I had the opportunity to play the latest iteration of Nightfall on the day it hit our UK shores so I thought I'd pass on my impressions. If you've not played Nightfall it can best be described as the result of a mad professor's experiment to create a hybrid of Dominion and Magic. Nightfall creates a world of vampires, werewolves, hunters and ghouls similar to that of White Wolf's World of Darkness or the Underworld films and is a deck building game which involves using your undead minions to attack other players. Each successful attack results in the victim adding a wound card to their deck and at the end of the game the player with the least wounds wins. There's also a fancy chain mechanic that happens when you draft cards into play and allows you to play a stream of chained actions which your opponents can then continue. At first glass it’s a complicated game and it takes a game or two for the chain mechanic to sink in.
One of the great things about Dominion (and indeed all deck building games) is the ease in which they can be expanded by simply adding new cards. Dominion has a range of large expansions that add many kingdom cards to the base game. There are also a range of promo cards that can individually be added. The promo cards can’t be bought in your local game shop. Generally they are given to shops and distributers to give to their customers as they see fit. If you’re lucky your friendly local game shop will give you these promo cards if you buy from their shop. If you’re not so lucky you can buy these promo cards from the BoardGameGeek store or eBay, and they cost next to nothing.

In my introduction to Kickstarter post I remarked that a downside of Kickstarter was its US focus and that it leaves us Brits out. What I didn't realise at the time is that crowdfunding in the UK is illegal! Its all down to protecting the investor from rip-off merchants and is explained better here and there is an even better explanation in this pdf:
Why can’t I just go out and raise the capital I need?
The law starts from the premise that the ordinary person in the street deserves to be protected from people offering investments, and in particular shares, for sale to them. The logic is, that these sorts of investments often require relatively significant sums of money and further that is it not easy for an investor to know at first glance what constitutes a „good‟ investment. The law therefore is very
prescriptive about what you can do to raise investment.

Well the UKIE are currently lobbying the government to change their minds after the rather stonking success of Double Fine Adventure. This may be all about video games but it will have a knock on effect on the world of board games.

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Every so often a mechanic comes along that takes the gaming world by storm and in 2008 Dominion introduced the concept of deck building. This is a mechanic whereby players start with a small deck of cards and add to this deck by acquiring cards that all have new abilities and effects. Deck building is now everywhere and has become a game genre of its own so let’s have a look at the pioneer in this field.

We love Arkham Horror. We love the struggle against the Great Old Ones, the theme filled cards and the deep game. What we don't like is the faff. The game takes ages to set up, it's full of counters and cards and confusing rules.
Well fear not as an unofficial computer version is currently being developed. It's currently in beta stage and when testing is complete the makers are going to approach Fantasy Flight to make it legit. So far the it looks extremely faithful to the board game.

For more information check out the youtube page.

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Vying for your hard earned pennies this month is Viva Java, a board game about growing coffee.
In the maker's own words:
In VivaJava, players send their researchers to hot spots around the globe to gather the perfect bean. This may bring them into contact with other players who are also on the hunt, creating a crucial choice: Go it alone and continue to research, or join forces with that opponent, hoping to combine beans from both player's bags and share the score with a superblend. Going it alone with research can often prove useful as players spend time in the lab developing abilities that grant them an advantage. However, in VivaJava the bold taste of victory will go only to those players who are able to balance solitary research with cooperation amongst their fellow gamers.
Why should I back it?
Because it is being produced by Dice Hate Me Games, the makers of Carnival, a previously successful Kickstarter who have experience making and shipping projects. Also the game has a high level of sheen, the product looks good and the game mechanics of joining forces or going alone looks interesting.

Why should I hold onto my money?
It all depends if you can get excited by a game about growing and selling coffee. Also, if you’re outside the US, $80 (around £50) can be quite a high pledge to get a copy of the game. And the game won’t be shipped in a coffee tin.

Viva Java has already met its project goal of $15,000.
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