Board GamesHere I'll talk both about board games that I'm looking forward to trying as well as games I already own and am hoping to play more of. Generally I've come to the conclusion that I really would like to play fewer board games more often - that is to say, not just mark one play and move to the next one but instead play the game several times to really experience it properly.
While I mentioned earlier that my interest in co-op games have waned as of late, I still couldn't help pre-ordering Plaid Hat's upcoming game Dead of Winter. In it you play as a group of survivors after a great apocalypse and you need to work together to keep your community going. However each player also has a secret personal goal that they need to pursue and their is a kind of traitor mechanic as well as there can be a "separatist" among the survivors. So far it sounds kind of like a mix between Battlestar Galactica and Robinson Cruose, but the story elements seem to be a lot stronger than any of those thanks to the "Crossroads" mechanic that Plaid Hat has introduced. It's a way of creating personal experiences for the different characters in the game, usually leading to a tough choice. Also, there are zombies in the game but it's not a zombie game.
Descent makes the list again this year! Which is kind of weird, but seeing as we didn't manage to get our second campaign going last year I think we should redouble our efforts this year. We have the large Labyrinth of Ruin campaign yet untouched and the upcoming Shadows of Nerekhall looks pretty cool as well, with the city theme! We really had a great time playing through The Shadow Rune from the base game and with that experience I think the heroes will make very different choices when questing and building their charaters this time around. Hopefully I'll actually get to switch seat and try out the hero side of things, but even if I don't I'd be happy to simply play more decent (and paint some minis!).
Next up is a game that I learned about for the first time yesterday. It's called Greenland (sorry, no link as it's
not on BGG yet) and is Phil Eklund's next(?) release. I had the fortune to meet the man himself and watch a prototype of Greenland being played. It's a card game and shares mechanics with both Pax Porfiriana and Origins. Thematically it's about the struggle of the three different cultures living on Greenland starting in the year 1000: the Thule, the Dorsets and the Norse. Instead of trying to amass victory points or actively knock out your opponents it's actually a survival game and the last player standing is the winner. As you play the climate gradually changes and makes it tougher to hunt and live off the land meaning that if you can't keep up you'll find your population dwindling!
Although the game is built on the foundation of two fairly complex games I think Greenland will actually be pretty quick to play once you've learned it. An hour or so is probably doable in the games current state, which is really cool as most of Phil's games are longish affairs. It's also worth mentioning that his paragraph might just as well have read "Any Phil Eklund game" as I really enjoy all of them, but I thought it best to focus on one... Greenland! Quite excited for this one!
Terra Mystica was one of those games that I thought looked pretty neat in previews etc, but by the time it was released I had forgotten all about it! However I've got my eye on it now again as I really like the combination of what is classically an Ameritrash theme and the mechanics of a solid Euro. Kind of like what Lords of Waterdeep did, and that was well received even by mostly Ameritrash players in my group. Speaking of Euroes I'd like to get Caverna as well, but seeing as Terra Mystica is a fair bit cheaper and don't have that tell-tale Uwe Rosenberg box layout it might be an easier sell. Hehe!
I also want to play more Expedition: Northwest Passage, Runewars, Archipelago, Earth Reborn, A Game of Thrones, Robinson Crusoe, Star Wars The Card Game, Dune and Twilight Struggle as well. To name a few!
Roleplaying GamesEvery year I say in my Future post that I will play more roleplaying games, and I don't. Except... this year I will! I've pulled together a mixed crew and we've committed to playing in rounds of three or four sessions during a couple of weeks and then rest for a few weeks before the next round of sessions. Last time we played with any regularity it was once every fortnight and I always felt that that was too far between sessions, but at our age most of us can't commit to playing once a week. However, this way we'll be able to run through an adventure (or two, if short) and keep the energy level high while still having downtime in between to spend with family etc. Hopefully it'll work well and we can get a campaign going once we've narrowed down which system we all like best. Right now the lineup looks like this:
We'll start with Torchbearer this Sunday. I had a great time playing it last year and I want to keep exploring the game as I think it has a lot of potential. I'm not sure it's the right game for a long campaign as it's fairly narrowly focused, but then again... it might surprise us! Although Torchbearer is labeled as Advanced Mouse Guard I actually think it will be an easier sell to veteran roleplayers as the subject matter is so familiar. Some of the restrictions on when you get to roll that are in MG are also removed, except of course everything in Torchbearer takes time instead - a finite resource. One of the players didn't seem to keen on trying the game as it "seemed just like the D&D red box" which is ironic as he's right but also very, very wrong. Muahahaaa!
Star Wars: Edge of the Empire from FFG. I've talked about (and reviewed) the Beginner Game before and had been planning to run that at some point, but in the end I caved and bought the proper core book as well. This is certainly the most traditional of the four games on the line, and although that makes for easy running (but requiring more prepp) it also feels a little bit boring. Don't get me wrong, I really like what FFG has done with the Star Wars license and love the focus on fringe scum, but starting out I'd like to rock the traditional rpg boat a bit and try something different. Also, I really haven't had time to absorb the almost 500 page tome that is the core rulebook!
The One Ring has been one of my dream games to run (or play) since I got it Tales from Wilderland which has a bunch of loosely linked scenarios (getting more linked as they progress) that all really quite neat, but it seems it has been trumped by The Darkening of Mirkwood campaign that stretched over 30 years of game time! I haven't read it yet but people are saying it's the best thing since sliced bread so I'm getting excited. Apparently it's somewhat similar in scope to The Great Pendragon Campaign which is also very highly praised. Should hopefully get the PDF in the near future so I can check it out myself.
back in 2011 as it so expertly evokes the Tolkien feeling. I actually think TOR is probably the best candidate for long term campaign play as it feels like it was built for it from the ground up. I wanted to do it with
Mouse Guard. The game that really made me realize the greatness that is the Burning Wheel! It's the game that every roleplayer should read, regardless of if they'll actually play it (or even like it) in the end. I thought it was funny that the player who is not that interested in Torchbearer most of all wants to play Mouse Guard - then again, they are quite different thematically. The reason I threw it in the mix, besides wanting to play it of course, was to have a low prep game available to me for those time where time might be short or one of the regulars is missing. It's a great game to simply pull out and play on the fly!
You might think that FATE, especially Diaspora, is missing from this lineup and well... you are right. Diaspora is also one of my (unplayed) cornerstone games but right now I want to focus more on actually getting to grips with the with Burning Wheel family. Although I think FATE is all kinds of awesome there's something about Luke's creation that really, really appeals to me and I want my friends to get that same feeling. I think this might take three or four sessions, which is why our round system is such a good thing! After the first round we'll talk about the next round and if we should continue with Torchbearer or switch to something else. I'm hoping for at least two rounds of TB to really get to grips with it, but of course it depends on how well received it is. Oh, and we'll play Mutant: År Noll for sure when I get that!
Miniature GamesShould I just cut and past from last year? Hmm... nah, there are actually a couple of changes!
Let's take a look at the big newcomer first. Deadzone arrived just before Christmas and I've managed to put together the Enforcers at least, and even test painted one! Besides painting the rest I need to get cracking with the terrain as there is... loads of it. Anyway, Deadzone is nice since it's quick to setup and play and since there are now a bunch of people in my expanded gaming circles who have invested in it. While the campaign game is not quite as deep or detailed as Necromunda it looks like a fun romp to get the most powerful force together!
Dust Warfare is resting for a bit at the moment I have no doubt that we will play it during 2014. It's been our goto wargame but I wonder if Deadzone might take its place in that aspect. Then again, Deadzone doesn't have big tanks, helicopters and stomping mechas! Battlefront just to sort out the Warfare support and I'll run out and get some Steel Guard. Also, it seems like we'll see the release of the Japanese this year which could be a big boost for the game! Apparently the Vrill is still some ways off.
Infinity is still on the list even though it's been a long time since my last game. Just like my cornerstone roleplaying games I feel that Infinity is one of my cornerstone miniature games and it will continue to be a focus of mine even when it doesn't see all that much play. Things are ramping up around these parts though and I've decided to start a Steel Phalanx force as a counter weight to my Yu Jing. So far all I have is Diomedes, but more are to come.
Dropzone Commander! I'm not entirely sure on this one quite yet, but I was thiiiis close to ordering the new core box last year after having read Ferb's great coverage on his blog. Besides, now that I've pledged for a Games & Gears DC gameboard I guess I would be stupid not to get the actual game. Haha! The models are simply beautiful and the gameplay seems solid as well. What really got me interested in it initailly was the default urban setting of the battles as that is something you rarely see in wargames these days. It simply looks really cool fighting among sky scrapers! I'm kind of hoping that DC could be something of an Epic alternative as I miss that kind of gameplay. I've considered painting my unfinished Epic Eldar army, but these days I find the more hardish sci-fi looking DC models more to my liking.
Of course, we will also continue playing X-Wing (Corellian Corvette and rebel Transport coming soon!!) which we all like and I hope I'll get to play some 15mm stuff like Tomorrow's War and Gruntz as well as spaceship games like Lightning Strike, Starmada and perhaps the new edition of Firestorm: Armada!
Hmm... yeah, I think that's about it. Or at least those are my main aims for 2014. I guess we'll see how it went in my next Past and Future articles next year!