Works of Wonder – Architects of the West Kingdom expansion

This appears to be a “week before Christmas news extravaganza” but I hope to get a review done this week too (or something, at least).

However, I just stumbled across this on Boardgame Geek and I had to shout my “huzzahs!” to all of you.

It’s no secret that Architects of the West Kingdom is one of my favourite games.

Even though I’ve only used it once (damn you, COVID!), I really do like the Age of Artisans expansion for it.

I knew another expansion was coming but hadn’t heard anything about it.

Until now.

I didn’t see an announcement, but I saw a BGG blog post mention this and apparently the next expansion for this awesome game is Work of Wonders.

It’s so new that while there is a BGG page for it, the image is only from a blog post on BGG and it’s not even up on the Garphill Games site!

What’s in this expansion?

Let’s take a look (at the description, since that’s all we have)

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Castles of Mad King Ludwig Collectors Edition – Coming January 2021

(Edit – 12/23/20 – If you want to see a cool video that actually mentions both new expansions, see Bezier Games’ Instagram post about it.)

We had a feeling it was coming.

When Bezier Games posted on Boardgame Geek asking for suggestions for what to include in a Collector’s edition of Castles of Mad King Ludwig, we really knew that it was just a matter of time.

Surprisingly, it was only a matter of a couple of months!

Bezier Games has announced that a Collector’s Edition of Castles of Mad King Ludwig will be hitting Kickstarter on January 19.

The game, designed by Ted Alspach with art by Keith Curtis, Agnieszka Dabrowiecka, Ollin Timm (though who knows if they’re going to be involved in this edition) is a tile-laying game where each player is designing their own castle to get as many points as possible by laying down room tiles.

There is also one expansion, Secrets, that added moats and a few other things to the game as well. You could play with the expansion but it was simply “ok” (though I did like the moats).

Now, everything’s going to be deluxe.

Including the box (I think we may be talking Suburbia: Collector’s Edition size here, though maybe not).

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New Terraforming Mars-esque game from Stronghold Games?

Geoff Engelstein, one of my favourite game designers and people on Twitter (and also host of the Game-Tech segment on the Dice Tower podcast) was being mysterious the other day on Twitter.

“Hate to vague tweet, but got to playtest and see the final art for a top secret project from Stronghold. OMG! Y’all are in for a big treat…”

Then on December 15, he was able to reveal just a little bit more.

Let the speculation begin!!!!

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App Review – Terraforming Mars – Prelude Expansion

Long-time readers of this blog know that I’ve had a kind of love-hate relationship with the app version of one of my favourite games.

While Terraforming Mars is still in my Top 10 games played, the digital version had a bumpy ride after its initial release.

In fact, there was a point where I said that, despite me being in the beta, I was not going to buy the game.

Thankfully, Asmodee Digital has been working to make the game at least meet my demanding standards for asynchronous play.

There are a few issues, but overall it has become an enjoyable experience. (I still have to say, is there any reason that you have to choose your cards in turn order? I don’t see it. And it still needs replays for when you log in to take your turn.)

Which is why I was excited to hear that the Prelude expansion was finally going to be coming to the app!

The game desperately needs Prelude as otherwise it becomes a bit boring after multiple plays.

The Prelude cards on the table.

What does Prelude add to the game? And is it worth the in-app purchase?

Let’s take a look.

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Boardgame Geek Top 200 – Play or Played – #130-121

After three weeks or so, it’s time for another entry in the BGG Top 200!

We’re almost done, which you would think would mean that I could actually get these done in a timely manner.

But, you know, COVID and everything.

Yeah, I do have swings where I feel so energized to write and post one week and then the next week I just want to sit here and play Trials of Fire on my computer (which is so good! You should check it out. Really scratches that Slay the Spire itch.)

Anyway, maybe I’ll do a review of that one day.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the latest round of the Top 200 games on BGG!

Oh, before I forget, this list is taken from the BGG Top 200 as of September 20 the order may have changed since I did this. I’ve made note of the changes.

Let’s begin!

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Caesar: Rome vs Gaul PBEM Report

(Edit: For those of you coming here from the Boardgame Chronicle article about our game, welcome! I hope you check out the rest of the blog. If you’re finding this page some other way, check out that blog for the Roman side of things. It’s also much more detailed.)

It’s great having Internet friends.

Recently, GMT Games charged and shipped a couple of my P500 games that were ready to roll.

Unfortunately, due to COVID and the closure of the US-Canada border, I won’t be able to get my copy of the two games until well into 2021. (The last time GMT Games shipped two games to me up here in Canada, I got charged duty so I decided to have these games shipped to our US mailbox instead).

The two games in question are Apocalypse Road and Caesar: Rome vs Gaul.

However, the Internet is a wonderful place and Internet friends are even better!

My good friend in Poland, Michal who does the Boardgames Chronicle blog, agreed to play a game of Caesar: Rome vs Gaul on the VASSAL platform as a PBEM (Play-By-Email) game. We used Discord as a way to pass files back and forth and to communicate in real-time when we had to.

The game is designed by Mark Simonitch with art by Dariusz Buraczewski, Chechu Nieto and Paweł Kurowski. It tells the story of Caesar’s invasion of Gaul from 57-52 BC.

I was the Gauls and Michal was Caesar and the Romans (figuring that he knows more about wargames than I do, so would get the need to be aggressive).

How did it go?

It was my first real wargame in 25+ years, so how do you think?

But it was still extremely fun.

Let’s take a look.

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New to Me – November 2020

Another month and another COVID month where I actually have some new stuff to talk about!

Kind of.

Expansions aren’t necessarily the same as playing “new” games, but they are still cool, right?

You’re not one of those that hates on all expansions just because “this should have been in the base game” even though including all of that stuff would make the initial cost of the game astronomical.

Are you?

Hopefully not.

Expansions can be superfluous (Editor: “oh, big word there!”). But they can also add some great things to a game.

Maybe the game works well without the expansions, but maybe it works even better with?

I know some games have the expansion “fix” the problems with the base game, and those can also be awesome (but also sad that the base game didn’t have that kind of fix to begin with).

Others just add a bunch of cool stuff. They’re not necessary. But they’re fun. And even more fun than the base game!

And maybe I wouldn’t play the base game without the expansion anymore, but that’s not because the base game sucks.

It’s because the expansion adds so much cool new stuff!

The Cult of the New to Me has been pretty lenient in not getting mad at me for not playing new stuff recently.

It’s like they’re actually, I don’t know, practicing kindness or something.

Either that or they’re plotting something.

It's a conspiracy!
I think they’re planning something…I can see the signs!

Give it a few months and we’ll see how it shakes out.

So without further adieu (all of my adieu was stolen by a boss monster’s minion anyway), let’s begin!

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Prelude Coming to Terraforming Mars on Steam December 8th

Good news for Terraforming Mars fans, at least those in the digital realm!

The boardgame app which has been controversial, derided, had the developer shut down, and now is a fairly decent app, may now be getting even better as of December 8.

Asmodee Digital has announced that the Prelude expansion will be coming to the Steam app on that date. The mobile app has it in beta testing still, so maybe it will also make the 8th?

It’s hard to tell.

One knock against the app has been that it was only the base game. It took them a while to add card drafting, though it was cool when they finally did.

But Terraforming Mars really comes into its own when you bring some of the expansions into it, especially Prelude.

What does Prelude give you?

All pics are from the Steam news announcement

How about cards at the beginning of the game that give you a bit of a boost and maybe a guide to what strategy would be good to implement this game.

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Legendary Marvel Expansions for 2021

Look at what expansion goodness for Legendary Marvel that Upper Deck Entertainment announced yesterday!

I was a die-hard fan of the Legendary Marvel deck-building game and all of its expansions.

Unfortunately, when the Deadpool expansion hit and the cards were a bit warped, and then I tried to fit the cards in my 2 boxes and discovered that it was getting tighter and tighter, I kind of swore off the game.

It was just becoming too big.

I still followed the game and all the new expansions on Boardgame Geek, but I just wasn’t buying them anymore, or even playing the game.

It was getting too heavy to take to game days and I wasn’t playing games at home anymore.

Due to COVID, that has changed a little bit.

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App Review – Fury of Dracula from Nomad Games

You know a game is old when I was actually still in high school when it came out.

The classic deduction game, Fury of Dracula, originally came out in 1987.

Now in its 4th edition and a game that many people love, it’s only natural that it would finally get an app version.

The 4th edition was designed by Frank Brooks, Stephen Hand, and Kevin Wilson and the app version was just released last week by Nomad Games.

What is the game?

Up to 4 players are trying to hunt down Dracula (played by a 5th player) in a frantic search across all of Europe. Nobody knows where he is…unless you stumble upon his trail.

Let’s take a look at the game (briefly) and then the app.

(Note: the App is only 2-player at most, with one player being the hunters and the other player being Dracula. Solo play is either you as hunters or you as Dracula, all against the AI)

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