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.


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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Coming soon from USAopoly is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Gear Up and Rock Out. The game, for 2-8 players, has them taking on the roles of individual guardians, bluffing, trading, and stealing their way to the best collection of gear. It’s due at retail in August for $20.

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ASTRA 2017—Breaking Games

A recent release by Breaking Games, Aura ($25) turns four individual decks of numbered cards in to a head-to-head tactical battle game. Opponents’ cards are arrayed against each other with higher numbers eliminating lower numbers and certain cards empowered with special effects, such as trumps and blocking ability.

Coming in the fourth quarter of this year is Kawaii ($10), a Japanese/English crossover card game that’s essentially the same as Poop, except for a few extra action cards and more poop emojis.

Then just into 2018, Breaking Games plans to ship Convert ($30), a wood piece, three-dimensional abstract played in two dimensions. That is, though the pieces are blocks and when placed must be considered in three dimensions, the goal of four-in-a-row applies only when viewed from above.

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Munchkin Spell Skool

Steve Jackson Games’ latest Munchkin product, Munchkin Spell Skool, of course parodies Harry Potter—with Moldy Mort monster cards, various quality of magic wands among the treasure cards, and reference to playing “air hockey” while riding flying brooms. There’s more to it than that, though. For example, as children studying wizardry, players during the game have the opportunity to adopt classes based on their after-school activities: Chess Club, Forbidden Magic Club, Potion Club, and Sports Club.

And as usual, the idea is to kill the monsters, take their treasure, and clawing your way past your friends, be the first to rise to level 10.

Munchkin Spell Skool is playable on its own or combined with other Munchkin games. It comes with 112 cards and a custom die, and retails exclusively at Walgreens for $20.

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Upper Deck’s Legendary deck-building game is getting a digital version (iOS, Android, and Steam). Legendary DXP will feature a new fantasy setting, solo and match play, and a “gauntlet” mode for 5-player competitions and weekly leagues.

Magic: The Gathering is also due for a new digital version, this time in the form of a MMORPG from Cryptic Studios.

Codename Entertainment has licensed Dungeons & Dragons for a clicker game, Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. The game will take players on a quest through the Sword Coast region and will feature at launch two characters from the Force Grey streaming series. Updates and additional features, including a tie-in to the Tomb of Annihilation, are scheduled to occur monthly.

For the hard-core board gamer, the Board Game Stats app, useful for tracking one’s collection and logging games played, is now available on Android.

Ports of solitaire favorite Friday are now available on Android and iOS.

Race for the Galaxy, already available on Android and iOS, is now also good on PC via Steam ($7). It can be played against AI or cross-platform multiplayer. Both the Gathering Storm and Rebel vs Imperium expansions are available as add-ons at $4 each.

Asmodee Digital has launched Spot It! on mobile as Spot It! Duel: A Dobble Game (Android and iOS). In this digital form, as players progress through various arenas, they collect Dobble characters, who convey special powers. Spot It! Duel is free-to-play, with in-app purchases.

The Renegade Games Companion App has been upgraded with support for Clank! Sunken Treasures. And another game from Renegade has been announced by Dire Wolf Digital. Lotus, the game about assembling flowers from individual petals, is due on Android and iOS later this summer.

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesEverything is 10% off in Victory Point Games’ Summer Sale.

GameSpot’s Trek in the Tropics sweepstakes will give out five prize packages of Star Trek: Attack Wing products from WizKids, which I’m sure you want more than the Star Trek-themed cruise for two.

Free shipping on promotional items purchased direct from Portal Games, this month only.

Giveaways:

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