It’s funny that I somehow completely missed Shadows of Brimstone from Flying Frog Games when it was on Kickstarter last year. There is very little more up my alley than a dungeon-crawly game about cowboys who sometimes are attacked by Lovecraftian nightmares. And yet miss it, I did. However, the two core sets have now been released (Swamps of Death and City of the Ancients) and it couldn’t be more on more radar than it is. Looking through the rulebook, it reminds me a bit of Arkham Horror, and not just because of the theme (although that helps, too), although it also appears to share a lot in common with dungeon crawlers like Descent (I’ve also heard it compared to Warhammer Quest, although I’ve never actually played that one). The heroes go about the game trying to complete missions, but the darkness grows as the game goes on, as the heroes try to hold it back in the mine, keeping the rest of the world safe from the Cthulhu-esque monstrosities. The game also, from what I’ve seen on BGG, allows for campaign play, which is a great addition to this type of dungeon crawling game. Each of the starter boxes contains 8 unique map tiles and 4 standard tiles, as well as some passage ways and caps and 32 miniatures. Getting both starters is a daunting task, since the sets MSRP for $99.95 each, although Cool Stuff Inc. has Shadows of Brimstone: Swamps of Death and Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients for $68.99 each (and I’m sure it’s available at many other fine online retailers as well). The mix of theme (Cthulhu cowboys!), dungeon crawling gameplay and my deep affection for miniatures puts this one high on my wishlist.
Evil Hat Productions, those of Fate fame, have released their news Fate Worlds project – Romance is in the Air by Bill White. According to the Drive Thru RPG listing, “It’s Downton Abbey meets Last Exile, on a collision course with Dr. Zhivago.” I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to make of all that, but it sounds fascinating. Basically, you play the nobles in a Victorian-style steampunk setting engaging in intrigue in the skies. The supplement is 58 pages and adds new skills, airship rules and a new travel system, as well as new adventure seeds. Like all of the Fate Worlds, it is available on a pay-what-you-want basis, although it has a suggest price of $4. They have also released a bundle of all five of the currently-released Fate Worlds for $15. I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of the various Fate Worlds (I mean, The Secret of Cats, right guys?) and I’m pleased that I backed it on Patreon. It’s always neat to see what’s coming up and to get the notice that a new project is available.
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.