See the original posting on Boing Boing
Last month, I posted the first of what I hope will be a series of Boing Boing articles looking at the latest tabletop miniature, board, card, and roleplaying games, and some of what’s going on in tabletop gaming culture. Here is some of what’s been holding my attention this month.
Mythic Battles: Pantheon
Monolith Games, 1-4 Players, Ages 14+
I was bummed when I thought I wouldn’t have an opportunity to plug this game here on Boing Boing. Mythic Battles: Pantheon was a Kickstarter exclusive game in 2016, a campaign in which Monolith/Mythic Games raked in nearly US$2.7 million. I was lucky enough to be one of the backers. The rewards for the base game and stretch goals amounted to two gigantic doorstop boxes filled with some of the most gorgeous, detailed minis, boards, cards, and other components I’ve ever seen. There are few recent games (see Rising Sun below) that are lovelier than Mythic Battles. A board game/miniatures hybrid, the Mythic Battles pits (usually) 2 players and their hosts of Greek gods, titans, monsters, and heroes against each other.
I cannot tell you how much I love this game. Besides the beautiful miniatures and components, which are all highly evocative of the setting, Mythic Battles: Pantheon has some really unique and interesting game mechanics, mostly driven through an activation deck and special “Art of War” cards, which serve as wild cards that allow you to perform a number of special actions. This really is ultimately a deck management game. Once you get the hang of how to work your deck to your advantage, and the timing and the dramatic turn-arounds triggered by the deck, the game becomes very epic-feeling, quite exciting, and strategically and tactically fulfilling.
The reason that I’m mentioning Mythic Battles: Pantheon here is that, in June, Monolith will be launching a second Kickstarter campaign. If you love beautiful, not overly complicated, fun, and very re-playable miniatures and board games, card management games, and Greek mythology, start saving your couch-crack money now and follow the Mythic Battles Facebook page so you’ll be ready when they relaunch.
Badgers & Burrows
Osprey Games, US$30, 2 Players, Ages 10+
To be honest, I kind of wanted to hate this game. Osprey has been cranking out the miniature skirmish game rule books of late, covering every imaginable genre. When I opened the package for Badgers & Burrows, I thought they might have finally jumped the shark.
But when I started thumbing through it, seeing the charming photos of the gaming minis, and reading the rules, I stopped rolling my eyes. I think, hot on the heels of the amazing Stuffed Fables, I am also more open to the idea of kiddie wargames.
This really does seem like a fun and engaging gateway game to get tweens, and even younger kids, into fantasy wargaming. And it appears to be engaging enough to hold the attention of adults, too. Like Stuffed Fables, this would be a fantastic family gaming experience. I can only imagine how much fun it would be to help your child put together and paint a warband of bunnies, badgers, mice, rats, and the like.
Miniature Wargames magazine
After I wrote a review of Tabletop Gaming magazine here on Boing Boing, the publisher sent me some copies of their companion magazine, Miniature Wargames. Where Tabletop Gaming covers every flavor of game, from wargames to card games, to RPGs and boardgames, Miniature Wargames exclusively covers all manner of miniature-based wargames, from historicals to miniature games in the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror genres. The mag is heavy on historical games (my least favorite genre) and the design is less sophisticated and engaging than Tabletop. It’s a well-done magazine, but if I were ponying up for an exclusive wargaming magazine, I would subscribe to Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy (I have before) or Wargames Illustrated. Actually, what I recommend (to save yourself the exorbitant shipping costs of these European magazines) is to convince your FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store) to carry copies of all three and then you can purchase the issues that have the game coverage you’re most interested in.
Dungeon Degenerates: Hand of Doom
GOBLINKO, $70, 1-4 players, Ages 10+ (Not Suitable for Squares)
The popularity of tabletop gaming is not only at an all-time high, but so is the quality of the games being produced. High-quality on-demand printing, crowdfunding, 3D design and printing, and the availability of custom component manufacturing at affordable prices have allowed for a new market of small-run indie game producers. If you design it, they will come. Now an indie designer/artist can have a great idea for a game, crowdfund it, and if it’s good, s/he will get the needed money and support to produce their game. One game designing/artist couple that is taking full advantage of this current environment is Sean and Kate Äaberg of GOBLINKO. Their crowdfunded game, Dungeon Degenerates, has been a surprise hit, even showing up on popular game programs like Geek & Sundry’s Game the Game.
The first thing you notice about Dungeon Degenerates is that Sean’s psychedelic nightmare artwork wants to melt your eyeballs and make steam shoot out of your ears. If you’re already familiar with underground, metal-flecked games like Cave Evil or the eyeball-seering art of Skinner,