The Escapist is giving away some miniatures games: Star Trek Expeditions and two sets of Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Command.
Ares Games is giving away six copies of Inkognito for Mardi Gras. To enter, post a video, image, thought, or quote about Carnival, the Spies, or Venice to the company’s Facebook page. But enter quickly, the contest ends today.
DriveThruRPG is running a GM’s Day Sale.
Dan Verssen Games will include a free box of Girl Scout cookies with each order during the month of March.
Diaspora and Hollowpoint from VSCA are on-sale for 20% off via Lulu.
Precis Intermedia is having a Misprint, Ding, and Dent Sale. Softcover books are being sold for as little as $5.
Funagain Games is also having a Ding & Dent Sale.
GTS Distribution is giving away Cyclades and Kemet from Asmodee.
A few pics of the next collection of Dungeons & Dragons Kreons:
The New Zealand Festival of MindSports runs Friday through Sunday, February 28th-March 2nd, in Thames. The event features Bridge, pub trivia, Chess, miniature war games, Draughts, Scrabble, Mahjong, Backgammon, Magic: The Gathering, Sudoku, Dungeons & Dragons, Poker, Snooker, and Blackjack. A registration fee of $15 covers entry in to all events.
Medals will be awarded in a MiniPentamind tournament for players that accumulate points playing Backgammon, Chess, Draughts, Mahjong, Scrabble, and Bridge.
Capitan Games is collecting photos of miniatures battles for the next edition of Napoleon’s Battles. If a picture is used, the players who submitted it will get a free copy of the rulebook.
DriveThruRPG’s We Love Games Sale celebrates Valentine’s Day with 14% off a “whole pile of stuff”.
With the inauguration of ebook sales on its website, Mongoose Publishing is offering them at 50% off.
LINEAGE: The Martial Arts Strategy Game, by Gray Wolf Games, is a 2-6 player board game deeply rooted in Chinese philosophy. In the game you’re training your skills under masters, freeing or conquering cities, serving or avoiding the emperor, visiting temples, and protecting your own lineage.
Quirky art, no-surface-required-play, and a light atmosphere are the qualities oddball Aeronauts is all about. This 2 player game has you picking a skill, playing support cards, and comparing it against your opponent. Special abilities help you turn the tide in your favor. Force the other player to discard all their cards to win. While it may sound like an over-glorified version of War, there looks to be a bit more depth and strategy to it.
Taking drinking games to the next level seems to be a thing lately. UNCORKED! comes along and pairs drinking wine with a light party game. Drink some wine, write your own tasting notes, and then try to match the tasting notes to the person who wrote them. My guess is things get a bit more hilarious once a copious amount of wine has been consumed.
Deck building with airships? Zeppelin Attack has you covered on that front. Set in Evil Hat Productions’ Spirit of the Century universe, you play a villainous mastermind bent on world domination. The big difference with this game and standard deck builders is that Zeppelin Attack is mainly focused on combat.
Against The Dark Yogi: Mythic India Roleplaying brings the myths of India to the tabletop in a complete roleplaying package. Play as a powerful hero empowered by dharma with rules to handle simple to complex combat, karma, scalable power levels, and optional rules allow the use of traditional Ganjifa Indian playing cards.
Games and Stories is a really interesting project where you pay for the project per-adventure. Writer and designer Will Hindmarch will be creating adventures for various role-playing games and then charging you automatically for each one based on your pledge level. One of the goals of the project is to make the adventures read well as stories in case you can’t get to the table to play them.
“Stone, zombies & even physics are merely obstacles to be surpassed as you build, and struggle through your maze to reach the prize.” That’s the catchy line heading up Maze Master, a card game were you choose 3 actions every turn and resolve them. Actions can be as simple as building or moving, or advanced as combat, rewinding, teleporting and more. The goal of the game is to reach the powerful relic, then escape the mountain with it before the other players come after you.
Last in the highlights, but certainly not least, is CTHULHU: The Great Old One – Card Game & Bicycle Deck. The game is a fast-paced game for 2-8 players with Tarot-sized cards. Along with this is a standard Bicycle deck with a Cthulhu theme, because everyone loves a bit of insanity-inducing tentacles.
Hasbro’s annual pre-Toy Fair presentation to investors took place this morning. This annual event, compared to the report on financial results earlier in the week, is much more focused on product plans.
I won’t go in to all the games that the company announced, saving that for Monday when I visit the showroom in person. I will, however, say that I’m very interested to get a closer look at Simon Swipe and the Play Doh Launch Game.
Not that it should surprise us anymore but once-again, Magic: The Gathering featured prominently in Hasbro’s presentation. The company revealed that Magic grew 182 percent over the last 5 years. During the same period, the number of stores in the Wizards Play Network grew 60 percent. Active players grew 29 percent in 2013. And last year, 835,000 people participated in organized tournaments.
The presentation also provided fans a slight glimmer of hope that Dungeons & Dragons would get some more corporate attention. For the fist time in a while, the D&D logo at least made an appearance, showing up on a slide about multi-platform gaming. …I said it was only a slight glimmer.
Using construction bricks and minifigures for roleplaying or war games isn’t anything new. Yet to have products designed specifically for Dungeons & Dragons is pretty exciting! Thus I wasted no time in picking up a few of the just released Dungeons & Dragons Kre-O sets from Hasbro. (See my photos below.)
In case you’re not familiar with it, Kre-O is Hasbro’s system of plastic construction bricks, compatible with Lego. There are Kre-O lines for Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, CityVille Invasion, and Battleship. Among those the company has added some nice lighting and motion enhancements to the basic interlocking pieces.
While for the D&D series I haven’t seen anything high-tech, I am so far impressed with both the quality and thematic style. The fit and sturdiness of the Kre-O pieces is comparable to Lego—perhaps not equal, but comparable. The bricks hold together well; they’re neither loose nor particularly difficult to separate. And the recommended builds certainly provide the expected somewhat-dark, fantasy medieval vibe, with details such as torches, banners, and battlements. A building in one of my sets has a golden sword hidden in the attic—I’m sure there’s a story behind that.
One of the features that Hasbro is promoting in its Dungeons & Dragons Kre-O line is a modular construction approach that the company calls “Rapid Rebuild”. For example, the Battle Outpost set I purchased has a castle wall section, a castle corner section, and a tavern section. These can be kept separate, or with little knobs that fit in to holes on their sides, they can be locked together in various configurations.
Kre-O minifigures, which Hasbro calls “Kreons”, are nicely detailed. For example, rather than painted-on armor, the orc Kreon’s breastplate and the barbarian’s shoulder-plates are separate pieces. Drizzt, of course, has finely sculpted white hair. Kreon arms and legs, in fact, have more freedom of movement than Lego minifigs.
Siege weapons come with certain of the larger sets and are also sold separately. There are catapults, lightning canons, and ballistae (though Hasbro’s just calling them crossbows), which shoot marbles, arrows, and rings, respectively.
One of the things that excited me pre-release was the understanding that there would be a game component to Dungeons & Dragons Kre-O. And though they’re not much, there are in fact two recommended ways to play, with more possibly coming later. The first game option is to use the provided challenge cards, which specify targets for the various siege weapons and a limit to the number of attempted shots.
The second game, only slightly more involved, has players trying to knock over each other’s Kreons. But to do so, they must take turns, drawing from separate decks of character cards (every Kreon comes with a card) to see how many shots they get to take. The player with the last figure standing is the winner.
Interestingly, character cards also show four numeric stats, which based on the symbols I take to mean weapons, armor, speed, and magic. Drizzt, for example, has weapons of 51 and magic of 45. An orc swordsman has weapons of 37 and magic of 14. However, nothing in the package suggests any use for these numbers.
Price-wise, I think Kre-O is quite reasonable. I purchased the Battle Outpost, which includes three Kreons and 176 pieces, for $17. The 22 piece Drizzt set was only $4.
Overall then, my initial excitement for Dungeons & Dragons Kre-O remains. Not only am I having fun with it as an adult, I think it has great potential to inspire younger gamers.
Reporting on its fourth quarter and full-year financial results, Hasbro revealed Monday that net earnings for 2013 were $286.2 million, or $2.17 per diluted share. That’s a drop of 15 percent compared to an EPS of $2.55 for 2012.
Before one-time expenses, the year-on-year difference was much smaller, $372.4 million compared to $370.8 for 2012. Besides various tax and pension adjustments, Hasbro’s net was impacted by a $73 million arbitration loss related to a license for NERF and Super Soaker.
While Hasbro’s net revenues were nearly flat, $4.08 billion in 2013 compared to $4.09 billion in 2012, those numbers hide some significant changes for the company. Boys products, traditionally its strongest category, fell 22 percent. This, the company explained, was mostly due to a lack of major entertainment releases during the year, as well as continued slowing of Beyblade sales. Girls, however, rose 26 percent and games 10 percent. The strongest growth in girls products was experienced by My Little Pony Equestria Girls, NERF Rebelle, and Furby.
Across categories, what the company calls its franchise brands were up 15 percent.
In terms of games, Hasbro is putting greater emphasis on its major brands. Magic: The Gathering grew 20 percent in 2013 and continues to be a major area of investment for the company. In contrast, Hasbro revealed that it was writing off certain intangible assets related non-core game brands, though it failed to specify which those were.
Hasbro’s performance also continues to be buoyed by international growth. Overall international business was up 5 percent. Business in emerging markets grew 25 percent.
Along with the financial results, Hasbro’s Board of Directors announced that it was raising the quarterly dividend 8 percent to 43¢ per share. The markets responded positively. Share prices have risen about 4 percent since the results were revealed.
All Us Geeks is giving away a 4-day Gen Con badge and three copies of Stones of Fate from Cosmic Wombat Games.
Gryphon Games is running a Sid Sackson Special. Purchase I’m the Boss for 10% off and get all other Sid Sackson games for 50% off. Or don’t purchase I’m the Boss and still get all the rest for 25% off.
For the grand reopening of its Warehouse 23 and e23 webstores, Steve Jackson Games will include free Munchkin Fairy Dust products with orders of $75 or more.
Through March, subscriptions to the print edition of the American Journal of Play are discounted 10%.
TimetoPlay Magazine is giving away Bop-It Tetris and two Disney Pop-Up games from Hasbro.
Dyson’s Dodecahedron will give away a book of fantasy roleplaying adventures to a randomly chosen someone who completes a partial dungeon map.
Tenkar’s Tavern is running an OSR Superstar contest, mirroring the RPG Superstar one from Paizo. Prizes in this one include cash up to $250 and a copy of WOTC’s Original Dungeons & Dragons Reprint.
To celebrate the release of its M48A3 Patton II tank miniature, Warmodelling Miniatures is offering a deal that packages one of those with two PT-76s for 69€ (normally 75€).
Pelgrane Press is conducting a survey of customer preferences for Gen Con activities. Those who respond have a chance to win product vouchers.
Some Amazon deals:
A new version of Mindjammer, the transhuman science fiction roleplaying game previously available as a supplement to Starblazer Adventures, is hitting the market as a standalone implementation of Fate Core. The nearly 500-page second edition incorporates all necessary rules for sentient starships, planetary cultures, alien life-forms, virtual reality, and techno-psionic powers.
Customers who preorder print copies of Mindjammer from Modiphius Entertainment will get immediate access to the pre-release Thoughtcast PDF. A final ebook is scheduled for release by the end of February and print copies for delivery in March. Also available now is a free preview version on DriveThruRPG.