Friday, January 17, 2020

Yu Gi Oh Secret Slayers Booster Expansion

The all foil Secret Slayers booster releases April 3rd.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Secret Slayers Booster
Release Date: 04/03/2020
Order Due Date: 01/23/2020

·         Solve the secret to slaying your opponent this Spring with Secret Slayers! This all-foil booster set introduces three new themes for you to customize and build.
·         Uncover hidden treasures with the power of a Rock theme! Build upon the unshakable Gallant Granite from Chaos Impact and sculpt your strategy to defeat your opponent.
·         Cultivate natural beauty with the force of a Plant theme! Your garden is in full bloom with the explosive Lonefire Blossom from Mystic Fighters to launch your game plan into action.
·         Master necromancy with the trickery of a Zombie theme! The wicked Jack-o-Bolan from Ignition Assault heralds the arrival of a new wave of Zombies to reinforce their endless army.
·         Duelists can also bolster these strategies with cards from Duel Devastator, Duel Overload, and more!
·         Secret Slayers is an all-foil booster set that contains 60 cards:
·         40 Super Rares
·         20 Secret Rares

Thursday, January 16, 2020

More Trade Disruptions

1.I   I expect to see a lot more disruption in trade, both imports and exports. This will prove to affect a lot of boardgame publishers, especially those launching new games via the Kickstarter channel. Since most of them use China for sourcing the manufacture of their launched games, disruptions in the channel will greatly affect their logistics and pricing. The industry dodged a pricing bullet with the delay by the administration of a tariff on boardgaming (and other related products) imported from China but neither nation has signed off on even the touted Phase One of an agreement. The president has said he is in no rush to sign off on an agreement and we could see a delay in one until after the 2020 election. More concerning than that though, at least to a lot of experts, is the neutering of the WTO trade courts by America’s decision to block the appointment of judges to the court, not only under the Trump administration but also the Obama and Bush ones. This deprives the court of a quorum, forstalling it from making rulings on trade disputes. Thanks to the court serving as an impartial referee (although the US argues otherwise and has made its displeasure known by blocking judge appointments), the last 50+ years have seen tremendous growth in international trade, aided by the arbitration of the court, reducing instances of trade wars and allowing multilateral agreements to flourish. With the projected demise of the court in the next few years, I would expect to see a return to greater reliance on bilateral agreements and more instances of stronger economies imposing agreements on weaker ones.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

GM Tricks of the Trade

How to spice up your treasure from Troll Lord head Stephen Chenault

#1: Use More Potions: This is a treasure that does not appear at our Thursday night game nearly enough. Despite that, potions are unsung heroes of the gaming table. They are good for the GM, the character and game play. They are essentially one of spells. Characters can have them, carting them all over creation, then use them by drinking them. Suddenly they are healed, have more strength, turn invisible, or what have you. The player gains the benefit of the item (and the experience) and this is good for the player. But the effect is temporary, and soon enough wears off, so it has no greater impact at the table than at that moment. Also, the GM doesn’t have to worry about players hoarding too much magic, and can give other magic freely. This allows a good avenue for characters to earn experience points as well. It also has the added benefit of surprising the GM. You will soon forget what they have and when they pull it out of their pocket, it will catch you by surprise!
#2: Let Them Roll It: After a long grueling campaign, adventure, or game, it is often a bit of fun to allow the players to roll their own treasure. Have them roll whatever dice are called for on the various tables and shout out what they get. It sort of puts the game even more in the hands of fate. It's just a lot of fun too. It doesn’t always work as you may need to draw up certain treasures or they are pre-rolled for you in an published adventure or what not. But for a nice change of pace and in the spirit of letting the dice decide the character’s fate, let ‘em roll it themselves. This is especially fun for younger players, puts a whole new element of chance into the game, and as with rolling a critical hit, it can bring elation like you’ve never seen to the table (frustration too, but no one wants to dwell on that).
#3: Use Treasure as a Millstone: Use treasure to drive the game in directions players don’t expect. Too much treasure can weigh a party down, slowing their movement, allowing monsters to pursue or find them. It can be noisy and flashy, drawing the attention of NPCs or monsters still. A trunk of 4,000 gold pieces is heavy. Even after the party divides it up, it can be heavy and slow party members down. A magical lantern that shines wherever it goes attracts all manner of beasts. Couple this with terrain and you can build a whole night’s adventure moving treasure form point A to point B. Getting 10 bags of gold dust across a river can be risky and challenging.
#4: Mix Your Coin Up: Somewhere in the back of my head I remember that it was Lydian King (from the Anatolian Peninsula) who first created coins. It was done (and I’m scratching my memory plate here) in order to mark gold that was his and to allow it to be ported easier. Take this concept in every which direction. Mix your physical treasure up. Make it dust, rods, bars, raw chunks, flakes or coins of differing nations and kingdoms. A group I ran at Gamehole discovered long six-foot bars of gold they had to figure out how to cut up and carry (they left over half of it). Mixing the coin up into whatever shape and form adds another level of play to the game. It also, for those into world building, adds a level of realism to the game that helps ground players in the world you are sending them through.
#5: Make the Reaping a Whirlwind: Make gathering the treasure no easy task. Tie it to the monster, its lair, its habits or its abilities. Make it so that gathering the treasure is an encounter in and of itself. Or mix it up, allow the players to discover the treasure first and then they have to gather it before being discovered. The most ready example I have is what I did with a white dragon’s treasure. The party found it in the ruins of an old castle. They slew the dragon guarding it, but quickly realized there was more than one. But the treasure was frozen beneath a mound of ice. The dragons were not simply lying on a horde of gold and magic, but rather breathing upon it, freezing it beneath and into sheets of ice. It made for some frantic play as they extracted the harvest without destroying it, all before the creature’s mate returned.  But this can be done almost anywhere. Creatures tracked back to their lair where more of the creatures lie. Treasure hidden. Treasure trapped. Treasure stolen by others while a battle unfolds. Treasure scattered in fields of bones. It never hurts to make the last act of a heroic tale to be the scouring of the horde, so the reaping is all them more joyful.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The First Female Superhero in Comics

Most people think of Wonder Woman as the first female superhero. However she didn't appear until March of 1941. Fatomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle, predated her by over a year, first appearing in February of 1940. Incidentally, the Woman in Red is considered the first female masked super hero. She first appears in March of 1940 and, although she never got a cover appearance, stories featuring her ran until 1945.

However, if you go back further into the era of the pulps, Golden Amazon appeared in 1939 and has a strong claim to the title of first female superhero, although she was never referred to as such and started out as a villain before reforming. The Domino Lady was one of the earliest, if not the earliest, masked female crimefighter, first appearing in Saucy Romantic Adventures in 1936

Monday, January 13, 2020

Game Designer Pay

If you are interested in working in the game industry, this blog post looks at how much a board game designed can expect to earl. Frankly, the numbers are a whole lot higher than I expected to see, although that pay also comes with 7+ years of successful designing. Also, most game designers are free-lance, meaning no employment benefits. 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Games Workshop Releases for 1/18

Here are the GW releases for Jan 18th.  Lots of Sisters of Battle. In fact, all Sisters of Battle or as they now call them Adepta Sororitas:

Codex: Adepta Sororitas (52-01)
  • Hardback 112pp, Eng, Fre
  • The essential book for the Adepta Sororitas
  • Contains Datasheets for every Citadel Miniature in the Adepta Sororitas Army
  • Also contains 34 unique stratagems available to the Adepta Sororitas, 14 new artefacts, Warlord Traits for the 6 Orders Militant of the Adepta Sororitas
  • Features a wealth of army background, including the origins of the Adepta Sororitas, their crusades of faith, organisation and The Imperial Creed

US $40/ CAN $50
For sale in your shop on Saturday 01-18-20

Adepta Sororitas Battle Sisters Squad (52-20)
  • The central fighting unit of the Adepta Sororitas – an essential purchase
  • Can be built as one of three separate units, including the frontline Battle Sisters, the special weapon-wielding Dominions, and the veteran Celestians
  • Contains enough components to build up to four Battle Sisters with any of Stormbolter, Flamer or Meltagun, and two Battle Sisters with heavy weapons, one with a Heavy Bolter, one with a Heavy Flamer


US $60/ CAN $70
For sale in your shop on Saturday 01-18-20

Adepta Sororitas Retributor Squad (52-25)
  • Contains 7 miniatures including a squad of 4 Retributors with a Retributor Superior and 2 Armorium Cherubs
  • Includes enough components to build the 4 Retributors with up to: 2 Heavy Bolters, 2 Multi-Meltas or 2 Heavy Flamers


US $55/ CAN $65
For sale in your shop on Saturday 01-18-20

Adepta Sororitas The Triumph of St. Katherine (52-24)
  • The ultimate centrepiece model for an Adepta Sororitas Army
  • Enhances the fighting prowess of the surrounding the Adepta Sororitas army


US $110/ CAN $130
For sale in your shop on Saturday 01-18-20

Adepta Sororitas Dice (86-68)
  • Contains 20 Adepta Sororitas themed dice
  • Each features a translucent centre in the style of a stained glass window
  • A single large fleur de lys on the ‘6’, with a sanctified skull on the ‘1’


US $35/ CAN $40
For sale in your shop on Saturday 01-18-20

Adepta Sororitas Datacards (52-02)
  • A set of handy reference cards for use with your Adepta Sororitas army in games of Warhmmer 40,000
  • Contains 80 cards including 36 Tactical Objectives, 38 Stratagems, and 6 Sacred Rites


US $25/ CAN $30

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Prediction for 2020

1.       Wizards Drops Transformers—I know I said this would happen sometime this decade, probably in the next 3 to 5 years, but now I expect to see it happen this year. Sales of the Transformers TCG and searches for it on Google peaked soon after its release in the summer of 2018 and have consistently trended down ever since. In addition, Wizards released the $199.99 Energon Edition for the game last November, limiting sales of the set to one per person. Soon after than, Wizards sent out a code offering a discount on the set to retailers that had run Transformers’ TCG events and, when we redeemed ours, we found we could purchase 2 sets instead of one (unfortunately we only had a code to apply to one of them) and the Edition remained readily available two months after the release date.  Since Wizards has not offered codes to stores  for its other direct to consumer sets and the previous DTC sets sold out almost immediately, it does not bode well for the long term future of the game.