Saturday, August 28, 2010


I am really glad to see that Fantasy Flight Games has reprinted Games Workshop's Dungeonquest boardgame, with higher quality components including some very nicely detailed plastic figures that can also be used in Descent, Runewars and Rundbound, and for only $20 than the original game sold for.

That's not why I'm happy to see this back in print though. I'm a big fan of Dungeonquest because it's one of the very few boardgames that works really well as a solo game or as a multiplayer one. The need to plan and allocate time makes Dungeonquest fascinating each time I play. Do I risk jumping over the pit when my character doesn't have a high jump score or take the extra turns to move around it? Search for smaller quantities of treasure on the board or move towards the pile of loot in the dragon's lair, which a much larger chance of treasure but also the opportunity of becoming dragon chow. Run for the exit now or take another turn to search and risk having the entire castle collapse around my head?

The game gets addictive. We ran a tournament some years ago in which people played as many games as they wanted over a two week period and we'd keep track of their scores. We'd have people coming in and playing 2 or 3 sessions a day just trying to best their own score, never mind their ranking in the tournament. They enjoyed it that much.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gamma World

Here's some more information on the October release of the revised Gamma World setting. It's interesting and a good sign that the first two expansions are Famine in Far-Go and Legion of Gold, which long time Gamma World fans will remember were the names of the first two modules for the original game back in the 80s (and which I still have kicking around in my collection somewhere).

I'm not too thrilled with the booster pack concept for the game, with each pack containing a random assortment of additional bowers and mutations to upgrade the player characters. I'll withhold final judgment until I see the final product but past card based RPGs have not fared too well (Everway, Dragon Storm, Changling 1st edition)

Monday, August 23, 2010

D&D Red Box

Watch The Totally Rad Show do a live reveal of the new D&D Red Box Starter set.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Island of Blood

Games Workshop is positioning the new Island of Blood starter set for Warhammer Fantasy Battle as a great deal for players at $99 and when you compare it to what you would pay for the pieces individually, it is. Given that the rule book by itself sells for $75 and the miniatures, if purchased separately would run around $350, $99 for the set is a steal. I know of stores that are ordering a dozen as they have players buying 2-3 just for the pieces.

However (and you might have noticed I was building up to a however), the price point puts it out of the range of a good intro set. If you are wanting to get people into the game, especially something like Warhammer Fantasy Battle, you need to offer them a gateway product to get them started, something relatively inexpensive they can buy to see if they like the product. WOTC does this with D&D and HeroClix does this with the Batman starter. THe average new player is not going to drop $100 to see if they like the game or not and the people who are buying it would have bought the pieces anyhow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Watchmen HeroClix

The new Watchmen HeroClix set will ship tomorrow so we should have it in stock by Wed. This retailers for $100 and contains 25 figures. Not sure what is in it, as side from the 8 Watchmen figures but all the sculpts are unique.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

D and D Encounters Changes

WOTC has announced that stating with Session 11 (the August 18th game) of this season's D&D Encounters, you may create your own character instead of using one of the pre-generated ones. Here are the specifics:

Starting with Chapter 3 of D&D Encounters: Dark Sun on August 18, all players may create their own 3rd-level Dark Sun character instead of using the provided pre-generated ones. Here are the rules:
  • No divine character classes or options
  • No material from the Forgotten Realms® Player's Guide or the Eberron® Player's Guide
  • Allowed character races are dragonborn, dwarf, eladrin, elf, half-elf, halfling, human, tiefling (PH1); goliath (PH2); minotaur (PH3); mul, thri-kreen (DSCS)
  • Pick a character theme from the Dark Sun Campaign Setting
  • Characters start at 3rd level with 620 gold to purchase equipment and receive their choice of a +1 magic weapon, +1 magic implement, +1 magic armor, or a +1 amulet of protection
Have fun playing the last chapter of this season of D&D Encounters, and don't forget that a new season starts up on September 22 — Keep on the Borderlands!

Edited to correct the numbering of next week's session.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lords of Vegas

Got a look at Mayfair Games upcoming release Lords of Vegas at Gencon. Pretty nice game, especially if you're a fan of the Bootleggers game. It's got an interesting dice mechanic. Each casino space has a dice attatched to it and , when you control the casino, you get to roll the dice to generate income from the space. Controlling interest in the casino generates additional benefits from the roll. Good especially if you like building games with lots of fiddly bits to put on the gameboard.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Warhammer Fantasy Role Play

Mildly amused to see that Fantasy Flight Games has announced they are releasing a Player's Guide and Player's Vault for the $100 Warhammer Fantasy Role Playing Game, since they originally said, when they announced the game and were asked about player's guides that they had no plans to do any such thing. Of course, the Player's Guide will cost about $50 and the Vault, which contains the cards, tiles and dice needed to play the game, will cost $30. This means that, if you want to get into a game and buy the things you'll need, it costs almost as much for a single player as it does to buy the whole game with enough materials for the GM and 3 players.

If I were a cynical sort, I'd think this allows FFG to say they listened to customer requests for materials for one player, produced them, and then no one bought them, thus proving they were right in their original decision to produce the bundled version of the game, rather than DM and player books and sets. But I'd only think that if I were cynical.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ennies Announced

The Ennies are the annual awards given for the previous year's best RPG products and accessories. They replaced the Gamer's Choice awards several years ago and each year's winners are announced Friday night at that year's GENCON. Here're this year's nominees and here are this year's winners. The books and items on the list represent the best role playing games available, as decided by both fans and professional writers and artists.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lunch Money

Atlas Games' Lunch Money is an example of what could have happened to Munchkin if Steve Jackson Games hadn't followed a savvier marketing strategy.

Lunch Monday came out in 1996 and sold great immediately. Who wouldn't want to play a game in which you're smacking around other people and taking their lunch money? Interestingly, besides Dungeons & Dragons, it's the only game I've every had people complain to me about carrying because they found it morally objectionable. We used to sell an average of a copy a week at the store and usually 3-6 copies when we set up at a convention.

Unfortunately, that was it for the game until 2004, when Beer Money and Sticks and Stones came out. Despite the fact that Sticks & Stones is an expansion deck for LM and Beer Money mixes in with LM, neither sold as well as the original game. Why? My thinking is because Atlas didn't follow the more successful Munchkin strategy of Steve Jackson Games.

Both started out highly popular. However, Lunch Money released 14 years ago and only has 2 additions, plus t-shirts and some greeting cards. Munchkin released in 2001 and currently has 8 stand alone variants, 14 expansions for said variants, plus add on merchandise such as t-shirts, counters, dice, dice bags, even a bobblehead. All of this in less than 9 years. We sell at least one Munchkin game or expansion a week. We haven't sold any Lunch Money at the store or a convention in over 6 months.

Both are good games but Munchkin keeps coming out with new products, that, even if they don't sell as well as the original game, attract peoples' attention and get them talking about and anticipating the next release. There's nothing to talk about, no buzz surrounding any new Lunch Money release. There wasn't even an anniversary edition released in 2006. Want to bet we see a Tenth Anniversary edition of Munchkin in 2011? Yet another item for Munchkin fans to talk about and want to see and likely purchase.