Terra Mystica is a game with very little luck that rewards strategic planning. Each player governs one of the 14 groups. With subtlety and craft, the player must attempt to rule as great an area as possible and to develop that group’s skills. There are also four religious cults in which you can progress. To do all that, each group has special skills and abilities.
Taking turns, the players execute their actions on the resources they have at their disposal. Different buildings allow players to develop different resources. Dwellings allow for more workers. Trading houses allow players to make money. Strongholds unlock a group’s special ability, and temples allow you to develop religion and your terraforming and seafaring skills. Buildings can be upgraded: Dwellings can be developed into trading houses; trading houses can be developed into strongholds or temples; one temple can be upgraded to become a sanctuary. Each group must also develop its terraforming skill and its skill with boats to use the rivers. The groups in question, along with their home landscape, are:
Desert (Fakirs, Nomads)
Plains (Halflings, Cultists)
Swamp (Alchemists, Darklings)
Lake (Mermaids, Swarmlings)
Forest (Witches, Auren)
Mountain (Dwarves, Engineers)
Solitude (Giants, Chaos Magicians)
Proximity to other groups is a double-edged sword in Terra Mystica. Being close to other groups gives you extra power, but it also means that expanding is more difficult…
Well, the slow creep through the second quarter continues. We have one new arrival of note, though a few very interesting ones snuck out after we placed our orders, so expect to see those next week. Enjoy that fine weather, and if you need your fixes for gaming and sun combined, we don’t recommend games with paper money or lightweight cards.
Tomorrow at 4pm is our Meaty Game Day, This event may involve actual meat at some point, but right now it is simply a time to gather and play some heavier, longer games.
Settlers of Catan Explorers and Pirates: This is the fourth major expansion for the world-renowned Catan board game. Explorers and Pirates combines multiple elements from the three previous expansions, but adds some much needed thematic flavor to the game. With a mix of scenarios and missions, you will have the opportunity to leave the main island with your ships to explore other islands, and on the way you can harvest fish, trade spices, and have a run-in with pirates or perhaps loot their hidden lairs. From the sound of it, this may be the only expansion you need, and though we have not played Catan in many moons, this expansion is getting us excited.
We’ve edged into the second quarter with lots of very good games from the first quarter. Here’s a quick recap of some of our favorite favorite recent plays: Archipelago, Co2, Keyflower, Tzolkin, Myrmes, Arctic Scavengers, Batman Gotham City, and Fantastiqa. The entire second quarter will be a great time to try some of these out since new releases turtle until the US convention season in third quarter. Check the rental shelf for some of these, with more to come soon.
One piece of big news for the 3 loyal fans reading this, our Strategy Game Gatherings on Wednesday and Saturday nights will no longer be entirely free of charge. We hate to do it, but both of our weekly game nights have reached capacity (with a great group of gamers mind you), and we need to cover our increased costs. Full details will be released at our game nights and on our web page this week, so stay tuned. Formal complaints can be filed with the management, in person, just step into our office (though you may want to make a perception check first. CLICK!).
Before I mention the single new release we received this week, I want to remind everyone to get on down to the Cloud on May 5 for our Jaipur tournament. This great little card game is easy to learn and lots of fun, so if you have not played it yet stop on by for a lesson.
Race to Adventure: This is pulp action adventure in a small package, picture the classic Indiana Jones theme but with talking apes. You want to be the first to race around the globe while visiting exotic locations to complete missions find danger. The rich theme, easy rules and shorter playtime make this a great casual and family game.
Cheers everyone and stay dry this weekend!
Hello Gamers, welcome to the final countdown before the taxman rings the bell! We’ve got just a few new games this week, but I want to first announce that we have set a date for our next shop tournament, get ready to throw down some camels and goods in Jaipur on Sunday, May 5, starting at 1pm! Many have tried this great 2-player card game, and now will be your chance to prove your merchanty worth. For once I have no desire to enter our competition because I NEVER WIN JAIPUR! I’m having a series of tests run to figure out why, but the results won’t be back for some time. And no, I don’t want to hear your professional opinions, it was hard enough to share this painful personal fact with you, but I’m told its the first step toward healing.
This week we received only a few brand new ones. First, the expansions. 7 Wonders has a new Wonders Pack, with 4 new Wonder boards, including a revised Mannekin Pis board that should be more useful for those not at a pub. As I write this, we are out of stock, but more should arrive next week; if you want one, let us know so we can lock it in. Finally back in print are add-ons for the game Survive: Escape from Atlantis, a fun aggressive survival game. We now have copies of the 5-6 player expansion, the Giant Squid expansion, and the Dolphins and DiveDice expansion.
City of Remnants: Plaid Hat Productions has snuck out a new one, I remember reading about this some time ago but was completely surprised to see it show up this week. Each player controls a gang of aggressive criminals fighting for territory within an alien infested city. This game has a whole mix of mechanics, including dice and card combat, an interesting take on deckbuilding, area control with building construction, bidding, and resource management. This is a tactical and combative game with a refreshing mix of existing game mechanics. It makes me want to take a break from the stuffy eurogames and call up my old high school buddies for a good old fashioned dudes-on-a-map good time.
String Railway: Railroads are an incredibly popular theme for games, there is something universally satisfying about watching your rail empire grow. With String Railway, your empire will end up looking like the remnants of a cat party because you will literally be using pieces of string as your rail lines. Sounds like a crazy elementary school project, but it also makes perfect sense. Look for it in the sewing aisle.
Have a great weekend everyone.
First off, we want to thank everyone who joined us last weekend for the International Tabletop Day. We could not have asked for better weather, and we were blessed with a great group of players, helpers, and of course games. Call us sappy and proud, but it does warm our hearts to see the positive energy that develops within our space when so many jolly gamers gather. The day stands as a testament to the health and healthiness of the hobby.
On to the new games, including an expansion for Smash Up called Level 9000, (update, once again these did not ship, hopefully they make it into boxes next week!) and an expansion for Neuroshima Hex called The Convoy. Speaking of Neuroshima Hex, we’ve added a copy of the 2-player game to the rental shelf for those interested in giving this little skirmish game a try.
Deck-building has become a bit of a dirty word lately thanks to the overwhelming number of crummy Dominion clones. But 2 new deck-builders are out this week that aren’t just simply trying to ride the Dominion wave with plastic surfboards. The first is called Fantastiqa which is an innovative mash-up of a deck-builder and a board game, as well as a mash-up of many strange genres and art. From what I’ve read, the theme has thrown many off, but the mechanics appear fresh and solid. As is typical with Gryphon Games productions, the unnecessarily high price point on this baby means it won’t have the exposure nor the longevity that it might deserve, so we are going to try and get a rental copy up and running by next week.
The other new deck-builder is one that some have been anticipating for many years now, Arctic Scavengers. This is a Rio Grande production of the game that was originally released in limited quantities back in 2009 by the designer’s own company. In the game, you control a band of people who have survived a massive climate shift and are now living in a new ice age. In true apocalyptic fiction style, its every band for itself, and you’ll have the opportunity to directly assault other players. For those who snub Dominion because of its lack of player interaction, here is your chance to give deck-building another try.
Finally we have Cinque Terre, another Rio Grande production by designer Chris Handy, the man behind one of our favorites, Long Shot. Cinque Terre is pure euro, with a theme that is about as exciting as, well, most other euro games. Instead of retiring in the beautiful coastal Italian region, you’ll get to work your tail off as a produce salesperson, hustling from one beautiful town to another hoping all those wealthy second homeowners will buy your wares.
In addition to all the new arrivals, we’ve thrown a few new ones on the rental shelf, which means some good games got moved to the used shelf. Here they are:
Fresh Used Games: Wits and Wagers Family, Myrmes, Atlantis Rising, Game of Thrones 2-Player HBO Card Game
New Rentals: Keyflower, Lord of the Rings Dice Game, Neuroshima Hex: The Duel, Batman Gotham City
Holy Sunshine, looks like a fine Easter weekend ahead of us folks. In between those Saturday tanning sessions you may want to head by the shop for some serious casual gaming. This Saturday is International Tabletop Day, and we’ll be celebrating tabletop games all day long. Flags have their own special day, so why can’t games?
In addition to just casual play throughout the day, we’ll be holding hourly mini-tournaments for a chance to earn some swag. If you bump into Eric Keyser at all on Saturday you should give him a massive hug for the hard work he’s put in grabbing some even better swag. In between tournaments and playing at the tables, you may also want to check out some of the items we’ll have on sale!
In the evening, guess what, we’ll be playing more games, but this time with pizza in our hands, so bring a few bucks to pitch in for some pies. A huge shout out to Bridge City Pizza for helping us out with this, and again to Eric for setting up this connection.
As for new games this week, well, we should have the expansion for Smash Up in the shop, but I’ve been sick all week so my ordering was far less than stellar. My bad, Smash Up is a fun game and does not deserve this kind of neglect. If you need something new though, the first quarter of 2013 has given us some stellar stuff that deserves your attention. Here’s a short list of some of the 1st quarter games seeing play in the shop: CO2, Tzolkin, Keyflower, Tammany Hall, Myrmes, Copycat, Archipelago, Suburbia, Ginkgopolis, Police Precinct, Batman Gotham City, Zpocaplypse, Ground Floor, and Tokaido.
Now go forth and game, and we’ll see you Saturday.