Mole Rats in Space


CCGs are collectible card games (aka trading card games or TCGs), such as Magic: the Gathering and Pokemon.


Play Library, which started with a popup in the Globe Gallery, Cincinnati, opened last week at a permanent location in Over-the-Rhine. Games can be played on-site for free or they can be checked out and taken home with a paid membership. The cost depends on the number of games a member wishes to check out at the same time. Play Library is also seeking sponsors for low-income memberships.

After hosting a series of Magic: The Gathering tournaments in a local coffee shop, Dice City Games wants to open an all-around geeky shop in Wheaton, Maryland. [Hey, that’s just up the street from my house!] The proprietors are seeking support via Indiegogo and have already built up some inventory tabletop games, videos, video games, vinyl albums, and pop-culture doodads.

Kingmakers of Columbus has opened a second location in Indianapolis. It’s a board game lounge that serves drinks and charges $5 for access to the game library.

Board game cafe Well Played opens this weekend in Asheville, North Carolina. The space fits over 100 people. The fare is updated kid food—house-made hot pockets, fresh-baked cookies, mason-jar puddings, grilled cheese, and charcuterie made to look like Lunchables.

Games Inn, a shop which launched four years ago in Hobart, Indiana, has opened Dark Ground Cafe. The attached dining option will focus on healthy dishes and ramen noodles.

South Hill Games recently opened in South Hill, Washington. Though trying to stay small, the shop still has some play space in the back.

The latest expansion in the Sun & Moon line of Pokémon TCG products, Guardians Rising, hits shelves on May 5th. The new set contains over 140 new cards including Tapu Koko-GX, Tapu Lele-GX, Kommo-o-GX, Lycanroc-GX, Metagross-GX, Sylveon-GX, Toxapex-GX, Vikavolt-GX, and more. More Alolan variets of original Pokémon will also be tossed into the mix.

The two new theme decks will feature the Legendary Pokémon Solgaleo and Lunala.

Guardians Rising will be available in booster packs, Elite Trainer boxes, and theme decks.

PAX East 2017 – Final War: Onslaught

Final War: Onslaught was setup just outside the tabletop area and I almost missed it. Don’t ask me how. For some reason or another I just hadn’t walked down that isle until I was almost ready to leave the floor for the day.

Final War is a CCG for 2-4 players, but it plays a bit differently that I’m sure most CCG players are used to. The game has each player building their armies up while combating events resolved through a Fate Deck. Eventually, towards the end of the game, Final War is called and the players then battle head to head to see who emerges as the victor. The full rules are available on the game’s website.

One of the cool things about the game is how the boxed starter set provides you with plenty of power and options to enjoy the game. Booster packs aren’t really necessary unless you’re really looking to expand your play. Even then, cards from the base set may still find their way into your decks because of how useful they can be.

The game hasn’t officially launched in the states yet, but should be soon. You can still purchase it online.

It’s certainly a game to keep an eye on.

I’m back, and recovered, from PAX East 2017! That means it’s time for some coverage!

First on the list is Scrollplay, and awesome deck box / game mat storage system that was successfully Kickstarted a short while ago. While very utilitarian in design, the function is quite awesome.

The Scrollplay is a scroll with 3 magnetically sealing deck compartments. The outside of the scroll also has several magnets for holding a loosely wrapped game mat around the unit. This keeps your game mat from getting creased or, if rolled to tightly, warped into a curled shape. It’s actually really awesome. Scrollplay sells both the customizable scroll case and pre-magnetized mats to go with it. You can also buy straps to make the unit easier to carry. Really in love with your own game mat? You can buy magnets and the template to magnetize your own mat for use with the Scrollplay.

I took one home with me, a black scroll with the Island mat, and I couldn’t be happier with it!

Check out some pics below. If you like what you see you can snag everything you need here.

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Toy Fair 2017—WizKids

WizKids has a packed booth at Toy Fair with lots of items from their Dungeons & Dragons line on display as well as more Heroclix items and some standalone games.

The first thing that grabbed my attention was the wall of unpainted Dungeons & Dragons miniatures. In the first wave of miniatures (this month, $2.99 each), sixty different miniature packs are available with some coming in with multiple figures. Also planned: Pathfinder miniatures! (No date or price on those as of yet!)

But if you like painted miniatures, they’ve got you covered with the Adventurer’s Campsite as part of the Icons of the Realms’ Monster Menagerie II line. This $50 box comes with a painted covered wagon, two saddled horses, three treasure chests, two kegs (of course), and all the little things: sacks, camp fires, bedrolls, spellbooks, scrolls, bags of holding…

And just released the day of the show, Assault of the Giants. This newest entry into the line of D&D boardgames comes in a standard edition for $80 or a premium edition with fully-painted miniatures for $130.

Coming soon in Heroclix are two new lines: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Return and Marvel’s Deadpool & X-Force. TMNT will come in blind bags for $3 each. Deadpool & X-Force will be available in a brick of boosters for $130, which is probably your best bet at obtaining that Deadpool riding the unicorn ultra-rare piece (one is available in approximately every four cases).

Recreating a classic oversized comic book I had when I was a kid, the Heroclix Superman vs. Muhammad Ali set comes with a boxing ring, the greatest, and a Superman wearing boxing gloves. Debuting in March, this set will retail for $50.

Three new games were also shown: The Banishing, Tower of London, and Tournament at Camelot. Relasing in March, the Banishing is a difficult strategy cooperative game where you’re banishing creatures. Tower of London is a zone control game available in April. Tournament at Camelot, a May release, is a trick-taking game with box artwork inspired from illuminated manuscripts. All three games will retail for $20.

Lightseekers

Lightseekers, a new entry in the toys-to-life category, makes use of Bluetooth communication to deliver two-way communication between action figures and computer app, no special portal required. Thus, the figures not only show up in the video game, but can also respond to in-game events with vibrations, lights, and sounds, can be modified with weapons and other physical attachments, and can even be used as live controllers.

The software for Lightseekers is being produced by PlayFusion, the toy line by TOMY. Besides the figures, that product line includes a collectible card game, playable either on its own or through augmented reality as enhancements to the video game.

Lightseekers will launch at Toys “R” Us online on April 17th and in-stores July 1st.

Yu-Gi-Oh! March Releases

March is here, and that means new Yu-Gi-Oh! releases.

Players will be able to snag Star Pack – Battle Royal packs starting on March 10. Star Pack – Battle Royal contains some of the most popular cards from the Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V animated TV series with cards like Fightfur Fusion, Yosenjus’ Secret Move, Bloom Diva the Melodious Choir, and more. Each pack contains three random cards from a set of 50 cards, 49 of which are available as Commons and 1 Starfoil only card (all 49 Commons are also available as Starfoils). MSRP: $0.99 per pack.

On March 17,  Raging Tempest Special Edition will be released. Following up on the January release of the Raging Tempest booster set, the Special Edition brings Zoodiacs, Shinobirds, and Windwitches back for an with a vengeance. Included are cards like Zoodiac Ratpier, That Grass Looks Greener, and Sea Monster of Theseus inside the three booster packs of Raging Tempest. One of two Super Rare Cards from the upcoming Maximum Crisis booster set, either Zoodiac Kataroost or Baobaboon, plus one of two variant Super Rare Cards, either Number 22: Zombiestein or Masked HERO Blast are also included in the box. MSRP: $9.99 per box.

Secret histories and ancient powers are revealed on March 31 with Duelist Saga. It’s a 100-card set, all using a new, different Ultra Rare technology, features cards from all five incarnations of Yu-Gi-Oh! Out of the 100 cards there are 40 new cards taken from the manga series, the animated series, and cards inspired by some of the coolest monsters.

Attending PAX East and want to know who is exhibiting at what tables? We’ve been given the list of exhibitors in the tabletop hall, which currently do not show up in the Guidebook app, the only version of the program and show’s floorplan available.

The tabletop booths will be along the right (north) edge of the space, near the skybridge. From the main Queue Room entrance on up to the Lenovo Legion PC Room, the following companies will have a presence in the tabletop hall:

  • Gamewright, Q-Workshop, Asmodee NA
  • Compleat Strategist (local game store), Steve Jackson Games
  • Battleground Games & Hobbies (local game store), Level Up Dice, Fun to 11, Tectonic Craft Studios
  • CMON, Wyrmwood Gaming
  • Burning Wheel, Japanime/Global Games Distribution, Greenbriar Games
  • Modern Myths NY (“local” game store), Armor Class 10 Shirts
  • Pandemonium Games (local game store), Crit Success, Dragoon/Lay Waste Games
  • Atlas Games, United States Professional Mahjong League
  • Drinking Quest, Aviary Games, SFR
  • AdMagic
  • Greater Than Games
  • Foam Brain Games (“local” game store)

Although the PAX 2017 program book that appears in the Guidebook app doesn’t break down the tabletop hall, PAX’s Tabletop Manager has said that this year a detailed map of the tabletop area will appear in the program.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesWin a Magic: The Gathering Modern Masters 2017 Booster Box from MTGHeadQuarters by subscribing, commenting, etc.

Blue Orange Games is giving away Vikings on Board.

Brilliant PR is giving away a $333-value package of toys and games, which includes Word on the Street Junior and Kanoodle Jr. from Educational Insights.

OffWorld Designs is giving away five pairs of passes to Gen Con, with five pairs of Gen Con t-shirts.

Two deals are currently running at Bundle of Holding. One is for the 2014 edition of Space: 1889 and starts at just $6.95. The other, Designers, Dragons, and More, includes a variety of books about games, as well as a comprehensive series on the history of roleplaying games.

Osprey Publishings’s March Sale is 20% off Men at Arms, Elite, and Warrior series.

The Cardboard Republic is giving away Captain Sonar from Asmodee.

The Board Game Revolution Community on Facebook is celebrating achieving 5,000 members with a series of giveaways. Two of the latest are photo contests with prizes from Minion Games and R&R Games.

The Board Game Vault is giving away the winner’s choice of Santorini or Attack of the Giants.

The Giveaway Geek is giving away Champions of Midgard from Grey Fox Games and Emergence from The Emergence Team.

Devetos Gaming is giving away a Star Wars Destiny Booster Box (36 booster packs) from Fantasy Flight Games.

Blue Peg, Pink Peg is giving away Gloomhaven from Cephalofair Games.

Passport Games is giving away a copy of They Who Were 8 before it’s available in stores.

Retail Games

Pi Social, a cafe in Karachi, Pakistan, has opened a board game section with a daily cover charge of 329 Rupees (about $3). Customers can also get a free drink for beating the bartender at Connect-4.

At Sanctuary Games, which opened this month in Hutchinson, Minnesota, the owner was going to use a back room for a computer repair business but demand for games has been so strong that he’s keeping it as play space.

After a hiatus of a couple of months, Dragon Tears Gaming is reopening under new management at a new location at the East Pointe Village Shopping Center in Dunn, North Carolina.

Satellite Comics & Games is moving from Chatham, New Jersey to Madison and is dropping comics in the process.

In the barroom of the newly opened The Wooly Public in the Woolworth Building in New York City, the tables are painted with game boards.

Coffee & Dice, a game cafe opening next month in Boscombe, UK, will have custom-built game tables, which feature space underneath to stash game boxes while playing.

The Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City has started hosting adult game nights.

Kathleen Miller is raising funds on Kickstarter to open the House Rules Cafe in Hudson, New York.

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