First of all, thanks for the lovely comments after last week's column. You're a lovely bunch. It was very much appreciated. Second of all, it's time for the July board game news. We're in the middle of the BIG BOOM of board gaming, and there's a lot to cover. I've chosen some of the most interesting stuff to tell you about today. Dig in, and get your wallets ready!
ONE NIGHT ULTIMATE VAMPIRE
I'm a big fan of One Night Ultimate Werewolf. Werewolf, as you probably know, is a game like Mafia, which is, as you probably know, hang on – how many commas am I using here? Anyway, Werewolf is a game of secret roles, playable by GIANT groups of people, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a very short distillation of that game. Well, One Night Ultimate Vampire is a standalone game that can be combined with ONUW, and it introduces a new “mark” mechanic. While players have secret roles, and some are vampires, there's another layer of interaction with these marks – they allow the vampires to bite, and the assassins to kill, and the game state to change. It looks interesting, another fine release from Bezier Games, and as long as it doesn't clutter up a great and simple game too much, it'll probably be worth checking out.
I've been looking forward to Mysterium for some time, and its English language release is almost upon us. It's a game where one player is the ghost of a murder victim, and the rest of the players are psychics trying to work out the details of the murder. Beautifully, the ghost communicates with the psychics by using gorgeously illustrated cards to hint towards the details of the murder. The ghost uses cards to build a series of “visions” that will hint towards a murder weapon, a location, and a culprit. Sounds wonderful, right? I love games like this (it sounds very Dixit) and it looks like they've really pulled out all the stops with the English language edition – oh, and they've set it in the best country in the world. Scotland.
THE FURY OF DRACULA
My favourite hidden movement game, the incredible incredible Fury of Dracula, is coming back into print. One player is Dracula, the rest are the vampire hunters. Dracula travels across Europe, spawning new vampires and laying waste to the civilised world, while the players try to corner him and lay him to rest. This new edition is streamlined, it seems, and it's probably something that the game needed in order to grab a wider audience. Fury is a big, long game, and I love it that way – but it would probably be too long and sprawling for some in this era of games lasting about 3 seconds. Hopefully this new edition brings a new audience to what is a brilliant horror board game experience. I'm not crazy about the new box art though. Or the new map. I mean, the board from Fantasy Flight's original print is a MASTERPIECE. This edition looks way less gothic, far more of a Universal Monsters feel. But don't listen to me. I am OLD. Take a look at all the details over HERE.
THREE KINGDOMS REDUX
This isn't news, but I'm really quite annoyed that the buzz for Three Kingdoms Redux hasn't been growing as fast and furious as it should be. Folks, this game, reviewed by me a few months back, is wonderful. It's the front-runner for my game of the year, it's gorgeous, it's clever, it's indie – it is available to buy. It SHOULD have been picked up by a bigger publisher by now, or something. I have no idea why everyone isn't desperate to pick it up. I wish I could play it every day.
WAR OF THE RING: ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Ares Games have announced a big fancy collectors edition of the War of the Ring board game that – HOLD ON, WASN'T THERE ALREADY ONE OF THESE? Well, yes, but this is different. A different collectors edition, from different publishers, and of the second edition of the game. It's a big lavish thing, with painted miniatures. It's limited to 2000 copies, there are only about 400 left, and it costs OH MY GOD IT IS 370 DOLLARS.
I have War of the Ring, first edition, just the normal edition of the game – but hey, I've never played it. Haven't been able to get it on the table. I can't even tell you if it's worth picking up. I'm absolutely useless at this – my JOB. But I can tell you that it is a highly regarded game, for two players, and it's about elves or something. Look, you're hardly going to buy this unless you've played the game anyway, right? So what's the problem? Stop looking at me like that.
And finally, Colt Express won the 2015 Spiel des Jahres, which is like a board gaming Oscar if only in the sense that it boosts the sales of the winning game. Colt Express is a game with an Old West setting, where you program the movement of your little train robber to grab loot on a fast-moving train. And get this – the game actually comes with a cardboard train that you can build on the table, and your little men jump all around this. You plan your actions, lay your cards down, the cards are turned up and the actions all trigger – and you punch, shoot, steal and run through and over the top of the cabins of the train. Sounds great fun, and I might pick it up now that it has won an award, because AWARDS = SLAVISH CONSUMERISM.
FINALLY, my update on XCOM with more players, so that one guy in the comments can shut up about it (love u really) and a look at another great indie title. I should really be covering Age of Sigmar too, right? I might go pick that up for you. I'm too good to you, honestly.