Modern board games are games created after 1900 or so, including early games such as Monopoly and Scrabble, to the latest games from Europe and around the world.


Distribution

Asmodee Group announced that it is in talks to acquire Rebel, the publisher and distributor of games in Poland. Rebel already distributes many of Asmodee’s games, including Ticket to Ride and Dobble.

Asmodee UK, formerly Esdevium Games, will be taking over distribution of Bananagrams and other games from the Bananagrams company in the U.K. as of April 1st.

Van Ryder Games has acquired the U.S. and Canadian distribution rights for English-language versions of Makaka Editions’ series of French graphic novel game books. Expect a Kickstarter project for these in March.

Pegasus Spiele is partnering with Frosted Games to distribute some of the latter’s titles on an exclusive basis and other titles on a non-exclusive basis. Those games under the exclusive arrangement will get a Pegasus Spiele logo on the box. Among these is Augespielt! (“Game Over!” in English), a murder-mystery game set at the annual German SPIEL game convention.

Pegasus Spiele is also expanding its relationship with Portal Games, taking over exclusive distribution of the latter’s products in Germany.

Renegade Game Studios and Hunter’s Books are partnering to copublish the latter’s roleplaying games, including the upcoming titles Kids on Bikes and Outbreak Undead. Renegade will handle marketing and distribution to hobby retailers.

Expect a Sonic the Hedgehog board game on Kickstarter soon. The game was announced by Shinobi 7, previously a joint venture with Ninja Division Publishing but recently acquired in its entirety by Seven Seas Entertainment. Sonic the Hedgehog: Battle Racers, based on the SEGA video game series, will allow players to choose between Sonic, Knuckles, Amy, Tails, and Dr. Eggman, each represented with 40 mm painted figures.

Up on Kickstarter now is Highlander: The Board Game from River Horse. This one naturally comes with a 32 mm figure for each immortal and has players dueling to the last.

All Things Equal, publisher of Loaded Questions, has acquired a license from NBC Universal to produce The Big Lebowski board games. At least two are planned, with details expected around New York Toy Fair.

Billing it as the first in a series of X-Files games (even though the company previously published one in 2015), IDW recently announced Everything is Connected: The X-Files Conspiracy Theory. As a story-telling party game, Everything is Connected has players inventing theories to explain case evidence and then attempting to convince the others of their theory’s plausibility. It’ll also include an alternative game mode, based on the episode “From Outer Space”, in which the players take turns trying to weave together in to a sensible narrative the invented eyewitness testimony provided by the other players. Everything is Connected is supposed to ship in March.

Pegasus Spiele has announced plans for a series of four new games based on Games Workshop’s classic title, Talisman. The first, due later this year, will be a children’s game. Following that, are planned an expandable card game, a roleplaying game, and a dice game.

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.What a beautiful game! From the box art to the playing boards, even the the cards and tokens, Rayguns and Rocketships from IDW Games is fantastically illustrated with a retro sci-fi style. Four factions are included in the game: the Astro-Rangers, the Star-Pirates, the Zard, and the Blaarg. Each has its own set of crew, captain, and rocketship miniatures with a unique look. That Blaarg flying saucer with its tail-fins!

The basic outline of gameplay also has a lot going for it. Players get to maneuver the rocketships around obstacles in space, shooting rayguns at each other and launching crew through the ether on boarding actions. In addition to a star map for the ships and flying crew (with individual rocket-packs), the game has separate rocketship map boards where the players can move their crew to perform specialized actions—for example, placing a crew member on an engine space gives the ship an extra move on the space map. And to accomplish all this, the players program a selection of command cards at the start of each round, then hope enemy ships stay within range of their mounted raygun ports.

Unfortunately, the game’s fantastic theme and graphic presentation aren’t enough to overcome a lousy rulebook, even for this die-hard science fiction fan. It’s shortcomings include poor organization, inconsistent terminology, and vague instructions. Completing a game took guesswork, including about the victory conditions for a scenario.

I may keep the figures to display on my shelf but I won’t be playing Rayguns and Rocketships again.

A complimentary copy of Rayguns and Rocketships was provided by IDW Games for review.

Vacation Home, Board Game Retreat

In Clermont, Florida (just west of Orlando), there’s a 13-bedroom house you can rent that’s been decorated throughout with a board game theme. There are Scrabble, Monopoly, and Pictionary bedrooms. The war game room features Stratego, Risk, and Battleship. And the Clue bedroom suite doubles as an escape room, complete with puzzles and lock boxes.

Around the house can be found various playable giant board games, including Chess, Connect 4, and even a working wall-mounted Operation. Other entertainment options include a Jumanji theater, laser maze, human Foosball pitch, and game-show themed game room with working buzzers.

With 32 beds and 10½ baths, Great Escape Lakeside rents for around $1,400 per night, depending on the season.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesCabot Creamery is running a board game recipe contest. Three winners will each receive two tickets to the BGG@Sea 2018 Alaska cruise.

The Dungeon Masters Guild New Year, New Campaign Sale means a 25% discount on all tier 1 (levels 1-4) Dungeons & Dragons adventures, as well as some rulebooks.

Parenting in Progress is giving away two games from Goliath, Greedy Granny and Jumping Jack.

For The Love To is also giving away a Goliath game, Doggie Doo.

Promo code “GAMES2018” is good for savings of 25% on games from HasbroToyShop but only until midnight ET tonight.

Plumpy Thimble is giving away Torres from IDW.

MyMBuzz is giving away three Magic: The Gathering Rivals of Ixalan Bundles (box, 80 lands, and 10 boosters each).

Board Game Revolution is giving away Valeria Card Kingdoms plus expansions and accessories from Daily Magic Games.

USAopoly is giving away three sets of promo cards for Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle.

Buy one, get one 30% off on HexBug Battle Ground toys.

Through February, Noble Knight Games is offering free domestic shipping on all orders over $149.

The latest at Bundle of Holding is Oone Blueprints, maps for RPGs.

Unfiltered Gamer is giving away something from Mayday Games.

Name Dropping is giving away Stranger Things games.

Sentient Cow Games is giving away some miniatures.

Rolling Solo is giving away UBOOT: The Board Game (pending Kickstarter funding and production).

The publishers of Casual Game Insider Magazine have established a new annual best-of award for the type of quick-and-fun but strategic game that is the focus of the publication. And the first winner of this award, Best Casual Game of 2017, is Sagrada from Floodgate Games.

Sagrada is a game where players take turns picking dice from a pool and using them to assemble colorful stained-glass windows. Restrictions on how to place those dice vary with the challenge level chosen by each player at the start of the game. However, the more difficult a window chosen by a player, the more access that player will have to special tools, which allow them to manipulate their dice.

Note: I participated as one of the judges for this award.

As part of a new retailer-support program of the Game Manufacturers Association, Iello is providing member shops with roughly 2 months of exclusive early access to its upcoming title, Decrypto. GAMA retail members will be able to sell the game beginning February 22nd, while other brick-and-mortar stores will have to wait until April 19th and online sellers until May 3rd.

Decrypto ($20 suggested retail) is a party game that combines word association and code breaking. Two teams are given displays of four words, each tied to a number (1-4). Then, one member of each team uses related but different words in an attempt to get their teammates to guess secret three-digit codes. If they make their clue words too obvious, though, their opponents may guess the code.

Other participants in the GAMA early release program should be announced at the GAME Trade Show in March.

Has your enthusiasm for a game caused you to break out in song?

“Shooter Ready – Keeper Ready – Shoot!” was written and performed by members of the Australian Table Football Association (Subbuteo) as the official theme song for the just-finished Asian Cup.

“Push Em Baby” is the new official theme song for the Montreal Chessbrahs team of the PRO Chess League.

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The Creativity Hub, the Irish firm responsible for publishing Rory’s Story Cubes and The Extraordinaires Design Studio is shifting focus from the educational market exclusively to tabletop games. With that comes a new name, Hub Games.

What the company will keep doing, however, is producing products with a unique sensibility.

Hub Games aims to publish games that foster discussion between players at the table and beyond; games with heart. By encouraging self-expression through play and having gamers reflect on the choices they make, Hub Games looks to push past the idea of games being simple entertainment.

Its two latest releases are Blank and Untold: Adventures Await. Blank is a card game reminiscent of Uno, except that the cards and game rules are modified by the players with each play. Thus, over time each card deck becomes a reflection of the people who’ve played with it. Untold: Adventures Await is a storytelling game, a kind-of cooperative RPG in which participants describe a series of adventures using Rory’s Story Cubes in a structure of scenes, episodes, and seasons.

The rights to Rory’s Story Cubes were sold by the company last year to Asmodee.

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Gloomhaven, Retail, Quick!

Gloomhaven, big-boxed, thick with theme, and standing tall from taking over the top rating spot on BoardGameGeek, is now available at retail. At least that’s the official word. In actuality, many retailers sold out their commitments through preorders. But for those late to the excitement, go ahead and check your local store. If they don’t have one, you can still find Gloomhaven from Cephalofair Games at Amazon for around $250.

 

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