Midnight Syndicate’s music for Zombies!!!

The exclamation points are critical. Midnight Syndicate, you may remember, created an official (I think) soundtrack for D&D back in the dark ages of 13 years ago. Well, now they’re back and making “spoopy” tunes for the beloved space-hogging Zombies!!! boardgame that is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this year (!).

Also, this just in: I’m old now.

More info on Midnight Syndicate’s website here.

Letters from Whitechapel

Fantasy Flight Games recently announced a revised edition of Gabriele Mari and Glanluca Santopietro’s Letters from Whitechapel. It’s a very intriguing game where one player is Jack the Ripper while the others are intrepid investigators trying to catch Jack. Like every other game from Fantasy Flight the production looks top notch and we shouldn’t have too long to wait as the game is slated for a second quarter 2013 release. For the official release statement

A Tannhauser Miniature Release and a Farewell to the Game

While visiting the local goings on over at Fantasy Flight Games I came upon this particular news which may be a little disheartening to fans of Tannhauser. Tucked away at the bottom of the recent info on the release of the Frankenstahl miniature for the Tannhauser game line was a farewell from the staff.

As quoted from their news:

With the release of Frankenstahl later this year, FFG’s development of new content for the Tannhäuser board game will be taking a rest. We feel the Tannhäuser line, with its many options, is currently robust enough to offer a great play experience for new and veteran players alike. We’re happy to say that after six years of publishing, Tannhäuser has matured to include four playable factions, three large expansions, and eighteen miniature packs. With this in mind, we lay aside its further development with pride and move to till other fields. The Tannhäuser board game and its expansions remain in print for the time being, so new players should have clear access to explore the uchronic conflict on their game tables at any time.

We remain genuine fans of Tannhäuser and its universe. We have no doubt that sometime in the future we’ll return to explore new game experiences among its dark and winding paths.

As always, thank you for your support.

While indeed it has grown and is quite enjoyable, I would have liked to have maybe seen a pen and paper rpg based on this. I think it would have enough uniqueness to stand out. I think the most concerning information is that Tannhauser is in print “for the time being”. I can understand the development teams point of view of moving on and maybe coming back to it. However I would keep a limited run going since it’s not dying out due to a lack of interest

Source via Fantasy Flight Games

Heroica, like Heroquest with LEGO.

On my recent trip to Orlando, I visited the LEGO store in Downtown Disney and found a product that for some reason had completely missed my notice, most likely because it hadn’t been released in my area back home in Montreal. That product is one of the newer additions to LEGO line of board game sets, aptly named: Heroica. Needless to say, I quickly purchased all one of each set available in the series.

For those who are not aware, Heroica is a LEGO game, you build the set yourself and thus can customize ad infinitum. In Heroica you play one of several possible heroes tasked with defeating a great evil. Your character is reperesented by what I have come to call a microfig, it is essentially a LEGO minifig with no movable parts that is only one square in width and depth and stands two blocks tall, but still filled with all the lovably adorable charm of your standard LEGO characters. If you own all four of the sets, you and each other player can choose from six different characters to play as: Barbarian, Wizard, Druid, Knight, Thief, and Ranger. Each character has a single special ability, all special abilities in the game are classified as either melee or ranged.

The rules are simple, you and your fellow adventurers must make your way across the playing field and try to be the first to reach the boss area. To move around the board and combat monster you roll a single LEGO die which has 4 different designs on it’s 6 sides: a shield, a sword and 3 dots, a skull and 2 dots, and lastly a sword, skull and one dot. There are two each of the sword (3 dots) and skull (2 dots) sides, and only one each of the other two. There are two types of rolls you will be called to make, a move roll, or a combat roll. You roll the die on your turn and move a number of spaces up to the number of dots on the side you rolled. If you roll a shield, you may move up to 4 spaces or use a ranged special ability. If your character ends up in a space next to a monster, you must end your movement for the turn and combat the creature by rolling the die again. The results fo combat are based on the side you roll, a sword means you have defeated the enemy. A skull means that you take damage equal to the creature’s strength (you only start with 4 health) and move back one space. A roll of the side with a skull AND sword means that you have defeated the creature but are wounded too and take damage equal to its strength and move back one space. A roll of a shield means that you defeat the monster OR you may used a melee special ability.

The winner of the game is the one who reaches and defeats the boss of the map and moves to occupy the boss’s space. If however, your hero loses all their health, you must spend turns healing yourself by rolling the die and healing an amount of health equal to the number of spaces you would have moved with the roll. Once you have reached your max health, you can then move as normal on your next turn.

The four sets in the series can be combined, allowing you to play what is called Epic Heroica. In the 3 larger sets, the players may spend gold they find to purchase weapons from the shop, each weapon gives the character an extra special ability that they may use, which allows the player to perform an ability similar to one of the other classes only slightly weaker, this adds a nice dash of customization to the game is can allow you to have a wizard with a good melee special ability or a barbarian with a good ranged ability, or simply give the ability to heal to a hero other than the druid. These extra special abilities can really make a difference when playing a longer game such as by combining all the sets. The four sets are:

Draida Bay, the smallest set of the four and one that only contains two characters to play as and a handful of minor creatures. Draida Bay starts the heroes on the docks after disembarking from a ship and exploring a small grove to find and defeat the goblin general and his goblin warriors This is really more of an expansion to the other 3 sets.

Waldurk, a forest and wilderness area is one of the two medium-sized sets and has the heroes facing spiders and werewolves under the command of the evil Dark Druid.

Nathuz, the second mid-sized set, is a dungeon-styled area that has the heroes facing golems and bats led by the golem lord.

Fortaan, the largest set is a castle set filled almost to bursting with goblin warriors and goblin champions all led by the deadly goblin king.

Each set also has some special items and potiosn scattered throughout that give extra abilities to a hero or can simply be sold back to the shop for extra gold.

I played an Epic game last night with Deb and we had a blast. She was a druid who bought a bow and arrow when she had the requisite 3 gold (the price for any weapon in the shop) and I was a wizard who eventually ran around swinging a battle axe. Deb won by a mile because, as expected her rolling was a lot better than mine, but I didn’t mind, I was having too much fun.

The game plays quickly and smoothly and is simple enough for younger children, but has enough of an RPG feel to grab adult players as well. I can’t wait to play a full game with both Deb and Bry and see how that goes. And while the game plays great with the rules as-is, I’m going to give a little though into possibly working out some sort of co-op mode and maybe making my own additional tiles using other lego games or simply pieces from Bry’s LEGO bin, I think some city-themed tiles could make for a neat add-on and add to the role-playing feel. All in all, I highly recommend the Heroicasets to anyone who enjoys LEGO or used to love Heroquest.

Miskatonic University for Arkham Horror now available

This one kind of swooped under my radar but I highly recommend this for anyone a fan of Arkham Horror boardgame. This one of course revolves around Miskatonic University and add’s some new locations. Now I wonder how long they can keep adding on to this boardgame. It seem’s to me already if you play with two expansions your number of cards added to the game is staggering. Despite that, this is a must by for me as I am a sucker for this stuff.

Mansions of Madness: Season of the Witch

Fantasy Flight Games have a recent service called print on demand. This allows them to print out products based on actual demand so financially, it’s a very viable solution for them considering the high quality of their prints. That being said, a new product expansion for Mansions of Madness entitled Season of the Witch is now available. Check it out and order up a helping of Madness. Below is a teaser description from their site.

A bright young Miskatonic University student has disappeared, having checked in to an infamous Arkham boarding house to study its reported supernatural properties. Now, as the celebration of Walpurgis Eve approaches, you and your fellow investigators are tasked with venturing into the decaying Witch House and solving a mystery that has plagued Arkham for generations. But are you prepared to face the horrors that await you?

Board James – Deadly Danger Dungeon

I don’t know if any of us at the hub have ever designed a board game, but I know that we’ve designed a few RPGs in the past. The earliest of which was a D&D knockoff where ability scores just kept going up (“Woohoo! Charisma of 53!) and attack rolls of 6 on a d6 were dismemberments. So I can fully understand looking back on something you’ve made and asking yourself: “What were we thinking!?”

Oh, and the video’s audio is NSFW simply due to language, so use headphones, or something.