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Saturday, 23 March 2013

Board Game News 25 – Kickstarter, TableTop Day, Giant Crosswords and This Weeks Releases

Okay guys, I have a trio of Kickstarters for you here today…

Torn Amour

First up the guys from Torn Armour would like you to know about their new tabletop Skirmish game with some truely lovely artwork!


Torn Armor is a fantasy squad-based tactical board game for 2-4 players. Based in the mythical world of “Torn,” it features a rich lore and opposing sides with distinct personalities, abilities and play styles. Factions range from the mighty Sisk, expansionists who control legions of hoplites and war golems to the anthromorphic Maychians, based on Aztec and Mayan culture.

Torn Armor is not only easy to get a hold of rules-wise, but it has great customization and variety through multiple factions as well as the addition of spell cards, magical item cards, hero units, and avatar units. All of these factors mean that no two games are alike.

This is also a game that can be played between two to four players, versus the usual “two” found in other systems. This game is one of many product offerings within the Torn World line-up, including lead-free miniatures and RPG adventure and map supplements. Planned game expansions include – but are not limited to - more spell cards,more equipment cards, more units/miniatures, mercenary units, and game board maps.

You can back it on Kickstarter here



The guys from Valta are designing a case to hold all of Dominion and it’s Expansions…

If you love Dominion then go check this one out on Kickstarter. Of course this storage system could be used to house many other collectable and deck building games.


I talked about Loka last week, but now I’ve actually backed it! I dont back many (in fact any) Kickstarters but I just needed to get my brushes on this bad boy!  

Damn you Alessio!! Go back Loka here.

Gaming Interest Stories

The worlds largest Crossword Puzzle is now available through Google Maps!

Happy Meeple

The guys at Happy Meeple would like you to know that Version 2 is now live!

For the 1st anniversary of our casual board gaming platform, we are very proud to let you know that version 2 is now live. The main changes are:

- Artwork by Pedro Soto (known for his work on board game MIL)
- Complete help page
- Possibility of purchasing gold coins
- New improvements in the world (wheat field and grocery)
- Improved stability

Happy Meeple Granary
Happy Meeple’s endeavor has not changed. We are more than ever a beginner-friendly platform.

Please visit our new media page: Media page
And the platform: Happy Meeple

Happy Meeple is an online platform offering carefully selected modern board games. 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 modern board games rather than often very uninteresting ones.

Our games are: Lost Cities, Finito!, Level X, Keltis Card, Keltis Ór.

Tabletop Day

Here are a couple of UK Tabletop Day events I am aware of. If you are based in the UK and running an event and you would like some publicity, contact us.

Want to play Board Games and meet the voice behind the Little Metal Dog Show? Then get over to Waterstones in Milton Keynes on March 30th!

Telford International Tabletop Day - Come and play a range of games from old favourites such as Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride to newer games like Snowdonia, Alien Frontiers and King of Tokyo. Entrance will be free so hope to see you there.

Sussex Gamers - I will be organizing a games event on March 30th as part of International Table Top Day. It will be at my church in Wivelsfield Green near Haywards Heath from 12-5pm.I will have tables out for open gaming and put out a table for anyone who wants to bring and buy.

Clubs and Cons

A new gaming club has started up in Rochdale! Board Gamers at Rochdale, this is a group for Board Gamers at Rochdale and the Surrounding Environs...

We aim to set up a friendly community in an award winning cafe in the centre of Rochdale. We will be playing a wide variety of games.

The group will meet from March 2013 on most Saturdays from 10am - 2 pm at Shelley B's Cafe on Lower Drake Street.

Have you got a UK based convention or club and want a mention here plus some free adspace over at then contact us and we’ll sort it for you!

This Week’s Releases

And now for this week’s new releases courtesy of Paul at Board Game Guru.

New in stock now

‘Batman : Gotham City strategy Game’. This solves the problem of who gets to be Batman? As players are four arch villains being pursued by the caped Crusader. Designed by Paulo Mori (‘Libertalia’ , ‘Vasco Da Gama’ and the Pocket battles series)

‘Lord of the Rings: Dice Building Game’ – Quarriors mechanics meets MiddleEarth theme.

The third edition of Puzzle Strike, and Puzzle Strike Shadows – a stand alone expansion that can be combined with third edition.

‘Chicken Caesar’ – a game of fowl negotiation set in ancient Rome.

‘Relic’ – Talisman given a Warhammer 40K Makeover

‘Axis and Allies 1914’

‘Star Wars : Angriff der KlonKrieger’ (sorry no English rules for this)

‘Jackal and High’ (reminds me a little of the recent Alea game Vegas)

‘Toss it in the trash’ (a light party game)

‘The Pirates of Lys’ is the third Chapter pack of the Song of the Sea Cycle for A Game of Thrones Living Card Game

‘The Ruinous Hordes’ is the fifth Battle Pack in the Eternal War Cycle for Warhammer Invasion

‘A Study in Static’ – the fourth data pack for Netrunner and unfortunately already sold out. I have more on order.

Arriving on Tuesday

‘Rialto’ – Stefen Feld’s second release of 2013 (and I think a guru only UK release for the moment)

‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck Building Game’

‘Shattered Timelines’ is an expansion for Sentinels of the Multiverse. I have bundled together another 7 mini expansions for Sentinels into one (the expansions are the Final Wasteland. Miss Information , The Scholar , Silver Gulch , Unity , Oversized Villain Cards)

OSG’s ‘Napoleon at Leipzig’ has reached its 5th edition

My recent gaming highlights include discovering 'Myrmes' - a medium wirght worker placement game about managing an ant colony and 'Angola' - which for a 1988 designed wargame feels utlra modern.

Happy Gaming


Sunday, 17 March 2013

International Tabletop Day

Geek & Sundry, the award-winning original YouTube channel, is proud to announce the first International TableTop Day on March 30, 2013. International TableTop Day encourages people from around the globe to participate in the joys of board gaming by empowering the community to host thousands of gaming events internationally. Participants can sign up at for free events at their favorite local game stores or submit their own event at their home, community center or business. Participants are encouraged to use the hashtag #TableTopDay on social media to share and connect their own events on a global scale.

Inspired by tremendous fan response to the critically acclaimed show TableTop co-created and hosted by Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, Big Bang Theory, Leverage), Felicia Day and her team hope that the day will grow the gaming community by encouraging fans to come together and play more games. “Gaming is a huge passion of mine, and I’m thrilled to help launch this event that will allow gamers all over the world to celebrate their passions together in real life.” Felicia Day, Creator and Founder of Geek & Sundry said. “The response we’ve received around our show, TableTop, has shown us that tabletop gaming brings people together in a unique and powerful way. We want to celebrate this on a larger scale and give back to our wonderful community.”

Industry-leading sponsors such as Asmodee Editions, Days of Wonder, Mayfair Games, Steve Jackson Games, Wizards of the Coast, and many other major publishers are offering free promotional items and games as part of International TableTop Day to over 1,000 game stores around the world. “In the 20 years I’ve been in the game industry, nothing has moved the needle the way TableTop has,” said John Zinser president of Alderac Entertainment Group. “We’re proud to be a partner for International TableTop Day and take Geek & Sundry’s success to the next level.”

In conjunction with this announcement, Geek & Sundry has revealed their website, the central hub for the community to bring together tabletop fans, publishers, and retailers from around the world. The website provides fans with resources such as the interactive event map which tracks all #TableTopDay events worldwide, inspirational videos from their favorite YouTube stars, blog posts by popular columnists on how to plan for their event, and fun downloadable content to keep fans excited leading up to March 30th, 2013. Organizations, businesses, community centers, retail stores, and fans worldwide are invited to submit their own events for free and help make International TableTop Day a community-driven celebration of tabletop gaming.

About Geek & Sundry: Original YouTube channel Geek & Sundry features the best of indie geek culture and the internet’s foremost geek voices. Founded by the producers of the hit web series The Guild, Geek & Sundry offers a diverse lineup of shows that create a hub for fans of comedy, gaming, comics, music, and literature around the world. Spearheaded by prominent geek figureheads, Geek & Sundry features original content by Felicia Day (The Guild, Dr. Horrible, Eureka), Wil Wheaton (Star Trek, The Big Bang Theory). For more information, & watch us on YouTube at


International TableTop Day Facebook -
Instagram -
Hashtag- #TableTopDay

UK Tabletop Events

Here are a couple of UK Tabletop Day events I am aware of. If you are based in the UK and running an event and you would like some publicity, contact us.

Telford International Tabletop Day - Come and play a range of games from old favourites such as Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride to newer games like Snowdonia, Alien Frontiers and King of Tokyo. Entrance will be free so hope to see you there.

Sussex Gamers - I will be organizing a games event on March 30th as part of International Table Top Day. It will be at my church in Wivelsfield Green near Haywards Heath from 12-5pm.I will have tables out for open gaming and put out a table for anyone who wants to bring and buy.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The Last Year In Gaming

I meant to do this earlier in the year, but I wanted to take a look at how my gaming habits have changed since 2011.

Top Ten Played Games for The Duke BGG from 1 Jan 2011 through 1 Jan 2012
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game 32
  2. King of Tokyo 23
  3. Race for the Galaxy 23
  4. Elder Sign 21
  5. Rune Age 20
  6. Quarriors! 14
  7. Hive 10
  8. Thunderstone: Dragonspire 10
  9. Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin 9
  10. Archaeology: The Card Game 7
Top Ten Played Games for The Duke BGG from 1 Jan 2011 through 1 Jan 2012
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game 63
  2. Thunderstone: Dragonspire 59
  3. Pandemic 26
  4. Archaeology: The Card Game 18
  5. Shuuro 17
  6. Nightfall 15
  7. Descent: The Road to Legend 14
  8. Lord of the Rings 14
  9. Summoner Wars 12
  10. Warhammer: Invasion 12

Total for 2011 = 434 Total for 2012 = 318

Okay, so there are some major differences. Firstly lets address the difference in total games played. This number is over 100 games smaller, this was mostly due to me moving away from my primary play group. This has also meant that the number of games I’m playing for reviews has been reduced.

My most played game in both years has remained the same, however, what the figures don't show is that that is mostly solo plays. Thunderstone, the second most played game has dropped to 8th position, even if you add in the plays for TS Advance it would still only rank 6th.

This year marked my first real foray into tablet gaming, I haven’t logged those plays, but that experience brought Elder Sign to my attention and as we can see it has replaced Pandemic as the co-op of choice. Personally I still prefer Pandemic as I find Elder Sign, overall, a bit too easy. Also we can see here that Rune Age has replaced Thunderstone as our deck builder of choice. This is actually due to my little brother. Because Rune Age uses a smaller fixed set of cards he is able to play almost totally unaided, where as Thunderstone’s random mix of cards presents too much text for him to really join in.

The final noticeable entry is Race for the Galaxy, this is one of my favourite games to play with my friend Sam (UK Settlers Champion) and with Kevin (from Kevin & Games). I think all the logged sessions above come from the 4 or 5 times we met up last year, so if we saw each other more often I think RFTG would have easily been in the running for top spot.

Overall I’m buying and playing fewer games, yes, I’m a little burned out and I’ve also been quite busy, but I feel I’ve reached a stage where I’m happy with the number and selection of games I have and the drive to buy more is just not as prevalent (although Paul at Board Game Guru might tell a different story!). 

My predictions for next years list are:

  • Thunderstone will drop out of the top ten
  • LOTR LCG will remain in the top ten but drop from first
  • Rune Age and King of Tokyo will remain in the top ten
  • X-Wing and Descent 2nd Edition will both enter the top ten
  • There will be one game in the top ten that is not even on my radar yet

Okay, that’s it. I may be off for the next two weeks as I organise my move back up north but that means I should be back with full reviews as of April.

Until then, have fun gaming!


Saturday, 9 March 2013

UK Games Expo 2013


News about UK Games Expo 2013 – the UK’s largest Hobby Game Convention. Friday 24th,

Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May 2013, Hilton Metropole, NEC Birmingham

Now in its 7th Year, UK Games Expo aims to be the premier event in the UK where all aspects of the tabletop gaming hobby are represented under one roof:

  • Card Games
  • Boardgames
  • Role-playing Games
  • Miniature Games
  • Family games


The goal is to create a fun event which will appeal to families and the general public as well as the
enthusiast. You arrive, you wander around the trade stands, try out any games you wish, sit in on the seminars or join in with the tournaments.

These are the main elements:

  • Tournaments and Championships in the most popular game systems (Xwing – win a Trip to USA. Warmachines. Warhammer 40K. Settlers of Catan UK Championship, Yu-gi-oh. Flames of War. Field of Glory. Carcassonne UK Championship. Dominion. Netrunner National Finals.Malifaux. Blood Bowl, Dust Tactics./ and many others)
  • Newest games and releases on show AND PLAYABLE
  • Large trade fair with 80+ Traders in 2000 sqm of trade space
  • Family Zone - lots for the kids to do
  • Authors and artists
  • 120+ Roleplaying Games to play over 3 days.
  • Participation and Demonstration Games - No need to know the rules or book in advance –JUST WALK UP AND ASK TO JOIN IN!
  • Costumed Groups
  • Guests
  • Seminars and Talks
  • Cinema on Saturday Night showing 2 movies
  • Space for Open Gaming and Roleplaying Games
  • Game Ambassadors in blue shirts - if you are new, on your own or just lost ask them and they will help.

UK Games Expo IS open to the public. You can book in advance (online tickets Easter 2013) OR just turn up and pay on the day.



UK Games Expo is on 3 days in May. The next show is Friday 24th, Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th May 2013. The main show with all the traders and the family zone and costume groups is on SATURDAY and SUNDAY. These are GREAT for everyone as EVERYTHING is going on. Families bring your children! FRIDAY is a games day in the same hotel. Anyone can turn up, find a table (or book into a Roleplaying game) and play. Although they may attend with adults, it is NOT ideal for younger children under 10 as there are no specific activities organised for them. To use these rooms you need a ticket covering the relevant day.


The show at the NEC Hilton Metropole

Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel - Hotel Lobby


Who runs UK Games Expo? It is organised by 5 main guys who are keen - call it fanatical – games players who wanted to run the UKs best games convention (Richard Denning and Pat Campbell who founded the event, Tony Hyams who with Richard is the director, Mick Pearson who runs the volunteers and John Dodd who is the power behind anything Roleplaying. We also rely on a host of volunteers of which there are too many to name here. All are UNPAID volunteers who help run the event because they like it to succeed. None of us are paid by UK Games Expo for running it. (Though we might get the odd free game out of it ;-) )


Who comes to UK Games Expo? In 2012 we had 2800 unique visitors and

4000+ attendances over the weekend. This includes many gamers of all types but also a large number of families and children. It is open to all and NOT restricted.


How do I find out more and how do I book up for it? Our website has extensive information on all aspects of UK Games Expo. You can read up on where the convention is, about hotels and travel to it, about ticket prices (and from Easter you are able to book online) and all about the companies who attend and what games they will be bringing. There are details about the Family zone, Seminars, Author and Artists and much more. Just get reading.


Entry fees (Gives access to all the Trade Halls and Open Gaming areas)
SINGLE DAY TICKET: Adults £8, Child (10 to 15 years) £5. Family £20.
TWO DAY TICKET: Adults £14, Child (10 to 15 years) £9. Family £35.
THREE DAY TICKET Adults £18, Child (10 to 15 years) £10. Family £40.
FRIDAY ONLY TICKET Adults £5, Child (10 to 15 years) £3. Family £10.
FAMILY TICKET admits 2 adults and 2 children.

Children under 10 go free. Some Tournaments and specific events have additional charges – see website.


Richard Denning

Friday, 8 March 2013

Loka on Kickstarter…

So, two years ago I interviewed a childhood hero of mine Alessio Cavatore about a chess variant he was publishing through his company River Horse.

During that interview Alessio talked about his plans to add combat dice and terrain to Shurro to take the game to the next level, well, now he has. Loka is based on the original game Shurro but employs dice based combat mechanics and terrain tiles. Teaming up with Mantic Games, River Horse Games has managed to create unique miniatures for each of Loka’s factions, Earth, Air, Fire and Ice.

The Kickstarter has already surpassed it’s goal and so Loka will be a reality, but as always with these projects, more backers means more stretch goals and more cools stuff. So if Loka sounds like your cup of tea then go back it now…

Want to know more? Here is Alessio to tell you about Loka in his own words.

I had a lot of fun with Shurro (which Alessio kindly sent me a couple of years ago, see my review here) so if Loka is the next evolution then I am very excited to see where it will go! If there is anyone I trust to design fantasy wargames, it’s Alessio Cavatore!

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