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News Round Up: Mantic starts to skirmish & Fantasy Flight go digital

News - Mantic Games launch new skirmish game

Welcome to the past, where Catan gets a text adventure, Richard Garfield is trying to produce a card game, and Axis and Allies is being produced…

Mantic to Kickstart fantasy skirmish game

As Games Workshop fans continue to discuss Necromunda,  the skirmish game set in the 40k universe, Mantic have stepped forward with a new entry into the world of smaller battles: Vanguard.

This is a spin off from their fantasy Kings of War line, and will feature small forces engaging in objective led struggles that can be played either as a stand alone or to influence set-up in a following full sized Kings of War game (or even as a postscript to the latter, e.g. stealing stuff from a hero you only recently killed in the bigger game).

The figures will be the same size as Kings of War and on the same bases so characters can move between the two, and Vanguard has a campaign system. We’re promised less dice to be rolled than Kings, which makes sense. A prototype rule book should be out now, and the Kickstarter begins November 1.

Hawk Wargames and Dropzone Commander bought by TTCombat

So, the basic news is that Hawk Wargames, makers of drop Dropzone Commander and Dropfleet Commander, has been sold to TTCombat - who make Carnevale among others. All of Hawk is going, and by that I mean designer and owner David Lewis is staying with it and shifting over too. Production moves to TT Combat’s units, and there’s even the third in the trilogy of games coming in the future.

The more advanced news is why, and it’s one of those oblique mentions. TTCombat have stated they will be honouring the Dropfleet Kickstarter’s demands, and explained that David Lewis was “dealing with the fall-out from the Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter,” which suggests an element of pressure from the £600,000 campaign. Even so, it’s sorted now.

Fantasy Flight start their own video gaming studio and everyone is very excited

Fantasy Flight have produced a series of great, great physical games, so for all of us who like a little digital action too the news they’ve opened their own video game studio is, quite frankly, mind blowing. You have to think FFG will turn Fantasy Flight Interactive into a powerhouse of good quality products. They’ve turned great video games into great board games already, so why not other way round?

Even better news is it won’t just be conversions of their physical games (although those will be great too for when you can’t get people in the same room). Their IPs will be turned into fresh games, and probably fresh IPs, although the initial plans are for PC only and then perhaps a branch into elsewhere.

Richard Garfield is Back

Magic: The Gathering godfather Richard Garfield has created a brand new card game, so that’s basically massive news on its own. Carnival of Monsters involves drafting cards, collecting sets and catching monsters, and it’s on Kickstarter as we speak with a pretty heft goal of $222,000.

However, there’s more! Garfield has enlisted loads of the artists from the early Magic cards to illustrate batches of Carnival, so the different themed cards will literally look different. If you’re like us and love fantasy art almost as much as you love games, this is an awesome idea before we even get to gameplay. At time of typing, the Kickstarter is quite shy of the target goal.

Starfinder comes to Munchkin with a different artist

Munchkin is like a black hole, sucking in any nearby IP and transforming them into a fun, easy to play card game. We’ve used the space joke because the latest edition is Starfinder Munchkin, taking the PC and monsters from Paizo’s mega hit RPG and adapting them for an altogether different experience.

It’s being Kickstarted and has more than passed its goal. However, we’ve seen reports that the UK shipping is actually more than the base pledge. More interesting, perhaps, is that the usual Munchkin artist John Kovalic is now working with Howard Tyler, producing an instantly different look.

Anniversary Axis and Allies returns

Axis and Allies is one of the classic board games, allowing people to re-fight the Second World War and question exactly why their opponent is so keen for Germany to take Paris. The 2008 Anniversary edition is considered the best version, as you could tell from the huge prices it commanded (which must be down to the fact you could play as Italy for the first time… or maybe not), but fear not: Avalon Hill are reprinting it with a cleaned up rule book, so it can be yours for a reasonable price.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an order to make and a Russian phrase book to buy for that full Stalingrad atmosphere.

Detective: City of Angels becomes Kickstarter only

Detective: City of Angels is an interesting game, as one player is the suspect and the others are the team asking questions. We won’t go into the gameplay more here, we’ll just say there are a few days left to nab it on Kickstarter… and that is the real crux of this news story, because publisher Van Ryder Games has said it will only be available from either the Kickstarter or their own web store. Unless your local gaming shop bought copies off the Kickstarter, they won’t be getting any.

Their explanation included this:

“This direction makes a lot of sense for both us and the game and allows for more flexibility in many areas, in particular: the quality of the game components; being able to price aggressively compared to cost (note that the Kickstarter prices will be the best pricing); and being able to produce future expansions for the game at the same level of quality that you expect and Detective deserves!”

It looks like it’s just too costly to make and then add on retail cuts. If you want it, get in quick.

Eclipse is getting a glossy second edition

Eclipse is only six-years-old, but it’s vast, 4X gameplay is loved by a hardcore of fans, and we have to jump in now to say yes, it’s getting a fancy second edition, but no, there will not be any major changes to gameplay, just a few tweaks.

Rest easy, and prepare for what sounds like a re-skin of the game to push it to the next level and also make this worth repurchasing even if you already own it (which is kind of the point isn’t it). Custom dice, custom inserts, plastic ships as standard, it’s all looking good. There will also be a new short story by a Nebula nominee.

The Catan Text Adventure is coming

Last week we reported on the Catan movie, and this week we get a new Catan game. Sort of. Asmodee are creating Catan Stories: Legend of the Sea Robbers for iOS and Android, which is a text adventure. God knows what that’s going to actually mean in terms of Catan and gameplay, but we’re old enough to have played those the first time round and are fascinated.

Take wood.

Take wood.

Take wood.