AEG Adjusts its Views on Expansions

I saw an interesting post on the Smash Up Facebook group the other day. It was a link to a post on the AEG (Alderac Entertainment Group) blog by CEO John Zinser regarding their policy on expansions in 2020 and beyond.

Last year, AEG made the pledge that they were going to publish fewer games and concentrate on quality instead. This was in addition to changing how they went about some of their sales plans: moving some game franchises to Kickstarter, etc.

AEG seemed to fall into the trap where every game was considered to have at least one expansion, even some games before the base game was published.

That’s not always a good thing.

To quote Zinser:

“I also understand that expansions were a big part of AEG’s business plan for many years. CCGs and RPGs are built to be expanded and that is often how the long tail money is made and also how you keep players engaged in those games.  As we transitioned into card games the expansions continued. Thunderstone, Smash-Up, and even Mystic Vale all IMO benefited from expansions.

We also tried to expand some games that did not need it like Fantahzee.”

I’ve never played Fantahzee, but it doesn’t sound like a game that needs an expansion.

Smash Up

I’m a man who loves expansions, though I understand that certain games don’t need one. For me, games like Mystic Vale and Smash Up thrive with a bunch of expansions because the games consist of a bunch of cards. Who wouldn’t mind more cards that do new and innovative things?

Continue reading “AEG Adjusts its Views on Expansions”

Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (10-6)

It’s that time of year again!

Time to look back at 2019 and see what games I played this year and which ones I definitely want to play again. Also, which ones can be left by the side of the road looking all forlorn because they just aren’t that good.

I had a pretty good year in 2019. I played 107 games 192 times (not each!). Of those 107 games, 63 were new to me, which was a lot of fun. I always love learning new games (and I like to keep my cult members happy).

Surprisingly, I played the exact same number of games (107) in 2018 but 67 of them were new (and I had 201 plays).

Smash Up was my number one game played with 16 plays, followed by 11 plays of Space Base (both of them are work lunchtime game staples, so it’s not surprising).

My most amazing feat, however, was getting Eldritch Horror to the table a whopping 5 times! That includes 4 times in the last two months of the year.

Of course, there are side effects to that.

On Fire

But we endure!

So let’s see what the top 10 games that I played this year are. There may be a few surprises based on last year’s rankings.

I’m nothing if not Walt Whitman.

Please note that this is not the Top 10 games of 2019. I actually did a count, and I only played 20 games published in 2019. Thus, half of them would be on that list if I did that.

No, these are the Top 10 games that I played in 2019.

This post will be broken into two parts, so here are numbers 6-10! (The Top 5 will post on Wednesday)

Continue reading “Top 10 Games Played in 2019 (10-6)”

Friday Night Shots – Negativity in Response to Reviews

Welcome to the first in what may be a series (or at least a semi-series) of Friday night posts that are at least partially inspired by Canadian Club whiskey (that we tend to drink on Friday nights).

Tonight’s topic is the idea of negativity in response to reviews.

My good friend (well, I consider us good friends, but I am at least an avid reader if nothing else) Dan Thurot recently tweeted about the extreme response he received to his very lukewarm (if not downright negative) review of Jamey Stegmaier’s Tapestry

He tweeted about a thread on Boardgame Geek about his review and the garbage fire that the thread became very quickly.

I’m not going to go into the details of the review or whether or not I disagree with it (though I don’t, for many of the same reasons my friend (actual friend, not just in my  mind) Katanan  mentioned on the BGG review post).

What I want to get into is why people who enjoy a game have to trash almost any negative review that comes out about that game.

Continue reading “Friday Night Shots – Negativity in Response to Reviews”

New Designer Diary out for Clank in Space: CyberStation 11

Just a quick news post (hasn’t been one of those for a while!) to give you more information on the exciting new Clank in Space (my #3 best game played of all time) expansion, Cyberstation 11.

cis-station
From Evan’s blog post. Looks very cool!

Designer Evan Lorentz has posted to the Dire Wolf Digital page a lot of information on just how this expansion came about.

Continue reading “New Designer Diary out for Clank in Space: CyberStation 11”

Clank in Space Expands to the Cyber Station 11

It’s no secret that Clank in Space  (designed by Paul Dennen and published by Dire Wolf Digital and Renegade Game Studios) is one of my favourite games and I will always be willing to sit down and play it if I have time.

The Apocalypse expansion really adds to the game, so much so that I will always play with it if possible.

Now comes word that there’s a new expansion coming out in November!

Clank in Space: Cyber Station 11  will add some really cool stuff to the game.

Clank in Space Cyber Station 11
box cover from the Renegade Game Studios web site.

According to Boardgame Geek, this expansion was designed by Evan Lorentz and Tim McKnight.

In Cyber Station 11, you’re no longer trying to steal from Lord Eradikus. Instead, you’re dealing Commander Preon.

Let’s blurb this thing because there’s not a lot of information out there yet.

“Eager to prove her worth to Lord Eradikus, COMMANDER PREON has built a research station on the edge of civilized space. There, she’s developing strange and powerful CYBERWARE — and using all the best of it to augment her own half- mechanical body. “

The expansion will include 40 new cards to add to the deck, as well as a new double-sided playing board (does this mean it’s a board like the original Clank and not a modular piece combined with the rest? Interesting).

You can also install (somehow) cyberware that will give you abilities that work throughout the rest of the game.

Does that mean…asymmetric powers?

I’m very intrigued, and November isn’t that far away.

Let’s hope more information comes out soon.

Keep tabs here for when that happens and you’ll know as soon as I do!

 

Expansion Review – Clank in Space: Apocalypse

Clank in Space is one of my favourite games.

As you would know if you read my Top 25 Games Played of All Time!

While it certainly didn’t need anything additional added to it, there is always room for more cool cards and concepts, and Clank in Space: Apocalypse (Almost forever after just called Apocalypse because I’m a lazy git) delivers that in spades.

pic4166586

Apocalypse is designed by Andy Clautice and Evan Lorentz with art by a number of people (Rayph Beisner, Ralph Beisner, Raul Ramos, Le Rastislav, Nate Storm, Franz Vohwinkel). It’s published by Renegade Games Studios and Dire Wolf Digital and came out in 2018.

How awesome is this expansion?

Well, it falls just short of awesome into the almost awesome category.

Which is still pretty good.

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Terminal City Tabletop Convention – Vancouver

Ah, the smell of new games being opened.

The sound of people sitting at a table, chatting. Or perhaps one person talking, teaching others how to play the game that’s sitting in front of them.

I had that experience this past weekend at the 6th annual Terminal City Tabletop Convention in Vancouver (That’s in British Columbia, eh!)

Started and run by Shannon Lentz back in 2014, this is a 2-day convention where you just go and play games. For two whole days! What could be better than that? (Editor – 3 whole days?)

While originally held in Burnaby, space limitations there forced a move last year to the Croatian Cultural Centre on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. Last year, we had a huge room, but there were still a few space issues.

TCTC - 1
Look at all that potential gaming energy!!!

Thus, this year Shannon and his people were able to get another room added. I have to say, this year it did not seem as crowded and was a lot more peaceful because of it. The extra space really worked out for that.

TCTC 5
Look at all that kinetic gaming energy!!!

The room was very full and there were tons of people there, but the ability to spread out really helped make it feel less crowded than previous years.

Continue reading “Terminal City Tabletop Convention – Vancouver”