Nicolò Falcone of Venice, Italy won the 2015 Monopoly World Championship in Macao. His prize was US$20,580, an amount equivalent to the bank in a standard Monopoly game. Sponsored by Hasbro, the tournament brought together 27 winners of national and regional Monopoly competitions. In the final game, Falcone played with the race car token against Tsutomu Doita of Japan, Brian Valentine of the United States, and reigning Monopoly World Champion, Bjørn Halvard Knappskog of Norway. At one point in the game, a multi-player trade gave each a property color set.
The Pentamind World Championship, an event of the Mind Sports Olympiad, seeks to find the best all-around game player in the world. Players score “pentamind points” based on their rank in each game played and the player with the most points from their best-five games is declared the champion. That person at the 2015 event, August 23-31 in London, was James Hepell, who also won the Diving Chess World Championship.
At the 2015 Electric Football Championships in Richmond, Virginia there were events for kids, novices, experienced players, and members of the Miniature Football Coaches Association. The winner of the Legends Tournament was Darrel Smith.
The final game of the French Subbuteo Open saw brothers Mongi and Fayçal Rouis play to a tie, broken only by Fayçal in a shoot-out.
Roman Strakhov solved the 5×5 Rubik’s Cube blindfolded in a world-record 5 minutes, 18.65 seconds.
Some of these may be exclusive to certain retailers. Also, some saw publication under a Star Wars theme previously but all have now at least been updated with the latest characters, graphic design, and images.
The Star Wars Death Star Perplexus 3-D maze has lights and sounds and… well, let’s be fair, was already shaped like a Death Star. Spin Master is distributing it to major retail outlets, Patch Products to specialty stores.
Spin Master is also doing a Star Wars Death Star Boom Boom Balloon. It seems like such an obvious fit, yet don’t the good guys want the Death Star to explode?
Uncle Milton’s selling a Star Wars Jedi Holocron. It’s an electronic thingamabob that can guess what you’re thinking (providing it’s related to Star Wars) within 20 questions.
From Wonder Forge, there’s a Star Wars The Force Awakens Battle Matching Game, which supposedly adds a twist to basic matching games but what that is I don’t know.
Also from Wonder Forge is Star Wars The Force Awakens 6-in-1, which includes the Battle Matching Game, as well as Star Wars versions of Dominoes, Bingo, and other standards.
Exclusive for Target, Wonder Forge has made the Star Wars Star Destroyer Strike Game. This one has the Finalizer at the center shooting actual lasers.
Toys “R” Us has two more Star Wars games from Hasbro: Star Wars Guess Who? and Star Wars Sorry. The latter imagines droids darting around the Millennium Falcon attempting to effect repairs without getting in each other’s way.
Savage Worlds products are currently 15% off at DriveThruRPG.
Paizo’s put all PDFs that it released prior to 2015 on sale for 25% off.
Online retailer, Funagain Games, has a new rewards program for earning discounts by submitting reviews, posting photos, and making purchases. There’s also a membership program that provides discounted shipping, extended returns, and early access to sales. Whether you join or not, take advantage of Funagain’s Launch Sale with discounts of 20% on all in-stock purchases.
EverythingBoardGames.com has arranged a group deal for Captains of Industry from Tasty Minstrel Games. If 20 people join, they’ll get the game for $38.50 including shipping, 45% off.
Get free shipping on all Star Wars toys and games from HasbroToyShop.com.
For $10 off Race to Adventure direct from Evil Hat, use coupon code “JETBLACK”.
The digital side of Asmodee is giving away a physical copy of Ticket to Ride from Days of Wonder.
Until the release of the new Electric Football NFL team sets in October, Tudor Games is selling the non-NFL painted sets for $5 each, a discount of 44%.
Chopstick Dexterity Mega Challenge 3000 is on-sale for 50% off direct from Mayday Games but you’ll have to put it in your shopping cart to see the discount.
Use coupon code “KGV6RDXP4R” for a 20% discount on orders of $10 or more from Precis Intermedia.
Having gotten an early release copy of the new Dragon Dice Firewalker/Treefolk Starter at PAX East this year, I was very eager to dig back into a game I haven’t played since 1995. The pre-release of this set has finally hit SFR’s online store, so you can actually snag the dice now if you’re interested.
Not having a solid rulebook with the bag of dice I brought home, I used a combination of the official rulebook, this YouTube video by That’s How We Roll, and these great reference sheets from user Herrigold on BoardGameGeek. While Dragon Dice is actually fairly easy to play, years of releases, promo dice, etc… have caused the official rulebook to swell to a considerable size. The video and reference sheets were a huge help to my son and I when we were ready to jump in and play.
The goal in Dragon Dice is to obliterate your opponents army, or two capture 2 of the 3 terrains in play. The game is a very abstract war game where the number on each 8 sided terrain die is how close your army is to capturing that terrain. Each side of the terrain dice also let you know what types of attacks can be made at that distance: magic, missile, or melee. Each player builds an army out of their dice using an agreed upon point amount. When building an army small dice are worth 1 point, medium are 2 points, large are 3 points, and the 10 sided monster dice are worth 4 points. Armies are split into 3 forces between the terrain dice.
Each turn a player will have 2 opportunities to maneuver a terrain die (move it up or down a number), and attack. There’s also a phase for Dragon actions if a dragon has been summoned using magic (These buggers wreak havoc on anyone at the terrain their summoned at. It’s both terrible, and awesome.) Units can also be pulled into reserve so they can move between terrains as needed. I won’t do much more in depth with the mechanics. Just check out the video above for a better overview on how to play.
All that being said, how does it play? First off let me say that back in the day I totally didn’t play Dragon Dice correctly. Now that I know how to play, I’m a bit addicted. The dice are wonderful, and I love the army building aspect of the game. There’s also just something very satisfying about rolling handfuls of dice and raining destruction upon your foes. The magic system adds a huge amount of depth the game, and the sheer amount of dice and expansion dice available has me wishing I could go out and snag it all. There’s a reason Dragon Dice is still around after all these years, and I give SFR a huge amount of credit for keeping the game alive and kicking.
I should also mention that extra dice for the game are solid in the form of Kickers. These are basically booster packs that come with 8 dice. You always know you’re going to get a monster, 4 common dice, 2 uncommon dice, and 1 rare die, but you don’t know what unit each of those dice are going to be. You can also buy more terrains, dragons, and even a few expansion sets that add more to the game. I’m hoping to snag some of these extras soon.
So far this may be one of my favorite games I’ve played this year, and I have a feeling it’s one I’ll be playing it for a long time.
An early release copy of the Firewalker/Treefolk starter was provided free for review by SFR, INC. A kicker for each army was also purchased.
We’ve mentioned Geek Chic XP — the exclusive gamer event run by custom gaming furniture company Geek Chic — before at Purple Pawn, and now they’re crowdfunding the project for 2016. The event, effectively a satellite convention, is “a premium nomadic social club for geeks” with games on the company’s tables, panels and events for members, catered meals, and geek excursions to local attractions. Joining the Geek Chic XP experience can be as low as $100, with full membership at $500.
I playtested Draco Magi quite some time ago. The game changed radically since then and the creator, Robert Burke, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to help create an expansion for the game. In this two-player game, you’re a wizard — a Draco Magi — that commands dragons, battling to be the Dragon King. The expansion adds on more dragon and battlefield cards. Don’t have the base game? Of course there are backer levels that get you that plus the expansion!
Whoa. It’s a papercraft dungeon crawl adventure! AndHeDrew Games has nearly completed development of The Cloud Dungeon, a DIY adventure game involving paper crafting, coloring, and tearing up and taping bits together. It looks like fantastic fun for the whole family. Create your character, color and customize him or her. Take a look at that character to the right! $15 gets you the physical book and two character packs, $3 gets you just the print and play edition.
Will Hindmarch is a writer and tabletop RPG developer. Over at his Patreon, Will is seeking people to back his writings, game adventures, and the new Game Design podcast (with Nathan Paoletta). “I’d write more essays like those in my series, No Clues Without Consequence, if I had the time,” he says. Patreon will help make those other projects a reality.
One last thing about crowdfunding campaigns that isn’t an actual crowdfunding campaign! Marian Call recently wrote an essay breaking down where money goes and how to manage it, called “Kickstarter Math is Weird“. If you’re running a Kickstarter campaign (or just want a peek at what goes on with your $5 pledge), I strongly recommend checking it out.
Spin Master is also in on the Star Wars The Force Awakens game with a product that makes me think “Star Wars Bakugan”. What you actually get with Star Wars Box Busters, though, is a simple battle game played with miniature scenes built in to small pop-open plastic cubes.
Players place their Box Buster cubes, closed, on a battle mat and roll a die. The die results include blast, double-blast, shield, and special. Each shield rolled by an opponent cancels a single blast but for each remaining blast, a player scores a hit. The first hit forces an opponent to pop open their cube. And enough hits will eventually destroy an opponent’s command center and win the game.
Also, players can save up to two die rolls. Not only can they be more useful in a later turn, but also certain combinations produce more powerful results, unique to the particular cube (for example, special+double-blast gives a player with Battle of Yavin five blasts in that one turn and special+special allows the player with Tusken Raider Attack to remove all damage from two cube areas).
In the Star Wars Box Busters series there are two two-cube sets for $16, Battle of Naboo & Battle of Hoth and Tusken Raider Attack & The Battle of Yavin, as well as five single-cube packs for $8-14, Battle of Yavin, Battle of Hoth, Endor Attack, Death Star, and Rebels TIE Fighter Attack.
Friday marked the launch of a new crop of Star Wars toys. Based on the upcoming movie, The Force Awakens, these included lightsabers, action figures, animatronic characters, and programmable rolling droids. But what about the games?
Don’t worry! Hasbro’s got you covered…
Of course, there’s the obligatory The Force Awakens version of Star Wars Monopoly. It has a round board and replaces purchasing properties with establishing bases on planets (Coruscant, Endor, Tatooine, Hoth, and others). Player tokens in this version are miniature figures of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Finn, and Kylo Ren.
Then there’s the game everyone’s been excited about since we first got a peek at it back in April, Risk: Star Wars Edition. Not only is the board in the shape of a TIE fighter, the game comes with over 100 miniature space ships—X-wings, Y-wings, B-wings, and TIE fighters. Game play involves two opposing teams battling on three fronts—the Death Star, the shield assault, and the personal confrontation of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
Another one that looks like fun is Loopin’ Chewie. This one’s a dexterity game where the goal is to protect your storm troopers from being knocked off by a flying Millennium Falcon.
Back with strategy games, we have Star Wars Chess. The game’s the same but on one side the figures are Imperial characters and on the other side they’re Rebel characters. To help with identification, the base of each has an image of the matching traditional Chess piece.
In Star Wars Battleship one person plays with the Tantive IV, Millennium Falcon, X-wing fighters, and A-wing fighters, the other with the Finalizer, Imperial shuttle, Slave I, and First Order Special Forces TIE Fighters.
Star Wars Duels is a card game based on War. However, when played by more than two, individuals can team up to combine the strength of their cards.
For a younger crowd there’s Star Wars Hands Down. The goal with this one is to get rid of all one’s cards by being the first to slam down the card matching the image on a spinner.
And finally, there’s the word-guessing game, Star Wars Catch Phrase. Of course, the words are all from Star Wars and the electronics are housed in a little Millennium Falcon.
Next month Aporta Games is releasing Automania, a game running a car factory and getting cars to market. The game involves upgrading your factories and hiring specialists in the most optimal way to create the best cars, gain prestige, and win the game. Each player has 3 assembly lines, but different upgrades can intersect through them, effecting all your lines. Careful planning is key to manufacturing the best automobile.
Automania will be for 2-4 players ages 12+ and will play in 60-90 minutes. Retail price will be $54.99.