Gamesmith’s Pirate Den is a simple game of playing cards and stealing treasure, sometimes from merchant ships and sometimes from each other. The game has a bluffing element too, as cards are played simultaneously. Occasionally, players bury their treasure, which in game terms means protecting victory points from being stolen.

Goodman Games is raising funds to reprint the original Metamorphosis Alpha roleplaying game, plus new adventures, in a single hardback book. This project is unrelated to an earlier one that funded a fifth edition of Metamorphosis Alpha from Signalfire Studios.

Another early RPG product being resurrected is City State of the Invincible Overlord, which Judges Guild wants to update for the Pathfinder RPG.

Real-time is a hot trend and Chronos Conquest certainly targets that style of play. But it does so with a twist. Instead of one timer setting a limit on everyone’s moves, Chronos Conquest gives each player 2-3 sand timers. They then slap down those timers on card stacks in order to lay claim to the top cards when those specific timers expire.

Another trend-follower with a twist is the zombie miniatures game, Zed or Alive. Its combat rules are based on Savage Worlds: Showdown but it also includes a campaign system that allows players to create their own mutating virus strain.

Talking Cartoon Rabbits bucks trends with its Triptych project. The game is a CCG without a theme. Subtitled “Anything vs. Everything”, Triptych’s cards feature fantasy creatures, characters from classic literature, superheros, historic figures, and everything else you can imagine.

Mobile Frame Zero Alpha BanditMobile Frame Zero: Alpha Bandit is a set of rules for running miniature battles with spaceships made of Lego construction bricks. A copy of the robot combat rules, Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack, is required (but available to download for free). If you act quick, you might still be able to grab one of the $650 reward tiers that includes a fleet of custom built ships.

El Generale has players acting as dictators, each with their own real-world country. During the course of a game, a general has to balance internal infrastructure development with external military conflict. But at the end of the game, the goal is to escape the inevitable revolution with the largest stash of cash.

In Highway Hustle, Blue Room Games looks to pair the themes of road construction and battling bands in a tile-laying game because… why not!?!

Legendary Games is working with Kobold Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Dreamscarred Press on a major expansion to the Mythic Adventure rules of the Pathfinder RPG. The group is producing a Mythic Hero’s Handbook, a Mythic Monster Manual, and a Mythic Spell Compendium—they’re calling the project Mythic Mania. $2,300 more and all three books will be in-print.

Coup Reformation is an expansion and its project page says barely a word about the game’s contents. Yet with 13 days to go, it’s already raised more than $80,000 (over eight times it’s goal). So clearly, that’s all you need from me.

Not having as easy a time of it, R&R Games is raising funds for an electronic version of its 1st & Goal football board game.

Troll Hunt is a game about being mean to trolls. First players summon them in to a walled compound, then with lanterns and mirrors shine light in their eyes to petrify them. Something like those laser puzzles but without the laser. Poor trolls!

Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride & Prejudice Card Game

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Hitting the shelves on April 18th, Marrying Mr. Darcy: The Pride & Prejudice Card Game puts the players in the roles of the female characters from Jane Austen’s famous novel. Better your lady by attending events, improving your character, and using cunning to win over the male suitor that will best satisfy her at the end of the game.

That didn’t really come out right.

Anyway. The game is for ages 13+, takes around 60 minutes, is for 2-6 players, and will retail for $35.

Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesIn Pakistan, a man died after consuming more than a dozen bottles of soda to satisfy a wager over a game of Carrom.

In Chonggu, Qingpu district, China a man intended to torch a Mahjong parlor but ended up setting fire to himself and two others. The man was upset because he believed that his wife was having an affair with someone from the club. However, while he was dousing the parlor’s gate with gasoline, the father and son owners of the parlor rushed him. During the struggle, all three became soaked. Then the arsonist ignited his lighter.

A 16 year-old caught cheating during the 2013 Cork Chess Congress (he was found consulting a computer in a bathroom during a game) has been banned from tournament play for 4 months by the Irish Chess Union. However, the adult who found him in the bathroom and accused him of cheating (who was also the teen’s opponent) was banned from all activities for 10 months.

Legislators in South Carolina are considering a bill that would legalize games played by clubs and social groups in homes and community centers. Strict reading of a still-on-the-books 1802 law forbids all games involving cards or dice. In fact, just last May a retirement community banned Bridge and Canasta groups from meeting rooms after being warned by state police that the games were illegal. But not everyone supports the bill. Some are concerned that changes to the law may inadvertently legalize gambling. In response, the state senator who sponsored the bill has threatened to sue and have the whole gaming law thrown out if his more careful revisions aren’t passed.

An underground Poker club in New York City was raided by police and is also being sued by the city. The lead organizer of the club (who was present during the raid but escaped arrest) told a reporter that the club would continue because the potential earnings outweighed any risk of misdemeanor charges for promoting gambling.

Police in China broke up a con operation that would drug business men from Tongxiang and then convince them that they had lost money playing Mahjong. One man racked up debts of 2 million Yuan.

Hasbro finds itself the subject of a lawsuit over the abandonment of the National Scrabble Association. John D. Williams claims that in return for promoting the game and running tournaments, the publisher agreed to pay him $10,000 for each 1 percent increase in Scrabble’s sales. In court papers, he asks for $1 million and states that Hasbro has sold 150 million Scrabble games since 1982.

The Wilbraham, Massachusetts Board of Appeals denied Michael Farnham a permit to open a game store. However, board members indicated that it wasn’t the CCGs and RPGs they were concerned about, but rather the swords, knives, and paintball guns that Farnham also planned to sell there.

Two Germans are being stripped of their gold medals from the last world championship Bridge match. A recently concluded investigation by the World Bridge Federation, found that the two had surreptitiously communicated by coded coughs. In addition to losing their medals, the two men have been prohibited from partnering for life, and from playing even separately in any WBF tournament for 10 years.

Spin Master is suing two factories in China for making knockoffs of Flutterbye Fairy.

In Changning, China, a man was stabbed to death at a Mahjong and Chess parlor. Police have not caught the perpetrator but believe the incident started as an argument over a debt.

Two friends leaving a Chess match in Dallas were attacked by a man with a knife.

A professional Poker player was found beaten to death in his London home, just after an evening in which he had won £3,000 at a local casino. Robbery is the suspected motive, though there was no evidence of forced entry.

The BBC caused an uproar when characters in Jonathan Creek, a detective television show, used a derogatory term for people of color in an on-screen game of Scrabble.

Though Slide Martins (homeless and real name, Brian Glide) of Cambridge, UK thought that offering to play Chess with strangers would keep him from running afoul of the law, he was nevertheless convicted of begging… and also of urinating on a church building in public view. On the streets, he is accompanied by his dogs, Check and Mate.

The Parliament of Paraguay has passed a law requiring that Chess be taught in all basic and secondary schools.

A man was shot at a Dominoes game in front of someone’s home in Savannah. His injuries are not life threatening. A man shot while playing Dominoes in front of a home in Ft. Lauderdale, however, was killed. At least the perpetrator in the latter case was found and arrested.

Lincoln, Nebraska’s second murder of the year started with an argument over a dice game.

In San Francisco, seven people were shot during an argument at a street dice game. All survived.

When police in Syracuse broke up a street dice game, one teenage player ran, dropping a handgun. He was arrested after a short foot-chase and struggle.

In Texas, a man with a previous conviction was sentenced to 53 years in prison for breaking the jaw of a rival gang member and stealing his money at a dice game.

A Chicago man was sentenced to 75 years in prison for shooting another man in the back of the head while the two were leaving a dice game in 2011.

A Memphis man was sentenced to life in prison for killing another man in a dispute over multiple dice games.

Nashville police arrested a man for a dice game shooting that took place last September.

Doge Card Sleeves and Deck Boxes

Due in June from Ultra PRO are Doge card sleeves ($4 for 50) and Doge deck boxes ($3 each).

Doge Card Sleeves

Doge Deck Boxes

Antique game lots in separate auctions April 10th and 11th by Freeman’s Auctioneers & Appraisers:

A pair of dice and an 8-of-hearts playing card with bullet hole from a 1901 Buffalo Bill Wild West Show (estimate $80-120).

Buffalo Bill Wild West Show Dice and Card

A complete, 1922 Parker Brothers The Wonderful Game of Oz (estimate $800-1,200).

The Wonderful Game of Oz

[via Slate]

Stay Away!

A new Kickstarter has just started up from Escape Studios out of Naples, Italy. Stay Away! is a cooperative party game with a horror theme, and a humorous atmosphere. Escape Studios has already released the rulebook for the game so you can get familiar with the mechanics.

The goal of the game is to track down “The Thing,” a person who has been infected by a slumbering, ancient evil. Using the tools at their disposal, the players must track down, trap, and  get rid if ‘em.

The game has already reached $3,204 of it’s $8,000 goal with 32 days left on the clock. $5 will get you a print-and-play version of the game when it comes out, while $25 will snag you a physical copy.

BattleTech Box Set Reprint

BattletechI’ve always been a fan of mechs, and BattleMechs are no exception. Now Catalyst Game Labs has released and updated Battletech Introductory Box Set, $60 worth of awesome minis, streamlined rules, maps, and more. The total package includes:

  • 24 unpainted, ready-to-play plastic BattleMech minis
  • 2 unpainted, premium-quality plastic BattleMech minis
  • One 12-page full-color quick-start rulebook will have players into the action in minutes
  • 36-page book of pre-generated BattleMech Record Sheets
  • One 80-page full-color rulebook
  • Inner Sphere at a Glance, a 56-page full-color book of universe
    background and BattleMech technical data
  • One 16-page full-color Painting and Tactics Guide
  • Two heavy-duty cards of compiled tables
  • Two 18″ x 24″ game-board quality maps

So what are you waiting for, MechWarrior? Climb into a 30 foot metal beast and start tearing apart your enemies.

US Backgammon FederationThe U.S. Backgammon Federation is adopting a legal moves rule. The idea of a legal moves rule is that if a person notices an illegal play by an opponent, the person should point it out and the opponent should correct it before the game continues.

Currently, the organization’s rules state:

A turn is completed when the player picks up his dice. If the play is incomplete or otherwise illegal, the opponent has the option of accepting the play as made or of requiring the player to make a legal play. A play is deemed to have been accepted as made when the opponent rolls his dice or offers a double to start his own turn.

The Federation’s Board of Directors, which endorsed a legal moves rule in principle, stated that the change would make in-person and online play more consistent, align the organization with other national Backgammon federations, and foster enjoyment by recreational players.

But I’m curious. How do you play in your games (Backgammon or otherwise)? Do you correct your opponents or is taking advantage of mistakes considered fair?

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesHappenate is giving away board game packages to three people who use the service to start a board game get-together—Pandemic, Sentinels of the Multiverse, and Mice and Mystics.

For 20% off purchases at Toys “R” Us online use coupon code “FRIEND20“. For discounts in-store, print this coupon.

Troll In The Corner is giving away three copies of Village Idiot.

Nordic Larp, the book that received the 2012 Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming, is now available in digital form for free.

Atlas Games is giving away 20 copies of the TableTop Gloom Expansion to people who can’t attend International TableTop Day events.

The Army Painter is giving away one of everything, it’s whole line of miniature painting tools.

Enter for a chance to win tickets to GSummit San Francisco (gamification).

Allegiance: A Realm Divided

Allegiance: A Realm Divided is a fantasy-themed game of combat for 2 to 4 players, and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to play.

In Allegiance, each player assumes the role of one of 10 powerful heroes fighting in a realm divided by war. Each hero represents a different fantasy character class, and plays according to that character’s style, strengths, and weaknesses. Players can customize and level-up their hero’s unique abilities, enlist allied units, and play tricky action cards to defeat their enemies. Hero abilities can be used many times during the game, and each has an associated cool down rating that determines how often the ability can be used. With a high degree of player-interaction built in and a wide range of strategic moves to choose from, a game of Allegiance will never play out the same way twice.

Underground Games is currently trying to raise $50,000 CAD to produce the game, and has already met 43% of their goal with 28 days to go on their Kickstarter project.

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