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Board Game News Brief: May 18th 2016

Posted Wednesday, 18-May-2016

Play Codenames, Descent on your mobile device, Star Wars Episode VII comes to your table, and prepare for The Long Night in this week’s Board Game News Brief

Contributed by Calvin Wong

Descent: Road to Legend companion app releasing tomorrow

Popular dungeon-crawling adventure Descent 2nd Edition goes fully co-op with the free Road to Legend app taking over as the overlord player. This role, previously played by one of the players, can be fully automated, laying out the map, playing the monsters, and parceling out the story portion of the game.


Nothing says fantasy like a Dragon.
Nothing says fantasy like a Dragon.


Apart from letting you play with whichever Descent expansions you own, Road to Legend initially comes with a small, 4-adventure campaign and in the future will feature paid downloadable campaigns, the first of which is titled The Kindred Fire, “challenging you to stop the relentless depredations of Merrick Farrow as he ravages Terrinoth with incendiary sorcery”. It is currently unknown whether the app will be able to import quests from the online Quest Vault, which allows players to create custom Descent campaigns.

Speaking of Descent news:

The Chains that Rust – a new campaign for Descent.

A sequel to The Mists of Bilehall, this new box comprises a one-act campaign that can be played standalone or as a follow-up campaign, as well as new monsters, a new overlord class, and, most exciting of all: Hybrid classes!


Anyone smell blood?
Anyone smell blood?


This new addition to Descent allows a player of one class to choose a Hybrid class which combines, for example, Scout with Healer – becoming a powerful Monk who combines unarmed and unarmored combat with healing abilities.

The expansion’s new overlord class is the Soulbinder who permanently spawns undead when enemies die, and the lieutenants from the Mists of Bilehall return as well.


Codenames App on the way, Through The Ages to follow.

Hit party game Codenames will soon be receiving a digital edition. Pockettactics.com spoke to designer Vlaada Chvatil of Czech Games Edition, in which he discusses the design difficulties for Codenames, including the decision to make the app paid rather than free.


I can only get 2. Grr!
I can only get 2. Grr!


The discussion also continues to the new expansions for the Galaxy Trucker app, and the upcoming Through the Ages app. Says Vlaada:

Alien Technologies does not copy any particular expansion of the board game, instead we have chosen a mix of some interesting components and features from all the tabletop expansions and added some new ones developed especially for the digital version

He also revealed that the TTA app is based on the newest edition, and will be released this year.


Dead of Winter expansion The Long Night receives previews, pre-order

Zombies in a research base – this premise bases the gameplay of the standalone expansion The Long Night to Plaid Hat’s stellar release Dead of Winter. The official website has just wrapped up a month-long series of previews of the game and its new mechanics, which you can check out right here.


This box is scarier than the last one...
This box is scarier than the last one…
...Good thing I've got a pulse cannon.
…Good thing I’ve got a pulse cannon.

Featuring fortifications, science fiction gizmos, bandits, and even a playable monkey, The Long Night is available for pre-order now and set to release in a few months time.


X-Wing receives first Star Wars Episode VII expansion

Fly the Falcon and be Poe Dameron in the new Heroes of the Resistance expansion for X-Wing. After last year’s release of the movie tie-in core set, this first expansion lets you continue the adventures and expand your X-Wing collection.


Shiny! Let's be good guys!
Shiny! Let’s be good guys!


The new Falcon is modeled after its appearance in the latest film rather than the classic trilogy, and can be piloted by either Han or Rey, who takes the ship for a thrilling spin during the events of the film. Poe Dameron returns with his custom X-Wing Black One (which is sculpted with BB8 in the astromech slot) and in this incarnation is a Skill 9 pilot, one of only three in the entire game.


Hasbro trademarks HasbroCon – possible new convention in the works

Gaming giant Hasbro has trademarked and reserved the URL for HasbroCon. The company owns some of the largest and most recognizable tabletop brands on Earth, with Magic: The Gathering, Dungeons & Dragons, and a huge range of family board games such as Monopoly and Clue under their banner.


So happy!
So happy!


It’s not immediately clear whether this con will be consume focused where enthusiasts can come to play games or more akin to a trade show for retailers and distributors, although it’s hard to imagine them not having a Magic tournament there.


23 Seconds of Chaos – announcing the Flashpoint Cycle for Android: Netrunner

The world’s largest bank has experienced a security meltdown. For 23 seconds, no transaction logs were made, and trillions of credits have disappeared. Thus the stage is set for Netrunner’s newest cycle of expansions, which see all out corp-vs-corp warfare, and hackers trying to carve out a slice of the pie.


Ice with trash costs and Princess Space Kittens. What next?
Ice with trash costs and Princess Space Kittens. What next?


The cycle adds mechanics such as trashable ICE and Operations, Operations so powerful they immediately end your turn, and cards which change their effects depending on how much money your opponent has. While the previous two cycles focused on California and India as thematic roots, the Flashpoint cycle is centered around the catastrophic hack of Titan Transnational, which is the setting of the newest game in the franchise, Android: Mainframe


Quick Kickstarters

Sol: Last Days of a Star has one of the classiest boxes I’ve ever seen.


Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair


The gameplay looks to match that quality: 2-5 players take up the role of Arks orbiting the dying sun. These Arks are trying to leave the solar system, but to do so they need to send out worker ships to dive into the sun and harvest energy for their escape flight. Structures built by one player can be used by all players, Caylus style, and the constantly orbiting Arks make positioning and timing critical. With stellar (haha) components and seemingly gorgeous gameplay, Sol is a game you should definitely check out.

On the other side of the spectrum we have Awful Fantasy: The Card Game. Based on the parody twitter account of the same name, players compete to write their bestselling (secretly terrible) fantasy novel consisting of a Plot, Characters, and Antagonists, but other players are constantly meddling.


The nipple tassel is a crucially overlooked piece of adventuring gear.
The nipple tassel is a crucially overlooked piece of adventuring gear.


If you enjoy the sense of humor and like taking the mickey out of overused literary tropes, Awful Fantasy might be worth a look.

Love craft beer? Have a game to go with it. Brew Ha Ha! is the most interesting twist on the Cards Against Humanity formula I’ve seen. Players hold a hand of cards – 4 adjectives and 4 nouns, and then everyone tries their beer.

The bottle caps are for scoring.
The bottle caps are for scoring.

Once all players have tasted the beer, they select cards from their hand to describe it and hand these cards to the Brewmaster who awards points based on which description was the most accurate, and also which one made them laugh the most.

We have 2 games today starting with the word Legend and the first is Legend of Vyas, a collectible card game based on Hindu myth. With components, art, and gameplay all based on the Mahabharata. This project is the game’s first expansion, Bhima vs Duryodhana, and has a suitably epic feel.




The second is Legends of the Colosseum, an arena combat game with wonderful art and the option either for individual skirmishes or epic campaign play. From the designers of Winds of Fortune, this game looks as good as it sounds.

From the illustrator of Small World and 7 Wonders: Duel comes Outlive, a game of worker placement in a bright and sunny post-apocalypse.


Remember your sun tan lotion, dear.
Remember your sun tan lotion, dear.


Living underground, you must build your shelter, scavenge equipment and resources, all in a gorgeous game world. Fight against your opponent’s tribes and compete to be chosen to be taken by the Convoy when they arrive.

Continuing the theme of human conflict and apocalypse: This War of Mine. Based on the critically acclaimed video game of the same title, the game can be best expressed by its tagline: ‘In war, not everyone is a soldier’


Wars cast long shadows.
Wars cast long shadows.



The campaign looks slick and the game promises zero learning curve – play immediately out of the box without having to read pages and pages of complicated rules – presumably this means some form of tutorial system or early scenarios being simpler. But this game of moral and ethical dilemmas – do I rob and kill in order to stay alive? – looks fully fleshed and has a wonderful visual style.


Big man, big sword. Logic!
Big man, big sword. Logic!


Finally we have Ave Roma, a eurogame with worker drafting and training that sees players competing to gain influence in ancient Rome.

All roads lead away from Rome, but sometimes people walk along them the wrong way.
All roads lead away from Rome, but sometimes people walk along them the wrong way.

Billing itself as ‘not your usual Trading in the Mediterranean’, the game features workers than can level up, becoming more powerful and efficient. However, since players draft workers each turn, they must be careful to balance their needs and costs.

Published by BoardGamePrices.com

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