PAX Unplugged—AEG

At PAX Unplugged, AEG previewed Tiny Towns (April, $40), a title that pairs resource collecting with polyominoes. Players take turns calling out a resource type for everyone to place in one space of their 4×4 town board. Resource combinations that match specific patterns can then be replaced with a building type—all of the resource pieces are removed and the appropriate building is placed in one of the emptied spaces. Play continues until no one can possibly make another move.

Buildings score victory points, as well as potentially providing some benefits during play. In addition to those available for everyone to build, each player has their own secret building type (referred to as a monument), tougher to fit on the board but with greater benefits.

  • Comments Off on PAX Unplugged—AEG

Gen Con 2018—AEG

Debuting at the show for AEG was War Chest ($50), a war-themed abstract strategy game with what they call a bag-building element. Like the quintessential game in this category, Chess, each type of piece moves and fights in a different way. But rather than trying to capture opposing pieces, the goal here is to control a set of board spaces. Also, the pieces themselves are Poker chips (nice heavy, solid ones too). An important part of the game is choosing which pieces to put in the bag, because only those drawn from the bag can be activated and moved on the board.

Hitting retail later this month will be Greedy Kingdoms ($25), a bluffing and resource collection game for AEG’s Big in Japan line. The goal in Greedy Kingdoms is to build palaces. Each turn, players select and reveal three of nine character cards simultaneously. Any that match are blocked. Those that aren’t produce resources, which can be used to build, buy upgrades, and even upgrade character cards.

Planned for an Essen release is Scorpius Freighter. This one’s about smuggling in a science-fiction setting and has players upgrading their ships, hiring crew, and taking on contracts. Moving one of the central ship pieces is what allows a player to do something with their own ship. But for each rotation that central ship makes, a cargo piece is added to its hold, and when that hold is full, the government will clamp down on smuggling and the game is over.

  • Comments Off on Gen Con 2018—AEG

Second Look—Mystic Vale

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.Mystic Vale, a game I’ve been eagerly awaiting since I first saw the initial thoughts on the system during Toy Fair 2015, is AEG’s new deck building game. The gimmick here? AEG’s Card Crafting System. Instead of buying cards each turn, you’re buying advancements that can be sleeved into your base cards. Through various card combinations you’ll get more mana to spend, icons to purchase Vale Cards that give you even more power, and victory points. VP can either be active, earned every time the card is drawn,  or inactive, awarded at the end of the game. The game ends when the VP pool is emptied, then all VP are calculated. Highest VP wins the game. The video below lays out everything fairly well:

How does it play? I’ve played with my kids, and we all really enjoyed it. My 6-year-old really took to the game well, and pulled a win during our first game! The push-your-luck element initially seemed to be a pain, but with clever card crafting really comes into it’s own and can be a powerful tool to getting many cards out on the table. The card crafting system has some cool combos that can be made, and feels like it can really be expanded on in the future.

My only real complaints are that the game takes a bit to ramp up. Initial turns seem a bit slow and unproductive only to have the pace of the game rapidly increase for a shorter endgame once you’ve crafted some powerful cards. There’s also no real player interaction. It’s very much a solo game of trying to ramp up and empty the VP pool.

Mystic Vale is a fun deck builder, and the card crafting mechanic is pretty cool. Ramp up is a bit slow, but that’s something that could probably be fixed by seeding some already crafted cards into the base decks. I highly recommend playing it first before purchase, if possible. It may not be for everyone, but I can tell it’s a game that’ll get a lot of play in my house.

A copy of Mystic Vale was provided free for review by AEG.

  • Comments Off on Second Look—Mystic Vale

Smash Up Coming to Mobile/Steam

Alderac Entertainment Group has teamed up with Nomad Games to bring Smash Up to iOS, Android, and Steam this Autumn. The initial release will contain factions from the base set, and will handle up to 4 players via online play or pass-and-play. There will also be AI opponents to play against.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but who cares. I’m buying it as soon as it comes out.

  • Comments Off on Smash Up Coming to Mobile/Steam

AEG Cancels Doomtown Reloaded

Doomtown ReloadedAEG has announced an end to the Doomtown: Reloaded expandable card game. The company will cease production after release of the Blood Moon Rising set in October. Story content and event support will continue through the end of the year, after which all rights to the game will revert to Pinnacle Entertainment.

Doomtown is based on Pinnacle’s Deadlands Weird West roleplaying setting but AEG’s announcement indicated that Pinnacle has no immediate plans to continue the card game.

  • Comments Off on AEG Cancels Doomtown Reloaded

7th SeaThe 7th Sea roleplaying game will be returning at the hand of one of its original designers. Alderac Entertainment Group announced the sale of the game property to John Wick, who’s company, John Wick Presents, will produce a new version of the game on an unspecified timetable.

According to the announcement, the deal also allows AEG to “publish a number of products within that line over the next few years.” I suspect these would be board and card games tied to the 7th Sea setting, though apparently the specifics are still under negotiation.

  • Comments Off on 7th Sea to Return in New Hands

Rokugan Moves to Roseville


Fantasy Flight Games is taking over Legend of the Five Rings from Alderac Entertainment Group. The two companies have entered in to an agreement for the sale of all intellectual property in the Asian-inspired game series.

AEG’s final L5R products will be the Evil Portents CCG expansion and the Atlas of Rokugan. Fantasy Flight announced intentions to switch L5R over to its living card game distribution model (i.e., regularly released, non-randomized card sets), with initial products debuting at Gen Con 2017. The company stated that there will be significant changes as well to the card game’s mechanics, though it intends to maintain the game’s “spirit and emotional impact”.

In regards to the roleplaying game, FFG said that it is “excited to explore new possibilities” but does not yet have specific plans.

Recognizing that Evil Portents, a new card set for a lame-duck CCG, will be a hard sale, AEG announced that it will be “virtually giving it away for free”.

  • Comments Off on Rokugan Moves to Roseville

WhyFirst-box-topWhen we were kids, racing against our friends, if we didn’t come in first, the saying went, “First is the worst, second is the best, and third is a…” well, you know.

Alderac Entertainment Group has a new game coming this summer that takes that childhood rhyme and turns it into a reality. In Why First?! second place is the winner.

The game consists of five stages. Players draw “racing” cards, which progresses their token on the game board. Players earn or lose points for places they land on the board. At the end of five rounds, the final score is tallied and the player with the second highest score is the winner.



The game includes the following:

  • 1 game board
  • 6 game tokens
  • 6 color cards
  • 32 racing cards
  • 1 rulebook

Why First?! supports two to six players (a two-player game has special rules) ages 14 and older and takes approximately 20 minutes to play. It is scheduled to ship in August and will retail for $15. Let your local board game shop know you want to come in second.

  • Comments Off on Why First?!, where second place is the winner

AEGAlderac Entertainment Group will be seeking support via Kickstarter for some of its upcoming games, and at the GAMA Trade Show asked store owners to “Kick it with us.” Acknowledging the impact of Kickstarter while at the same time expressing continued support for local game stores, CEO John Zinser said that AEG wants its crowdfunding projects to represent a partnership with retail.

Towards that end, AEG is planning to provide retailers with promotional materials and sample products that they can demo during the Kickstarter projects. And it will accept preorders from those retailers, which will qualify for the same products as provided to backers.

Specialty retailers have had an uneasy relationship with crowdfunded games. Weather this approach improves the situation of course remains to be seen.

  • Comments Off on AEG Asks Retailers to “Kick it With Us”

Rumpelstiltskin_box-1024x748Alderac Entertainment Group recently announced the official release of the clever guessing game by Nate Heiss, Rumpelstiltskin due out this summer.

Your goal is to guess your opponent’s secret name before they guess yours. However, we are not talking about 20 questions here. You must use the cards in your hand to help you win the game.

This two-player quick game is made up of two decks. Each player controls one deck and draws from it. The last card of the deck is the player’s secret name, which could change at any time due to actions performed on cards. For example, the “Flippy” card’s action requires the player to invert the order of any deck.

Guessing a name is based more on strategy than you think. Each card features a number, which players can track to remember which cards have not yet been played.

You also cannot simply guess your opponent’s name when you think you know the answer. You must play the “Guess” card in order to have that chance. Plus, your opponent could play a reaction card that keeps you from winning.

Because the game is so quick (one play through takes an average of 10 minutes) it is suggested that players compete in rounds of best out of three or five. The winner of each round receives a victory token. The player with the most tokens at the end is the winner.

The game’s contents include

  • 20 Player Cards
  • 2 Reference Cards
  • 5 Victory Point Tokens
  • 1 Rulebook

Rumpelstiltskin will be available this summer for only $9.99 through board game retailers.

  • Comments Off on Rumplestiltskin card game from AEG available this summer
« Previous Entries  Next Page »