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.


Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesKolossal Games is giving away two copies of Legendary Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Upper Deck.

The Santa Clausthulhu Holiday Sale at Steve Jackson Games’ Warehouse 23 includes such deals as 75% off metal Ogre miniatures, 50% off Munchkin monster boxes, various bundle offers, and free gifts and double promos with every order.

For its holiday sale, Troll Lord Games has instituted a scaling discount that hits 40% at orders of $50.

HasbroToyShop also has a scaling discount, maxing out at $20 off orders of $100 or more. Use promo code “SMSM17”.

Fire Born Games is giving away 5 copies (print) of their A Forgotten Evil adventure for AD&D.

Steve Jackson Games’ 8 Day Holiday Giveaway runs for a few more days on the company’s Facebook page.

Buy two board games direct from Spin Master, get one free.

Save 10% on orders from Paizo with code “holiday18”.

Triple Ace Games has discounted most products 30%, both at the company’s website and at RPGnow. Prices good until the end of the year.

Solve Scorpion Masque’s puzzle to win one of two copies of Decrypto.

From One Small Step, Miracle on the Marne and 2WW: The War in Europe are 25% off and Battle for Baghdad is 50% off.

With Cubicle 7’s Call of Cthulhu license expiring January 1st, all titles from those lines are 25% off.

The Players’ Aid is giving away Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid from GMT.

Get a free WWII game with any purchase of $42 or more from Against the Odds. Make sure, though, to use coupon code “BALCK”.

DMily is giving away three sets of polyhedral dice.

Eileen Teo is giving away Concept from Repos (UK only).

Mummy of 2+1 is giving away four games (total value >£70) from Esdevium (UK only).

Krystyn is giving away Happy Salmon from North Star Games.

Like and comment on the CMON Expo Facebook page for a chance to win passes.

Save up to 85% with Miniature Market’s Holideals.

If you make a purchase from Dog Might Games now, your receipt will contain a promo code that can be used for 25% off in January.

The One Ring RPG from Cubicle 7 (based on The Lord of the Rings) is back on Bundle of Holding. The One Ring bundle from October 2015 has been revived and The One Ring +2 bundle added with the Adventurer’s Companion, Horse-Lords of Rohan, and more.

The winner of the Pressman Toy Holiday Giveaway will receive one copy each of Tri-Ominos, Rummikub, and Mastermind.

Until New Years, all terrain sets from Fat Dragon Games are 20-50% off.

With all games designed by Paul Koenig being discontinued by Victory Point Games, remaining stock has been marked down 20%.

Save 20% on purchases from Rebel Minis with coupon code “MERR17”.

Onyx Path Publishing has several Chronicles of Darkness bundles for $10 each (in the neighborhood of 80% off): The Descent of 2017, The Curse of 2017, 2017 is Forsaken, A Requiem for 2017, and A Chronicle of 2017.

At Toys “R” Us, the new Bop-It Maker from Hasbro is on-sale for 50%, Simon Optix is 40% off.

Spend $50 on gift cards from Top Shelf Gamer and get an extra $5.

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SpinTales from TILT Textiles is an augmented reality system tied to decor objects for a child’s bedroom. Available now are the Enchanted Duvet with fairy-tale scenes and Jungle Rug with animal habitat. Point at either with the camera of a mobile device and the screen will show moving and interactive characters appropriate to the setting. Games are also possible. There’s one that has children searching for specific images and another that’ll have them performing Yoga with the on-screen characters.

Another approach to decor games, still under development by Hillarys are board game carpets. These will have embedded LEDs to illustrate game boards and pieces. The idea is that they’ll not just be controlled by a local mobile app but also be networked so friends can play against each other on the floor remotely. At least that’s the concept.

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Retailing giant Target has an opening for a Merchandise Planner of Games and Trading Cards at its headquarters in Minneapolis. For Target, the position of Merchandise Planner serves as the interface between Merchandising and Supply Chain, is responsible for strategic thinking about sales, and involves a lot of detailed data analysis. But also…

In the Games and Trading Cards role, you will partner with the largest vendors in the Toy industry such as Hasbro and Mattel to drive sales on iconic board game brands and large franchises such as Pokémon. You’ll also have the opportunity to be entrepreneurial and help launch games from indie game designers from Kickstarter and other sources for new ideas.

Publisher All Things Equal needs a Marketing and Office Manager at its offices in Miami Beach. Responsibilities will include a mix of drafting marketing material and administrative functions. Some experience with Adobe Creative Suite applications would be helpful, as would being a fan of The Big Lebowski, for which the company is developing two new games in the coming year.

At Wizards of the Coast in Renton, Washington, two openings of note include Design Manager in R&D and Senior Content Designer. The former is a game development position for Magic: The Gathering that involves leading a team of designers. The latter involves building digital services and interactive content for Magic, D&D, and Avalon Hill games.

Don’t have the professional experience to qualify for one of these positions but still a fan of Magic? WOTC has launched the Great Designer Search 3 contest with essay questions, a multiple-choice test, and a series of game design challenges. The winner will be invited to a 6 month Magic: The Gathering design internship.

Goliath Games is recruiting for a Global Quality Assurance Manager and a Graphics Designer, both to be located in Plano, Texas. Applicants for the Global Quality Assurance Manager position should have at least 5 years of quality control experience, be familiar in detail with safety testing regulations, social compliance audits, and certifications, and be willing to travel 75 percent or more. Applicants for the Graphics Designer position should also have 5 or more years experience and be able to help with packaging, instruction manuals, game boards, display graphics, POP, and other assignments.

Games for Change is looking for a Communications Intern. The position is unpaid, can be in Boston or New York, starts in February, runs a minimum of 10 weeks, and will take 20-30 hours per week.

National Defense University, part of the U.S. Department of Defense, has an opening for a Wargaming Assistant in Washington, D.C. The role includes supporting the development and execution of national security exercises.

The UK’s Defense Science and Technology Laboratory has similar openings, one for a Tactical/Operational Wargamer and two for Wargame Designer & Analyst. The announcement of the former position lists “experience of developing scenarios and vignettes” as a qualification. The announcement of the latter lists “hobby wargaming”. For both, knowledge of military history and excellent quantitative analytical skills are required.

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Free Flight With JetBlue Board Game

On-sale at noon today (ET) is Get Packing!, a board game by JetBlue. The game, which is priced at just $19.99 on Amazon, comes with a certificate for a JetBlue flight to award the winner.

Perfect for close families who could use some distance.

As for game-play, the goal is to fill one’s suitcase with the appropriate items for a particular destination. Making that difficult, however, are the Wild Cards, which allow players to steal from each other.

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesA double-date game night with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard (including travel and accommodations to LA) is the prize in an Omaze raffle raising money for Opening Act, a theater program for under-served NYC high school students.

Humble Bundle’s latest RPG offering has some great (unofficial) Dungeons & Dragons products even at the $1 level. But for just $17, you’ll get all that plus Kobold Press’ Tome of Beasts and Book of Lairs.

BoardGameTables is selling off its extra samples, prototypes, and ding-and-dent game tables. There’s a really nice looking farmhouse-style table for $3,899.

Dark Sword Miniatures and Miniature Monthly are running a painting contest. All entrants must be members and use Dark Sword’s Female Ranger figure but there’s $1,000 in prizes to go to the top 5 finishers, and more stuff for everyone else.

In Reaper Minis’ 12 Days of Reaper promotion, get a free figure for every $40 spent.

Ninja Division and Soda Pop Miniatures are running a Holiday Sale that includes a special Candy Collection Bundle, as well as discounts on Backspindle Games and a Super Dungeon: Arena bundle.

Goliath Games’ Shit Happens Contest asks for “shit happens” stories. For the winning entry—judged on the basis of creativity, originality, representation of theme, and quality of expression—the prize is travel and accommodations to spend an evening playing Shit Happens with Ryan Lochte.

The Dracula Dossier at Bundle of Holding features a horror-espionage campaign (with rulebook) for Night’s Black Agents from Pelgrane Press.

For the 20th anniversary of John Kovalic’s Dork Tower, get a free signed print with any order from the new Dork Store, plus a signed issue of Dork Tower with an order of two or more books, and 15% off orders of $100 or more with coupon code “DSWEEK1”.

Get a gift certificate for yourself when purchasing one for someone else from Monte Cook Games—$5 for you for every $25 for them.

Each day through the 12th, Big Potato Games is giving something away on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That’s a different game on each, for three chances to win per day. And then on the 12th, they’ll be giving away a package of several games.

Restoration Games is giving away five sets of lapel pins, each set with four pins (representing their current games). [For those wondering why pins. They’re a tradition at PAX conventions.]

Engaged Family Gaming’s Nintendo Switch giveaway also includes a number of board games from IDW and Restoration Games.

Save 25% on dice from Tabletop Loot with coupon code “3kFollowers” but just through midnight tonight CT.

Use coupon code “ELF” to save 25% on up to four games from R&R Games.

Tiffany Caires is giving away a Quiver game case.

Hero Lab’s sale of 20-50% off Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, D&D, Shadowrun, and World of Darkness products ends tonight.

Osprey Games’ 30% off sale, which was, I believe, for Black Friday, has been extended to December 15th.

From Mayday Games, there’s a new buy-one-get-one free deal each day.

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Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with games

Sportsmanship

Berlin police say that a local restaurant owner has been using radioactive Iodine-125 to mark playing cards. Radioactive card fragments were detected during routine inspection of a garbage truck at a waste treatment plant, then traced back to their point of origin.

After detector dogs triggered on mail being sent to Manawatu Prison in New Zealand, guards opened the package to find Chess pieces stuffed with cannabis.

A court in Italy has suspended three Chess players, one Grandmaster and two International Masters, for offering to throw games at the Montebelluna Chess Festival for 200€ a game. One of the suspended players, who also helped organize the tournament, had even bragged on Facebook about how easy it would be to buy a game.

In Jiangsu province, China, a Mahjong player was stabbed by his opponent after being caught using rigged tiles to cheat. The Mahjong tiles were fitted with electronic chips that sent a signal to an accomplice, who then relayed the information via small earpieces worn by the player.

Allan Simmons, a prominent British Scrabble player—former U.K. national champion and author of Scrabble books—has been banned from the game for 3 years. An investigation by the World English Language Scrabble Players Association found multiple instances of cheating confirmed by witnesses. He is said to have been looking at tiles as he drew them and returning unwanted tiles back to the bag. [In tournament settings, players are supposed to show empty hands to their opponents before reaching in to the bag, and to draw new tiles while holding the bag above eye level.]

Another Scrabble cheat was caught in Thailand. Pichai Limprasert was banned until June 2018 by the country’s national association. Pichai, long a decent player, experienced rapid improvement in the first half of last year, rising suddenly to rank as Thailand’s number one player. But at the Brands Kings Cup in Bangkok (July 2016), he was spotted sneaking an extra tile from the bag. Allowed to finish that tournament, he was afterward suspended for 3 months and given a warning. Then in February of this year, he entered and won a university level tournament, despite not being registered anywhere as a student. Thus the new suspension.

Police in Las Vegas arrested a man from Georgia (the country) and have charged him with 18 counts of cheating by sliding dice (instead of rolling them). The same person was previously caught using rigged dice at a Backgammon tournament in Normandy, France in 2008.

Four players were disqualified during recent high-level Magic: The Gathering tournaments: one for drawing too many cards, one for lying to a judge, one for having too many energy counters on a card, and one for looking at cards in his deck when he shouldn’t have.

A potential world-record solving of the Rubik’s Cube was invalidated by the World Cube Association because the cube used was not approved.

In Denver, an argument over a Chess game turned violent when one of the players shot the other twice with a .22 caliber handgun.

In Pensacola, Florida, police arrested a man for allegedly using brass knuckles on someone to whom he had just lost a game of Dominoes.

Magic: The Gathering judges in the Philippines are boycotting a local game store because at a recent tournament, the shop’s owner declared a player’s game forfeit for showing up late. That ruling was consistent with the judges’ policy but not within the sponsor’s authority.

The European Court of Justice has ruled that the game of Bridge should not be considered a sport. The question came up in a case brought by the English Bridge Union, which sought to have its tournament fees exempt from VAT. Notwithstanding agreement that Bridge is played competitively and “constitutes an activity beneficial to the mental and physical health of regular participants”, the court determined that the ordinary meaning of the term “sport” refers to an activity “characterised by a not negligible physical element.” Still, the court allowed that European member states have the discretion to exempt such non-sport activities from VAT under allowances for “cultural services”.

Diversity

For Scrabble Day at Bel Air High School in Maryland, several students used letter tiles attached to their shirts to spell out racial slurs. The participating students have been disciplined and the incident has prompted further discussion (and argument) in the community about racism.

A popular cosplayer of Magic: The Gathering characters announced she was quitting everything Magic after suffering repeated harassment. Shortly thereafter, WOTC announced that it was investigating, would review its Code of Conduct, and will work with organizers to be more proactive in setting expectations for events.

A former employee of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is suing the organization alleging that she was fired for “gender non-conforming appearance and behavior.”

Dress codes for Chess tournaments became the hot topic after the World Chess Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia, where Canadian Grandmaster Anton Kovalyov withdrew mid-event because he felt bullied for wearing shorts. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, who was not only the chief organizer but also a member of the Appeals Committee, allegedly used a cultural slur in referring to Kovalyov’s mode of dress. The Chess Federation of Canada sought to have the World Chess Federation’s Ethics Commission address the incident but Kovalyov would not cooperate, so the Commission dropped the case.

Selecting Saudi Arabia as host for the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships, the World Chess Federation (FIDE) drew quick condemnation and threatened boycotts based on the kingdom’s human rights record. Following up on that initial announcement, though, FIDE clarified that women will not be required to wear a hijab or abaya, supposedly the first time for any sport competition in Saudi Arabia. The question remains whether players from Iran, Israel, and Qatar will be allowed to participate. A FIDE official told Reuters that the organization is undertaking huge efforts on behalf of Israeli players. Despite that, some of Israel’s top players have said they will not attend anyway.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Chess Association has established a women’s section, another first for sport in the country. The group is working to establish several women-only tournaments.

Dorsa Derakhshan, the teenage Chess player who was banned earlier this year by the Iranian Chess Federation for refusing to wear a hijab, will now be playing for the United States.

Business

Nearly 2 years after being countersued by Hasbro and Reuben Klamer, Lorraine Markham is finally getting her first day in court to argue for rights to The Game of Life. She claims that her deceased husband invented the game. Hasbro and Klamer, however, insist that Bill Markham was only paid to mock up a prototype board. Though the lawsuits were filed in Rhode Island, this initial hearing will take place in California to accommodate several witnesses of advanced age.

Irish celebrity twins Jedward have settled with Limerick businessman Patrick Joseph Noonan a court case in which the latter claimed he was owed 625,000 € for failed merchandising deals, including one for a Jedward board game.

Upper Deck and Leaf are suing each other, in California and Texas courts respectively. Upper Deck claims that by producing sports cards with pieces of player jerseys, Leaf is violating the publicity rights of the players with whom Upper Deck has exclusive contracts. [What basis that gives Upper Deck to sue is unclear.] Leaf, in its suit filed a day later, claims that Upper Deck is engaging in illegal monopolistic behavior with regard to NHL hockey cards. Leaf alleges that Upper Deck pressured retailers not to carry competing Leaf products and insisted that distributors not tell retailers why they (the distributors) didn’t carry Leaf cards (thus implying they were inferior).

Politics & Religion

Some Transformers fans figured out that symbols engraved on a recently-released action figure translate in the Cybertronian alphabet as “MAGA”. Alerted to this fact, Hasbro investigated and found that the divisive political statement was added by a vendor without authorization.

Voting for the Ward 5 Council seat in the city of Cripple Creek, Colorado resulted in a tie count. So, as required by law, the election was decided by lots, in this case, the high draw from a standard deck of playing cards. Melissa Trenary won with a 10 of diamonds. Her opponent pulled a 7 of clubs.

The treasurer of the Singapore Chess Federation, whose political conflicts have appeared in this column before, is suing 39 fellow members, claiming defamation in a letter they circulated seeking his ouster.

The Executive Board of FIDE, in a non-binding vote, has asked Kirsan Ilyumzhinov not to run for President again in 2018. After Ilyumzhinov was subject to sanctions by the U.S. government during his current term, the board earlier took away from him all authority of the position. Nevertheless, several national federations have already received from Russian embassies letters nominating Ilyumzhinov for a new term.

FIDE took more definitive action on the Bulgarian Chess Federation, temporarily kicking it out of the group for financial irregularities. While the national entity is excluded, individual players from Bulgaria will be able to play in international tournaments under the FIDE flag, as long as they’re able to pay their own way.

In order to put on a charitable Cribbage tournament in Maine, organizers had to get state law changed. Before passage of the new law this past summer, Cribbage was considered a game of chance and would have required expensive licensing from each of the 12 participating municipalities.

Some Irish Chess players are picketing the Limerick Chess League for blackballing another player, Gabriel Mirza. They also accuse the league of discrimination. Mirza is originally from Romania. The protesters allege that mistreatment of Mirza ties back to an incident in 2013, when he accosted a teenager in the restroom at a tournament for cheating with a smartphone.

A Muslim preacher in Malaysia said in a video distributed on YouTube that it is forbidden to play Checkers, Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Saidina (a Monopoly knock-off), or video games because they lead to gambling.

Property

A man in Denton, Texas reported a break-in. Stolen from his home were a laptop and $8,000 of Magic: The Gathering cards.

A 23 year old man was arrested for attempting to shoplift just over $100 (retail) of Magic: The Gathering cards from a Target in College Station, Texas.

When a stolen truck was recovered by its owner in the Columbus, Ohio area, they discovered inside hundreds of Magic: The Gathering cards belonging to the thief.

Open less than a year, Alchemy, a board game cafe in Derby, England, closed permanently after being vandalized.

Board in the City, a game cafe in Southampton was broken in to overnight. Games were stolen and a table damaged.

A real-estate agent mistook a Magic: The Gathering Facebook group, the New England Real Estate Coalition (focused on land decks), for one focused on non-game properties. Mockery ensued.

Crime

In the Northern Mariana Islands, a man with a machete and supposedly drunk attacked a group of men playing Mahjong.

A man who tried to break up a fight over a dice game in Washington Square Park in New York City was stabbed in the leg by one of those arguing.

The owner of Snap Keep Games in McHenry, Illinois was indicted for paying a 15 year old customer to perform a sex act.

In Henan Province, China, a 2 year old girl drowned when she was left outside a Mahjong parlor by her grandmother. Alone, she got to playing in a three-wheeled vehicle belonging to another Mahjong patron. With the key left inside, the girl accidentally engaged the vehicle, sending it in to a nearby pond.

Shelby County (Tennessee) officials are investigating the claims of a rap artist who says that his online video of gambling on a dice game was recorded in a local high school.

Police in Singapore raided an eighth floor apartment where illegal gambling on cards and Mahjong was taking place. They arrested 15 people.

When police in Cambodia raided a village dice game, the seven people they arrested included a military official.

Prosecutors in Taipei arrested four police officers for taking bribes from illegal Mahjong parlors.

Four men in Oakland, California were injured in a drive-by shooting that targeted their street dice game. Police know of no motive to explain the incident.

Police chasing a man from an illegal dice game in Baltimore found 11 guns in his car and one on his person.

Police in Longview, Texas arrested a man for allegedly robbing a woman of $600 at gunpoint to make up for losses he had experienced shortly before at an area dice game.

A 17 year old is under arrest in Indianapolis for shooting and killing a man who walked away from their dice game before loosing all his money. One piece of evidence against the teenager is the data from a GPS anklet he was wearing because of another case.

Police in Decatur, Illinois found a man on the street beaten and shot, and evidence nearby of a hastily abandoned dice game.

A staff member at a Nebraska youth rehabilitation center was assaulted with a sock filled with dominoes.

Police interrupted a Jonesboro, Arkansas Dominoes game to conduct a parole search. They found on the subject of their search several bags of marijuana.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesGamewright’s annual Warehouse Sale takes place this coming Friday (December 8th) in Newton, Massachusetts. There’ll be games and puzzles up to 70% off.

Over the course of 20 days, Renegade Game Studios will be giving away one of each game that the company has published this year.

Bundle of Holding’s current offerings are an eclectic mix. Worldbuilder’s Toolkit +5 includes volumes of game-mastering advice, such as Sly Flourish’s Fantastic Locations and the Kobold Guide to Plots & Campaigns. Indie Cornucopia +5 includes a selection of small-press RPG titles, such as MASHED, Puppetland, and The Sprawl. Dying Earth Compleat includes the entire product line of Dying Earth from Pelgrane Press (24 total titles at the threshold price of $37.44). Stone Skin Press includes nine titles from Pelgrane’s fiction imprint.

To celebrate the launch of Journey to the Tree of Sorrows, the company’s new Lovecraftian trans-media project, RAINN Studios is giving away enamel pins, Cthulhu statues, TerraTiles, and $500 worth of Dwarven Forge cavern models.

ProJared is giving away multiple sets of Dungeons & Dragons books.

In Compass Games’ Holiday Sale, recent releases are 25-30% off and earlier releases are 40% off. Coupon code “HOLIDAY17” required.

ACD Distribution is giving away two copies of Alien Artifacts from Portal Games.

In Hollandspiele’s Hollanday Sale, everything is $5 off.

Steve Jackson Games is giving away the contents of a Munchkin CCG tooling sample booster pack. And the game isn’t even being released until February!

Low Player Count is giving away a $100 gift certificate to Game Surplus. Entry is via a kind-of digital scavenger hunt.

CMON’s Holiday Sale runs through December 24th and features discounts of up to 80%.

Save 30% on downloads from Jon Brazer Enterprises through January with coupon code “holiday2017”.

Top Shelf Gamer is giving away Charterstone, along with a deluxe token set, from Stonemaier Games.

BattleBots are on-sale from HexBug. About 20% off.

Victory Point Games’ 12 Games of Christmas Sale has started and works this way… Every day a new game is added to the sale. Everything is 20% off.

USAopoly is doing a 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway. Sign up once for a new opportunity to win each day through the 12th.

Mayday Games will be running different Holiday Deals throughout the season. Right now, I see dexterity games on-sale.

Everything Board Games’ current giveaways include: Mountains of Madness from Iello and Pie Town and Kepler from Renegade Game Studios.

Eagle-Gryphon Games is holding a Holiday Blowout Sale with many individual games on-sale. Also save an additional 10% with a $50 total order, 20% with a $100 order, and 30% with a $150 order.

At DriveThruRPG, two bundles from Raging Swan Press will together net you over $700 in product for just under $40.

Dog Might Games is giving away a $250 gift card.

Answer The Big Community Survey from Games Workshop for a chance to win one of five $80 vouchers.

Osprey Publishing has extended its 30% off Black Friday Sale until December 15th.

Toys “R” Us has reduced select Hasbro board games to $6.

Save $5 on purchases of $25 or more from Fat Brain Toys with coupon code “DA-7969”.

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CMON announced this week a deal with Steve Jackson Games to produce board games based on the latter’s Munchkin property. The first title is planned for Fall 2018, inspired by CMON’s adventure game, Arcadia Quest.

Osprey is doing a card game based on characters from the 2000AD comics. The core mechanics for Judge Dredd: The Cursed Earth will be derived from the company’s The Lost Expedition. Additional elements will track radiation and psychic abilities. And the game will play in competitive, cooperative, and solo modes.

Following up on its recent release of The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31, pop culture company Mondo is planning two more movie-tied titles: Jurassic Park and Fight Club. In the Jurassic Park board game, one person plays InGen, creating dinosaurs and developing the park, one person plays the park visitors, sending individuals around to various attractions, one person plays the velociraptors, sneaking around to kill other players, and one person plays the T-Rex, a single figure stomping everything. The only thing revealed so far regarding Figh Club is that it’ll be a card game.

Cubicle 7’s Call of Cthulhu license from Chaosium will expire at the end of December. The company, however, plans to port Cthulhu Britannica, World War Cthulhu, and The Laundry to new RPG systems.

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A Game of Thrones Catan

As a themed variant, A Game of Thrones Catan plays a lot like the original. Terrain tiles produce resources that players can trade and use to build roads, settlements, and keeps. Subtitled “Brotherhood of the Watch”, though, the board in this version represents an area of land that belongs to the Brotherhood and is known as the Gift. Toward one end of the board is the wall. Behind it, miniature figures representing Wildlings slowly gather, eventually breaking through to fill sections of the Gift (making tiles unproductive).

Through the game, the players also have the opportunity to call on help from characters of the A Song of Ice and Fire fiction series, each with a special ability, such as trading resources or chasing off Wildlings.

One way to win A Game of Thrones Catan is, like in the original, be the first player to 10 victory points, mostly acquired through improvements in the Gift. Should the game, however, end prematurely with the Wildlings breaking through the wall three times, the winner and new Lord Commander is the player with the most guards remaining.

A Game of Thrones Catan, produced by Fantasy Flight Games, is now available at retail for $80.

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Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Dog Might’s Kickstarter campaign for their Traveler Dice Tower ends in four days. They’ve sent me one.

I don’t have much to say except it’s pretty cool.

You like well-made wooden dice towers? Yes? Then you should get one of these. Thanks for reading.

Bye.

Oh. You’re still here.

Fine.

Let’s talk about Dog Might. They make wooden things: dice trays, storage cases, dice towers, and other awesome wood things for gaming. They say they make “Kick Ass Gaming Gear”, and that’s pretty much accurate. A friend of mine purchased an Adventure Case from them at PAX Unplugged, and we all just ooo’ed and aaah’ed over it. Sturdy. Heavy. Pretty. It was a gorgeous piece of gaming goodness for storage of stuff that doubled as a dice tray and tripled as a GM screen.

This thing they sent me, they didn’t send for review. But I’m reviewing it anyway because I’ve had a chance to chat with some of the people at the company and they’re great people making nice products. Also, the Traveler Dice Tower is really cool.

See, this thing is only six inches tall by three and a half inches wide (and less than two inches thick when closed). It comes in three parts attached by those strong rare earth neodymium magnets they use on most of their products, with an optional two on the side of the bottom tray unit so you can add this to their component collector product (see right). With these magnets, you get a fit that won’t jostle the dice tower around when rolling dice. Flip the small ends around and you’ve got a travel storage solution for your dice. (I was able to get sixteen 16mm Fate dice in the unit.)

While I don’t prefer to use dice towers — I love dice trays — this is one I might consider using because of two — no, make that three — factors.

It’s really portable. The entire thing snaps up into a unit that doesn’t take up much space nor does it weigh too much. I could throw this into my messenger bag and run right out to game night. Most other dice towers I’ve seen are large and bulky. While small, it does the job, randomizing dice rolls.

Did I mention it’s small? It takes up as much space on the gaming table as a square coaster for a drink. At six inches in height, when assembled, it’s about the height of a pint glass, or slightly taller than a 12 ounce soda can. It doesn’t clutter a table and doesn’t get in the way.

And they look good. Dog Might uses real wood and have a large selection of woods and finishes and decorations to add to it. Look, here’s the one they sent me.

I don’t mean they sent me that wood type for the dice tower, they sent me that one. That’s Kentucky Coffeetree, with the Laurels engraving on front and the Stag sculpted design on back, which is a design you can get for $55. You can get a simple, plain Whitewood dice tower for $45 — and even without a design, this is a neat looking tower. At $60, the wood type upgrades to African Mahogany, $5 more gets you to the stained colored Flame Birch series, and then for a few dollars more you can upgrade to Cherry, Maple, Red Oak, Benge (featured in the first image), and on and on until you’ve dropped $135 on a tower carved out of Bolivian Rosewood which is absolutely stunning. (And if you are the type of person that can afford to spend $135 on a dice tower, this is the one to drop it on.)

So, should you get it? Well, do you like well-made wooden dice towers? Yes? Then you should get one of these.

A Kentucky Coffeetree Traveler Dice Tower wasn’t provided for review by Dog Might, but we decided to review it anyway.

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