Viscounts of the West Kingdom expansion on Kickstarter January 11, 2022

(Edit 1/11/22: The Kickstarter is now live!)

Having just played Viscounts of the West Kingdom for the first time yesterday (after having it for over a year but then COVID lockdown hit), I was very excited to see this on Twitter yesterday.

Woo!

I couldn’t remember if there was supposed to be an expansion for Viscounts but I figured there would be.

Instead, there are two expansions coming!

Also, given the Garphill Games track record, if they’re offering the Collector’s Box, then they won’t be doing any more expansions after the first one. They’re very good about that sort of thing.

After yesterday’s play, I’m not sure if it surpasses Architects of the West Kingdom for me or not, but I can see it possibly happening.

So to see new expansions for it coming out, that is very exciting news.

They are already on Boardgame Geek (Keeper of Keys and Gates of Gold) if you want to keep up with it as information comes.

But if I find out other stuff, you know I’ll be posting about it.

Sam Macdonald has confirmed on Boardgame Geek that this expansions will not add a 5th player.

(This is taken from the BGG page for Gates of Gold , uploaded by Shem Phillips)

There has also been confirmation of some new kind of card, called the “King’s Order.”

These cards look interesting! These are also from BGG uploaded by Shem Phillips

I’m not sure exactly what the new mechanism is for Keeper of Keys but the cards look cool!

I love that Shem and Sam are keeping this stuff coming.

With the second (and final) Architects of the West Kingdom expansion shipping in May (I backed that Kickstarter first day) and now this announcement, I am so happy!

Stay tuned for more news as I hear it.

Have you played this one, and what do you think of it? Are you excited for the expansion?

Let me know in the comments.

New to Me – November 2021

Welcome to November’s “New to Me” post!

You may notice something odd about November.

No, it’s not that I had way too much Thanksgiving turkey (THANKSGIVING’S IN OCTOBER, YOU NON-CANADIANS!).

It’s that three of the seven entries on this list are from Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG).

This is part of their “getting you hooked because the first one is free” plan that is as insidious as it is effective.

Two of them are free review copies of games that I’ve already reviewed this month. The other one is another Smash Up expansion from 2020, which you knew I was going to be playing once I got back to working in the office instead of at home.

All of the games were cool, though.

It also helps writing this post that I’ve reviewed all three AEG games! Not as much writing to do for this one.

This month, the other Cult of the New to Me members can’t even complain. There is a game from 2017, a game from 2015, and even one from 2005!

That is simply amazing.

No “cult of the new” accusations against me this month!

I think they’re biding their time and sharpening their pointed sticks, though.

So, without further ado (all of my ado was lost in a bid for the ultimate Wild card anyway), let’s begin!

Read More

Expansion Review – Smash Up: Marvel

My first Smash Up review in almost two years!

One of my pandemic lock-down games purchases (and yes, there were many…too many) was the latest Smash Up expansion, this time done as a co-production with the OP and thus including the Marvel Comics license.

Smash Up: Marvel was designed by Sean Fletcher and Paul Peterson (thankfully Peterson still had a hand in it) with artists that aren’t credited to my knowledge. It was published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) and the OP in 2020.

This is another Smash Up base set, so it has eight factions instead of four. However, I’m classifying it as an expansion because it is fully compatible with the original game and factions can be mixed and matched with original factions.

I explained how to play Smash Up in my review of the base set, so I’m not going to get into that here.

Instead, I’m going to talk about a few of the small changes (mostly in terminology) as well as the factions themselves.

Is this worth getting?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

Review – Whirling Witchcraft

Do you like giving it to one of your opponents, good and hard?

By that I mean, of course, by overwhelming them with so much stuff that they can’t cope with it.

(What did you think I meant?)

Anyway, if you like that sort of thing, Whirling Witchcraft may be the game for you.

Whirling Witchcraft was designed by Erik Andersson Sundén with artwork by Luis Francisco and Weberson Santiago. It was published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) just yesterday…ok, maybe not. But this last month or so (that’s 2021 for those of you finding this a couple of years from now).

It plays 2-5 players.

Whirling Witchcraft is a game where each player is a witch crafting potions.

Sound familiar?

Yeah, that’s been done before.

However, this time, the ingredients that your potions produce go to one of your opponents. They have to add those ingredients to their ingredient board.

If they can’t, then anything extra comes back to you for victory points.

What could be sweeter than overwhelming somebody like that?

Making sure you’re not overwhelmed the same way by somebody else, maybe.

Confused?

You won’t be, after this episode…I mean this review of Whirling Witchcraft.

(1 Million victory points to whomever catches that reference)

Read More

November 2021 Monthly Update From GMT Games

It’s good to see the Players’ Aid back to doing some posts!

They’re still just interviews right now (or they were, until they posted something non-interviewish this morning after I had written all of this last night!) so I’m going to continue doing a GMT Games update based on their monthly email.

I’ll be doing that until I’m assured that Grant and Alexander are back to posting to the blog regularly.

October’s went over really well. I was very pleased to see that! Thank you for stopping by.

November’s email just came in yesterday, so let’s see what this update brings.

Click on the link to the update as there is tons more stuff in it than I could ever talk about here.

First, a couple of housekeeping items.

Sadly, I had to cancel my P500 orders for the latest standalone expansion for The Last Hundred Yards, The Last Hundred Yards: The Solomon Islands.

There was one main reason for this, though it branches into two reasons (kind of).

The main reason was that three of my games are charging on Monday, November 29 (including the Solomon Islands expansion) and I realized after thinking about it that I will not get this played for a very long time, if ever. As much as the system seems very intriguing, I just can’t really justify spending the money on it.

Especially because I already have two games that I really want also charging on November 29. I couldn’t justify spending $130 US (after shipping) on three games where one of the games I won’t be playing for a number of years, if at all.

Maybe I’ll get it on the next reprint?

So I cancelled that order.

Secondly, I don’t have the energy to go through my entire P500 list and talk about them this month.

So I’m only going to mention those whose statuses have changed (which appears to be only one, sadly).

That being said, let’s get to November’s update!

Read More

Expansion Review – Roll Player: Fiends & Familiars

Roll Player has been one of the greatest purchases I made during the pandemic lockdown in 2020-21, when I was trying to buy some games I could play at home. My wife and I played it a bunch of times!

As part of buying the game, I had to get both expansions, especially when we realized the base game itself was so good.

The first expansion, Monsters & Minions, added a bunch of stuff that was so needed: a reason for creating this character, dice that were colorless but added higher values, things like that.

What does the second expansion, Fiends & Familiars, add?

Some interesting stuff, but it doesn’t have nearly the effect that the first expansion did.

This expansion was designed by Keith Matejka with art by JJ Ariosa, Luis Francisco and Lucas Ribeiro. It’s published by Thunderworks Games

I think it’s very cool that it also adds more monsters and minions, and rules for them in case you’re not playing with the first expansion. This way, you’re still getting at least a reason to be creating this character, even if you’re not also getting the boost dice and stuff.

But the unique stuff?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

Review – TEN

Feeling a little grey?

Suffering from a lack of colour in your life?

Have I got the game for you.

TEN is the new card game published by Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) and it is bright!

Just look at that box.

The game was designed by Molly Johnson, Shawn Stankewich and Robert Melvin with artwork by Shawn Stankewich and it was just released a few weeks ago (in 2021 for those of you reading this review 5 years from now).

It can take 1-5 players.

TEN is a push-your luck game as well, so those of you who don’t like that sort of thing may just want to bow out now (though you will miss some great jokes!).

There aren’t a lot of rules to the game and it takes about 30 minutes to play (often less), which makes it the perfect lunchtime game or game to play before everybody has arrived (or after many people have left) your game day.

How does it play and is it any good?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

Storm Above the Reich – After Action Report – Mission #6

It was do or die time for Staffel Roy as they were attempting to defend the Third Reich from Allied B-24 bombers in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations.

The final mission of the first “season” in the campaign game for Storm Above the Reich, the Luftwaffe pilots were getting a little antsy.

Would they be disbanded due to poor performance?

Or would they live to carry on?

Well, some of them would live, anyway.

It was early 1943 and the stakes were high. The claxon rang and our brave pilots scrambled to their fighters.

This was it.

Would they be able to do it?

Let’s take a look.

(Reminder, you can always click on a picture to see it full size. Also, for the specific rules of what I’m talking about, see the Mission #1 & #2 report)

Read More

Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 35 – Spartakovka Salient

After two months in the jungles of the Pacific Ocean, November’s Combat Commander Ladder scenario takes us back to the Eastern Front in Europe, namely the Stalingrad Battle Pack for Combat Commander: Europe.

This is my sixth month of playing in the Combat Commander Ladder run by the extremely talented Patrick Pence of Patrick’s Tactics & Tutorials fame (and you really should check out his videos).

When you hear “Stalingrad,” you would think of tense (and dense) city fighting with no holds barred and ultimate savagery.

Scenario #35, Spartakovka Salient, is only one of those, unfortunately.

It’s savage, but being the first scenario in the Battle Pack, it actually takes place as the Germans are approaching Stalingrad.

I’m #8 on the Ladder after a 4-1 record and this month I was facing off against Mark V from Boston.

We spent a nice Friday night on the fields of Soviet Russia just outside a city that would feel carnage and desolation over the next six months.

Mark was the attacking Germans (grey) and I was the defending Russians (brown).

In this scenario, points for exiting units are doubled, so the Germans really want to get units off the board. The Russians can score points that way too, but with their limited movement and only two leaders, that’s not really a possibility.

Here’s the setup. The main Russian strongpoint is the building (Objective 5) in the center by the pond. It has the Russian Medium Machine-Gun (MMG) and a squad along with their best leader.

The Russians are hampered by having to set up a squad in each of the four objectives controlled by the Russians. Thus many squads are outside the leadership radius of the minimal leaders the Russians have.

They are also stuck with only having one Order until the first Time Event hits. That can be quite limiting.

The Germans not only have a Light Mortar that they’re carting around to start, but on Round 2, one of the best German leaders along with some elite infantry and a Heavy Machine-Gun will be entering!

It’s up to the initial German forces to break through and make things easier for the reinforcements.

Did that happen?

Let’s take a look.

Read More

Thoughts on Ultimate, Deluxe, & Collector’s Editions

Back in January 2021, there was a blog post on Boardgame Geek about a new complete set of the “Railroads” game coming this year.

This would be the classic Russian Railroads, the German Railroads expansion and the American Railroads expansion.

I made a note of this and was going to do a blog post about this type of thing, but it fell victim to COVID disinterest.

However, recent talk about the Ultimate Railroads edition has brought this back into my mind, so I thought I would do a post about it.

Not just the Railroads game, but more “Deluxe Editions” in general.

The reason this is an issue, and what has garnered some complaints, is that the Ultimate Railroads conglomeration of the base game and all expansions is going to include another expansion as well.

Some owners of all of the “Railroads” games are somewhat understandably annoyed.

Because getting this deluxe edition of the game appears to be the only way to get the expansion.

Cue the outrage!

Read More