusion among consumers. There is no patent claim in the suit.

To fight the counterfeiting of board games, Ad Magic and Breaking Games have started applying 3D photopolymer authentication labels to their products. The labels are produced by De La Rue, a U.K. company, and include parallax images and unique 8 digit serial numbers. The labels can even be authenticated with standard mobile apps.

Reaper Minis was dragged in, or involved itself in (depending on how you look at it), some controversial social-media postings by one of its employees. Ed Pugh, Reaper’s CEO, said that the company was “reviewing the matter and taking appropriate action,” which made other people upset that Reaper felt it should have a stake in what one of its employees said outside of the workplace.

The number of private card rooms in Texas is growing. To avoid anti-gambling laws, instead of taking a stake in the wagers, they collect membership and seat rental fees.

The World Series of Poker has been having a problem with card quality, leading to complaints by many participants about card marking, intentional and unintentional.

Police raiding a Mahjong game at a home in Cape Town, South Africa ended up arresting fourteen people for possession of shark fins and abalone.

New York City Chess school Chess at 3 is suing Hugh Kramer, one of its former instructors, claiming that he violated the terms of his employment contract by taking with him 24 students. The school is asking for $100,000 in damages.

A Chess instructor in Malaysia is facing criminal charges for allegedly groping his young charges. In Mumbai, a Chess coach was arrested for molesting a sister and brother pair of students, 10 and 7 years old. Once in custody, charges were added for beating a student aged five.

The State of Florida finally settled its dispute with the Seminole Tribe over banked card games. Tribal casinos will retain exclusive rights to run card games for another 13 years and the state will get $340 million. To enforce the bargain, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has filed administrative complaints against the Sarasota Kennel Club and Pensacola Greyhound Racing for failing to comply with rules on designated-player games in their Poker rooms.

Cantina, a bar in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was fined for hosting dice games with gambling.

The proprietor of a martial arts gym in Singapore was arrested for renting Mahjong tables and allowing gambling inside his facility.

Police believe that a man who showed up at an Annapolis, Maryland hospital with a gunshot wound had gotten in to an argument at a dice game, took a taxi home to get his gun, then took the same taxi to the hospital after he was wounded. They arrested him on weapons charges, theft, and failing to pay the cabbie.

A man returning to the scene of a dice game argument in Birmingham, Alabama, brought in the car with him a friend and his 4 year old daughter. The friend pulled a gun, so did the person they were going to see, but it was the girl and an elderly woman in another vehicle who ended up shot. The girl later died.

stray bullet originating at a dice game in Louisville, Kentucky struck and killed a 7 year old boy eating a bedtime snack in his home nearby.

The 1 year old hit by three stray bullets from a dice game shootout in Washington, D.C. survived and was, in fact, discharged from the hospital the next day.

Other dice game shootings occurred in Riverdale, Georgia; Phildelphia; Brooklyn; the BronxJacksonville, Florida; Edwardsville, Illinois; again in the Bronx; Baltimore; St. Louis; Detroit; and Shreveport, Louisiana.

A man who shot three people in a Las Vegas home over a game of Dominoes forgot his car keys when he left the scene, then pounded on the door expecting to be let back in.

A man in Hanover, Jamaica was shot and killed while playing Dominoes.

In Stratford, Connecticut, a man pulled a gun on his cousin because he thought he was being cheated at a game of Dominoes.

In High Springs, Florida, a woman shot at her husband while he was playing Dominoes in the park. Why was not revealed.

In Owatonna, Minnesota, a woman was arrested for attacking her boyfriend and other players during a game of Dominoes, with a knife and a shard of glass.

Hot Jobs

Goliath Games is recruiting experienced artists with 5 or more years of experience to fill the position of Graphic Designer at the company’s office in Plano, Texas.

Spin Master is in search of a Social Media Producer and an Integrated Marketing Specialist for the company’s Toronto office. For Social Media Producer, what the company wants is someone who’s constantly plugged in to social media and loves to play with toys. Marketing experience and creativity required. The job of Integrated Marketing Specialist will be to develop influencer campaigns, events, and programs. At the company’s Los Angeles office, Spin Master is looking for a Senior Brand Manager to lead product development and marketing for entertainment-based brands, including Star WarsHow to Train Your Dragon, and Pirates of the Caribbean. For this position, an MBA and 4-6 years of consumer product brand management experience is preferred.

Modiphius Entertainment is expanding its miniatures business and needs both freelance 3D sculptors and figure painters. The company is also looking for an Art Director, which could be freelance or full-time, in London or remote.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesIn Hollandspiele’s One-Year Anniversary Sale on military history board games, fifteen games range from $5-15 off. Additionally, for $10 off orders of $200 or more, use coupon code “save10”. For $20 off orders of $300 or more, use coupon code “save20”. For $30 off orders of $400 or more, use coupon code “save30”. And for $50 off orders of $500 or more, use coupon code “save50”.

Gathering Magic is giving away a Magic: The Gathering Arcane Wizardry deck from the Commander 2017 series.

The MCGuiRE Review is giving away Zoo Ball from Osprey Games.

As App of the Week, Tsuro is currently free on iOS. It’s also on-sale for 99¢ on Android.

Three games are 10% off in Victory Point Games’ Are We Hawkin’ Weehawken Sale, including obviously Hero of Weehawken.

Tiny Battle Publishing is holding an Eclipse Sale with games around 15-25% off.

Steve Jackson Games is running special sales and bundles at Warehouse 23 for those who can’t attend Gen Con.

Also on the subject of not attending Gen Con, many fine and sympathetic publishers are participating in a giveaway of games by GenCant (the “unconvention”).

Dog Might Games’ Adventure Cases are 10% off and ship for free to the United States.

Flying Pig Games is selling Old School Tactical for 25% off but that end today.

With HexBug’s Back to School Sale, save 25% on orders of $50 or more.

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The winner of the 2017 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming is Gen Con. Not only is the award totally deserved because Gen Con is a fantastically fun convention, but it’s also not so surprising that it was awarded this particular year, the show’s 50th.

Running this weekend in Indianapolis, Gen Con for the first time completely sold out of badges this year. And I hear that after just one day, so have several of the most anticipated new games.

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Distribution

It’s only been about a year-and-a-half since Asmodee consolidated operations and abandoned Fantasy Flight Games’ exclusive deal with Alliance Game Distributors (in favor of a portfolio approach with ACD, Alliance, GTS, Southern Hobby, and PHD). Effective this month, though, Asmodee North America back to exclusive with Alliance, claiming the arrangement will benefit hobby retailers.

Alliance Game Distributors is building a dedicated team of Asmodee Sales Specialists who will work directly with retailers to help them grow sales by understanding the retailer’s specific needs and providing in-depth product knowledge of ANA products and services. This sales team will also provide greater visibility into stock availability, allocations, and other retailer initiatives, as well as sending retailer feedback to ANA.

At the same time, Asmodee is restructuring its broader sales policies and assigning all specialty retailers (new or existing) to one of three categories. Flagship Accounts are for those with brick-and-mortar stores that provide in-store gaming space. These will have access to the full range of ANA products, early access to new releases, and benefit from organized play support. Toy and Gift Accounts, for those without in-store gaming space, will be limited to the top-selling, broad-appeal titles and restricted to general release dates. General Accounts are for those with different business models, perhaps such as event sales, game cafes, and primarily online businesses. These will be able to participate in organized play and sell the full catalog but not benefit from early access. All three types of account will henceforth be permitted online sales but also must commit to a minimum advertised price (MAP, of no more than a 20 percent discount off of MSRP).

Coiledspring Games has signed on as exclusive U.K. distribution agent for Iello Games’ full product line and for Games Workshop’s Talisman: The Magical Quest board game.

Ares Games of Italy will be distributing the English-language games of Phalanx (UK) worldwide except for Europe. This includes existing products, such as Germania Magna: Border in Flames and Hunger: The Show, as well as the soon to be republished classic, Hannibal & Hamilcar – Rome vs. Carthage (due November 2017).

CMON is no longer handling U.S. distribution for Ankama Products (Krosmaster board games).

This week marks the formal launch of a distribution arrangement that sees Passport Game Studios carrying the product line of Rule & Make of Australia. These include Skyward: The Airborne City, Entropy: Worlds Collide, Smiths of Winterforge, Robots & Rockets, Tavern Fame, and more. Passport also recently expanded its existing distribution partnership with the Polish game company, Granna, to bring the CV series of board games to Canada.

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Retail Games

Elli-Chai’s, the Judaica shop just up the street from me, has repurposed half the store in to a game room. The focus is on providing a family-oriented activity space. Snacks are available for purchase and there’s a game library with a mix of traditional and modern strategy board games.

Wellington, New Zealand has a new venue, the Counter Culture Board Game Cafe and Bar, opened by Emma Smart and Ahmed Bulbulia in the same building they used to live in, before they spent 10 years in the Middle East.

The Cube Cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam is arranged by levels. On the first floor are the drinks and snacks, on the second floor are simpler games, and on the third floor are the hard-core strategy games.

Vianna Bui runs All Aboard Games, a weekly game night program at The Cold Pressery in Mississauga, Ontario. Table service is provided for both food and games.

Calling itself an esports bar, Guild Hall in Burbank, California features comfort food, craft cocktails, screens for watching esports, and board games.

One night a month, the upstairs room at Philadelphia’s American Sardine Bar turns in to Drinks & Dragons, a roleplaying open game night.

Elsewhere is Pennsylvania, the town of Honesdale (east of Scranton) now has a shop to compete with the bigger cities. Tap2Games runs lots of Magic tournaments, as well as D&D events and LAN parties.

Recently opened in the small town of Maryville, Missouri (near the border with Iowa) is the aptly named Maryville Board Game Cafe. Owners Scott and Thuy Copeland see it as a community space for families, as well as students from nearby Northwest Missouri State University.

South of Maryville (about half the way to Kansas City), a new game shop called End Game has opened in a former Record Warehouse location in St. Joseph.

David Davis just moved to Van Buren, Arkansas in 2015. Unsatisfied, though, with the town’s lack of a game store, he’s opened Big Kids at Play with plenty of play space.

Kit and Matt Strehlow sold board games online for a year-and-a-half before deciding to open a brick-and-mortar shop, Menagerie Games, in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin.

Asteroids 2 Zombies opened recently in Marion, Illinois with a fundraising event for Extra Life.

Wonderland in Grande Prairie, Alberta has dropped mass-market toys to make room for a diner in the front of the shop and is soon planning to open a second location in Prince George.

Kokomo, Indiana is back on the game map. Goblin Games, which closed last year, has been replaced by Kingdom Cards and Games.

Cardboard Crowns, a board game bar, is working toward an October opening in Dayton, Ohio.

Sente is a new coffee shop with board games in Wichita, Kansas. The shop opens daily at 7:00 AM, in case you’re one of those morning people.

Tables Board Game Spot in Las Vegas has over a thousand games to play and craft sodas to drink.

Halifax, Nova Scotia now has a third venue, Roll the Dice Board Game Cafe and Restaurant.

The owner of The Comics Place in Bellingham, Washington is opening a second shop, Moon Base Games & Comics, in the Fairhaven area.

With Stone Age being the most checked-out item of anything in circulation, Richmond Memorial Library in Batavia, New York is expanding its board game collection.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe Genius of Play, a program of The Toy Association, is holding a Back-to-Play sweepstakes, with nominations being taken for a school to win $1,000 in educational toys and learning materials.

Gamewright is giving away a copy of Jump Ship!, one of its Cardventures series of games.

During Gen Con (that is, this coming Thursday through Sunday), Asmodee will be giving away free Steam keys for Ticket to Ride and Mysterium.

Also in recognition of Gen Con, Jon Brazer Enterprises is running a sale on all print RPG books ($2 off everything under $10, $5 off everything over).

Turn One Gaming Supplies is giving away two copies of Space Invaders Dice.

Use promo code “SHIPAUG17” for free shipping in August from HasbroToyShop.com.

Modiphius Entertainment’s Month of Madness Sale means 70% off on Achtung! Cthulhu ebooks.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away two copies of The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire from CMON and one copy of Nexus: Scrapyard from Pawn Joker Games.

Save up to 30% in Osprey Games’ Summer Sale. Or enter the company’s Triple Sprue Challange (kitbashing Frostgrave figures) for a chance at the grand prize of Frostgrave books, accessories, and more figures, or runner-up prizes of 20% discount vouchers.

Board Game Revolution is giving away Feudum and Queens Army Expansion from Mark Swanson.

Available now at Bundle of Holding is BASH! from Basic Action Games. The $8.95 starter collection includes the Ultimate Edition (superhero), Fantasy Edition, and Sci-Fi Edition rulebooks, and an adventure supplement.

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTo celebrate the imminent release of Commands & Colors Tricorne: The American Revolution, Compass Games is offering a package deal that includes the aforementioned title plus one of every other in-print game (35 in total) for just $1,776 (normal retail is over $3,000).

Attending Gen Con?

  • Enter for a chance to play Peaceable Kingdom’s Mole Rats in Space with designer Matt Leacock.
  • Share a Pandemic Legacy photo via Z-Man Games’ Facebook page for a chance to attend a Pandemic Legacy Season 2 training session taught by designers Matt Leacock and Rob Daviau.

ACD Distribution is giving away two copies of Hafid’s Grand Bazaar from Rather Dashing Games.

Use coupon code “BF-9847” when spending $40 or more at Fat Brain Toys to get 10% off on that order and a certificate on October 1st for 10% off another order.

Winning Moves UK is looking for someone to stand in as VIP (very important player) at the launch of Monopoly Sterling Edition. The person selected will also get a copy of the game.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away a copy of Sentient before its general retail release.

theMCGuiRE Review is giving away Mooquake Escape from Breaking Games, Master of the Galaxy from Ares, Quest for the Antidote from Upper Deck, and Balloon Pop and Bottlecap Vikings from Tasty Minstrel Games.

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away Arithmetic from Simply Clever Cards and a bunch of different games to 32 separate winners.

Everything Board Games is giving away Feudum and expansion from Odd Bird Games and Photosynthesis from Blue Orange Games.

Bundle of Holding’s latest offering features the 1984 Revised Edition of the Palladium Role-Playing Game. At $14.95 the starter collection includes the core rulebook, game master kit, an introductory scenario, setting supplement, and print-and-play paper miniatures. Starting at $26.25, the bonus collection adds more adventures, setting materials, and minis.

With the free release of Dystopian Wars: Fleet Action fast-play rules, Spartan Games has put up several discounted bundle deals for its steampunk naval battle game. The company has also significantly reduced the price on special battle boxes for its sci-fi Firestorm Armada and Firestorm Planetfall games (25-35% plus extra goodies for those who purchase both).

DramaScape’s sci-fi bundle of 38 print-and-play battle maps (also good for VTT use) is on-sale for 75% off.

Pair-of-Dice Games has listed all four of its products (and one bundle) for 25% off.

The Open Gaming Store is giving away free print RPG products with orders of $20 or more in other physical products. Customers can choose the premium but supplies are limited.

Amazon deals:

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesDriveThruRPG’s Christmas in July Sale, which offers 25% off thousands of items, ends tomorrow.

Doctor Who RPG books from Cubicle 7 are available in a Humble Bundle deal starting at just $1 for the rulebook, First Doctor sourcebook, three adventures, a computer game, and a coupon for 30% off any other purchase from Cubicle 7. Get 17 books at $15.

For 25% off in Precis Intermedia’s Christmas in July Sale, use coupon code “J86MG8Y9GV”.

Multi-Man Publishing is running a Summer Sale, to coincide with the World Boardgaming Championships, with discounts starting at 25%.

Use promo code “FANMILY” for $20 off an adult ticket and $10 off a child’s ticket to Hascon, Hasbro’s in-house fan convention.

Gen Con and USAopoly are giving away the latter company’s Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle game.

From Dr. Finn, get three games (Biblios Dice, Foragers, and Let Them Eat Shrimp) for $45.

Giveaways:

Over at Bundle of Holding, there are two Numenera offerings, one with the core rulebook and early supplements starting at $9.95, the other starting at $14.95 with more recent supplements, including one based on the Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game. There’s also a RIFTS bundle, starting at $17.95 for four books including Ultimate Edition, and the bonus collection with seven more books starting at $27.86.

Venger’s Old School Gaming Blog is running an RPG adventure writing contest with a prize of $500.

Strat-O-Matic is running a t-shirt design contest. The winner will receive a $250 merchandise credit, plus a shirt.

A bundle of all five years of Steve Jackson Games’ The Space Gamer magazine is now available for half off.

Dice from Dog Might Games are on-sale for 20% off.

For one more day, Osprey Publishing’s Campaign, Fortress, and Raid series books are 20% off.

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