Category Archives: Other

Gloomhaven Comes to Novels from Aconyte Books and Cephalofair

Gloomhaven

Asmodee Entertainment has announced that Aconyte has secured a multi-year agreement with Cephalofair Games to create brand new fantasy novels set in the world of their acclaimed Gloomhaven games. This extends the world even further as it was announced recently that the game would also be coming to comics through Source Point Press.

Created by maverick game designer Isaac Childres, Gloomhaven debuted in early 2017 and quickly became recognized as one of the top fantasy games ever – it currently sits at  #1 on Boardgamegeek.com’s all-time best games chart. Collected together in a massive box stuffed with exquisite plastic miniatures, floorplans, rules, and an intriguing selection of sealed boxes, it offers an unparalleled fantasy gaming experience. Players are a motley selection of mercenaries, drawn into strange events in the town of Gloomhaven, as dark powers start a move to seize control. Decisions at each stage as the plot unfolds send players down unforeseen paths towards new adventures, as the game builds across many sessions into a deeply involving tabletop campaign.

The sequel, Frosthaven, is expected to take players north to a previously unexplored ice-choked outpost in 2021. The game’s Kickstarter, run early this year, set a new record, with close to $13 million pledged by the time it closed. Aconyte plans to publish novels in both the Gloomhaven and Frosthaven settings. The first Gloomhaven novel is expected to hit shops in summer 2021, with further volumes already being planned.

The Serious Play Conference Announces the Winners of its 2020 Education Game Competition

Serious Play Conference

The Serious Play Conference’s 2020 competition has announced eleven awards winners in its annual tabletop education game competition.

Corporate Sector Gold Medal Winner

Impact Pursuit, created by Steel Owl for Autodesk educates sales employees about the company’s sustainability effort. The game has employees build their own tree using information about the company’s sustainability efforts. The game is designed to strengthen employees’ understanding of the company’s sustainability mission.

K-12 Education Sector Winners

Gold Medal Awards:

Election Night!, created by Semper Smart Games, is a STEM focused tabletop board game where two players or teams battle for electoral votes to win the presidency. Election Night comes with a double- sided board with multiplication and addition version so players of multiple skill levels can master essential math while learning U.S. state geography. 

Powder Keg A Revolutionary War Card Game, created by The EPIC Project @ KCAD, is a humanities focused tabletop card game where two sides fight against each other. Strategy is needed to win the war. 

Race to the Moon, created by Ball State University, is a STEM focused two player competitive card game about the historic Space Race. Players take the role of either the US or the USSR, and the object is to be the first person to the moon. To win you need to combine research efforts, leadership, efficiency, safety and innovation. 

Silver Medal Award:

Roots of Power, created by Seriously Entertaining Education, is a literacy focused game that teaches Greek and Latin word roots. The game has a combination of chance, skill and collaborative based play. 

You Make Me Sick, created by The Partnership in Education of Duquesne University with funding from the Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) of the NIH. It is a board game where players fight 11 common infectious diseases while learning about the functions of the immune system. The game teaches about vaccines, antibiotics, and steps to staying healthy. 

Vax Bracket, created by Dr. Games Bond, uses competition and fun to teach the broad concepts of vaccines, immunity and disease spread. The objective of the game is to teach the players about immunocompromised citizens of our society and how they rely on herd immunity.

RETAIN, created by Retain Labs Medical, is a digital and paper game that teaches neonatal resuscitation. Retain is a complement to the already existing neonatal training. Currently, neonatal resuscitation is taught through simulation based training and is cost and resource intensive which reduces availability. The RETAIN game makes it easily accessible and helps trainees learn resuscitation skills. 

Bronze Medal Awards:

Problem Scape Sama, created by RoundEd Learning, is a STEM focused card game that teaches players the meaning of equality in math. The game teaches you about different symbols in math and how they can sometimes have more than one meaning. 

Fixing Foolish, created by Techno Nature, is a card game that teaches basic anatomy and physiology. The engaging card game includes true stories and injuries with ways to fix it. The game also includes colorful worksheets, unique anatomy guide, color coded body systems, cool icons for organ function, and a systems mind map.  

Military/Government Sector Silver Medal Winner

Distrix, created by Distrix Games, is a game of skill in which two players—Red and Blue—compete to control more than half of the nine political districts in an imaginary state.  Inspired by America’s gerrymandering problem, DISTRIX presents a strategic and relevant challenge like no other.


Serious Play awards honor outstanding commercial and student titles used for education or training. Entry categories include: Corporate/Vocational; Healthcare/Medical; Local and State Government/Military; PreK Education; K-12 Education; Higher Education; Museum/Visitor Centers; Other.

Unboxing: Half Moon Bay’s Mystery Warhammer Box

Half Moon Bay is offering a “mystery box” filled with their officially licensed Games Workshop items.

There’s content worth “over $65” in each box and is a fun thing to get for fans of Games Workshop and Warhammer.

Retailing for $39.99 plus shipping, you can order yours!

How’s the value? Check out the video of what we got and then below of how it stacks up to the value promised and cost.

  • Warhammer Age of Sigmar Pint Glass – Not on the site – guessing $15.99
  • Warhammer 40,000 Bowl – Blood Angels- $15.99
  • Warhammer 40,000 Heat Changing Latte Mugs – Space Marine – $15.99
  • Warhammer 40,000 A5 Notebook – Battle – $13.99
  • Warhammer 40,000 Pin Badge – Space Wolves – $4.99
  • Warhammer 40,000 Keyring – Purity Seal – $8.99

Retail: $75.94 (ish)

Arcade1Up Launches the Infinity Game Table

Arcade1Up has launched a Kickstarter for the Infinity Game Table, the latest digital board game table.

Partnering with Hasbro, the digital board game table features over 50 games with more to come to start. You’ll also be able to download more. There’s no monthly subscription or hourly fee.

Games mentioned include Monopoly, Pandemic, Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble, and so much more. Having partnered with Hasbro, it’s many of their classics.

Beyond digital tabletop board games, Arcade1Up has also said the game table features thousands of comics, puzzles, and coloring books. It’s also mentioned a focus on partnering with indie creators as well.

The table can be used by 1 to 6 players and features wifi for ease of connection.

The Infinity Game Table has two main models, a 24″ and a 32″ screen. The 24″ version costs $499 at its basic level with the 32″ being $699. The project has crossed its goal of $50,000 and well on its way to $500,000. It ends on November 30 with a projected delivery of April 2021.

Starfinder Returns to Alexa for Episodes Four to Six

Starfinder Alexa

The second half of Starfinder is available starting today, featuring three brand-new episodes. The Starfinder skill for Alexa is a multi-part interactive audio adventure game that transports players to a futuristic science-fantasy world where they can make decisions to advance and influence the outcome of the story just by using their voice. By simply saying “Alexa, play the Starfinder game,” customers can play one of the most captivating audio games available on Alexa-enabled devices today. According to Amazon, users have played nearly 2 million minutes of Starfinder, making it one of the most popular Alexa skills this year.

You can start playing today.

Starfinder features an exceptional voice cast of 13 actors, with casting led by Audible Studios. Nathan Fillion and Laura Bailey join a cast of veteran voice actors of Audible, including Kevin Pariseau, Elizabeth Evans, Allyson Johnson, LJ Ganser, and Lauren Fortgang.

Paizo, the team responsible for the popular Starfinder tabletop game, and Amazon collaborated to reimagine the game for Alexa. The free-to-play pilot episode of Starfinder, “Scoundrels in the Spike,” debuted in December 2019, and episodes 1 to 3 were launched on August 4, 2020 to much fanfare.

For players looking to continue the adventure outside Alexa, the Starfinder Beginner Box can now be purchased from within the skill. With streamlined rules, this deluxe boxed set includes everything needed to explore the futuristic tabletop RPG setting. In celebration of launch, players who purchase the Beginner Box in-game will receive their first episode free.

The full season of Starfinder is now available in the United States and the United Kingdom on Alexa-enabled devices, including Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and the Alexa mobile app; players have numerous access points to the game and can resume playing whenever, wherever. The pilot is free to play, and customers can purchase each episode for $1.99 or the full season for $9.99.

Roll20’s 5th Annual Roll20Con Starts October 23

Roll20Con

Roll20 is gearing up for the fifth annual Roll20Con on Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25. It’s an event all about gaming for a cause – three days of streaming, to be exact. Roll20 is once again celebrating the online TTRPG (tabletop role playing game) community with panels, discussions, and plenty of gaming. The first RPG built from the ground-up for Roll20 by Roll20, Burn Bryte has some surprises to share, too.

In partnership with Code2040, an organization dedicated to ending racial disparity in the tech industry, Roll20 will be matching community donations up to $50k during this weekend-long event. Fans can learn more about Code2040 and donate through the Tiltify campaign.

Dimension20 is headlining Roll20Con 2020, with their comedic D&D showtime slated for Saturday at 6pm PST. Other spotlights include Rivals of Waterdeep, Honey & Dice, Critical Role, Pixel Circus, Burn Bryte streams with lead designer James Introcaso, big Roll20 Announcements for 2021 and more. The full schedule will be available soon.

Also new this year; demos from numerous publishers, featuring games – like D&D Adventurer’s League, Pathfinder, Starfinder, Call of Cthulhu, Outbreak, Altered Carbon, Kids on Bikes, Alice is Missing, Alien, Thirsty Sword Lesbians, Monster of the Week, Fate, and more – that showcase some of the new digital ways to play games online. While social distancing has forever impacted traditional “game nights”, new tools and innovations are helping connect players (and creators) in better ways than ever. 

Learn more about how Roll20 and Code2040 are bringing the industry together and gaming for good at Roll20Con 2020: https://roll20.net/con

Simon Stålenhag Delivers a Unique Vision of a Dystopic Future with The Labyrinth

Simon Stålenhag is running a Kickstarter for The Labyrinth, a brand-new narrative art book. Past works of Stålenhag’s has been adapted into roleplaying games and for television.

The Labyrinth introduces us to a world covered by ruins and ash, the few survivors that remain take shelter deep underground. But the time has come to venture out into the wastelands of the surface world. Are you prepared to confront dark secrets from the time before civilization’s fall?

The Labyrinth will be a thick, oversized artbook of over 150 pages. There are two versions, a standard, and a limited edition. The limited edition features an exclusive and beautifully embossed cloth cover, is unique to this Kickstarter, and will never be printed again.

The standard edition starts at about $40 US plus shipping with the limited edition at $80 plus shipping.

The project runs until October 30 and has already passed its goal.

The Labyrinth

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 Brings Grim Darkness to Marvel

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1

When it comes to “grim dark,” Marvel and Disney are two companies I don’t associate it with. The partnership between Games Workshop and Marvel for comics based on GW’s popular tabletop games might seem odd. When thinking of other recent acquisitions by Marvel, like Conan, Aliens, and Predator, it doesn’t seem odd at all. There might be a broader plan by the House of Mouse and its comic crown jewel. And after reading Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1, any apprehension is out the window.

Kieron Gillen handles the duties as scribe for this debut series. The comic centers on Marneus Calgar, the hero of the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter. For those who might not know their grim dark from their dark grim or Space Marine from Ork, Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 serves as a decent introduction to the world crafted by Games Workshop.

For those unfamiliar, Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop miniature game that was first published in 1987. It recently launched its 9th edition and is a combination game and model kit hobby. You buy units to build your army. Those units you put together, they’re mostly plastic model kits, arming them as structured by the rules. And if that hobby aspect wasn’t enough, you can paint them up. The game features numerous futuristic armies with the forces of the Imperium of Man taking up the main focus. Mankind is ruled by an immobile Emperor who sits on a Golden Throne and the Imperium has taken over 1000s of worlds across the universe. Their rule is fascist, brutal, and undemocratic. As with expansion such as this, threats exist from all over, both from outside aliens and heretics within.

Gillen has the (un)enviable task of explaining the above to new readers. But, the comic also needs to deliver something new and interesting for long time fans. With over 30 years of material to work from, the comic gives an interesting focused start. Marneus Calgar takes center stage as Gillen has the character reflect on his origin while dealing with modern-day threats. Calgar, for those who might not know, is the Chapter Master for the Ultramarines. That Space Marine chapter is the pride of the Imperium. Many consider them “boy scouts” of the Warhammer 40k world. They’re generally the “default” Space Marine army for Games Workshop featured with releases such as the most recent 9th edition. They follow the rules and are unwavering in their support of the Imperium leading the way.

What’s interesting about the choice is that the comic gives us a well-known character as opposed to a generic marine by which we can explore this new world. It also seems to ignore the current focus of the games on the “Indomitus Crusade”. That battlefront is the current storyline featuring in Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition and some of the books released around it.

The direction of the generic Space Marine has been done before in previous comics published by GW’s Black Library or Titan Comics. What the comic does is reveal the unknown history of Calgar a character who has had a lot of focus throughout GW’s 30+ years with this game. That focus has been on Calgar’s heroics on the battlefield, not what he was like as a kid. The comic gives readers a champion to focus on. In Calgar we get a mythic leader that’s a certain archetype and familiar. It’s a way to ease new readers into the world with something familiar and deliver something new to long-time fans.

And Gillen knows his stuff. As a fan of the game himself, the comic does a solid job of organically introducing the world and concepts of Warhammer 40,000 without being overwhelming. We learn what it takes to be a Space Marine and how difficult it is. We get a sense of the world as a whole. And Gillen nails dialogue that’d seem silly in any other situation.

What’s a bit hit and miss for me is Jacen Burrows‘ art. With color by Java Tartaglia the art doesn’t quite nail the “grim dark” aspect and there’s a slight inconsistency about it. It’s not bad at all, don’t get me wrong but there’s things at times that feel a little cartoonish. This is primarily at the end and I don’t want to spoil it but the design of some characters could be a bit more menacing.

Now, GW has been slowly moving away from their more over the top imagery (some of it would make the comic “adult”). But, there’s still can be a horror aspect about what’s currently produced. And the art GW produces can be jaw-droppingly amazing. But, when a painted miniature Ambull or the art GW has produced feels a bit scarier than what’s in the comic, there’s a slight disconnect in styles. This is definitely a more personal opinion, Burrow and Tartaglia do a solid job, but there feels like there’s a little bit held back. What does work is the detail from GW’s established world that the two nail. There’s weapons, ships, the characters themselves, look fantastic. But, a great example of where things don’t quite click is the flashback as the teacher Crixus looks a bit more gritty than young Calgar, his friends, or the Ambull.

The lettering by Clayton Cowles deserves a shoutout. There’s a lot of subtle changes to the lettering that add flavor to the comic. There’s the normal dialogue from Marneus and his Space Marines but then the lettering shifts with the Adeptus Mechanicus. It really nails down that these are human/cyborg type hybrids and emphasizes their mechanical nature. Then there’s the secret villain at the end who also has different lettering as well and there are spotlights on info about the world that also uses a different font. It’s all subtle but really works at sucking you into the world.

I went into Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 nervous. The cover art didn’t really give me the most confidence and the fact that Marvel has publishing compounded that feeling. But, from the first page which does some anthropomorphism to a bullet round which then explodes its target, that nervousness was settled. While it doesn’t go neck-deep in the grim dark, it does go waist to chest-deep.

As a long time player who has gone deep into game rulebooks and elsewhere I was quite happy with Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1. The comic had more than enough new to me and feels like it’d be a solid introduction for those new to the world. There’s a lot packed in and done so in a way that’s not overwhelming and natural. This is one that’s solid sci-fi military action with a bit more depth and thought than we’ve seen from previous volumes.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5) Preview

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5)

(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jacen Burrows
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Oct 14, 2020
SRP: $4.99

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war…
The saga of WARHAMMER 40,000 comes to Marvel Comics!

MARNEUS CALGAR, the legendary Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, leads his elite Space Marines against humanity’s greatest threats in a galaxy engulfed in endless war.

Kieron Gillen (UNCANNY X-MEN, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, The Wicked + The Divine) spearheads the initiative with this introductory miniseries, illustrated by Jacen Burrows (PUNISHER: SOVIET, MOON KNIGHT, Crossed)–and we’re just getting started!

Now, witness Marneus Calgar’s never-before-told origin story, from his beginnings on Nova Thulium, to his campaigns in the Black Crusades, and to the unfolding mystery of the BLACK ALTAR, as a deadly threat from his past reemerges to threaten the present of the Ultramar system.

This all-new tale is essential reading for 40K aficionados, as well as the perfect primer to the world of WARHAMMER 40,000 for those new to the universe.

See the Ultramarines in glorious combat, the strife between the worlds of the Imperium, and witness the larger than life characters who preside over it all!

This is but the first foray into the larger darkness that is to come from Warhammer and Marvel Comics.

Be prepared.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5)

The 2020 Origins Award Winners Have Been Announced

Origins Awards

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design has announced the Origin Award winners and the Academy Hall of Fame inductees for 2020.

Academy Hall of Fame – Class of 2020 Inductees

  • Reinhold WittigDesigner – Game designer since the 1970s with more than 200 titles and exceptional contributions to the professional recognition of game authors.
  • Wolfgang KramerDesigner – Game designer that was a pioneer in area control games, founding member of German Game Authors Guild with more than 10 million copies of his games in print around the world.
  • Wolfgang WarschRising Star Award – designer of a dozen games including The Mind, That’s Pretty Clever, and Quacks of Quedlinburg.
  • YahtzeeNotable Product – first produced in 1956, it is considered the grandfather of Roll And Write and Roll and Re-Roll Games.
  • Board Game GeekNotable Product – founded in 2000, BGG is an important resource for the tabletop game community.

Origin Awards 2020

  • Best Board Game/Game of the Year: Tiny Towns | AEG | Peter McPherson, Gong Studios, Matt Paquette
  • Best Card Game: Point Salad | AEG | Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Shawn Stankewich, Dylan Mangini
  • Best Family Game: The Quacks of Quedlinburg | North Star Games | Wolfgang Warsch, Dennis Lohausen
  • Digital Adaptation: Tsuro VR | Calliope Games / Thunderbox Entertainment Digital | Tom McMurchie
  • Best Collectible Game: Marvel HeroClix: Avengers Black Panther and the Illuminati Booster Brick | WizKids 
  • Best Role-Playing Game: Teens in Space | Renegade Game Studios | Jonathan Gilmour, Doug Levandowski
  • Best Game Accessory: Citadel Contrast Paint | Games Workshop
  • Best Miniatures Game: Warcry | Games Workshop | Sebastien Tousel
  • Best Historical Miniatures Game: Bolt Action: Campaign D-Day Operation Overlord | Osprey Games / Warlord Games | Robert Vella, Peter Dennis
  • Best Historical Game: Pandemic: Fall of Rome | Z-Man Games | Matt Leacock, Paolo Mori, Atha Kanaani, Olly Lawson, Antonio Maínez

The Origin Award Jury for 2020 was made up of 40 volunteers who reviewed more than 300 titles and products.

Submissions for the 2021 Origins Awards will open on November 15, 2020. To be eligible for consideration, products must be available for purchase to consumers through retail channels between  November 15, 2019 and November 14, 2020.

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