App News – Race for the Galaxy goes to the Brink of War

I’ve been seriously neglectful of writing about boardgame apps recently, and it’s time to rectify that (I think I’ve been intimidated by Stately Play).

So how about a big announcement (though late, of course, since I was on vacation) about one of the best apps of the year?

That’s right, Candy Crush Saga has something new I’m sure.

But wait! That’s not what I’m talking about.

Race for the Galaxy by Temple Gates Games is certainly in the running for best new app of 2017, and it has a new expansion dropping tomorrow.

That’s right, I said tomorrow! (That’s what a vacation will do to you).

(Editor’s Note: Apparently, a vacation will also make you not able to read dates. December 14th is the release date, and your humble writer thought that was tomorrow)

RftG - BoW box
“All hail, our Temple Gates Overlords!!!”

Tomorrow will see the release of the Brink of War expansion for Race for the Galaxy (my fingers keep wanting to type “bring of war”) and it looks to be a doozy.

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New to Me – November 2017

November was not looking like a good month for “new to me” games, but the last two weeks really picked it up.

I managed to end up playing four new games and two new expansions.

What is the Cult of the New to Me? Read about it here.

So let’s jump right into the gaming goodness.

Azul (2017 – Plan B Games) – 1 play

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Book Review – The Bloody Triangle by Victor Kamenir

When I was a kid in Elementary school, I studied World War II history like no other subject. I totally exhausted our school library’s books on the topic.

Some even called me a warmonger (What? We were in 3rd grade).

That love of studying military history has never gone away. It’s just expanded to other eras.

But World War II is still my favourite.

So when I saw The Bloody Triangle by Victor Kamenir (2009), I had to pick it up.

Bloody Triangle

This book is about the first days of the German invasion of the Soviet Union, namely a triangle of land stretching from the cities of Lutsk, Dubno, and Brody in the Ukraine. It’s considered the 2nd greatest tank battle of World War II, but it’s not really talked about much other than in general overviews of the German invasion.

It’s also well worth a read.

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Boardgamers & Free Shipping – A Question

It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, and we all know what that means.

Yes, yes, lots of turkey and family gatherings, and maybe some board games with said family (except Uncle Joe, who always seems to cheat).

Turkey
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

But I’m not talking about the holiday itself.

I’m talking about Black Friday sales.

All of the online game retailers have started their Black Friday sales already (because nothing says Black Friday like a full week of deals!).

If you subscribe to the Boardgame Geek “Hot Deals” forum, you’re inundated with all of the cool sales stuff, along with those who have to post “Geez, nothing good in this sale. I’m glad I was able to save money. And why does it have to start at 2:00 am?”

One comment made in a thread the other day made me stop and think, though.

And you don’t like it when I stop and think (actually, I hope you do because that means you’ve read an interesting blog post).

Is “free shipping” worth it in all cases?

(Scroll down to the bolded question below if you are feeling “TLDR”)

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First Impressions – Modern Art

I’m not a huge fan of auction games. I’m just not great at figuring out value for money and deciding when to stop bidding on something.

Probably why I don’t do the family finances.

For some reason, though, the first time I played Modern Art, I was enthralled with the game.

I still sucked at it, but was enthralled.

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Modern Art is a game designed by Reiner Knizia, originally published in 1992, though I played the new edition of the game published by CMON Limited in 2017.

The game has artwork by Carole Carrion, Manuel Carvalho, Chen Cheng-po, Mike Doyle, Pete Fenlon, Paul Laane, Ramon Martins, Daniel Melim, Rafael Silveira, Sigrid Thaler, and Zeilbeck & Natzeck Design Company.

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Book Review – Star Trek Legacies #1 – Captain to Captain

I’m a Star Trek fan from way back and have been reading the novels based on the various series and movies since I was a kid.

In 2016, Star Trek celebrated its 50th anniversary, with the series first airing in 1966. The iconic images of Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the rest of the cast were something I grew up with. I didn’t see it first-hand, not having been born yet, but I watched it in syndication from an early age and have been a fan since 1981.

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To celebrate the anniversary, Pocket Books and its Star Trek authors published a series of books called “Legacies.” The first book in the series, by Greg Cox, is called Captain to Captain.

Cox has always been a dependable Trek writer, not producing anything flashy but giving readers a solid plot, good characterization of the regulars, and some interesting stories.

Does Captain to Captain stand up?

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Review – Smash Up

When you’re sitting down to watch The Walking Dead or some other zombie movie, what’s the first thing that goes through your mind?

No, not “ohhh, ain’t Darryl hot?”

The first thing that goes through my mind is that this show could use a dinosaur or a space alien.

Or maybe a Dumbledore.

For those of us with a similar mindset, Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has us covered, with the hit game (with an ever expanding list of expansions) Smash Up.

Smash Up Box
They all look unhappy with each other.

Designed by Paul Peterson, with artwork by Dave Allsop, Bruno Balixa, Conceptopolis, and Francisco Rico Torres, this 2012 game lets you “smash up” (Ha! I see what you did there) two classic factions into a deck of cards that you will use to stomp your opponents.

The game plays 2-4 players.

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