Today I thought I’d take the time to discuss some particularly cool material that you’ll be seeing on the blog in the coming months.
Exclusive UK Distributor… 247 Toys…
Whilst I was at the UK Games Expo 2014 I met up with Brendan Taylor of 247 Toys. If you’ve played and enjoyed any Gale Force Nine (GF9) board games here in the UK then, as the exclusive UK distributer, you have 247 Toys to thank for that. Brendan and I spent some time chatting about the current line-up, and then moved on to the games that are in development at the moment. There’s some real treats in-store for gamers this year so I thought I’d take the time to write about what looks to be a plethora of great titles heading our way.
The Competition… Just Got Serious!!!
When it comes to movie and TV tie-in games I often think of Cryptozoic Games, in my mind they’ve been the leaders in that sector for quite some time. Unfortunately, for me, some of their games have been somewhat lacking in depth. In recent months though there’s been a new kid on the block, a new kid with great ideas and awesome licenses, a new kid called GF9!
Before we go any further I want to state that I’m not saying that Cryptozoic don’t produce good games, I’m just saying that in general I personally am not a fan of them. I very much enjoy a quick game of Gravwell, Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at MT. Skullzfyre, and Assassin’s Creed: Arena. However, despite loving the subject matter, their DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, Enders Game, Walking Dead and Penny Arcade games do absolutely nothing for me.
With that cleared up I wanted to say a little bit about the two existing Gale Force Nine titles; Spartacus and Firefly before going on to talk about what I know about the other GF9/247 Toys releases coming our way.
I’m Spartacus!!! No I’m Spartacus!!!
Spartacus, or should we say “Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery”, was released back in 2012 and it’s probably fair to say it took many game reviewers by surprise. It released with an extremely reasonable price tag and, despite scepticism, set a high bar for all future tie-in titles.
In the words of GF9, Spartacus is:
“An exciting game of twisted schemes and bloody combats inspired by the hit STARZ Original series. Players assume the role of the Dominus of a great house competing for influence in the era of ancient Rome. Players vie for dominance through careful diplomacy, cunning intrigues and the glory of the Arena. Undermine the machinations of rivals, leverage your wealth for advantage at market and pit your gladiators”
I played this shortly after it hit the shelves here in the UK and was won over after only one play. There’s a lot of randomness involved, with dice strings and card draws aplenty, but even if you don’t know the license there’s just so much to like about this game. Each time you play you’ll find yourself wondering what your opponent will do next. Will they seize power and invite you to face off with a goliath in the arena only to execute you for your poor performance in combat? You just don’t know!
Spartacus proved to be a massive success and cemented GF9 as a publisher to watch out for. With a growing fan-base the company produced “The Serpents and the Wolf” expansion and a set of promotional cards that they later made available on their site for those who didn’t manage to obtain them during the pre-order phase.
It’s a fun game that’s fairly simple to learn and will really appeal to anyone who wants a bit of backstabbery in their lives. To keep up to date on the latest announcements for Spartacus, pay a visit and Like the 247 Toys Spartacus Facebook page.
We’re gonna explode??? I don’t wanna explode!!!
For those of you who are wondering what the title of this section is all about, it’s a quote from Jayne Cobb one of my favourite characters on the TV show Firefly. Gale Force Nine got the rights to produce the board game and worked fervently to develop a title that any Firefly fan would love to own. The initial UK release came with a bonus set of cards called the Big Damn Heroes, the Artful Dodger ship and its associated player board. These were only available to the US market as a promotional item and were well received by fans across the UK.
The game finally launched here in England just in time for Christmas 2013. This initial release was followed rapidly by the release of a small card-based expansion called Breakin Atmo and has more recently been expanded by the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion.
GF9 also released two promotional cards called Wash’s Lucky Dinosaurs and Mal’s Pretty Floral Bonnet that were distributed at shows and via their Web site. Quite excitingly for those who missed out on any of the promotional materials; the latest release for the game is a very reasonably priced (£6.99) character pack that contains all of the promotional cards released to date. Prior to the release of the pack, Mal’s Pretty Floral Bonnet had been selling on Ebay for around £23 so it’s a great price even if you only need one of the promo cards!
A quick search of BoardGameGeek and the GF9 Web site reveals that another new expansion has been announced for release some time later in 2014. I believe it was estimated at some time in September but I have no hard date for that. The expansion, named Blue Sun, looks to be the first of the Map expansions. I say first, because I’ve heard rumours that there will be a total of eight expansions for this license and the Breaking Atmo booster and the Character Pack don’t count towards that total. It seems to me that GF9 have big plans for Firefly and I for one will be looking forward to seeing where they can take us.
For those of you who’ve been reading the blog for a while now, you might recall that Paul reviewed Firefly way back in February. Over the coming weeks I’ll be revisiting this title, giving my own take on it, and looking at what the Pirates and Bounty Hunters expansion has to offer!
To keep up to date on the latest announcements for Firefly: The Board Game, pay a visit and Like the 247 Toys Firefly Facebook page.
Sons of Anarchy… The Board Game…
Now that we’ve taken a look at the current releases it’s time to move on to the newer, soon to be released titles. Or should I say, the one’s you’ve all been waiting for!
First up, and available for pre-order from the GamesQuest store, hit US show Sons of Anarchy looks like it’s going to be another licensing success for GF9.
With the last season of the show airing in the US very soon, the release of the game is extremely timely and it looks to reflect the feel of the show quite well:
“In Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem players control rival clubs, competing to be the most successful outlaw club. Each turn, players choose what sites of interest to fight for and what territories to yield. Negotiate, threaten and ally with rival clubs when it serves your needs but be wary of the inevitable knife in the back. The club with the most cash at the end wins.”
That certainly sounds like a whole barrel of fun to me, a game filled with treachery will always get my vote and after watching the following trailer I’m quite excited to get my hands on a copy as soon as I can!
Hopefully I’ll get to review Sons of Anarchy in the not too distant future so keep your eyes peeled for a post hitting the blog to find out how the game plays, what I liked about it and what backstabbing mischief I got up to.
To keep up to date on the latest announcements for Sons of Anarchy, pay a visit and Like the 247 Toys Sons of Anarchy Facebook page.
Please Sir… Can I Have Some More???
More you say? Of course you can have some more! How does Black Sails, Homeland and Family Guy suit you? Well I can tell you, it suits me just fine!
At the moment there’s not much information out there about these titles other than the fact that they’re confirmed licenses that GF9 and 247 Toys will be bringing to the UK in the not too distant future.
Despite the lack of information out there, I’m personally very intrigued to see what GF9 will do with the Homeland title! As a fan of the show I think there’s great scope for good old fashioned traitor mechanic like that of Battlestar Gallactica or The Resistance!
That’s pure speculation on my part of course, but I can just imagine a bit of social deduction with a cast of Nicholas Brody, Carrie Mathison, Saul Berenson, David Estes, Virgil and Dar Adal. Awesome!
As more information comes through about these three awesome titles I’ll update everyone via the blog or through the twitter account. If you haven’t already done so then please follow us @GamesQuest because I’ll be tweeting regular updates on all things gaming over the coming months and we might even be running a competition via twitter.
If you want information about these titles direct from 247 Toys then you can also Like the 247 Toys Facebook pages for Black Sails, Homeland and Family Guy.
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Driven Instructional Designer by day, board game fanatic by night! Tom has a long background in eLearning design and is a strong believer that story and narrative are crucial to creating excellent learning and gaming experiences. A passionate blogger, game reviewer and play tester, he enjoys spending his time playing games of all genres.