ANNOUNCEMENT – G*M*S Magazine joins forces with Boardgames in Blighty!!!!

ANNOUNCEMENT – G*M*S Magazine joins forces with Boardgames in Blighty!!!!

In an effort to bring you more news and expand the impressive content both websites feature, Boardgames in Blighty and G*M*S Magazine are joining forces to share content for both websites, and talent for the G*M*S Magazine Podcast.

The boardgames articles you can read in the websites will be shared from now on, so you will be able to get twice the quality and twice the reviews without having to go from website to website.

The extensive knowledge and sharp mind of Mark Rivera will join Paco Garcia in the production of the podcast, in a new format that will make the show more entertaining, more thorough and, more important, more fun and informative.

You will start to see the changes very soon, so please keep reading for more goodness in both sites.

We very much look forward to your feedback and to have you back in our websites!

Source: G*M*S Magazine (http://s.tt/12HiN)

Review – Zombie Close from BrainCandy

Review – Zombie Close from BrainCandy

Designers – Russ Smith, Tim McArdle

note – Thanks to the guys at BrainCandy for providing a copy of this game for review

I really respect the effort that goes into designing a game (going through the process myself currently) and I celebrate that there are so many new games being designed and published. A lot of us may talk about games but to actually design and publish a game is really something worth noting in my book. At UK Games Expo, there were a number of independently published games released and I picked up a copy of a game from a new company, BrainCandy, called Zombie Close.

At first pass, I am not a big fan of Zombies games and I think that there is a danger of over saturation at this point but I’m always willing to have a go.

Zombie Close is indeed a game of survival. The last Survivor standing wins basically. It is a very simple game for 1-4 players ages 12+ and is meant to play rather quickly. 30 minutes-ish should do. The components are fairly basic. A simple map of a street with houses, 2 card decks, dice and 4 sets of metal figures representing 1 survivor and 3 zombies per player. The sculpts which will of course look better when painted, are fairly crude, it must be said. There is an A4 sized card with the rules so this is a very simple game to get into and play.

Gameplay

The game process is divided into 2 phases –

Survivor phase

Each player chooses a card from the survivor deck which can be used at any time. You can only have one card in your hand at any one time so each turn you choose one and then choose which you will keep. These cards allow you to kill zombies (only to find they get recycled back into the game) or impact other players, etc. A number of actions become available.

Then you move your survivor up to 6 spaces.  Basically you just need to run for it.

Zombies phase

Move your zombies to attack the other survivors – (subject to a die roll)

When you are turned into to a Zombie, you get to use the Zombie deck for some different actions.

This is a simple and fairly limited game. You just don’t have much to do but hope you can outrun the zombies. Once you are cornered you will be bitten and its only a matter of how long it takes before you become a zombie.  The movement of the zombies is luck dependent so there’s only some much room for maneuver. Whoever gets the best die roles will ultimately win. The theme is simply played out mostly through the cards which add flavor but not a lot.

Did it work for me?

As a first go, I congratulate Braincandy for publishing the game. Not an easy feat.

Having said that, there just isn’t a lot there. Its just ok at best. The rules are a bit sloppy with some omissions but these are easily figured out. There isn’t much to do really. Its a simple role and move game that lacks any depth. Makes for fast game play and a quick game but leaves you wanting. Good for a simple laugh but not really a game that will come back to the table much at all. I think that Zombie Close needs a lot more development and play testing to stand up to the wealth of Zombie games out there. The fact thatthey themselves did not list on BoardgameGeek.com leads me to wonder if BrainCandy have done their homework to see what the competition is like and get a better feel for what the game player market really would want from a Zombie game. Disappointing.

Boardgames in Blighty Rating – 4 out of 10

Family Friendly?

Well assuming the family likes zombies subject matter…

Although their website is only the home page – here is the URL for BrainCandyhttp://www.braincandy.uk.com/

Review – Airlines Europe from ABACUSSPIELE

Review – Airlines Europe from ABACUSSPIELE

Designer – Alan Moon

Art – Das Format, Christian Fiore

note – Thanks to ABACUSSPIELE for providing a review copy of this game

 

I think that it would be fair to say that Alan Moon is probably best known for his very successful game Ticket to Ride which certainly was a key game in broadening my personal gaming horizons beyond war gaming. In fact, as I tend to cycle games in and out of my collection to maintain a reasonable size and keep to limited storage space, Ticket To Ride has been a keeper since I picked up my own copy (in a charity shop no less).

Airlines Europe is essentially a re-boot of Alan Moon’s first design, Airlines, which was also published in 1990 by ABACUSSPIELE. Moon began working on this newer version in 2007 and although he wanted to retain the feel of the original game, he also wanted to give players even tougher choices. Now I haven’t played his original game, nor have I played his Union Pacific which is also a version of Airlines. So I am not in a position to compare. Having said that, I have read that AE is a cleaner, more streamlined version of the original.

Well, let’s see then…

In Airlines Europe, the players compete are in the world of the first airline companies, competing over the few licenses available for European airspace. The game play is very simple on the one hand, yet the balance of choices, as you seek to build airline routes and invest in the right airlines are tense. The game is for 2-5 players, aged 10+ and should take roughly 75 minutes.

The game itself is beautiful. The map of Europe, with its air routes is nicely laid out. You also get lovely airplane models in different colors representing different competing airlines. Cards represent shares in the different airlines, which, in a very nice tip of the hat to the gaming industry, are named after different game publishers. Victory point chits, and paper money  and plastic markers for home airports and tracking victory points complete the components. The artwork is all very nice and evocative of the period of the early airlines. The storage insert must be mentioned. ABACUSSPIELE have done a great job here in producing an excellent storage box insert where all the components can be sorted very nicely.

A word of caution, you will need a reasonable amount of table space to lay everything out.

Gameplay

My brain is wired in such a way that I tend to struggle with games that have too many choices and things to think about. Being the simple guy that I am, I prefer a few deeper (but not too deep…) things to think about and Airlines Europe works at this level for me.

Simply put, you can take 1 of  4 available actions during your turn.

A) Buy one or two route licenses and take one share card into your hand

Here is where you can invest and build airline routes, thereby building the value of the airline you have invested in. You also take a share card into your hand to build towards a majority of share holdings through set collection of share cards  which can set you up for more victory points if you hold more shares in a given airline than other players. Airline value increases with each route license purchased to you will be looking to build routes in airlines whose share cards you own.

B) Play out shares and receive dividends

You can play share cards onto the table which lets the other players know how much you are invested in the different airlines. You receive cash for each card played.

C) You can trade normal airline shares for Air Abacus share cards

Air Abacus shares are wild cards in a sense that there is no Air Abacus Airline. These can be chosen and played instead of normal shares as these can reap victory points.

D) Take Money

Money is tight and quickly invested so you will need to replenish regularly.

All seems very simple really… or does it?

Well, you will find yourself constantly walking a tightrope between your actions. Timing is important throughout as there are three victory point scoring stages which somewhat randomly come up so this is always in the back of your mind as you hope to make the right investments in routes, play of your share cards, and pick up of Air Abacus shares for extra victory points. There is lots of tension and lots of opportunity for interaction and the banter that goes along with this as you will be faced with decisions that will benefit yourself but also possibly help or harm other players.

The gameplay moves quickly and smoothly (even with 5 players) and there is virtually no down time as even when it isn’t your turn, you will find yourself looking at the level of investment of the other players and scanning the map for your next opportunity to but licenses to best advantage. Similar to Ticket to Ride, there are also 4 long distance bonus routes which when completed, will add extra value to the 4 smallest airlines. Not a lot of decisions, but all must be balanced and and all have implications.

Did it work for me?

Without reservation, I highly recommend Airlines Europe. I find it to be a nice step up from Ticket to Ride and a trickier challenge. Although not as accessible a gateway game as TTR, the balance of choices are just enough for me.  The speed of the gameplay is great and the minimal downtime even with 5 players is a real benefit. It is a lovely game to look at and very colorful once more and more of those lovely planes get onto the map. Its not a cutthroat game but there is just enough opportunity to mess with other players’ plans to keep things interesting. When you get behind, there will be opportunities to improve your position  and its hard to tell for sure how things will end up so it all keeps you on your toes. Most of all, Airlines Europe is just plain fun. Its not a thematic experience but the level of theme is fine for the type of game it is. I recommend that you introduce your non-gamer friends to Ticket to Ride first and if they enjoy that, they should be able to transition into Airlines Europe and really enjoy it.  Definitely one of the better games I’ve played.

Boardgames in Blighty Rating – 8 out of 10

Family friendly?

Definitely a nice, but more advanced family level game. 10 year old’s will need a bit of help.

For more information go to – http://www.abacusspiele.de/

Against the Odds Magazine Press Release – Birth of a Legend—SOON!

Birth of a Legend—SOON!

Against the Odds Magazine is now cranking up their production schedule. They have just started shipping Issue #31, “Hungarian Nightmare,” a game totally focused on the brutal city-fight for Budapest.

Shipping in late June or early July is Issue #32. “Birth of a Legend,” covering the “Seven Days” battles in 1862, when Robert E. Lee changed from “Granny” and “King of Spades” to the “Marse Robert” who would be known as one of America’s most audacious combat commanders. The Seven Days battles have never received the coverage of later campaigns, yet pitted large numbers of troops (the biggest army Lee ever commanded) in difficult terrain, with the bells of Richmond close enough to hear.  Now, using an adaptation of his “Not War but Murder” system, Michael Rinella gives us a chance to look within the short historical discussions and understand the factors that brought both Lee and McClellan far less than they expected.  New subscribers to AtO will begin with “Birth of a Legend” and will not have long to wait!  For more info and to sign up, see http://atomagazine.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=84

New subbers can also check out “Bradley’s D-Day” and get a big discount if they sign up for it when they start their sub. http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/89807/bradleys-d-day

AND, now until June 30, anyone placing an order (including a subscription) at AtO can insert “BULGE” on the notes page and receive FOUR pocket battle games covering the actions of Kampgruppe Peiper in the Battle of the Bulge. These four games work separately, OR can be linked into one “large” pocket battle game. Get all four, plus the die cut counters, with any purchase at AtO (but only until June 30!).

VPG Press Release – Gorlitz 20 released

Napoleonic 20 #15 (Germany 20 #6) Expansion Kit

http://victorypointgames.com/details.php?prodId=174

From designer Lance McMillan comes the expansion kit to Dresden 20 and Katzbach 20. Görlitz 20 is based on a battle that almost occurred during Napoleon’s final campaign in Germany, on 3-6 September 1813. One player commands the Coalition forces under the Prussian Marshall Gebhard von Blücher, while the other commands the French army under the command of Marshall Étienne Jacques MacDonald (which may be reinforced by elements of Napoleon’s Grande Armée).

This great near-battle creates a real “players” situation with few pieces and many tough decisions for both sides and events unfold all around you. Although this game can be played as a stand-alone game, Görlitz 20 is also featured as part of the Germany 20 series to link into a Campaign Game.

Note, Gorlitz 20 is not a ‘stand alone’ game. You must own a copy of Katzbach 20 to use this expansion kit (there are optional provisions in the rules that also allow you to incorporate other forces from Dresden 20 in an expanded scenario as well).

Click here for all the details and to order Gorlitz 20.

– Victory Point Games

Press Release – DeckVoid Ltd Launch New Trading Card Board Game: Conflicting Kingdoms

Press Release -DeckVoid Ltd Launch New Trading Card Board Game: Conflicting Kingdoms
13th June 2011: Deckvoid Ltd, a Swindon based gaming company have just launched a new game; Conflicting Kingdoms. The company was formed this year by three brothers Simon Miles, Stuart Miles and Christopher Miles. Following the launch at this years; Uk Gaming Expo in Birmingham, the game has already created a lot of excitement in the industry with several retailers across the country showing significant interest and stocking the game.

Conflicting Kingdoms is being hailed as one of the games to look out for in 2011
    A unique method of play and storyline

    Attractive artwork and branding is appealing to both players and retailers

Conflicting Kingdoms are Holding Demonstrations Throughout the U.K
Don’t Miss the Opportunity to See First Hand Why This Game is Being Hailed as the Next Big Thing

    25th June: Swin City Comics, Swindon

    9th July: The Big Arts Day, Lydiard Park, Swindon

    14th August: Rules of Play, Cardiff

    27th August: Chimera Leisure, Nottingham

    TBA September: Spirit Games, Burton on Trent

Available To Buy Now at the Following Retailers:
Game Craft, Deckvoid.Com, Boardgame Extras and Boardgame Guru.

Retailers and Distribution please contact: Stuart Miles – 07885 229359
Free Giveaways: Join the Conflicting Kingdoms Facebook Page for Free Weekly Giveaways

http://www.conflictingkingdoms.co.uk/

 

Contact: Stuart Miles
DeckVoid Ltd 3 Beechcroft Road Swindon, SN2 7RD
Phone 01793 722266 Mob 07885 229359 Email stuart@deckvoid.com

VPG Press Release – The Horror! pack now available

Run run.. it’s absolutely terrifying!

http://victorypointgames.com/details.php?prodId=171

Bringing you the most TERRIFYING and GRUESOME monsters from a lost age – from the far reaches of space to the depths of the underground, The Horror! Pack is now available to you! It contains Forlorn: Hope and the unreleased Dawn of the Zeds

Zeds will not be sold individually, it will be available August 11th.

Click here for all the details and to order the new The Horror! Pack.

– Victory Point Games