The endless path I endeavor to have 500 relevant, fun games has seen some recent movement. I’ve made a few trades. I’ve bought a few games. I probably purged some games. Hell, I can’t remember. The list below are the most recent game acquisitions to the library at The Gaming Annex.
I’ve been eyeing Battlelore for some time now. I’m a fan of Richard Borg’s wargame designs in Memoir ’44. He lifted the core mechanics of that game and applied them to a fantasy realm. He made the necessary changes to flesh out the universe. And now we have Battlelore.
The first addition was popular enough. But the second edition is even more popular. Some of the game play elements have been streamlined. The scoring is better. And the armies are more customizable.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to take the
Nestea Battlelore plunge. But I found a shrink wrapped copy for $40 (normally $80). I new it was a sign.
I’m super excited about this addition. I think it will fill a niche when people want to play something in the ilk of War of the Ring but don’t want to play War of the Ring per se.
2. Battlelore: The Kitchen Sink
Did I mention the armies were customizable? Fantasy Flight, in its endless path to separate me from my paycheck, publishes entire army packs as expansions. You can buy Hernfar Guardians army, the Warband of Scorn and many others.
I was at a crossroads. Buy some expansions or don’t buy the expansions.
I went with the kitchen sink approach.
Look for all the armies of Battlelore to be populating the shelves at The Gaming Annex soon. The rules for Battlelore are going “on the docket” immediately. Nate and I will have a new grudge match: instead of Memoir ’44, it will be Battlelore!
3. 1775: Rebellion
I’m a big fan of 1812: Invasion of Canada. It’s an approachable and entry level wargame. You draw some cards which allow you so much movement. Then you play one of your cards, executing the movement thereon.
The hook is that the game ends immediately when either side (British or American) has played all of their treaty cards. The game will end at the resolution of that round. But the treaty cards give you a lot of movement bonuses so you are always going to be tempted to play them.
1775 uses the same core mechanics but actually improves upon 1812 in some ways. The theme is more interesting (War of Independence versus War of 1812). It plays 2 or 4 nicely; 1812 really plays 5 well (it’s awkward at other numbers). I got this in shrink in a recent trade. I was stoked! Come by on a Tuesday if you want to play.
4. XCOM: The Board Game
The good Dr. Steve brought over his copy of XCOM to The Annex several months ago. I was on the fence after our first play. But after the second play, I saw the light.
XCOM fixes several of the little issues some cooperative games have. The biggest issue is the Alpha Gamer. XCOM requires the use of an app. The app times each station’s (player’s) input. You only have 8 seconds to make a decision. The Alpha Gamer cannot dominate the game.
Eight seconds sounds like a very short amount of time. And it is. But it is a surprisingly long enough time for a single player to make a read a card and make a decision. The timer keeps the game tense for the first phase of each round. (The timer is not used for the second phase otherwise there would be a lot more nervous breakdowns).
I got a copy in trade recently. I’m looking forward to adding this to the library.
5. Welcome to the Dungeon
Every time I see the title Welcome to the Dungeon, my mind transmogrifies it to Guns ‘n Roses 1988 hit “Welcome to the Jungle”.
♬ Welcome to the Dungeon ♫
♫♩♪ We pillage day by day
♬♪♫ If you want a bag of gold
♫♩♪ The dragon you must slay…
In Welcome to the Dungeon, players press their luck in an effort to loot the proverbial dungeon. The greater the risks, the greater the reward. I typically like these types of games if they are short. And Welcome to the Dungeon is a filler.
I’m hoping Welcome to the Dungeon fills a filler niche in the ol’ game collection. It’s ratings on BGG (7.00+) are very promising.
6. Risk: Stars Wars Episode VI
I have a love/hate relationship with Risk. It was a lynchpin in my gaming history. But the game drones on nonstop without important decisions. And Hasbro thinks Risk is Monopoly. They have released every frickin’ iteration of Risk like they have of Monopoly. I’m surprised they haven’t released Risk: Dog edition to complement Dogopoly.
Star Wars Friday happened a week or two ago. Evidently, this was a thing. I was perusing the games at Meijer. And I saw Risk: Star Wars Episode VI. The game plays in 30 minutes (nice!). You have three battlefields you must monitor. It’s largely card driven (awesome!). And it’s asymmetrical (yay!). I made the purchase.
The game is getting a lot of buzz on BGG. So much so, I may have to break it out on Sunday and play a game of it. 🙂 Oh, and I like the TIE fighter shaped board. The little Y-Wing and X-Wing pieces are pretty cool too.
7. Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers
I haven’t been a Magic: The Gathering player since 1994. I got into the game because it was a novelty at the time and because it was a highly strategic game. The novelty wore off (although I will stipulate the game is still highly strategic).
Hasbro’s flagship game used to be Heroscape. I didn’t get into Heroscape because I liked Mage Knight instead. But Heroscape was certainly a very popular and heavily supported game system. Now it is out of print. But Hasbro has taken some of those ideas and breathed new life into what can only be described as a better version of Heroscape. The game is called Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers.
It is a hand management version of Heroscape. Build your armies. Build the battlefield. Eliminate your opponent’s armies. Achieve your objectives. The game looks very sexy. I couldn’t resist buying it. Now if I can get Nick Sima to read the rules, we can play it next week.
8. Want to play any of these recent acquisitions? Come to The Gaming Annex in Muskegon