Category Archives: Games

Gen Con Releases a New Statement Concerning Indiana’s SB 101

We’ve been covering Gen Con‘s reaction to SB 101, the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” Gen Con, which threatened to leave the state if passed, has issued a new statement about the legislation being signed into law calling the decision “disappointing,” and “not unexpected.”

The short version, the convention has a contract to stay in Indianapolis until 2020, however bidding on where the convention will head after that begins about 5 years out, so in other words, within the next year.

The convention said in the mean time, they will focus on inclusion and fun. They have also want to hear about any positive or negative experiences with local hospitality during the convention, and will solicit feedback from the community about their experiences.

We stand behind the convention fully, and are proud they have stood up for inclusion and against bigotry.

You can read the full letter below.

GEN_Con_SB_101_Follow_Up

With SB 101 Signed, What Will Gen Con Do? Follow Salesforce?

Gen_Con_LetterOn Tuesday we brought you the news that Gen Con, the four day gaming convention (and one of my favorite conventions of the year) sent a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence warning the convention may leave the state if SB 101, the supposed “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” was singed into law. The convention, as many else also feel, felt the legislation is discriminatory, and would “allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees.”

The Governor is so proud of the bill, he signed it into law in a private ceremony. Indiana becomes the first state this year to enact such legislation out of the dozen or so states in which similar proposals have been introduced.

The fallout from the legislation signing was quick and fierce. Salesforce, on the the top software as a service companies out there, has decided to “dramatically reduce” their investment in Indiana. The CEO of the company Marc Benioff said in a series of Tweets:

gen-con-logoGen Con isn’t the only convention to take place in the state. Awesome Con expanded this year to host a convention in Indianapolis as well. We’ve reached out to both conventions for further comment as to their plans or reactions, but have not heard back as we went to press.

Geek conventions don’t have the best record when it comes to these things. In 2010, Arizona signed into law SB 1070 which some say unfairly targets Latinos, and is a violation of the civil rights of all Arizonans. Boycotts of the state due to the law cost the state over $141 million in 2010. Announced in 2010, but launched in 2011, the Amazing Arizona Comic Con was launched, though calls for boycotts were still in full effect. We questioned the choice of not just the convention, but those attending and supporting it. Companies who “champion” diversity and inclusion, and “pushing comics forward” have had no issues pumping money into the economy of a state which clearly cares little of these things. Though, in fairness, Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill similar to the one Gov. Pence just signed into law. So, they just dislike people of darker skin there, but homosexuals are ok.

We’ll keep on this story as Gen Con has promised a follow up letter today. The convention in 2011 committed to stay in Indianapolis until 2020.

Pence released the below statement after signing the pill into law:

Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith.

The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.

One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.

Fortunately, in the 1990s Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—limiting government action that would infringe upon religion to only those that did not substantially burden free exercise of religion absent a compelling state interest and in the least restrictive means.

Last year the Supreme Court of the United States upheld religious liberty in the Hobby Lobby case based on the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but that act does not apply to individual states or local government action. At present, nineteen states—including our neighbors in Illinois and Kentucky—have adopted Religious Freedom Restoration statutes. And in eleven additional states, the courts have interpreted their constitutions to provide a heightened standard for reviewing government action.

In order to ensure that religious liberty is fully protected under Indiana law, this year our General Assembly joined those 30 states and the federal government to enshrine these principles in Indiana law, and I fully support that action.

This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it. In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.

Indiana is rightly celebrated for the hospitality, generosity, tolerance, and values of our people, and that will never change. Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.

And a Tweet by the Governor:

DC Comics Superman/Wonder Woman Heroclix in November

Superman Wonder Woman HeroclixThis November, Wizkids releases their latest DC Comics Heroclix set, Superman/Wonder Woman.

DC Comics Superman/Wonder Woman features the first DC Comics in-booster Colossal figures! Each DC Comics Superman/Wonder Woman booster bricks have 8 regular 5-figure boosters and 1 super booster which randomly contains one of six different colossal figures to collect!

The DC Comics Superman/Wonder Woman set showcases allies and enemies of Superman and Wonder Woman – with featured sub-themes of Earth 2/Wonders of the World; alternate/evil versions of Superman; and the long-anticipated debut of characters from the Red Son storyline.

The set includes 76 figures including 16 commons, 16 uncommons, 16 rares, 12 super rares, 6 chase, 4 primes, and 6 colossal figures.

 

Gen Con Threatens to Leave Indiana Over SB 101

This afternoon Gen Con, a four-day gaming convention, sent a letter to the Republican Governor of Indiana Mike Pence warning that if SB 101 becomes the law, the convention may leave the state. Gen Con LLC’s CEO and owner, Adrian Swartout, said in the letter (which you can read below) that passage of the bill “will factor into our decision-making on hosting the convention in the state of Indiana in future years.” The convention focuses on gaming of all types including board, card, miniature, and role-playing.

Gen Con proudly welcomes a diverse attendee base, made up of different ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds. We are happy to provide an environment that welcomes all, and the wide-ranging diversity of our attendees has become a key element to the success and growth of our convention.

Legislation that could allow for refusal of service or discrimination against our attendees will have a direct negative impact on the state’s economy.

Proponents of SB 101 would prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a compelling interest.

Opponents of the legislation says it gives a license for businesses to discriminate, particularly against gays and lesbians.

The legislation is being pushed by social conservatives.

The digest description of the legislation:

Religious freedom restoration. Prohibits a governmental entity from substantially burdening a person’s exercise of religion, even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, unless the governmental entity can demonstrate that the burden: (1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering the compelling governmental interest. Provides a procedure for remedying a violation. Specifies that the religious freedom law applies to the implementation or application of a law regardless of whether the state or any other governmental entity or official is a party to a proceeding implementing or applying the law. Prohibits an applicant, employee, or former employee from pursuing certain causes of action against a private employer.

Some have said the legislation is similar to what led the Supreme Court to side with Hobby Lobby concerning contraception. This legislation could be interpreted much further allowing systemic and widespread discrimination by businesses, for example a bakery refusing to serve a gay couple.

The legislation passed the House in a 63-31 vote, and Senate a 40-10 vote.

As of this post, the convention has garnered support and positive feedback from their Facebook community. Some dissented feeling this is “social justice warriors” making their way into gaming.

According to Facebook demographics, 10% of the convention’s “likes” are “interested” in the same-sex.

The convention, which began in 1968 in Lake Geneva by D&D creator Gary Gygax, moved to the city in 2003. It’s the convention center’s largest annual convention, bringing in excess of $50 million in revenue for the city of Indianapolis every year.

Last year’s convention, held August 14-17, saw another year of record attendance numbers and unprecedented growth. That makes it the fourth consecutive year, Gen Con grew by more than 10%. The year saw 14% year-over-year growth with a weekend turnstile attendance of 184,699 and unique attendance of 56,614. 2013’s previous record was 49,530 unique attendees. Since 2009, Gen Con’s annual attendance has more than doubled.

The convention also does good, selecting a charity partner each year to raise money. Last year also saw a record year in donations. The convention raised more than $40,000 for Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana’s BackSacks program, which provides weekend food to children at-risk for hunger. This donation includes a $20,000 check provided by Mayfair Games’ Cones of Dunshire event, a charitable game played Saturday, August 16 on Georgia Street. This year’s partner is the Julian Center.

It is unknown how other conventions in the state have reacted to the legislation, but we have reached out for comments.

Gen Con 2015 returns to Indianapolis July 30 – August 2, 2015! And we’ll be there in full support.

Here is the letter for you to read:

 

Gen_Con_Letter

The Godfather Comes to Tabletop Games Courtesy of IDW and Paramount

The GodfatherToday, IDW announced it would release a line of The Godfather tabletop games ranging from quick-to-play card and dice games to big box strategic board games. Paramount PicturesThe Godfather is widely recognized among the most revered films of all-time.

The Godfather game line will start with a card game due out this summer, and continue to branch out from there. The games will range in length and complexity, and take place in a variety of locations and timelines spanning the trilogy of films. Gamers can look forward to rising to power and doing everything they can to stay on top in a cutthroat world. These games will truly be an offer The Godfather fans can’t refuse.

The Godfather Card Game will hit stores August 2015.

IDW Games Announces Orphan Black Tabletop Games

Orphan Black logoOn the heels of Orphan Black #1 being announced as February’s top-selling comic, today IDW announced it would release a series of Orphan Black tabletop games. Up first will be a deductive card game scheduled to be in stores this summer. The games will feature characters from the hit show and will further enrich the tension and unpredictability fans have experienced through the first two seasons. Orphan Black returns to BBC AMERICA for a highly anticipated third season on April 18th at 9:00pm ET, with the season premiere also airing across all AMC networks channels – AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, and WE tv in the U.S. and across Bell Media’s Space, Bravo, CTV, and MTV channels in Canada.

The first Orphan Black game will be a tense contest of deduction and deception for 3-6 players. In Orphan Black: The Card Game, you are secretly assigned to one of three teams; the Proletheans, Neolutionists, or the Bird Watchers. The goal of the game is to influence as many clones into joining your faction as possible, while also keeping your opponents guessing as to which of the three factions you’re really working for. If you can keep other players in the dark while secretly exerting influence on your targets, you’ll come out on top. The constant uneasiness of not knowing who to trust during the game will have players feeling like they’re living an episode of the hit TV show, and the strategic depth of play will excite even the most avid board gamers.

Look for Orphan Black: The Card Game to hit stores in July 2015.

Catan Con 2015

CatanCon 2015 PosterJoin Mayfair Games as they celebrate the first annual International Catan Day at Catan Con 2015, April 24-26, 2015 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN.

Don’t miss your chance to play all things Catan, along with the entire Mayfair Games library.  There will be an exciting event schedule with all Mayfair products including free open play!

Additional show highlights include:

  • Mammoth Carpet/Floor Games (Catan, Star Trek: Catan, Catan Junior, Pompeii, Hot Tin Roof and more)
  • Giant Tabletop Games (Catan, Lords of Vegas, Shear Panic and more)
  • Many of your favorite Catan games and even a few you probably haven’t seen in years including the original Catan Historical series, Settlers of Nuremburg, Das Buch and more.
  • Be a part of a smaller version of “The Big Game” – a 100-player version of the world record setting Catan game.
  • Play in theCatan National Championship Qualifier.
    • 1st place winner will receive a trip to Gen Con 2015 (travel included, standard hotel room/double occupancy, and guaranteed seating into the semi-final on Sunday)
    • The Train Gamers Association (TGA) will be joining us for a modified Puffing Billy game track and a Settlers of America Tournament.
      • Winner of SOA tournament will receive a 4-day Gen Con badge & a TGA ribbon for Gen Con 2015
  • Catan Teen Tournament (ages 12-17yrs)

Event Registration:

3-day Badge: (includes 3-day convention badge (Fri-Sun), limited edition Catan Day 2015 shirt and Catan Day 2015 SWAG)

  • Ages 12+ = $45 per person
  • Ages 11 and under are free (no t-shirt or SWAG included)

Individual Day Badge: (Includes SWAG, no t-shirt)

  • $25 per person

EXTRAS:

  • Additional shirts available: $25 each
  • $5 discount if you “Like” the Mayfair Games Facebook Page
  • First 100 hotel rooms booked receive ONE (1) free badge to Catan Con 2015
  • Email your Hotel Reservation Code and your Convention Registration Account Number to events@mayfairgames.com.
  • Convention Registration and Hotel Registration are required to complete the authorization process.

Registration Links & Extras:

Additional event registration options:

  • Catan National Championship Qualifier – US Tournament – $5
  • 1st place prize will receive a trip to Gen Con (travel included, standard hotel room/double occupancy, and guaranteed seating into the semi-final on Sunday) o The Big Game – Saturday night. No Charge!
  • Settlers of America Tournament – No Charge!
  • Winner of SOA tournament will receive 4-day Gen Con badge & a TGA ribbon for Gen Con
  • Catan Teen Tournament (ages 12-17yrs) – No Charge!

Wizkids Announces Dick Grayson, Marvel Mystical, and Arrowette to their OP Kits

dick_grayson_opmarvel_mystical_opWizkids has announced three new organized play kits of their Heroclix game. Two of the kits are based on the DC Comics license, while one is from Marvel. Wizkids’ organized play is a way to get players into stores to participate in regular weekly gaming, with the figures being handed out as prizes to participants and limited edition figures not to be found anywhere else. Usually the first place player gets a figure and another is handed out for sportsmanship.

In June, Heroclix celebrates the crime-fighting career of the original Boy Wonder, Dick Grayson!

The kit is to be used in organized play and not sold by stores, and features three version of Dick Grayson. Two of the figures are redials of Robin and Nightwing. But, the set features a brand new sculpt of Dick’s secret agent moniker, Agent 37!

That’s a whole lot of Dick!

July sees the organized play kit shift to Marvel! There’s an evil that exists in the shadows and mystical planes…. and only a few are able to protect us.

arrowette_op_kitAs is pretty standard, this organized play kit features two redials of previously released figures. In this case it’s Dr. Strange and Blade. The release also features a brand new sculpt and dial for Dr. Strange’s most notable adversary – Dormammu!

In August, the organized play shifts focus back to DC Comics and features the mother-daughter sharp-shooting crime-fighting team of Arrowette and Miss Arrowette… plus a special appearance by none other than the Caped Crusader himself – Batman!

The set features two all new dials, and one brand new figure. The Arrowette and Batman will feature the redials, while Miss Arrowette features a brand-new sculpt and dial!

Heroclix has just seen it’s latest set release based on DC Comics’ Trinity War. So far, it’s all Marvel in announced sets, well into July. The next release will be an Avengers quick-play set in time for Free Comic Book Day, followed by Heroclix: Avengers – Age of Ultron in April. May sees numerous releases involving the Avengers including boosters, a new Fast Forces set, and a set focused on Ant-Man. May sees an organized play release focused on Spider-Man and his Symbiotes and the start of organized play based on Avengers: Age of Ultron. July sees the release of Heroclix: Nick Fury – Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

In pure speculation, I’d expect the next announced DC set to likely be based on the Forever Evil storyline, or possibly their Multiverse.

 

 

First Look at Cryptozoic’s Justice Society of America Crossover Pack 1

PIC_6892Cryptozoic has been on a role lately with their releases for their DC Deck-Building Game. In the last few months they released a new “volume” with Forever Evil, a two player version featuring Batman and the Joker, as well as a brand new Crisis Pack that compliments their second release Heroes Unite. Their next release adds a new expansion option for the game. The first Crossover Pack focuses on DC Comic’s Justice Society of America, featuring heroes, villains, equipment, and locations all a part of the history of the classic DC team.

The release features 7 oversized JSA Super Heroes, 8 Super-Villains, 10 main deck cards, and 1 rule card that explains how to use the cards as well as some errata to better clear up the cards. It’s a way to breathe new life into games, with the addition of a few cards. You’re encouraged to mix up the cards which helps change the games in mere seconds and adds new strategies and ways to play.

The new Super Hero cards don’t really have a theme to them. A few deal with “Punch” cards, but generally mixes things up, unlike the last Crisis Pack which went heavy on different game play using colors.

The equipment, heroes, super power, and location cards again don’t really have much of a unifying theme for gameplay. They vary greatly in the aspects they bring to the game. Again, a couple have to do with “Punch” cards, but it’s not enough to say this is a theme of gameplay.

The villains too vary in what they bring to the game, and the super-villains range in cost 8 to 15 to defeat.

All the cards together don’t seem to have one gameplay theme like we’ve seen in the past, instead each card enhances a certain aspect of the game, like the starting cards, or “Punch.”

Overall, the addition is welcome, not just adding some classic characters, but helping changing up the game even more. It’s a simple way to add more flavor and change the gameplay without releasing a much more involved Crisis release or new version. I can’t wait to see what Cryptozoic does next with this new addition to their release schedule. The Justice Society of America Crossover Pack will be released later this March.

Check out below for a full list of cards. You’ll need to highlight the Super-Villains to see who is included (didn’t want to spoil that for everyone).

Superheroes

  • Stargirl
  • Power Girl
  • Doctor Fate
  • Alan Scott
  • Jay Garrick
  • Wildcat
  • Mister Terrific

Equipment

  • T-Spheres
  • The Hourglass

Heroes

  • Liberty Belle
  • Dr. Mid-Nite
  • Citizen Steel

Location

  • Monument Point

Super Power

  • Girl Power
  • Mystic Bolts

Villain

  • Scythe
  • Per Degation

Super-Villain

  • Solomon Grundy
  • Mordru the Merciless
  • Icicle
  • Kobra
  • Ultra-Humanite
  • Gentleman Ghost
  • Eclipso
  • Gog

 

 

 

Cryptozoic provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn Out Now

DnDComponents-1WizKids has great news for fans of the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe as they have released Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn. Available in game retailers across North America, and soon-to-be launched in other regions, Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn lets players collect and assemble a party of warriors and battle one another with dice-based combatants including dragons, mind flayers, beholders, and kobolds.

minsc-and-boo-300x300To celebrate the launch, while supplies last, purchasers will receive a free Minsc and Boo — the iconic hero and his miniature giant space hamster—promo card and die to build up their dice collection.

Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn is available in a starter set for $19.99 and includes:

  • 44 Custom Dice
  • 38 Cards
  • Two Dice Bags
  • Complete Dice Masters Core Rulebook
  • Compatibility with all Dice Masters games
  • Everything two players need to play Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn!

Additional foil packs are available for $0.99 and include two cards and two dice, letting players easily expand their Dice Masters Battle for Faerûn collections!

 

 

 

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