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Merchant One

Published 20 February 2017 | X-Wing

Merchant One

A Preview of the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack

"I have what you ordered. What do you have to offer in return?"
     –Azmorigan

The galaxy's Scum and Villainy are a motley assortment of merchants, smugglers, bounty hunters, thugs, and crime lords. They're almost all selfish criminals. And in X-Wing, they've long flown to battle against Imperial and Rebel fighters whenever they felt the need to protect their turf or their investments.

More than this, these Scum have always fought according to their own style. While the Imperials have swarmed their opponents with cheap and efficient TIE fighters and the Rebels have focused on teamwork and defense, the galaxy's Scum and Villainy have specialized in dirty tricks, illegal technology, and tactics bred of convenience.

It should be no surprise, then, that when the Scum faction goes Epic with the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack, you'll find that the faction's first huge ship and its upgrades permit a whole range of dirty tricks and scummy tactics.

The Scummy Cruiser

Built on a Gozanti chassis, the C-ROC Cruiser bears a great deal of similarities to the Empire's Gozanti-class Cruiser , but it plays a wildly different role in a Scum fleet than the Gozanti plays in an Imperial fleet. And the differences in playstyle hint at some of the ship's unique strengths and, possibly, at the Scum faction's future tactics in the game's Epic battles.

Versatility is the name of the game. Whereas the Empire invested in the Gozanti's ability to carry and deploy TIEs directly into battle, your Scum don't care about deploying TIEs from their C-ROC. They don't even have any TIEs to deploy. What they do have, though, is stuff—and lots of it. The C-ROC gains an extra cargo upgrade slot, which it can then use to haul any of the great cargo upgrades you might already have, such as a Backup Shield Generator , Ionization Reactor , Comms Booster , or Engine Booster .

Even if you don't have any of those cargo upgrades, you can still make good use of the C-ROC's carrying capacity by freeing your Quick-Release Cargo Locks to place a container token squarely in your enemy's flight path. Or you can use some Supercharged Power Cells to roll as many as six dice with your C-ROC's Heavy Laser Turret .

A 360-degree view of the C-ROC Cruiser. ( Click for a larger view. )

Perhaps the greatest thing about the C-ROC's tremendous cargo capacity is that you don't even have to limit yourself to only the cargo with which you start your game. If you allow crime lord Cikatro Vizago to ply his trade for a time aboard your C-ROC, you can then discard him to swap one of your cargo upgrades for another of equal or lesser cost.

For example, you might start with a Frequency Jammer in order to boost the efficiency of the C-ROC's jam action, thereby allowing your other ships—perhaps some Binayre Pirates —to target the enemies you stress with their Black Market Slicer Tools . But once those Binayre Pirates have been destroyed, or after they've been lured out of position, you might discard Cikatro Vizago to swap your Frequency Jammer for Supercharged Power Cells to finish off an opponent's fighter. Or you might swap in Tibanna Gas Supplies for an emergency energy boost.

Azmorigan and Merchant One

Of course, it's not just the C-ROC's extra cargo capacity that gives the ship its Scum and Villainy flavor. The C-ROC can also equip two crew upgrades and one team upgrade—or three and two, if you fly the Merchant One —and these can lead to all manner of different tactics and abilities.

  • By equipping IG-88D aboard your C-ROC, you can grant it IG-88A's ability to recover a shield after performing an attack that destroys an enemy ship.
  • Latts Razzi provides your C-ROC extra defense against any ship it might stress with its jam action.
  • By crewing your C-ROC and operating its Heavy Laser Turret, Dengar , Zuckuss , and 4-LOM can dramatically shorten the lifespans of your opponent's pilots.
  • And if you crash your C-ROC into your opponent's huge ship, BoShek can potentially send it crashing into the fighters it was intended to protect.

Best of all, you can amplify all these tactics by flying Azmorigan on your ship. If you have even a single point of energy at the start of the End phase, Azmorigan allows you to swap an existing crew or team ugprade for another of the same type of equal or lesser value. This means you shouldn't ever need to start with a crew member that provides only a situational benefit—such as BoShek—but if the situation arises, Azmorigan lets bring him into play for full effect.

Maybe you'll start your game with "Gonk" and bank a bunch of shield tokens for later use, but once those shield tokens have been invested back into your cruiser, you're unlikely to come across the available actions to load back up. With Azmorigan, you can spend an energy and swap out "Gonk" for a WED-15 Repair Droid . Or you can even swap out Azmorigan, himself, for a crew like Ketsu Onyo should the moment arise. All you need is the idea. With Azmorigan, your whole collection of Scum and neutral X-Wing crew upgrades is suddenly fair game.

The Heart of Your Epic Fleet

Your C-ROC Cruiser is unlikely to coordinate the rest of your forces in the same fashion as an Imperial Gozanti or the Rebellion's CR-90 Corellian Corvette. But it's still going to play a prominent role at the center of your Epic fleet. Just like the game's other huge ships, the C-ROC can obliterate small and large ships simply by running into them. It can reinforce its shields. It can recover the shields it has lost. And it can gain and spend energy… It's the way you use these distinctively Epic elements that makes the C-ROC a true Scum ship.

Loaded with Cikatro Vizago and Azmorigan, the Merchant One is a resoundingly versatile vessel. Dengar, a Heavy Laser Turret, and an Engineering Team may increase its combat potential, along with the support from a Frequency Jammer and Ionization Reactor , but they may also give way for other crew, team, and cargo upgrades as the need arises. In the end, if you're not offering Cikatro Vizago and Asmorigan a deal worth making, you're off the ship!

So how will you use your C-ROC? What deals will you broker? Who will Azmorigan toss aside, and who will he recruit? Will you fly the Merchant One, the Insatiable Worrt , or the Broken Horn ?

Nothing's off the table when you deal with the Scum and Villainy of the Star Wars universe. So head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy of the C-ROC Cruiser Expansion Pack today. Then keep your eyes open for future previews and other X-Wing news!

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© and ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Wars to Come

Published 17 February 2017 | Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne

The Wars to Come

Announcing an Expansion for The Iron Throne Board Game

"Winter is coming, and we know what's coming with it. We can't face it alone."
     –Jon Snow

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Wars to Come, an expansion for Game of Thrones: The Iron Throne!

Along with ten new leaders, divided between two new Houses—House Greyjoy and House Martell—The Wars to Come features everything you and your friends need to expand your games of The Iron Throne to seven players. Can you rise above all six of your rivals to claim the Iron Throne? The Wars to Come ensures that you'll not only find yourself confronted by more Houses, but by more of the chaos created by war and your opponent's unpredictable talents.

Additionally, The Wars to Come introduces a deck of twenty-five new allies. These iconic characters root your schemes and politics more firmly in the world of HBO's acclaimed Game of Thrones, even as they permit access to a wide range of new abilities that can dramatically change the shape of a battle—or even the game!

Two New Houses

With The Wars to Come, House Greyjoy and House Martell join the ongoing schemes, battles, and betrayals of The Iron Throne. Like each of the five Great Houses from the Core Set—which we recently reviewed in our article, House Words—Greyjoy and Martell each come with five leader sheets, five character tokens, and a house deck full of surprises.

So what can we expect as these Houses join the fray?

With leaders like Theon Greyjoy and Balon Greyjoy,  House Greyjoy rewards you for taking bold and aggressive moves. Win battles early, and you set yourself up to win more battles later. As Greyjoy, you'll have little to reward you for your more diplomatic efforts, but you'll command a host of tricks that allow you to change the outcome of hostilities and that reward you for taking hostages.

The Martells are remarkably different, serving as just one reminder of how incredibly diverse the various Houses and their playstyles can be. Their schemes are subtler and directed less toward winning your challenges than encouraging your opponents to direct their challenges elsewhere. Oberyn Martell guarantees would-be attackers that their hostilities will never result in clean victories, and while you may be able to hide your House's Vindictive nature for a time, it's bound to show in the endgame.

Finally, the fact that these two Houses will soon join the struggles for the Iron Throne means that there will be seven Houses represented in The Iron Throne, and you will be able to enjoy its negotiations and hostilities with as many as six of your friends.

Here to Serve

The Iron Throne may sit in King's Landing, but the struggles of The Iron Throne extend through all the Seven Kingdoms and beyond—even north of the Wall and across the sea to Essos. The result is that there are few (if any) whose lives are not touched by the game's intrigues, battles, and power brokering. And if you're not playing the game, then you're merely a pawn to be played.

Accordingly, you'll find twenty-five of the most iconic and powerful characters from the Game of Thrones offering their services to one or another House in The Wars to Come. These include the likes of Jon Snow,   Syrio Forel,  and Missandei,  and their abilities may very likely save you from disaster or lead you to glory.

The use of these allies is entirely optional, but when you and your friends agree to add them to your games, you start with one and may elect to draw additional allies instead of collecting the standard rewards for winning your battles.

Seven Kingdoms. Seven Houses. One Iron Throne.

"When your dragons were born, our magic was born again."
     –Pyat Pree

Immerse yourself more fully in the world of Game of Thrones—not just its intrigues and battles, but its personality and magic, too. The Wars to Come expansion for The Iron Throne brings all these things more fully to life than ever before.

Recruit new allies to your cause. Enter the fantasy world of Game of Thrones as either the Greyjoys or Martells. Battle up to six friends for control of the Iron Throne. The Wars to Come is scheduled to arrive at retailers in the second quarter of 2017!

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Official HBO Licensed Product © 2017 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBO and related trademarks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Cities In Ruin

Published 17 February 2017 | Eldritch Horror

Cities In Ruin

Announcing a New Expansion for Eldritch Horror

It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of mankind, that some of earth’s dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be left alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests.
 –H.P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Cities in Ruin, a new expansion for Eldritch Horror!

You feel it just below the surface. Something gnawing at the edge of sanity, a feeling that the steady march of machines and concrete that have come to be recognized as progress in the modern world is transient. Your visions show you a desolate future, where all that remains is dust, ash, and those who have long slumbered.

Violent earthquakes contort cities to unrecognizable ruin, unrelenting typhoons eradicate coastlines, and deep below the Earth something ancient stirs. Shudde M’ell, The Cataclysm from Below, approaches with destruction and ruin as his heralds. 

Cities in Ruin sees four new investigators face the brink of madness to battle Ancient Ones, and introduces a slew of new monster and encounter cards to the world of Eldritch Horror. And what's more, new Ancient One Shudde M’ell’s presence brings a destructive twist to the game in the form of the Disaster deck. 

A World in Turmoil

Shudde M’ell’s violent dreams are throwing cities around the world into a state of bedlam, and players will have to deal directly with the consequences via the new Disaster deck. If they’re lucky, an investigator may escape with some scars, if they're not, they may see a city devastated and left in ruin.

Devastation can happen in a number of different ways, and investigators must work together to prevent such catastrophes. However, they can't save everyone. When a city space becomes devastated, it has a devastation token placed over it, representing its new, and bleak, place in the world. Encounters there now take a post-apocalyptic turn that sees cityscapes turn into wastelands, and citizens looking to saviors to deliver them from eradication.

Investigators will find survivors jumping to their doom under the trance of a servant of Shudde M’ell, a milltary too petrified to fight the horrific creatures that prowl a now ruined city, or a cult preying on those who remain. Regardless of the heroics the investigators pull off, the city is still eradicated and all that remains are ashes to be protected from whatever horrors lurk in the shadows.  

The Cataclysm from Below

The ancient city of G’harne was founded by the Elder Things and, in eons past, served to guard Shudde M’ell’s prison. Now it sits abandoned, its ancient warding-stones destroyed or stolen by souls too blinded by greed to understand their importance. Shudde M’ell now stirs, and the world trembles before him.

Ruin is unavoidable in a game featuring Shudde M’ell, as it even begins with Rome being wiped off the map. Your adventure is sure to include more Disasters as the doom track inches forward, terrible tragedies to the rest of the world, horrifying omens to you. Investigators will have to solve three mysteries while dealing with the Ancient One’s catastrophic outbursts if they have any hope of survival. Should they fail to stop the awakening, Shudde M’ell will roar to life, and there may not be a world left to save.

Brave Souls

With the world falling apart around them, a select few have taken it upon themselves to face the cataclysmic storm. Cities of Ruin sees four new investigators: Bob Jenkins, Rita Young, Roland Banks, and “Ashcan” Pete stand against Shudde M’ell and his waves of destruction.

Since the onset of his prophetic dreams, “Ashcan” Pete has taken on the role of the wanderer. Traveling the rails with his trusty companion, Duke, Pete has noticed the disturbing trend creeping up on the edges of society. Fires, floods, earthquakes; calamities are striking cities across the globe, and the cold-hands of desperation grip their survivors. 

Except the people of Oulu. 

When Pete set foot here, he found a town that didn’t give in to fear or madness, he found a people that had rebuilt after their great fire, he found a purpose. Pete reckons if he can figure out the source of all this carnage, he can help those who need it most.

Pete begins the game with Duke, a unique asset, in play. The trusty companion gives Pete a second chance at success when resolving a test with a free reroll. Additionally, the bond between Duke and Pete allows the drifter to recover one additional sanity when he performs a rest action.

What Pete lacks in influence he more than makes up for in utility, as he is able to perform an additional action while traveling along a train path, as long as the rails aren’t frozen in place by the bizarre weather patterns affecting the planet. Finally, Pete converts trash to treasure when he performs an acquire assets action; he can gain one item or trinket asset with a value less than his observation skill from the discard pile, and he'll need every item he can scrap together in the fight ahead.

The World Trembles

The sky will bleed, the earth will shake, and a few brave souls will face the Cataclysm from Below. Can you survive the devastation to come? Find out when Cities in Ruin releases in the second quarter of 2017.

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The copyrightable portions of Eldritch Horror are © 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Eldritch Horror and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Arkham Horror is a registered trademark of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc.

77-Plus Voting - Phase 1

Published 16 February 2017 | X-Wing

77-Plus Voting - Phase 1

Affect the Outcome of the Coruscant™ Invitational

X-Wing™ fans, get to your stations! Fantasy Flight Games is excited to announce that the first phase of the Coruscant™ Invitational voting has begun! 

The System Open Series is well underway and we hope that you will be able to join us at one of these major events and win some fantastic, exclusive prizes! We do understand that not everyone can make it and we want you to be able to join in on the fun! Over the next couple of months, you will be able to submit your mini-squads to us and help shape the Coruscant Invitational. 

The Last Piece of the Puzzle

The Coruscant Invitational is the culmination of the System Open Series, created to celebrate the game of X-Wing and the amazing community that surrounds the game. The winners from each System Open will play in a tournament, using squads from each of the game’s three factions. These players will be competing for eternal glory and the chance to inspire a card that will be released in X-Wing’s future, but how they win will be determined by you!

For the Coruscant Invitational, each competitor will bring a 77-point squadron of each faction. When they arrive, they will draft a mini-squad from each faction and add it to their squadron (for more information on this process, read our article on the Coruscant Invitational). Each faction will have eight mini-squads to choose from, each with only generic pilots and upgrades. One mini-squad for each faction will be designed and selected by you—our wonderful X-Wing community!

Each mini-squad is built around a different ship, to showcase and include the variety that X-Wing is known for. We want you to create a 23 to 28 point mini-squad for each faction: the Rebels will equip the B-Wing, Imperials will be outfitting a TIE Advanced, and Scum will be rigging together the stalwart Y-Wing. Each of these ships carries options for a wide array of upgrades, which we hope will lead to some very interesting and creative mini-squads! 

Over the next week, you can submit your design for a mini-squad through Twitter, by following the instructions below. After a week of review, we will select four of our favorite mini-squads for each faction and place them into voting brackets.

 

As we get closer to the Coruscant Invitational, the community will vote on their favorite mini-squads from our selections, until only one ship for each faction remains. These ships will be entered into the drafting pool for the competitors in the Coruscant Invitational and will see play from some of the most skilled X-Wing players from around the world!

Submission Instructions

In order to participate, you simply have to tweet what you would include in a mini-squad featuring the Rebel B-Wing, Imperial TIE Advanced or Scum Y-Wing, following these simple guidelines:

  • Include #XWingVote2017 and @FFGOP in your tweet, so the community can easily find it. Don’t forget to follow @FFGOP!
  • The pilot and upgrade cards you chose. Abbreviations are acceptable if necessary and understandable. Remember: In order to ensure squad legality for players, no unique pilots or upgrades can be used, and total points must be between 23 and 28.
  • Attach a photo of your mini-squad’s ship, pilot card, and upgrade cards. We want to see some creative staging: use some tokens or other components to communicate visually how you see this mini-squad contributing to its player’s victory!

Submit your idea for one of these three mini-squads now! After a week of submissions and a week of review, we will announce our favorites based on the components and photos. Then we will contact our chosen creators and place their mini-squads into a voting bracket, which the community will use to determine the winners over the coming months!

The twelve creators of our selected mini-squads will receive an alternate back damage deck and an alternate art Darth Vader crew card from the 2017 System Open Series prizes! The mini-squad that comes out on top of each faction’s voting will earn another coveted prize for its creator: one of the Coruscant Invitational exclusive playmats given to the invitees! 

Submissions will be accepted through February 23, 2017 until 11:59 PM CST. Please make sure to follow the guidelines above. We will be retweeting some submissions with great photos, so we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Stay Tuned In

Keep your comms open for updates from us on the System Open Voting! Over the course of the coming months, we will narrow down our favorite choices, give out some more prizes via Twitter, and show you what our esteemed panel members will be including in their mini-squads!

 

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© and ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Coruscant™ Invitational

Published 16 February 2017 | X-Wing

The Coruscant™ Invitational

The Most Exclusive X-Wing™ Event of the Year

Welcome to Coruscant™. This seat of power will play host to the climactic ending of the X-Wing  System Open Series and bring eight competitors from around the world together in the Coruscant™ Invitational at the 2017 Star Wars™ Celebration in Orlando, Florida on April 13-16th. 

The Coruscant Invitational is the final competition of the X-Wing System Open Series, a string of events around the world celebrating the game and community of X-Wing. While the first eight System Opens will feature large tournaments open to all fans of the game and Star Wars, the Coruscant Invitational is an exclusive eight-player tournament featuring the champion of each System Open and a special format that will challenge and test each player’s mastery of the game.

The Pilots 

The pilots who competed at the 2016 Coruscant Invitational

The Coruscant Invitational is an exclusive event that invites the most skilled and proven pilots of the System Open Series. Each winner of a 2017 System Open will receive travel, hotel accommodations, and a full pass to the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Florida on April 13-16, 2017. Should a pilot win more than one System Open, the second invitation (as well as travel, hotel accommodations, and event pass) will be passed on to the player finishing in second place at that System Open. Any other issues or vacancies in the culminating eight-player tournament will be filled at the sole discretion of Fantasy Flight Games.

77-Plus Format

The Coruscant Invitational will feature a unique new format called 77-Plus, which will lead to some very interesting squadron compositions. Each player in the Coruscant Invitational will bring 77 points of a squad for each faction, in honor of the 1977 theatrical release of Star Wars.

At the Coruscant Invitational, players will then draft mini-squads to complete their squads. Various members of the X-Wing community and Fantasy Flight Games staff have been selected as mini-squad creators. They will compose mini-squads, worth 23 to 28 points, using a specific ship from each faction. To ensure squad legality, when choosing their pilots and upgrades, no unique cards can be used in these mini-squads!

Most exciting of all, one of the mini-squad creators could be you! We have left the mini-squads for the B-Wing, the TIE Advanced and the Scum Y-Wing to be created and voted on by the community! See our first voting article for more details on how you can see your mini-squad in the hands of an Open Champion.

Rebels Imperial Scum &
Villainy
X-Wing
TIE Fighter
StarViper
Y-Wing
TIE Bomber
Scum Z-95 Headhunter
A-Wing
TIE Interceptor
M3-A Interceptor
HWK-290
TIE F/O
Kihraxz Fighter
Z-95 Headhunter
TIE Adv. Prototype
G-1A Starfighter
K-Wing
Special Forces TIE
Protectorate Starfighter
T-70 X-Wing
TIE Striker
Quadjumper
B-Wing
TIE Adv.
Scum Y-Wing

The Draft

The drafting portion of the Coruscant Invitational will consist of three phases. The System Open Champions will be randomized and placed into eight “Chairs”.

In phase 1, chair #4 will select which faction will be drafted from first. From there, in ascending order of chair number, the champions will select mini-squads from that faction’s pool. Once a mini-squad has been drafted by a player, it cannot be selected again!

In phase 2, chair #5 will select the faction that will be drafted from. In descending order, the champions will draft mini-squads from the pool in order to complete a second squad.

In phase 3, the Champions will draft in descending order of the number of competitors in the System Open they won. In the case of a tied attendance, those tied champions will be placed in a random order.

This drafting structure will force players into a lot of different strategic choices throughout their process of squad building, drafting, and gameplay. Are you going to field a high risk Imperial ace  backed by Emperor Palpatine , while the mini-squad portion of your squad is going to be committed to a lower pilot-skill ship? If you want a blocking element in one of your faction's squads, are you going to include that in your 77 points, or will you gamble on having to draft a mini-squad that could fulfill the role? If you’re forced to pick a mini-squad that does not have much synergy with the rest of your ships, how will you adapt your strategy? 

The Tournament Structure

The eight players at the Coruscant Invitational will be divided into two groups, even or odd chair numbers, and then play three round robin matches in random order against the other players in their respective groups. At the end of three rounds, the player with the best record from each group will advance to a final match to decide the Champion of the Coruscant Invitational! Margin of victory, and then higher chair number, will be used as tiebreakers if records are tied.

At the beginning of the first match, players will evaluate their opponent's squads, and then simultaneously select which of their squads to field for their match. For the second match, players will choose from their two unused squads. The remaining squad must be used in the third match.

For the final match, each player will choose one of their opponent's three squads to impound. Then, players will select which of their other two squads to fly in the match. The Champion must not only be an accomplished pilot, but also have the ability to predict their opponent’s moves and exploit their weaknesses.

Prizes

The eight Coruscant Invitational players will already be receiving the awesome prize of attending Star Wars Celebration 2017, and get to compete in a unique and exclusive event. However, they won’t be leaving Orlando with just amazing experiences. The winner of the event will gain the Greatest Prize in Gaming—a chance to cooperate with game developers to inspire a new card for X-Wing! In addition to a variety of prizes, attendees will also receive an exclusive Coruscant Invitational playmat to commemorate their participation in this elite competition!

Join the Celebration

If you’re not one of the lucky eight who are playing in the Coruscant Invitational, you still have a chance to have an impact on the outcome of this event! Check out how you can create and vote on three of the mini-squads, and follow along during all eight System Opens as we celebrate Star Wars, X-Wing, and the connections they have created around the world!

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© and ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

2017 May World Champs Early Registration

Published 16 February 2017 | Star Wars: Destiny

2017 May World Champs Early Registration

Champions Must Claim Reserved Seats By February 28th

Fantasy Flight Games is excited to provide details on claiming reserved seats at the World Championships in May! General registration will open at 12:00 PM CST, March 14th. More information regarding general registration is coming soon!

The World Championships—a five-day celebration of our world-wide player communities—is the most exciting event in the Organized Play calendar every year. 2017 is set to continue creating amazing experiences for those who attend, and the first of FFG’s two World Championships (Yes. There are now two World Championships!) will be held May 3rd-7th. If you have a reserved seat, now is the time to act: Click here to claim it!

Who Has a Reserved Seat at the World Championships in May?

Players who have proven their skill in previous, high-profile events can earn a reserved seat at the World Championships. For the World Championships in May, the following people have earned a reserved seat:

  • 2016 Regional Championship Winners: Any player that won a Regional Championship during the Regional season that took place November, 2016 through February, 2017 has earned a reserved seat in their respective game’s World Championship.
  • 2016 World Champions: All 2016 World Champions have earned a free, reserved seat in their respective game’s World Championship.
  • Previous World Champions: Any World Champion from 2015 or earlier has earned a reserved seat in their respective game’s World Championship.

Note: National Championships for the 2017 season do not begin until April. Anyone winning a National Championship for games featured at our May World Championship in April or later in 2017 will earn a free, reserved seat at the 2018 World Championships!

How Do I Claim My Reserved Seat?

Any person with a reserved seat can go to ShowClix, our ticketing partner, and fill out the ticket request form. Navigate to each game’s ticket request form by clicking on the game in which you won a qualifying event on the main page, then click on “Apply Now” on the right side of the window. Make sure to have the date and location of the event you won so that we can confirm your victory!

All requests for reserved seats must be filled out by 11:59 PM CST on February 28th.

After February 28th, we will validate all requests. Then, on March 6th, we will reply to all valid requests with a link and instructions on how to purchase a ticket by March 10th. Please note that Champions only have a seat reserved in the World Championships for the game in which they won. You will have to register for all other World Championship events during general registration.

When Can I Purchase My Reserved Seat?

We will send an email on March 6th to every Champion that requested a ticket. The email will contain instructions explaining how to purchase your reserved seat. Anyone with a reserved seat must purchase their ticket by March 10th! All unclaimed seats will be sold during general registration starting March 14th.

If you are a Champion that filled out the ticket request form by February 28th and do not receive an email on March 6th, please email organizedplay@fantasyflightgames.com on March 7th.

Can I Purchase Tickets for Other World Championship Events?

No. Champions can purchase tickets only for the game in which they won. You must purchase all other World Championship events during general registration, starting March 14th. Keep your eyes on our website for more information on general registration!

What If I Am a Champion in Multiple Games?

Anyone that is a Champion in multiple games must fill out the ticket request form for each game they have a spot reserved! You will receive a confirmation email and ticket purchase email on March 6th for each game you’ve requested. If you do not, please contact organizedplay@fantasyflightgames.com.

I Did Not Win a Qualifying Event. When Can I Buy Tickets?

General registration begins March 14th! We will be posting more information on our website, including a full schedule, prize information, and more shortly.

See You in May!

If have a seat reserved for you at the World Championships in May, you’ve already proven you possess impressive skill. Do you have what it takes to deploy that skill on the world’s biggest stage? Make sure you fill out the request form and then join us in May to meet other passionate and skilled fans of our games and discover who proves themselves worthy of the title World Champion!

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© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Museum Is Now Open

Published 16 February 2017 | Arkham Horror: The Card Game

The Museum Is Now Open

The Miskatonic Museum Is Now Available for Arkham Horror: The Card Game

"At one end was a door of heavy plank, fastened by an unusually large padlock and with a very peculiar symbol painted over it. Jones, who had once had access to the dreaded Necronomicon, shivered involuntarily as he recognised that symbol."
     –H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, The Horror in the Museum

The disappearance of two Miskatonic professors comes with ill portent—there's a sense of history repeating itself. It's not just the fact that the professors went missing that was concerning; it was the matter of who these professors happened to be. These were the heroes of Dunwich, the professors who brought calm to that rural New England town.

Their disappearance now suggests the horrors that once befell Dunwich may not have been as fully extinguished as once was hoped. And if that's the case—and these professors are no longer available to race to Dunwich's aid—then you've got a dire task ahead of you…

The Miskatonic Museum is now available for Arkham Horror: The Card Game!

You Are Not Alone

Worried that someone may be after the university's Latin translation of the Necronomicon, you race to the Miskatonic Museum to recover it from the museum's curator, Harold Walsted.

Unfortunately, the museum is closed by the time you arrive, and even once you gain entrance, you find it frighteningly quiet. You know that the Necronomicon lies somewhere amid the darkened halls and the tangle of exhibits that all appear far more menacing at night than they do in the light of day. And you quickly become aware that you are not alone.

There is a predator stalking the exhibits. As you scour the museum for signs of the Necronomicon, you may also encounter one or more of the monster's victims. And if you're not careful, you may become one.

As a result, your adventures in The Miskatonic Museum will force you to balance your personal health and well-being against the recovery of an artifact of dark and powerful knowledge. You know you can't allow the tome to fall into the wrong hands, but then again, you won't be able to do anyone any good if you're devoured or driven mad.

And in the Arkham LCG®, the decisions you make in navigating this tension aren't just rhetorical. You can commit yourself to the recovery of the Necronomicon utterly—risking your life and limb and sanity in a desperate do-or-die effort. Or you might just pursue the tome so long as you feel relatively safe. And then if the dangers become too real, you can flee…

In the end, it's only a book, right? And how much can a single book influence the whole arc of your larger investigation?

Rise to the Occasion

With the fate of Miskatonic's missing professors at stake, you'll want to take advantage of every new lead or talent or piece of information that might help you succeed at your task. And The Miskatonic Museum introduces twenty-six new tricks, Talents, and assets that might prove worthy of your attention.

We've already previewed some of the Mythos Pack's twenty-six player cards (a complete playset of thirteen different cards) in its announcement and in our preview article, "Banished to the Other Realms."

Still, while cards like Adaptable (The Miskatonic Museum, 110) and Delve Too Deep (The Miskatonic Museum, 111) may allow you to play the long game, and Exile cards like Fire Extinguisher (The Miskatonic Museum, 114) and Flare (The Miskatonic Museum, 115) may grant you punchy, single-use answers to your challenges, there are plenty of cards in The Miskatonic Museum like Brother Xavier (The Miskatonic Museum, 106), which simply allow you to spend your experience for incremental improvements and that allow you to better fulfill your role within your team of investigators.

So will you carry your campaign forward from The Dunwich Legacy by investing your experience toward the long game, and make sure you have the big, splashy effects on hand for the moments you need them? Or will you slowly and steadily reshape your deck to feature higher-level allies like Brother Xavier, higher-level Talents like Pathfinder (The Miskatonic Museum, 108), and maybe a couple of Painkillers (The Miskatonic Museum, 117) to help you keep going, even when you've been bruised and battered?

The choice is yours.

Don't Touch the Exhibits

The Miskatonic Museum is now available, and the Necronomicon is waiting. Will you be able to find it? Will you fall victim to a deadly predator? Be careful as you conduct your investigation. There's more to the museum's exhibits than first meets the eye.

Head to your local retailer to pick up your copy of The Miskatonic Museum today!

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© 2016 Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games, the FFG logo, Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are ® Fantasy Flight Games.

Hints of a Terrible Truth

Published 15 February 2017 | Arkham Horror: The Card Game

Hints of a Terrible Truth

The FAQ for Arkham Horror: The Card Game Is Available for Download
 

"When Dr. Herbert West disappeared a year ago, the Boston police questioned me closely. They suspected that I was holding something back, and perhaps suspected graver things; but I could not tell them the truth because they would not have believed it."
     –H.P. Lovecraft, Herbert West—Reanimator

The Arkham Horror: The Card Game FAQ (pdf, 1.4 MB) is now available for download.


Click to download the Arkham LCG® FAQ

In Arkham Horror: The Card Game, you and up to three friends become the unlikely heroes of a series of dark and supernatural mysteries. These adventures may lead you from the sleepy New England town of Arkham, Massachusetts—where the Roaring Twenties are hushed and muted—to points across the United States, around the world… and, perhaps, even to alternate dimensions and alien worlds.

The truth is that we humans are far less important than we'd like to think. The universe we take for granted is only a fraction of the larger reality (and series of realities) that we can't fully fathom. While we bloat our importance in our minds, the universe remains cold and impassive. And alien beings of unfathomable scope and power stir from their eons-long slumber in worlds only thinly separated from our own.

As the powers and influence of these Ancient Ones bleed into our reality—and with the fate of the world seemingly at stake—you'll want to follow every lead that might help you avert their threat. You'll cherish every piece of information that may grant you insight into the larger mystery before you. And that's what you'll find in the Arkham Horror: The Card Game FAQ.

For more about the FAQ, we turn to designer Matt Newman.

Matt Newman Reveals the FAQ's Darkest Secrets

Greetings! Today we release the first edition of the FAQ for Arkham Horror: The Card Game. Many of you are long-time LCG players who are familiar with the concept of an FAQ. However, we also realize many of you may be newer to the LCG model, and this may your first experience with an LCG FAQ.

With that in mind, I’d like to briefly introduce the concept of an FAQ before talking about this first edition of the FAQ for Arkham LCG—why it exists and how it will be used moving forward.

What Is an FAQ?

FAQ stands for “Frequently Asked Questions,” but that is just one of the functions this document serves. It also introduces card errata, additional rulings, and other clarifications.

Why do we need an FAQ? It is the nature of Living Card Games that they grow, change, and evolve over time. The card pool expands, the metagame shifts, new concepts are introduced, and other concepts fade away. The FAQ allows us—and you—to keep up with the game’s evolution.

If we discover a unique interaction that leads to concerns, we can use the FAQ to formalize how that interaction should be interpreted under the game’s rules. If a problematic interaction pops up, we can use the FAQ to remedy the situation. Obviously, we work hard to limit these types of situations, but like the investigators of Arkham Horror, we are only human!

Additionally, if one of our “mad scientist” players discovers a deck or combination of abilities that warps the enjoyment of the game, there are tools in the FAQ that we can be use to nudge that deck or combination into a healthier place. In short, the FAQ is a living rules document that can adapt to handle the needs of the game at any given time, and it exists to maintain the highest standards for the core Arkham LCG experience and aid your understanding of the game

What Will You Find in the FAQ?

Within the FAQ, you will find a number of different sections, each of which is introduced below.

  • Notes and Errata

This section is typically used to correct errors that have been discovered in the cards or rules material.

These changes may be made in the form of “errata,” which change the functional text of different components, or they can be made in the form of notes that clarify any points of ambiguity that apply to a single card. Occasionally, a card may receive errata to correct a game balance concern.

We strive to keep the number of entries in this section to a minimum, but it occasionally becomes necessary to errata a card or a section of the rulebook to maintain an enjoyable game experience.

In this first edition of the Arkham LCG FAQ, we have issued errata to the five investigator-specific cards from the Core Set, which should have no level instead of being level "0." This change helps to clarify the ways they function in deck-building. We also issued errata to two of the weaknesses from The Dunwich Legacy in order to clarify who receives trauma from those weaknesses. Finally, we have issued errata to several rules in the Rules Reference, one of which alters the process of investigator elimination in order to ensure that an investigator’s unique weaknesses always have a direct effect on campaign play.

  • Definitions and Terms

This section offers definitions of useful new vocabulary for discussing the game, or reinforces terms that are already defined in the existing rules documents.

In this version of the FAQ, we have used this section to define several concepts that are unique to Arkham LCG, including "Signature" cards—cards only one particular investigator may include in his or her deck—and several key phrases that appear commonly during gameplay.

  • Rulings and Clarifications

This section is essentially an expansion of the Rules Reference, presenting a number of general rulings that apply to specific topics or situations that may emerge in a game.

For this first edition of the FAQ, we have added several rulings and clarifications that serve to fill gaps in the Rules Reference, clarifying who can trigger abilities on which cards, how Reaction opportunities and nested sequences work, and who is referred to by the words “you” and “your” on encounter cards.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

The section from which the FAQ derives its name, this is a series of direct questions and detailed answers.

Questions come to us through our website rules link and through conversations our team has with players in person and online. In this section, we aim to provide answers to the most common of these questions, as well as some of the reasoning behind our answers.

It is often just as important for players to know why a particular ruling was made as it is to know the answer itself, and we often use this section to provide some of that rationale.

  • Quick Reference

The final section is a Quick Reference player aid that presents important information from various places in the Rules Reference in a fast and easily comprehensible manner.

There is nothing completely new in this section; it is merely a more accessible presentation of material that was already present in the rules. We simply reformat it in a way that may help prevent it from being overlooked or misunderstood.

Always Keep a Hand Slot Open for the FAQ

It is our hope that this document will aid you in your investigations in Arkham. We will continue to update its content throughout the course of each year, in order to ensure that the game’s rules are able to keep up with its ever-changing card pool and metagame.

     –Matt Newman

The Rarest of Tomes

With all the ways it helps you navigate the challenges of Arkham LCG, you might expect the FAQ to reside under lock and key, hidden away in a dark corner of the Orne Library. Instead, it's available to everyone via the Arkham Horror: The Card Game website's support section. Download your copy today, and see if you can't put its forbidden knowledge to good use in the darkest and most dire of situations!

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© 2016 Fantasy Flight Games. Arkham Horror, Fantasy Flight Games, the FFG logo, Living Card Game, LCG, and the LCG logo are ® Fantasy Flight Games.

Kakugo

Published 15 February 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

Kakugo

Be Prepared or Perish When the First Data Pack in the Red Sand Cycle Arrives

 

Jinteki. The name inspires fear in even the most seasoned of Runners. The name promises not just death, but a painful one—a death from one thousand cuts. And on Mars, each cut slices a little deeper. 

It’s a matter of course that all Corps are dangerous, but lethality itself is built into the essence of everything that is Jinteki. Beating the trace can foil NBN’s best efforts to close your accounts. Investing in a Plascrete Carapace (What Lies Ahead, 9) can protect you from Weyland’s scorched earth tactics. And keeping a click free can prevent HB’s bioroids from frying your brain. 

But nothing—nothing—can protect you from every point of Net damage that Jinteki can deliver. Your Guru Davinder (The Liberated Mind, 84) may prevent a Ronin (Future Proof, 112) from flatlining you. And your Feedback Filter (Creation and Control, 37) may protect you from a Bio-Ethics Association (Democracy and Dogma, 50) for a turn or two before it gets too expensive. But as you count the cards remaining in your deck, the question isn’t whether or not you’ll run out, but when. Can you find that last agenda before simply initiating a run will spell your doom?

The arrival of two new Jinteki cards— Kakugo (Daedalus Complex, 13) and Synth DNA Modification (Daedalus Complex, 12)—in Daedalus Complex, the first Data Pack in the Red Sand Cycle for Android: Netrunner, makes this dilemma more challenging for Runners than ever!

Be Prepared

Jinteki’s ice is notorious for delivering net damage with its subroutines. From Neural Katana (Core Set, 77) to DNA Tracker (Escalation, 53), it’s always been clear that Runners took their lives into their five-card grips anytime they facechecked Jinteki’s defenses without the proper suite of breakers. 

But Jinteki’s newest barrier, Kakugo, threatens to disrupt even those reliable and stalwart defenses. Instead of dealing damage when its subroutines fire, Kakugo delivers a point of net damage when the Runner passes it. With this in play, its seems that installing the right breaker will only end up killing you faster.

And if the Corp installs a few copies of Synth DNA Modification, you may find yourself experiencing those one thousand cuts just as fast as you can replenish your grip with a can of Diesel (Core Set, 34). When it’s rezzed, Synth DNA Modification  does a point of net damage the first time a Runner breaks a subroutine on a piece of AP ice each turn. Although breaking multiple subroutines doesn’t increase the damage dealt by Synth DNA Modification, rezzing multiple copies of it will. If you install all three, breaking Kakugo’s sole “End the run” subroutine may only cost the Runner 1 credit with most fracters, but it could end up also costing them four cards. 

Of course, with a rez cost of four and a mere one strength, Kakugo is a likely target for Parasite (Core Set, 12) and Knifed (Order and Chaos, 38), or even Emergency Shutdown (Cyber Exodus, 43). And with a trash cost of only two, Synth DNA Modification may not stay on the board very long after it’s rezzed. So, if you’re hoping to make the Runner really bleed, you may need some Friends in High Places (Martial Law, 90). 

Death Can Be Beautiful

Jinteki seeks harmony in all things—even death. Other corporations may seek to punish runners for their transgressions by trashing programs, melting brains, and ending lives in sudden, violent outbursts. But Jinteki builds these dangers into every mainframe and infrastructure on its grid. Death doesn’t come as a surprise to the enemies of Jinteki; it hovers in front of them every second of their attack. 

Runners take damage against Jinteki in proportion to the frequency and depth of their runs. Take a point of net damage every time you spend a click running into Hokusai Grid (Humanity’s Shadow, 95). Dig deep enough into R&D and take three damage from a Snare! (Core Set, 70) There’s a balance in all things—but Jinteki’s sysops are paid to ensure that maintaining balance means keeping their corporate masters on top. 

To do this, Jinteki’s defenses don’t ever warn the Runner, “If you move against us, you will suffer.” Instead, they seem to be saying, “You will act against us and you will suffer. Now, let us see who is better prepared.” 

Bear this in mind Runners, as you attempt to throw the rig you made from some spare parts and specs you found in the darker corners of the net against Jinteki’s psychic detective, army of cloned samurai, and ice modified by synthetic DNA.

Who do you think is better prepared? 

Find out when Daedalus Complex arrives in your local game store next week!

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Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2017 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2017 Wizards.

The Great Ranging

Published 15 February 2017 | A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

The Great Ranging

Preview the Night’s Watch Cards of Watchers on the Wall

“I will not sit here meekly and wait for the snows and the ice winds. We must know what is happening. This time the Night’s Watch will ride in force, against the King-beyond-the-Wall, the Others, and anything else that may be out there. I mean to command them myself.”
  
–Old Bear Mormont, A Game of Thrones

Below the Neck of Westeros, priorities are different. The Great Houses have the freedom to play their game of thrones—to jockey for social position and destroy their rivals with military strength or cunning intrigues. Though the Night’s Watch may prefer to stay clear of sordid power struggles, they find themselves inescapably drawn into these schemes nonetheless. 

With the Watchers on the Wall deluxe expansion for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, the Night’s Watch receives a significant influx of new cards. But rather than building on their existing theme of defending the Wall, many of these cards fall into a different category. In truly dire circumstances, the Night’s Watch must leave their posts and ride out. Whether they range into the lonely lands beyond the Wall or ride south to join the game of thrones, you’ll find several new cards in Watchers on the Wall that reward you for leading the Night’s Watch to attack your opponent.

The Watch Rides Forth

In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, many Night’s Watch decks devote themselves to defending The Wall (Core Set, 137). Using cards like The Haunted Forest (There Is My Claim, 66), For the Watch! (No Middle Ground, 67), and Craven (Called to Arms, 26), the Night’s Watch could find great success in negating enemy challenges and using The Wall to consistently gain power. 

Still, defending The Wall isn’t the only path open to the Night’s Watch. With the introduction of the Kings of Winter (Called to Arms, 38) agenda, a new, more aggressive Night’s Watch deck began to emerge, focusing on choking your opponent’s supply of gold and cards and quickly killing any characters that made it to the board. If you’re leading your Night’s Watch on the attack, you’ll find several cards in Watchers on the Wall that could slot right into your deck, starting with Cotter Pyke (Watchers on the Wall, 4).

Cotter Pyke is the commander of Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, and he finds a natural home in many Kings of Winter decks. His cost-to-STR ratio is efficient, and for any deck running Winter plots, efficiency is of the utmost importance. And what’s more, Cotter Pyke bears the two most important icons for an aggressive Night’s Watch deck, allowing you to attack your opponent’s board and hand. Finally, Cotter Pyke reads, “Reaction: After Cotter Pyke bypasses a character using stealth, if there is a Winter plot card revealed, choose a Night’s Watch character and have it gain stealth until the end of the phase.” Combined with Cotter Pyke’s own stealth, you’ll be able to push your challenges through, even against an opponent with a superior position. 

You’ll also find two other characters that excel at attacking in Watchers on the Wall—namely, Jon Snow’s friends, Grenn (Watchers on the Wall, 10) and Pyp (Watchers on the Wall, 11). With only military icons and no abilities that work on defense, Grenn and Pyp are unlikely to earn their place in defensive deck. But when you’re launching your own attack, they can prove quite useful, especially together. 

After you win a challenge in which Pyp is attacking, you can choose another attacking Night’s Watch character and give that character insight. And if you win a challenge in which Grenn is attacking, you can move one power from your opponent’s faction card to another attacking Night’s Watch character. Though they need to attack with friends to have the best effect, Grenn and Pyp offer significant value without spending much gold. 

Of course, you may find difficulties when you face a deck that leaves its forces standing to defend, such as a more defensive Night’s Watch deck. That’s where the new version of Maester Aemon (Watchers on the Wall, 5) comes in. With Maester Aemon in play, when the challenges phase ends, you can choose an opponent and a challenge type that was not initiated against you this phase. Then, your opponent must satisfy the claim of that challenge as if you were the winning opponent! In essence, this gives your opponent an incentive to make all three challenges—which kneels more of his characters and creates openings for you to slip through. Or, if he chooses not to make challenges, you can exact additional claim with Maester Aemon. You might even pair Aemon with Bridge of Skulls (Lions of Casterly Rock, 32) or a two-claim plot like Famine (Calm Over Westeros, 100) to truly punish your opponent. 

Embrace the Wild

For many men of the Night’s Watch, the wildlings are their sworn enemies—the very threat that they have sworn to oppose. Others, however, can see that the wildlings are as human as the Night’s Watch, and there are far greater threats in the lands beyond the Wall. Jon Snow (Watchers on the Wall, 1) is one such character. As we’ve already seen, Jon Snow can be used in a defensive deck to stand all defending Night’s Watch characters after he wins a challenge. However, his ability also invites you to stand all attacking Wildling characters after you win a challenge with Jon Snow, and an alliance with the Wildlings may be just what you want for your deck. 

Wildlings like Rattleshirt (Watchers on the Wall, 39) make it very difficult for your opponent to defend if he doesn’t control characters with attachments. Combine that with Weirwood Bow (Watchers on the Wall, 43) and your opponent will have even more difficulty mounting a defense! As an Action, you can kneel Weirwood Bow to reduce the STR of a defending character. And, perhaps most importantly, the attached character doesn’t need to participate in the challenge to use the Weirwood Bow—you can safely fire your arrows from afar and help your other characters push challenges through.

Once you’ve won the challenge, The Frozen Shore (Watchers on the Wall, 42) is an invaluable tool to prepare for another attack. After winning a challenge, you can kneel The Frozen Shore to stand one attacking Wildling for each revealed Winter plot, making this another natural fit for a Kings of Winter deck that brings the Night’s Watch and Wildlings together. You may even call upon Mance Rayder (Wolves of the North, 39) to lead your Wildlings into battle.

Join the Watch

Whether you’re defending the Wall or leading your ranging parties beyond it, you’ll find cards to support your decks in the Watchers on the Wall deluxe expansion. Join us next time for another preview of the Night’s Watch cards in this expansion, and pre-order Watchers on the Wall at your local retailer today!  

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The copyrightable portions of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this game are derived from works copyrighted by George R.R. Martin, and may not be used or reused without his permission. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, its expansion titles, Living Card Game, LCG, the LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

Blood and Water

Published 14 February 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

Blood and Water

Announcing the Fourth Data Pack in the Red Sand Cycle for Android: Netrunner

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Blood and Water, the fourth Data Pack in the Red Sands Cycle for Android: Netrunner.

Everyone knows that the Big Four want control over Mars to boost their profits. But what can Mars offer that’s profitable enough to justify the enormous expenses of terraforming a barren, irradiated desert? What’s valuable enough to warrant shipping supplies across the solar system and fighting with the entrenched and steadfast Clans? Why not just stay on Earth, where it’s warm and already profitable?

The sixty new cards (three copies each of twenty different cards) in Blood and Water shed light on the agendas that the Big Four are pursuing on Mars—and the forces arrayed against them!

Same Agendas, Fewer Restraints

No matter where you are in the solar system, you’ll find Jinteki attempting to perfect the human race, NBN vying for total control of information, and Weyland working hard to mine anything they can sell. But on Mars, as the newest Agendas for each faction demonstrate,  you’ll find that the Corps take these goals much farther than they do on Earth. Away from the regulations of national governments and the incessant monitoring of citizen journalists, these corporations are able to pursue their most extreme ideas with impunity. 

For Jinteki, this involves the ultra-secret Obokata Protocol (Blood and Water, 70). Like its predecessor, the Fetal AI (Trace Amount, 32) program, the Obokata Protocol warrants the highest—and most lethal—protection Jinteki can provide. And on Mars, “No unauthorized personnel beyond this point” isn’t a request; it’s a statement of fact enforced by four net damage. If the Corp secures their server with clones from the Ben Musashi (Earth’s Scion, 54) line or a few well-armed Prisec (Blood Money, 40), the Runner may have no choice but to leave the Protocols alone, even after they glimpse those three tantalizing points. 

On Earth, NBN’s grasp on the Net gives them unparalleled control over the news and other media, but old habits and legal standards have limited their role in one of the most prominent information industries—education. On Mars, they’re looking to break into the field with their Reeducation (Blood and Water, 74) initiative. This three-point agenda gives NBN the chance to shape everyone’s thoughts by replacing the cards in their HQ with new ones from R&D. It would seem that even the most strong-willed runners and stubborn Clanspeople can’t resist all of the media all of the time. 

Meanwhile, Weyland’s approach to making money is even less subtle than usual as they engage in Meteor Mining (Blood and Water, 76). While it may sound like the “comet jockeys” engaged in meteor mining are scouring space rocks for precious minerals, they’re actually scouring asteroid belts for solid bodies that contain sufficient quantities of ice and ammonia. With the help of remote-controlled thrusters, they hurl these meteorites into specific locations on Mars. Over time, the gasses released by these impacts could make the atmosphere on the Red Planet more inhabitable for humans without protective mods. Until then, the Weyland Consortium denies any and all rumors that the casualties associated with meteor collisions could be the result of pilots targeting corporate saboteurs or Net criminals. 

Clan Agitator

To many colonists, there’s nothing objectionable about the agendas being pursued by the Big Four on Mars. More crops, more oxygen, more schools for everyone, they say. But many Martians see things differently. They remember a time before the Martian Colonial Authority (MCA). They remember when it was their food, their air, and their education—and they’re still willing to fight for it! 

Alice Merchant (Blood and Water, 61) is a Martian native who fights alongside Jarogniew Mercenaries (Blood and Water, 62) to resist the MCA and the corporate interests it serves. Long years of turmoil and conflict have made it clear that the grudges between Clans may be even more detrimental to Martian success than day-to-day corporate maleficence. But Alice knows that exposing the right corporate misdeeds could motivate the Clans into working together against a common enemy.  

Like other Anarchs, Alice is prepared to dig through the neglected files in the Corp's Archives for the evidence she needs—like proof that the Whampoa mines (Blood and Water, 79) are sacrificing Martian lives for some Earther’s bottom-line—and exploit all weaknesses she finds there. Specifically, she forces the Corp to trash a card the first time she makes a successful run on the Archives. This effectively enables her to gain an access on HQ by running Archives. More importantly, it enables her to disrupt the Corp’s plans while taking advantage of cards like Retrieval Run (Future Proof, 101). 

The War Never Ended

The MCA may have proclaimed its victory more than a decade ago, but true Martians know that the war never ended. They can still see evidence of it in the corpse-strewn battlefields that surround their homes, and they can still feel the call to arms as corporate agendas chip away at their freedoms.

The Big Four are growing more and more confident as they settle into the Red Planet to pursue their wildest agendas yet. This means it's time for the Clans to choose their path—will they band together to oppose the MCA or will they let old feuds tear them apart? The corporations say that they can bring water to Mars, but whose blood will pay for it? 

Look for Blood and Water to arrive at retailers in the first quarter of 2017!

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Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2017 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2017 Wizards.

Your Clearance Has Been Granted

Published 13 February 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

Your Clearance Has Been Granted

You Can Now Preview the Corp Cards from Terminal Directive

Delgado crossed her arms and looked at the ground. “It was a bioroid that did this.”
     Frank stared. “No way. Bioroids can’t kill. They’ve got those Directives—.”

:: What if Delgado's right? What would it mean if a BIOROID actually committed the murders at the heart of the TERMINAL DIRECTIVE Campaign Expansion for ANDROID: NETRUNNER?

The answer would most likely depend upon your POINT OF VIEW.

In our last preview, we looked at the rules for the Terminal Directive CAMPAIGN and the ways they introduce a BRAND NEW PLAY EXPERIENCE to Android: Netrunner. But there's FAR MORE to the expansion than just its murder MYSTERY. After all, every mystery needs a crime, a criminal, and someone looking to bring that criminal to JUSTICE. And in Terminal Directive, the form that justice takes is going to depend heavily upon the IDENTITY of the man, woman, or CORP that delivers it.

// Design or Destroy?

There are FOUR NEW IDENTITY cards in Terminal Directive, as well as 159 other tournament-legal player cards (three copies each of fifty-three different cards). This means that Terminal Directive isn't just introducing campaign play to the game; it's serving as the equivalent of a deluxe expansion—on a par with Creation and Control, Honor and Profit, Order and Chaos, and Data and Destiny.

EXCEPT… Terminal Directive doesn't focus on just two of the game's factions, like those deluxe expansions, and the cards it introduces DO MORE than permit new deck designs. The PLAYER CARDS in Terminal Directive are split primarily between four factions—CRIMINAL, SHAPER, HAAS-BIOROID, and the WEYLAND CONSORTIUM—and they SHAPE YOUR EXPERIENCE of the expansion's narrative campaign.

At the beginning of your Terminal Directive campaign, you'll elect to play as either CORP or RUNNER, and then you'll ACCESS the player cards for your side. Access the Corp cards, and you'll need to choose whether you approach the campaign as the highly secretive SEIDR LABORATORIES (Terminal Directive, 28) or the aggressive defense contractors at SKORPIOS DEFENSE SYSTEMS (Terminal Directive, 41).

// The Secrets You Keep

As the Corp player in Terminal Directive, you need to FOCUS on the task at hand, but you need to keep an eye to the LONG-TERM FUTURE, as well.

Let's presume, for a moment, that Detective Delgado's assumption is correct. If this killer is a bioroid, what does that mean for you?

     :: IF you're Haas-Bioroid, it means you've got to work hard to CONTAIN the potential for damaging BAD PUBLICITY. It might also mean—to those with BLACK LEVEL CLEARANCE (Terminal Directive, 39)—that the latest BRAIN REWIRING (Terminal Directive, 29) has teeth.

     :: IF you're Weyland, it means that you've gained a chance to CAPITALIZE upon Haas-Bioroid's blunder. If you can capture this bioroid killer before Haas-Bioroid gets to it, they can't really stop you. Any effort to do so would mean an IMPLICIT ADMISSION of their involvement.

So this bioroid—IF IT EXISTS—may represent your best chance to DISSECT a prototype bioroid to learn how its brain is built, well before it's meant for market. And then? You can use that TECH to drive your construction of artificially intelligent ICE, like the COLOSSUS (Terminal Directive, 48), or your network of HUNTER SEEKER drones (Terminal Directive, 51).

// Executive Directive

Naturally, the word that the NAPD are investigating a possible bioroid killer has caught the attention of the EXECUTIVES at both Haas-Bioroid and Weyland. And you? Your hunt is going to come under some real executive SCRUTINY. But it's one for which you'll be WELL-SUPPLIED.

When the likes of ESTELLE MOON (Terminal Directive, 32) and MR. STONE (Terminal Directive, 46) get involved in your business, business gets moving. If you're not the one moving it, then you're IN THE WAY… And it's not good to get in the way.

So set up your HONEYFARMS (Terminal Directive, 54). Follow the PAPER TRAIL (Terminal Directive, 53). There's a whole deluxe expansion's worth of new player cards in TERMINAL DIRECTIVE, all waiting to see use in the race to CONTROL THE TRUTH.

Is Terminal Directive the next EVOLUTION in the Android: Netrunner experience? See for yourself when the expansion releases. Head to your local retailer to PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY today!

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Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2017 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2017 Wizards.

The Land of Steel

Published 13 February 2017 | Runewars Miniatures

The Land of Steel

Delve into the Lore of Runewars Miniatures Game

In your games of Runewars Miniatures Game, you become the general of a fantasy army, battling to decide the fate of Terrinoth. But what is Terrinoth? Who are the peoples that fill this realm? What are the stories behind Waiqar the Undying and the magical runebound shards? How did the Daqan Lords fall so far from their once-proud origins of their great nation? What part will the Latari Elves or the Uthuk Y’llan play in the unfolding wars?

Fortunately, you’re not without a guide to this realm. In addition to everything that you need to become a general and lead your massive armies into battle in the game, the Runewars Miniatures Game Core Set contains a Lore Guide to give you a glimpse into the realm of Terrinoth and the forces of the Daqan Lords, Waiqar the Undying, the Latari Elves, and the Uthuk Y’llan. 

You've already had the chance to learn about the gameplay of Runewars, as we looked at the command tools, movement, combat, and your objectives, but today, we’ll give you just a taste of the tales you’ll find within the Lore Guide.

The Tale of Timmorran

In early days, the great enemy of Terrinoth was Llovar, the Locust. The land was laid bare by Llovar’s armies, and many a great man and woman perished at their hands. But in the end, the heroes of old defeated him, and the Locust was silenced. Among those heroes were Daqan, Triamlavar, Grumson, and Waiqar, among many others. Yet greatest among those heroes was the wizard Timmorran Lokander. It was he who slew Llovar, and it was under his stewardship that the remnant kings set out to build a new peace.

Timmorran settled in a quiet vale, and there built Meryngir, a great tower of magical learning. Yet for all Timmorran’s wisdom and power, he was old and he must have felt the arid winds of mortality in his bones. He wanted to pass his magic to future generations, and so he made his terrible mistake.

Timmorran began to craft a mighty artifact, which he called the Orb of the Sky. The orb was an enormous crystal, holding pure magical power, unbound and easily channeled by lesser wizards. Yet that power was neither good nor evil. Without Timmorran’s judgment, without his sense of right and wrong directing it, it was simply power. 

And so it was that Timmorran was betrayed by the power he sought to harness. One night, Waiqar Sumarion, the greatest general of the age and Timmorran’s friend, rode with his army into Wizard’s Vale and surrounded Meryngir. Waiqar demanded the Orb of the Sky, and it was only then that Timmorran realized his folly. He had naively believed that the stain of evil was washed from the world along with the Locust. But the tides of the Ynfernael wax and wane, and they had swelled within the heart of Waiqar. 

The wizard had little time, for Waiqar’s warriors began to assault Meryngir, and it would not be long before they breached its defenses. With his most trusted student, Lumii Tamar, Timmorran ascended to the top of Meryngir. There, using the last of his earthly powers, the wizard destroyed the Orb of the Sky, the most powerful artifact this world has ever seen, shattering it into thousands upon thousands of pieces. 

Timmorran took one piece, and with its power he channeled the great hoard of shards into a small pouch, no greater than the size of your hand. Then it is said that Lumii Tamar transformed himself into a great crow, and Timmorran tied the pouch to Lumii’s leg. With Lumii on his shoulder, the wizard moved to a great window, and using one of the forgotten words of the Yrthwrights, he summoned the crows of the nearby mountains.

As the tower door finally fell to Waiqar’s soldiers, the crows appeared in legion and soon circled the night sky around the tower in untold numbers. It was into this great flock that Lumii took wing, and the archers of the Betrayer could not discern him among the murder of crows that choked the sky. So it was that Lumii Tamar escaped the Night of Betrayal and Timmorran placed the Orb of the Sky beyond Waiqar’s reach.

The Betrayer found Timmorran alone in the orb’s chamber, and when he realized the artifact had slipped beyond his grasp, Waiqar was enraged. He killed Timmorran without hesitation, and as he did so, storm clouds began to gather in the sky above. When the Betrayer pried a single blue shard from the hand of the dead wizard, he understood what had transpired.

With his old friend’s lifeblood still hot on his hands, Waiqar strode from the tower. Under the gathering storm, Waiqar swore that until he possessed Timmorran’s power, he would never rest. As Waiqar made this vow, the skies above Wizard’s Vale curdled with ancient, malignant power. So it was that Waiqar cursed himself to undeath.

But the curse was not satisfied with Waiqar alone. One by one his soldiers fell dead. The rain turned black and became a poisonous, torrential downpour, rendering flesh from bone as easily as boiling acid. A thunderous wail of suffering echoed through Wizard’s Vale in a gruesome cacophony. 

In the clamor, Waiqar held his arms out to the rain, and the deadly drops slid off his white skin without effect. It is said that every child in the realm woke at that moment, lending their frightened cries to those of the damned trapped in Wizard’s Vale. 

Only Waiqar remained standing as the rain stopped. As he lowered his arms, the clouds broke, and the moon revealed the grotesque scene upon the valley floor. What had been a living army hours before was a silent field of bones and liquefied flesh. Thousands upon thousands of armored skeletons lay before him, each twisted by the pain inflicted upon them in their final moments. Wet armor and fallen weapons glistened in the moonlight like shining stones in a black lake. The feathers of crows flurried across the ground, fallen leaves from the tree of death.

Suddenly compelled, Waiqar begin to chant in a voice that was not his own. Though he did not know his words, he knew their meaning. They spoke of dust and the grave, of dirt and worms, of rotten sinew and cold earth. As his chant rose, an icy wind blew across the valley floor. The wet armor of the dead bloomed with frost. And the dead began to rise.

Slowly, one by one, the soldiers stood, their eyes vacant except for the tiniest violet sparks. These were proud warriors who in life had been ensnared by lies and usurped by an unholy rite. Alas, as they rose in the death, they were as fiercely loyal to their general as they had been while breathing…

The Shadow of the Past

From the Night of Betrayal on through the centuries, Waiqar the Undying has never stopped in his efforts to recover the Orb of the Sky—at any cost. Only the Daqan Lords now stand in his way. Join us next time for a closer look at the armies and lore of the Daqan Lords, and remember to pre-order your copy of Runewars Miniatures Game at your local retailer today!

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TM & © 2016 Fantasy Flight Games.

The Fall of Astapor

Published 10 February 2017 | A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

The Fall of Astapor

Announcing the Third Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold Cycle

“Dracarys!” they shouted back, the sweetest word she'd ever heard. “Dracarys! Dracarys!” And all around them slavers ran and sobbed and begged and died, and the dusty air was filled with spears and fire.
   –George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce The Fall of Astapor, the third Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle for A Game of Thrones: The Card Game!

Bloody plots consume the Seven Kingdoms, as once-loyal bannermen turn against the kings that they had sworn to serve. A procession from Dorne marches north to King’s Landing, intent on exacting vengeance against the Lannisters. Robb Stark moves quickly to reclaim Winterfell, unaware of the dark plots being hatched in Harrenhal and The Twins. And on the continent of Essos, Daenerys Targaryen liberates the city of Astapor from the Good Masters and wins an army of Unsullied in the manner of Old Valyria—with fire and blood!

The Fall of Astapor is the next Chapter Pack in the Blood and Gold cycle, continuing the saga of A Song of Ice and Fire into the third volume, A Storm of Swords. Within this pack, you’ll find more cards focusing on the new bestow keyword, powerful new economy, new ways to spend your gold, and the subtly growing influence of House Frey. You’ll even have the chance to add iconic characters and locations to your deck, including Grey Worm, The Twins, and a new version of Theon Greyjoy.

Overthrowing the Masters

Daenerys Targaryen’s conquest of Astapor is one of the most iconic moments of A Storm of Swords, and equally importantly, it marks the first time that her dragons are used in battle. It’s fitting that the Chapter Pack entitled The Fall of Astapor should offer some of the greatest support for Targaryen burn. 

In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, “burn” refers to lowering a character’s STR, and it’s primarily the domain of House Targaryen. Though reducing STR is not inherently lethal, there are plenty of cards to kill zero STR characters, including Dracarys! (Core Set, 176), Plaza of Punishment (Core Set, 173), and Blood of the Dragon  (No Middle Ground, 75). Still, with the exception of Dracarys!, most of these cards only reduce a character’s STR by a small amount. In order to burn the largest, most iconic characters in the game, you’ll need a way to reduce their STR much more significantly. 

That’s where the two Targaryen cards from The Fall of Astapor come into play. First, you’ll find Grey Worm (The Fall of Astapor, 53), the commander of Daenerys’s Unsullied. Your opponent will soon learn that there are few sights more terrifying than Grey Worm attacking with a Dragon hovering overhead—as a simple Action while Grey Worm is attacking, you can choose a defending character and give that character -3 STR! Even powerful characters like Stannis Baratheon (There Is My Claim, 67) may fear defending Grey Worm’s challenges—combine Grey Worm’s ability with Dracarys!, and nearly any character in the game can be burnt to death. Still, leaving Grey Worm unopposed can be equally dangerous, since his five STR is perfect for playing Put to the Sword (Core Set, 41). And as you might imagine, Grey Worm is even more deadly when commanding a legion of Unsullied (Core Set, 171) in battle.

Still, Grey Worm can only burn your opponent’s characters while he is attacking during a challenge, which makes his scope relatively limited. To get the most out of your burn effects, you’ll need a card like Astapor (The Fall of Astapor, 54). 

Like many cards in the Blood and Gold cycle, the effectiveness of Astapor is directly connected to how much gold you choose to spend on it. Astapor only costs one gold to marshal, but it has the bestow (4) keyword, meaning that you can place up to four gold from your gold pool onto this card when you marshal it. Then, Astapor reads, “Action: Kneel Astapor to choose a participating character. Until the end of the challenge, that character gets -X STR. X is the number of gold Astapor has.

The versatility and power of Astapor cannot be underestimated. First, it’s extraordinarily flexible—it can hit any character, so long as that character is participating in a challenge. And it can be used as an Action at any point during the challenge. Astapor also burns away a significant portion of your opponent’s STR. If you’ve fully charged Astapor with four gold, you’ll reduce a character’s STR by four: bringing almost any character within reach of Dracarys!, Plaza of Punishment, or even Blood of the Dragon. Finally, Astapor is eminently reusable. Rather than a one-shot event like Dracarys!, both Astapor and Grey Worm are effects that remain on your board turn after turn, giving you a cumulative advantage. After all, even if you don’t kill an enemy character by reducing their STR, you may open the door to win challenges and let characters like Mirri Maz Duur (Calm Over Westeros, 93) or Quaithe of the Shadow (Tyrion’s Chain, 113) do their work.

Fire and Blood

Across the continent of Essos, Daenerys Targaryen is gathering her army and calling her supporters to her side as she plans her conquest of Westeros. Whether you fight for the True Queen or you’ve joined the Usurper’s dogs, you’ll find plenty of new cards to enhance your decks in The Fall of Astapor!

Look for The Fall of Astapor Chapter Pack at your local retailer in the second quarter of 2017.

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The copyrightable portions of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this game are derived from works copyrighted by George R.R. Martin, and may not be used or reused without his permission. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, its expansion titles, Living Card Game, LCG, the LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

The Impetus of Evolution

Published 10 February 2017 | Android: Netrunner LCG

The Impetus of Evolution

Welcome Michael Boggs to the Design Team of Android: Netrunner

The design team has changed. The game has not. 

Hello Android: Netrunner players! We have a number of updates to share with you today, most notably a change in our design team. As many have heard, Damon Stone will be leaving Fantasy Flight Games and the team in charge of Android: Netrunner.

To begin, FFG and the LCG department would like to thank Damon Stone for his six and a half years of service, over which he has provided design and development work on the A Game of Thrones LCG, the Call of Cthulhu LCG, the Android: Mainframe board game, and most recently and prominently, your game of choice, Android: Netrunner. Damon has decided to move onward to the next phase of his life’s journey, and while we will miss him, his talents, and his contributions to the team, we wish him the very best in the future.

His departure obviously left a great void on the LCG team that needed to be filled, and we are pleased to introduce the new designer for Android: Netrunner, Michael Boggs. Michael comes to us with a keen insight and passion for the game that was forged in the fires of the Seoul and Busan metas in South Korea. In talking with him, it became evident he had a unique talent for clear, elegant, and creative design work that would make him a strong addition to the LCG design team.

With these announcements, we’d like to give Damon Stone an opportunity to say farewell to you, the community he has helped build, then take a few moments to talk to Michael so you can get to know him.

Damon Stone

I started working for Fantasy Flight Games in August of 2010 as the lead designer for the first edition of the A Game of Thrones LCG. Over the years, I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with some of the best game designers, developers, producers, graphic designers, and art directors in the industry, and on some of the most compelling IPs in hobby gaming. I will always think fondly of my first visit to FFG, when I was an enthusiastic playtester passing through Minnesota on a business trip, and how my passion and dedication led me to contacting Nate French in hopes of gleaning how he ended up the lead designer on one of my all-time favorite games. Here I am now, an experienced designer and developer, and I’ve tried to pay that patience and interest forward, answering questions when I can and encouraging fans and gamers to become the next crop of new designers and developers. Part of doing this is remembering what it was like when you were on the outside or just making a name for yourself and showing confidence and trust in handing over something you love to someone who loves it as much as you.

It is time for me to turn the reins of Android: Netrunner to a new developer. I will always be involved in the game and the Android universe, but my role now is more that of fan, reader, and eventually speculator. I look forward to having more time to play casually, read novellas with excitement and glee, and speculate on where the metagame will go next, what new part of the Android universe will be explored, and what that will do for and to my favorite decks. 

To one of (if not the) best communities in gaming: Thank you for your trust and faith and for allowing me to share with you my passion and vision for the game and the worlds of Android.

Michael Boggs is a dedicated designer and developer and I very much look forward to what he has in store for all of us.

- Damon Stone

Damon, thanks again. It has been a pleasure working with you over the years, and we are grateful you are still available as a consultant to assist with the future development of the game.

Let’s turn now to Michael Boggs, and see what he’s all about…

Michael Boggs

Fantasy Flight Games: Michael, tell us a little about your experience with Android: Netrunner. How would you describe yourself as a player? What do you like most about the game?

Michael Boggs: I started playing Android: Netrunner not long after it released. My friend brought the game over one evening and demanded that we play. Though it took me a few games before I really understood what was going on, I immediately fell in love. It was so different and new and complex. I was addicted.

When I moved to Busan, South Korea, I found a small but dedicated Android: Netrunner community. We’d meet multiple times a week and hold tournaments at least once a month. The group that I played with became some of my best friends.

After about two years in Busan, I moved to Seoul where I was able to join up with a much larger and competitive scene. Unfortunately, due to the nature of living abroad, many of the key members of the Seoul Android: Netrunner community returned to their home countries not long after my arrival. Though the community shrank in response, I continued to play regularly until I moved back to the U.S.

My favorite thing about Android: Netrunner is the fact that a person’s individual style truly defines them as a player. You might build a deck that you wield flawlessly, but when I pick it up, I run it into the ground. I also love that the more you play with someone, the easier it becomes to read their actions—an incredibly important aspect of the game. For instance, my friends have realized that, as a Runner, I tend to be aggressive. As such, it’s pretty easy to lure me into traps. And they do that. A lot. The fact that they can know me on a personal level and tailor their playstyle accordingly is truly amazing.

FFG: What are your favorite decks to play? Do you have any favorite cards?

MB: For Corp, Thousand Cuts Jinteki. It can be difficult to win if the Runner knows your tricks, but being able to snipe key cards is always a ton of fun. For the Runner, hyper-aggressive Criminal. I love finishing a run with more cards and credits than I started with.

Even though I die to it way more than I should, and can never seem to pull it off myself, my favorite card is probably Project Junebug (Core Set, 69). In my opinion, it’s one of the most quintessential Android: Netrunner cards. There’s nothing more satisfying than tricking your opponent into flatlining themselves.

FFG: What were you doing before you joined the LCG design team?

MB: Since 2012, I’ve worked in South Korea as an English instructor. My original intent was to only stay abroad for a year, but I enjoyed my time so much that I ended up living there for four.

FFG: Do you have any experience doing any type of creative work? Any game design experience?

MB: Yes! Upon moving to South Korea, I began developing a two-player card game that I worked on for years. I was even in talks with a well-known publisher concerning the game before joining FFG to work on Android: Netrunner. In addition, I had a handful of other card and board games that were in various stages of development.

Along with a friend, I also started a group for tabletop game designers in Seoul. Through that group, I was able to regularly playtest with renowned Korean designers and publishers.

Though teaching was technically my job since moving to South Korea, my passion has always been card and board games. I’ve really treated my design work like my second job over the years.

FFG: What’s been the biggest challenge for you in shifting from the mindset of an Android: Netrunner fan and player to an Android: Netrunner designer?

MB: I’ve had to redirect my focus to the continued and future health of the game rather than simply concentrating on what I like or dislike as a player. Due to Android: Netrunner’s sheer scope and the fact that rotation is taking place very soon, this has definitely been challenging! There’s a lot to consider!

FFG: What are your thoughts on the current metagame, and how would you like to see things develop?

MB: For a long while now, things have been pretty readily dominated by orange and yellow. While I think that, realistically, there will always be a handful of decks that are on top, there should be much more diversity in the colors represented. 

That being said, Shaper and stealth have started to pick up steam recently and Haas-Bioroid seems to be holding its own. I would definitely like to see Weyland find their footing, and I think that some of the upcoming cards will certainly help with that.

Thanks Michael. It’s been great getting to know you, and we look forward to seeing what you will bring to the Android: Netrunner team!

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Netrunner is a TM of R. Talsorian Games, Inc. Android is TM & ©2017 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. Netrunner is licensed by Wizards of the Coast LLC. ©2017 Wizards.

Follow Your Destiny

Published 9 February 2017 | Star Wars: Force and Destiny

Follow Your Destiny

Learn More About Savage Spirits and Its Associated Specialization Decks

"I don’t know anyone named Obi-Wan, but old Ben lives out beyond the dune sea. He’s kind of a strange old hermit."
     –Luke Skywalker

The Force flows through all things. It binds the galaxy together. And if you open yourself to its call, it can lead you just about anywhere…

You may have already taken your first steps along the path toward your destiny with Savage Spirits, the Seeker sourcebook for Star Wars®: Force and Destiny™. Now, you can proceed further along your chosen path with four new, Seeker-focused Specialization and Signature Abilities Decks!

Each of these four decks comes with cards that make it easy for you to access the rules for all the different talents associated with one of the specializations or signature abilities from the Savage Spirits sourcebook. Whenever you learn a new talent, you can keep its card with your character sheet.

Having the rules immediately at hand can not only save you time looking them up in the middle of an exciting roleplaying session, but it can also help you remember to make use of your talents. Plus, each card features evocative, full-color artwork that helps to get you in a Star Wars frame of mind.

The Seekers' Legacy

For the thousand-some generations of the Jedi Order, the galaxy's Seekers have followed the Force, seeking their destiny wherever they were led. This frequently left them on the outside of civilization, but it also led them to many discoveries. They were among the first to plot the hyperspace lanes, using the Force as their guide. They were the ones who most likely discovered the priceless Crystal Caves of Ilum. Seekers uncovered ancient Jedi outposts and abandoned Sith Temples alike.

Now, with Savage Spirits and its associated Specialization Decks, you can explore even more of the Seeker's legacy within your Force and Destiny campaign.

Savage Spirits and its 96 full-color pages flesh out the Seeker career with three new specializations, two signature abilities, three playable species, and a bestiary of seventeen different creatures that might serve as adversaries or bonded companions—or both. Meanwhile, new weapons, gear, and armor serve your Seeker well during hunts in the wilderness. New vehicles and starships help you explore the galaxy. And new information about Seekers and their possible motives can help you either more fully conceive a new Seeker character or better incorporate your friends' into your ongoing campaign.

The four associated Specialization and Signature Abilities Decks make it easier for you to assimilate this wealth of information, keeping much of it at your fingertips.

New Specializations

Previously, our announcement of Savage Spirits identified the book's new specializations, and we looked at some of the different ways the Executioner specialization allows you to become an apex predator. However, not all paths lead toward violence, and some Force-sensitive characters may even choose to avoid it as best they can—even if that means they must travel far away to some remote location.

Like many of the specializations in Force and Destiny, the Hermit specialization offers much more than you might catch on just one glance. By leading lives isolated from the impositions and irritations of outsiders, Hermits can better focus on developing their abilities and connections to the Force. Free from outside distractions, these characters may further themselves in ways previously unimaginable to them.

That doesn't mean, however, that Hermits will always remain isolated. Those who can be convinced to rejoin society can be of great value, not only in their use of the Force but also in dealing with wilderness survival and deadly creatures. They may not always feel at home in the Core worlds and large cities, but their skills in dealing with the galaxy's wilderness regions can make them invaluable for ensuring the party’s survival in harsher climates.

As a specialization, the Hermit offers your Seeker the ability to forage for food, water, and shelter, and like the Pathfinder specialization from the Core Rulebook, the Hermit permits you to acquire an Animal Bond. This is particularly notable because while the Hermit's skills don't suggest a focus on lightsaber techniques or combat of any sort, the fact that the specialization allows you to raise your Force rating twice means that you can increase your bonded companion's silhouette rating to the point where it may be able to defend you from just about anything you might face.

New Signature Abilities

No matter whether you stick with the specializations from the Force and Destiny Core Rulebook or explore the new ones from Savage Spirits, your Seeker will almost certainly relish the opportunity to take advantage of one of the sourcebook's new Signature Abilities, Unexpected Demise and Unmatched Pursuit. Available only to experienced Seekers, who have developed their talents all the way down to the bottom rows of their talent trees, these Signature Abilities promote narrative and mechanical abilities that are both truly exceptional and distinctly within the Seeker's realm.

Executioners and Hunters may appreciate the way Unexpected Demise allows them to further establish their roles as apex predators. With Unexpected Demise, you can spend an action and two Destiny Points early in an encounter to identify your foes' weaknesses. Then, in each of the next two rounds, you can use a maneuver to exploit that weakness, adding a Triumph result to your next combat check. Developing this ability further allows you to increase its duration, reduce the amount of Destiny Points you need to spend to trigger it, and improve your chances of successfully pinpointing your foes' vulnerabilities.

Pathfinders, Navigators, and other Seekers may prefer to develop their abilities with Unmatched Pursuit, which ensures that they can keep pace with any NPC or vehicle that attempts to flee from them. It is more narrative in its design than Unexpected Demise and, as a result, may require more imagination on the part of the players and Game Master, but it transforms your Seeker into a paragon of pursuit and can lead to fantastic chase sequences on both the personal and planetary scale.

Only the most experienced Seekers can ever unlock the secrets of either of these Signature Abilities, so when you do, it's an achievement worth commemorating with the Seeker Signatuer Abilities Deck. You earn one card each time you master a new talent. A group of these cards next to your character sheet serves as visible proof of your skills.

New Species

Because they spend so much of their time exploring the galaxy, Seekers are prone to encountering a wide variety of different alien species. Savage Spirits introduces three more of these sentient aliens as playable species: Anx, Ithorian, and Quermian.

From left to right: Quermian, Ithorian, and Anx

The brawny, reptilian Anx loom over most other sentient species, despite their natural hunched posture. This fact, along with their deep, rumbling voices and the color-changing crests atop their heads, means that there is no mistaking an Anx anywhere in the galaxy. In Savage Spirits, the Anx become playable as a species with three brawn whose innate grasp of anatomy allows them to excel as both healers and duelists. Meanwhile, their durable frames and fearless attitudes make them capable of intervening in dangerous places and putting their talents to good use.

Often referred to by the nickname “Hammerheads,” Ithorians are easily recognized for their unusual head structure and vocal apparatus. In their native societies, Ithorians are almost universally pacifists, eschewing conflict in order to keep their planet and society as close to their concept of "Mother Jungle" as possible. Violence is, in fact, so anathema to Ithorian life and society that those who act violently are exiled, and these exiles may become bitter and vulnerable to the lure of the dark side.

The Quermians are a tall, spindly species, with slender torsos surrounded by six limbs—including two pairs of arms—and extended necks nearly as lengthy as the trunks from which they rise. Their species is a offshoot of the Xexto, produced through genetic tampering long ago by Arkanian scientists. Although larger, Quermians tend to be less physically adept than their Xexto cousins and rarely make full use of their great height or the extended reach of their four arms. Instead, most of them rely on the extensive mental processing power offered by their dual brains, which they use to read other species for their own benefit.

New Paths

Whether you pick up Savage Spirits to make use of the options it affords your Seeker or because you're a Game Master looking to lead your friends into the galaxy's untamed wildernesses, you'll find it an exciting and useful gateway to much of what makes the Star Wars universe so utterly wild, alien, and fantastic. Create a new character using the book's new species, advance your existing character by learning one of the book's new specializations, or master your talents with one of the book's new signatures abilities.

Savage Spirits is available at your local retailer, and its associated Specialization Decks are now available as well. Pick up your copies today!

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© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.

A Glimpse into Madness

Published 9 February 2017 | The Investigators of Arkham Horror

A Glimpse into Madness

The Investigators of Arkham Horror Is Now Available at Retailers

"Those who dare investigate these incidents witness the inexplicable. Having seen such phenomena, they can never regain their old view of the world. Now that they know the hideous truth, they cannot run or hide from it."
     –The Investigators of Arkham Horror

Steel yourself for a test to your sanity. Once you gaze upon the face of madness, you will never be the same again. Your old worldview will crumble, shattered by the horrifying realization that we humans are not alone.

The Investigators of Arkham Horror is now available at retailers throughout the United States. Availability in other regions may vary.

We are but insignificant motes in a vast and frightening universe. The only reason we don't recoil in terror from the unfathomable denizens of the other worlds and dimensions that border upon our own is because we lack the means to perceive them. But at times, we may witness traces of their passing through our world—Strange sounds in the dark. Women and children gone missing. Alien incantations in rare and ancient tomes. Nightmarish dreams of unnatural clarity.

While most of us dismiss these anxieties as foolishness, there are some who explore them to uncover the hidden truths the rest of us fear to face. Their stories are full of heroism, mystery, and madness. And for the first time, you can learn more about them than ever before…

In the Grip of an Unshakeable Truth

Over the course of its beautifully illustrated 264 full-color pages, The Investigators of Arkham Horror immerses you in the action, terror, and mythos of the Arkham Horror Files setting. You'll find your favorite investigators thrust into action in a series of fifty-two short stories that serve as the backstory to your next Arkham Horror Files game.

Why does Dr. Vincent Lee fear Arkham isn't the quaint and quiet old town he'd hoped it would be? And what has driven him to investigate the series of "mysterious" deaths to which the chief physician and police have already ascribed various causes? What price did expedition leader Leo Anderson pay for his pursuit of the rare artifact, Olosopha's Almanac? How were the expedition's injuries connected to the mysteries of R'lyeh? And what do the answers to these questions mean to your next experience as Leo Anderson in Arkham Horror or Eldritch Horror?

Since The Investigators of Arkham Horror leads you deeper into the Arkham Horror Files setting through narratives, rather than exposition, you will not only learn more about your favorite investigators, but you'll step momentarily into their shoes. You'll walk through the streets of Arkham; wend your way through the dark, New England, hillside woods; and browse the musty aisles and rare books of Miskatonic's infamous Orne Library. You'll learn more about these locations first-hand by visiting them. And you'll catch glimpses of things you can't easily explain.

While the stories from The Investigators of Arkham Horror are not linked by plot, you may find certain recurring themes. Strange markings in the woods and upon the bodies of the deceased. Ominous behavior among the privileged elite who are able to set themselves apart from the rest of the city and its concerns. Hints at alien worlds and unknown creatures that become increasingly difficult to ignore. Who are the Ancient Ones? Over the course of fifty-two stories, you'll approach a new understanding of these terrifying entities—one born of a gradual awakening to the true nature of the universe…

Learn What You Can… Before It's Too Late

In all of our Arkham Horror Files games, you'll find malevolent forces performing unholy sacrifices and dark rituals. You'll find furtive cultists moving silently through the darkened streets. You'll encounter gruesome murders and otherworldly monsters. And there's always a reason to act swiftly: The ritual is nearly complete. The monsters are free to terrorize our world so long as the portal remains open to some other world. The Ancient Ones are stirring…

There's a reason to act swiftly now, too. The Investigators of Arkham Horror has made its way to retailers across the U.S., and its dark secrets are available to all. Make sure you arm yourself with the knowledge the book contains. Keep it out of reach of ghouls and the Order of the Silver Twilight. Head to your local retailer and pick up your copy today!

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A Lannister Always Pays His Debts

Published 8 February 2017 | A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

A Lannister Always Pays His Debts

House Lannister in A Game of Thrones: The Card Game

A man in dark armor and a pale pink cloak spotted with blood stepped up to Robb. “Jaime Lannister sends his regards.” He thrust his longsword through her son's heart, and twisted.
  
–George R.R. Martin, A Storm of Swords

Throughout A Song of Ice and Fire, the ambitions of House Lannister play a pivotal role, working behind the scenes to manipulate courtiers and warriors alike. In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, the Lannisters are little different—drawing upon their vast economy and terrifying characters to defeat their foes.

Today, guest writer Kenno Nishioka takes the side of House Lannister, exploring their inherent advantages and just a few of the many ways that you might choose to build a Lannister deck.

Kenno Nishioka on House Lannister

From a certain perspective, challenges are at the forefront of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game. Matches can be won or lost by a single Put to the Sword (Core Set, 41), a claim raise from Winter Is Coming (Core Set, 159), or a lethal trigger from Mirri Maz Duur (Calm Over Westeros, 93). Challenges carry heavy weight in the direction of every game.

But from another perspective, the battle doesn't begin when you marshal your first character or reveal your first plot—it begins with your faction choice and the wealth of options that that choice brings. Sun Tzu asserts that “Every battle is won or lost before it's ever fought,” and I must agree, to a certain extent. If you’re looking for a faction that will give you a fighting chance in any game, there are plenty of reasons to turn to House Lannister.

Quality Characters

The Lannisters possess some of the best characters in the game. Their onslaught of new threats just never ends. From the efficient Tyrion Lannister (Core Set, 89), who can help pay for events or ambush characters, to Ser Gregor Clegane (The King’s Peace, 49), who can win challenges on his own, your opponent needs a fast answer for every character or they will start to run the game.

Unpredictability

When your opponent sits down against your Lannister deck, the faction card and agenda aren't enough to gauge what kind of deck you’re playing. And in a game of lies, deceit, treachery, and hidden information, this plays to the advantage of the Lannisters. There are some universally good cards, which will be played in almost every Lannister deck, such as Ser Jaime Lannister (Core Set, 87), or Burned Men (Core Set, 91), but there are also cards that completely change the focus of your deck, such as Harrenhal (For Family Honor, 50) and Tower of the Hand (Wolves of the North, 30), that your opponent can’t expect to see in every Lannister deck. 

This unpredictability also extends to gameplay. You can initiate a challenge with Cersei Lannister (Core Set, 84), while sitting on a pile of four gold. Your opponent has no idea if that gold is for Tears of Lys (Core Set, 44), Trial by Combat (Calm Over Westeros, 90), The Hound (Taking the Black, 9), The Queen's Assassin (Core Set, 95), Red Keep Spy (Lions of Casterly Rock, 12), or any number of other cards. The depth of the Lannister card pool is a powerful thing to leverage, keeping your opponent from mentally preparing for what you can bring to the table.

Economy

If there's one distinguishing feature that sets the Lannisters apart from any other faction, however, it has to be economy. The early days of the game were dominated by “big guy” decks, fueled by our keystone Tywin Lannister (Core Set, 90). With Tyrion by his side, you have at least six copies of characters that can win challenges on their own, while giving you the gold to populate your board with even more threats. 

Hear Me Roar!

Now that we’ve outlined a few of the things that make House Lannister a formidable faction, I want to shift our attention to some of the deck choices available for this faction using the economy as our framework.

All the Gold in Casterly Rock – High Curve

In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, when players want to develop their board, they usually pay a certain amount of gold for a character, whether that’s a small character who can be killed for military claim to preserve their better characters, or a more expensive, quality character who can push challenges through.

House Lannister, crucially, excels in having characters that help you play out more and more threats, filling the board with more and more questions that your opponent needs to answer. If your opponent can't reliably defend Ser Gregor Clegane’s military challenge with more than five STR, for instance, he will fall behind, sooner or later.

Aaron Glazer’s Lannister Banner of the Rose (2015 Red Saturday winner), and Chris Schoenthal’s Lannister Banner of the Dragon (2016 Gen Con winner) decks used high-gold plots, such as A Noble Cause (Core Set, 4) and Trading with the Pentoshi (The Road to Winterfell, 39), to drop threat after threat, turn after turn. Strong, impactful characters such as Tywin Lannister and Tyrion Lannister were essential to the deck's success, as fielding either one early helped accelerate into other high-impact characters.

These decks often use plots like The First Snow of Winter (No Middle Ground, 79) to pare down the board, then follow up with a huge military challenge to pick off what's left. From that situation, ambushing Burned Men into play, followed by Marched to the Wall (Core Set, 15) as your next plot, could be back-breaking for many decks.

I Never Bet Against My Family – Tempo

As the card pool expanded, House Lannister has gotten more and more tools and toys. The release of The King's Peace spawned the infamous Lannister decks which used The Lord of the Crossing (The King’s Peace, 60) to tear up the tournament circuit for over a month. Pioneered by Lucas Sydlaske, these decks harnessed the initially-panned “jumper events” like I Never Bet Against My Family (The King’s Peace, 50), and Hear Me Roar! (Core Set, 100) to “cheat in” high-cost characters for nearly free.

While other decks would commonly spend all their resources to marshal characters, equip attachments, or invest in locations, the Lannister player would typically enter a challenges phase spending one or two gold to bring in big, heavy-hitting characters, while still having enough gold for Put to the Sword or Tears of Lys to take out a key character from the opponent's side. Through a single explosive challenges phase, the board is forced into the Lannister player's favor, and makes it exceptionally difficult for the opponent to even fight back effectively, because the Lannister player’s characters get discarded at the end of the phase no matter what.

Because of the much lower gold cost of the jumper events, these decks could run two copies of Counting Coppers (Core Set, 10), a plot which is supposedly a huge tempo loss. But consider an example where you and your opponent both reveal Counting Coppers simultaneously. Your opponent might draw into more characters and more power for her deck, but she probably won't have the resources to play them immediately. That's a huge tempo loss—there’s no pressing need for you to answer anything immediately. But when you draw any combination of jumper events, you can immediately play more big characters and continue to lock your opponent out of the game. Once your opponent’s board has been wiped, there’s an upper limit to how many new characters can come out each turn.

A Lannister Takes What Is Offered – Choke

Varbeg Morghulis 2016 offered two breakout decks which have since revolutionized the way we approach the game: Tamas Albeck's pet deck, Night's Watch Fealty (Core Set, 27), and Jakob Hultman's Lannister Kings of Winter (Called to Arms, 38). They were both decks that could function on as little economy as possible.

Specifically, Jakob's deck used the jumpers module, but went even more extreme, with plots like Famine (Calm Over Westeros, 100) and Wraiths in Their Midst (No Middle Ground, 80), which deprived his opponents of both cards and gold. This comes at a steep price, though, because the Kings of Winter agenda lowers the reserve of both players, and the Winter plots in the deck have inherently low reserve and gold values as well.

This means that the deck must be built to survive the harsh winds of winter by using its resources as efficiently as possible. Your opponent may play out most of his hand to avoid discarding cards to meet his reserve, but your Lannister deck can aggressively burn through jumper events to wrestle for early board control, continuing to reduce your opponent’s cards and choking his resources.

It Feels Good to Be a Lannister

In A Game of Thrones: The Card Game, knowing what your deck can or can't do goes a long way towards each victory. And by choosing a faction which can reliably dictate the economy—or the lack of it—in a game, you take an active role in determining the outcome of a game before you ever shuffle up and draw.

I personally view each deck as a blank canvas—sixty card slots to fill, and economy is the easel that supports your blank sheet from the very first stroke of paint. Finding that right support can be difficult, but when you find the right balance, you might just strike gold.

Kenno Nishioka discovered A Game of Thrones: The Card Game in 2014 and has been in love with House Lannister ever since. He is one of the organizers for The Liberation of Yunkai, the Philippine leg of the player-organized tournament circuit for East Asia and Oceania. Best described as a compulsive deckbuilder, he is always deep in thought about revisions and refinements over several decklists. He contributes articles to various A Game of Thrones: The Card Game websites, and uploads videos of his local meta on their Youtube Channel. You can find him online under his handle, kennish.

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The copyrightable portions of A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition is © 2015 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. Licensed by George R.R. Martin. The names, descriptions, and depictions applied to this game are derived from works copyrighted by George R.R. Martin, and may not be used or reused without his permission. A Game of Thrones: The Card Game Second Edition, its expansion titles, Living Card Game, LCG, the LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved to their respective owners.

X-Wing™ 101: Imperial Veterans

Published 8 February 2017 | X-Wing

X-Wing™ 101: Imperial Veterans

Guest Writer Zach Bunn Offers an Introductory Imperial Squad Build

Are you new to X-Wing? Did you get the Core Set, fall in love with the game's fast-paced dogfights, and now you're looking to take your next step? Or maybe you've seen others play it, and you've wondered what it would take for you to play the game at the level you'd enjoy?

If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions—or you're looking to grow your local player community—then we welcome you to our X-Wing™ 101 series of articles!

In our X-Wing™ 101 articles, we turn to different members of the fan community and ask them, "If your friend was interested in getting into X-Wing for 101 USD, what sort of squad would you recommend building? What purchases would you recommend?"

Today, we put the question to Zach Bunn, a multiple X-Wing Regional winner and founding member of Team Covenant. As an avid tournament player and a fan of the Empire, Zach offers a squad that aspiring Imperial players can throw together on a tight budget and still fly to great effect.

Welcome to the Imperial Academy

When I was first asked to contribute to the X-Wing 101 series, I knew exactly what I wanted to attempt. Could I build an X-Wing squad for just $101 that I would feel comfortable taking to a tournament? I decided the best way to approach the challenge was to focus on a single faction and—like any good citizen of the Empire—I picked Imperial as my faction.

Imperial ships tend to have less hull and shields than their Rebel and Scum counterparts, but they gain increased agility and mobility in exchange. This makes them particularly apt at two cornerstones of X-Wing: swarms and aces. Their mobility makes Imperial swarms a work of art, as you might expect from a squadron of TIE fighters. Aces, on the other hand, rely on high pilot skill values, and their ships are generally filled to the brim with upgrades. Legendary pilots like Darth Vader and Soontir Fel fill the upper ranks of the Empire. These aces pose serious threats and sometimes seem impossible to hit!

I started my journey by looking at which Imperial aces I could put together on a budget. Very quickly, I realized that most of the typical aces, like the previously mentioned Soontir Fel and Darth Vader, required several expansions to build for the top tiers of tournament play. So if not aces, how about swarm? The reality is you can actually build a pretty good swarm for $101. But I’m not prone to flying swarms, so I was looking for another route.

What else could the Empire offer on a budget?

I decided to take a look at every Imperial ship, and after hours of puzzling together the pieces, it became clear that the best place to go after a Core Set was the Imperial Veterans Expansion Pack.

The contents of the Imperial Veterans Expansion Pack.

This expansion is great for a number of reasons. Not only does it have a lot of great pilots and upgrades, but the TIE defender is the perfect ship for the aspiring Imperial pilot. It doesn’t quite fly like a traditional ace, but it gets close and is one of the most well-rounded ships the Imperials have. It also doesn’t require too much in the way of upgrades to be a great ship. This means I can field a highly effective ship without needing many expansions.

The only problem with using Imperial Veterans at the core of my squad is that it only comes with a single TIE defender, so the next addition to my buy list was the TIE Defender Expansion Pack. This expansion offers a suite of additional defender pilots along with great upgrades. As I started constructing a list from a Core Set, Imperial Veterans, and a TIE Defender Expansion Pack, every list seemed to want the Push the Limit upgrade.

This upgrade only comes in the A-Wing and Imperial Aces Expansion Packs, though, so with just $16 left I opted for an A-wing.

  • 1x Classic Core Set
  • 1x Imperial Veterans Expansion Pack
  • 1x TIE Defender Expansion Pack
  • 1x A-Wing Expansion Pack

By the time I decided on this list of products, I all but knew the list I was going to construct. After a bit of back and forth on what exactly to include, I built the following list:

          Countess Ryad with Push the Limit and TIE/x7 (35 squad points)

I’ve outfitted the Countess with Push the Limit and the TIE/x7 Title. This allows her to get a focus token, evade token, and target lock all in the same turn. The fact that the Countess can acquire a target lock is crucial, as it is also how Colonel Vessery will end up with all three tokens as well. It also allows both ships to use their focus and evade tokens on defense, if needed, and still use their target locks to modify their offense.

          Colonel Vessery with TIE/x7 (33 squad points)

The Colonel pairs nicely with the Countess. As I mentioned, he looks to grab a free target lock each turn—assuming Countess Ryad has her own target lock. His unique pilot ability, along with the evade token he grabs from the TIE/x7 Title, means he should also start combat with a focus token, evade token, and target lock. This makes both defenders difficult to hit and lethal enemies.

          "Mauler Mithel" (17 squad points)

"Mauler Mithel" is a fantastic flanker. He’s able to put out enough offense that your opponent can’t just ignore him, but they also can’t turn their entire squad to face him. While he poses an offensive threat, don’t be reckless with Mithel. A single bad roll can easily mean the end of his duty!

          Black Squadron Pilot with Crack Shot (15 squad points)

The Black Squadron Pilot is effective for blocking enemy ships and soaking enemy attacks. You should welcome any attack directed against this ship, but that doesn't mean you should look to give free attacks to your opponent. You can use Crack Shot early to score a quick damage, but leaving it on your Black Squadron Pilot makes him a more attractive target for enemy attacks.

Playing the List

Some ships, like a Lambda-class shuttle with Emperor Palpatine on it, are just asking to be attacked first. One of the key decisions this list forces on your opponent is to decide where to attack first. The truth, though, is that there isn’t a great option!

Your opponent may attempt to create a tempo advantage by going after your weaker ships, the TIE fighters. If they do this, they risk ending up in a position at the end of a game where they don’t have enough dice to actually deal damage to your TIE defenders. If they choose to go after the defenders, this buys you significant time with the TIE fighters, so use it wisely!

This list seeks to play defensively and, ultimately, kite an opponent based on the targets they choose. Against ships with higher pilot skill values, it may be tempting to save your focus tokens for offense by taking a damage or two, but don’t do it!

Use your focus tokens to shore up your defense rolls early, and you should win chances to spend them toward your offense on future passes.

I do not recommend trading damage on your ships for a chance at doing damage to an opponent later in the round. Against lower pilot skill ships, don’t be afraid to do less damage and save your focus for defense.

In the early parts of each game, you want to focus fire when possible. This list can deal a lot of damage quickly, particularly to less agile targets like a VCX-100 or Lambda-class shuttle. There are few ships that the TIE defenders can’t take on at the end of the game, either as a pair or even one-on-one. Be wary of enemy ships that you might not be able to take out with diminished firepower, such as particularly agile aces like Soontir Fel or Poe Dameron .

Moving Forward

The goal of this list is to function as a jumping off point for aspiring Imperial players that reinforces the fundamental strengths of the faction.

After a few games, you’ll start to learn how to use its ships to create and exploit combat advantages. If you’re looking to add to this list or modify it, I’d take a look at the Imperial Aces, TIE/fo fighter, and Inquisitor’s TIE Expansion Packs. I always recommend playing ships you’re excited about, though, so that is another route for what to add next!

Best of luck and and welcome to the Academy!

     —Zach Bunn

Your Greatest Battles Are Yet to Come!

With its myriad ships, pilots, and upgrades, the X-Wing Miniatures Game is nearly as rich and diverse as the Star Wars universe itself. So if you're looking to get into the game—or you've already picked up the Core Set and are looking to take that next step—it's natural to want a guide.

Zach's Imperial list represents just one of many possible directions. In future X-Wing 101 articles, we'll find advice for aspiring Rebels and crime lords, as well. We'll also run across a wide range of opinions about what makes the game shine and what ships might help you best enjoy its various strengths.

Ultimately, we believe the best step for you to take after the Core Set is whichever one will give you the greatest enjoyment of the game. What that step may be, however, will vary from player to player, and we hope our X-Wing 101 articles may help you determine which step best suits you. So keep your eyes open for more X-Wing 101 articles and other X-Wing news, and in the meantime, you can always find more advice on our X-Wing community forums.

Remember: your greatest battles are yet to come!

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The Crossings of Poros

Published 7 February 2017 | The Lord of the Rings LCG

The Crossings of Poros

The Sixth and Final Adventure Pack in the Haradrim Cycle for The Lord of the Rings

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Crossings of Poros, the sixth and final Adventure Pack in the Haradrim cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

For several of Middle-earth's heroes, the end to a long and difficult journey through Harad is nearly within sight. These heroes have survived a shipwreck and a desert crossing. They have tamed Mûmakil and allied themselves to a tribe of good-willed Haradrim. They have battled Orcs and Wargs. They have confronted Giant Spiders and wicked Southrons. And they have freed their friends from one of the Dark Lord's dungeons.

But now the friends they have freed are slowing them down. The heroes know the Orcs and Wargs will soon return—and in greater numbers. The Southrons will want their revenge. And there are still many miles to cross before they reach the safety of Gondor.

With its sixty cards (including a new hero and three copies of each new player card), The Crossings of Poros challenges you and your heroes to find your way through the final stretches of Harad. Will you lead your company through the desert? Or will you ask them to weave their way through the rocky hills of the Ephel Dúath? Both paths bring their own dangers, and it falls to you to safeguard your heroes, their allies, and their hope for freedom.

A Respite from Your Travels

Even as The Crossings of Poros leads you through the tense final legs of your journey from Harad to Ithilien, it celebrates some of the more unusual partnerships you'll find in The Lord of the Rings. An Ent hero is accompanied by a Hobbit ally. You'll find cards representing the vigilance of Gondor as well as that of the Beornings. And you'll find new ways to use your Traps among the spheres of both Lore and Tactics.

Rather than focusing too narrowly on a single theme, the hero and player cards from The Crossings of Poros conclude the Haradrim cycle by returning to the diverse range of different Traits and mechanics that were introduced in previous cycles giving them new support. These include the return of the Encounter keyword. Embodying one of the rarest and most powerful of all player mechanics, cards with Encounter keyword allow you to dilute the encounter deck, interrupting the tide of evil with beneficial effects.

There are three copies of the card, Wind from the Sea (The Crossings of Poros, 144), in the Adventure Pack, and each bears the Encounter keyword and an encounter card back. This card cannot be placed into your deck, but instead must be set aside at the beginning of the game. Then, if you draw and play a copy of Flight to the Sea (The Crossings of Poros, 140), you can shuffle a copy of Wind from the Sea into the encounter deck.

Of course, there's no telling when (or if!) you might reveal Wind from the Sea from the encounter deck, but if you do, it will turn the tide of the game in your favor. Not only will it refresh each hero committed to the quest, but it also negates one of the encounter deck’s reveals. And this is especially welcome in a scenario that's all about accumulating a mass of other, deadlier encounter cards.

The Hazards of Harad

The encounter deck in The Crossings of Poros is something like a puzzle that comes together differently each time you play. First of all, there are two encounter sets represented in the Adventure Pack, The Crossings of Poros and Mountains of Shadow, but at the beginning of your game, you'll build your encounter deck from just one of these, The Crossings of Poros. Then, you'll set aside a variety of other encounter sets, each of which may bleed into your adventure—based upon the paths you tread and the locations you visit.

As you play through The Crossings of Poros, your heroes will struggle to keep ahead of the villains and creatures on their heels. They must cross the Desolate Lands (The Crossings of Poros, 150) of the Harondor Waste (The Crossings of Poros, 151), and as they do, you'll find yourself moving cards from the set aside encounter sets into your encounter discard pile, repesenting the different forces catching up to you!

In this way, the encounter deck for The Crossings of Poros is always shifting from round to round and game to game, chasing after you and your heroes like Orc snifflers on a scent. It changes, too, when you set your course for one of the two different Stage 2 cards, shuffling its associated encounter set into the encounter deck and removing another from play. And then it solidifies its shape even more when you travel to one of the two different Stage 3 cards, again adding one encounter set and removing the other.

The result is that even though your heroes will want to complete The Crossings of Poros as quickly as possible and put Harad far behind them, the scenario is one that will reward you time and again with fresh challenges, decisions, and encounters.

New Strength for Gondor

Although Middle-earth's heroes could move faster on their own, they wouldn't be true heroes if they left their friends behind. It is because these heroes of Middle-earth commit themselves to the safety of their newfound allies that the final stages of their journey are so fraught with peril.

The question is whether the heroes' decision will bring new strength to Gondor—and new insight into the Dark Lord's methods—or if it will lead to their downfall along the road. You'll have your chance to determine the fate of these noble heroes when The Crossings of Poros brings a thrilling conclusion to the Haradrim cycle in the second quarter of 2017!

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The copyrightable portions of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and its expansions are © 2011 - 2013 Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. The Lord of the Rings, and the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises and are used, under license, by Fantasy Flight Games. Living Card Game, LCG, LCG logo and Fantasy Flight Supply are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Fantasy Flight Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.

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