Archive for the ‘Tabletop Gaming’ Category

Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite genre of gaming is the realm of trading card games. I am obviously a proponent for CardFight! Vanguard and Magic the Gathering (primarily Commander/EDH). I could spend literally hundreds of hours writing, talking, dissecting both of those games, but everyone knows that. Instead, today, I thought I’d share the trading card games that I love and try to have a deck ready to go at all times. There are a lot, so I narrowed it down to four and they have to currently be in publication (I do love me some dead games, after all).

#4.) Transformers TCG (Hasbro)

This one actually came out of left field for me this year. I love the Transformers IP, but even I saw this as a cash grab. The idea of the oversized character cards seemed as gimmicky as it comes initially. Then came GenCon a few months ago and the demo we had was fantastic. The next morning, we were on the show floor early to grab a starter and a couple of the convention exclusive booster packs.

Building a team of multiple character cards and a minimum 40 Battle Card deck featuring Upgrade (Armor, Weapon and Utility) and Action cards, players take alternating turns playing cards, transforming and attacking. Last ‘Bot standing wins. Its as simply as that. One of the things I enjoy is that you don’t deck out in this one, simply reshuffle.

The game being so new, this is the perfect time to jump in. The newly released Metroplex Deck has everything a player needs to get started, including a super large Metroplex card that might be the most annoying thing in any card game.

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Includes a 40 card deck with 3 exclusive new cards, 3 exclusive normal sized characters and the gigantic Metroplex all for a low cost of $19.99.

#3.) Dragon Ball Super TCG (Bandai)

This one was a little bitter sweet for me. Back in the old days of Score (Early 2000’s), I backed the Yu You Hakusho TCG while a lot of people I knew went with their Dragon Ball Z. Admittedly, I was a bigger fan of Yusuke and his crew than I was of Goku and friends back then. I didn’t make the same mistake twice and, when Panini America released their reboot of the old Dragon Ball Z game, I went all in. Sadly the game went belly up (for one reason or the other) and Bandai launched their Dragon Ball Super TCG.

The best part of this game is that, unlike previous incarnations, they aren’t holding themselves to going saga by saga. They mix and match present arcs, previous arcs and movies in each set. The newest expansion, Miraculous Revival, features characters from the Fusion Reborn movie, Super Android 17 arc of Dragon Ball GT, and instances of Shenron and the Dragon Ball wishes from Dragon Ball through Resurrection F.

The game has officially been out a year now and they have released 8 booster sets (5 main sets and 3 special themed sets), 8 various starter decks and dozen or so special boxes/gift sets. There are several options on how to get started, though the current meta would seem to favor the new “Wish” mechanic. That means the recent Shenron or Gogeta  starter, along with the latest booster set Miraculous Revival, would be an ideal place to start. Most staples in the game can also be picked up fairly cheap (in comparison to other games), with one or two exceptions.

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A Blue staple from the original set, Senzu Bean is currently a $10 card via TCGPlayer.

The game has had some growing pains, I won’t lie, but what game doesn’t? 2019 is shaping up to be a fantastic second year for the game, especially with the hype around the Dragon Ball Super Broly movie set in March.

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The old game died out before we ever got Gogeta officially printed, let alone a Super Sayian 3 Gogeta like this!

#2.) Weiss Schwarz

The game that got me into Bushiroad and all their products, Weiss Schwarz is an anime fan’s dream game. Recently I went into length about my favorite franchise for the game, Sword Art Online (You can read the original article here), but there are so many other games that are a part of the series. Currently in English, there are over 80 various booster boxes and starter sets available for franchises such as Sword Art Online, Kill la Kill, Persona, Attack on Titan, Hatsune Miku and so many more. This month sees the release of No Game No Life starter and booster, with Cardcaptor Sakura releasing in January. Things get even crazier when you look at the Japanese edition of the game as they have properties like Star Wars!

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Seriously, this is not a joke. Some of the art on these cards put the stuff Fantasy Flight puts out to shame!

If you are a fan of video games or anime, you’d be hard pressed to not find a set that you didn’t like. One of the key things that has drawn me to this game is that, since sets are not interchangeable (no mixing Attack on Titan with Cardcaptor Sakura), you only really have to stay up on the releases that you want.

That being said, there is a draw back to this game that most other games do not have. Bushiroad only prints a certain number of cases for each set and they aren’t known for reprinting. That means obtaining sealed product for older sets can be a pain and the prices for some singles on the secondary market can be abnormally high. Also, since these sets are licensed IPs, they don’t return to a lot of them (or at least not frequently) unless a new season or game releases. This means that some sets can be pushed to the side easily by power creep.

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It could be the worst series ever and I’ll still main deck Sword Art Online!

#1.) Universal Fight System (Jasco Games)

So what game system could push out one featuring one of my all time favorite anime series? One featuring my favorite, as well as sporting the most unique mechanic system in the industry: Universal Fight System (UFS).

This game has a bit of a storied history. Currently published and designed by the crew at Jasco Games, the game was originally under two other publisher- Sabertooth Games (February 2006-February 2008) and Fantasy Flight Games (June 2008-November 2009). While the game has featured the likes of Gabe and Tyco, from Penny Arcade, to the more recent Bebop crew from Cowboy Bebop, it has had a primarily video game focus. Which makes sense as the game’s core mechanics are designed to make it feel like you are playing a fighting game with a deck of cards.

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Cammy from the recent Street Fighter set.

Everything you need to start constructing your deck is decided like any good fighting game- at the character select screen. Using the Cammy pictured above, there are 5 symbols to the left of her text box. You have your starting/maximum hand size, your health and then the three elements your deck uses. You can use any card, from any set, so long as it contains at least one of those three symbols.The game takes the fighting theme to a whole new level with the way cards actually interact. You have attacks that combo off previous attacks, building up a super meter, and getting progressively harder with each new hit. Each attack has an attack speed and hit zone (high, middle or low), so you have to match it with a like block.

The main reason I got into the game.

  • There are a few things this game has going for it, beyond the amazing mechanics, that make it an amazing product.
  • First, and something I wish every game did- booster pack redemptions. Every booster pack has a little skull printed on the back of it. Simply hit up the official website for a list of key reprints and alternate art foils and print out the order form. Ship them the boosters, they ship you the cards. It’s a small little thing that gives you a little extra bang for your dollar.
  • Then there are the formats. UFS supports two formats for their game, Standard and Turbo. Standard format is a 60 card deck with cards from the last 10 most recent print sets, while Turbo is a 41 card deck from the 4 more recent printed sets. As a new set comes out, the oldest set in the list gets pushed out. Further more, the formats support both 1v1 traditional play and Teams (3v3).
  • Finally, there is the grand prize from their National and World events. For singles competition, the winner gets to be made into a tournament legal character promo card. Team champions get turned into an Assist card. What makes these so amazing is that the winners actually get to have a hand at helping design the cards. As a gamer and an artist, that is probably one of the best prizes I could ever hope to win.
  • The next UFS set due out is “Street Fighter vs Dark Stalkers”. That preview art is gorgeous!

  • We could spend hours talking about how much of amazing game UFS is, how it is played and so much more. We probably will in the near future!
  • So what do you all think? Do you agree with our choices? Think a different game should make the list? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.
  • Until next time, as always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.
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    A little random of a post, sorry about that. We received a package today from Anvil Eight Games featuring the base game of Front Line No Komrades, the first expansion Oxna Bears All, and the companies “Incoming” enamel pin from GenCon 2018.

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    Such stylized art.

    We cannot wait to get this to the table top. There is something special about compact games that you can just toss in the old back pack and take everywhere/anywhere.

    So what about any of you out there? Any one have this in their collection yet?

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

     

    Sword Art Online has been one of the few anime to truly capture my imagination the way anime used to do back when I was in high school. While there are parts that are better than others and certain characters fair better has the series progresses, the over all package of Sword Art Online is one that I’ve throughly enjoyed without reserve. Heck, its probably why its one of my top rewatched animes of the last few years. The top honors of that goes to Cowboy Bebop and Yu Yu Hakusho. That is why the only two hobby games for the series hold a special place in my collection.

    First, and foremost, is the Sword Art Online line of expansions for Bushiroad’s hit trading card game- Weiss Schwarz.

    sao

    Weiss Schwarz, for those unaware, is a card game thats brings together multiple anime and video game properties to battle it out. The likes of Attack on TitanPersona 5, and even the upcoming Cardcaptor Sakura set battle on “stages” using character cards, event cards and Climax cards (think Triggers from CardFight! Vanguard). Generally speaking, decks are played series-specific, meaning no Kirito fighting along side Even Yeager.

    To date, there have been 8 Sword Art Online releases:

    • Sword Art Online Trial Deck
    • Sword Art Online Booster Box
      • Both of these cover the first 14 episodes, or Aincrad arc, of the first season.
    • Sword Art Online Vol. 2 Booster Box
      • Covers the final 11 episodes, or Fairy Dance arc, of the first season.
    • Sword Art Online II Trial Deck
    • Sword Art Online II Extra Booster Box
      • Covers the first 14 episodes, or Phantom Bullet arc, of the second season.
    • Sword Art Online II Vol. 2 Extra Booster Box
      • Covers the final 10 episodes, or the Calibur and Mother’s Rosario arcs, of the second season.
    • Sword Art Online Re: Edit
      • Reprint set of 100 previous released cards + 19 new ones
    • Sword Art Online The Movie -Ordinal Scale-
      • Cards from the theatrical movie of the same name.

    Like all of the Weiss Schwarz series, they use still shots and promotional art from the anime to make the cards. For some of the cards, it can look a little wonky (is that an ok word to use?) like the Asuna on the left. For others, though, they can look amazing, like the Asuna on the right.

     

    Interesting enough, it is also because of this game that I ever became remotely interested in any of Bushiroad’s other products. We were walking the hall of GenCon for the first time and we’d stumbled across their booth. Back then they actually had a lot of tables set up and product for sale. I digress. We demoed it and the deck I got to demo was for Sword Art Online.

    Another bonus is that, with my love of playmats, official Sword Art Online playmats are some of the most gorgeous around:

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    One of my favorite playmats in my collection.

    My current build is a little scatter brained, but I love it. It is primarily the original starter with some random bits thrown in for good measure. I was super excited with the starter because it had a RRR “Asuna- Start of the Battle” inserted.

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    The RRR Asuna is on the bottom row, second column.

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    Like CardFight! Vanguard, you get a certain number of Climax Cards (think Triggers).

    The other game to appear with the Sword Art Online name on it is from Japanime Games called Sword Art Online: Sword of Fellows.

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    Launched on KickStarter last year, players play as their favorite characters from the original arc- Kirito, Asuna, Agil, Silica, Klein and Lisbeth. Games play out over four scenarios, each representing a level of the game from the show. The first three levels (Lower, Middle and Upper) have multiple options and one is randomly drawn for each, giving way to lots of play throughs with different outcomes. Players can earn itms to help them beat later bosses and level up for better and stronger attacks.

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    I should really have taken pictures of my copy, but this works!

    One of the things I absolutely love about the game is that, even sleeved, all of the cards and components (dice and tokens) fit back into the small box it comes in. That means it is easily stored and taken with you so you can enjoy the world of Sword Art Online anywhere and everywhere you can find a flat surface! Bonus note: This KickStarter had one thing I wish every KickStarter would offer- Sleeves for all of their different sized cards! Seriously, a life saver.

    I really wish there were more games for the Sword Art Online universe. Yes, it is a franchise that lends itself to video games more than a physical medium, but there are still a number of amazing possibilities. A small army miniatures game in the same vein as Infinity from Corvus Belli exploring the front lines of the dungeons would be amazing. Think of the possibilities of Sword Art Online RPG where if you die, you have to preroll a whole brand new character? At the very least, I would love to see a new card set. With the third series recently launching, I have no doubt Bushiroad will put out another expansion for Weiss Schwarz but what about Jasco Games and Universal Fight System? That would be a killer set!

    What do you all think? Should we have more games with the SAO IP or should the series stick to what it already does. Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

    Privateer Press has unveiled their upcoming Monsterpocalypse releases for February. They are releasing a new monster and building for the Shadow Sun Syndicate and a new monster and building for Planet Eaters.

    For the Shadow Sun Syndicate-

    Zor-Raiden (Metal/Resin, $21.99)

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    Shadow Sun Industries (Resin, $14.99)

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    According to the description, the Shadow Sun Industries building itself and allies from blast attacks as well as providing a new spawn point.

    For Planet Eaters-

    Rogzor (Resin, $34.99)

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    Unless I’m mistaken, this is the single most expensive (money wise) for a monster-only unit/package.

    Harbinger Comet Shard (Resin, $16.99)

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    From the description, this building converts enemies into power for attacks and acts as a new spawn point.

    These new models all, visually, seem incredibly fun. I know that the Harbinger Comet Shard is for the Planet Eaters, but I cannot help but want to paint it up like part of the Fortress of Solitude from Richard Donner’s Superman. Those are just screaming to be painted like blue crystals.

    What do you all think? Will you be inching your way to a faction-pure build for Shadow Sun Syndicate and Planet Eaters with these or will you be skipping them? Sound off in the comments and let us know.

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

    So the other day was my birthday. One of my gifts I received was a box of Strongest! Team AL4 (VGE-V-BT02) and a copy of the Ren Suzugamori Trial Deck (VGE-V-TD04). With exception of my very first Weiss Schwartz deck for Sword Art Online, I have the worst luck imaginable when it comes to pulling awesome cards. That changed when I pulled this beauty:

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    I am not one to brag, but I was so stoked to pull this! I’ve always loved Shadow Paladins. They are one of my main three clans. So to get this and it be on my birthday? What isn’t there a bit to brag about…?

    Anyways, after that last sour article I wrote, I wanted to post something remotely positive.

    Keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

    Alright. Admittedly that headline is a bit long, but it is the truth.

    A little back story before we get into the meat of this article. Since 2015, Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures have launched 5 successful Kickstarters. The most successful of these campaigns was for Super Dungeon Explore: Legends. More than 6,000 backers pledged over $1.29 million dollars during the Kickstarter and who knows how much more during the pledge manager via the company’s official web store. After Super Dungeon Explore: Legends, they launched campaigns for Relic Knights 2nd Edition, Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures, Rail Raiders: Infinite, and Way of the Fighter.

    To date, Rail Raiders: Infinite and Way of the Fighter have been in retail stores for more than a year while there are still backers awaiting their copies, stretch goals and more. The Starfinder miniatures have just now begun making their way to US backers, with quality control issue after quality control issue. Relic Knights 2nd Edition was supped to have been done and shipped by February 2018 but there has been only radio silence since August 2018. And, finally, Super Dungeon Explore: Legends had been shelved until Starfinder and Relic Knights had been completed.

    Despite the projects’ various degrees of completion, more than $2.56 million dollars was raised by more than 17,000 backers through the Kickstarter campaigns. This does not included the undisclosed amount raised during the various pledge mangers, as there would be late backers and people who upped their pledges.

    With that in mind, it brings us to the the present. As the company has been radio silent on all their Kickstarter pages (See: Ninja Division Pulling Back from Kickstarter), this had led several backers to write to their attorney generals as well as the Idaho attorney general (Ninja Division/Soda Pop Miniatures are based out of Idaho) in regards to fraud. The response from Ninja Division/Soda Pop was finally made public: Ninja Division Response to Attorney General.

    While the response is worded as such to skate over many of the pressing questions backers have had, as well as give a detailed account usage of all funds raised and not just of those during the Super Dungeon Explore: Legends Kickstarter, it does have a few interesting bits of information:

    • Under their disclosure of Initial Funding, they state that approximately $343,559 was used for “annual overhead”. This included payroll, facilities and additional overhead. This funding was to cover them for the remainder of 2015, as well as all of 2016. They then state they had to deplete the funds to cover 2017 as well.
    • Also under their disclosure of Initial Funding, they state that approximately $485,679 went to “project expenses”, including license fees and marketing.
    • Funds for the game are completely ran through, leaving a deficit of $750,000 needed to bring the project to completion.
    • While the fate of their other non-SDE IPs are not disclosed, they do mention that they are in discussion with multiple outside companies for acquisition of their studio.

    There is also several bits of blame laid at the backers’ feet that we won’t go into.

    In the end, ultimately, this does not bold well for anyone connected with these games. Be it a backer, designer or what have you, it looks like the curtain is slowly falling on what was once a great company and a great stable of fantastic games.

    _________

    For full details on the four outstanding Kickstarters and some basic stats. Way of the Fighter is not included in this break down as it backers for this are waiting on miniature add-ons. While not to be cast aside or forgotten about in the least, it is hard to gage a proper number of backers effected by this as Way of the Fighter featured the least amount of backers and most have moved on from the campaign.

    Relic Knights 2nd Edition

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/relic-knights-2nd-edition/description

    Originally ran on KS from Feb 27, 2017 until March 14, 2017

    • Raised $386,826 from 2,489 backers
      • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via the Pledge Manager
    • Game/Stretch goals were to ship in 3 waves over an 8 month period
      • Wave 1 – Summer 2017: Base game and majority of stretch goals/add ons
      • Wave 2 – Winter 2017: Remaining stretch goals/add ons
      • Wave 3 – Feb. 2018: Void Break Expansion Rulebook/outstanding stretch goals

    As of November 2018, zero of the game’s 2000+ backers have seen anything. Last real update on production was back in July 2018. Several comments made at GenCon by Soda Pop employees was that the game was to begin shipping at the end of August. Last comment made by John Cadice (owner of Ninja Division) was that they ran out of bases, and the comment was made via a Facebook Relic Knights fan page.

    Rail Raiders: Infinite

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/rail-raiders-infinite/description

    • Originally ran on KS from April 6, 2016 until April 22, 2016
    • Raised $339,724 from 4,649 backers
      • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via the Pledge Manager
    • Game/Stretch goals were to ship October 2016.
    • Shipping finally began in August 2017.

    As of November 2018, many of the game’s backers (primarily those out of the United States) are still awaiting their games though the game has been available at retail for months. Last update was January 2018.

    Starfinder Masterclass Miniatures

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/325468910/starfinder-masterclass-miniatures/description

    • Originally ran on KS from September 27, 2017 until October 17, 207
    • Raised $457,539 from 2,294 backers
      • Does not account for any/all additional funds raised via Pledge Manager
    • Game/Stretch goals were to ship May 2018
    • Shipping began in waves in May 2018, however they have switched to a new model of shipping what they have when they are done. 
      • This could be a single miniature or multiples.

    As of November 2018, Wave 1 miniatures have begun making their way to US backers. These shipments have been plagued by quality control issues and broken miniatures.

    Super Dungeon Explores: Legends

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sodapopminiatures/super-dungeon-explore-legends/comments

    • Originally ran on KS from October 21, 2015 until November 11, 2015
    • Raised $1,290,522 from 6,611 backers
      • Does not account for any/all additional funs raised via Pledge Manager
    • Game/Stretch goals were to Ship December 2016

    As of November 2018, zero of the game’s backers have received anything. The last update of any type regarding fulfillment and shipping was back in March 2018.

    $2,566,516 from 17,428 backers, or $148.80 per person.

     

    Holy amazing looking release, Batman!

    Knight Models looks to be swinging it out of the park this month in honor of the 80th birthday of everyone’s favorite vigilante, Batman. New starter boxes, new models, an amazing looking store exclusive and a new Batman that looks like he’ll be a joy to paint. Lets take a quick look:

    80th Anniversary Batman-

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    This may be my favorite Batman sculpt they’ve done so far.

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    So it looks like this is indeed a Multiverse model, meaning it includes character cards for both the Batman Miniatures Game and DC Universe Miniatures Game. Anyone that knows me knows that this is an instant plus for me. I have always loved the idea of being able to buy a single miniature (or starter) and it works for multiple games. It just simply adds more bang for your money that way.

    Clayface-

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    So much nicer looking than the original Clayface model.

    Another Multiverse unit. Love it! Keep them coming, please! This model looks sharp. The sculpt is very reminiscent of the animated Clayface.

    Team Flash-

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    I won’t lie. Ever since the started expanding the CW license for Batman, I have wanted two figures above all else. White Canary and Harrison Wells (Harry!) from Earth-2. Finally getting one of them at least!

    Legion of Doom-

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    I guess nothing says “speedster” like standing with your arms crossed while smirking cockily.

    More speed! More League of Shadows! More magic! A solid looking group here.

    Then outside the traditional single or multi-pack releases, Knight Models is rolling out a set of three brand new single player starters (350 point Bat-Boxes). These are interesting because they are comprised of most previously release models (though in the 2nd edition resin!). To make them appealing to existing player bases, it seems, is that they include a couple new models (in terms of units and themed objective markers), physical equipment cards and exclusive scenarios.

    The Joker: Clowns Party-

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    I am a sucker for the Clown Prince of Crime. This is probably going to be high on my priority list.

    The Riddler: Quizmasters-

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    The Riddler and his crew here were on my radar for a little while, if for no other reason than I think painting all that green and purple would me fun. That being said, I’ve never bought any, so this may have to be bought.

    Interesting idea, however. I am curious if they would release an Arkham Asylum/City/Knight version of the Riddler and his crew as a box? A 350 point arm of those little (and not so little) quizzing mechanical monsters would be fun.

    Suicide Squad-

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    Alright, a little truth time. This is the only blemish to the entire month of releases. With the exception of the models being resin, this is the exact same team as the Suicide Squad 2-player box released a couple years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I find the idea of getting a new Katana (the only model from the box I never assembled) appealing. However, would it have hurt to include the Enchantress and Rick Flagg? How about an exclusive Amanda Waller?

    Honestly, they probably should have released a different hero themed box. It’s Batman’s 80th. Why not a Batman and squad of Gotham Police/S.W.A.T? Oh! A Teen Titans box with exclusive Cyborg and Beast Boy? Or a Birds of Prey box with an exclusive Oracle model?

    _____

    Ultimately, this seems to be a very good month if you’re a fan of the Batman Miniatures Game. Hopefully next month, we’ll get a few more Multiverse options though.

    What do you all think? What are you picking up or passing on? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

    Privateer Press has announced that the release date for their relaunch of Monsterpocalypse has been pushed back a couple weeks from September 21st until October 5th. While not much of a delay, those of you who follow The Late Night Players know that Monsterpocalypse was one of our favorite titles from GenCon this year. So the news that its being delayed, even if ever so slightly, saddens us that everyone will have to wait longer to get their hands on the game.

    The reason for the delay seems to be due to a customs hold up. From what we are to understand, this is a bit of history repeating itself as the original game had a couple of their releases delayed due to custom holds and shipyard strikes. Purely coincidental mind you, but a funny observation none the less.

    Privateer Press’ official statement is below:

    “Privateer Press’ upcoming Monsterpocalypse Hobby Miniatures Game, scheduled for release on September 21, has been temporarily delayed. U.S. Customs held the container carrying the game and a host of items from other companies for an intensive exam. The street date has been changed to October 5, 2018.

    The Monsterpocalypse tutorial guide was launched last week to further players’ knowledge and awareness of the forthcoming game. The tutorial is available at here.

    The Monsterpocalypse Hobby Miniatures Game represents an updated and streamlined second edition of the original 2008 collectible game’s rules. Additionally, instead of using pre-painted collectible figures to play, the new game’s most noteworthy difference is its use of highly detailed resin and metal hobby miniatures, which players get to assemble before playing. As a hobby game, this upgrade to the Monsterpocalypse experience provides the opportunity for players to customize their armies through painting and modeling them.”

    Hopefully this will not force a delay of their other planned October releases of the Shadow Sun Syndicate (Protectors) and Lords of Cthul (Destroyers).

    What do you all think? Disappointed? Relieved you’ll have a couple extra weeks to get what you have primed and painted for the table top? Sound off in the comments below and let us know.

    As always, keep your dice warm and happy gaming.

    A new troop unit for my new favorite miniatures game is soon on the horizon! Being a primarily Imperial player, it is even better that it is for that particular faction. Introducing one of the coolest Stormtroopers to grace the silver screen in Empire Strikes Back– the Snowtrooper!

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    Cool? Get it? I’m so punny.

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    Included in the expansion are:

    • Five (5) standard Snowtrooper figures
    • One (1) Flametrooper heavy figure
    • One (1) T-7 Ion Snowtrooper heavy figure
    • One (1) Grappling Hook upgrade card
    • One (1) Impact Grenade upgrade card
    • One (1) Snowtrooper addition card
    • One (1) Snowtrooper stat card
    • Nine (9) various tokens

    At 48 points, they base stats are 4 points more than a standard Stormtrooper unit. They offer the same stats as their standard counterparts, swapping out the Precise 1 for Steady. That is a change I’m willing to take. The idea of moving twice then hitting another unit sounds pretty worth the 4 extra points.

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    The heavy weapons upgrade cards offer two very different, but very useful, attack options to the formation. The Flametrooper offers a weaker attack in general, but has the potential to increase itself heavily if you can get close enough. The T-7 Ion Snowtrooper is a larger attack but requires readying after each attack.

    The other two upgrade cards offered in this expansion are the same two offered in the standard Stormtrooper expansion. Grappling Hooks grant the unit Expert Climber, while Impact Grenades offer a 1 black die attack at Range 1 with Impact 1. Impact Grenades are nice, but as more and more terrain is being officially released via Fantasy Flight and various other 3D printers/terrain makers, being able to avoid the possible damage dealt by varying heights of terrain is a a huge bonus.

    All in all, this is a fantastic looking expansion that I cannot wait to get to the table. I think my ideal build with this unit would be:

    • Snowtroopers- 48 points
    • Personnel Upgrade: Snowtrooper – 12 points
    • Heavy Unit Upgrade: Flametrooper – 20 points
    • Gear Upgrade: Grappling Hooks -3 points
    • Total: 83 points

    If I have the additional 5 points to spare, I’d probably add the Impact Grenades, but I don’t think they’d be all that needed.

    In the end, this is a must buy for the Star Wars Legion collection.

    What about you, guys and gals? Am I wrong about skipping out on the Impact Grenades? Should I be thinking the T-7 is the better Heavy Unit upgrade? Or am I wrong all together and should just be fielding a stander Stormtrooper unit? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!

    Its been a while since I did a new edition to Kickstarter Watch. Actually, its been so long since I did one of these, is that what I called it? I digress as that is what we are calling it now. There have been a couple games to pop up on Kickstarter the last few months that we went crazy for here at Late Night Players. Academy Games launched Agents of Mayhem: Pride of Babylon, followed by Monolith Board Games launched the impressive Batman: Gotham City Chronicles. For the record, while I did not comment on the message feed for it or approve of any of their bullying, I am Team Batcow all the way.

    But we aren’t here to talk about those games. No, of course. It is spring time which means its time for another CMoN Kickstarter. This time, we’re talking an interstellar journey in a futuristic update to their classic Zombicide franchise- Zombicide: Invader.

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    Look at all the pretty new plastic…(insert Homer Simpson drooling sound effect)

    From their Kickstarter page:

    “Zombicide: Invader is a standalone cooperative board game for 1 to 6 players, taking the trademark Zombicide action into the far reaches of space! Players control a group of Survivors trying to defend their remote mining outpost from a swarm of infected aliens controlled by the game itself. The more experience and power the Survivors earn, the more Xenos invade the facility!

    This sci-fi interpretation of Zombicide is as sleek as ever, playing fast and furious. The rules have been optimized to reduce setup time and make the game flow quickly, focusing the action on the struggle between the Survivors and the Xenos.”

    If the idea of Zombicide in space wasn’t enough to get people excited, looking at these minis:

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    I wish my painting skills were half as good as this!

    The classic Zombicide dashboard even got a bit of a futuristic upgrade:

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    Taking a cue from Black Plaque, the new plastic dashboards are beautifully laid out.

    At the time of this write up, the game is already funded multiple times over. Originally seeking $250,000 for production, the game is sitting at $1,182,662. This means they’ve unlocked a plethora of stretch goals, as well. With 24 stretch goals unlocked, they are sitting on a 25th goal of $1,240,00.

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    The 25th stretch goal and a face only a mother could love.

    Currently, there are only two pledge levels: Civilian and Soldier. The Civilian pledge is $100, and includes the core game, exclusive miniature and all applicable stretch goals. The Soldier pledge is $150, and it includes the core game, Black Ops expansion, two exclusive miniatures and all applicable stretch goals.

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    The Black Ops expansion includes 6 new survivors, a new abomination and 3 new tiles. It also includes 6 additional dashboards for 12 player games.

    So here is where I am going to have to be a little negative, and I really, truly do not want to be.

    The game, for all intents and purposes, looks like it should be a fun and exciting addition to the Zombicide family. However, as has become the tradition with all CMoN products, its honestly about what the add after the fact that make these campaigns exciting and worth participating in. Zombicide Black Plaque: The Greene Horde had some of the most amazing miniature stretch goals and add-ons one could possibly ask for. Each miniature was a work of art, amazing homage and made unlocking it a celebration. I don’t get that feeling with this campaign. At least so far.

    Every other survivor is a parody/homage, while the in-betweens are original characters. The art style, while beautiful and inspiring, does not translate well to showing off the parody in figure form. The original survivors, minus possibly one or two, are boring and lack any real character. This does not go for the aliens, however. The creatures are beautiful and if I could swap out the original design survivors for more of the creatures, I   probably would if I weren’t such a completist.

    To top it off, especially after such a quick and amazing first 30 minutes the campaign was live, things are slowing down. I don’t know if it is just Zombicide fatigue, easy considering that Greene Horde hasn’t even completely shipped yet, or if others are finding aspects of the game as uninspiring as me, but the pace is a crawl at this point. I am left wondering if it wouldn’t have served them better to have called the game something else and treated it as a totally new and original IP as opposed to a sequel in a long running series. Plus, Xenocide would have made for a killer title!

    In the end though, regardless of how much I am concerned or left underwhelmed, they have me for a Soldier pledge. I learnt a long time ago that if I want a CMoN game, get it via Kickstarter or else my collector’s OCD will kick in. I’m looking at you, Arcadia Quest. Hopefully we’ll see some sort of cool and amazing add-ons to get the stretch goals running again.

    Until next time, keep your dice warm and happy gaming!