I find when travelling I meet some of the most interesting people. I met my wife travelling to Sydney; I have met and played fantastic games of Vintage and Commander in Dunedin, New Zealand. I have played and met many fantastic people, including some who today I still play with as team mates in Vintage events. Sometimes you meet people who when you stay in contact with them may happen to have a few tid-bits of cool information they can share.
Earlier today, one such tid-bit dropped into my lap. As we all probably have heard by now (and if not, could I get some decorating tips from you regarding sprucing up my own rock that I hide under?), there is a Magic-themed board game in the wind. There have been a whole pile of rumours floating around about whether this will be a tactical board game, collectible miniatures game or some kind of living card game.
Now I can’t say too much here because I don’t have too much, but I’d love to share with you all what I do have. Firstly I can tell you all that we have the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) happening here in Melbourne, Australia, on the weekend of 31 October to 2 November. This is right smack-dab around the corner (so if you are reading this in Aussie-land and you are not going, get your damn arses into gear, boys and girls!). Given that, I suspect that we’re going to get a good road-showing from WotC about this game. So if you can’t make it, keep an eye out at your local convention scene too. What I do know is that at PAX Melbourne there will be a playable test/demo version of the game, so it’s a great chance to get a look in on how it is shaping up and maybe some of the feedback could further shape the game into something we as a community will love.
As for the game, for the second time in the history of Magic we’re going to the vaunted plane of Shandalar. We’ve been asking as a community for a very long time when Wizards will be taking us on a journey back there, and now we get to return for the first time since the 90’s (for anyone who remembers that old video game!) With the game, it seems that a part of the game is that players will have some control over the layout and customisation of the playing map, in order to make the game repeatedly playable and interesting. I can’t help but wonder if this doesn’t mean possible expansions in the future to other planes?
Perhaps, but for now all I can confirm is the plane that has been selected is Shandalar.
Secondly, the game is based on miniatures. With 2-5 players per game, that indicates that each player is going to be selecting their planeswalker of choice as their avatar. I can confirm that the characters we’ve all come to know and love are starring as our pawns of power. My source has confirmed for me that four of the characters to play are Chandra, Jace, Nissa and Lilliana. Presently the 5th character is unconfirmed, however if like me you are doing the math, we’ve a planeswalker from each of the primary MTG colours, so we can likely assume the 5th will be an Ajani, Gideon or Elspeth. I personally am suspecting Elspeth, as if I recall correctly, that would match the monocolour walker set from the M15 release. (This, by the way, will make my wife deliriously happy as she LOVES Elspeth…) From what I have been told, each ‘Walker will have their own detailed miniature, so this could lead later to more Walkers being released as expansion sets.
From what I have for you all around the game play, your Walker of choice will be using their unique skills and abilities – summoning monsters and slinging spells while trying to out-manoeuvre and defeat the other players’ walkers. The gameplay as I also understand it is going to feature many of the spells and/or abilities that we’re already familiar with on cardboard, ported over to the miniatures world – flying and deathtouch to name two so far.
That about wraps up all the information I have presently. If or when I have more, I’d love to share it with you all. For now, what I have seen looks pretty sweet. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy to see what they have come up with. It is looking like the slated release date is going to be Spring 2015 in Aussie-land, or for you folks up there in Europe and the good ol USA, Autumn 2015. Of course if you are like Mr P, and you are as excitable about everything as a cat on catnip you can also check out magic.wizards.com/boardgame (there is even a pic to have a look at there – snazzy!), or @HasbroNews for incoming information and news on the game development front and @PAXAus for more on the PAX Australia event.
Shakespeare said: “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war”
Kaka doesn’t have dogs. Kaka makes do with letting himself slip and wreaking as much havoc as he can.