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.

Crowdfunding Highlights

DexikonIf you are well versed in the English language, Dexikon may be a good run for you. This deck building game is similar to Scrabble in that you must pick letters and play words. However, players are able to attack each other by playing special cards that force an opponent to draw a penalty card, which adds a negative effect to your final point score.

You would think that, at this point in my life, I’d be sick of zombie-themed games, but I’m not. I love horror-related content and zombies hold a special place in my heart. In Deck of the Dead, 1 – 6 players must kill the most zombies by using supply cards that have weapons against event cards that make you draw zombies. Games last, on average, 30 – 60 minutes and are appropriate for ages 12 and up.

In Norsaga, players tell tall tales to two to four opponents in an effort to spin the best and most realistic family history. Draw cards and play tokens to increase the heroes and adventures on your family tree. If your opponents think you are lying, they can tear down your story. Your goal is to do the same to them. Gameplay lasts about 30 minutes and is appropriate for ages 10 and up.

Battleborn LegacyBattleborn Legacy is a strategy game where two to four players work to control land and manage resources. The package comes with a ton of fancy tokens, cards, stands, player boards, and a beautiful board. The player with the most thriving economy in the end is the winner. Players complete quests, control provinces, fight enemies, and more. Natural disasters and a nasty dragon will always be a burden in this world.

In Salem, Mass in 1692, it was all the rage to go around accusing people of witchcraft. If you upset your neighbor, or made your best friend cry, chances are, you’d be burned at the stake the next week. In this strategy card game of Salem, four to 12 players act as townsfolk and try to determine who the witch really is amongst the group. It reminds me of a pared down version of Battlestar Galactica. Your best bud will be calling you a witch and trying to have you killed in no time.

From the 2015 edition of The Asufa Haggadah, an anthology of illustrated pages from 40 Israeli artists.

The Asufa Haggadah

Ticket to RideThis Sunday, families will be gathering to celebrate Easter. If you dread family time, maybe you just need a good game to entertain the horde. We’ve got a list of non-classic board games we think will win you over with Uncle Fred, but won’t make cousin Cindy feel left out.

Ticket to Ride is easy to learn and doesn’t take up too much of your time. Players race against each other to be the first to travel the world in only seven days via railway. It is suitable for ages eight and up, takes between 30 and 60 minutes, and supports up to five players. The light-hearted theme of world travel keeps competition friendly.

Loaded Questions is the perfect game for people you think you know well. One person asks a question like, “What is your favorite super hero?” while the rest of the players write down their answer. The person asking the question then has to guess who belongs to each answer in order to advance on the board.

Zooloretto is fun for family get-togethers. It is a zoo-themed simulation game where players try to generate more visitors by collecting as many animals as possible. Play cardboard tiles within your zoo’s peramiter. Don’t overstock with too much of the same or your visitors will be bored. It plays well with between two and five players and takes about 45 minutes.

DominionDominion’s base game is perfect for players of all ages. If you build up the game with the expansions, it may get too complicated for those with a short attention span. So, stick to the basics. In this tactical card game, players buy up land and use special cards to earn the most victory points to win the game. It works well with two to four players and takes about 30 minutes to get through one game.

Pandemic is great for a family setting because it is cooperative. Players work together to stop four deadly diseases from spreading across the globe. By selecting different types of characters, the team can spread out the work, the Scientist researches a cure while the Operation Specialist builds research stations. The game is suited for two to four players and takes about an hour to get through.

Cave TrollThis week, Fantasy Flight Games announced the upcoming launch of the third version of its adventure board game Cave Troll.Two to four players embark on a 20 to 60 minute action packed adventure in search of gold and treasure in an ancient dungeon. Gather your team and head for the hills.

You won’t be traveling alone. Each player controls a team of heroes and monsters. Place your adventuring team in strategic places throughout the dungeon to both find and defend your loot. Use heroes to track down treasure chests and monsters to keep opponents at bay.

The goal of the game is to collect as much gold as possible. Players take turns advancing inside the dungeon. On each turn, players have four actions. Draw a card, play a card to bring a monster or hero into the dungeon. Move a hero or monster to an adjacent room, or use one of your team’s special abilities.

When it comes time to grab the goods, don’t be too hasty. Your heroes have special abilities that will increase how much gold is scored from a treasure. For example, the Dwarf knows a lot about treasure and if he is in the room when the loot is discovered, his ability will make the booty more profitable.

Players are also in search of special artifacts that will help them win the game. Throughout the dungeon, hidden artifacts can be found, like the Chalice of Life, which restores one of your heroes back to life.

Cave Troll included the following components:

  • One game board
  • 104 player cards
  • Six artifact cards
  • 68 plastic figures
  • Four gold counters
  • Four reference sheets
  • One rulebook

The game is expected to be out in the third quarter of 2015 with a suggested retail price of $34.95.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesA board game is turning out to be a significant piece of evidence in the multi-million-dollar gender-discrimination lawsuit brought by Ellen Pao against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. One part of Pao’s claim is the nature of gifts given to her by partners of the firm. The firm, however, points to the fact that Pao gave one of the partners a gift of the $300 Abundance game.

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has decided that it shouldn’t be so difficult for lower courts to annul marriages on the basis of psychological incapacity. What prompted this decision? A case in which the court was asked to nullify a marriage because the wife was playing too much mahjong.

The U.K.’s National Measurement Office tested a sample of 15 high-risk electronic toys purchased from high-risk retailers and found that 40 percent of them failed toxin safety tests. Certainly, this is a problem. However, multiple media outlets apparently made the problem seem worse by reporting that 40 percent of all toys at retail in the country were dangerous.

Hasbro has been declared one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by the Ethisphere Institute.

During a night of drinking and playing Mahjong, a man parked his car somewhere in Jilin province, China. Now can’t find it. Neither has a fortune-teller been any help. If you spot a grey jeep with license plate number 吉ASB799, please let him know where it is.

In an effort to combat home-grown terrorism, the government of Australia granted the Burwood Council $138,000 to develop a board game that would instruct high school students on the “link between violent extreme behaviour and cultural intolerance.”

The mother of a Hong Kong police superintendent was arrested for being a methamphetamine courier. She claims she was forced in to the position after racking up a large gambling debt playing Mahjong.

After an arbiter at the European Individual Chess Championships stopped a player from castling with a rook he had already moved twice, the player resigned the game.

A New Jersey 10-year-old committed suicide following an argument over a game of Chess. He jumped from the window of his second-story classroom while other students watched.

A British Chess grandmaster has claimed that it is common for players at all but the highest levels to cheat by consulting computers while visiting the restroom during games.

Steve Dillard was a giving man and very active in the Kentucky Chess community. He taught Chess in schools, ran Chess tournaments, purchased Chess sets for people who couldn’t afford them, and fostered children. One of his former foster children has been charged with beating and stabbing him to death.

A politician was photographed playing Scrabble on his laptop during a local council meeting in the UK. In addition to pointing out that others were also playing games (just not caught in a photograph), he explained that he needed the distraction during another councilor’s long “boastful” speech.

Monte Cook Games was accused of cultural insensitivity for Native American-themed content in its The Strange roleplaying game. The company denied any problem but subsequently decided to replace the material anyway.

Privacy advocates are concerned that an internet-connected interactive Barbie doll will violate the privacy of children.

In a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Lego has accused Lite Brix, Mega Brands, and Best Lock of infringing Lego patents tied to the Friends line.

Spin Master says the lawsuit against it in Florida over Paw Patrol is preempted by federal copyright law.

After being ousted from the CEO position of Mattel, Bryan Stockton was brought back as a consultant to the company.

5th Street Games is declaring bankruptcy and will not be fulfilling outstanding Kickstarter commitments.

A man playing Dominoes was killed in a drive-by shooting in Tampa.

Las Vegas’ 20th murder this year occurred during a dice game.

One of the founders of and the owner of Kringle’s Toys & Gifts in Utah is charged with rape and other crimes allegedly committed by luring his teenage victim with card games and alcohol.

A Lakewood, New Jersey man has been indicted for murder. Police allege that he shot and killed someone for failing to pay-up on a dice game wager.

In Columbia, Missouri, a man was arrested for stealing $2,700 from someone with whom he had just finished playing dice, then after being released was again arrested for offering to pay the victim $2,700 to withdraw his statement to police.

…And not a single one an April fool’s joke.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesBlue Orange Games is giving away a bundle. What’ll be in the bundle depends on the answer to a question about Tabletop Day.

Freeman’s is auctioning a checkerboard and Backgammon game table in the Federal style (19th century, estimated at $1,500-2,500) and a collection of four painted wooden game boards (19th & 20th century, estimated at $1,500-2,500). is giving away hockey games, including Ice Breaker from CSE Games, NHL Fastrack, and NHL Spot It!

Budget Earth is giving away Hoppy Floppy’s Happy Hunt Game from Educational Insights.

Mama Smith’s Review Blog is giving away Fish Fish Squish from Winning Moves.

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

Ten-year-old Louis Webber won the first Bananagrams Challenge in London. The live Grand Final event followed a series of classroom contests with 15,000 participants and an online Best of the Bunch series between representatives from each of the 500 participating schools.


A 32 year-old record has been broken for the smallest computer implementation of Chess. The new program, BootChess, requires only 487 bytes.

Players from Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo gathered at the Zone 4.4 Individual Chess Championships in Lome, Togo, where Oladapo Adu won the open section with a score of 8/9 and Omolabake Coker won the women’s section with a score of 7/7. Both winners hail from Nigeria.

After facing serious resistance from a former professional still playing the same openings he did 30 years ago, Wesley So managed to pull ahead and win the Bunratty Chess Congress.

Carissa Yip of Massachusetts continues to break records. At 11 years old, she is now the youngest ever female U.S. Chess master.

The open section of the Winton Capital British Chess Solving Championship was won by Piotr Murdzia of Poland. Among the locals, perennial winner Jonathan Mestel did it yet again.


Seventeen year-old rising member of the insei league, Song Jihoon, won Korea’s Amateur Gosku tournament. He hopes to become a professional some day.

Su Guangyue, a fourth-year law student from China, took home the trophy at the 13th World Students Go Oza Championship in Tokyo. He had placed second last year.

Rubik’s Cube

At the Edinburgh Spring 2015, Oliver Frost completed a 4×4 in a world record 2:10.47.

Magic: The Gathering

Teruya Kakumae of Japan (champion of Grand Prix Kobe in 2014) finished first at Grand Prix Auckland on a fast-playing Mardu deck.

The final Khans of Tarkir/Fate Reforged Limited event, Grand Prix Cleveland, saw Bill Tsang champion on the strength of red commons.


More than 200 players gathered in Frameries, Belgium for FISTF’s largest tournament of the year. Reggio Emilia placed first in the European team section, while the Italian team’s Emanuele Licheri won the individual open section.

Den Mulia was champion of the TFAS U19 Cup for FISTF in Singapore.

Brothers Cédric and Benjamin Garnier of France played each other in the finals of the Yokohama Satellite. Cédric came out on top.


At the European Blitz Championship in Cannes, the winner in the women’s section was Zoja Golubeva of Latvia and in the men’s section Alexander Shvartsman of Russia.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Chaos of CthuluGet into a literal monster mash with Chaos of Cthulhu. Players roll a set of five “Elder” dice to create a monster made out of multiple abominations. Then, set your mixed up monster on your opponent for a dice-based battle of the baddies. The player whose mashed up monster is still standing at the end of the game is the winner. I especially love the art of this game. It reminds me of one of my favorite comic book artists, Mike Mignola.

I love it when fantasy and nature are mashed together. Nothing says “relaxing” like a good solid card game set in a beautiful forest. That is, unless the forest is filled with magical creatures. Especially if those creatures are casting spells. Wizards of the Wild is a fast-paced dice game for two to four players that uses player card combinations to cast spells.

There are a few women in science that rose to the top of our history books to be remembered for their contributions. However, there are thousands more women in science that have never received the recognition they deserve. The Women in Science Card Game is designed encourage girls and women to see science as a viable option for the future. Similar to Rummy, players try to build a “lab” by placing cards with the same color on the table. The first player to reach three labs wins.

Arkam NightsThe biggest problem I have with board game night is that too many people want to join in. Most games accommodate about six to eight players, tops. For nights when you have 10, 20, or even 30 board game fans in your living room, break out Arkham Nights so everyone can play the same game. The Cthulhu inspired card game accommodates between seven and 30 players for one giant showdown.

I’m a big fan of going off the rails when it comes to dice rolling. Just because your parents gave you a set of six-sided die to roll, doesn’t mean you have to stick to polyhedral shapes. With Deck Dice, you can “roll” for initiative using a deck of 60 playing cards. Each card features an illustration of random die roles for d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, and d20. Shuffle cards and draw to see what you’ve rolled. It is also usable as a traditional 52-card deck with two jokers, two Rooks, and four Wizards.

ASMMET01OK. I’m going to be straight with you. Asmodee has a bunch of new stuff coming out in June. This includes Barony, Metal Adventures, Cardline: Dinosaurs and Ultimate Warriorz.

Really, though, I’m mainly interested in Metal Adventures. Why? Space. Pirates.

Metal Adventures is a card game where you’re a SPACE PIRATE  trying to gain honor, wealth, and glory. Using the cards you’ll explore, upgrade your ship, and complete challenges.

Metal Adventures is for 3-6 players ages 14+ and plays 45-60 minutes. It’ll retail for $49.99.

AEGAlderac Entertainment Group will be seeking support via Kickstarter for some of its upcoming games, and at the GAMA Trade Show asked store owners to “Kick it with us.” Acknowledging the impact of Kickstarter while at the same time expressing continued support for local game stores, CEO John Zinser said that AEG wants its crowdfunding projects to represent a partnership with retail.

Towards that end, AEG is planning to provide retailers with promotional materials and sample products that they can demo during the Kickstarter projects. And it will accept preorders from those retailers, which will qualify for the same products as provided to backers.

Specialty retailers have had an uneasy relationship with crowdfunded games. Weather this approach improves the situation of course remains to be seen.

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