Tag Archives: game

Boardgames in Blighty News – Attention Chess fans! Super Chess card game is live on Kickstarter!

IMG_0052Boardgames in Blighty News – Attention Chess fans! Super Chess card game is live on Kickstarter!

Chess fans! Yes there are loads of you out there. And I am sure that there are those of you who have tried variants to give this venerable classic game a breath of fresh air.

Well, here is a new Kickstarter card game project with just such a variant called Super Chess. AND IT’S AN ABSOLUTE BARGAIN AT £8 or £15 for 2 decks. Oh yeah, FREE SHIPPING 🙂

From the Kickstarter page –

Super Chess is a card-based expansion of traditional chess.

It puts a twist on the way traditional chess is played by introducing 36 unique cards. When activated, these cards spice up the game in a variety of unpredictable ways.

Super chess is easy to learn and can be enjoyed by all levels of chess players, from amateurs to grand masters. We have worked closely with game designers and chess players to ensure that the game is balanced and enjoyable. 

For casual players it can be an exciting alternative to traditional chess and for experienced players it introduces a whole new level of complexity to the game.

Go to Back Super Chess on Kickstarter! to find this project!

SuperChesscards

 

Advertisements

Boardgames in Blighty reviews – Combat Infantry: WestFront 1944-45 by Columbia Games

CombatCover

Boardgames in Blighty reviews – Combat Infantry: WestFront 1944-45 by Columbia Games

I haven’t written a game review in quite a while but I thought that I would do one as I am a fan of Columbia Games,

Not too long ago, the awesome guys at Columbia ran a successful Kickstarter for a tactical game which is certainly a departure from the typical Columbia block war game so I was really intrigued to see how their core rules format translated from the usual operational/strategic games that they have been producing and have given me great enjoyment.

Game description from the publisher:

Combat Infantry is a fast-paced World War II tactical level game that employs wooden blocks. The game system features innovative and interactive rules for Fire Combat, Close Combat, Morale, and Leaders. The game delivers a high level of tactical realism, yet is very playable.

In the game, you command a German or American infantry battalion, composed of three infantry companies and a heavy weapons company. Future expansion sets will include British, Soviet, Italian, and Japanese battalions.

Unit types include:

  • Leaders
  • Rifle Squads
  • Machine Guns
  • Mortars
  • Anti-Tank
  • Tank

The game is not card driven; units are activated by company and platoon leaders. The game includes

  • Two geomorphic maps on sturdy card stock at a scale of 100 meters per hex. Extra maps will be available for separate purchase.
  • Blocks 66 Black for German forces and 66 Green for US forces
  • 22 Yellow markers for smoke, barbed wire, fox holes, , destroyed bridges, etc.
  • 6 scenarios
  • dice 4x d10
  • Rules booklet

Combat5  Combat3

If you are used to other games produced by Columbia Games, I can tell you that the good standard of quality, art, etc. is the same as in their other games in terms of functionality, theme and overall aesthetic. I particularly like the artwork on the maps although at times it is a little tough to see how the hill slopes work and there are some challenges of line of sight. But it does look fab. The combat units have more information than typically found in their other games but I had no real problems reading them. The units indicate unit type, strength points, morale, movement, firepower, range, Unit ID (company/platoon/battalion asset).

Unit types include – HQ (platoon/company), Company weapons (MG, Mortar, AT rockets), Battalion weapons (Engineer, Sniper, Tank, AT Gun, Bunker), Artillery and Air support.

The Maps depict terrain which is meant to typify the area of the Normandy invasion with a variety of terrain types which have effects on movement, combat, stacking, line-of-sight. The usual suspects in war games. There are even Normandy hedgerows which provide an interesting challenge.

6 generic scenarios reflecting typical company/battalion actions are provided with the game and and they vary in size, number of units and type of objectives.

 

I have only played this game solitaire so that is the perspective given here. Normally, it is difficult to play block games solitaire but the rules for activating company headquarters addresses his somewhat in that the HQs are randomly activated allowing for a playable fog of war feel.

I won’t go through the gameplay mechanics in detail here but the basic structure of the normal game turn is –

  • Activation of HQs (to give orders to their units)
  • Choose one action per unit that is in command activation range (Rally, Fire, Special Actions (such as dig fox holes), Move and HQ action
  • Assaults

Units are reduced as they take hits from fire or Assaults. Assaults have 3 rounds to either win the attack or retreat. The usual suspects in terms of combat are there – armor is tougher to destroy, infantry is more fragile, mortars can fire on targets that are spotted, etc.

Terrain plays a significant role and provides a lot of the challenge and decision making in Combat Infantry and there is thankfully an integrated terrain effects table which captures all the effects of movement and combat.  Although at first it felt rather burdensome, after a few scenarios it was easier to go through the calculations. Understanding and making best use of terrain is essential to do well and have a chance of securing your objectives. Each turn is like solving a puzzle of marshalling effective combat power and perceived points of enemy weakness and the terrain effects on movement and and combat is significant and can quickly undermine your plans. Even after careful planning, and effective use of terrain, you still have to roll your D10s well to avoid the bad luck that happens in war even when plans are executed well. C’est la Guerre, eh?

As to be expected in a tactical game, there are a number of small detailed rules to add more historicity and “theme or feel” and they generally make sense at the level they are pitched. This game is by no means meant to be a simulation and I say HURRAH! I have neither the time nor inclination to play complex war games. I will leave that to those who do.

Combat Infantry hits a sweet spot for me of just enough challenge, thinking, subtlety and decision-making, at a manageable level of complexity but at its core, this a game that is meant to be played in a shortish space of time, with a very manageable number of units. As I was familiar with the core rule set from other games, I was able to pick it up reasonably quickly. I would say that this isn’t the easiest entry point for non- war gamers but if played with someone who knows the game, can be understood and enjoyed without huge effort.

Combat4 Combat2

3 areas that could be different for me –

  1. the terrain does cause some line-of-sight issues as its not always straight forward and deciding which is the dominant terrain in a hex is arguable at times. But the map looks more realistic than games where the terrain has an unrealistic look as the terrain strongly conforms to hexsides. So its a trade-off.
  2. It would have been nice if the hexes were larger I think as the map feels rather crowded and it gives a sense of static, restricted combat with little room for manoeuvre.
  3. I personally would have preferred historical scenarios and more of them. I’ve never been a fan of generic scenarios in tactical games although I can see why its done. It would have brought the story out more which to me adds value. There are supposed to be more maps and scenarios coming so hopefully this can be done. Also, I can always create my own historical scenarios.

So overall, I really enjoy Combat Infantry and it will be interesting to see how it expands. It is relatively easy to get into, with a short and sweet rules-set. It uses a solid, tried and true core mechanics set which has been adapted to the tactical level. The fog of war rules add such a nice level of tension. It’s not buried in tons of intricate chrome that makes other games hard work. It is very playable in a short space of time and most of all, IT IS GOOD FUN!

For more information go to – Columbia Games – Combat Infantry

 

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Past-Go Games launches Leviathan, a micro-game inspired by Moby Dick!

Leviathan1

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Past-Go Games launches Leviathan, a micro-game inspired by Moby Dick!

Leviathan is a 2-player nautical combat “micro” card game inspired by Moby Dick.

Overview from the Past-Go Games website

Leviathan is an asymmetrical 2-player “micro” game, which offers a dynamic tactical battle at sea with a mere 18-card deck. The cards themselves are the “playing pieces,” and movement is measured out in real space on any flat surface.

Inspired by Herman Melville’s famous literary nemeses, one player controls the fearsome Moby Dick and a pod of whales, using hidden movement to elude the opponent, who controls the whaling fleet of Ahab and his crew. Moby Dick prevails by destroying the whaleship Pequod, while Ahab won’t rest until the white whale of his nightmares is slain.

Leviathan offers players a simple set of rules but a rich wargame flavor in about 15 minutes and is highly portable. This is a great piece of introductory level naval combat for both new and experienced gamers across the age spectrum, and a wonderful homage to two of literature’s most notorious monsters.

Now this is something completely different that attempts to capture the essence of the battle between Captain Ahab and Moby Dick played out as a naval battle that lasts 15 minutes. I’ve got to say that it is very refreshing to see such a unique game.

It’s priced nicely at more or less what you might expect for a micro-game and comes with a higher pledge level if you would like a playmat. The art is striking and captures the theme very well.

Have a look me hearties at this fascinating project HERE which I would suggest is worth your consideration.

Leviathan2

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Darien Apocalypse designer notes from the Ragnar Bros

Darien Box top

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Darien Apocalypse designer notes from the Ragnar Bros

It’s unusual to find real creativity and risk taking in the current board game industry, especially on kickstarter where there is a huge predominance of the “same old”. Quite frankly, I find little on kickstarter nowadays  that captures my attention. Thankfully there are a few indie publishers who really push the boundaries. One is Backspindle Games who I have had the privilege to work with. Another is the Ragnar Brothers who I have admired for quite some time and they have become friends.
As I’ve done before, I’ve published designer notes for their kickstarter projects and here is another of those posts for a game that I feel deserves your attention because it is quite interesting and let’s be honest, a risk for them as the theme is pretty obscure.
From the current project which you can find HERE, which has 17 days to go…
Scotland’s tragic attempt to found a New World colony; an extraordinary game experience. Can you defeat the Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

 

1698: The hopes of a nation set sail for the Isthmus of Panama. The Gulf of Darien promised much for the Kingdom of Scotland; independence from England and a chance to stand as equals with the great trading countries of Europe. However, the fate of this New Caledonia would be beset by famine, pestilence, war and death. In under 18 months this brave attempt to carve out a new frontier would end in disaster. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse turned their eyes to Darien and found it an affront to the order of nature. Mortal sinews and stamina would not prove sufficient to overcome the visitation of inhuman wrath and by early 1700 the only remnants of this outpost of humanity were overgrown graves and derelict huts. The Horseman had triumphed. 

Can you do better against infernal forces ? Can you build a thriving community that defies the Four Horsemen?

In this game for 1 – 4 players you will make that arduous journey to Darien and you will attempt to survive all that the Four Horsemen can send against you. Darien Apocalypse can be played cooperatively or competitively; succeed against the Horsemen with or in spite of your fellow adventurers – you choose. The fate of a nation rests in your hands!

If this doesn’t sound intriguing, I don’t know what does. Dang, you are trying to survive the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse!

Here is a note from Stephen Kendall of the Ragnar Brothers and I have put a link to the designer notes below, and put up images from the project. Please check it out as you may not want to miss out on this one!
“The Design Notes you see eventually peter out (there’s only so much a man can do!) as yet more minor modifications felt significant and needed a mention. I think the overall gist is actually far more important so don’t intend tidying these up any further.  We’re still making improvements as the rules come together – always been the way with the Ragnar Bros.”

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – The Big Beautiful Book of Board Games: Volume 1 is live

BGBOOK

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – The Big Beautiful Book of Board Games: Volume 1 is live 

So a buddy, Neil Meyer is into photography and a gamer. So why not combine both interests? Why not indeed! He has launched a Kickstarter project for a gorgeous, high quality coffee table book with awesome photos of awesome games.

BGBOOK1

From the project…

What do you do in the time between playing your favourite tabletop games?  How do you get your ‘fix’?  I know – I feel it too… that hollowness where you just want to open a box and look at the precious things inside.  That’s why I’m printing this beautiful coffee table style book, filled with pictures of over 48 different games and game store locations!

Each game will be spread across 4 pages, with an introduction image listing the name of the tabletop game, the year of release, the designer and artist(s).  Next is a double page spread showing the game at play, illustrating the components and artwork in stunning detail.  Additionally, we provide a short summary about the game, a picture of the box (so you can go grab one!) and information about game time, player numbers and target age.

And here is a list of the games that are featured. Yes I am twisting his arm to include Luchador!

BGBook2

Worth a look? Yeah I would say so. The photos look glorious and including postage it seems like a nice deal. Check out the Big Beautiful Book of Board Games: Volume 1 here.

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Young Enterprise students attempt to win a YE competition with their Kickstarter card game, I Meme It

meme1

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Young Enterprise students attempt to win a YE competition with their Kickstarter card game, I Meme It

Hi all! It’s been a while eh? Well, I was contacted by Abdulla Mansour Co-lead Teacher, Kingsbury High School. Young Enterprise UK who is helping a group of High School students with a card game kickstarter project called I Meme It. If they are successful, they can move to the next round of a Young Enterprise competition. I am all for supporting Young Enterprise students so I wanted to spread the word as they have 11 days left on their project. The more young people we can encourage, the more the hobby grows!

Here is the note that I received. Have a look at the project. Its very basic but you may want to back in any case or spread the word, leave feedback, etc. Over to you.

meme2

Hi,

I’m emailing you as a high school teacher, whose students are taking part in the Young Enterprise competition here in the UK. They’ve made a card game called I Meme It, which is similar to Cards Against Humanity. The basic premise is the central card is replaced with a picture, and players take it in turns to offer what they think the best caption would be from a choice of caption cards in their hands.

Their kickstarter (found at http://bit.ly/imemeit) is going well, with 11 days left in this first round of sales. Every sale will bring them closer to getting to the next round of the competition – where they have set up (and by July will have wound up) a company from scratch, learning all the skills required to set up or work in the future. This has thus far been invaluable as an extra curricular activity when applying for universities next year.

If you’d like a promotional pack of the game to review, please let me know by reply email and I will organise for one of the students to send it to you. I look forward to hearing from you, and I thank you for your time!

Regards,

Abdulla Mansour
Co-lead Teacher, Kingsbury High School
Young Enterprise UK

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius erupts on Kickstarter

pompeii-1

Boardgames in Blighty Kickstarter News – Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius erupts on Kickstarter

See what I did there? Well I tried, eh?

Punch-It Entertainment has launched their project for their game Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius.

Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius is a lightweight area-control game of building, bluffing, and destruction. For 2-5 players, ages 8 and up.

This is a light, area control game which seems like it would be fun for non-gamers. It’s co-designed in part by Jay Little, whose game design credits include: X-Wing Miniatures, Edge of Empire, Blood Bowl Team Manager.

 

pompeii-2

From the project –

Pompeii: Wrath of Vesuvius has only two phases in the game – the Pompeii Phase and Vesuvius Phase. Which means it’s easy to get into, but offers a variety of game play strategies with its cleverly designed building and bluffing mechanics. 

Powerful families vie for control over key districts throughout the city. Once the districts are complete, however, the mighty volcano known as Vesuvius erupts, sending its destructive lava to burn away what these families worked so hard to build.

Only a few remnants of the once proud city still stand. The family clever and fortunate enough to secure its influence during both the development and destruction of Pompeii shall claim victory!

Nothing like a good volcanic eruption to game over. The art looks very nice as do the components. This one looks like good fun folks so check it out HERE.

Btw my UK and European friends, this one is Euro friendly and for that reason alone, should be checked out.The price seems fair including shipping.

pompeii-3