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Tabletop News! 31/08/18

Another week gone. Another dose of Tabletop news. A couple of interesting titles popped up this week that are definitely on our radar. Plus we scour the depths of Kickstarter to see what gem we can pluck from the depths of backer hell. Time to dive in:

Magnastorm

Coming out in October from German publisher Feuerland Spiele, Magnastorm is something we are very much looking forward to. Oh yes. Just look at the box art. The fact that the drop ship looks like a robot crab/turtle is all we need to know. Or is it?

It’s a nice cover right? Anyway, what’s this game about then? Glad you asked. We have the blurb taken from the back of the box:

When the first exploration vessels entered the cloudy atmosphere of the planet Magnastorm, they discovered not only evidence of abundant natural resources, but also the remains of a long-lost civilization. At the bidding of the magistracy, scout vehicles are lowered to the barren surface to search for suitable mining areas.

The goal of Magnastorm is to be the first player with a certain number of reputation points. You acquire reputation mostly through fulfilling objectives, taking control of one or more of the eight commanders, and building transmitter stations. The flow of the game is controlled by an action board with two action panels, each of which has five columns. At the start of each round, there are a 3-5 action tokens (crew members) standing in each column on the upper action panel. To carry out an action, a player:

A) takes an action token from the upper panel and places it on the lower action panel either to gain resources or to pay for a movement on the planet surface, or
B) pays for every action token still standing in a certain column on the upper panel to gain control over the commander and his ability at the top of that panel, after which the player places those action tokens on the lower panel.

Since option A) will reduce the cost for option B), the players have to find the right timing for their actions. A round ends when the upper panel is empty. For the next round, the panels are swapped.

Magnastorm is a big, tactical board game with very little luck. Choose the right moment to perform actions or buy influence over helpful commanders. You will reap success through resource management, clever logistics, good timing, and a shrewd eye on the actions of your opponents. At the end of the game, each player receives one of 120 reward cards, which can be used in later games to compensate for varying levels of skill among the players.

What intrigues us the most is the mechanic of giving players cards at the end of the game based on how they did and being able to use them in later games. This sounds like a great way to keep your gaming group competitive without having a runaway leader. We all have one of those don’t we..

Tomb Raider: Legends

Hmm. Just looking at this fills our stomachs up with a sense of dread. Let’s be fair though, the game could be excellent and faithful to the source material but it looks so….cheap.

Other than the  above picture, we have nothing else to go on. Square Enix are publishing it themselves and Hobby Japan are the designer. A Final Fantasy board game anyone?

Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage

Wow! A tabletop version of the classic White Wolf Publishing RPG from 1991! Coming October 2019! Yes, we have to wait a while sadly. We can marvel over what the publisher said about the game instead:

In Vampire: The Masquerade – Heritage, you play the role of an ancient vampire. You shape seven hundred years of vampiric and human history in pursuit of ancient secrets, while trying to evade the inquisition and attempting to save what’s left of your humanity.

Heritage is a quick-playing legacy game. Each game, players gather characters from a common pool for their bloodlines. These characters influence different vampiric “battlegrounds” and help in fulfilling history-based missions. For example, a noble-born warrior might support Joan of Arc in ending the siege of Orleans, while at the same time changing the balance of an internal vampiric power struggle or attracting the unwanted attention of the inquisition. Aside from collecting characters in their bloodline, players can also use the unique intrigue cards of the clan they are playing — changing the rules of the game in ways that fit the character of that particular clan.

After any individual game, the players get to collect their achievements in their timeline, which serves as a chronicle of their actions throughout the seven hundred years of history and also influences the final outcome of the campaign. Additionally, players may turn some mortals into vampires permanently by taking the cards out of their sleeves and turning them around, revealing their vampiric side and giving them new abilities and a name. These get put back in the common pool and can be additionally enhanced in future games. To allow for surprises when embracing mortals, all character cards come pre-sleeved!

In this fashion, players proceed through history as determined by the progression of historic mission cards, unlocking new challenges, characters, and rewards along the way. Eventually, the seven hundred years will end with a climactic conclusion as players scramble to unravel ancient mysteries using the clues, allies, and power they have gathered throughout the campaign.

Legacy! This just boosted its way to the top of the most wanted list. We are a suckers for Legacy games here.

Project Management – A Soul Crushing Cardgame

The Kickstarter we chose this week covers a subject that quite a few people out there can relate to: Project Management. Hopefully this gets backed as it looks really funny and the card text is already raising chuckles here.

From the Kickstarter page:

You and up to 5 friends (or disgruntled coworkers) get to play the “prestigious” role of Project Manager for the Department of Non-Delivery. While there is a board, primarily this game is played with cards, much like a duelling game – employee and contractor cards will be placed on the table in front of you, which form your “team”. 

Each week (turn), your team will have an impact on your progress, your goal is to get your project from 0 to 100% completed, and all players progress is tracked by their position on the game board (this is the only purpose of the game board).

Not all of your team members will actually move you forward, there are many who negatively impact your progress and will hurtle you backwards every week, not to worry though, just get them transferred to another players team or keep them busy with endless meetings.

Keep an eye on your opponents and your own teams attributes, many of the employee and contractor cards have unique quirks written on them that affect the game. Some staff will cause disruptions within your team, others can be useful for distracting your opponents.

Action and Event cards have a massive impact on the game and allow you to assert influence over the other players, because getting ahead isn’t always achieved by going forward, often it’s achieved by sending others backward! 

In fact, lets be realistic here, your project isn’t going to get completed, we all know it, but that’s okay as long as everyone else fails even harder.

Who doesn’t like the sound of that! Head over to the Kickstarter page (here) to give them your support! We need this game to happen people!

See you all next week!

The Author

GameStart Asia

GameStart Asia

The GameStart team of geeky gamers share thoughts on the latest games, trends and news.

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