Grand Prix International

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesProfessional Magic player Fabrizio Anteri was suspended for 18 months for failing to properly shuffle his cards. In his defense, Anteri says he simply forgot.

The corner jail space of a Monopoly board recently painted on a Jersey City, New Jersey street was covered over with solid orange after complaints that the image promoted racial stereotypes. Expressing his disappointment to a local newspaper, the artist said that critics were projecting their own racial biases. The image, in fact, was a self-portrait (he is of Puerto Rican and Italian descent).

A visitor from mainland China was attacked and beaten by Hong Kong villagers who accused him of cheating at Mahjong games played in a local grocery store. Allegedly, the Mahjong tiles were marked with invisible ink, which the visiting player could see with special contact lenses. Police called to the scene found marked tiles but were unable to find any special glasses or lenses.

Neelash Saha, who won the National Chess Championship of India by half a point, has been banned by the All Indian Chess Federation (AICF) after one of his opponents in the tournament admitted to feigning illness to withdraw from a match and give Saha a full point for a win. The ban, though, has been stayed by a Madras High Court judge pending a further hearing.

One of the trains involved in a head-on collision in Texas was carrying product for WizKids. As a result, the company has had to cancel all pre-release events for Marvel HeroClix: The Superior Foes of Spider-Man.

A group of Cambodian husbands, angry that their wives were playing dice instead of doing housework, snitched on them to local police. When officers attempted to raid the game, however, the players were able to escape with their money, perhaps because one of those playing with them was the wife of a police chief.

The Chess courtyard of Woodruff Park in Atlanta was closed indefinitely after gangs moved in and started taking over the Chess games.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service rejected the $5.2 million refund request of Irish businessman John P. McManus. The money was withheld by his opponent from $17.4 million won in a Backgammon game. The IRS says McManus doesn’t qualify for a refund under a treaty with Ireland because he’s actually a resident of Switzerland.

Professional Poker player and osteopathic doctor, Jaclynn Moskow, has begun speaking out against sexist and anti-Semitic attitudes, as well as actual sexual harassment, in tournament Poker circles. She claims a prominent commentator thrust his face, without consent, in to her chest at an event connected with the recording of a Poker television show. She provided the NY Daily News with a recording of another commentator saying, “The thing about ‘Poker Night’ that makes it so great is that there are no Jews. Every other show on TV has Jews.”

Cyber Bunny was dropped from the new version of King of Tokyo because of “legal technicalities.”

Hasbro won Best Legal Department in the Consumer Goods & Retail category of the 2016 International General Counsel Awards.

Game of Life trademark pendingA Mr. Jonathan Scott applied to register a trademark for “Game of Life” apparel. I gather the logo is supposed to look something like a baseball diamond. Hasbro, though, thinks it’ll be confused with The Game of Life board game and has filed an opposition.

Hasbro filed its own trademark applications for “Hascon” and “Hasbrocon“, for the purpose of “organizing and conducting conventions, exhibitions, fan clubs and gatherings for entertainment purposes and in the fields of toys, animation, comic books, fantasy, gaming, popular culture, science fiction, television and film.”

Hasbro continues to hold the upper hand defending against a claim that it misappropriated the idea for My Little Pony and Littlest Pet Shop toys filled with glittery liquid. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that the company had developed the same idea independently and that the trade secrets claimed by Elinor Shapiro were in fact in the public domain.

Primary election results in Oregon were decided by the roll of dice. Both Republican Dan Mason and Democrat Janeen Sollman each received 41 votes in the Independent Party primary for State Representative in District 30. State law requires that ties be decided by a game of chance. Mason’s roll of six beat Sollman’s three.

Four individuals were shot while playing street dice games in Brooklyn, Clairton (Pennsylvania), Baltimore, and Natchez (Mississippi). Two of four died from their wounds.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesThe Cthulhu-and-bureaucracy Laundry RPG is back on Bundle of Holding. The $9 Starter Collection includes the Core Rulebook and Agent’s Handbook. The Bonus Collection, at the threshold price of around $25, includes five additional supplements.

Rogue Genius Games has put $600 of Pathfinder PDFs up in a bundle deal for just $30. That’s 95% off.

Paizo is having a summer PDF sale with 25% off select products.

For 20% off two or more organizing box inserts from Insert Here, use coupon code “2016happyih4th”.

Mutant Crawl ClassicsGoodman Games is doing for the post-apocalyptic genre what it did for fantasy with the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG. Mutant Crawl Classics, inspired by Gamma World and Metamorphosis Alpha, is stand-alone but still fully compatible with DCC. Characters can be human, mutant, manimal, or plantient and in a typical adventure venture the wastelands to collect lost super-science.

For a system that’ll allow gamers to make their own mutants, Weapons Grade Funk is working toward a line of customizable anthropomorphic miniatures. The current round of fundraising will support sculpting of all the various body parts. These will then be incorporated in to an online application with which users can mix-and-match for 3D printing.

Game of Blame combines be-the-first-to-dump-your-cards game-play with a kind-of hot-potato mechanic for a light card game of courtly intrigue. As the queen’s advisers, the players know that personal success isn’t really about fixing the kingdom’s problems but instead about making sure someone else takes the blame for the things that go wrong.

Planetarium CardBeautiful and with a unique theme, Planetarium from Game Salute has players forming the planets of a new solar system by colliding matter on board orbits, and then further evolving those planets through the play of various cards.

Back on earth, players operate ice cream trucks in Rocky Road a la Mode, Green Couch Games’ tribute to the summer season. Cards in the game serve either as music to attract customers or as frozen treats to relieve the heat. With the right customers, players can also lay claim to summer hot spots, such as the pool, park, or ball field.

For the more sinister players, there’s Mr. B’s Madness at Midnight, a cultists-side Cthulhu game. This one combines worker placement and action-dice mechanics as players fulfill sinister plots and work to control key locations in Arkham. The first to 13 victory points is the winner, that is as long as they manage to keep the investigators at bay.

US Tak Association Announced


The US Tak Association (USTA), announced its formation formation today. Their goals are to “share and promote the game of Tak,” and  promoting “fair and competitive play by establishing a comprehensive set of rules and standards that can be used for tournaments and other events.”

Cassidy Werner, marketing director at Cheapass Games: “The USTA has our full support.”

Along with this news, Wyrmwood Gaming has announced a Year 0 Tak tournament at Gen Con. Every participant will win a prize, while First, Second, and Third place players will receive custom prizes crafted by Wyrmwood Gaming. Space is limited; those interested in participating should sign up for the tournament as soon as possible.

Pokémon U.S. National Championships – July 1-3

Pokemon US National Championships logoThis weekend, July 1st – 3rd, the Pokémon U.S. National Championships will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. All players will be competing for great prizes and Championship points, required to earn an invitation to the Pokémon World Championships in San Francisco this August. The National Championships will feature the Pokémon TCG and Video Game,

Also, for the first time ever, a Pokkén Tournament will be held with both a Senior and Masters Division. The top two finishers in each division will earn a travel award and invitation to compete in the Pokkén Tournament event at the Pokémon World Championships in San Francisco in August. Note that these Pokkén events are not part of the National Championships.

A First Look at New Spellweaver Cards

The team over at Dream Reactor have announced that every Tuesday from now until the new set’s release they’ll be adding 3 or more cards into the game in regular booster packs. They are not available for crafting, and are not valid for competitive play (ranked and tournaments) until next week’s update.

This week’s cards, which are already in play, are: Felix the Lightsworn, Baseborn Recruit, and Voidtouched Subordinate.

The next 3+1 secret cards – Thianor Wolftongue, Silver Fang, Eternal Servitude, and Slave Gladiator, should be in game soon. They introduce new keyword mechanic. Thianor Wolftongue, and Epic card, will take up a Rare slot in packs for a week, so try your hand at snagging him!


Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesDigital Days of Wonder games are on-sale, including Splendor, Ticket to Ride, and Small World—Android, iOS, and Steam—for up to 70% off.

Retweet and follow Playopolis Board Game Cafe (UK) for a chance to win either Pandemic or Cards Against Humanity.

Get 35% off games or magazine games from Compass Games when using coupon code “paperwars” along with the purchase of an issue of Paper Wars magazine.

Promo code “JESTERJULY” will get you 20% orders direct from Gamewright.

Steam’s Summer Sale includes Fantasy Grounds virtual tabletop for 25-44% off, Talisman games for 50% off.

Strat-O-Matic Basketball, Hockey, and Football games for Windows are 25% off through Thursday morning. A coupon code, “BHFROSTERS”, is required.

July 1-5, Wild West Exodus will be 35% off from Outlaw Miniatures.


Arriving August 1st, Arena of the Planeswalkers: Shadows Over Innistrad is stand-alone set instead of just an expansion to the popular Arena of the Planeswalkers game. While the box image isn’t clear, we know we’ll be getting 5 Planeswalkers: Sorin, the Innistrad version of Jace, and what possibly looks like Arlinn and Nahiri. I can’t really make out the fifth one.

MSRP will be $29.99.

I’m really glad Hasbro is still supporting the game, though I miss the wave-style releases of figures that Heroscape used.

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that both the 4th and 5th Planeswalkers in the box are Arlinn in her human and werewolf form.


Custom Dice

Ultramarines DiceBattleTech Dice House LiaoThe thing about these dice is you probably don’t need them. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the games they go with, you’re really going to want them.

Available now from Q-Workshop are BattleTech Dice with individual sets at $15 for Houses Kurita, Davion, Liao, Marik, and Steiner. Each set with two house dice plus one die for each of four combat commands.

Coming soon from Q-Workshop are dice sets for Cubicle Seven’s roleplaying games, Doctor Who, The One Ring, and Lone Wolf.

And direct from Games Workshop, a set of Ultramarines Dice, 20 for $20.

Doctor Who RPG Dice

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Today I’ve got a trio of HABA games to go over: Mix and Match Robbers, Tambuzi, and Space Planets. My thoughts on the three vary a good amount, but overall my kids really enjoyed all three. Myself? We’ll get to that.

First off if Mix and Match Robbers, a game of speed matching. Each round a new head, torso, and set of legs are flipped over from 3 separate decks. These three cards will show you the robber that needs to be caught. The players then search all the face up characters and try to find the one that matches the revealed robber. The player who finds it first get that card as part of their victory pool. The game ends when there’s no more combination cards left, or no more matching character cards in the pool. The player with the most robbers wins the game.
300633_4c_f_mix_max_raeuber_englisch_01It’s light, fun, and I was even able to play this one with my 2-year-old son (though he’s a bit slower than the older kids). It’s fast, and only costs $7.49. Will it have much staying power in my household? I’m guessing the kids may take it out now and then over the summer, but will probably tire of it quickly. It’s a great game for me to take out and play alone with my youngest, so I can see it getting more play that way. I’d recommend this up to age 6, max.

Next up is Tambuzi, a larger game with an electronic component that plays sounds, dictates how players move, and signals a round’s end. We we really excited to play this one, but it kinda fell flat for me. Each player has two tokens that they’ll move around the board while trying to get the animals to shelter, or at least not outside the board when lightning strikes. The electronic component has a button that players press to dictate their movement, or allow them to enter a hut if they’re next to one. After a while it’ll also emit a crack of thunder. Whichever player is off the board (the player currently moving) will have that piece removed from the game. Play continues until only 3 animals are left on the board, and then points are added up.

7180_tambuziThe trick here is that you need to play really fast. When you hit the button you get a movement number between one and three. You can also get a hut. When you move, you move outside the board in a clockwise motion. If you land next to a space with an animal on a door mat you swap with that animal and that player then hits the button. If the other animal is already in a hut, you hit the button and move again. If you happen to be next to a hut and get the hut icon, you move inside, swapping with the animal already in there if there is one. If you’re on a blank space, you go again. The goal is to do as much as you can, as fast as you can, so another player gets caught outside when lightning strikes.

You keep playing, with the highest scoring player getting a water token, until all the water tokens are gone. The player with the most tokens at the end winds. To tell you the truth, the game feels way too long playing that way, so my kids and I basically just played until the end of one round, and the person with the highest score won. My 6-year-old son and 10-year-old son enjoy the game to a point, but usually stop after a couple of times. I really didn’t like this one, as it’s purely luck, with nothing really happening except hitting the button as fast as you can. Basically musical chairs with a savanna theme. At $35.99, personally I’d skip it. It’s probably the first HABA game I’ve ever suggested to skip.

301773_4c_f_space_planets_05Last, but most certainly not least, is Space Planets. This one really hit all the right buttons for me, my 6-year-old son, 9-year-old daughter, and 10-year-old son. It’s a dexterity game where you’re trying to roll a die onto a card in a 3×3 grid. If you’ve got enough fuel you can snag the card, and maybe even get a bonus if there’s one listed on the card. Can’t buy it? That’s OK, you can use the roll to refuel.

Each card is worth a certain amount of points, and like I said earlier, some let you take special actions. Once one player has taken five tiles each player takes one more turn and the game is over. The player with the highest points wins. Plants are worth what they say, and any extra fuel you have left over can be converted to 2-1 for points, too. It’s really quick to set up, simple to learn, and a whole lot of fun.

Space Planets may be one of my new favorite HABA games, and I can see this one coming out for play time and time again in our house. At $11.99, this one is a no-brainer to purchase if you’ve got kids in the house. If you were to get only one of the three games I’ve covered here, this would be the one to get.

Anyway, there you have it. I always love getting the chance to play HABA games because you generally can’t go wrong. While Tambuzi wasn’t my cup of tea, my kids did enjoy it. Mix and Match Robbers provides a good amount of play for the price, and Space Planets is a gem.

Copies of Mix and Match Robbers, Tambuzi, and Space Planets were provided free for review by HABA.

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