Mole Rats in Space


Classic board games are games played before 1900 or so, such as chess, go, backgammon, dice, dominoes, and pachisi.


Scoreboard

Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresA team from Slovenia won the Red Bull Mind Gamers’ first Escape Room World Championship, which featured some really high-end set design (including a rotating tunnel) and challenges themed around quantum computing. The escape-rooms were designed by Prof. Scott Nicholson and his students at Wilfrid Laurier University. Held this past week in Budapest, the event ran more than 20 international teams through a series of timed challenges, with the top two teams, Slovenia and Ukraine, moving to the finals. There, the teams’ performance on a series of additional challenges—including one that surprised the competitors by needing to be solved cooperatively—determined the difficulty level assigned to them in a final puzzle.

The inaugural season of the PRO Chess League has concluded with the St. Louis Arch Bishops taking the championship title. St. Louis, led by the world’s number 2-ranked player Wesley So, faced in the final match the Norway Gnomes, led by number 1, World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. So also captured the medal for MVP.

Also hailing from St. Louis, the Webster University Chess team won its fifth consecutive President’s Cup Collegiate Chess Tournament in New York City (fondly known as the Chess Final Four). Coach Susan Polgar was quoted as saying, “This was an incredibly hard victory, and the students gave everything they had. The competition on Saturday lasted nearly 13 hours, underscoring the importance of both physical and mental toughness.”

At the Cubing Classic in Melbourne, Australia, Feliks Zemdegs solved a 7×7 Rubik’s Cube in a world record 2 minutes, 18.13 seconds.

A Michigan team by the name of Incredible Science Machine has broken the world record for number of dominoes (76,017) toppled from the center in a circle field. The circle was the final display in a longer domino-toppling series that started with a Rube Goldberg-type trigger and included separate sections dedicated to each of Earth’s continents.

Is Kirsan Ilyumzhinov on his way out as president of FIDE (the World Chess Federation)? According to the organization’s website, he resigned Sunday at FIDE’s board meeting in Athens. But this man who consorts with dictators, claims to have been abducted by aliens, believes that aliens are the source of Chess on Earth, and is the subject of sanctions by the U.S. government for providing support to the Assad regime in Syria claims such assertions are false.

Ilyumzhinov does admit that he offered—unofficially, in discussions after the close of the meeting—to submit his resignation if necessary but has also since published an open letter to FIDE’s board stating that he never did resign, nor does he intend to.

Many would not be sad to see him go. There have been longstanding accusations of corruption. Nor has he actually been in charge of FIDE’s day-to-day operations recently, having stepped out of that role since the imposition of the sanctions. Still, Ilyumzhinov did soundly defeat democracy activist and former World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov in the last election for the FIDE presidency (an accomplishment commonly believed to have been achieved with the support of Russia’s President Putin). And the idea that he has lost the support of the national federations would come as a shocker.

FIDE’s Executive Director Nigel Freeman states that an Extraordinary Presidential Board meeting will take place April 10th to discuss the situation. But don’t expect this situation to remain calm until then!

Announced last year, Restoration Games was created to breathe new life into classic games, updating them to our modern world. One of the first games mentioned was Stop Thief!, a 1979 board game with an electronic element: a handheld device that made sounds of a thief walking, smashing through windows, and opening doors. As detectives, you pieced together where the villain might be and move in for the capture. The new version moves the handheld tracker to an app for phone or tablet and swaps the roll and move mechanic to a point-to-point movement system based on a small handful of cards with abilities. Currently funded, Restoration Games expects the game to be ready in August, this year.

One of my favorite creatures from my Dungeons & Dragons days was the mimic, that master of disguise. And now Forge Prints is kickstarting a whole bunch of mimic miniatures: trap doors, books, wooden barrels, sleeping bags, graves, and even a wizard’s cap. Most of these come with two or three versions: actual props and toothy tongued mimic monsters. The campaign has some confusing reward structures, but you’re really going to want to get in at the $35 level to get the stretch goal minis. Extremely overfunded at this point, just over a week into the campaign, they expect to deliver in July.

I love me some post-apocalyptic gunshooting vehicular-combat madness, and Badass Riders looks like a fun card-based boardgame to scratch that itch. Build a track, choose a driver and vehicle, and during the game start playing cards to rush, race, and attack other vehicles in this Mad Max-like sprint to the finish line. Currently funded, 20$ (plus shipping) nabs you a copy. Expected delivery is December, 2017.

The Adventurer’s Collection Tabletop Soundtrack is a “nearly fifty track collection” of background music tracks for roleplaying game sessions. The designer is planning on using funds for the campaign to create a website that streams music using a simple interface. AU$15 (about $11 USD) gets you early access to the audio tracks in April, slightly less gets you access to them on the official launch date in August.

I was looking forward to this Crowdfunding Highlights article so I could write about what new Cards Against Humanity knockoff was being offered, but… there weren’t any. Maybe it’s a weak week for CAH off-brands.

However, I did come across Bad Words, which is an exteremly NSFW version of Taboo. You get a card that has a phrase or word that other players have to guess, but also on the card are five forbidden words that you cannot use. Can you get your teammates to guess “Eiffel Tower” without you using the words “Paris”, “threesome”, and “high five”? This is the company’s third attempt at launching the game on Kickstarter, originally shooting for a $30,000 goal, then a $12,000 goal, and now with a modest $1,000 goal, they’ve succeeded in funding! For every $100 raised, there’s four more words added to the game — right now, a $15 pledge will get you the base 208-word deck plus the (currently) 92-word expansion.

Oh, and check out the video for drunk people eating snacks and trying to talk about the game.

Edit: Updated the article to reflect the number of words in the Bad Words game per the creator’s note below.

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.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe latest deal at Bundle of Holding is for Traveller20, the d20 adaptation of Traveller and a fantastic resource for any version of the game. The Player’s Collection is priced at $12.95 and is already a pretty good deal but it’s the Referee’s Collection that really ramps up the value, which starting at $27 includes the full rule set, several setting books, more starship guides, separate adventures, and a campaign book.

For the month of March, Academy Games is bundling Fief, the Fief Expansions Pack, and Fief Buildings Pack for $130.

Dog Might Games is offering free worldwide shipping on all its wood boxes and trays this week only. It’s also giving away a $180 flaming birch Adventure Case on April 1st.

Apps from Asmodee Digital are on-sale at discounts of up to 60% for the next several days. Ticket To Ride, Small World 2, Splendor, Mysterium, Potion Explosion, Pandemic, and Colt Express are all included (Android, iOS, and PC), as are even some in-app purchases. Mysterium on Steam and in-app Ticket to Ride USA 1910 are excluded, however.

Until the launch of Mora Games’ crowdfunding project, the company is collecting email addresses for a giveaway of three copies of Wages of War.

Susan Polgar’s The Polgar Method of video Chess lessons is 60% off.

With Passover approaching, Amazon has a coupon for an additional 15% off TorahLine from 613 Games.

Other Amazon deals:

Savage World Bennies are 15% off direct from Pinnacle Entertainment.

EverythingBoardGames is giving away The Village Crone from Fireside Games and, along with the Crazy Like a Box Board Game Community, is giving away one-year memberships and a copy of Rising Sun (currently on Kickstarter).

Hasbro’s Toilet Trouble and Fantastic Gymnastics are $2 off at Toys “R” Us.

For the game’s 15th anniversary, Spectrum Games has a complete bundle of Cartoon Action Hour ebooks for 80% off.

March Madness means 30% off on basketball products from Strat-O-Matic. And the start of spring training means 25% off on card sets for select baseball seasons.

The prices on printed versions of the Ghastly Affair Player’s Manual and Ghastly Affair Presenter’s Manual have been reduced $5.

Complete ThinkFun’s customer survey to be entered in every future monthly giveaway by the company. And don’t forget to mention Purple Pawn as one of your sources for information.

Fans across the globe have spoken, and the eight tokens set to “pass GO” in the next generation of the MONOPOLY game are… the Scottie dog, top hat, car, battleship, cat, T-rex, rubber ducky, and penguin tokens!

That means the thimble, boot, and wheelbarrow are being removed from the game.

The new tokens will be in the new version of MONOPOLY arriving this fall.

During the MONOPOLY Token Madness vote, January 10 – 31, fans across 146 countries selected the eight tokens they hoped to see in the next generation of the game from a list of 64 contenders – drawing more than 4.3 million votes. The breakdown of votes is as follows:

The highlighted tokens are those found in the current version of MONOPOLY.

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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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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.

Experiment 7 is develop, with license from Wizards of the Coast, a Dungeons & Dragons-themed virtual-reality Chess game. Dungeon Chess (for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift) will feature animated game-play, a variety of environments (like the Yawning Portal tavern), and iconic D&D monsters as Chess pieces (e.g, dragons as kings, beholders as rooks, drow as pawns, and mind-flayers as bishops).

Remote multiplayer and AI opponents will be available.

Release of Dungeon Chess is planned for later this year.

Toy Fair 2017—WS Game Company

The folks at WS Game Company were busy with buyers from store chains large and small at Toy Fair this year and it’s no wonder. The company makes high-end versions of classic boardgames. These are games that put presentation above all else, whether it’s something as inexpensive as their $25-$30 Nostalgia Tin line or their top-of-the-line Franklin Mint Collector’s Editions of Scrabble and Monopoly (both available now, $500).

Yesterday, we showcased the Monopoly Miami Edition with art from Romero Britto. Next to that game was a Scrabble set, featuring the artwork of Charles Fazzino. This set, the Scrabble 3D World Edition (available now, $500), features layered elements creating a 3D piece of artwork below the playing surface. The glass letter tiles are larger than your standard Scrabble set. Like the Monopoly set, this art edition of Scrabble is limited to 2000 copies.

Perhaps you want a simple “luxury” edition of Scrabble, Monopoly, or Clue? On April 15th, they will be available for $250 apiece. Both Monopoly and Scrabble come with gold foil-stamped play elements (the outer path, houses and hotels, and tokens in Monopoly, the raised grid, sand timer, and tile holders in Scrabble). Monopoly has the central area sunken for dice rolling on a faux-leather surface while Scrabble has faux-ivory letter tiles. Of this line, the one that really caught my eye was the Clue edition with sunken, three-dimensional mansion rooms beneath the glass surface. The murder weapons and the bases of the suspects are gold foil-stamped as well.

But then there’s the glass versions of Monopoly and Scrabble that will be available in August at a price point yet to be determined. The game art on these is printed on tempered glass. The Scrabble set’s board rotates and the tiles have non-slip coatings to keep them in place. The Monopoly board has more glass elements: not only is the board glass, but the houses and hotels are as well. These are sharp-looking games, even though they come with rounded corners.

The Monopoly Transformers Edition appears to be a piece of artwork featuring Generation 1 Transformers, but the frames swing open to reveal the themed outer track. Instead of properties, you’re purchasing transforming robots that… you place houses and hotels on to collect rent? Okay. Unlike most licensed Monopoly games, there is no Go! space — here, it’s ROLL OUT! (and collect $200). To be released in August, the price hasn’t been determined yet, but you can mortgage Megatron for $160 to help save up.

WS Game Company’s line of vintage bookshelf games did amazingly well for them last year. At a $40 price point for Monopoly, Scrabble, and Clue, these games in book-like boxes is inspired by vintage graphics. Coming out later this year (August, again) at a price point that’s unknown (but probably $40 like the currently-available batch) are Yathzee’s 1956 edition, The Game of Life’s 1960 edition, Trivial Pursuit’s 1981 Genius edition, and Scattergories’ 1988 edition.

Twister joins the Collectible Tin line, alongside Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Scrabble, Monopoly, Clue, Sorry!, and Mystery Date. Twister, available in August as well, will retail for $30, like the majority of the line. Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders are the only outliers at the $25 level.

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