Board Game News 20: Blood Bowl, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings – a smorgasbord of Cult Favourites

Wow, my very irregular news segment is now twenty issues old! To start with I’m going to talk about some new releases and announcements that have gotten my juices flowing.

Fantasy Flight Games

FFG is probably my favourite games company, which is likely evident given the number of games of theirs I’ve reviewed over the years. So it’ll come as no surprise then that I’m eagerly await some new releases from them.

First up, Runeage Oath and Anvil. Runeage is a firm favourite in our house, the fact that the decks are kept simple and streamlined means that we concentrate on operating the engine the cards provide, rather than trying to figure out how all the cards work together. However, with 25 plays under our belts we’re looking for something new and Oath and Anvil is the answer. Offering two new races, Dwarves and Orcs and two new Scenarios, plus additional cards for all the existing races, this expansion looks set to bring even more variety to the game.

Sticking with Terrinoth, we move onto Descent 2.0. Already the streamlined campaign rules and emphasis on storytelling over powergaming have me intrigued but following hot on the heels of the release is the announcement for the first expansion, Lair of the Wyrm. Now, I kind of understand why this is. The new version of Descent is functioning more like a starter kit for an RPG. It offers the core classes and some scenarios but there is room for more and that’s what Lair of the Wyrm is. The new class system (which I love btw) is the perfect excuse for an endless series of expansions and one which FFG could easily utilise their Print on Demand services to expand. Lair of the Wyrm offers 5 new scenarios, two new monsters, two new heroes and two new classes. The RRP for the new set however comes in at $35 which may be a little high when compared to previous Descent expansions.

Bloodbowl is also expanding as announced this week, Sudden Death will bring three new teams to the old world, including the Khemri, Vampire Counts and Dark Elves. Along with new teams the kit will be providing additional rules for enchanted balls and franchise contracts. All of this will hopefully come together to provide variety rather than complexity for what is arguably an exceptionally well designed game from Jay Little.

Talking of Jay, FFG have placed him in charge of all things Star Wars it seems as he is credited as the designer on the new miniatures game X-wing and on the first of three new roleplaying games set in the Star Wars universe, Edge of the Empire. I’m expecting big things from this!

Finally, the next cycle of adventures for Lord of the Rings LCG has been announced, they will be taking place in Gondor, with a focus on the great battles of middle earth. The cycle will kick off with the Heir of Númenor deluxe expansion, which will follow in the footsteps of Khazad Dum, providing the ten encounter sets needed to play the following cycle, along with new heroes and players cards and three new scenarios.

Gryphon Games

August Special!

Buy a "Railways of the World: The Card Game

" and you get the NEW expansion+the fifth player train set FREE!

*August SPECIAL*

Right now and until the end of August for each copy of Railways of the World: The Card Game that you purchase, you will receive the expansion for it FREE, plus a 5th player train color too! That's a more than $10.00 value absolutely free! If you are not familiar with this adaptation of the popular Railways of the World game visit this link to get more info on it and the expansion:

Railways of the World: The Card Game Info

To take advantage of this special just visit August Special. No coupon code required! Don't forget to select your 5th player expansion color!

Cheeky Monkey Special

Blowout sale of Cheeky Monkey, a wonderful kids' game for only $9.99! Check it out at
Cheeky Monkey Special.

Cheeky Monkey provides barrels of fun for all ages as players challenge each other to push their luck to the limit while trying to amass the most valuable collection of wild animals. You can draw as many chips as you want from the plush "Cheeky Monkey" bag, but don't be too "cheeky" or you'll find yourself returning your current catch to the bag! Here's an excellent review: More Info.

"This is a really, really good game for families with children that plays quickly, and has a great fun factor....with all ages..., and generates laughter and excitement."

--Ender Wiggins on BGG

I'm the Boss: The Card Game

Here's a surprise for all you "I'm the Boss!" fans out there!

I'm the Boss: The Card Game is Sid Sackson's "Piece of the Action" prototype design -- which the famous game designer never got published in his lifetime. So, we've taken it upon ourselves to finish the job and produce this hidden gem from the Sackson archives, with your help of course!

Kickstarter Link

Blockers! The Card Game

A clever re-working of the original Blockers! board game into a card format.

In Blockers! The Card Game you collect victory cards from the center of the board while trying to block your opponents from doing the same. Your "kicker card" will keep you in the game for one extra round if you are "blockered" out. Collect the most victory cards and you win! Easy rules and fast play combine to make this unique game appeal to all ages- young and old!

--From designer Kory Heath

If you are not familiar with the original Blockers! the board game. Check it out here.

Reverse Charades Expansions!

Three all new Reverse Charades Expansions. Each with 220 cards that expand on the fun filled nights you already have with the original Reverse Charades !

Holiday Edition:

Deck the halls with side-splitting fun and laughter with these holiday-themed words and take your festivities to an outrageously hilarious new level. Have yourself a merry little party or family gathering that they'll be talking about for years to come!

Sports Edition:

Put on your sweatbands and do some pre-game stretching as your all-star teams prepare to battle to see who will conquer athletic-themed words! Perfect as a new tailgate party tradition or even at your post-game celebration, Reverse Charades is in-your-face, slam-dunk!
Girls' Night In Edition:
Staying in is the new "going out!" Strut your stuff for some unforgettable fun at your next big soiree with women-themed words! Sure to add some outrageously fun sugar and spice to your already epic night with your favourite gals!


Wiggles 3D

The Guys over at Wiggles 3D would like you to check out their first foray into the Android Market with Paper Bees.


After a decade of success making board games Wiggles 3D has made an entry into the digital world of mobile apps and is generating buzz with Paper Bees. We are certainly not your typical app development company!

Paper Bees is a defence game that takes place is a paper diorama world. Protect your hive from invading bugs and survive until nightfall to win. Fling your bees to counter-attack and get power ups from friendly bugs. Have a look at the Youtube trailer for Paper Bees for gameplay footage.


Paper Bees is now available for iOS and Android platforms and was just updated to include 15 new Ancient Egypt-themed levels. Find us in the App Store and Play Store.

Oh and did I mention it’s free? Check it out.

Happy Meeple

The guys over at the Happy Meeple would like you to know about their online board gaming platform.

Since its launch in march 2012, Happy Meeple has received a warm welcome from the board gaming press and from the players themselves.123,000 games have now been played on the site with strong French, American and now German communities.The website has been improved over the months. After Keltis Ór release, the frequency of updates should accelerate. Various improvements are planned.

Happy Meeple is an online platform offering "light" board games (but quality ones!). Our aim is to promote the board game hobby and reach new players. Hundreds of millions of people play every day online. We believe that they should play our great games rather than often very uninteresting ones.

Keltis Ór is now online. Keltis Ór is an unpublished dice game by Reiner Knizia. It is a fascinating game where players have more freedom than in most of the other games of the Keltis series. This gives a game that is different every time you play, where optimal strategy is not set in stone, but varies with the situation. It is certainly a more technical game than most of the other Keltis games, and without doubt, the most subtle of the games offered on Happy Meeple as of today. Ór is the Irish word for Gold. Of course, the game theme is gold and leprechauns (did you know that leprechauns hid a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow?)

Keltis Ór opening screen

Sounds great guys, keep up the good work and if online board gaming is your cup of tea, why not check them out.

Cons and Clubs

Ok guys time to mark your calendars.

October 12-14th is Travel Con at the Travellers Rest in Kenton, Harrow

November 9-10th is Grim Con at the Marston in Blackpool

This week in gaming:

Sunday, August 26

11:00am London on Board Games on Sunday!

Tuesday, August 28

5:30pm London on Board Tuesday night gaming

Thursday, August 30

5:30pm London on Board Thursday night gaming

8:00pm Telford Games Club Meeting in Telford

Sunday, September 2

11:00am London on Board Games on Sunday!

7:00pm Social Gamers in Crowsborough


This Week’s Releases

And finally, it’s time to check in with Paul from Board Game Guru for this week’s releases:


Some great games arrived this week, with more arriving next Wednesday

In stock now we have 'Shadow and Flame', an adventure pack for ‘Lord of the Rings the Card Game’ and a large expansion ‘The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill’.

‘Dr Who The Card Game’ – Is a winning combo of Martin Wallace design and Time Lords.

I have been a fan of John Clowdus’s talents for some time, he is the designer of a number of unique and ambitious card games which he has self published under the banner of Small Box Games. Recently he has moved from the semi-abstract to fighting fantasy style games and improved the production quality. I am thrilled to be stocking his latest two player designs (a European exclusive for the ‘Guru). They arrived this morning and I have been playing and loving ‘Omen: A Reign of War’ – a card battling game set in the mythology of Ancient Greece with players drawing from a common deck and trying to achieve feats and conquer cities. ‘Tooth and Nail : Factions’ is a two player duelling game with six different fantasy factions to choose from. ‘Hemloch’ is a night horror themed gaming with a great timing mechanic. John’s games have simple rules but deep decision trees and I wholeheartedly recommend them too you.

‘Empires of the Void’ is a lavishly produced 4x Sci-fi game at the lighter end of the complexity spectrum.

‘Siebzhen: Race of all Races’ is a fantasy themed race game

‘Sanitorium’ is a card driven horror escape game that can be played solo, cooperatively or competitively.

‘Fealty’ (I have been playing this on my Ipad for a while and am a fan) is an abstract game of territory control that feels a little like ‘Kingdom Builder’.

‘Ragami’ – from the designer of ‘Vintage’ and ‘Caravelas’, is a game about conflict between Demons and Angels ,inspired by Wim Wender’s film ‘Wings of Desire’

‘Spielbox 2012 issue 4’ includes a Promo card for 7 Wonders Leaders.

Next week

‘Dark Ages’ is the 7th expansion for Dominion and includes 35 new kingdom cards and some new mechanics. The central theme is trash and upgrading.

‘Leviathans’ is miniature battling game set in an alternative universe where battleships fight in the air. It looks absolutely stunning.

‘Scripts and Scribes the Dice game’ aka Biblios the Dice Game.

‘Balance of Power’ is set in post Napoleonic Europe with players battling for control of the continent – the reviewer Tom Vasel described it as ‘Risk for Chess Players’.

‘War and Peace’ is a grand strategic recreation of the Napoleonic Wars from Worthington Games.

Restocks of note

Yomi, Castles of burgundy, Fortune and Glory and bargain Chinatowns

I have also added a few odds and ends to the bargains section

Happy gaming