Carcassonne news from UK Games Expo

It’s the last day of the UK Games Expo 2015 here at the Birmingham Metropole and I have just walked out of a seminar in the success of Carcassonne.

I hoping to share photos with you. However, as there were prototypes on display it was forbidden.
I can tell that there are 3 stand alone Carcassonne games due to be released this year. The largest of which. is Star Wars!

Disney control much of the look feel of the game, but Klaus-Jurgen had complete control of the rules. It’s the familiar tile laying placement of Carcassonne only with dice based battles along flight paths (roads) and planets. Will it retain the iconic meeple piece or have a trademarked ship/token? We’ll have to wait and see!

The second game shown has a working title of ‘across country’ and is aimed at family market. The background is countryside and you build fields instead of cities. Each field can grow a crop and you get bonus points for growing all five types. Also there is a new mechanic where meeples move along roads as you build them.

The third one shown was the ONLY prototype in existence as it was hands drawn by the designer himself. Amazonas starts with one large river tile and you place tiles to extend it, build villages along side, form tributary rivers and move boats around docks.

It’s great that there are still fresh ideas in the Carcassonne family as it celebrates 15 years next year. The audience was very keen to have Germany’s famous ‘Carcassonne on tour’ at the expo next year when it upscales to be in the NEC. It may well come to pass!

Watch this space as this Carcassonne fan-boy will be sure to tell you!

Days of Asmodee

Ticket to Wonders?

In a move which surprised many, Asmodee announced last week that, although referring to it as a merger, they have essentially bought out Days of Wonder (DoW).

asmodee logo2So should we be worried about this conglomerate reducing the gaming diversity? Almost certainly not. Asmodee, the publishers, are actually a part of the Asmodee group – who are also game distributors and have had a relationship with DoW’ since its inception in 2002. It’s hoped that the acquisition will strengthen this partnership rather than absorb it. Essentially Asmodee will benefit from the US market which DoW enjoys.



DoW logoShould we be concerned about our beloved titles being discontinued or, at least not being supported with expansions or later editions? Again almost certainly not. It is the stated intention of the group to maintain the two separate publishing and development houses but merely operate under the single umbrella. DoW have several strong titles – Ticket to Ride, Small World and Memoir 44 to name 3 titles spawning a series of games. This is part of what made DoW a desirable acquisition and there would be no logical reason to not capitalise on this investment.


small world 2 appIf they needed yet another selling point then DoW has been leading the way in the digital realm. Once again their flagship Ticket to Ride performs extremely well as a board game app and is frequently in the top-lists. Furthermore the Kickstarter campaign for the Small World 2 app more than doubled its target funding and went on to produce an excellent product which also has strong sales and supports and active community of players. It’s no wonder that Mark Kaufmann, one of the two DoW founders is quoted as saying “As they [Asmodee] expand into the digital realm, they feel that our digital design team will be a key asset.”


7 wondersGenerally the feeling is very positive regarding this merger with the only area for concern being that the DoW founders Kaufmann and Hautemont will only stay with DoW for an unspecified transition period. Whilst the company was built on their ethos of providing family friendly gaming of a premium quality at a reasonable price, once again there is no reason to think this should change. Asmodee have a track record in providing much the same thing with titles like 7 Wonders and Dixit, just with a stronger European foothold.


It is more than likely that we consumers will notice very little change, if any at all.

Zombie 15 a 90 second review

John races through, tripping and stumbling along the way in an adrenaline filled panic… and that’s merely his review. Imagine how bad it would be if he actually was one of the characters in the new release from iello games – Zombie 15′

Zombie 15′ is actually the Kickstarter campaign I wrote this soapbox piece about. As you can tell by the fact that I already have my copy, I did change my mind and indeed backed the project.

Zombie 15 plastic figures

Teens face The Horde

Zombie 15′ takes the best elements of co-operative play and of real-time gaming and smooshes them together very effectively. It avoids usual dominant player problem which most co-ops suffer, simply by not providing time to discuss it. Even so, you can’t just play your own game and hope for the best. Our failed attempts so far were purely because someone is left on a tile alone (getting greedy whilst searching) and the Horde showed up. Almost every play has led to loud laughter and each of us frantically impelling the others to make a damn choice! With surging adrenalin the pay-offs are invigorating and the failures are inspiring. – Read More –

Kickstarters Anonymous

Welcome to our first meeting everyone. This is a safe place. A place to talk about our Kickstarter addiction.

We’ve all been there; you back a project, and then feverishly check your emails for those beautiful project updates. Stretch goals! Free stuff! It’s a wonderful time. But then the delays come. ‘Manufacturing problems’, ‘delayed shipping’, ‘my business partner stole all my money’ (seriously, this happened on a project I backed).

So let’s share some gaming projects! Projects we’ve backed, projects we love, projects that have let us down in spectacular ways. I’ll begin with some I’m backing at the moment. – Read More –

Fox and Chicken – Jona’s Bargain Basement Review

We return to Jona’s Bargain Basement to be shown the cracking game of cunning that is Fox and Chicken

It’s quiet down there, all too quiet is something hiding down there? Should you be afraid of it, or should it fear you? Will you crack under the pressure or slyly have a tasty meal?

Jona’s Bargain Basement is here to discuss games which may appeal to the budget conscious among us or those who just love a bargain.

So pull up a crate, camping chair or over-turn a bucket and prepare to learn about Fox and Chicken

TSCHAK! – Jona’s Bargain Basement Review

Jona’s Bargain Basement opens it’s doors for the first time and takes a look at the Swiss monster fighting card game with an interesting mechanic that is TSCHAK!

The door creaks open, the light plinks into life and dank steps stretch out before you. Strange sounds are emanating from the room below, hushed tones and shuffling noises… wait, did you just hear a monster? Well yes, you did and if you can summon the courage to venture down there Jona will tell you all about them!

Jona’s Bargain Basement is here to discuss games which may appeal to the budget conscious among us or those who just love a bargain.

So pull up a crate, camping chair or over-turn a bucket and prepare to learn about TSCHAK!

Soapbox: Kickstarter Exclusives

Are Kickstarter campaigns with one-shot exclusives creating a two-tier gaming community? Those who have the regular games and the “Kickstarter elite” who can afford both the time and the money that the higher tiers require? Is this even a problem? Our very own John shares his views:

What follows are my reflections on my changing opinion as a direct result of interacting with some of our followers on Facebook.

On the FATB Facebook page I expressed minor disappointment with a Kickstarter campaign by an established publisher. It related to a fully developed game which would be published regardless of crowd funding and no content was exclusive to Kickstarter. Essentially the campaign was a way of ensuring pre-orders and recouping development costs as quickly as possible. I expressed that whilst I didn’t think this was ‘wrong’, it wasn’t in the spirit of Kickstarter.

– Read More –

King of Tokyo Halloween – 90 Second review

John makes a really simple Halloween snack and reviews King Of Tokyo Halloween.

This was intended to be uploaded for Halloween, but I’m not only famous for being hated by dice, but also for being late!

I’ve decided to add in some random additional content before the reviews. In this instalment I show you how to make the ridiculously simply Mummy Fingers using hot dog sausages. Then we dive right into the 90 second review for the King of Tokyo Halloween collectors pack.

These snacks are delicious at any time and I hope the reviews are usually satisfying.

Let us know what you think

Click here for the original King of Tokyo 90 Second review


First Impressions: Doom

Well that was a fun evening. Only part way through our first campaign of Doom and I am really enjoying myself. Three (totally badass) marines vs the (frankly hideous) Invaders and until the last round we appeared to be surviving quite well. This, despite the fact that at one point Clichegoth somehow managed to expend his ammo without actually firing his gun! (Poor guy – the dice really do hate him).

– Read More –

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