Other Buzz: Looking Ahead to 2013

So, what’s coming up in 2013 that I’m looking forward to?

  • Kickstarter – I’m kind of done with Kickstarter.  There’s all this hype surrounding new games that don’t come out for months and months after they are funded.  Take Kings of Air and Steam for example – the campaign ended on December 14 of 2011, and the game still has been released.  And yet, it’s still proving to be a force in the industry with more and more small publishers (as well as some of the big ones) using the service as either a way to raise capital or a preorder system.  Two games in the last year (Ogre and Sedition Wars) crossed the $900,000 mark, so it’s probably only a matter of time before someone hits a million.  We also saw the rise of stretch goals, overfunding extras to keep people interested after the project has fully funded.  While I personally am not really a Kickstarter fan, I’m interested to see the direction the service takes in the next year.
  • Superhero Games – Sentinels of the Multiverse ushered in the era of superhero games, and the success of Marvel Legendary is telling us that the genre is finally ripe for some good games.  I don’t know if made up superheroes or licensed ones will dominate 2013, but I do know there are a couple of Batman themed games in the pipeline.  Midnight Men is a made up superhero game that was on my list last year, and looks like it may actually be coming out from Z-Man in 2013.  So we’ll see, but I think that superheroes are on the rise in the board game world.  Hopefully, zombies are on the way out.  But I doubt it.
  • Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts – RFTG was a great card game from Thomas Lehmann that has so far spawned three expansions.  Alien Artifcats is a new expansion that is, apparently, incompatible with the last three.  I liked The Gathering Storm, was unimpressed with Rebel vs. Imperium, and did not play The Brink of War.  It all seemed to get overly convoluted.  I am interested to see the new direction the franchise will take.  This was on my list last year too, so we’ll see if it actually comes out.
  • Roll for the Galaxy – Speaking of RFTG, a new dice game based in the same universe is coming out from Rio Grande.  I first heard about it when some people reported playing it at the Gathering of Friends a couple of years ago.  I’ve been keeping my eye out, and it looks like it’s finally coming out.  I know next to nothing about it, but from the positive buzz around the prototype, I’m looking forward to seeing what it will be.
  • The Battle of Five Armies – One of the biggest and most popular Tolkien games is War of the Ring.  The designers are coming out, in 2013, with The Battle of Five Armies, based on the end of The Hobbit.  I’ve never played WotR, but love The Hobbit (maybe even more than the LotR) and look forward to seeing what they do with it.  I’m sure the new movies will inspire a lot more Tolkien stuff in coming years.
  • City of Remnants – Plaid Hat Games is one of the most interesting small companies out there.  They started with one very strong property (Summoner Wars), then started adding a game a year.  In 2013, however, it seems like there will be more.  City of Remnants, a sci-fi post-apocalyptic type game, is there first one.  They have Bioshock Infinite coming out later in the year as well, which is especially interesting since it’s a licensed property.  After the success of Mice and Mystics, their stock is on the rise.
  • Dark Darker Darkest – David Ausloos had a hit, though slightly controversial, with Panic Station.  He has a zombie game called Dark Darker Darkest coming out in 2013.  It promises to be another intense cooperative game, and I’m watching it.  I think zombies are pretty much played out, so we’ll see how this one does.
  • Pirates vs. Dinosaurs – I’ve been watching this Richard Launius game from Jolly Roger for a while, primarily because of the wacky theme.  It’s currently on Kickstarter, which is disappointing, but I still want to see how it does.
  • Rialto – Stefan Feld is the hotness among Euro designers right now, and Rialto is his most recent title.  I’m not getting a sense of the theme (sounds like a trading in Venice game, which is sure to irritate Tom Vasel), but it’s Feld, so it should be pretty interesting mechanically.
  • Dominion: Guilds – The final planned expansion for Dominion should be coming out in the spring.  We’ll see if that’s actually the end – I have a feeling Rio Grande may start tinkering with the system without Donald X. Vaccarino.
  • Wok Star – This game was self-published and released at Origins a few years ago.  It subsequently go picked up by Z-Man Games, and has been in development limbo ever since.  Tim Fowers, the designer, recently announced that Z-Man would not be publishing the game and that it would be going up on Kickstarter soon (sigh).  I am excited to see the game back in print – I played once and loved it.

Looking back on what I was looking forward to in 2012 – Galaxy Trucker: Another Big Expansion is finally out (though not in English yet); Merchant of Venus was resolved with Fantasy Flight and Stronghold co-producing; Fantasy Flight continues to churn out the reprints; X-Wing came out to rave reviews, while the Star Wars LCG has been a bit more tepid; 7 Wonders: Cities, 1989, Briefcase, and Chicken Caesar have all been released, though I haven’t played any of them; and I’ve thoroughly been enjoying iOS games.

For the blog, I plan on continuing to look at upcoming games, though I may try to do a few more reviews and possibly some session reporting.  I had fun doing the ABCs, and initially had planned to do a second volume, but I’m putting that on the backburner for now.  I have a new series starting up on the 11th, so check back in to see that.

Thanks, everyone, for reading the blog.  Feel free to chime in to let me know what you’re looking forward to in 2013.

PS: Can’t believe I forgot about Blood Bowl: Team Manager – Sudden Death.  An expansion with new teams for one of my favorite games of the last couple of years?  Count me in.

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