News Digest: Privateer Press Launches New Deluxe Miniature Line, Humble Bundles and Charity Streams, the Game Industry Loses One of Its Own, and more
  • News Digest: Privateer Press Launches New Deluxe Miniature Line, Humble Bundles and Charity Streams, the Game Industry Loses One of Its Own, and more

    Hello everyone, Darryl here with this week’s gaming news. The game industry mourns the loss of one of its own, Eclipse gets a second edition, Privateer Press has a new miniature line, lots of RPG-related Humble Bundles and charity news, and more!

    It’s with sadness that I have to start off this week’s column with an obituary. Game designer Michael Satran passed away from an inoperable brain tumor this past weekend. Michael was a prolific creator of material for the Champions and HERO System games both fan-made and official releases, and he worked along with many other industry names on the forthcoming Iron Skies roleplaying game. I didn’t know Michael as well as many others did, but I will always remember his passion for the hobby. He will be missed.

    Privateer Press announced a new direct-to-consumer product line. Black Anchor Heavy Industries will focus on high-end, large-scale models that would normally be too expensive to keep in stock for retailers. Each miniature will only be available for a limited time through pre-order, the company’s website, and at convention events. The first offering is available for pre-order now, the Dracodile, available for $109.99 with US shipping included and the first 1000 pre-orders include a Black Anchor Heavy Industries t-shirt. The reported ship date is December 15. Each new model in the series will be available for pre-order one to two months before they ship with bonus material included. Further announced releases include the Hearthgus Hooch Haulter and Skarre, Admiral of the Black Fleet (Ghost Ship included).

    Speaking of Privateer Press, their Humble RPG Book Bundle is still available benefitting the American Red Cross. The first level of $1 gets you the core rules for Warmachine and Hordes miniature games and the Iron Kingdom roleplaying game. The bundle also has two other levels with the $15 level including over $382 worth of digital books plus coupon codes from 25% to 50% off for miniatures, sets, and more. The $8 level also includes a 100% off coupon for the card game High Command Rapid Response meaning you only pay shipping. This bundle is available until Wednesday, November 8.

    And if that’s not your thing, the Humble Extra Life Bundle for 2017 benefitting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, features not only a large amount of video games, it also includes dozens of Pathfinder rulebooks. The $1 level includes PDFs of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, Player Character Folio, Digital Beginner’s Box, Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guide, and Pathfinder RPG Bonus Bestiary (plus the video games Majesty Gold HD, Majesty 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2, and a 30-day early enrollment for Pathfinder Online). The Beat the Average level has a changing price (currently $6.13) that gets you the Pathfinder GameMastery Guide, Bestiary, Advanced Player’s Guide, Strategy Guide, Ultimate Equipment, and a 23 adventure “super-pack” of Pathfinder Society Season 6 (plus the video games Leviathan Warships, Kingsway, and Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition). The $15 level gets you Pathfinder Society Season 7 (with 29 adventures), Pathfinder Inner Sea World Guide, and Map Folios for Kingmaker, Skull & Shackles, Rise of the Runelords, and Inner Sea (plus the video game Rain World). This bundle will be available until Sunday, November 12.

    This is, of course, part of their promotion for the Extra Life charity which will feature many Twitch streamers and game companies running marathons over the 25 hour weekend this weekend. Paizo is also participating with a live stream starting at 10:00 AM Pacific time on Saturday, November 4 and runs until 10:00 AM on Sunday, November 5 on Paizo’s official Twitch channel (the 25 hours is due to the time change that happens in the middle of the stream in the United States as we switch from Daylight Saving Time) and will include giveaways including limited edition hardcovers and miniature boxed sets. Paizo set a $2000 goal and, as of writing, already raised $1,750 through team donations and people donating even before the stream started. Also, be sure to check your favorite Twitch streamers as many will be participating in the marathon fundraising drive which, in its nine-year history, has managed to raise over $30 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

    Eclipse, the 4X board game from Asmodee, will receive a second edition in 2018. This new edition will feature new graphic design but keeps the same symbols from the original edition. It will also include the Ship Pack 1 miniatures, new miniatures for more tokens, custom combat dice, custom made plastic inlays (making for easier storage), and updated rules. The original game is still available and in-stock at retail outlets. Eclipse is a 4-X game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) based around a space opera theme of ruling over an interstellar society. This should not be confused with Eclipse Phase, the transhumanist roleplaying game from Post Human Studios which also has a second edition coming out before the end of the year.

    A new website launched this week, Board Game Finder. The premise is very simple, you tell the site what games you want and what kind of games you’re looking for based on mechanics, and it will recommend games to you. You can sort the resulting games by player count, game length, BoardGameGeek rating, and more. The site uses a collaborative filtering system in order to determine which games would most appeal to fans of similar games. When you find a game that looks interesting, you can click on it for a summary and easy-to-read estimations of game length, number of players, recommended player age, and game complexity. The site is still in its early stages, but it already looks promising to help when your friends bug you for game recommendations leading to the usual game of 20 questions to find out what they really want.

    Because of the Toys R Us bankruptcy filing, we’re learning a lot about the situation the retail chain was in leading up to their current financial situation. ICv2 reports that 40% of its supply was on hold at the time they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Only 91 of the companies manufacturing the top 100 products sold in the stores have resumed shipping to retail outlets. Mattel in particular cited the bankruptcy and financial issues as the primary cause of its disappointing sales results, down 22% in North America. At the same time, Hasbro reported a 7% increase in sales, but their holiday season estimations are down overall. Hasbro was one of the companies which had previously suspended shipments to the stores and have reached an agreement to resume shipment, with Magic: The Gathering specifically cited in ICv2’s coverage.

    Book World, the third largest retail bookstore chain in America, is undergoing liquidation. The chain announced to all vendors that all stores will be closing. The Book World chain operated 45 retail outlets across seven Midwest states and has a long history of supporting the hobbyist game industry that started in the same area. The closure is a result of a long decline in sales that has accelerated over the last year, a trend also reported by the nation’s largest retail chain of bookstores, Barnes & Noble. Publishers Weekly reports that all locations will remain open until all stock is sold with liquidation sales beginning on November 2. Estimations by the corporate offices state they expect all stock to be sold and all stores closed by January 15. Book World had locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and North Dakota.

    I talked about Steven “Bull” Ratkovich’s Patreon before back in May, but it’s a good time to bring it up again as Bull has decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. For those unfamiliar, National Novel Writing Month a writing challenge through the month of November to start and finish a novel. Bull, however, is doing something a bit different and is instead writing a Shadowrun sourcebook, Rigger Red Book. It will include new equipment, cyberware, and other items for Shadowrun 5th Edition that otherwise wouldn’t fit into an official published product for various legal reasons (licensing it’s licensing he’s converting some real-world products and items from other fictional universes into Shadowrun equivalents that would otherwise be impossible to clear for publication). There are already two posts up, an introduction and the first product, the Hermes Bladewing, available for Patrons of every level.

    Stranger Things had its second season release this weekend and, just in time, CCS Games has a Kickstarter for The Monster Hunters’ Club for Savage Worlds. I was never a big Goonies fan growing up as I was all about The Monster Squad, so this game is right up my alley (even though both are cited as influences in the Kickstarter description). The game features setting rules for the “kid adventure” genre where grownups are blind to the problems or just generally useless, new backgrounds, edges, and archetypes, and a complete write-up for the fictional town of Gulf Haven, Alabama, in the mid-1980s to give you a head start on your adventures. The PDF is available for a $15 pledge and the softcover version available for a $30 pledge. This project is fully funded and runs until Thursday, November 16.

    Yes, you knew I was going to talk about this one. Xenomorphs: The Fall of Somerset Landing is the new roleplaying game of science fiction survival horror for the WOIN System. And because it’s coming from EN Publishing, the game publishing arm of EN World (disclosure complete), we’ve got lots of previews on this site ready for you. If you’re new to N.E.W. (trust me, I tried to re-word that to get rid of the pun and it didn’t work), the project includes not only the 60-page sourcebook for your xenomorph alien survival needs, but also a special “Xeno Edition” of the core rulebook for N.E.W. The setting and adventure alone are available in PDF for a £10 pledge (about US$13) and softcover for £20 (about US26), while pledge level to include the core rulebook for PDF is £20 (about US$26) and hardcover for £60 (about US$79). The bad news is there’s no stretch goals to unlock for additional material (only set add-ons), but the good news is that this project ships the moment the Kickstarter closes so you don’t have to worry about long delays to get the game books you want. This project funded faster than Morrus could have dinner the day it was launched and runs until Friday, December 1.

    That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming crowdfunding news at the EN World RPG Kickstarter News website, and don’t forget to support our Patreon to bring you even more gaming news content. If you have any news to submit, email us at You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse I’ve been trying to explain Numenera to Spoony and fighting internet outages that made this column several hours late today, follow Gamer’s Tavern on YouTube featuring videos on gaming history and Let’s Plays, or you can listen to the archives of the Gamer’s Tavern podcast. Until next time, may all your hits be crits! Note: Links to Amazon, Humble Store, Humble Bundle, and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Blue's Avatar
      Blue -
      RIP Mike. His Champion's Legacies homebrew and AD&D 2ed Forgotten Realms campaigns were the first experience I had with extended campaigns, starting 30 years ago. Both went up through the various editions, both with multiple groups always running in the world at the same time. I've posted number of stories about epic adventures and plots here - so many of them were from his games.
    1. Sean Patrick Fannon's Avatar
      Sean Patrick Fannon -
      Thank you for the kind remembrance of my friend.
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