For the month of May, DriveThruRPG is holding a sale on science fiction. Many products in that genre are 15% off.
Greater than Games is running a game design contest, specifically for dexterity games. The winner will receive $250, a designer table at an Unpub playtest conference, and possibly a publishing contract.
Up for auction at Bonhams in June:
Download a free 3 hour video Chess lesson, “The Most Aggressive Attacks in History”.
Games on Wheel is a tabletop game rental service operating in India. It’s founders were keen to promote the playing of modern strategy games as a fun and stimulating activity for adults but recognized the high cost of imported games as a significant barrier.
Though service is currently limited to Delhi, the cost of a 1 week rental is only in the 600 Rs range (just under $10) and includes home delivery.
ModCubes are dice-like accessories with exchangeable faces. They’ll ship with symbols for use as marker tokens in Star Wars X-Wing, Warhammer 40,000, and Corvus Belli.
Coup Rebellion G54 has the same basic play as Indie Boards & Cards’ original bluffing game, Coup. This one, however, comes with 25 new characters.
From the designer of Escape and publisher, Evolving Games, is Automania, a Euro-style strategy game about building cars. Workers are placed to build out a player’s factories. Then cars of various types are assembled and shipped out, with income earned based on the popularity of their features.
Steampunkish space battles are the subject of Clockwork Armada. Plus miniature ships, one faction of which has wings!
Planet Mercenary is a Schlock Mercenary roleplaying game, which is probably all I need to say about that.
And then there’s Fast & Furious: Full Throttle, a board game based on the movie series. Obviously, it’s a racing game. Movement is governed by the play of gear cards. Before each game, though, players select sets of upgrades, each of which allows a car a specific type of special move once during a race.
Two of the three promos for Plaid Hat Games’ Dead of Winter are available for individual purchase. The Kodiak Colby survivor promo, originally only available by ordering the game from the Plaid Hat Games website, and the Felicia Day survivor promo, previously available only as part of Geek & Sundry’s International Tabletop Day package, are on sale for $5.95. Both promos come with a Crossroads card, Survivor card, and survivor standee piece. The Felicia Day promo went into high demand following International Tabletop Day (April 11, 2015), with sellers on eBay selling the item for up to sixty dollars.
Posted by Robert C Kalajian Jr as Modern Board Games
Columbia Games has just started a Kickstarter project for a cooperative game called The Last Spike Railway.
Of course the game isn’t entirely cooperative.
In The Last Spike Railway players must cooperate to build the Trans-Continental railway from St. Louis to Sacramento. Each player is also trying to make the most money before the last spike is driven into the ground.
Head on over to the Kickstarter page to get a peek at what the game will look like. I’m liking the 2-6 player ages 10+ range it’s going to have. A 45-60 minute playtime is also a plus.
A world record was set for the greatest number of consecutive Scrabble games played in 24 hours. The record 30 games were played by World Champion Craig Beevers, who won the first 29 and lost the last.
The new Monopoly Canadian Champion is Andi Cameron of Ontario, who bested 47 other players May 1st & 2nd in Toronto. With the title came a $10,000 prize and a stake in the World Championship event to be held September in Macao.
Collin Burns not only won the Doylestown Spring, he also solved a standard 3×3 in a world record 5.25 seconds.
Other recent world records include:
And then there was the guy who solved a Rubik’s Cube while spinning on his head:
The World Women’s Chess Championship began with a field of 64 players, narrowed to four for the semifinals, and finished with Mariya Muzychuk of Ukraine besting Natalia Pogonina of Russia 2.5-1.5 in the finals. Mariya is the 15th Women’s World Chess Champion and took home a prize of $60,000.
For the fourth consecutive year, Webster University has won the President’s Cup, commonly known as the college final-four of Chess. The win also represents the fifth consecutive for coach Susan Polgar, who previously worked with Texas Tech.
Host country, China, won the World Team Chess Championship but came in third, following Georgia and Russia, in the women’s section.
At the Gashimov Memorial in Shamkir, Azerbaijan, a tough game with Viswanathan Anand started the tournament off shaky for world champion Magnus Carlsen. And yet he managed to pull out a draw and finish the rest of the event undefeated and the winner with 7.0/9 points.
Yochanan Afek has earned the rare honor of the grandmaster title for Chess composition. Chess composition is the development of Chess problems or puzzles. And within this realm, Mr. Afek specializes in endgame studies.
Twelve year-old Jonah Willow forced Grandmaster Alexander Cherniaev to a draw to pull third place at the Nottingham Chess Congress, thus also qualifying for the upcoming British Chess Championships.
Japanese players were the favorites at the 27th Nordic Open Backgammon Tournament in Copenhagen. Yet it was Dagfinn Snarheim of Norway who walked away with the trophy and 300,000 kroner prize.
Allan Igor Moreno Silva of Brazil won his third consecutive Pan American Draughts Championship.
The Grand Prix of Scotland was dominated by Greece, with Kostas Sesses topping 50 other players in the open section and Greece taking the trophy as well in the team competition.
In Malta an International Open one day was followed by a Grand Prix the next day. The former was won by Juan Noguera of Spain. At the latter, though, it was locals Samuel Bartolo in the lead for the individual competition and Valletta Subbuteo Club first among teams.
At the Open of Traiskirchen (Austria), Alexander Haas placed first in the open section and TFC Mattersburg first in the team section.
Magic: The Gathering
At the head of Grand Prix Atlantic City was Christian Calcano, Grand Prix Paris Amand Dosimont, Grand Prix Toronto Lucas Siow, and Grand Prix Sao Paulo Paulo Vitor Damo Da Rosa (his 17th time in a grand prix top 8).
NSPCC, a UK charity that works both to prevent child abuse and help its victims, is asking people around the country to organize board game fundraisers for this Friday, May 15th. Groups that register for The Really Big Board Game Day will receive supporting material, as well as in some cases games to give as prizes.
Gale Force Nine has provided some images and additional detail for the WWE board game that I reported on in February. WWE Superstar Showdown will indeed include six miniature figures, for wrestlers Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, John Cena, Big Show, Randy Orton and Big E. However, the company seems to have revised its plans somewhat. In contrast to what I was told at Toy Fair, Gale Force Nine now describes the product as “a game of exciting miniature combat driven by specialized card decks for each WWE Superstar.”
Still, individual matches can be linked together to form an event, stipulation cards can be played to introduce special rules, and superstars may improve between matches with the addition of bonus cards to their individual decks.
Grandmaster Susan Polgar’s instructional Chess video, “Winning Chess the Easy Way, The Basic Principles of Chess“, is available as an electronic download for free.
Simply Stacie is giving away Doc McStuffins Mix Up Fix Up from Wonder Forge.
OMG Goodies is giving away a package of three games from Wonder Forge: Frozen Matching, Marvel Dominoes, and Doc McStuffins Mix Up Fix Up.
Portal Games is seeking suggestions for an expansion to Imperial Settlers and will award the person who submits the one the company likes best with “some great stuff”.
John Kovalic, illustrator and cartoonist, is doing a charity bike ride to raise funds for the American Diabetes Association. Those who donate to the cause can get Munchkin cards, postcards, and original art.
Downloads direct from Chaosium are 30% off through May 9th.
For 15% off purchases from HasbroToyShop.com use coupon code “AprilShowers”.
Casual Game Revolution magazine is giving away of box of five smaller card games.
To celebrate the company’s anniversary, DramaScape has put all its PDF products at 50% off.
Savory Savings is giving away games from Winning Moves.
Orders of $30 or more from Warehouse 23 will get a free Munchkin Pillow Case.
UK residents can enter the Shropshire Live giveaway of a bundle of Hasbro games with a total value of £100.
In Mayday’s Spring Sleeves Sale colored-back sleeves are 40% off, the Lemonade Stand game is 50% off, and the Bling Bling Gemstone Game is 30% off.
Grandmaster Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia was expelled from the Dubai Open tournament after his smartphone was found running a Chess app and hidden in a bathroom stall wrapped in a wad of toilet paper. His opponent had lodged a complaint with tournament organizers after Nigalidze had visited the bathroom several times and always used the same stall.
Dhruv Kakkar was caught employing a slightly different approach to cheating at the Dr. Hedgewar Open Chess Tournament in New Delhi, India. He had two mobile phones strapped to his legs and a micro-speaker in his ear, a setup he was using to receive instructions from a friend running a computer Chess program in another city. In this case, Mr. Kakkar’s opponent became suspicious when no matter how simple or complex the current situation, Mr. Kakkar took a consistent 2 minutes to make each and every move.
In a 4½ year old cheating case, the World Chess Federation is threatening to take “proceedings” against Sebastien Feller of France if he doesn’t return by May 7th the medal and prize money he won at the 2010 Chess Olympiad.
While attempting to offer its condolences to the Nepal Chess Association, FIDE instead stated, “We… deeply deplore those whom we have lost in this disaster.”
Officials in Handsworth, UK yanked the license of Club Paradise (“weddings, parties, funerals, much more”) after management failed to notice or report a shooting that took place at the club because they were busy playing Dominoes.
The Polish government just noticed that since 2013 the game Apples to Apples has had a card that refers to “Nazi Poland”. After complaining to Mattel that the card misrepresented history, the company apologized and offered to exchange the game free of charge.
British Chess grandmaster Nigel Short is feeling public ire after telling New in Chess magazine that women are not as good at Chess as men. He claims that his position is not a value judgement but rather an honest assessment of the different skills between men and women.
After receiving several warnings for writing notes to himself during the ninth round of the U.S. Chess Championships in St. Louis, Wesley So had his game forfeited by the arbiter. The rising star of the Chess world was distracted and put off his game by a surprise visit to the tournament of his estranged mother.
The folks at Cards Against Humanity are in a bit of trouble with local officials in Liberty, Maine. As part of one of their holiday promotions, the company purchased an island, Birch Island in Lake St. George, and doled out 250,000 “licenses” for exclusive use of 1 foot square parcels. The company also installed on the island a vault containing unique expansion cards. Town officials, however, consider this illegal commercial activity and subdivision of property. A letter from Liberty’s code enforcement officer threatens Cards Against Humanity with significant fines unless the company submits a satisfactory remediation plan.
In Sri Lanka, a man murdered his wife’s lover by luring him to the house to play board games.
An allegedly intoxicated driver fleeing police crashed his car through the front window of Red Castle Games in Portland. The owner of the store is asking for donations to cover losses not covered by insurance. Oh, and the incident was caught on the store’s security video:
After entering in to a marketing arrangement with Hasbro, BuzzFeed deleted an article critical of Monopoly. The article has since been restored and an editor has apologized.
Shuffle Tech International filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against Scientific Games Corp., alleging that the latter has monopolized the casino market for card shuffling machines through fraudulently obtained patents.
More than 1,600 government workers in Qianxinan prefecture, China were “recalled” and forced to undergo extensive retraining, including military drills. What did they do wrong? Gossip, watch movies at work, and play Mahjong.
A group of grandmothers from Zhejiang province, China who were arrested for participating in ketamine drug parties told investigators that Mahjong just wasn’t enough anymore to alleviate their dull existence. I wish they would have asked. I could have recommended some other games to try.
The latest round between Mattel and Zynga saw the toy company score the upper hand. The Court of Appeal found Mattel’s trademark for “Scramble” valid and infringed by Zynga’s use of “Scramble” and “Scramble With Friends”. The court, however, decided that Zynga’s “Scramble” did not infringe on Mattel’s “Scrabble”.
Upper Deck won a $1.8 million verdict against J&T Hobby in a dispute over a distribution deal dating back to 1994.
Ruling that MGA’s infringement wasn’t willful, a federal circuit court judge has cut in third the $4.7 million dollars in damages awarded by a lower court to Innovention Toys in the patent case for laser board games.
Topps has applied to trademark “Masterwork“, which it began using in February, even though Leaf has been using that term in the trading card business since 2013.
A former Philippine basketball star was arrested in a police drug raid. The charges leveled against him, however, were for illegal gambling. He was found at the scene playing Mahjong.
A former UK and European Scrabble champion who felt persecuted for being a transgender woman, decided to step in front of a moving train.
A man out on bail was shot dead while playing Dominoes on the street in Coconut Grove, Bahamas.
Six men playing dice on the street in Waterbury, Connecticut were arrested for gambling.
Gambit, a website that allows users to wager Bitcoins when they challenge each other on classic board games (e.g., Backgammon, Penta, Dominoes, and remakes of Monopoly, Risk, and Battleship), has decided to eliminate rake (the fee charged as a percentage of each pot).
A Chess coach, who’s also the founder of a Columbus-area Chess club, is facing charges for raping a 4 year old girl at a preschool where he taught.
Albany County, New York has passed a law prohibiting any amount of benzene, lead, mercury, antimony, arsenic, cadmium, or cobalt in children’s products or apparel. The Safe to Play Coalition, an alliance of manufacturers and retailers, is challenging the law in court, claiming that it’s preempted by federal regulation.
A shootout erupted among a dozen men playing dice in Wetumpka, Alabama when half the players tried to rob the other half.
In Beaumont, Texas, a man apprehended by police with a gun and cocaine claimed that he was actually the victim. He said that when the police saw him running through a park, he was trying to escape from another man who shot him in the ear during an argument over a dice game.
A man who ran when he was spotted by police playing dice on the street in Memphis was also caught and arrested for possession of cocaine.
Other men from Memphis decided to take their dice game to a hotel in Nashville. The move, though, didn’t help. One ended up shot in the leg. Police are looking for the other.
The man Indianapolis police found shot following a dice game later died at the hospital.
Not all dice rolling is frowned upon by government. In fact, in Platte, South Dakota, the winner of the mayoral election was decided by a roll-off between the two candidates.
Wild Horse Concepts has filed suit against Hasbro, claiming that the idea for interchangeable action figure body parts, which Hasbro made in to Marvel Superhero Mashers, was presented by Wild Horse in a meeting 2 years earlier.
Corporate Responsibility Magazine ranked Hasbro second overall in the list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens of 2015.
Police raided a dice game, which a laundry owner in Thailand had organized in his business.
When the host of a Dominoes game in Delray Beach, Florida asked one of his guests to leave, a fight erupted and the host ended up stabbed in the chest and abdomen.
A Utah-based financial planning firm claims that a Florida-based financial planning firm intentionally copied its trademarked logo, a knight Chess piece centered above the company name.