2015 Pokémon World Champions Announced

The 2015 Pokémon World in Boston, MA just wrapped up over the weekend, and the champions have been announced. Here’s the winners, along with the runner up, for the TCG championships:

2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Junior Division
(born in 2002 or later)
  • World Champion: Rowan Stavenow (Canada)
  • Second Place: Alejandro Ng-Guzman (United States)
2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Senior Division
(born in 1998–2001)
  • World Champion: Patrick Martinez (United States)
  • Second Place: Jeffrey Cheng (United States)
2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Masters Division
(born in 1997 or earlier)
  • World Champion: Jacob Van Wagner (United States)
  • Second Place: Mees Brenninkmeijer (Netherlands)

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe current Bundle of Holding offers several alternate and fantasy history games, plus the Timemaster time-traveling RPG, for just $9. Those who pay $22, get two additional games and two adventure ebooks.

Together, The Curated Tee and Peaceable Kingdom are giving away a board game, along with a t-shirt and stickers, via Instagram.

Passport Games is giving away a copy of Fool’s Gold before it hits retail.


Ticket to Ride United Kingdom


Releasing at Esssen in October, the fifth addition to the Ticket to Ride Map Collection will be the United Kingdom. This set includes:

  • Map of United Kingdom (2-4 players)
  • Map of Pennsylvania (2-5 players)
  • New Train cards & Tech Cards (United Kingdom)
  • New Stock Share Cards (Pennsylvania)
  • Tickets & Rules for each Map

Both maps include unique rules, including technology upgrades for the UK map and stocks/investing for the Pennsylvania one. Price for the map pack is listed at $40.

Crowdfunding Highlights

Christopher Ferguson revisits the old zip-top-bag micro war game format with his Kickstarter project for Star Patrol. It’s a hex-and-counter game of spaceship combat that embraces Newtonian space flight mechanics. During the course of the game, players must keep track of inertia and orientation for each of their custom-designed ships.

Also hearkening back to the earlier days of hobby gaming is the Marmoreal Tomb Campaign Starter from Earnest Gary Gygax Jr. Designed for AD&D (but with stretch goals also compatible with Pathfinder and 5th Edition), the campaign is based on the game Earnest used to run while managing the Dungeon Hobby Shop for TSR.

Another RPG project on Kickstarter turns the 1993 novel, Vurt by Jeff Noon, in to a tabletop game. The setting of Vurt is a cyberpunk world in which munching on color-coded feathers allows people to access an alternate reality. In game form, Vurt will use Monte Cook Games’ Cypher System.

Dingo's Dreams TilesAlternate realities of a sort also make an appearance on the board game front. Dingo’s Dreams from Red Raven Games and designer Alf Seegert has players guiding animals through a dream world. Gameplay involves manipulating a matrix of tiles so that as they’re flipped from landscape-side to animal-side, the animals fit a specific target pattern for the round.

Prime Time from Golden Egg Games is a board game about managing a television network. Players compete to develop shows, cast actors, and fill their weekly schedules in a way that will attract various viewer demographics, earn awards, and sell advertising. A somewhat more substantial Euro-style strategy game, this one nevertheless appears to marry mechanics and theme very well.

Shooting Averted at Pokemon World Championships

Pokemon Guns

Two men from Iowa, 27 year-old James Stumbo and 18 year-old Kevin Norton, have been arrested by police in Boston on various firearm related charges. After making violent threats against attendees on Facebook, the two were stopped from entering the Pokemon World Championships on Friday. A subsequent search of their car turned up a 12-gauge shotgun, an AR-15 rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and a hunting knife.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Synchron Extreme Structure Deck

Synchron Extreme Structure DeckThe Yu-Gi-Oh! Synchron Extreme Structure Deck hits retail August 28th with 10 brand new cards, including two ultra-rare and three super-rare. Designed to spice up monster-summoning, the 44-card deck intruduces Jet Synchron, Rush Warrior, and the 3000 ATK Stardust Warrior.

Second Look—Karma

Karma Layout

With Karma, from Set Enterprises, you get a deck of cards numbered 1-16 three times—plus 12 special “Karma” cards. The goal is to get rid of all your cards by dropping on to the discard pile a card that’s equal-to or greater than the card placed by the last player. If you can’t play up, as it were, the whole discard pile becomes yours.

It’s a basic style of gameplay that you’ve probably experienced before. What Karma adds to that, though, includes:

  • A set of three face-down and three face-up “table cards” for each player. These are also cards you must get rid of in order to go “out” but which you can’t in general play until your hand is empty.
  • The ability to play multiple cards. That is, on the same turn you can play two or three of the same card as a way of emptying your hand faster. Additionally, whether they’ve been played by just one or multiple players, whenever three of the same cards are on the top of the discard pile, that whole pile is taken out of the game.
  • Karma cards, which when played allow you to do special things like play one of your table cards early or force another player to just take the discard pile out-of-turn.

All together, this makes for a serviceable light, social card game if that’s what you’re looking for. Play is rapid. Decisions are easy. The game has a take-that element. And the relative fortunes of players can reverse quickly.

Personally, however I don’t particularly enjoy Karma. Whether it usually goes that way or not, Karma feels like a game that could last forever. The fewer cards you have in your hand, the more likely it will be that you’ll have to take the discard pile. Even when you get down to your last three table cards, those are the face-down ones, which you have to play without looking. If the one you play is a lower number than the last played card, there you are starting over with a full hand. When I played, I actually found myself intentionally saving up and laying down triples just to move the game along.

Another thing that bothers me a little about Karma is the way the game defines winners and losers. According to the rules, you keep playing until all but one person has gotten rid of all their cards. All those people are winners. The one player left with cards is the loser. It’s not a big deal for a group of adults. However, it seems to me not an especially nice way to end a social card game by declaring one lone loser.

A complimentary copy of Karma was provided by Set Enterprises for review.

Warlord Games announced they have received a license to produce a miniature battle game based on the wildly popular BBC television show about a man who talks his way out of violent situations. They state “the license covers not just the latest series of Doctor Who, but encompasses all of the Doctors, their companions, and their foes,” which means I’ll finally be able to find a miniature of Adric, the mathematical supergenius. Details on the game system are scant, but presumably the game will center around an elaborate system of running through gravel quarries and using one’s wits to defuse difficult situations before they lead to violence.

brassThis afternoon, Martin Wallace publicly posted two letters sent to Eagle Gryphon Games announcing an official termination of agreement regarding Brass. Wallace previously stated that he had given notice to the company to terminate their contract in December of 2014, “as long as the sales [of Brass] are below a certain point, which was the case [at that time].”

The new termination of contract notification, dated August 13, 2015, specifically cites that EGG’s lack of sending “statements of the number of units sold, net sales, and royalties owed” and failure to provide the ten sample units of the White Goblin version of Brass is what caused the contract’s termination. Because of this, the intellectual property law firm Wallace hired states that all rights to Brass have been reverted to Martin Wallace. “Deposits to bank accounts and recent public postings on BoardGameGeek.com do not substitute for formal statements to [Wallace],” Jeffrey Myers of Peacock Myers, P.C., wrote.

Wallace writes that the financial cost of a lawsuit is too much for Treefrog Games, Wallace’s publishing company, to incure. Although EGG has Brass available, he calls it “essentially stolen property”.

Treefrog has started work on a new version of Brass, which should be launched on Kickstarter later this year, with an expected delivery of early 2016.

Star Wars Risk

Because you were so excited by the glimpse at Star Wars Risk that Lory got in April, I thought you might be interested to see this image of the game from an upcoming Hasbro catalog.

Star Wars Risk from catalog

« Previous Entries   — Next Page »