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.

Second Look—Wizard Dodgeball and ZtoZ

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.This Second Look is going to be a twofer from Mind the Gap Studios.

First up is a game I briefly played at my PAX East, Wizard Dodgeball. The game is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, a two player game of dodge ball where players can hurl spells at each other (and themselves.) The game is fairly easy to learn, but offers a good amount of depth through clever use of spells, team order, and … balls.

My first play of the game at PAX East found me getting trounced by the woman who was demoing it. Latter games at home with my children found me rarely the victor. I stink at this game. That doesn’t stop be from enjoying it, though! The more I play the game, the more I’m finding interesting way to maneuver myself and use my spells.

Overall it’s a really enjoyable game to play. All the mechanics work nicely together, and you really do need a good combination of ball play and spells to pull out a win. The game is available to print-and-play, and I believe will have another Kickstarter session popping up soon. It’s worth the time and materials to put it together, and it’s most definitely worth a pledge when the Kickstarter pops up.

The next from designer Peter Newland is ZtoZ, a zombie survival party game. This game currently is up on Kickstarter, and a simple pledge of $13 will snag you a copy when it’s funded.

The game is a simple stack of 56 cards. Each card has something to read on it. Read the card while looking someone in the eye and impersonating a zombie. If the person can keep a straight face, they’re golden. Any kind of smile, giggle, snort, or similar and that person is now a zombie. They’re not out of the game though! They get to shamble around the table, making zombie noises and helping to current reader turn their current victims into zombies. Last man standing wins.

It’s a LOT of fun, especially with children. It’s also the perfect little party game for Halloween parties this time of year. I know I’ll be taking it to my next Cub Scout pack meeting to play with the boys.

Just like Wizard Dodgeball, there’s a print-and-play version of the game, but I highly recommend putting in a pledge to get your own copy when the Kickstarter project finishes. There are so many quick little party card games out there, but this one really is a blast.

Preview copies of Wizard Dodgeball and ZtoZ were provided free for review by Mind the Gap Studios

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFor a chance to win a four-day trip to the Chicago Toy & Game Fair with behind-the-scenes access (hotel and travel vouchers included), like ChiTAG’s Facebook page and share the giveaway ad image.

Passport Game Studios is giving away its latest release, H.P. Lovecraft’s Kingsport Festival.

Select seasonally-thematic Pathfinder products are 10% off in a DriveThruRPG Pre-Halloween sale.

The Army Painter is giving away a Warpaints Mega Paint Set plus one miniature. Entry via Facebook like.

USAopoly is giving away different Walking Dead games each day through the 17th.

Complete Orchard Toys’ online survey for a chance to win one of five game-and-puzzle bundles worth £50.

Triple Ace Games’s PDF products are 25% off through the end of October.

Blog giveaways:


Score Board - Boardgame tournaments, competitions and championships results and scoresScrabble

The winner of the $22,000 first place prize at the Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics in Nigeria was Nigel Richards, who’s record in the tournament was 21-7 +1767.


The World Youth Chess Championships in Durban, South Africa featured girls and boys sections for under-8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18. Two players went undefeated, Qiyu Zhou of Canada, who took the trophy in the girls under-14 section, and Jennifer Yu of the United States, who won in the girls under-12 section. At one point, Nguyen Anh Khoi of Vietnam had dropped to 16th place but with a two-win finish claimed first on tie-breakers in the boys under-12. This was not Khoi’s first time as champion. He was the winner of the under-10 category 4 years ago. Among the first-place finishers, 11 different countries were represented.

In first place at the Poker Stars Chess tournament (open section) in Isle of Man was Nigel Short of the UK. In the women’s section, the winner was Dronavalli Hakira of India.


At the Championship Series event in Dallas, Billy Brake used a control deck to duel his way in to the top 16, where he survived four rounds of single-elimination Battle Pack 3: Monster League drafting to come out the winner. In the Dragon Duel section (for players born in 2002 or later), the winner was Tyler Hanson. Both winners were Texas natives.

Rubik’s Cube

A world record blindfolded solution of the 4×4 cube was achieved in 2 minutes, 18.65 seconds by Oliver Frost at the Cuthberts Open in Hatfield, UK.

Another world record, for solution of a 7×7 cube, was achieved in 2 minutes, 38.93 seconds by Vladislav Shavelskiy at the CCC Autumn Open in Moscow, Russia.

Magic: The Gathering

Grand Prix Shanghai, the first Khans of Tarkir limited, was won with The Abzan Houses by Yu Yin of China.

The Mardu clan dominated Grand Prix Orlando, which was won by Eugene Hwang.

Ari Lax made his first podium appearance at Pro Tour Khans of Tarkir in Honolulu with the aid of a mid-range Abzan deck.


The 6th German Backgammon Champion is Christoph Wagener.


At the European Championship in Tallinn, Estonia, Roel Boomstra of the Netherlands claimed the title in the men’s general section, while the title in the women’s general section went to Olga Baltazhy of Ukraine. Russians Matrena Nogovitsyna and Mourodoullo Amrillaew won the blitz women’s and men’s sections, respectively.

Alexander Getmanski of Russia placed first in the blitz section and second in the general section of the International Open Draughts Tournament in Bacoli, Italy. The first place finisher in the general section was Alexey Chizhov of Russia.

Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King

SPM210501 containsI’m a big fan of Super Dungeon Explore, so it’s no big surprise that I’m overly excited about this new edition that’s coming out.

Super Dungeon Explore: Forgotten King is a new edition of the excellent dungeon crawl featuring revised rules and 2 different ways to play. It boasts faster gameplay with the same amount of tactical depth that fans enjoy from the first edition.

Coming out in January, Forgotten King posts an impressive price tag for $100. Add in an extra $15 for the upgrade kit if you’ve got the first edition and want to bring all your pieces over with you into the new set.


Magic the Gathering Strategy Board Game

10648965_10154657517145307_7060850356698460658_oDuring the Pro Tour: Khans of Tarkir broadcast on a Twitch, and advertisement was run for Magic the Gathering: The Strategy Board Game. The only information about the game was that more details would be given at Essen on 10.16.14.

I’ll post more information when I have it, but this is a pretty exciting turn of events! It’ll be interesting to see how the famous CCG makes the transition to a board.

Power Grid Deluxe

RIO506Rio Grande Games is releasing a deluxe version of Power Grid for the 10th anniversary of the game. The game isn’t just a reprint, however. Everything has been super-sized and upgraded. The board is double sided, and contains all of North America on one size, and all of Europe on the other. All the wooden parts have custom shapes for each resource, and natural gas has replaced garbage. Power plants have been changed too, and resource refill cards have been added to make refilling the resource table easier.

Rio Grande is making sure players know that this is still the same old Power Grid we know and love, just with a bit of extra love.

MSRP will be $79.95 and it should be hitting shelves soon.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesPaizo’s Great Golem Sale features mostly RPG products but also board games, miniatures, and accessories for some major discounts (officially up to 90% off).

d20 Monkey is giving away a Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set.

Nonperfect Parenting is giving away Show Me the Kwan from Griddly Games.

UpWorks Modular DiagramThe creator of True Dungeon and former president of Dwarven Forge has a new terrain idea to set miniatures gamers drooling. UpWorks is a modular system for building castles in three dimensions—that is, building up multiple levels with modular components. A full castle set, however, requires backing at $590. Curved towers are an extra $90 each.

Not modular but just as drool-worthy is the castle project from Miniature Building Authority. Buildings and wall sections come complete and highly-detailed with furnished interiors, working drawbridges, removable roofs, slide-out floors, and other features. Various buildings are available separately but the incredible large castle setup requires a $2,600 pledge.

The gangster-themed card game, Gang Up!, has players recruiting each other as partners in the commission of crimes. Influence cards, however, allow other players to affect crimes in progress. Partners too, may turn on those who recruited them. Frankly, the project hooked me with the big-band music playing in the video.

Arknight’s Flat Plastic Miniatures look to be a nice step up from paper minis. Printed on thin sheets of clear plastic and pre-cut, these will have a transparent background and be more durable. A $75 pledge gets at least 186 figures plus bases (more with stretch goals), so about 40¢ each.

Flat Plastic Miniatures

Nord is a game about competition among Viking settlements. Players get three meeples a turn to claim the resources of forest, mountain, and ocean spaces, or to attack and occupy neighboring settlements. The board reflects an island but is made of tiles that can be configured differently each game.

The first non-RPG project from Triple Ace Games, Rocket Race is a slightly comical steampunk space-race card game. The basic rules have players bidding cogs on rocket component and event cards. Using the advanced rules, players will have to manage resources in three scientific disciplines to purchase components.

Wyrmwood Gaming hand-makes dice and card storage boxes and dice trays, each available in a varieity of natural woods, including maple, mahogany, rosewood, cherry, walnut, and bubinga. Of course these beautiful accessories do not come cheap. An extra-large deck box (which will hold 120 sleeved cards) runs $200 in Gabon Ebony.

Poetry Via the Scrabble Dictionary

101 Two Letter WordsSinger-songwriter Stephin Merritt has penned a book of poetry based on The Official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary. 101 Two-Letter Words features a four-line rhyming poem for each of the two-letter words in the last edition of the dictionary (not the additional words in the new edition just released this summer).

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