Saturday, April 30, 2011

Family Games: The 100 Best

One of this week’s orders arrive yesterday and with it a book I’d wanted to look through, one that has been out for a year or better:  Family Games:  The 100 Best, published by Green Ronin Games back in January of 2010. 

Looking at Family Games , this is a wonderful book, 380 pages of commentary by some of the top minds in the game industry  (Richard Garfield, Steve Jackson, Kenneth Hite, James Ernest, Robin Laws) on what each feels is one of the most enjoyable and most cleverly designed games from the last one hundred years. Some of the choices are unsurprising.  Lewis Pulsipher picks Blockus and Will Hindmarch chooses Cranium.  However, there are a number of rather surprising choices as well.  James Ernest opts for Candy Land as a game that appeals to both 3 year olds and professional game designers, while Dale Donovan picks The Omega Virus, which Milton Bradley released in 1992 (and I remember seeing under the arm of every other attendee at that year’s GENCON) for a design that’s “so absorbing, so immersive, so well conceived that it gets right under a player’s skin”. Other games chosen include Clue, Great Dalmuti, Magi-Nation and Faery’s Tale Deluxe.  Even Monopoly has a fan in Steve Jackson, who lauds the game’s combination of skill and luck as well as the fact that it has one of the first official expansions for a board game, Stock Exchange, which released in 1936 and the first electron expansion for a boardgame, Monopoly Playmaster, released in 1982.

We did not bring Family Games in to sell though, we brought it in as a sales tool.  It now has “Sales Copy” written prominently across the cover and a store stamp inside and sits on the reading table with other materials for customers to browse through.  It’s the sort of book a customer can’t help but pick up and flip through, to both see what others have said about their own favorite games and to learn about games they never knew existed.  We plan to use it and the Hobby Games:  The 100 Best book as “silent salespeople”.  So far, we have already had two people flipping through Family Games and we only put the book out less than an hour ago.

Friday, April 29, 2011

New Product

ScrumBrawl Board Game

Here is some information about the upcoming release of "ScrumBrawl" (VCT1000) from VicTim Games, shipping the week of May 2nd.  Check out the detailed information and ratings on Board Game Geek
ScrumBrawl is a sport where fantastic creatures vie for supremacy within the Arena, scoring goals by maneuvering various types of orbs into portals set within the Arena or fighting other creatures to the death to prevent them from reaching the portals. ScrumBrawl is a fast-paced, high energy board and card game for 2 to 4 players where conditions can change rapidly forcing combatants into constantly rethinking their strategies for scoring and engaging in combat. No lead is safe and no two matches are ever the same making each game a unique and often humorous experience.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Releases in May.

Expected in May

Nobilis: The Essentials, Volume 1
Trail of Brotherhood
$59.95 SRP

Nobilis: The Essentials, Vol. 1
$49.95 SRP
Trail of the Brotherhood is an exiting new board game from EOS press and developed by Richard Launius, the creator of the acclaimed Arkham Horror Board Game.

Trail of Brotherhood introduces us to a new world of mystery and terror inspired on the immortal works of HP Lovecraft. It features amazing artwork, and easy to learn, yet difficult to master game mechanics. When the Dark Gods awake, would you be ready to face them?
Playing Trail of the Brotherhood, you and your friends take the parts of intrepid investigators, determined to prevent the end of the world at the hands of a new power that has risen in the world a charismatic madman who can unite the multitude of cults into one, then use that power to call the Old Ones at last!
The twist? The leader is another player. The players seek to stop one of their own, and the race against time is on! Can they track down the Master before the Call goes out and the Old Ones take the earth as their own and revel in human civilization's ashes?
Trail of the Brotherhood is a race against time for the Cultist Player, their goal is to collect the various cults into The Brotherhood, an organization so wide-reaching and profound as to be able to call the Old Ones and end the world at last! The Investigator Players race after the Cultist Player, attempting to stop him by any means necessary from recruiting the cults he needs but of course the Cultist Player can fight back with Spells and Monsters to the bitter end!
The Trail of the Brotherhood includes:
Beautiful works of art in each of the hundred and fifty cards and gameboard Competitive Play each player plays an investigating team, save for the one who runs the Cults who plays against them, trying to end the world. Suitable as a one-of-a-kind gift to your friends who like Lovecraft or just like beautifully dark games!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Why I Was Wrong About Munchkin.

Sell the sizzle not the steak is an old marketing axiom. It means that people do not purchase a product. Rather they purchase an outcome or what the product can do for them. They buy the experience. In the case of the steak, they purchase the atmosphere, the smell, the sound, the taste and the way they feel when they are eating the steak.

Same thing with games. You don't purchase the game per se, you purchase an outcome or feeling that you want the game to provide. For example, look at Munchkin. I have never been so worng about the sales potential of a game. When Munchkin first came out, I remember thinking, "What is Steve Jackson Games doing? Two decks of cards and a rules sheet in a box 4 times the size of the contents. People are never going to pay $25 for this." (I also knew a lot less about marketing and consumer behavior back then). Needless to say, as I stare today at two shelves filled with Munchkin boxed games, supplements and additional paraphenalia, such as bobbleheads and dice, I have never made so erroneous a statement. Over a million total copies of Munchkin goodness sold say so.

Munchkin is a textbook example of selling the sizzle, not the steak. People are not buying the two decks of cards, rules sheet and box. They purchase the experience of playing the game, he fun of sitting around a table and getting silly with a group of friends or the hope they will successfully replicate the experience they had of playing the game with a different group of friends when they bring home their own copy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Munchkin Deluxe

Expected in June


Munchkin Deluxe

$29.99 SRP

Now, Munchkin is available in a special deluxe edition complete with gameboard, six plastic munchkin pawns, dice, cards, and more - with even more zany illustrations by John Kovalic!

Go down in the dungeon. Kill everything you meet. Backstab your friends and steal their stuff. Grab the treasure and run. Admit it. You love it. Munchkin has been a runaway hit for the last 10 years, with international sales of more than a million Munchkin games – plus lots and lots of supplements! Compete with your friends to kill monsters and grab magic items.

Wear the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment. Start by slaughtering the Potted Plant and the Drooling Slime, and work your way up to the Plutonium Dragon . . . Fast-playing and silly, Munchkin will make your group laugh out loud. And while they’re laughing, you can steal their stuff.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Egypt Wars Write Up

Nice write up on this year's Egypt Wars in the DE.

30th Anniversary Call of Cthulhu Edition

If you want one, let the store know soon.

CHA 23126 Call of Cthulhu RPG 30th An Collector's Ed $64.95
2011 MARKS THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY of the release of the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game.
To celebrate this important and rare occasion in our Adventure Gaming industry, Chaosium is proud to offer a special binding of the current edition (6th edition) of the Call of Cthulhu rulebook.

This 320-page book features thick (3 mm) leatherette hard-covers with the front cover and spine stamped with luxurious gold foil. The interior pages are printed in black ink, on 90 gsm matte art paper. The binding is thread sewn, square backed. Each book is individually shrink-wrapped, with the barcode stickered onto the wrapping so as to not mar the book cover.

Chaosium will offer a one-time printing of this Collector's Edition.

Call of Cthulhu is Chaosium's classic roleplaying game of Lovecraftian horror in which ordinary people are confronted by the terrifying and alien forces of the Cthulhu Mythos. Call of Cthulhu uses Chaosium¼s Basic Roleplaying System, easy to learn and quick to play. This bestseller has sold over 300,000 copies worldwide and has won dozens of game-industry awards. In 1996 Call of Cthulhu was elected to the Academy of Adventure Game Design Hall of Fame. In 2003 Call of Cthulhu was voted the #1 Gothic/Horror RPG of all time by the Gaming community. Call of Cthulhu is well-supported by an ever-growing line of high quality game supplements. This version is completely compatible with all of our previous supplements for Call of Cthulhu.

July from Privateer


· PIP 31078 Cygnar Storm Strider Battle Engine (white metal and resin) - $84.99

· PIP 31091 Cygnar Gallant Heavy Warjack Character Upgrade Kit (white metal) - $13.99

· PIP 32085 Protectorate of Menoth Blood of Martyrs Heavy Warjack Character Upgrade Kit (white metal) - $13.99

· PIP 33087 Khador Black Ivan Heavy Warjack Character Upgrade Kit (white metal) - $14.99

· PIP 34093 Cryx Erebus Helljack Character Upgrade Kit (white metal) – TBD*

· PIP 41083 Mercenary Warcaster Captain Damiano (white metal) – TBD*


· PIP 71064 Trollblood Trollkin Scattergunner Officer & Standard Unit Attachment (white metal) – TBD*

· PIP 75036 Minion Targ Character Solo (white metal) – $13.99

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arriving Today

L5R Emerald Empire
House Liao Lances
Knights of the Dinner Table #173
Lots of Warmachine Warjacks
Victoriana Dark Harves/Frankentstein
Munchkin Monster Enhancers
Hunger Games: Training Days Games
Easter Mousling
Yu Gi Oh 2011 Duelist Pack Collection Tin
2" Foam Polyhedral Dice Set

Kill Dr. Lucky
DC Adventures Heroes Handbook
Mouse Guard RPG

New from Fantasy Flight

Coming in May & June

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40KRPG: Dark Heresy: Daemon Hunter

$39.95 SRP

Expected in June


Rogue Trader: The Citadel of Skulls

$24.95 SRP

Expected in June

The Inquisitors of the Ordo Malleus and the Space Marines of the Grey Knights are the chosen warriors of the God- Emperor, tasked with keeping humanity from falling into darkness. They hunt tirelessly to rid the Imperium of their collective prey: Daemons.

Daemon Hunter is a powerful resource for any Dark Heresy campaigns featuring the servants of the holy Ordo Malleus of the Inquisition. With information and background on the Ordo Malleus in the Calixis Sector, the Daemon hunter’s trade, and the Malleus armory, Daemon Hunter is the perfect companion for players and GMs alike who wish to craft exciting campaigns for Dark Heresy. Learn the ropes of Daemon hunting with an extensive look at the origins and status of the Ordo Malleus. Then, take up arms as an acolyte in service to the Ordo Malleus by becoming a Banisher, taking the fight to the Daemons. Also, learn the tools of the trade by studying the Malleus Armoury, which presents new tools for every tier of character.

Finally, Daemon Hunter includes everything players and GMs need to include Grey Knights into their Dark Heresy campaigns!

On the hunt to discover the cause of vanishing settlements and increased xenos sightings, you and your fellow Explorers are thrust on a perilous journey. A great beast has awakened from beyond the edges of the Koronus Expanse, hungering to fulfill its dark purpose. Before you and your fellow Explorers can attempt to seek it out and ultimately destroy it, you must uncover what and where it is. Finding the answer is a nearly impossible undertaking, pitting you against an infamous pirate lord blessed by Chaos.

Citadel of Skulls, the second adventure in The Warpstorm Trilogy for Rogue Trader, can be played as a standalone adventure or connected to the events introduced in The Frozen Reaches. Prepare to attempt the ultimate heist: stealing a priceless artifact from the vault of Karrad Vall, the Chaos Reaver known as the Faceless Lord. No sane person has ever risked entering the Faceless Lord’s inner sanctum, let alone stealing from him...until now. Plot your course through Vall’s dark cathedral, past quivering slaves and brutal enemies, bloody chambers, and the ossuaries that give the Citadel its name. And once you reach the Casket of Secrets you’ll meet “the Archivist.”

An epic adventure of exploration, combat, and acquisition of wealth, Citadel of Skulls is a suspenseful and thrilling journey. Will you be able to withstand the voyage?

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WHFRPG: Omens or War

$49.95 SRP

Expected in May

Blood for the Blood God! Omens of War is a brutal new supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, focusing on warfare in the Old World and the daemonic power of Khorne.

With new martial options for player characters such as new careers, rules for mounted combat, new fighting styles, and over 50 new Action cards, Omens of War is an invaluable resource for players. For Game Masters, Omens of War introduces the Ruinous Power Khorne, his daemonic minions, and insights into the Blood God’s desires and plans. New Severe Injury rules threaten characters with grisly fates and debilitating wounds, making combat even deadlier.

Finally, Omens of War also features a complete adventure set amidst the fires of battle. War is coming.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New Pazio Releases

Coming in May

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GameMaster Chase Cards

$10.99 SRP


PF Adv. Path: Wake of the Watcher (SC)

$19.99 SRP

With GameMastery Chase Cards, all of these perils and short cuts are put at your fingertips. By laying a line of these cards down on your table, you can track each character's progress through a path fraught with perils—along with all of the die rolls needed to avoid or navigate these unexpected dangers. These three chases each consist of 17 different cards (representing a total of over a hundred possible perils). Lay out a desperate pursuit through a crowded city, a dangerous race through hostile wilderness, and a nerve-wracking run through deadly ruins and abandoned buildings—or mix and match the cards to create a chase that moves through multiple regions! On your mark, get set, GO!

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 9th-level characters, this volume continues the Carrion Crown Adventure Path, drawing on themes of classic horror stories and RPG adventures long awaited by Pathfinder players.

In this adventure the heroes investigate lands inspired by the mind-bending horrors of weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft and face off against terrifying foes drawn from his ever-popular Cthulhu Mythos. This volume also includes articles introducing the Elder Gods, unimaginable terrors from beyond the stars, to the Pathfinder campaign setting, and an expanded Bestiary unleashing a host of maddening Lovecraftian monsters on the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Plus new fiction in the Pathfinder’s Journal, and much more!

Each monthly full-color softcover Pathfinder Adventure Path volume contains an in-depth adventure scenario, stats for several new monsters, and support articles meant to give Game Masters additional material to expand their campaign. Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes use the Open Game License and work with both the Pathfinder RPG and the standard 3.5 fantasy RPG rules set.

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PF Campaign Setting: Dungeons of Golarion

$19.99 SRP


PF Module: Academy of Secrets (SC)

$13.99 SRP

From the deadly heights of Gallowspire to the treacherous depths of the Darklands, Dungeons of Golarion presents a wide-ranging overview of six of the most dangerous delves in the Pathfinder world. With rough maps, adventure hooks, encounter charts, and notes on key enemies and treasures, this guidebook provides the framework for GMs to make these fantastic locations their own. Key sites highlighted in this volume include Gallowspire, home of the lich-king known as the Whispering Tyrant, Hollow Mountain, seat of a fallen Runelord, the legendary Red Redoubt of Karamoss outside Absalom, and more!

Academy of Secrets is a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game adventure for 13th-level characters. It features a massive magical university teeming with sorcerous traps, weird puzzles, diabolical monsters, and countless students and professors trapped in a web of arcane deceit. Academy of Secrets also includes a new monster and details on Korvosa's Academae, Golarion's most famous school of magic, noted in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Guide to Korvosa and the Curse of the Crimson Throne Adventure Path, but thoroughly detailed here for the first time.

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GameMastery Flip-Mat: Country Inn

$12.99 SRP


PF Tales: The Worldwound Gambit (SC)

$9.99 SRP

Bandits in the hills? Saddle-sore and ready to trade in your sleeping mat for a comfy bed and a fresh cup of ale? Flip-Mat: Country Inn sets the scene for a relaxing rural break from the road—and makes the perfect locale for an ambush, assassination attempt, brigand raid, or any of countless other battle possibilities!

This portable, affordable map measures 24” x 30” unfolded, and 8” x 10” folded. Its coated surface can handle any dry erase, wet erase, or even permanent marker.

Usable by experienced GMs and novices alike, GameMastery Flip-Mats fit perfectly into any Game Master’s arsenal!

In the foreboding north, the demonic hordes of the magic-twisted hellscape known as the Worldwound encroach upon the southern kingdoms of Golarion. Their latest escalation embroils a preternaturally handsome and coolly charismatic swindler named Gad, who decides to assemble a team of thieves, cutthroats, and con-men to take the fight into the demon lands and strike directly at the fiendish leader responsible for the latest raids—the demon Yath, the Shimmering Putrescence. Can Gad hold his team together long enough to pull off the ultimate con, or will trouble from within his own organization lead to an untimely end for them all?

From gaming legend and popular author Robin D. Laws comes a fantastic new adventure of swords and sorcery, set in the award-winning world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

This Week's New Comics

New this week in no particular order:

Adventure Comics #525
New Avengers #11
Batgirl #20
Birds of Prey #11
Red Robin #22
Ultimate Spider Man #157
Avengers vs. New Ultimates #3
Batman: Brave & the Bold #6
GI Joe Cobra Civil War #0
Uncanny X- Force #7
Superman #710
Superboy #6
Formic Wars #4
Titans #34
Grimm Fairy Tales #58
Iron Man 2.0 #3
Flash #10
X-Men Legacy #247

FWIW, Brian likes Birds of Prey #11 and X-Men Legacy #247, while Scott likes Titans, Avengers vs. New Ultimates, Superman and Birds of Prey.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Last Days

Just a reminder that tomorrow, April 10th, is the last day to pre-register for Egypt Wars 2. Pre registration prices are $10 per day or $25 for all 3 days, plus you can save $2 on the con t-shirt. At the door prices are $13 per day or $30 for all three.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Order of the Stick Returns

Coming in May

(Original box art shown)


OotS Adventure Game: Deluxe Edition

$55.00 SRP

Adventure! Comedy! Beating your friends! What else could you ask for in a board game? Why just read about foolish and incompetent adventurers when you can be one yourself? Dive head first into the world of the inexplicably popular fantasy gaming webcomic, The Order of the Stick with the aptly-named The Order of the Stick Adventure Game!

This Deluxe Edition includes the original Dungeon of Dorukan set and the brand-new expansion deck, The Order of the Stick Adventure Game: The Shortening! For the first time, find new cards and rules to let you squeeze a quick game in during any lull in your otherwise-busy social life. Compete with your allies to fulfill your dramatic Backstories, or watch in horror as the evil Xykon gets tired of waiting for you and comes up to dish out the hurt on his schedule. Master new shticks, gather new loot, get the job done faster - or take all day! It's your decision now.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A Surfeit of Riches

If you are a CCG player that is. More specifically, if you play Yu Gi Oh or Magic or both. The pre-release dates for the next Yu Gi Oh set, Absolute Victory, have been announced for April 30-May 1, while the pre-release for the next Magic set, New Phyrexia, runs the following weekend, May 7th and 8th.

A lot of comic books shops that carry Magic as well are complaining about the timing of the New Phyrexia pre-release, since it coincides with the annual date for Free Comic Book Day, always the first Saturday in May. FCBD, as it is called, it typically one of the busiest days of the year for comic book stores, with many seeing three to four times a normal day's foot traffic. Since they often need to add addt on staff to handle the customers for FCBD, adding on an addition big event such as a Magic pre-release can strain the staffing of smaller store to the breaking point. Many comic stores also won't have the space to host both events and will need to decide on which one to focus. Needless to say, they don't like having to make this decision as both events bring in lots of customers and sales.

WOTC's take on the event is that the customer bases are different enough that there isn't enough overlap to cause problems and that the Magic customer differs from the comic customer. This is, of course, nonsense as the prime customer base for both is young males. However, stores do have the option of running the pre-release on May 8th, which still makes for a hectic weekend and probably cuts into attendance for stores running it on Sunday, since many of their players who would attend a Saturday pre-release will likely default to a competing store running one on that day if the comic shop opts for the Sunday tournament and Sunday tournaments have a track record of pulling in significantly less attendance than Saturday ones do.

Still, for a number of years, the two events have co-existed, though I believe past Magic pre-releases generally took place the weekend before FCBD. Still, I'm just happy I don't have to deal with a Yu Gi Oh pre-release on the same weekend as well.