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News Digest: Sentinels of Earth-Prime! Magic: The Gathering Tournament Changes! Judge Dredd and 2000

Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s update on gaming news! Sentinels of Earth-Prime! Changes to the Magic: The Gathering Tournament Circuit! Judge Dredd and 2000 AD coming to WOIN! Lots of advance board game news on new releases, new licenses, new games, and more!

Green Ronin is joining forces with Greater Than Games to create a crossover team-up of Mutants & Masterminds and Sentinels of the Multiverse. Sentinels of Earth-Prime will be a stand-alone card game focusing on the Earth-Prime core setting of Mutants & Masterminds. The expected release of the game, designed by Sentinels creator Christopher Badell, will be in 2018 with a Kickstarter launching this April. While the press announcement does list the title of the game as “Sentinels of Earth-Prime”, the recent appearance by Mutants & Masterminds Line Developer, Crystal Fraiser, on the BAMF! Podcast lists a discussion of the “Sentinels of the Freedomverse Card Game”, which raises the question of if this is just a misnamed or prototype name, or possibly a hint as to the first expansion? Either way, the link above has both the YouTube video and the podcast page for the interview with Frasier which goes into some detail on several Mutants & Masterminds upcoming releases (as well as opinions on the Lego Batman movie).

Magic: The Gathering went five years without the Nationals as part of their World Magic Cup tournament, but they’re coming back along with some other changes to the highest levels of Magic: The Gathering competition. In order to earn a spot in the Nationals, players will need to accrue a certain number of Planeswalker Points by the end of the season (this year is May 28), with the threshold differing based on the size of the country in question. The World Magic Cup is also returning to three person teams rather than the “three person plus coach” four-person model used in previous years. Finally, all Nationals will be Standard for the Constructed format rather than Modern. For more details, see the link above which also has all the important dates and new rules you need to know.

2000adbanner.png

While it’s tempting to throw in a reference to one of the two films based on Judge Dredd, I’ll just be nice and announce that the license for 2000 AD has landed with EN Publishing. For those who don’t know, 2000 AD is an anthology that publishes a wide variety of comics, the most well-known of which is, of course, Judge Dredd. However, the comic has many other titles that share the dark humor and sly social commentary that Dredd is known for (my personal favorite being Strontium Dog, who had three Big Finnish audio dramas produced starring Simon Pegg as Johnny Alpha). The line of books using the WOIN (What’s OLD is NEW) engine will feature a wide variety of different assets from 2000 AD rather than focusing solely on the biggest name, though Mega City One will be thoroughly represented as the core rulebook will be titled Judge Dredd & The Worlds of 2000 AD. The names involved so far are very impressive, including Darren Pearce, Russ Morrissey, Nick Robinson, Robert Schwalb, and Andrew Peregrine. So, who wants to put down money that of all the stories this week, this is the one I made a mistake somewhere?

Dungeons & Dragons Assault of the Giants from WizKids under license from Wizards of the Coast has made it to store shelves amid much anticipation. The game features a gameboard map of the Sword Coast of Faerun, twelve giant miniatures (ranging from 60mm to 90mm) and three giantslayer miniatures, plus assorted tokens, cards, and dice. The game is for three to six players as each takes on the role of a different giant race with a different agenda as you raid villages for food, artifacts, ore, and runes. The game comes in two versions, a Standard Edition with solid-color plastic miniatures and a retail price of $79.99, and a Premium Edition that includes fully painted miniatures for a retail price of $129.99. And yes, the miniatures are scaled for use in standard D&D games.

The New York Toy Fair came and went this past weekend and had more news than you would expect for the industry, a sign that more mainstream attention is being focused on hobbyist gaming. Board Game Geek has in-depth coverage of many of the big announcements, but I wanted to highlight some of the biggest.

Did you think you saved the world with Pandemic Legacy? Probably not as much as you think, according to early previews of Season Two. The back of the box pretty much tells you up front that humankind has been in hiding for three generations after a plague took over the world seventy-one years before. Your two to four players with custom-created characters will be leaving the haven for the first time since the plague to find out what’s happened to a world ravaged by disease. The box mock-up indicates that the game will be stand-alone and won’t require the original Pandemic Legacy, but there’s also no indication yet if anything will carry over if you did complete Pandemic Legacy.

Firefly Adventures: Brigands & Browncoats is due in time for Gen Con this year from Gale Force Nine and is a stand-alone but linked scenario game. The demo had an isometric grid map that looked about 11” x 17” and had eighteen plastic miniatures, most in light grey but some in a darker grey or brown.

It looks like Catan is getting a bit of Legacy-style action as the new Legend of the Sea Robbers for Settlers of Catan Seafarers will be four linked scenarios with the results carrying over from one scenario to the next.

Rick and Morty seems to have gone on a licensing binge as Cryptozoic showed off Rick and Morty: Close Rick-counters (a deckbuilding game) and Rick and Morty: Anatomy Park (a tile-laying game set inside the body of a dying homeless person), while USAopoly showed off the box for Munchkin: Rick and Morty, the first of a new licensing deal with Steve Jackson Games to produce licensed versions of the Munchkin card game.

One of my very first interviews when I started doing this almost three years ago was with a then little known game designer named Jamey Stegmaier. Now, Stonemaier Games is one of the most highly regarded names in independent games with Viticulture, Euphoria, and last year’s smash hit Scythe under his belt. His newest game is called Charterstone, and shows that Stegmaier is nothing if not innovative. There is no rulebook. Instead, you start playing and you learn as you go as you follow the instructions in the crates you open with the goal of building a village in a fantasy world. The game will come out late this year and will be the first game that Stonemaier Games will not be crowdfunding.

Unfortunately, I must close out the column with two pieces of sad news. Loren Wisemen passed away last week. He had a long career in gaming, co-founding Game Designers’ Workshop, co-creating Traveller, and a long history with GURPS. Among many other honors, Wiseman was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2003. Steve Jackson Games released the following statement last Thursday:

We learned today that Loren Wiseman had passed away, apparently from heart failure.

Loren was one of game design's earliest "greats." He was a founder of Game Designers Workshop and a co-creator of Traveller, the science-fiction roleplaying game that set the standard for all the others. He was also a good friend.

He was inducted into the Origins Hall of Fame in 2003.

Loren worked with Steve Jackson Games for many years: writing GURPS Traveller, editing the GT line, and creating an online incarnation of the notable Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society.

Loren is depicted, along with the late Mike Ford, on the INWO "Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow" card.

He'll be missed.

-- Steve Jackson


In addition, game designer Carmen Bellaire was hospitalized in what is reported to be a suicide attempt. The attempt came following a post to the Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter page in reference to an unrelated Rifts board game under license. What followed was a series of hateful and harassing comments from a portion of the people on the site. Kevin Siembieda, the President of Palladium Books, posted another update to the Kickstarter page for Robotech RPG Tactics with his version of events, and even more hateful and harassing comments followed, many directed at Siembieda. This has caused several high-profile game designers to privately discuss ways to approach Kickstarter directly with anti-harassment tools and ways to prevent customers this abusive from backing their projects in the future without censoring legitimate customer complaints and expressions of dissatisfaction. At this time, there has been no update on Bellaire’s status. Our thoughts are with him and his family.


I know I mentioned Dusk City Outlaws previously, but I wanted to bring it up again because it’s now fully funded and some interesting stretch goals have been unlocked. This fantasy games themed around heists listed two pieces of fiction that I’m a huge fan of – the novel Lies of Locke Lamora and the television series Leverage. Well, one of the stretch goals unlocked are scenarios for the system written by Scott Lynch (author of Lies of Locke Lamora) and John Rogers (showrunner of Leverage), along with authors Susan Morris and Saladin Ahmed, game designer Steve Kenson, and Penny Arcade creators Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. A $20 pledge gets you a PDF version of the game, while a $65 pledge gets you the boxed set with everything needed to play. The campaign runs until Tuesday, February 28 so hurry if you want to help unlock the last few stretch goals!

The Lost 77 Worlds RPG is an apocalyptic space game from Stephen Lee and James M. Ward. I would go into detail on James Ward’s credits in the roleplaying game industry, but I’m pretty sure I’d hit the character limit with that alone. If you’re looking for a classic feel to an apocalyptic science fiction game from the creator of Metamorphosis Alpha and Gamma World, this is definitely the game for you. I’d go into detail on what the different backer levels are, but they’re so finely tuned so that you can get exactly what you want that I’d just be listing them verbatim, but they range from $15 for a PDF core rulebook and goes up from there. The campaign is just shy of its funding goal at the time of writing, but has until Sunday, March 12 to cross that line and start unlocking stretch goals.

On one hand, I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on Munchkin Shakespeare, as I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the original game of backstabbing your friends to draw on the Bard (who probably invented the word “backstabbing”). On the other hand, I’m starting to feel a little sorry for John Kovalic as every stretch goal unlocked so far involves more cards for him to draw. You can pick up the core set for $20, the expansion with new Dungeon cards and more for $35, and $60 for just everything involved in this Kickstarter including all the stretch goals. There’s a lot more stretch goals to unlock until the campaign ends on Friday, March 10.

That’s all from me for this week! Find more gaming news at the EN World News Network 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 news@enworldnews.com. You can follow me on Twitter @Abstruse where I’ve been trying to decide on a small project to pick up, 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 and/or DriveThru may contain affiliate links with the proceeds going to the author of this column.
 
Darryl Mott

Comments

Big Finnish audio dramas produced starring Simon Pegg as Johnny Alpha).

So, who wants to put down money that of all the stories this week, this is the one I made a mistake somewhere?


Mistake? It should be Big Finish, not Big Finnish :p
 

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