It’s that time of year again when I take a look at some of my highlights from the past twelve months, featuring games new and old that we’ve been playing and reckon you should too.
Oh, and thanks to our awesome sponsors you can win yourself a whole truck load of goodies! Huge thanks to Asmodee UK, Mantic Games, Hasbro UK, Gibson’s Games & Puzzles, Da Scrapyard Ork, Rise From Resin, Top-Hatted Hamster and Brutal Cities.
We’ve also teamed up with our favourite online gaming retailers. Our old chums at Mighty Lancer Games are giving EVERYONE 5% off orders over £75 with code RC5P at checkout when using our referral code. Alternatively, you can check out the fine folk at Element Games, who will give you double reward points on all purchases using the code SAM4132.
We really are good to you this season.
FOR MINIATURE GAMERS…
DEADZONE – SCI-FI SKIRMISH (AVAILABLE HERE)
I’m a sucker for a big self-contained box of STUFF and Deadzone 3rd Edition is packed to the gills. Loads of great multi-part plastics, tremendous terrain – everything you need to play, ready to hit the table between dinner and desert. Highly accessible, streamlined and a whole lot of fun, and we’ve got a copy of it in our Xmas giveaway too. You can read our full review HERE.
MOONSTONE – FANTASY SKIRMISH (AVAILABLE HERE)
If you’re more of a fan of whimsical fantasy, Labyrinth or unusual card-driven mechanics, Moonstone’s the game for you. The miniatures are stunning but, as resin, are more of a challenge. The game is a bit more challenging, but still suitable for 13+, and again it’s a fast, self-contained game. Innovative bluffing mechanics and an emphasis on narrative play make for winning combination. You can read our full review HERE.
MARVEL CRISIS PROTOCOL – SUPERHERO SKIRMISH (AVAILABLE HERE)
Now we’d previously held off getting into MCP but really… it was inevitable. The core box is massive and gives you a wealth of iconic supers to play with at a very reasonable price. Granted, other models in the range can be pricey but as long as you focus only the characters you want to play with you’ll be fine (um…) Or you can just win our giant MCP bundle ;) You can read our full review HERE.
FOR KAIJU-CRAZY SPORTS FANS…
OVERDRIVE (AVAILABLE HERE)
It’s actually unfair to limit it to Sports Fans – as I’m really, really not. Combining elements of wrestling, speedball and board gaming, Overdrive is fantastically over-the-top sci-fi sports game of murder, mayhem and monsters. You take on the role of a coach, jostling for sponsorship and trying to draft the best 3-man (well…) team to take down your rival.
Having been involved with this since its inception as a playtester, I freely admit to being totally biased towards this brilliant evolution of Mantic’s Dreadball, and you should be too. And hey, there’s one in the prize pool too! You can read our full review HERE.
FOR FANTASY FANS…
DESCENT: LEGENDS OF THE DARK (AVAILABLE HERE)
The new edition of Descent is – let’s get this out in the open – massive. Seriously, the box is the size of a small child.
It’s undoubtedly an investment but, unlike most “lifestyle games” you get absolutely everything in the box: extremely high quality plastic miniatures, piles of modular heavy-cardstock scenery, tokens and cards all with clever organisers and card sleeves. It’s a complete product, which totally justifies the price. If you’ve played Imperial Assault, the core game engine is the same, and the app-driven experience turns this into a light roleplaying game – which is not a criticism, but rather, a real bonus.
With at least 50hrs of digital gameplay included, never mind the amount of time you can spend “crafting” new items and shopping in the various towns and villages, it’s an absorbing, immersive experience that we’ve quickly fallen head-first into as a family. Whilst there are notional similarities with games such as Gloomhaven, we found this far more satisfying to play both with the quality of the models, the lack of legacy components and not being dependent on a map book.
It’s an absolute winner and highly, highly recommended irrespective of price (though you can get it for the far more palatable £135 from our chums at Magic Madhouse.)
FOR HORROR FANS…
UNFATHOMABLE (AVAILABLE HERE)
I must say I was very excited when I heard about the latest offering in FFG’s Arkham Horror line. Unfathomable is a reskin of the excellent (if infuriating) Battlestar Galatica game, where you have to figure out which player is the cylon agent aboard the ship.
Here, the action is in familiar Lovecraftian territory, sailing across the Atlantic in a steam ship whilst trying to avoid being eating by nameless horrors as one play secretly pursues their agenda to sacrifice everyone to the Deep!
Streamlining the rules from Galatica, and drawing on some of the best puzzle elements from other Arkham Horror games (Elder Sign, I’m looking at you), this plays like a very grown-up game of Cluedo with a real atmosphere of creeping terror.
MARVEL CHAMPIONS THE CARD GAME (AVAILABLE HERE)
Another game that we’ve really enjoyed this year is Marvel Champions LCG. As a card game, it’s more accessible for casual or novice gamers, and as a co-operative game (though it can be played solo), it’s often a less stressful experience as a family! With a wealth of iconic Marvel heroes in both the core set and as expansions, with numerous story-driven adventure and campaign packs, there’s something for every Marvel fan here (and we’ve even stuck a wee themed treat into the giveaway). You can read our full review HERE.
FOR COMPUTER GAMERS…
WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WRATH OF THE LICH KING (AVAILABLE HERE)
It’s quite telling that Ceej, our lord, master and site editor, was more excited about this than anything else in the bundles. A reskin of the massive hit that is Pandemic, this (slightly streamlined) version of the game puts the players right back into WoW, as the undead plagues of the Lich King threaten to overwhelm the land.
It’s a clever twist on the genre, and in some ways more entertaining that some of the raft of Pandemic spin-offs that we’ve seen over the last 18 months or so (can’t think why); it’s up there with Legacy and Contagion as among the best “versions” of the game.
BOSS MONSTER (AVAILABLE HERE)
There’s nothing new about Boss Monster – it’s a game I’ve been a fan of since it first came out – but we’ve recently rediscovered as a family after the elder spawn got it for his birthday. Taking on the role of 8-bit baddies, you build your dungeon to lure unsuspecting heroes to their doom to prove you’re the biggest, baddest boss of them all.
With gloriously retro pixel art (packaged in a classic NES box), deceptively simple card mechanics and quick play-time, it’s a real hit; expansions, in gameboy boxes, add in new gear for heroes to bring (and you to steal) and up to 6 players with invasion of arcade aliens!
A great stocking stuffer for gamers of all ages, and there’s a copy in the prize stack too.
FOR THE RETRO TOY NUT…
TRANSFORMERS: BEAST WARS (AVAILABLE HERE)
Over the last few months you may have seen we’ve started to look at the recent Beast Wars re-releases and redesigns from Hasbro, and there are some absolute gems in there.
Let me say straight out that I have ZERO affection for Beast Wars (too old) but even I think there’s some outstanding toys in the line-up, from the cracking T-Rex Megatron (I know, I know) to the stunning, Battle of The Planets inspired Airrazor.
You can read the elder spawn’s excellent reviews of them HERE, but you can also win yourself a huge variety of toys in our giveaway, with Transformers in every single prize bundle thanks to Jas and the amazing team at Hasbro UK.
FOR THE GADGET GEEK…
STAR WARS D-O: APP-CONTROLLED DRIOD (AVAILABLE HERE)
Now when I heard Hasbro were sending us a remote-controlled D-O, I assumed it was a cheap little whizzy thing we would mostly use to annoy the dog.
Oh my no.
This a brilliant, app-controlled gadget has a self-balancing wheel, multiple modes of play, moving head and antennas, and features light-up LED eyes, sound effects and more. It’s cute and undeniably crazy, and can sit happily charging in its USB docking station without getting in the way (and, let’s face it, it’ll also drive the dog bonkers).
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY…
These are the games that got the 5 of us through our summer holiday without murdering one another.
Honeycombs an astonishingly simple and fiendishly addictive game that works whether you’re five, fourteen or in your 40s. Matching symbols on hexagonal tiles, you race to get the most and be(e) the queen of the hive. It’s a rare game that can be played fairly at any age, and it’s a winner every time it comes out at ours.
Quirk seems like it should be far too simple, a straightforward card-matching game – but it rapidly turns into hilarious, noisy, nonsense-filled chaos! Again, Gibson’s show that they make the most amazing all-age games out there.
Check out our full review here of both games HERE.
And if that’s not enough, we’ve also got a copy of the great Crystal Hall for you as well, a great entry-level family board game in which you play young wizards trying to beat each other to magical treasure and trick, trap and zap your way to victory! So thanks to the lovely folk at Gibson’s, you can win a copy of each too!
FOR WHEN YOU’VE RUN OUT OF IDEAS OF WHAT TO GET THEM…
Custom Geeky Goodies: Da Scrapyard Ork (CLICK HERE)
Here’s a simple fact: you never have enough dice. Luckily, Da Scrapyard Ork has you sorted, with a huge range of custom dice to choose from. Whilst there’s a definite Warhammer / 40k bias (and trust me, you will make their holiday with a set of custom faction dice), there are many others to choose from. My particular favourite is the 2000AD Judge badge dice, with customisable text. A great small business to support, and our winners will all get a 10% discount code for the webstore too!
Gaming Scenery: Brutal Cities (CLICK HERE)
I’m delighted that this brutalist, architectural scenery is now available in the UK! By far the easiest MDF terrain you’ll ever build thanks to architecturally-precise tolerances, Brutal Cities are fit for any gaming table, though especially modern and near-future gaming (however – #spoileralert – fantasy terrain is coming…) You can read our review here and our winners will all get a voucher to spend in the online store.
Printable Miniatures from Rise from Resin (CLICK HERE)
Resin printing may not have completely taken over the hobby completely but it’s certainly transformed what you can design, create, and customise. One of the UK’s best places to get your miniatures printed are the fine folk at Rise from Resin, with a huge range to choose from (and brilliant customer service to boot). We’re lucky enough to have a £50 voucher to give away BUT as if that’s not enough, EVERYONE who enters can use the code Big Comic on riseforresin.co.uk for 10% discount on orders. Check out the site and see what glories there are to behold!
Soooooo what have we got in the prize pool for you? Well with over £600 of goodies, we thought we’d do not one but 3 giveaways!
So, there are 3 prize bundles available, and to enter, all you need to do is comment below with which bundle you’d most like to win, and which item from it you’re most excited about!
But that’s not all! Because each prize winner will also get a unique 10% discount code for custom dice from Da Scrapyard Ork, $20 credit at Brutal Cities and a 10% discount code for Top Hatted Hamster!
Now… let’s check out those bundles!
– Marvel Crisis Protocol: Mordo & Ancient One
– Marvel Crisis Protocol: Doctor Voodoo & Hood
– Marvel Crisis Protocol: Sanctum Sanctorum Terrain
– Mantic – Overdrive boxed game
– Transformers Beast Wars: Rat-Trap
– Gibson’s Quirk
– Rise from Resin £50 voucher
– Marvel Champions: playmat
– Boss Monster
– Radio controlled Star wars D-0
– Transformers Beast Wars: Optimus Primal
– Transformers: Huffer
– Gibson’s Honeycombs
– Mantic – Deadzone 3rd edition Box set
– Pandemic: World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
– D20 shaped Plush Dice Bag
– Transformers Beast Wars: T-Rex Megatron
– Transformers Beast Wars: Airrazor
– Gibson’s Crystal Hall
I mean I know we’re good to you, but this is getting ridiculous. Tsk.
How do you win? Simply like/follow our social media channels (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram) – so many entrants forget to do this – and comment below with which bundle you’d like to win (UK only, unless you’re willing to pay postage, which could get ridiculous frankly).
We also love a share to your social media channels – don’t forget to tag us on Instagram/Twitter @bigcomicpage! Every social media share gets you an extra entry (as long as you tag us so we know!) You can also get a bonus entry (or 2) by following me or the spawn on Instagram (insta.graven and brickbuiltdengar) because, frankly, we’re shameless attention seekers.
We’re giving you plenty of time to think like and share about this one – we’ll announce the winners over the New Year’s Weekend (remember you must claim your prize within 30 days).
Good luck and keep on GEEKING OUT!