In-store demo: Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War

Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War is a cooperative dice and card game for 2-4 players.

In the game, players recruit heroes and assemble a team to face off against Thanos and his villainous forces in an effort to thwart him from accomplishing his master plan: Collecting all six Infinity Stones to power the Infinity Gauntlet and wreak havoc on the very fabric of reality. Building upon the strengths of the characters on their team, as well as other players, winning requires critical thinking and communication to reach a common goal.

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In-store demo: Spirit Island

In the most distant reaches of the world, magic still exists, embodied by spirits of the land, of the sky, and of every natural thing. As the great powers of Europe stretch their colonial empires further and further, they will inevitably lay claim to a place where spirits still hold power – and when they do, the land itself will fight back alongside the islanders who live there.

Spirit Island is a complex and thematic cooperative game about defending your island home from colonizing Invaders. Players are different spirits of the land, each with its own unique elemental powers. Every turn, players simultaneously choose which of their power cards to play, paying energy to do so. Using combinations of power cards that match a spirit’s elemental affinities can grant free bonus effects. Faster powers take effect immediately, before the Invaders spread and ravage, but other magics are slower, requiring forethought and planning to use effectively. In the Spirit phase, spirits gain energy, and choose how / whether to Grow: to reclaim used power cards, to seek for new power, or to spread presence into new areas of the island.

The Invaders expand across the island map in a semi-predictable fashion. Each turn they explore into some lands (portions of the island); the next turn, they build in those lands, forming settlements and cities. The turn after that, they ravage there, bringing blight to the land and attacking any native islanders present.

The islanders fight back against the Invaders when attacked, and lend the spirits some other aid, but may not always do so exactly as you’d hoped. Some Powers work through the islanders, helping them (eg) drive out the Invaders or clean the land of blight.

The game escalates as it progresses: spirits spread their presence to new parts of the island and seek out new and more potent powers, while the Invaders step up their colonization efforts. Each turn represents 1-3 years of alternate-history.

At game start, winning requires destroying every last settlement and city on the board – but as you frighten the Invaders more and more, victory becomes easier: they’ll run away even if some number of settlements or cities remain. Defeat comes if any spirit is destroyed, if the island is overrun by blight, or if the Invader deck is depleted before achieving victory.

The game includes different adversaries to fight against (eg: a Swedish Mining Colony, or a Remote British Colony). Each changes play in different ways, and offers a different path of difficulty boosts to keep the game challenging as you gain skill.

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In-store demo: Imperial Settlers

Settlers from four major powers of the world have discovered new lands, with new resources and opportunities. Romans, Barbarians, Egyptians and Japanese all at once move there to expand the boundaries of their empires. They build new buildings to strengthen their economy, they found mines and fields to gather resources, and they build barracks and training grounds to train soldiers. Soon after they discover that this land is far too small for everybody, then the war begins…

Imperial Settlers is a card game that lets players lead one of the four factions and build empires by placing buildings, then sending workers to those buildings to acquire new resources and abilities. The game is played over five rounds during which players take various actions in order to explore new lands, build buildings, trade resources, conquer enemies, and thus score victory points.

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In-store demo: Core Worlds

Introduction

The ancient Galactic Realm, ruled from the Core Worlds of the galaxy, is waning. Now, the barbaric kingdoms that lie beyond the galactic frontier are amassing their strength, choosing this pivotal moment to strike at the heart of the fading republic, establishing new empires built upon the ashes of decaying civilizations. But these outer systems are not yet strong enough to engage the forces of the Core Worlds directly. The young kingdoms must first gnaw at the edges of the crumbling frontier, developing new types of units and shrewder tactics. They must build up their energy resources to launch magnificent fleets and overwhelming ground forces. Then, when the time is right, they must strike at the galactic core itself, claiming the most exalted planets for themselves. The barbarian kingdom that achieves these goals will carve out the greatest empire in the galaxy.

Object of the Game

Each player controls a barbarian Star Empire represented by many cards. Throughout the game, players will invade Worlds and draft new Units and Tactics into their Empires. Each card lists its Empire Points in the upper right corner. The player whose Empire contains the most Empire Points at the end of the game is the winner!

Game Terms and Game Play Mechanisms

Core Worlds is a deck-building card game for 2-5 players. The following are the central concepts of Core Worlds:

• Central Zone: Throughout the game, new cards are drawn from the five Galactic Decks and placed face up in the Central Zone, the game’s common play area. These cards include new Units and Tactics that the players can draft into their Empires, as well as Worlds that they can invade.

• Empire: Each player represents an Empire that begins with a Home World and a Starting Deck. A player’s Empire consists of all of the cards in his hand, draw deck, discard pile, and Warzone (tableau).

• Fleet Strength: Each World possesses a Fleet Strength that represents the starships that defend it from attack. A World’s Fleet Strength must be matched in order for that World to be successfully invaded. Many Units possess a Fleet Strength that a player can use to invade a World.

• Ground Strength: Each World possesses a Ground Strength that represents the infantry and other ground forces that defend it from surface assault. A World’s Ground Strength must be matched in order for it to be successfully invaded. Many Units possess a Ground Strength that a player can use to invade a World.

• Invasion: In order to add new Worlds to his Empire, a player must launch Invasions. A player performs an Invasion by discarding enough cards from his Warzone to match the Fleet Strength and Ground Strength of the World he is invading.

• Warzone: Each player’s Empire includes a Warzone, an area in front of the player where her conquered Worlds are displayed. Players also deploy Units from their hands face up into their Warzones, and later use these Units to invade new Worlds.

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Special gaming event: Battlestations

Two obstacles to interstellar flight were solved in the 22nd Century: Hyperdrives to actually get us to other planets, and cloning technology to replace our bodies and brains from backups in the inevitable situation something goes wrong on the trip. Peacetime advancements released the vast resources of a sea of stars like a cosmic piñata. We need capable explorers. The more dangers that present themselves, the more opportunities for lowly travelers to ascend to become true heroes. There’s a lot of emergencies happening on board your starship. Will you be a hero when the time arises?

Battlestations is a tabletop starship simulator – a multi-map board game that simultaneously features ship-action in space AND the events on board the ships involved in the conflicts. It is also a roleplaying game in which your characters grow throughout campaigns, picking up experience points, upgrades, and new abilities.

The game rules are very simple but they allow for complex RPG-like imaginative choices like teleporting to an enemy ship, hacking their helm controls and steering their ship towards a black hole before ejecting yourself out the air lock. Inside the box is an infinity of alien worlds to explore, rickety spacecrafts to upgrade, and a rowdy crew of lifelong comrades to adventure with.

One player takes on the role of “the enemy”, and works against the other players who are cooperating with each other.

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