Like most people in the wonderful hobby we call board gaming, I buy more games than are good for me – I’ll get round to playing those copies of Dread Fleet and Space Hulk eventually, I’m sure – so I’ve been trying to reign in the spend in recent months.
That went to shit with the WoW TCG release of Crown of the Heavens but in a singular turn of spawn I opened a Corrupted Hippogryph loot mount which is sitting on eBay waiting for some sucker with too much money…er…World of Wacraft player of discerning taste to snap up, which will pay for the product I’ve bought. In turn, this means that I’m free to justify spending money on games I’m looking forward to that are due to be released this year. Time to play them, however, is something else entirely.
Never mind such trifling concerns for now, Pele set me a task of writing some bumf about games I’m looking forward to and by gum and ‘ecky thump I’m going to spout some piffle about them.
I like card games more than others (well according to my collection) and I have a few on my radar, two by the same company. The first is painfully obvious to anyone who knows me (although most of you won’t. Lucky you_ as I’m a massive gay for anything that has the World of Warcraft logo slapped somewhere on it. The first game on my list for 2012 is World of Warcraft – Clash of Champions.
Not much is known about it, except its core is based in their ‘Kraken’ deck building engine made for the Penny Arcade Gamers Vs Evil game released last year. So it’ll be another deck builder (not that that’s a bad thing for me) but themed around World of Warcraft. After doing a bit of research around it I’m probably going to have to buy Gamers Vs Evil now as well. Arse.
When it comes to looking for new games to play people look for different things. Some people like simplicity, some like complex rules and mega strategy and some people go for good mechanics, but the thing that gets me interested in a game is theme. I love a really good theme, and the more retarded and unfused with the power of AWESOME (or the power of DORK) the better. Sometimes this doesn’t work out for me, like with A Touch Of Evil. A Touch Of Evil should basically be called Sleepy Hollow: The Game as that’s pretty much what it is, but the game itself turned out to be something of a dud, which goes to show you shouldn’t buy on theme alone. I even did my research on it. Sometimes Board Game Geek is way off the mark.
Anyway, the theme of World of Warcraft on a deck builder, complete with hero cards of Thrall, Jaina Proudmoore, Sylvanas Windrunner and all those other characters from the game as well as weapons and powers from the game really appeals. Current release is Spring 2012, so God only knows when it’ll actually appear.
The second game I’m looking forward to is out in about a week…wait, about 4 days of writing this! Well, so the website claims. I’ve just gone looking round my usual pre-order haunts and no-one has it for pre-order, or even a listing. Sigh. Anyway, IF it’s out on the 14th of Feb, I’ll be picking up Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre. Sounds retarded, right? That’s before you’ve even seen the logo and artwork:
Now, it’s like Cryptozoic had a direct feed into my brain and decided to make a game just for me. We have a retarded name (complete with heavy metal fonts), it’s a card game, it’s got an interesting theme and what sounds like an interesting mechanic.
At it’s core it’s a combat card game, with the aim to reduce your opponents health to nothing. So far so Magic: The Gathering. The way it does this is you chain cards together, so there is a Source card, a Quality card and a Delivery card. These can be used in one of seven combinations to attack your opponent. Last Wizard standing wins.
Look at that artwork. Proper gonzo amazingness. The instruction book is littered with childish profanity, is painful to read and is utterly, completely brilliant. I especially like the part where you have to read out the spell you’ve laid in front of you in an epic wizardly voice, and your opponents get to punish you if you don’t do it right.
If you get knocked out there’s a Dead Wizard deck that you have to draw a card from which will help you when you’re resurrected for the next round. Now, this is the only sticking point for me. The game is for 2 – 6 players, but definitely seems geared towards 3 or more, with cards telling you to target a random foe and the Dead Wizard deck seemingly benefiting from being knocked out. This is a problem I usually have as I only really have 1 friend who comes and plays games, and the woman is a bit more selective about what she plays. Maybe I can convince her to give it a go.
I can see why people might be put off by the styling of it, but if that’s the case you’re Wrongy McWrongerson of the clan McWrongerson and you should hand in your Nerd Guild card and get the fuck out. GO ON, GET.
Still, I’ll buy it and if it turns out to be turkey I’ll write something about it on here, crying into my keyboard while finding the next game to spunk money on.
The third thing isn’t actually by Cryptozoic (it is a deck builder, however. Shockety horror!) but is a Kickstarter project started by Luke Peterschmidt (who has worked on Legend of the Five Rings and Bakugan, apparently) called Miskatonic School for Girls. Set in the Lovecraftian Chthulhu mythos, it’s a deck building game where you buy friends to form a team to “combat the bad teaching methods of the Great Old Ones”. I love the idea of a school run by the old gods of chaos and the school girls teaming up to defeat them.
Each player builds a team to defeat the faculty, sending them to your opponents hand where they hold class and teach them about the horrors around them. This reduces their sanity, and when it hits zero (from twenty) they lose. Doesn’t this sound fucking great!? YEAH IT DOES!
The cards look really nice, as does the box and all that good stuff, but more importantly the theme is fantastic (even though Chthulhu has been done to death). OK, it’s not the most important thing. Unfortunately the Kickstarter finished in December so I missed out on the promo cards and all that, but it’s being shipped to the backers in April, so hopefully we’ll see retail copies on the shelves soon after.
The thing all 3 of these games have in common is that I was sold on each on of them before I’d even read how the game plays. This might end up in me buying some turkeys over the course of 2012, but for me an interesting theme is paramount to anything else. Of course, if the game sounds like utter shit when I do get round to reading up on it’ll cancel the pre-order (as they say) and weep salty tears but my instincts haven’t failed me so far. Well, not too much anyway.