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.

ThinkFun has acquired the rights to Khet: The Laser Game and is planning to relaunch it in November as Laser Chess (retail price $40). Though the Egyptian theme will be replaced by standard Chess pieces, ThinkFun says gameplay will be unchanged.

Khet was previously published by Innovation Toys, which had won a patent infringement lawsuit against MGA Entertainment for its game Laser Battle. ThinkFun also sells a laser-based challenge puzzle, Laser Maze.

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ASTRA 2017—Mayfair Games

Mayfair’s latest title, Barenpark ($42), tasks players with fitting together various polyomino tiles (similar to Tetris shapes or the pieces from Mayfair’s own game, Patchwork) to build out individual bear zoos.

The challenge in this one comes not so much from fitting the pieces on the board—there are plenty of smaller two-square and one-square pieces to fill the holes—but in figuring out the best order of pieces to take and spaces to fill. Some but not all tiles come with victory points. And for some of those, as with achievements that vary each game, the victory point value decreases with each tile taken. At the same time, covering certain board spaces enables a player to draw additional tiles, take another board, or get access to higher value pieces.

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ASTRA 2017—North Star Games

North Star’s next party game is Blurble. Expected in September at a retail price of $20, Blurble combines The Name Game with the difficulty of saying one word while looking at a picture of something else.

The game includes 348 illustrated cards and each time one is pulled, all the players try to be the first one to name an object that begins with the same first letter as the pictured item. The tricky part, of course, is not blurting out the name of the pictured item itself.

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ASTRA 2017—Calliope

Coming in September from Calliope Games are Ancestree and Capital City.

Ancestree ($30) by Eric Lang is a tile drafting game about genealogy. The idea is to lay out a family tree by matching ancestor tiles by colors and hearts. Points are scored throughout the game by having more matching colors than the players sitting adjacent. And bonus points are scored at the end of the game from matched hearts representing marriages.

Capital City ($25) by James Ernest challenges players trying to settle a frontier town with the competing costs of bringing people west and building the businesses in which they’ll work. Victory points are needed to win but dollars are needed to pay for those things.

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Game of Thrones Catan

Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new Catan game based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels. A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch will have players settling and developing the Gift, an area of land donated by the Starks, while at the same time placing guards at the wall to defend against a raid by the Wildlings.

As in the original Settlers of Catan, players will gather and trade resources (lumber, brick, wool, grain, and ore), lose resources to the robber (a Wildling character), build roads and settlements, purchase development cards, and earn victory points. Ten victory points earns a player the win and title of Lord Commander. Or should the Wildlings manage to breach the wall three times, the position of Lord Commander immediately goes to the player who’s contributed the most guards.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesTabletop Simulator via Steam is on-sale for 50% off.

Talisman and other PC games from Nomad Games are also on-sale via Steam—up to 80% off.

Eagle-Gryphon Games is running a sale on expansions.

Cool Stuff Inc. is running a 4th of July Sale through Sunday, almost exclusively on CCGs. Also, in celebration of receiving its 3 millionth order, the company is giving away a Twilight Struggle Collector’s Edition, a Magic: The Gathering Modern Masters 2013 Booster Box, and a $400 gift certificate.

For Independence Day, several of the 7th Sea ebooks are on-sale for more than 50% off.

Dog Might Games’ Independence Day sale means 10% off all in-stock items, 20% off all dice, and free shipping in the U.S.

At Bundle of Holding, there’s a deal for Colonial Gothic, a supernatural horror RPG set in the colonies and around the American War of Independence.

Today only, save 25% on orders of $35 or more from HexBug.

For 15% off from Toys “R” Us, use coupon code “JULY15OFF”, but do it today. It’s no good tomorrow.

For 20% off orders from HasbroToyShop, use promo code “JULYSAVE17” (also ending today).

Save 25% on Drink Trayz and get one free for every $20 spent at GameTrayz with code “4THDRINK”. (Drink Trayz are can and cup holders meant to resist tips and collect condensation at the game table.)

Use coupon code “CATALOG30” to save 30% on all in-stock games from Compass Games.

Fat Dragon Games has put six of their 3D printing model sets on pay-what-you-want pricing through July 10th.

The three (PDF) books of the Deadlands Dime Novel Series are more than 10¢ but still 50% off.


Amazon deals:

…and from Stronghold Games:

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ASTRA 2017—Think Fun

Due in August from ThinkFun is something a little different for the company—actually, a little different all around. It’s a game for 2-4 called Fold-It ($18). Each player gets a cloth printed with an array of pictures representing different dishes of food. Then a card is flipped over with a 2×2 set of those dishes. Immediately, the players race to fold their cloths such that the only dishes showing match the ones on the card.

For September, ThinkFun plans a challenge puzzle for the cat fans, one that’s more logic than geometric or graphical. Each of the 40 clue cards in Cat Crimes ($13) features a series of story-oriented hints and through careful positioning and deduction, the player tries to figure out which of the pack committed the mischief.

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ASTRA 2017—Gigamic

Gigamic’s next upcoming products are planned for September release.

Yogi ($12) is an action card game that gives you a Twister-like experience while sitting around the table. On each player’s turn, they draw a new action card, adding it to the set of rules they must follow from all their previous cards. By the third round, for example, a player might have to hold a card on their head while keeping a thumbs-up pose and drawing new cards with only their elbows.

Hellapagos ($20) is a semi-cooperative game about being stranded on a desert island. The goal is to collect resources to build enough rafts for everyone. But because there are never enough resources, the players together must decide who starves and who gets left behind.

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ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association’s Marketplace & Academy, is an annual show focused on the needs of small, independent, local toy and game stores. This year’s event was earlier this week (June 25-28) in Philadelphia.

The marketplace aspect of ASTRA refers to an exhibit hall with approximately 500 exhibitors (a significant increase since the last time I attended in 2012). Among them I found on display a number of new products, which I will share with you over the coming few days.

ASTRA’s academy aspect features a range of professional development workshops for retailers, including lessons on predicting trends, managing employees, marketing to local communities, negotiating with sales reps, and much more.

Overall, the event feels like a smaller, somewhat more relaxed version of Toy Fair with a larger educational component—a good fit for the independent retailers, as well as the manufacturers and publishers looking for business in that market.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFantasy Grounds virtual tabletop is running a sale on a bunch of individual extensions (20% off), as well as complete bundles for D&D (25% off) and Savage Worlds (20% off).

Cool Stuff Inc. is holding a Wild West Sale. I don’t see a connection between the products and the theme but there are items up to 50% off.

The price of the Tokaido mobile app has been reduced to $2.99 on iOS and $3.49 on Android.

Asmodee Digital’s Summer Sale means discounts of up to 70% on app and in-app purchases (Android, iOS, Steam, Amazon).

Spiel Pro is giving away one die… with 120 sides!

A Pawn’s Perspective is giving away a Smash Up All-Stars pack from AEG.

Game Wire is giving away promo cards for The Lost Expedition from Osprey Games.

To enter Toys “R” Us’ weekly $250 gift card giveaway, submit a photo of your child playing with their favorite toy.

Bundle of Holding describes Modiphius Entertainment’s Mutant Chronicles as “dieselpunk techno-fantasy.” On top of that, the company is offering the core rulebook and two supplements for just $12.95. At the threshold price of $22.35, Bundle of Holding will throw in a campaign and four more source books.

Devetos Gaming is giving away V-Commandos from Iron Bean Games and promo dice for Renegade Game Studio’s Fuse.

For the 35th anniversary of the movie The Thing, Mondo is giving away a poster and a copy of the upcoming The Thing board game it’s producing with USAOpoly.

Save $10 on shipping and handling charges from Paizo with orders of $100 or more.

While the staff of Superior Print on Demand is away on vacation get 30% off playing card decks with promo code “VACACARDS30” and 15% off book printing with promo code “VACABOOKS10” (standard website orders only).

Everything Board Games is giving away You Bet-Cha! from Gray Matters Games and a demo copy of This War of Mine Board Game from Galakta.

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