Spoilers: My 2014 Board Game Geek Secret Santa experience was, for lack of a better word, amazing. Frankly, it’s amazing every year that those coordinating the event manage to get 2,700 or however many people to exchange presents with complete strangers is pretty mind-numbing to begin with. Receiving the present is always a ton of fun, as is sending a present to your target. It really is, year-in-and-year-out, one of my favorite experiences. It’s the anticipation of having no idea what you’re getting or when you’re going to get it and knowing that you can give that same experience to the person that you are buying for. This year, however, my Secret Santa went well above and beyond the call of duty. I got a call this afternoon at work letting me know that a rather large package had arrived at my house. I knew it was my Secret Santa present, so I was pretty psyched. I got home and, even though I had been told it was a big box, was pretty stunned by its size. Once I dug through the packaging (kudos to the company that shipped it, by the way, which did a tremendous job packing it). I opened it up to find three pretty distinct packages inside. So, I opened up the first one and found Takenoko, Seasons and Warhammer Diskwars: Hammer and Hold.
This, alone, would have been a pretty great haul. I’ve had my eye on Takenoko for a while. Honestly, with Seasons and Takenoko, the graphic design is so tremendous that I’m really drawn to them. The design will make it easier to sell them to get them on the table. My understanding is that Seasons technically plays up to four but really plays best with two, so I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I look to try it out later. I really love Warhammer Diskwars, and I’m pretty excited to get an expansion for it. Because you are buying cardboard discs instead of actual figures, you get a lot of game for your money as compared to traditional miniatures games and it’s a whole lot easier to carry around to boot. Still, two more packages to go, so I open the next one:
Two expansions for Seasons as well as Android: Netrunner – A Study in Static. I’m always excited to get more options for Netrunner and both of the Seasons expansions appear to generally add more to Seasons. Awesome stuff. Speaking of expanding games.
An E-Wing, an HWK-290 and a Lambda-Class Shuttle for the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game. X-Wing is one of those games that really hits in a sweet spot for me. It’s got the Star Wars theme, which is nice and makes the game incredibly visually appealing, but also think that the system does a great job of conveying a dog fight. Given all of that, more ships are always a welcome addition, although I may need to buy a new case to have enough room to put them all in.
So, man, that’s a lot of generosity from my Secret Santa, to whom I have nothing but gratitude and thanks. I can only hope that my target is half-as-happy to receive the gifts that I sent his way. There is a lot here, including expanding a few games that I already know that I love and adding a couple of really beautiful, cool-looking games to my collection. I’m definitely excited to give Seasons and Takenoko a try.
So, Battlelore Command from Fantasy Flight Games, the new video game based on the Command and Colors based boardgame Battlelore was released today for iOS and Android for $9.99. It also looks like it is coming out on Steam later, but it doesn’t appear to be there now. In any case, I have to say, I’m pretty impressed. I am a fan of both Battlelore, as well as Memoir ’44, so I was excited to see the announcement for Battlelore Command. While I played the first edition of Battlelore, I never played the second, current edition, which made some pretty major changes. In Battlelore Command, you have a set number of cards available at all times and you can use each of them once until you use the Refresh ability instead of relying on drawing from a deck of cards. At the start of each battle you spend your gold to muster am army, which I believe was added on the second edition and adds a nice but of variability to the game. The game I’ve played was satisfying. It looks good and plays quickly. The game ran very smoothly on my Galaxy S4 and I didn’t find screen size to be a hindrance, either, which was a concern going in. There is a campaign, which is likely where I’ll spend most of my time, that it looks like should create a nice reason for different types of battles. From what I can tell, multiplayer is limited to local network play. It’s a bummer because asynchronous strategy play works so well on mobile platforms. After paying through the tutorial and a full game, though, I certainly have a positive impression of Battlelore Command.
The official, full trailer for Jurassic World has been released just days after theteaser trailer and is embedded above. In it, we see Chris Pratt not being funny, but – also – some pretty incredible dinosaur effects. The Jurassic Park as Sea World stuff really looks stunning, but I admit I am going to have to come around to super dinosaur as Alien. Nonetheless, I am more excited now than before I saw the trailer so mission accomplished, I guess. Jurassic World is currently scheduled to be released on June 12, 2015 and will almost certainly make all the money. What are your impressions of the trailer? Excited? Bored?