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News Round Up: X-Wing Second Edition & Batman Returns

News - Star Wars X-Wing Second Edition

The big news of the week is X-Wing Second Edition, the Star Wars miniatures game that uses starfighters rather than ground troops, and Batman is on the way back!

X-Wing Second Edition is Revealed

No offense to X-Wing, but what was once a wonderful game of space combat had become weighed down with masses of little rules and errata. Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) have reacted to this by announcing the X-Wing Second Edition. There are new starter boxes with a wholly revised rule system, republished ship packs, a new app for designing your teams and force powers. Cards will no longer have points, that’ll all be in the app so FFG can tweak at will, and there will now be five sides, not three, with the First Order and Resistance becoming their own factions.

However, if the thought of a streamlined game (from a more elegant age) is being outweighed by the thought of buying all the ships again to get all the new pieces: don’t panic. FFG are releasing conversion kits, and you’ll need one per faction (remember there’s now five of them), at $50 each. This has caused all sorts of arguments online, but it’s a good middle path.

X-Wing Second Edition is currently pencilled in for a September release and will be available to pre-order here at Zatu Games in the very near future... so keep your eyes peeled!

Gaming App Aims to Connect Us

Ever wanted to know if there was a gaming club near you? Or a store, or even an event at that store? GameFor might be the answer. A development team called Milk Can Dev and Design Studio have produced GameFor which, while based in the US, now operates globally and has over six thousand shops already registered.

Log in, find what’s near to you, and get gaming. Now, for safety reasons events are tied to the shops, so no one’s going to appear at your house, and coverage is growing. The app’s on iOS and Android and it's currently free, with premium features coming soon.

Gygax estate announces gaming initiative while annoying traditionalists

The news was supposed to be the estate of Gary Gygax opening his unpublished material up for conversion into video games, with a search for developers to adopt the IP who would then use crowdfunding platform FIG to raise capital. A host of new games based on the ideas of Gary ‘brains behind Dungeons and Dragons’ Gygax. Excellent. What could go wrong?

Step forward Alex Gygax, his son and CEO of Gygax Games, who told polygon that ‘pen and paper’ RPGs are a “dying art.” Does someone need to point to the sales of fifth edition D&D, aka the second golden era of ‘pen and paper’, which were helped enormously by streamed game sessions?

There’s another Batman miniatures game…

Monolith’s Batman miniatures game was a Kickstarter exclusive which raised over four million dollars, but it had a very high purchase point for people who liked it all. It turns out there’s an alternative, because IDW have the licence for Batman: The Animated Series and are producing a game based on that.

Given how this version of the Dark Knight is one of the most acclaimed interest is piqued, and five miniatures have been revealed with the sculpts drawing on the cartoon: Batman, Batgirl, Catwoman, Robin and Commissioner Gordon.

We don’t know if this will come to Kickstarter or go straight to retail, but if you missed out on Monolith there is now a good looking alternative.

Credit - IDW Games

Legends of the Five Rings announce starter set

FFG has been working on a new version of the Legend of the Five Rings RPG, and an open beta has been ongoing. Word has now emerged of the Legend of the Five Rings Role-Playing Beginner Game, a set designed to introduce total newcomers to the world and the game.

The box comes with four pre-designed characters you take through an equally pre-arranged scenario. You do get all the rules, but there is no word on if an ‘advanced’ (to take a phrase from RPG history) book will be out too. The starter kit if $40 and in autumn 2018.

Arboretum is being re-skinned

Arboretum is a card and set collecting game that majored on great visuals, with ten colours of cards at the very core of gameplay (who can produce the longest path around their trees.) Now requests have been listened to because a second edition is changing nothing about the rules but redoing all the cards and art to be colourblind friendly.

The artist is Beth Sobel, who worked on visual feat Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, as well as Viticulture. It’s also only going to be $20 and is coming in the autumn.

Thunderstone Quest kickstarts round two with solo and co-op

Thunderstone Quest delivered on a half a million dollar Kickstarter, producing a game of deck, building and dungeoneering. For a return to Kickstarter there isn’t just an extra quest and a chance to buy the original, there’s going to be solo and co-operative modes included.

The Kickstarter will support this with new cards and pieces, but they’re being very good and allowing the rules themselves to be a PDF from their website so you don’t have to dip into Kickstarter again if you don’t want. Launch is June.

Carcassonne’s 8th expansion brings bridges

Are we really only up to the eighth expansion for tile laying classic Carcassonne? It feels like more. Anyway, it’s called Bridges, Castles and Bazaars and includes rules for bridges (connect roads across dead ends), castles (make your cities worth even more), and bazaars, because of course the game needs a bidding system.

Mensa Select Winners announced

Mensa, ‘the high IQ society’, has announced the winning games of it’s Mensa Select award. These are five of the best for encouraging thought and thinking, and the winners are:

I think we can all agree these are good games, award or not!

Renegade to launch Gunkimono at Gen Con

Renegade Game Studios are bringing to Gen Con a game all about fighting Japanese armies: Gunkimono. It’s area control, tile placement and casts you as the chief (daimyo) of a force who has to balance expanding more than your rivals with keeping the troops and your base happy. You’re looking at an hour’s play time. The eagle eyed among you might spot that Gunkimono is a re-implementation of Pegasus Spiele’s Heartland.

Kingdomino brings Giants

It’s been teased for a while, but the worst kept secret in games is out: giants are coming to Kingdominio. Giants actually damage your scoring, but can be sent to your opponents to do the dirty on them instead. As well as giant meeples, you’ll get enough in the box for a fifth player, and a tower to collect your tiles.

Alhambra Designer’s Edition

Alhambra is currently on Kickstarter in the form of a revamped ‘Designer’s Edition’, and part of the pledging is the chance to get expansions created by nine leading game designers, including Stefan Feld and Klaus-Jürgen Wrede. You can pledge for increasing numbers of the expansions and a special big box filled with new art, or if you own the game just pledge for the new nine.

Either way, Alhambra completists and fans of designers need to check it out.

My Little Scythe is official

My Little Scythe was the fan made print and play (PnP) adaption of Scythe, the one where they mixed it with My Little Pony.

Actual My Little Pony.

It won a BoardGameGeek award and became a cult hit, but the PnP disappeared with the news the game was being revamped… and now it’s not just here but an official release approved by the man behind Scythe. Of course, the ponies are gone because no one involved has money to licence it (actually, the owners of My Little Pony didn’t even entertain the idea as far as money), but instead there’s a kiddy friendly replacement theme and Stonemaier Games quality.

Miniatures, dice, a colourful board and rules which contain the essence of Scythe but are streamlined, and a price tag of $50.

Nyctophobia aims to terrify you

Imagine being trapped in maze like surroundings, unable to see while an axe murderer closes in on you and now imagine that sounds like so much fun you want to recreate it in game form. Good, because Nyctophobia is out in August, and while one player is the murderer trying to kill you, every other player is blindfolded and has to rely on touching the maze board (it’s very tactile) and communicating to the others enough info to allow an escape.

The game was invented by Catherine Stippel as she pondered what to play with her blind uncle, and we hope she settled on this game before chasing him with an axe. The base game comes with rules to play a Mage instead of a killer, and Target are getting a vampire themed alternative where you need to rescue people.