Quinns: What a weekend! Tabletop Day, then a Netrunner tournament. I feel a sense of… union with the cardboardverse. Hang on, I’m having the strangest thoughts… Could it be? Is the games news coming to me?
I see a man… I see Ted Alspach, designer of the incredible Suburbia and One Night Werewolf. He’s announcing his new game! Castles of Mad King Ludwig will still have players laying tiles, but now sleepy suburbs are swapped for the colourful castles for real-life king Ludwig II.
I can also see that this very second, Ted is eating a burger with a knife and fork. Really, dude? C’mon. Cut that out.
That Wikipedia page on Ludwig bears reading, if you have a moment. One of Ludwig II’s castles had a man-made underground lake, and he would invite opera singers down there to sing while they were both rowed about in a boat made to look like a shell.
The game’s namesake of him being mad, however, is actually pretty contentious. A kinder interpretation is that he was a deeply misunderstood man, whose stunning architectural legacy transformed castles from figments of war to breathtaking, harmless, fairytale constructs, while employing hundreds of craftsmen in the poorer regions of Bavaria.
Wait! I’m getting something else… the X-Men will be publishing a game called Helios later this year, where players represent Sun Priests in a fantasy world! No, hang on. Z-Man will be publishing it. That makes a lot more sense.
Hnnn… I think my psychic powers are failing me. All I’m sensing is that it’s a German game where players will be taking turns to develop a civilization on their private board of hexagons, placing workers and making the best use of limited resources. It will also feature wooden cubes and victory points.
Obviously, that can’t be right. No game could be that generic. Sorry everybody!
Hnnnngh… oh wow! A huge bit of news is stuck right in the portal to the dice dimension! Let me just project astrally and tug it out.
OK! It turns out a second Summoner Wars Master Set is on its way. Quick recap:
(1) Summoner Wars is a fantastic, lightweight, entirely ingenious 2 player tactical card game. If you’re looking for a quick, expandable game with tons of room for surprises, drama and character, it’s the game for you. No question.
(2) The 2011 Master Set was fantastic value for money, offering six factions and a fancy board.
There are no images and just a single scrap of details on the new Master Set at this point, but we know it’ll be called Summoner Wars: Alliances, and it’ll feature 8 new Hybrid faction decks that are each a thematic cocktail of two previous factions. Hot stuff!
Better wedge this news back in its proper dimension, so other people can find it.
Let’s try plucking a smaller sliver of story out of the ether. Aha!
If you haven’t heard of these, these are takes on Race For the Galaxy, an impossibly elegant game where the cards in your hand represent possible additions to your intergalactic portfolio. However, the currency you’ll use to acquire them is… those same cards in your hand. An experience which is a lot like opening and slamming the same door in your face, over and over again, except amazing.
51st State and New Era offer a similar experience to RftG, but with a post-apocalyptic theme and rules that are a little trickier. For those looking to make the game trickier still, the 2012 Winter expansion pack added 54 new cards and plenty of new ideas, and now Ruins is offering another 40 cards. Looks like there’s still plenty of life in the Neuroshima wasteland, if you wanted to get involved.
And FINALLY, I’ve got a message from the realm of Kickstarter, an otherworldly land made of naught but dreams and wild digital belches of capitalism. The expansion for Coup, Coup: Reformation is up and funded, with just eight days left!
Here at SU&SD we’re not as big on Coup as some of our game developer friends, who literally played their copy into disrepair, but we do think it’s a great game and the expansion sounds marvelous. First of all, it increases the number of players, and gives everyone a team. You’re all either Catholic or Protestant. So long as there’s one person left on the other team, teams may only target the other team.
…Except as your turn, you can pay 1 coin to swap teams, or 2 coins to swap someone else’s team. THE HORROR.
As a recent convert to mysticism, I’m all for breaking down established boundaries, and team-swapping sounds like the exact kind of tactical yet intrinsically silly play that Coup excels at. Shame they couldn’t sell both in the same mega-box, but what the hey. Here’s a second opportunity to get the fancy reflection Kickstarter coins.