Cold War: CIA vs KGB

Hey everybody!
It’s another game day here at spalanz.com, and this time around, it’s a small-scale game that is falling under the spotlight of awesome, the two-player Cold War: CIA vs KGB!

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

This is a game that I first came across five or six years ago now, when the revised edition came out from Fantasy Flight Games and I managed to pick it up for under a tenner. The Cold War isn’t an era that I’m super familiar with, though since I had been to Berlin in 2008, I’d grown a lot more interested generally in that whole era.

The game is basically a bluffing game, where the players take on the role of the CIA or the KGB and send a variety of operatives on missions to control global territory and win the ideological struggle of east vs west. Let’s take a look at some of the cards!

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

The CIA and the KGB each have the same resources to draw upon, from the deputy director the the master spy or the assassin. The cards all have the same abilities, they just have different artwork to indicate the faction they belong to. Each of these agents has an initiative (the number next to their photograph) and an agenda (the text boxes on the right). We’ll get back to these things in more detail in a moment.

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

The objective of each game round, representative of one year’s struggle in the Cold War, is to win influence over a country or event that is determined at the start of that round. Each of these Objectives is worth a victory point (the number in the bottom right corner), and is fought over by agents recruiting Groups of people to aid them in their attempt to exert influence there. This is shown by the Objective’s Stability, the large number in the centre of the card there. These Objectives also have a population ranking, and agents can never recruit more Groups than the number of population icons (on the bottom left of the card). Let’s take a look at some Groups:

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

These cards all belong to one of four factions – political (purple), media (blue), economic (gold) and military (green) – and have a power rating from 1 to 6, as well as an ability common to that faction. These Groups are used by players to attempt to gain influence over the objective, and a player can recruit enough Group power up to but not exceeding the Objective’s Stability.

For example, the Egypt Objective shown above has a population of four, and a Stability of eleven. A player may recruit the Police (4), Bankers (6) and Artists (1) Groups in order to attempt to gain control of the Objective and claim its 20 victory points. If both players have managed to accumulate 11 power-worth of Groups, then the Bias icons (in the top right of the Objective cards) are used to break ties – for Egypt, the player who has the most political (purple) power would win, but if no player has any political power or those numbers are tied, it then comes down to economic (gold) power, and so forth.

If a player has more power than the Objective’s Stability, he causes civil disorder and his agent is revealed, and removed from the game “as his superiors disavow all knowledge of the agent and his activities and abandon their agent to his doom”. Wonderful stuff!

Assuming civil disorder has been avoided, the player with the most power places his domination token on the Objective – but the struggle isn’t over yet! The two agents are then in for Debriefing, where they are revealed and their agendas are resolved in initiative order, lowest to highest. Three of the six agents have separate effects that happen, depending on whose domination token is on the Objective – for instance, if the Master Spy is resolved, and the KGB token is on the Objective, the CIA will actually get to claim that Objective for themselves.

Cold War: CIA vs KGB

So that’s the basic gameplay for Cold War: CIA vs KGB. There is so much to the actual game turns, of course, as you attempt to bluff your opponent and fight over the Objectives round after round. The individual effects of Groups can cause a lot of back and forth as the game goes on, and right up to the point where the agents are revealed, you never really know if you’ve won the Objective that turn. There is so much to immerse yourself in, as the stock 1960s-era photos help provide that definite feel for the world of the game.

Curiously, though, it’s the sort of game that generally flies under the radar, I feel. The box is tiny – I purposefully took that photo at the start from quite a way off to try to show you that it’s the sort of game you can very easily travel with (even more easily than Space Hulk Death Angel, whose entire contents will fit into a deck box). It’s not the usual sort of flashy thing that you see on the shelves of your LGS, like the fantasy and sci-fi things that more often than not take up room there. There are also no expansions, just a simple collection of 59 cards and a couple of cardboard tokens, yet the enjoyment you can get out of this is just great!

I just love it!

Retiring from Conquest

Hey everybody,
Recently, I’ve been looking over the games that I have, and checking through several of those that I have decks set up for the LCGs I follow, and have decided to retire all of those from Warhammer Conquest. The game died when FFG and GW parted ways, officially at the end of February this year, but the nails were firmly in the coffin back in September when the announcement came. The game was actually pretty popular at my local game store, and I had hopes that I’d still be able to get in some games, including trying out some new decks, but Arkham Horror LCG has definitely supplanted it as the LCG of choice, and I’m left with rather a lot of cards that I’m not really doing all that much with! But then, I’m kinda used to having games like this…

Fun fact: Anrakyr was the first #Necrons character I painted! #WarhammerConquest

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Before I dissolve all of the decks I have set up, however, I wanted to record for posterity here the Necron deck that I built up a year ago when the Necron box first came out, and subsequently tweaked with a couple of the cards from the subsequent Planetfall cycle. It did quite well for me on the couple of trips out I had with it, so I thought it’d be useful to have in case I ever find some fellow hipsters and decide to get back into this down the line!

Anrakyr the Traveller
Pyrrhian Eternals (5)
Slumbering Tomb
Awake the Sleepers
Pyrrhian Warscythe
Harbinger of Eternity
Mandragoran Immortals
Immortal Legion
Warriors of Gidrim
Immortal Vanguard (3)
Doomsday Ark (2)
Praetorian Ancient
Lychguard Sentinel (2)
Hyperphase Sword (2)
Tomb Blade Squad (3)
Canoptek Spyder
Canoptek Scarab Swarm (3)
Hunting Acanthrites
Reanimation Protocol (2)
Drudgery (2)
Defensive Protocols (2)
Sautekh Complex (2)
Defense Battery
Ratling Deadeye
Noise Marine Zealots
Sacaellum Shrine Guard (2)
White Scars Bikers
Kroot Hunter (2)
Sybarite Marksman
Kabalite Halfborn
Saim-Hann Kinsman

There are ten out-of-faction cards included at the end here because of the subtheme Necrons have, that of enslaving other people (not something in the fluff, but whatever). There are soldier units in there for the Mandragoran Immortals to take advantage of, warriors for the Immortal Vanguard, and scouts for the Tomb Blade Squads.

Overall, it was a lot of fun to play the couple of times I got it to the table, though I think it’s quite unfortunate that the game ended with the Necrons such a comparatively under-developed faction. Of course, the enslavement mechanic means you technically have a much bigger card pool than pure-Necron, but even so… it would have been nice to have had another cycle, and see what more we can get out of the pool!

Game stuff ahoy!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been missing out on a lot of new game stuff coming out over the last few days and weeks, so following the news about new 40k yesterday, it’s time to get caught up!

Magic the Gathering Commander

So first of all, we’ve got Commander 2017 coming on 25 August. August? I always thought these things came out later in the year! Well, anyway, Bank Holiday weekend will no doubt be full of digesting all of that stuff. Four new pre-constructed decks coming, based along a tribal theme rather than the usual colour-based design, I’m excited for this for a number of reasons. First of all, getting four will be cheaper than five, and since the C16 decks have sold out so quickly and I’ve missed out on at least the Atraxa one, I’m planning to buy all of them this time around just in case. Secondly, I love tribal stuff, so I’m sure there will be a lot here that I’ll enjoy. Definitely looking forward to seeing what’s going on here!

The Commander Anthology is of course coming out in June, and that’s something else that I’m feeling the need to pick up before it becomes impossible to find a Kaalia deck once again.

We also know the name of the next set after Hour of Devastation: Ixalan! It has that vaguely Mesoamerican sound to it that came through from the “leaked” packaging a while back, though with a different name. Hopefully it’ll still have that sort of aesthetic and will be wonderful, anyway!

Iconic Masters will apparently be a thing, but crucially the Reserved List is going to remain unviolated and intact. While I’m a huge proponent of allowing people to play the game rather than supporting people who want to hoard the components of a game and not use them for their intended purpose, I’ve recently changed my mind and have come to appreciate the fact that having a Reserved List adds a depth to the game that elevates it above its competitors.

And, I don’t think I want to actually play with cards like Kukemssa Pirates, Tracker or Boris Devilboon. I’m sure there are plenty of more interesting cards on the list (dual lands, anyone?) but by and large, I’m actually content to have the new stream of cards coming out.

Legend of the Five Rings

Let’s move over to FFG now, and their Legend of the Five Rings LCG!

Another famous CCG from back in the day, L5R is being reimagined as a LCG from Fantasy Flight and is due out at the end of the year. It looks like a really interesting game, a bit of a cross between A Game of Thrones and, well, Magic. I’ve noticed that I’ve been buying fewer actual games lately, partly because I’m saving up to buy a house, but also I’ve been throwing a lot of money at Magic singles. L5R looks like it should be a good experience, so I’m actually looking to get this thing and see what it’s all about!

We’ve got the next deluxe expansion for Arkham Horror LCG, while we’re on the subject of the living card games now, The Path to Carcosa. I mean, first of all this expansion has already been spoiled on the internet by a European game shop (I believe), so I suppose it’s about right for them to show it off here before too much thunder has been stolen.

I’ve not actually been delving too much into Arkham Horror LCG since I first played through the core set at Christmas, but I’ve picked up a couple of the expansions that have come out since, so really should get back into this game. It seems to have been really popular locally, and the boardgamegeek forums are lighting up daily with threads, so a part of me is slightly concerned that it might actually overtake Lord of the Rings LCG soon, because –

The final Saga expansion for Lord of the Rings LCG has finally been announced, and it looks splendid! We’ve got two scenarios that follow Frodo and Sam through the spires of Cirith Ungol and to the fires of Mount Doom, with the third depicting the clash on the Pelennor Fields. I am really excited to see this box, even might get me playing through the entire Saga at last!!

Ever since The Black Riders was announced, there have been rumblings about the future of Lord of the Rings LCG, with an almost consensus being that the game would lose a lot of momentum once we dump the Ring into Mount Doom. I’m hopeful that FFG will have room for two co-op LCGs in their stable but, given that they have previously cancelled one LCG in order to start up another (Warhammer Invasion for Warhammer Conquest, for example). If Lord of the Rings hasn’t got anything further to offer once we’ve been to The Mountain of Fire, and it will be retired in favour of Arkham Horror.

As much as I would love to see more content for years to come, and as much as I’m concerned that we might not see this happen, I’m sure my wallet will be relieved to have one less game to pick up each month!

Runewars Miniatures Game

Runewars has been released, and while I haven’t actually dropped the £80 on a core set, I have actually been tempted by that Rune Golem model. It does actually look pretty decent, though, and I’m concerned that my resolve will waver if I walk into my local store and it’s still on offer there! But the fact that I don’t know anyone who has even expressed a passing interest in the game has managed to keep me away from it for the time being. Maybe at some time I’ll see if I can get a demo in, and see what it’s all about.

FFG have already announced the Latari Elves expansion for the game, which I find funny, so I might actually be tempted to get it if they bring the Uthuk Y’llan out and they also look as good. For now, I’m resisting, though!

DC deck building game Rogues

It’s been a while since we’ve had anything new come out for the DC deck-building game, but finally the next Crossover pack is apparently out and available, so it’ll be time to try and sniff that one out soon enough. We’ve also got the artwork for the next Crossover pack, Birds of Prey. The Multiverse Box has recently had another preview over on the Cryptozoic website, showing some of the new content that will be coming out in the box, which is really exciting! Anything that just adds depth to the game is always welcome by me, anyway! Looks like there are elements from the Crisis packs being ported over into the more standard game, which I like, so I’m excited to pick that up, anyway!

Back into gaming!

Y’know, considering board games is my most-used category on this blog, which has had over 600 posts to it at this point, I’ve recently not been doing a lot of gaming whatsoever! In fact, according to my stats over on boardgamegeek, I haven’t played a game since Christmastime, which is actually shocking! Long-time readers may recall, however, that I’ve been doing a part-time degree and, while this is now drawing to a close, the last couple of months have been particularly hectic, which likely explains a lot of this absence.

But, no more!

At the weekend, I finally managed to break the gap and play a game of Lord of the Rings LCG, just using my trusty Rohan-themed deck against the first scenario, Passage Through Mirkwood. I think it’s traditional for more people than just myself to get back into the swing of things with this scenario, usually for testing new decks but it’s also really useful for getting back into the whole world of the game itself!

Lord of the Rings LCG

As I said, I was using my tried-and-tested Rohan deck, though I hadn’t actually played the deck since November 2014! (I log all my plays on boardgamegeek, especially the decks for this game). It has been changed a little to include some of the Angmar Awakened cards, but even so, that revelation did surprise me!

The game didn’t actually last very long, when all’s said and done, anyway. I had Dúnhere out, tooled up with a Spear of the Mark (a card really made for Dúnhere) and Blade of the Gondolin, which allowed me to deal with pretty much everything in the staging area before it became a problem, and both Éomer and Théoden were essentially my questing powerhouse, beefed up with a timely Astonishing Speed to get through the quest in about seven turns overall!

Lord of the Rings LCG

There are still annoying cards to deal with here, of course, chief among them being The Necromancer’s Reach, which deals one damage to each exhausted character, but overall it can be a fairly easy scenario to play through. I’m already planning to get back to Middle Earth soon for more exciting times with the game, and I’m really looking forward to trying out some of the comparatively more recent scenarios.

In my game day blogs, I’ve been looking at the deluxe expansions and the corresponding cycles of adventure packs up to the third such cycle, Against the Shadow, and can speak with some authority on these, having played each scenario multiple times with a variety of decks. However, from the fourth deluxe, The Voice of Isengard, onwards, I’m not quite so familiar. I’m still going to continue to write the blogs, of course! I’m quite excited for the air of discovery that doing so will give me, however!

I’m also trying to play more games, in general. It was something of a new year resolution for me, and for the first three months of the year I didn’t do anything for it, so I need to get moving there, I feel. To this end, I’m intending to play at least one game per month, so at least one game day blog per month will feature this kind of session-report thing so that I can prompt myself to actually make that happen!

Lord of the Rings LCG remains my absolute favourite board game, simply because the theme is just so amazingly done. So I’m hoping that the prospect of getting back to some of the truly classic scenarios, as well as discovering what the new scenarios have to offer, will get me actually playing games again! I’m also intrigued as to what the new player cards will have to offer me…

Flashpoint!

Titan Transnational, the Goliath of the New Angeles financial market, suffers a breach of security. For twenty-three seconds, all its sysops are locked out, and all its defenses are down. Simultaneously. For those twenty-three seconds, all its logs are erased. Millions of micro-transactions take place in each fraction of each second, but for twenty-three seconds, no transactions are being logged. No one knows who owns what.

The Flashpoint cycle for Netrunner LCG sounded immense, and yet I have only recently caught up with the new packs! Terrible. While I’m currently in the process of radically down-sizing my gaming collection in preparation for moving house, Netrunner is one of those games that I keep getting drawn back to. While I haven’t paid much attention to the game since the Mumbad cycle ended last summer, I’ve recently started to get back into web design, and there’s just something about computer programming that links very strongly in my mind back to this game.

So let’s take a look!

The Flashpoint cycle is the sixth cycle of data packs for Netrunner, which is important in that Rotation is looming ever closer for the game (if you’re wondering about LCG Rotation, you can check out my blog on it here). Rotation for Netrunner is coming when the first pack of the eighth cycle hits stores, and we lose the Genesis and Spin cycles. The original article postulated Spring 2017 as the date the eighth cycle would begin but, as Red Sands is the seventh cycle for the game, we’re still at least another six months or so out. We’ve also since had the announcement of the Terminal Directive campaign that seems to attempt a sort of level-playing-field approach to the game by using only the core set and that box, so it’s certainly an interesting time for fans of the game – and definitely a good time to get back into it if, like me, you’ve been away for a while!

Anyway, enough with the tangents!

Android Netrunner Flashpoint Cycle

The cards in the cycle have a focus on credits, with the money you have in the bank determining the effects that certain cards you play will have. It’s a really interesting mechanic, and I like the fact that the theme of a bank robbery is implemented into the gameplay itself in this way. There are a couple of themes that come out of the cycle, but I thought it was particularly interesting to see just how brutal some of the Corp cards are. Whether I’m having this reaction because I’m more comfortable as the Runner, I don’t know, but it struck me when I was looking through the data packs that there were a really large number of cards that do a lot of damage to the Runner, and it feels quite harsh! There are also new Terminal Operations, which ends the action phase when they are played but provide pretty decent benefits in return. I probably need to go deeper into the card pool here, of course, but I feel that the Corp is definitely the one benefiting the most from this cycle.

Android Netrunner Flashpoint Cycle

Of course, that’s not to say the Runner doesn’t have lots of nice new toys as well! Each Corp gets a new identity, and there are four new Runners across the cycle, also – including two for the Anarch faction. While I’m usually most-drawn to the Shaper faction overall, as I love the ethos behind them, there are several exciting new Criminal cards (more shortly) and the new Null Runner is making me want to build an Anarch deck! We’ll have to see where that goes. What’s more, there are also new cards for each of the three mini-faction Runners that were introduced in Data and Destiny, which is really exciting to see! While the linked article there did say that the majority of cards these Runners would ever receive are in that expansion, it is still nice to see that they aren’t a one-time gimmick.

Android Netrunner Flashpoint Cycle

The sixth pack, Quorum, was particularly difficult to get hold of in my recent catch-up splurge. Why? Well, I think it has something to do with the HB Terminal Operation, Violet Level Clearance. This card appears to have made quite the splash in the Netrunner tournament scene when run in a Haas-Bioroid deck that runs Cerebral Imaging as the ID. The synergy with those cards is pretty great, allowing for so many options. But is it really the whole reason for the pack flying off the shelves? There is one further card that is seeing a lot more play in the game right now than Violet Level Clearance, the Criminal Resource, Aaron Marrón. For just two credits and only using up two loyalty, this guy gets two power counters whenever an agenda is scored or stolen, and you can use these counters to remove 1 tag and draw a card. I love cards that work off necessary game actions like this! It’s like Landfall in Magic, something that is necessary to the game can work even more in your favour! Wonderful stuff! I’ve been thinking about putting a Criminal deck together for a long time already; I think this might be the impetus I need!

So, the Flashpoint incident is over, and the eighth cycle for Netrunner is taking us back into space and the Red Sands of Mars, in the aftermath of the Martian Colony Wars…

Lair of the Wyrm

Hey everybody!
It’s game day here at spalanz.com, and today I thought it’d be cool to take a look at some expansions for Descent 2nd Edition, a game that I first featured on the blog here back in 2015: let’s look at the Lair of the Wyrm!

Lair of the Wyrm

The treacherous Wyrm Queen Valyndra has awoken from her slumber, unleashing her foul hybrid minions on the countryside to burn and raid as they please. Her lust for gold has lured her from her lair, and now it’s up to a few brave heroes to drive her back into hiding and destroy her cruel servants!

The first expansion for Descent, Lair of the Wyrm came out in 2012, and is what I suppose you could now call a small box expansion for the main game. As such, it comes with more of everything, which is never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned! We get new items, new enemies, and new heroes, as well as new tiles and five new quests that link into a new campaign to go on as we delve into the lair of Valyndra, the wyrm of the title.

First of all, let’s look at the heroes. We get two: Reynhart the Worthy, and High Mage Quellen. Reynhart is from the warrior archetype, and comes with a new Champion class, while the mage Quellen brings the new Geomancer class with him. Both of these allow for more options for all manner of heroes, of course, which is something that I always enjoy seeing.

Again, the item cards provide more of the same, though a new aspect of the game is introduced through something called Secret Rooms, which allow you to place a whole new tile that can be searched, in a mechanic that feels very similar to the secret door cards in DungeonQuest. Unlike in that game, you don’t start a whole new area of the map, but rather continue on with the current quest once the Room has been resolved, but it just feels very similar, and I thought I’d mention it!

Lair of the Wyrm

Moving on to monsters, there are only two new types included here: Hybrid Sentinels (the bat-like creatures) and Fire Imps (those little dudes coming out of the flames). The fire imps in particular tie into the theme of the expansion, through the new condition of Burning! Yes, if being poisoned and all the rest of it wasn’t enough to worry about, you can also catch on fire in the dungeon! Well, it makes sense, because you are delving into the dragon’s lair…

Lair of the Wyrm

Valyndra herself is a Lieutenant for the Overlord, and as such is sold separately as a miniature, though there is a large cardboard tile the size of her base to represent her in the game if you don’t want to add the mini. She’s pretty huge, and very detailed, and I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t want to have this model on the tabletop as a final boss monster. Valyndra comes with all the usual lieutenant pack stuff, and the Overlord in general gets some nice new toys in this box, including the new Punisher class that can be pretty brutal on the heroes.

Lair of the Wyrm is also used in the co-op scenario Dark Elements, which successfully blends the base game with the expansion in a new and exciting way. The co-op scenario plays a little like Shadows of Brimstone, if you’re familiar with that game, whereby the heroes are progressing through the quest in the light of a single torch that illuminates only a few squares around them. The elements involved in this quest include both enemy units from Lair of the Wyrm, along with the Elementals from the base game and – my favourite enemy type so far in the game – merriods! If you’re looking for a great co-op expansion for Descent, and want to use the bits from Lair of the Wyrm, then this is definitely it!

Descent Dark Elements

Lair of the Wyrm is an incredibly flavourful expansion to the Descent line, and definitely worth picking up if you find yourself in need of some dragon goodness for your games (and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want dragon goodness in their games?) As of the time I’m writing this, I believe it’s getting quite difficult to find, being one of the earlier expansions for the game, but definitely worthwhile picking up if you can!

Sunday catch-up!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a busy few days for me, as I’ve been sucked into a lot of stuff with work and whatnot, and I haven’t had a lot of time to check out what’s going on in the world. Well, I thought I’d spend some time today taking a look at all the stuff that I’ve been missing of late!

Let’s start with Warhammer, because why not!

The Age of Sigmar releases continue with more Stormcast stuff, which I’m really no longer convinced by all that much. While at first I liked the idea of having new additions to the line, there is a vaguely unnecessary feel to them to my mind, coupled with the fact that they look almost exactly the same as the original Stormcast dudes. A lot of this Stormcast line has actually felt like GW didn’t really know where they wanted to take things – we started out with expensive five-man squads, now sold in tens, and they’re cheaper than they used to be! Which begs the question, why were they so bloody expensive in the first place, then?! Maybe I’m quite bitter because I spent £60 getting two more boxes, when I could have saved £22.50 if I’d have waited just over a year. Hm. It’s a similar story with the Retributors and the Prosecutors. They were either stupidly over-priced to begin with, or GW was intentionally gouging customers for the first 18 months of the new system to create an artificially good sales record.

Usually, I try to be really positive about GW stuff, and I did like the whole Age of Sigmar thing at first, but this has just left a bad taste for me.

Returning to these new releases, the new scout-type Stormcast don’t really look all that different – am I the only one who thinks the armour is actually the same as the regular guys? It’s not slimmed-down or whatever it’s supposed to be, it’s just the same, but with some wolf-pelts or whatever thrown over the top. Also, some of those bare heads make me think of Space Wolves. Hm. The bare heads are another aspect that I find quite interesting, as if GW is responding to the desire of folks to have Stormcast without the helmets, particularly after the amount of people who have been converting them up. Might be a bit far-fetched, as they do tend to work quite far in advance, but who knows. They look interesting, though I remain unsold on the idea of getting any to add to my force. If I ever see some with a discount, I may pick a box up, of course, but for now, I’ll pass.

The bird-riding guys look silly – more because of the fact that they’re riding lizard-birds or whatever they are. It’s almost like GW are intentionally pushing how far they can take things… At any rate, I’m not convinced, and have only considered getting the crossbow-wielding Raptors because I thought those birds might make useful Razorwing flocks for my Dark Eldar! But again, for now I’m resisting.

That said, the Vanguard-Palladors do have a wonderful sense of dynamism to them that was missing from the Dracothian Guard. At £35 for three models, I can’t honestly justify that expense, but again, if I found some for a significant discount, I might get some.

The one concession I’ve made to all of this right now is getting the new Battletome. Yes, it’s the third book for these guys in less than two years, but I thought it might be useful to take a look at the new units and see the developing lore etc, as well as the new rules for relics and whatnot. I forgot to pick it up when I was in my local store the other day, so will have to try and get back there soon for that, but anyway…

Has anyone been remotely tempted by the new Warhammer Quest game, Shadows over Hammerhal? I enjoyed the first one, but this one is less than interesting to me. I think part of it might be due to the lack of any new models, whereas Silver Tower felt more like an event, or something. I feel like this is a bit of an attempt to emulate the success of the first, and would have preferred to see something more original than using the pre-existing minis. It even seems like it doesn’t know what it wants to be, having minis from all four Chaos gods involved in some weird mash-up.

Again, a bit of a disappointing release, for me…

I suppose all of this isn’t helped by the fact that I’m just far more interested in what’s going on with 40k right now. While we’re still on the cusp of the third and final installment of the Gathering Storm series, which many folks think will be leading directly into 8th Edition, a lot of this AoS stuff feels a little too much like a distraction! I’m looking forward to seeing if there are plans for more accompanying models for the Gathering Storm than just the triumvirates, and I’m eagerly awaiting what else 2017 has in store for the grim dark of the far future…


I’m a little disappointed in the news from Fantasy Flight Games lately, I have to say. While the Arkham Horror card game seems to have taken over the world, I’ve not really seen anything more exciting to come from them for a while now. I find this curious, because I used to be such a huge fanboy for their games, and would incessantly check in with them to see what new amazing thing was coming out. Lately, though, it seems like they’re slowing down on what they’re doing – to me, at least.

The Runewars miniatures game appears to be the next big thing, and maybe they’re just like a wave pulling back before this thing launches – I believe it’s due in April. We’ve had a new expansion each for Eldritch Horror and, just this week, Elder Sign, so I suppose it’s not all exactly quiet. There certainly doesn’t feel like a lot of the excitement that I used to feel for the company, however. I can’t even say that the loss of the Warhammer licence for them will affect me that much as, aside from Conquest, I wasn’t really buying into any of the other things.

I suppose part of the problem for me is that they’re doing a lot of Star Wars games, though I don’t know anybody else who’s interested in these things. The LCG has died a death for me, and Imperial Assault has never even gotten off the ground. X-Wing had a brief surge, though I’ve since lost a lot of interest and am considering selling off at least a portion of that. And Destiny… Destiny still seems interesting to me, and I would like to try it out, but the fact that it’s been out three months or so and I’ve not been in any great hurry to do so does say quite a lot to me.

I do really like the look of their RPG, however, and have been thinking about diving back into that of late. Stay tuned!

I just find this quite curious, so thought I’d offer it up here and see whether 2017 will cause me to change my mind there.


The end has come… #StarWars #newcanon #Aftermath

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Speaking of Star Wars, though, I’ve been up to the elbows in the third Aftermath novel, Empire’s End, since I picked it up on Tuesday. What with work, I’ve not been able to read as much as I’d’ve liked up to this point, but I’m over halfway now, anyway. Expect a blog to come on that one once I’m done! I may even get back to that whole youtube thing…


On Tuesday last week, I posted about my triumphant return to playing Magic. Well, maybe not triumphant, but it was a return, nevertheless. I’ve been watching a lot of videos on youtube since, trying to catch up with what I’ve missed since before Kaladesh happened, and was struck by the little nugget that happened in December, where what is possibly the autumn set for this year was leaked:

It’s an exciting prospect for another plane, what looks to be a cross between Atlantis and Mesoamerican culture. I’m a big fan of such things, anyway, so could see myself getting into that quite extensively. Of course, we don’t really know if it’s going to be a thing – it certainly looks like it will be – even if this was for an internal survey that was more concerned with packaging than anything else, that’s original (as far as anyone can tell) artwork they’ve used, so it would be expensive just for a test. But who knows. Steampunk India followed by ancient Egypt followed by sub-aqueous Maya sounds like the dream, right there! Not forgetting, of course, we’re due for Archenemy in the middle of it all!

Based on all of this, I think WotC might be beating GW for the flavourful new releases right now…