Our initial exposure to Magic Digital Next came a little over a year ago in a presentation by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner. At that time, we saw it only as a new Magic: The Gathering product, albeit a sophisticated one for a range of players. From a new article posted online by Wizards of the Coast President Chris Cocks, we now learn, though, that Magic Digital Next (though not specifically named in the article) is just one part of a more comprehensive digital strategy update being pursued by WOTC.
Cocks describes “adjustments to and increased investments in our digital teams” as the “biggest move” currently underway at the company. WOTC has created a new Digital Games Studio with significant new outside talent, the existing Magic Online team, and digital art and game design staff.
But these changes don’t pertain just to Magic. Rather, WOTC is looking to apply a digitally integrated experience to all its games (including Dungeons & Dragons), incorporating such elements as augmented-reality games, MMOs, tournament organization, home game management, and other “unexpected settings, genres, and platforms.”
We are reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games… We will bring our characters and worlds to other games and experiences… We will make your Wizards experiences more efficient, connected, and convenient.
Perhaps we might hear more about this initiative from Hasbro leading in to New York Toy Fair.
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.
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.
What can you do with your Mythic Rare Magic: the Gathering card that was just banned from tournament play? White Wizard Games recommends you send them that no longer valid card to them in exchange for a free copy of Epic Card Game.
When Wizards of the Coast announced a new list of banned and restricted cards from Standard play on January 9th, Rob Dougherty and Darwin Kastle of White Wizard Games — both Magic the Gathering Pro Tour Champions and inductees into the Magic Pro Tour Hall of Fame — decided to offer an exchange deal for two of the rare cards banned from play. Emrakul, the Promised End, a mythic rare card which sold for around $20 was banned for being too “scarily powerful”, facing little resistance and ending games too quickly. “She was the world-ending, all-powerful monster she was in the story, which was too much for Standard,” reads the announcement from Wizards of the Coast. Smuggler’s Copter, a rare card that sold for about $10, was banned because it “shows up in too many decks, diminishing the format’s diversity,” according to WotC.
In an announcement about the promotion, Nathan Davis of White Wizard Games writes, “When your $10 rare gets banned from Standard, that is a bad feeling. When your $20 mythic rare gets banned, that is an even worse feeling.”
Brazilian players who purchased a copy of any of the banned cards between December 10th and January 9th at Bazar de Bagdá, one of Brazil’s largest MtG game stores, may return those cards to the store and be refunded in store credit. Willy Edel, owner of Bazar de Bagdá, is also a Pro Tour Player and in the Magic the Gathering Hall of Fame.
Pinnacle Entertainment Group (Savage Worlds RPG) is recruiting for a part-time Production Assistant, by which the company apparently means they will do a little bit of everything: project management, marketing, sales, customer service, and graphic design. Working remotely is a possibility.
Panda Game Manufacturing needs Account Managers to work with publisher clients, one with an Asia focus, one with a France focus, one with a Germany focus, and one general. Also the company is looking for a Project Manager. Everything is remote.
Asmodee North America (Fantasy Flight Games) is looking for a Legal Assistant, an Application Developer, a Help Desk Support Technician, and people to work in the FFG Games Center. All positions are in Roseville, Minnesota.
In Rhode Island, there’s a Design Manager position available with Hasbro Gaming. Duties involve coordinating between market feasibility, production, licensing relationships, and other aspects of product development.
Hasbro subsidiary, Wizards of the Coast, has a several openings, including Software Developer, Program Manager, and Digital Marketing for MtG in Renton, Washington; Community Coordinator in Spain; and WPN Senior Store Lead in Germany.
Send White Wizard Games your recently banned Magic: The Gathering “Emrakul Promised End” or “Smuggler’s Copter” cards and the company will send you an Epic Card Game Starter.
Murder-mystery party games from Freeform Games populate the latest deal at Bundle of Holding, four each in the Smaller Groups and Bigger Groups collections. A previous Elven Papercraft deal for print-and-play terrain also remains available.
To celebrate the company’s 6th anniversary, Greater Than Games will be giving away prizes in a miniatures painting competition and at events in local game stores January 21-February 19.
Decision Games is offering three games of the customer’s choosing for $99.
From True Dungeon, get a free 2017 Treasure Chip with every $250 token preorder, or six treasure chips for every $1,000 of preorders.
BoardGamePrices is giving away Scythe from Stonemaier Games.
Toys “R” Us has Magic: The Gathering Arena of the Planeswalkers for $15, which is something like 63% off its original price.
The Board Game Vault is giving away Pyramix from Gamewright.
CMON is giving away a prerelease copy of Kingz.
Drumond Park (UK) is giving away two games, Gross Magic and Articulate.
Life 96.5 of Sioux Falls is giving away a family game night package every day January 13-March 31.
To someone who complete’s its board game challenge challenge, Art of Boardgaming promises $50 of games or game.
ACD Distribution is giving away The Others.
In 2014, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) placed on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity the game of Mongolian Knuckle-Bone Shooting. The game is played by flicking sum (tiles made from deer horn) along khashlaga (wood guides) to knock down khasaa (dice targets made of sheep bones). The khasaa are stacked in a stage-like backdrop called aravch. Another common tool for the game is the havchaakhai, a crossbow-like device that elderly players can use instead of flicking. Instead of free-form cheers and jeers, a regular system of songs and chants exists, with players from all teams, even competitors, joining-in for specific tunes based on a shooter’s performance.
To help maintain cultural heritage in the Asia-Pacific region, UNESCO in Bangkok has collected a catalog of 90 traditional children’s games with advice on how to use them in an educational setting.
In Djibouti, a UNESCO project, “Safeguarding Traditional Games of the Afar and the Somali People in the Horn of Africa“, worked with local authorities in 2007-2008 to survey the games of regional nomadic societies. Kits were produced for three traditional board games—Bub, Riyo ka dhalis, and Shax—and distributed in three languages to all high schools and ministries in the country. A national tournament series was even held, with over 300 hundred participants.
More recently, UNESCO has begun working with Chinese IT company Tencent to create a digital library of traditional games.
UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage program has additionally recognized the Sportimonium, a museum in Belgium, for its cultivation of “ludodiversity”. Much of the institution is focused on the preservation and study of sports artifacts but it also pays significant attention to traditional tabletop and garden games, which are on display, as well as available for borrowing.
The German Commission for UNESCO maintains its own Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, on which it lists the Chess traditions of Ströbeck village and the playing of Skat. Chess in Ströbeck goes back to the year 1011. The village for much of that time played its own variant with 96 squares called Courier Chess, has mandated Chess education in primary schools since 1823, has held games of living Chess since 1688, and requires grooms to play Chess against the mayor in order to win their bride. Skat is a trick-taking card game for three players (or four with one sitting out each round) originating from 1813 and now popular across Germany.
Hitting shelves in February for $19.99, Legendary: Marvel: Noir will have you playing though the Marvel Noir storyline. The game will feature 5 new heroes, 2 Villain groups, 2 New Masterminds and 4 new schemes. Players will be able to use the Noir versions of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Angel.
Marvel: Noir will be the 12th expansion to Legendary: Marvel, and will contain 100 new cards with Noir artwork.
In the Hunan province of China, a mother allegedly locked her 3 year-old son in a dog cage so she could play Mahjong undisturbed. The woman admits she put her son there because he was being noisy but says she wasn’t playing Mahjong and someone else locked the cage. The person who found the boy said, “I don’t know who his parent is. After I shared the news on social media, I hurried to get someone to open the cage.”
In Hong Kong, a 62 year-old man is under arrest for allegedly stabbing to death the friend with whom he often played Mahjong. Police suspect there was a debt involved.
The Japan Shogi Association, which had previously banned 9th-dan-ranked Hiroyuki Miura for possible cheating (noting that he had left his seat an unusual number of times during a tournament), has now apologized for the action and reinstated the player. A third-party investigation found no evidence of cheating. The association’s three executives also promised to take a 30 percent pay-cut for 3 months.
A man who robbed a Mahjong parlor at gunpoint in Zhengjiang, China claims that he intended to get caught. Police traced his getaway vehicle and in his home found the 10,000 yuan he stole, as well as the gun he used, which turned out to be fake. The man then told police that being sent to jail was the only way he could figure to avoid a 300,000 yuan debt to a loan shark. The money he borrowed, by the way, he used to finance his own high-interest loan. It was after his debtor failed to pay up that he concocted this brilliant plan with the fake gun.
The government of Venezuela raided the warehouse of toy distributor Kreisel, confiscated its inventory, and then promised to give the toys away free to the public. As explanation for the action, the government claims that the company was hoarding toys during a period of rapid inflation.
In 2012, professional Poker player Phil Ivey, along with a woman, Cheng Yin Sun, who had learned through many hours of study to spot subtle variations on the backs of certain playing cards, managed to win $9.6 million playing Baccarat at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Relying on the same skill, they later also did well at a London casino. The London casino, though, withheld their winnings and a British judge ruled their actions cheating. After hearing of that case, the Borgata sued to recover its money. Now, a U.S. federal court judge has ruled that what they did in Atlantic City wasn’t fraud because it didn’t break the rules of Baccarat. However, the judge did find them to have violated New Jersey’s Casino Control Act “in complete contravention of the fundamental purpose of legalized gambling” and he’s ordered the pair to return their winnings.
Military police in Phuket, Thailand raided a townhouse that was set up to host illegal gambling on Mahjong. Eleven people were arrested.
After a Lords vs. Commons Chess match several MPs in the U.K. are resurrecting efforts to have Chess recognized as a sport and, therefore, exempt from VAT. Some say they would accept the alternative of defining Chess as a “mindsport”, so that it would not conflict with the Council of Europe’s Sports Charter.
Someone stole the Franklin Mint Civil War Chess set that a woman inherited from her grandfather. It was taken from the trunk of her car as she was preparing to move out of West Jordan, Utah. About a week later, after the theft was reported on local TV news, the set was anonymously turned in to local police.
A 39 year-old man is under arrest in South Carolina for showing up at his girlfriend’s house drunk, throwing her board game to the floor, and flinging the pieces around the room—also for allegedly putting her friend in a hammerlock when she asked him to pick up the mess.
A Bristol, UK jury has cleared a man of sexual assault charges. A woman had claimed that he attacked her during a game of Scrabble.
Renegade Game Studios is releasing Honshu, a game about map making in feudal Japan, in February 2017.
A game of Honshu is twelve rounds were players were map tiles are played in a trick. The player who played the highest valued map card gets to pick first from the cards played. Players’ maps are then expanded using the cards they have to raise their score. As with most trick-taking games, manipulating play order will be very important.
MSRP will be $25.00.