Thursday, February 21, 2019

What's New at Labyrinth 2/15/19

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/15/19
Welcome back, everyone. We've got a whole new lineup of stuff to show you, so here goes:

Troika & Zogen
We've gotten in two new games from Oink Games, makers of standout hits Startups and A Fake Artist Goes to New York. Troika is a game of space and strategy. Gems of incomparable value have been discovered on a distant world, and you've rushed over to grab your share. Unfortunately, you used all your fuel; fortunately, these gems can be turned into starship fuel! Balance your greed with need, or else you'll end up the richest corpse in the galaxy. Zogen, in contrast, focuses on a world in minature: the microscopic world of microorganisms. Players race to play out their hands, and only the swiftest evolution will see you to victory. 

Megaland is a push-your-luck game set in a retro-inspired videogame world. Players dive into levels together, splitting loot and bowing out when the risk grows too great. If you escape, you can spend your spoils on upgrades, but if you push yourself too far you'll die and lose everything! Chose wisely and live on the edge with Megaland.

In 1570s China, at the height of the Ming Dynasty, the Longqing Emperor ascends to a throne in turmoil. Seeing the corruption of the court, he embarks upon a campaign of eradication, harshly outlawing bribery. But the canny bureaucrats who ran the empire soon found a way around the restrictions: The unequal exchange of "gifts", a practice known as Gugong. In the game, players take the role of officials seeking to climb the bureaucratic career ladder. Travel the land collecting taxes, maintain the Great Wall, and trade "gifts" to get things done. Climb high enough and you may claim the greatest possible honor: a personal audience with the Emperor himself!

Reyholt is the latest worker placement game from the absurdly prolific Uwe Rosenberg. Set on the frigid isle of Iceland, Reykholt has the players take advantage of the island's geothermal energy to grow fruits and vegetables wildly out of sync with the northern climate. Develop your greenhouse and grow the right crops to win!

Hokkaido, sequel to Honshu, is a map-building game set in the beautiful northern island of the same name, the northernmost island of Japan. Players carefully construct their territories out of interlocking and overlapping terrain cards. Secure yourself the most valuable plot of land in Hokkaido to win! 

Bumuntu is a game of careful strategy and wisdom, based on the folktales of the Bakongo, the largest tribal group in Central Africa. The spirits of the animals are wise teachers, and if you follow their advice by mimicking their movements they'll grant you the knowledge to either improve your movements or hinder your opponent's. Whomever can prove themselves the wisest human, by gaining favor and collecting sacred statues, wins!

Legend of the Five Rings: Children of the Empire
Children of the Empire is the newest premium expansion for the Legend of the Five Rings LCG. It is a time of great turmoil in the Emerald Empire. The traditional balance between the great clans is breaking down, and dark forces long dormant have begun to stir. Into this chaos, the Emperor himself releases a monumental edict, one that will fundamentally change Rokugan forever. Children of the Empire shakes up the meta game with a whole new set of cards and mechanics, including the new Composure keyword. Master crisis to find victory with this stunning new expansion.

The Great City of Rome 
The Great City of Rome is a game of reconstruction and glory. After a grand fire destroyed most of Rome, the Emperor has summoned the greatest minds from around the Empire to assist in the reconstruction. Compete with your colleagues for building permits and the Emperor's favor. Only the greatest builder of the Great City can clam the laurels of victory.

Layers is a fun and detailed pattern-crafting game where speed and a sharp eye are needed to succeed. Players race to fulfill challenge cards by layering special cards with cutouts in the center, overlaying different apertures to match the pattern on the card. Fun for all ages.

Republished after a long run is the classic game Downforce, set in the high-stakes world of experimental race cards and the wealthy patrons who wager on them. If you're looking for a streamlined game of hand management, auctioneering and high-stakes betting, you can do no better than Downforce. We also have the Danger Circut Expansion!

And that's all for this week. Check back in next week for more What's New at Labyrinth!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Guild of Heroes Report for 1/26-1/27/19

Guild of Heroes Adventures
January 2019

The holidays have passed and the Guild is back to business as usual... these are the latest adventures of Niln's greatest heroes!

1/26 - Tremors with Dungeon Master Ben

Art from D&D 5e Monster Manual
The Guild’s supply of iron ore had dried up; something was wrong at the mining town of Perfection. Answering the call, our party arrived to find the town nearly abandoned. What villagers remained informed the party of their recent troubles: dozens of disappearances, strange earthquakes, and missing livestock. The party began their investigation at the mine. They had barely crossed the threshold when they were attacked by a burrowing monster know as a bulette. A difficult fight ensued. The monster attacked from below and retreated into the dirt whenever confronted, but clever tactics and a heroic effort finally slayed the beast. The party returned to the town victorious, but the danger had not passed: their revels attracted three more bulettes. Outmatched on the battlefield, our heroes did their best to aid the evacuation. It took all their strength and cunning, but eventually the heroes prevailed, distracting the bulettes with a stampede of goats. The party returned to Ft. Stonespur with the surviving villagers in tow. Their town was in shambles, but they were alive thanks to the brave sacrifice of the Guild of Heroes.

1/26 - The Bank Heist with Dungeon Master Joe

The heroes were summoned to help the Iron Bank investigate a theft from one of their vaults. Someone had burrowed into the vault from below and stolen several dangerous magic items that were being stored there for a wizard. To avoid angering the wizard, the bank asked the heroes to recover the items before anyone knew they were stolen. The tunnel into the vault turned out to be made by a giant Grick, which the heroes fought upon entering its lair. From there, they traveled deep into the sewers beneath the bank, discovering and shutting down the mysterious Elemental Tetrahedrons that were filling the sewer with tiny, angry elemental Mephits. At one point the portals even brought forth a more powerful Firenewt, but Happy reminded the creature of a time he had helped a large group of Firenewts in the past, and convinced it to return home peacefully. After fighting through another room containing a magical, darkness-producing lantern and a one-eyed Nothic that hunted them through the darkness, the heroes stumbled on their final challenge. The final corridor underground was guarded by smaller Beholder known as a Spectator. After failing to trick the Spectator into letting them pass, the party briefly stunned it and ran headlong down the passageway, dodging the Spectator’s deadly gaze as they ran. Tragically, when they arrived at the end of the hall, they found themselves short one member, as Paelias had been slain by the monster. The disheartened group recovered the last few missing items, and returned to the bank without their departed friend. After hearing about his noble sacrifice, the Iron Bank named a section of the building “The Paelias Memorial Wing” in his honor.

1/27 - Salt and Slime with Dungeon Master Nick

Art by Jean-Francois Beaulieu
On a windy night beneath a full moon, the intrepid explorers of the Guild descended below the salty shore to find fungal nightmare. The Shatterrock Lighthouse has lain dilapidated and dark the past 60 years, and when the locals decided to put it back into commission, the construction crew vanished overnight. Venturing inside, they discovered a survivor with a horrific tale: oozing death from below! The players pursued the slimes below, and were nearly devoured themselves when they encountered two gelatinous cubes in an old subterranean labyrinth. Pushing on through a tangle of caverns, overgrown by fungi, they encountered a vast fungal cathedral, where a group of slime-worshiping mushroom men were poised to sacrifice the captive workers to their slimy gods. Through bravery and quick action, the heroes dispatched the rubbery foes and saved the day.

1/27 - The Niln that Could Have Been with Dungeon Master Matt

Today's session found the guild's finest heroes - Orryn, Berrian, Drawfinistination, Happy, and Blackhorn O'Slay - returning from a successful capture mission with a dreaded warlord in tow. As a blizzard began, however, the party found themselves trapped outside overnight. Upon waking in the morning, the world had changed, with ruined statues rebuilt and the remnants of a battle appearing overnight. On further exploration, they found giants working with elves and humans to fight off an inhuman tide of abominable ooze. Stunned by the anachronistic dress and the strange language of the villagers, the party investigated further - only to be pursued and besieged by the waves of evil muck.

Driven back to the village, our heroes were tragically defeated, with multiple of them falling to corruption - only to awake, and discover that their experience had been a vision sent by a high elven wizard named Zadelrazz. He fears for the future of Niln, and wishes the Guild to investigate the abominations, but it remains to be seen if his worries will come to pass...

Join the guild as they venture in further danger, and vanquish foes yet unknown to this realm! February's events are already full, but the Guild's adventures with pick up in March with our morning and afternoon sessions on March 23rd, as well as our August summer camp beginning August 5th, 2019!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/3/18

What's New at Labyrinth: 2/3/18
Welcome back! We're continuing our rollout of tons of new stuff for the new year. We've also got some cool stuff returning after some time away! Check it out:

Root: A Game of Woodland Might and Right

Root is one of our most popular new games. This isn't technically its first appearance, but when it showed up a few months ago, it sold out before we had the chance to blog about it! This game of asymmetric strategy is a treat treat. With gorgeous art, set in a cute and colorful woodland world, the game beneath is one of ruthless competition. Players control one of four unique factions fighting for control of the forest: the industrial Marquis du Cat, the aristocratic Eyrie, the downtrodden Woodland Alliance or the roving Vagabond. Each plays differently, and player interaction is constant and relentless. Can you master the twisting paths of the woodlands and find your way to dominion?

Blackout: Hong Kong
The modern megalopolis Hong Kong has suffered a catastrophic, citywide blackout. Chaos threatens to engulf the frightened populace. Enterprising individuals must seize the moment to maintain order
and secure their own power. Organize convoys, secure zones, and gain influence in the darkened city to claim victory. 

Fury of Dracula
Returning after some time away, Fury of Dracula is a game of cat-and-mouse across a Europe draped in Gothic Horror. One player dons the cape of the immortal Count Dracula, spreading his influence across Europe, while the rest heft stakes as vampire hunters. Dracula will lay traps and spin plots, growing his influence over the continent, while the hunters must turn all their efforts toward tracking down and ending the vampire. Only one can prevail in this deadly game, and Europe itself hangs in the balance!

Machi Koro : 5th Anniversary Edition
A perennial favorite has returned! Machi Koro, the game of town building, has been reprinted in this 5th Anniversary Edition! Assemble your township out of a wide variety of building cards, each with unique effects. You can even specialize your town—will you be a prosperous town of producers, or a glitzy entertainment district draining your opponents of their hard-earned cash? Only the most successful mayor can claim victory!

On the highest peaks in the world, far above the gentle climates humans were designed to live in, the line between survival and death is razor-thin. In K2, that's the line you must walk. K2 is a game of hand management and survival on one of the world's most difficult peaks to climb. Manage your supplies and your deteriorating physical condition as you race to the peak. Beware, for storms are frequent and deadly in this region. Will you return in triumph, or remain forever on the mountain?

The apocalypse has come and gone, and left all of us in its wake. Wildlands is a game of strategy and dominion set in a fantasy wasteland. Deploy your minis, craft your orders, and make use of a huge diversity of powers and strategies to make sure no two sessions feel alike. Wildlands is a must-try for any strategy fan.

Fireball Island: Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass

A new expansion to the revived 80's classic, Fireball Island: Wreck of the Crimson Cutlass adds a new area: A half-sunken pirate ship! There's gold a-plenty available for the daring, but watch out for cannonballs!

Sports Trivia Challenge
Often, we at Labyrinth are asked to give recommendations for what game to get for a sports fan. Well, now we have an easy answer: Sports Trivia Challenge. For a casual game night or a dedicated fan, this is an excellent gift for any sports-minded gamer.

Concordia: Venus
Concordia: Venus is an expansion for Concordia, adding in new maps, new cards, and even a team mode! This expansion is an excellent way to get your copy of Concordia feeling fresh and new. 

Escape Tales: The Awakening
Escape Tales: The Awakening is a story-driven puzzle game in the vein of the newly-minted escape room genre. Players take on the role of a father, desperate to save his daughter from a coma no one can cure. To help her, he must dive deep into the realm of subconsciousness, facing bizarre dangers and puzzles along the way. With an engaging storyline and excellent puzzles, Escape Tales: The Awakening is a perfect game for any puzzle-minded player. 


Ravine is a cooperative game of survival in a bad situation. You, the players, have survived a plane crash, but you're trapped in a wilderness ravine and may not survive the night. Work together to gather resources, craft shelter, and more, but beware: The strain of survival wears hard on a modern psyche. Lose too many Heart cards and you'll go mad! Ravine has been especially popular at our Thursday Night Board Game Nights. Check it out!

Tokyo Highway
Tokyo Highway is dexterity game done in elegant minimalism. Comprised of thin gray roads, pillars, and tiny colored cars, the object is to construct a tangled nest of under and overpasses. Each road placed scores points, and you gain bonus points if it passes over or under an opponent's road. With a keen eye and steady hand, you'll find yourself Tokyo's master road builder. 

Arkham Horror: The Circle Undone
Darkness returns to the city of Arkham in The Circle Undone, the first expansion in Arkham Horror's new cycle. The Silver Twilight Lodge is conducting grim business beneath the cover of night, and people are starting to disappear. Return to Arkham and brave the darkness brewing above the city.

New Puzzles!
After weeks of dilapidation, we've finally restored our puzzle section to its full glory! Come see!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

What's New at Labyrinth: 1/20/19

What's New at Labyrinth: 1/20/19
Hey there, folks! We're back after the holiday break with a huge backlog of new stuff, so without ado we'll dive right in. Take a look:

Oliver Twist
Victorian London is a harsh place for an orphan. Oliver Twist puts you in the seat of the have-nots: impoverished street children, picking pockets to survive. Snatch some loot, don't get caught, and bring your take to Fagin. Only the child who makes the most has a shot at escaping the streets!

Wizards Wanted
In Wizards Wanted, wandering wizards compete for fame and fortune. Explore the kingdoms, gathering wealth and knowledge, while balancing your wizard's reputation. The wizards who earn the king's favor will earn their Spell License to win. 

Stephenson's Rocket
Stephenson's Rocket, Reiner Knetzia's classic game of railroads, returns! The early Wild West of railways was a heady time, and players compete to secure the valuable lines and gain a controlling interest in each other's stock. When two lines connect, the companies will merge! The game ends when only one company is left standing.

New Lego!
 After getting cleared out by Christmas, we've finally gotten back new Legos! Star Wars, Ninjago, City and more: we have Legos for everyone!

Teotihuacan: City of Gods
City of Gods is a new Euro-style game set in the era of Aztec glory. As prominent citizens of the titular Teotihuacan, you must compete for fame and glory by contributing to the construction of the holy Pyramid of the Sun. Players control a force of workers represented by dice, which you can upgrade over the course of the game. As you play, a pyramid of domino-like tiles will rise from the center of the board! Only the greatest of builders will claim victory in the City of Gods.

Trapwords is a fun new word game in the vein of Taboo. Teams of two compete to make it through a dungeon maze, by attempting to help their teammates guess the round's particular codeword. But beware: The enemy team designates a set of trapwords, and if you use one in your clues, you're sunk! A zippy party game for wordplay fans. 

Legend of the Five Rings: Emerald Empire
Emerald Empire is a new setting sourcebook for the Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game. Dive into the people and places of Rokugan with this gorgeously illustrated book. This is an excellent resource for gamemasters and players alike.

Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan
Sekigahara is a two-player historical strategy game (back in stock after a long time away) where players re-enact the battle that resulted in Japan's ultimate unification. Each player's forces consist of a cobbled-together army, whose loyalties are anything but certain. Appeal to the motivations of individual commanders to secure a critical defection, and dominion over all Japan!

Falling Sky: The Gallic Revolt against Caesar
Also back in stock is Falling Sky, a one- to four-player game set amidst the tumultous days of Caesar's conquest of Gaul. The Roman Legions are the deadliest combatants in the region, but they are far from home and cannot be everywhere at once. Meanwhile, the local kings juggle alliances with and against the Romans as they vie for control. For fans of detailed games of political and military strategy, look no further. 

A Game of Thrones: Hand of the King 
Hand of the King is a fast paced card game of cutthroat politics and subterfuge for two to four players. Amongst the great feasts and tournaments, you and your rivals jockey to be named the Hand of the King, and become the true power behind the throne. Care, precision, and luck will grant you power, but beware: when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.

Kanban: Driver's Edition
Kanban is a rich, complex game of automotive assembly (yes, you read that correctly). This new Driver's Edition brings back the deep, complex gameplay of the original, with updated components for a new era. Will you impress the upper management, or will your production fall short of the quota?

Quacks of Quedlinburg
Quacks of Quedlinburg is a riotous game of concocting potions and conning customers. Play as a motley crew of miracle workers, snake-oil salesmen and, of course, quacks. Players must push their luck by adding bizarre ingredients to their cauldron. The stranger the brew, the more potent its powers, but too much innovation will lead to the whole mess exploding in your face! Walk the fine line between genius and madness to become the greatest miracle worker of Quedlinburg.

Arkham Horror LCG: Return to Dunwitch Legacy
Return to Dunwitch Legacy brings the first campaign of Arkham Horror back in a marvelous fashion. Coming in a premium box sized to contain the entire campaign collection, it also adds over a hundred cards: new investigators, enemies, locations and more. Return to Dunwitch and delve anew into the secrets and conspiracies threatening all of time!

Pandemic: Fall of Rome
Fall of Rome is a new standalone scenario game for Pandemic. In the dying days of the Western Roman Empire, barbarian hordes from within and without the empire are breaking the shackles of imperial authority and establishing their own kingdoms. Can you stand against the tide of history and turn back the fall of Rome?

7 Wonders: Armada
Long-time favorite 7 Wonders has received a brand new expansion: Armada! Take to the high seas, for commerce or for conquest, in an entirely new dimension to your civilization. Armada adds both another layer of strategic considerations and historical realism to an excellent game. 

Fireball Island
A childhood classic returns, bigger and better than ever! Fireball Island, of 80's fame, has gotten a new publishing run under Play It Again Games. Players explore the board, a giant 3-dimensional island replete with palm trees, rivers, ravines and cliffs. But Vul-Karr, the volcano god, does not tolerate intruders lightly! Dodge his fireballs rolling down the slopes and make it to the helicopter with the most gems to win!

Shadows: Amsterdam
Shadows: Amsterdam is a game of intrigue and investigation in a classic noir scenario. A crime has been committed and the cops have shown no results, so an anonymous client has called in a crew of rival investigation companies to get to the bottom of things. Dodge the surly cops and your ambitious rivals to solve the mystery and secure a fat payday. 

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Guild of Heroes Report for 12/26-12/28/18

Guild of Heroes Adventures
Winter Holiday 2018

Blizzards and solstice festivals weren't enough to keep the Guild from fighting evil - here are some of the monsters they defeated this month!

12/26 - The Abominable Cheesemonger with Dungeon Master Matt

Due to a serious dearth of cheese in the Guild headquarters, our noble adventurers made their way to the village of Klast to seek out Beldvan Bronzefrost, the finest Cheesemonger in all Niln. Upon arriving, they learned that Beldvan was seemingly the only person in the country with a supply of milk due to a bovine plague spreading across the country. The adventurers dug deeper and discovered a conspiracy: a group of friends appeared to have started the plague and were profiting off of their cheese monopoly.
The players incapacitated the nefarious cheesemonger, stole his ill-gotten stocks, and escaped successfully to return the goods to the guild. Unfortunately, his friends remained in Klast to continue their operation - and the Guild may have to return some day to bring justice down upon them.

12/26 - Winter's Flame with Dungeon Master Yoni

The party was enjoying some well-deserved time off at Port Eismeldt in the Frozen Reach. Known for its grand Midwinter celebration, the secluded town was decked out in full splendor for the annual carnival. The adventurers heard rumors of thefts occurring around town; someone had been stealing the magically-warming Pembelon fruits that are a central part of the festivities. They investigated these rumors, but did not find a clear culprit. They also spent some time enjoying the various carnival games.

During the ceremony at sundown, a giant explosion destroyed the stage! As the townsfolk fled to safety, a galeb duhr emerged from the smoldering pit and attacked the party. During the commotion, animated lumps of coal were grabbing pembelon fruits from the nearby tents and dragging them into the pit. The adventurers eventually defeated the galeb duhr, which introduced itself as Slab, and explained that it was trying to save its friend, a small fire snake, using the pembelons.

Slab had been summoned long ago using a freezing gem, which remained embedded in the rock of his body. The adventurers realized that the latent cold magic was in fact harming the fire snake. Working together, the party jammed their various weapons in around the edges of the freezing gem and tried to pry it out of Slab’s chest. When that failed, they asked Slab to punch himself repeatedly, shattering the gem. They replaced it with a set of smaller fire gems and fused them using a fire bolt spell, giving Slab a new tether to the material plane and saving his friend the fire snake.

12/27 - Duanmer Dwarves and Bjorn the Xorn with Dungeon Master Camilla

Four heroes of the guild heeded the call of the Duanmer, a dwarven clan living deep within the mountains of the island. Some corruption had entered the underground river that gave them water, and the party sent to investigate had not returned. Note, Dynn, Jeff, and a young trainee named Riesa ventured off into the caves to investigate. They quickly identified a greenish-silver acid in the water and traced it to the old Duman Mine.

Within, they found a horrific scene. The few dwarves who had been left here centuries before were evidenced only by acid-burned skeletons and ominous journal entries. After defeating a few of the caustic creatures that seemed to have attacked the cohort, they found signs of another visitor: a three-legged, three-eyed, three-armed, metal-eating Xorn named Bjorn. With his help digesting a gate that impeded their way, they ventured further, eventually finding the source of the acrid onslaught. With the help of some Paint of Buoyancy and judicious use of an anti-acid healing salve they were able to finally remove the entirety of the contagion.

12/27 - Drekek's Devious DIY Dungeon with Dungeon Master Matt

The Guild received a tip about a dungeon holding vast treasure in the mountains of Kijiji’s reach, but the message (and generous notification) struck the Guildmasters as suspicious. They sent a party of mostly new recruits to scout out the dungeon, and it quickly became obvious that the whole place was a trap. Signs lured our heroes inside, where numerous shoddy traps and suspiciously poorly-built automata awaited them.
The heroes bested many devious traps, with Paelius surviving three separate brushes with death and the party being repeatedly bamboozled. At long last, they defeated the (komodo) dragon left to guard the treasure - and discovered that the dungeon had been constructed by an apprentice necromancer, Drekek, practicing to build her own dungeons and lure in unsuspecting heroes. They slew the apprentice and just barely got away, escaping to return to the Guild victorious.

12/28 - Dead of Winter with Dungeon Master Camilla

In the midst of a heavy winter storm came a haggard rider. 'The Guild must save the town of Homlet', he begged, crying of ice monsters and fell demons beneath the snow. Six seasoned adventurers set out, spellbooks and weapons in tow. Their numbers included three clerics: Happy, Jim (formerly known as Percival), and Drawfinistination; Euoyi the ranger; Jeff the barbarian; and Zealous the wizard. Before they even reached the town they were beset by skeletons in great number, swarming at the party from snowdrifts.

Using the Mobile Scorpion (a small ballista) from the Guild, they pushed through a series of combats deeper into the small village. They sought refuge in a small cottage, barricading the sundered doorway with stones from a hut that fell to one of the gargantuan bolts. Woken by an undead guard captain and the skeletal hordes she seemed to command, Jeff elected to face her in single combat. As they clashed, his companions burned through the hordes of oncoming skeletons, and Happy wrestled with the bone-winged bats that met him in the air. It wasn’t long before the undead had fallen to the party, and the wounded, freezing villagers spilled out of the sanctuary of the town’s chapel.

12/28 - The Mouth of Grolantor with Dungeon Master Ben

The Guild received a cryptic warning: “The Empire moves against you. Beware the Mouth of Grolantor.” With no other leads to follow, the party set out for Fort Kraos to confront the Imperial Garrison there. On the way, they stopped in Nilneer, the large port town across the strait from the fort. There they quickly uncovered a sinister Imperial conspiracy centered around the town’s winter festival.

The Empire had smuggled a starved hill giant, the Mouth of Grolantor, into the center of the festival. They planned to unleash the beast on the townsfolk and blame the Guild for the carnage. Only through the thorough investigating of Ara and Nova, the selfless sacrifice of Dynn, the bold distraction of Big Bob Bushybeard, and the skillful archery of Shadow was the party able to subdue the monster before it wreaked total destruction. Still, the influence of the Empire is strong and the party was not able to fully absolve the Guild of blame.