A big surprise this week with the news that one of gaming’s classic historical titles is opening up to the zombie craze, plus lots of new announcements.
Axis and Allies and… Zombies???
If you thought the craze for zombies had passed peak brains, we’ve got a surprise for you: Hasbro are going to release a version of venerable WW2 board game Axis and Allies that includes zombies.
No, really, the announcement came at Toy Fair. There are very few details out there because this is a total bombshell (a previous reference to the game was widely considered to have been a joke), but the design team is rumoured to be high profile, pulling from leading properties like D&D 5th Ed and Magic the Gathering. Furthermore, gamers are promised a “zany storyline” with “chainsaw tanks and zombie mind control rays.” No time frame for release was given.
There was also talk of an Axis and Allies phone game, but sorry, chainsaw tanks?
Games Workshop speed up Blood Bowl and start the Space Marine Adventures
Blood Bowl is a great game that takes a while to play, which is fine but it would be easier to run a proper league if the game were quicker. Which is apparently what someone in the renewed Games Workshop thought, because a streamlined version called Blitz Bowl is coming. Less figures per team, a smaller ‘field’, 40 minutes a game, seemingly more use of cards: this looks both a gateway and a way to hammer out a round of league games in an afternoon.
Also on GW’s display at Toy Fair was what seems to be the first in a new line of 40k board games. We say first, because it’s called Space Marine Adventures: Labyrinth of the Necrons, suggesting there’ll be other subtitles in the future. Anyway, it’s a co-op and you play the Space Marines.
Brass creator and Osprey announce Wildlands
As we wait for the deluxe editions of Brass to emerge from Kickstarter development, we hear of a new game from the designer of that industrial revolution great: Wildlands, a tactical miniatures game played over a board. Martin Wallace has teamed with Osprey to create it, and not only are the 20 miniatures of the base game sculpted by Bobby Jackson and Tim Prow (both of whom are very good), but expansion factions and maps are promised.
Lastly, but not least, gnomes are in the starter box. As you can tell, the setting is fantasy. A late 2018 release is penciled in.
Eclipse’s revamped second edition coming to Kickstarter
More details on the second edition of Eclipse, which has the very handy subtitle ‘Second Dawn for the Galaxy’ so no wondering which edition you have. This substantial revamp will come to Kickstarter in May and boasts smoother combat, new models as well as old favourites, and plenty of gameplay refinements. Oh, and a short story.
Dinosaur Island is turning into the two players Duelosaur Island
Dinosaur Island is a great game already, but Pandasaurus are producing a dedicated two-player version with the punning title Duelosaur Island. The gameplay has similarities, so that’s dice drafting, but there are added twists such as the first player each turn putting bonuses on the dice while the second player gets to choose first.
Cards that can be collected and discarded are also a major part, and the original artists are back… which is going to make some of you sad and others happy. It’s having a 2018 release, and should be a modest price point, $35. It’s notable that this isn’t the Dinosaur Island expansion that’s been teased for a reveal next month.
Meanwhile, elsewhere at Pandasaurus
Did we mention Pandasaurus? Then we have to mention one of their other Toy Fair announcements, which is Nyctophobia. You play teenagers lost in the woods, trying to find their car before a madman with an axe gets you, but what’s different about this ‘maze game’ is that the players are blindfolded as they play, except for the moderator, and this is a minimum three person situation.
Edge of Darkness launches on Kickstarter
AEG’s Edge of Darkness is trying to do a lot: mixing worker placement, the ‘card crafting’ system from Mystic Vale, and adding a threat system that means every good event builds up the danger that faces the players. A lot has been made of the Threat Tower, a large cardboard structure that’s part of both pledge levels, because this is on Kickstarter and met it’s funding target in under 40 minutes. The only oddity is the target release date of mid-2019.
A new Aliens game and yes there are figures
Gale Force Nine showed brief details of Aliens a Toy Fair. All we know so far is it’s a co-operative board game with miniatures, and the players are marines hunting / being hunted by those pesky xenomorphs. Release date is projected as September 2018.
Dungeons and Dragons… something
If you thought news about Gale Force Nine’s Aliens game was scant so far, we’re very sorry about this: they’re making a Dungeons and Dragons board game, but can’t yet announce what exactly that means. So at Toy Fair there’s a black box with a big red D&D logo, an August 2018 date and a $50 sign and that’s it.
Shadows in the Forest: A game of light and shade
Shadows in the Forest is an update of Walter Kraul's Waldschattenspiel (which is several decades old). In the original you used a candle moved round a board to cast shadows past ‘trees’ onto dwarves, freezing them, while in the Think Fun update you’ll use an electric light (thanks health and safety) to do the same thing to ‘Nightlings’, who are trying to gather and win the game.
Visually it looks like Photosynthesis with light.
Terraforming Mars: the Prelude
Terraforming Mars has caused controversy with the pricing of its expansions so far, and people are already eyebrow raising over the Toy Fair display of ‘Prelude’ before we know what it’ll cost. It’s card based, and as well as a few new corporations the bulk of the set is the prelude cards which you draw at the start of the game to help add a few early twists.