Category Archives: Fantasy Flight

X-Wing Miniatures Wave Three Preview

A couple of weeks ago Fantasy Flight Games announced their third wave of ships for the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game.  A couple of these I expected but the other two I was a little surprised by. 

First off, we round out the original trilogy fighters with the B-Wing and the Tie Bomber.  Both of these are the biggest fighters each side sports and it looks like each comes with a variety of support weapons.  The Tie Bomber looks pretty versatile with both a two firepower and two maneuver and can take some serious damage with six hull.  The B-Wing isn’t very maneurvable but packs a three firepower and can take even more damage with three hull and an impressive five shield.

The other two ships were a little surprising.  There’s the Lambda-Class Shuttle (which I didn’t even know had weapons) and the HWK-290 (which I don’t know too much about) both of which are being billed as support ships.  The Shuttle packs some serious firepower and can take a ton of damage (the same as the Slave-1 if memory serves me).  I don’t know much about the HWK-290 other than it was Kyle Katarn’s ship.  It’s a lighter ship without much firepower but from what I could make out, some of the abilities are interesting (like Kyle Katarn, who can pass on a focus token to someone else).

If you want the run down, here’s the release from Fantasy Flight.  To date, we have all of the expansions except for the Tie Interceptor and the A-Wing.  Those two ran out quick but I checked the calendar and they’re coming out with more soon.  We’ve done one battle with the Millenium Falcon but haven’t used the Slave-1 yet.  If you’re buying, make sure you buy more Tie Fighters.  The Imperial ships in just about every category are lighter than the Rebels so you almost always need more. Just to match up, I needed two Tie Fighters and a Tie Advanced to take on the Falcon and still lost pretty handily.

And one last thing, a future product is the Starfield Game Tile Kit so if you’re sick of playing on a blank table, you’re going to like this.

Lord of the Rings The Confrontation Returns

I was pleased to see that Fantasy Flight games is reintroducing an older classic. Lord Of The Rings The Confrontation has been out of print for some time and my son and I started playing the original version of this game.  It’s a two player game with one side being the heros and the other side taking on the minions of the Dark Lord.  The game is quick to set up, easy to play, but the rules are just tricky enough to where there is a ton of replayability.  The heros can win by getting Frodo to Mordor while Sauron’s side can win by taking out Frodo.  There are a couple of terrain rules and the primary rule is most pieces have to be moved forward (no backwards movement unless that character has it as part of their special ability).

This game has been described as Stratego like but it’s a much deeper game than that.  Each token (each side has nine pieces) is unique with each character having their own special ability.  When combat occurs, each side also uses a card from their deck to boost up or give that character a special ability and this is where the strategy and counter strategy really comes into play.  When we got it last summer, we played it quite a bit and then for Christmas, I picked up Lord of the Rings: the Confrontation Deluxe Edition which gives you more character types and a few more special ability cards.  I actually preferred the base game better but it was fun to mix it up.  My son was particularly enamored with the newer Frodo card, which allowed Frodo to give the Ring to Sam.

With my son, he picked up this game and it was a treat seeing him bluff me and outthink me with his combat cards.  For a while it was all we’re playing but since then it’s been replaced but it’s still a great game.

This new version that Fantasy Flight is putting out looks like it includes everything that was in the Deluxe edition.  It’s coming in at a really good price point (I paid more than twice that for my Deluxe edition) so when this comes out, I highly recommend you pick it up.

Board Game Blog Hiatus

Thanks everyone for stopping by but I’m a brief hiatus.  I’m still getting in a game now and then with my son (played Harry Potter Hogwarts House Cup Challenge last night and got smoked and I will get in a game of Middle Earth Quest once in a while) but I’m a CPA so this is my busy time of year.  Look for new content (maybe videos?) after April 15.

Star Wars Card Game Deluxe Expansion Announced

I haven’t picked up Star Wars: The Card Game and if I’m not careful, they’re going leave me in the dust.  They’ve already announced four expansions in their Hoth Cycle and now they’re putting out their first Deluxe Expansion, Edge of Darkness.  The base game looks really cool and this addition looks like it’s going to make things even better and it adds some of the cooler bounty hunters in the Star Wars universe as well as Jabba the Hutt.  It also lets you reenact some of the cool moments from the original trilogy which makes this set most desirable for me.

Looks cool and I can’t wait to get it.

Star Wars Card Game – Hoth Cycle Force Pack #4 is Assault on Echo Base

I still haven’t picked Star Wars: The Card Game but it’s near the top of my list of games to get.  In the meantime, Fantasy Flight just announced the fourth Force Pack in their Hoth Cycle and it’s going to be Assault on Echo Base.  One reason alone to pick this one up is the Imperial side gets Walkers.  If you want to check out the other titles in the Hoth Cycle, you can check them out at this page.

I’m curious if they’ll follow the same kind of pattern they did for Lord Of The Rings: The Card Game where you have a set of six common theme packs followed by a deluxe expansion which then leads into another six theme packs that utilizes the deluxe expansion.  With that, I’m really curious what that deluxe expansion is going to be like.  Either way, I’m sure it’s going to be fun.

Middle Earth Quest – Sauron Strategies

My son and I have now played seven games of Middle Earth Quest and all seven times I played the Sauron side.  He’s 5-2 but all but one of his wins was pretty close and had I done a thing or two differently, I might have gotten a better outcome.  Still, here are some of the things I learned.

Know your opponents – Since the hero side has a choice between five different heroes, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each is important.  The dwarf has a low wisdom so you can throw a quick road block for him just by throwing down influence.  With the female noble who has a wisdom of three, influence isn’t going to do it unless you use a big investment so using monsters is the way to go.

Get a nice influence base down – One of the mistakes I made in earlier games was concentrating my influence.  This made it easier for the heroes to knock out stacks at a time.  What I started doing is going for a wide base, putting one influence down on as many spots as I could.  Then if I knew a hero was going to make a play at a particular spot later in the game, I could throw down an obstacle or two to make things more difficult for him.

Keep the plot cards going – you can’t win if you don’t move on the story track so getting as many plot cards down as early as you can is important.  Make sure you’re one step ahead of the heroes here. Don’t get caught without a plot card on a turn where the heroes can take an existing one out because then it’s basically a two turn replacement (you use your actions to get a new plot card (turn one) and move the story marker (turn two) before you get to place your plot cards) so always keep one or two in reserve.  And when you choose your beginning plot cards, pick the ones you can play as quickly as possible.  I made the mistake one time of holding on to some stage 2 plot cards thinking I can come back late in the game but I ended up losing one to an encounter card and the other one wasn’t as effective because the heroes took it out quick.

The shadow pool helps but not as much as you’d think – In the one game where I won handily, I only ended up with six influence in the shadow pool.  Yes, those higher cost shadow cards can be wicked but they’re usually one shot things and they don’t come into play until later in the game.  In the game I won, I took advantage of some lower cost shadow cards early and that helped slow the heroes down enough for meto pull in front in the second stage.  In addition, while the higher shadow cost plot cards can give you a huge bump, they’re usually not played until later in the game when they make less of a difference.

Keep the heat on – Whenever you can, attack the heroes.  The ambush stage is your friend and unless you’re fighting the dwarf, if the hero can’t beat the creature or minion, then he loses his turn.  And the more times a hero fights, the quicker they have to rest or heal and the more times the story marker moves up.

Divide and conquer – while you don’t always have control over this, try to spread out your plot cards as much as possible.  When there are two or three heroes, it forces the heroes to split up and makes them less effective.  Nothing is tougher to defend than a group of heroes going after a common cause so having them on different sides of the map can be big.

Hopefully this helps.  Feel free to post your own Sauron strategies in the comments section.

Middle Earth Quest Review

The holidays are now more than a month in the past and I never got caught up here but I wanted to talk about one of the games my son and I (and one other for one game) played while my son was on break.  That game was Middle Earth Quest by Fantasy Flight Games.  This is an epic Lord of the Rings game that is supposed to simulate Sauron’s struggle to attain the ring early and it takes place during the 17 year period between when Bilbo leaves the Shire and when Gandalf returns to the Shire to send Frodo off on his adventure.

This is an epic game and we had a lot of fun with it.  The map board is huge (which is both a pro and a con) and one of the reasons we don’t play this game more is that it takes a while to set up and it’s a longer game (we usually play for 3-4 hours but it goes by in a blur).  What’s also interesting about this game is it’s almost two games in one because the player who’s Sauron plays a completely different game than those that take on one of the heroes.

Let’s start with the heroes.  Each good guy player takes on one of five heroes.  There’s Thalin (dwarf muscle), Argalad (elf scout), Beravor (human ranger), Eleanor (human noble) and Eometh (human horseman).  The heroes’ goal is simply to disrupt Sauron’s plans.  Throughout the game he will lay plot cards that brings him closer to victory and the players’ goals are to knock those cards out of play.  Along the way, they’re also given quests that will help them in a variety of ways, whether it’s by giving them an item, training or an increase in one of their abilities.

Sauron is given the task of trying to spread his influence through out the realm and he can also deploy creatures and his minions (advanced creatures like the Witch King) to get in the heroes way.  He can also maneuver heroes with corruption cards that inhibit the hero in a variety of different ways. They also have Shadow Cards which give Sauron a variety of different ways to strike at the heroes.  Still, his primary goal is the placement of plot cards which further his advancement in one of the three means of victory, whether it’s finding the ring, military dominance or corrupting the leaders of Middle Earth.

In a lot of ways, this games plays like a light role playing game.  The Sauron player is kind of like the Dungeon Master and he has control over a variety of things he can throw at the hero/player as they try to save the realm.  If Sauron wins, it means Frodo’s quest is essentially moot because Sauron already has control.  If the hero side wins, then it means the ring stays hidden and Sauron is kept in check so Frodo can complete his epic quest.

In short, this game is very fun but be sure to have a long evening open to play it.  Since it takes a while to set up, we played it a few times in succession and just kept it up in the meantime.  There are also a lot of different rules and I don’t think we played it 100% correct until the last time.  I suggest reading the rules once or twice, play it, then reread the rules to find out what you did wrong and adjust from there.  It’s definitely one of the funnest games we’ve played in a while.

Holiday Haul

We’re back from the holidays and with it, there’s some new games.  Here are the games either I got for Christmas or I bought for my son.  This year, I pretty much got him either 1)  Games or 2)  Legos so this is a nice list.

1) Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set as well as one each of the four expansions.

2) The Lord Of The Rings Sauron Expansion Set Board Game

3) Lord of The Rings LCG: The Hobbit Over Hill and Under Hill Expansion

4) Lord Of The Rings LCG: The Hunt For Gollum Adventure Pack

5) Wizards of The Coast Legend of Drizzt: A Dungeons and Dragons Board Game

6) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Adventure Board Game

I also got some Battlelore stuff from Santa that I picked up at Fantasy Flight’s black Friday sale and we also got in a few rare games of Middle Earth Quest.  In short, we have a lot to play and I should have a lot to report here soon.

Legends of Andor Review

I love cooperative games, especially when playing with my son and we have a lot of fun.  I’m also a big fan of Fantasy Flight games so that’s why I really found this  Legends of Andor board game review interesting.   Legends of Andor comes with five scenarios and my guess is, if the game does well, you’ll see some expansions.  The map looks cool although I’m not really crazy about the cardboard stand up creatures although this is the way they went with the Lord of the Rings Board Game in their more recent revision.

I’ve seen Fantasy Flight games at Target here in the Detroit, MI area.  I wonder if we’ll see this one pop up at a retail store.  This game looks great although the price point ($60 on the website) is a bit high for my tastes.