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We’re going to WBC!

July 21-29!

Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania

Use coupon code wbc2018 to receive 10% off your entire purchase and free shipping to WBC.

(coupon expires 7/20/18)

** New Arrivals **

Hannibal & Hamilcar: Rome vs. Carthage

Hannibal & Hamilcar: Price of Failure Expansion

Hannibal & Hamilcar: Sun of Macedon Expansion

Hunger: The Show

Junk Orbit

Kitchen Rush

Minerva

Mystic Vale: Twilight Garden Expansion

Race to the New Found Land

Round House

Lowlands

Starship Samurai

Food Truck Champion

Food Truck Champion: Helpers Mini Expansion

The Tea Dragon Society Card Game

6 Nimmt!

The Mind

Noch Mal! Zusatzblockeset

Wurfel Bohnanza

Penny Papers

Argent: The Consortium (2nd Edition)

Codenames XXL

Gold Fever

Senshi

Cataclysm: A Second World War

Fort Sumter: The Secession Crisis, 1860-61

Dark Souls: The Card Game

Moa

Whoosh Bounty Hunters

Viticulture: Visit from the Rhine Valley

Istanbul: The Dice Game

Steamrollers

Penny Papers Adventures: The Temple of Apikhabou

Penny Papers Adventures: Skull Island

Penny Papers Adventures: Valley of Wiraqocha

“It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.”

Norman Schwarzkopf

Thank you to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country.


878: Vikings – Viking Age Expansion

Council of Four

Dragon Castle

Explorers of the North Sea:Rocks of Ruin

Way Of the Panda

The Sands of Time

Fae

Biosphere

Ganz schön clever

Epoch: Early Inventors

Isle of Skye: Journeyman Expansion

Memoir 44: Through Jungle and Desert battle map

Rattus: Spoils of War

Riverboat

Space Base

The Game: Het Duel (Dutch edition)

Crystal Clans

Feudum: Squirrels & Conifers Expansion

History of the World

Ligretto

Memoarrr!

Dragonfire Adventures: Sea of Swords Expansion

Feudum: Alter Ego

Feudum: Seals & Sirens

Feudum: Windmills & Catapults

Box of Rocks

Broadhorns

Drop It

Pioneer Days

Lorenzo il Magnifico: Houses of Renaissance Expansion

Bohemian Villages

Citadels (2016 Edition)

Citrus

Eminent Domain: Oblivion

Mansions of Madness (Second Edition) : Sanctum of Twilight

Mystic Vale: Conclave

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Feudum

Magic Maze Maximum Security

Terrifying Girl Disorder

Sunset Over Water

Legendary Creatures

Kingdom Builder: Big Box 2nd Edition

The Manhattan Project 2: Minutes to Midnight

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Wir sind das Volk!: 2+2

Voodoo Prince

Cavern Tavern

Clank! The Mummy’s Curse

Werebeasts

Black Orchestra (2nd Edition)

Darkest Night 2nd Edition

Darkest Night Miniatures

Rising Sun

Shinobi

At Any Cost: Metz 1870

Battles of the Warrior Queen

After The Virus

Cafe Fatal

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Pixie Queeen 

Clans of Caledonia

Noria

Star Wars: Legion Core Set

Bios: Megafauna (2nd Edition)

John Company

Byzanz

Dark Ages Britannia

Mafiozoo

Roar: King of the Pride

Winged Victory

Atari’s Missile Command

The Bottle Imp

Hostage Negotiator: Abductor Pack 8

The Pursuit of Happiness: Community

Age of Thieves: Masters of Disguise

Chariots of Rome

The Grimm Forest

Age of Thieves: Masters of Disguise

The Voyages of Marco Polo: Agents of Venice Expansion

My First Stone Age: The Card Game

Castell

The Arrival

Empires of the Void II

Iquazu

Mexican Train in Tin Box

Star Trek: Ascendancy Cardassian Escalation Pack

Star Trek: Ascendancy Federation Escalation Pack

Star Trek: Ascendancy Ferengi Escalation Pack

Star Trek: Ascendancy Klingon Escalation Pack

Star Trek: Ascendancy: Romulan Escalation Ship Pack

Tak: University Edition

Xi’an

Vast: The Fearsome Foes Expansion

Argh

Terra Mystica: Fire and Ice Expansion

Elder Sign: Omens of the Pharaoh

A Feast for Odin: Lofoten, Orkney, and Tierra del Fuego

Fields of Arle: Tea and Trade Expansion

Karuba: The Card Game

Untold: Adventures Await

Halloween

Star Wars Destiny: Boba Fett Dice Binder

Star Wars Destiny: Princess Leia Dice Binder

Star Wars Destiny: Darth Vader Dice Binder

Dragonsgate College

Stuffed Fables

Card City XL

Loot Island

Muse

Dokmus: Return of Erefel

Indian Summer

Keyper

Cytosis: A Cell Biology Game

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island 2E

The Palace of Mad King Ludwig

LotR Hunt for the Ring

Wildcatters

Save The Treasure Of Fairy Tales

Sheep & Thief

Brains – Japanischer Garten (Japanese Garden)

Brains – Schatzkarte (Treasure Map)

Brains – Make me Smile!

Brains – Zaubertrank (Magic Potion)

Axio

Peptide: A Protein Building Game

Raiders of the North Sea: Hall of Heroes

Raiders of the North Sea: Fields of Fame

Virulence: An Infectious Card Game

Zooloretto Duell

One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows

Topiary

Star Wars Destiny: Rivals Draft Set

Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain

The King’s Will

The North Sea Runesaga

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Santa Maria

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

The Castles of Burgundy: The Dice Game

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Baby Cruise

Welcome to Centerville

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Dinosaur Island

Konja

Not Alone: Exploration

Pulsar 2849

Dungeon Petz

Dungeon Petz: Dark Alleys

Insider

Pandemic: Rising Tide

Pocket Ops

The White Box: A Game Design Workshop-in-a-Box

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Cover Me

Baby Clues

Gloomhaven Removable Sticker Set

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Rob ‘N Run

Here I Stand 500th Anniversary Edition

Here I Stand Upgrade Kit

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Mountains of Madness

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Kepler-3042

Planet Defenders

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Rajas of the Ganges

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Gaia Project: A Terra Mystica Game

Transatlantic

Santa’s Workshop

Legend of the Five Rings LCG: Meditations on the Ephemeral Dynasty Pack

Vinhos Deluxe

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Fast Forward: FEAR

Fast Forward: FORTRESS

Fast Forward: FLEE

Doctor Who: Time of the Daleks

Hero Realms: Boss Deck – The Dragon

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Charterstone

Charterstone: Recharge Pack

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Concordia: Aegyptus / Creta

King of Tokyo/New York: Monster Pack – King Kong

Power Grid: Fabled Expansion

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion

Finished!

Kingsburg (Second Edition)

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Agra

Majesty: For the Realm

Otys

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Dragon Pets

Kemomimi Panic

When I Dream

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Nations: Dice Game

Nations: Dice Game: Unrest

Junta Las Cartas

Star Trek: Ascendancy: Borg Assimilation

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Last Friday: Return to Camp Apache

Professor Evil and the Citadel of Time

Star Cartel

7 Wonders: Babel

The Dutch East Indies

Legend of the Five Rings LCG: Into the Forbidden City

Legend of the Five Rings LCG: For Honor and Glory

Legacy of Dragonholt

 

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

In or Out

Okanagan The Valley of Lakes

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

BANG! Armed & Dangerous

Deckscape: Test Time

Deckscape: The Fate of London

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Iron Curtain

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Meeple Circus

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

Ali Baba

Montana

Perfect Hotel

** ESSEN SPIEL ’17 **

878: Vikings

Bidder Up

Bali

Claim

The Climbers

Dicey Peaks

London: Second Edition

Planet of the Apes

Queendomino

Scythe: Art Book

Scythe: Realistic Resources

Clank! In! Space!

Ex Libris

Mystic Vale: Mana Storm

Codenames: Marvel

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 – Black

Pandemic: Legacy Season 2 – Yellow

The Quest for El Dorado

Axis & Allies Anniversary Edition

Cutthroat Kingdoms

Dragon Island

Hero Realms

Hero Realms Dice

Hero Realms: Cleric Pack

Hero Realms: Ranger Pack

Hero Realms: Thief Pack

Iron Dragon

Red Scare

Star Wars Imperial Assault: Heart of the Empire Campaign Expansion

Raiders of the North Sea

Junggle

Aeon’s End (Second Edition)

Codenames: Disney Family Edition

Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet

Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Card Game

Legend of the Five Rings LCG: Core Set

Potion Explosion: The 5th Ingredient

Rhino Hero: Super Battle

Specter Ops: Crossfire

This War of Mine

Tobago

Diamant

Santo Domingo

Magic Maze

Unreal Estate

Millennium Blades: Futures (Mini Expansion #5)

Flip Ships

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Gear Up and Rock Out! An Awesome Mix Card Gamexx

Sheriff of Nottingham: Merry Men

Illusions of Glory

Happy Salmon: Blue Fish

HotShots

Splendor: Cities of Splendor Expansion

That’s a Question

Alien Frontiers (5th Edition)

Shark Island

Five Tribes: Whims of the Sultan

Star Wars Destiny: Empire at War Booster Pack

Arkham Horror : The Path to Carcosa Deluxe Expansion

Fate of the Elder Gods

Fate of the Elder Gods: Beasts From Beyond

Downforce

Star Wars Destiny: Two-Player Game

Stop Thief!

Flamme Rouge

The Ruhr: A Story of Coal Trade

Custom Heroes

Sleeping Queens: 10th Anniversary

Indulgence

Port Royal

Confessions: The Game of Secrets & Lies

Guards Against Insanity Asylum Pack (Editions 1 to 4)

Bunny Kingdom

Destination X

Photosynthesis

Codenames: Duet

Confessions: The Game of Secrets & Lies

Guards Against Insanity Asylum Pack (Editions 1 to 4)

Star Trek: Ascendancy – Cardassian Union

Star Trek Ascendancy: Ferengi Alliance

Terraforming Mars: Hellas & Elysium

VIRAL

Unearth

Brides and Bribes

Captain Sonar: Upgrade One

Wasteland Express Delivery Service

Fantasy Realms

Torres

Modern Art

Tournament at Camelot

Caverna: Cave vs Cave

Valetta

Concordia

Lovecraft Letter

Steel Wolves: The German Submarine Campaign Against Allied Shipping – Vol 1

Holdfast: Atlantic 1939-45

Holdfast: Pacific 1941-45

Nemo’s War (second edition)

Merchants of Araby

The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire

Last Front- The Strategy Card Game

Pit Crew

1960: Making of the President

Diamant

Pathogenesis

The Fox in the Forest

Medici: The Card Game

Paku Paku

DVONN

Tramways Expansion: Paris / New York

Legend: Winds of war 1934-1940 Game Bundle

Legend: Winds of war 1934-1940 (expansion only)

Antike Duellum

Dicebot Megafun

Time of Crisis

Scythe: Metal Coins

Scythe: Game Board Extension

Evolution

Dr. Beaker

Destination Fun Combo Pack

Dice Stack

Bremerhaven

Bomb Squad Academy

Near and Far

Not Alone

Guns and Steel

Botswana (Wildlife Safari)

Frogriders

The Lost Expedition

One Night Ultimate Alien

Age of Steam Expansion: Time Traveler

Age of Steam Expansion: South America / South Africa

Ricochet Robots

Ubongo: Star Wars – Das Erwachen der Macht

Alicematic Heroes

Bohnanza: The Duel

Onitama Sensei’s Path

See more in Releases and Restocks

2017 International Gamers Awards

Greetings from the International Gamers Awards! 

We are excited to announce the finalists for the 2017 International Gamers Awards.  The International Gamers Awards were created to recognize outstanding games and designers, as well as the companies that publish them. The awards are truly international in scope, with committee members representing countries throughout the world. The goal is to give greater exposure for these wonderful games to more and more people and help spread the word of the “wonderful world of gaming” on a global scale.

 

GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – Multi Player category
Tite Designer(s) Publisher(s)
A Feast for Odin Uwe Rosenberg Feuerland Spiele
Century: Spice Road Emerson Matsuuchi Plan B Games
First Class Helmut Ohley Hans im Glück
Gloomhaven Isaac Childress Cephalofair Games
*Great Western Trail Alexander Pfister eggertspiele
Key to the City: London Sebastian Bleasdale,Richard Breese R&D Games
Lorenzo il Magnifico Flaminia Brasini, Virginio Gigli, Simone Luciani Cranio Creations
Magic Maze Kasper Lapp Sit Down!
Scythe Jamey Stegmaier Stonemaier Games
Terraforming Mars Jacob Fryxelius Fryx Games, Stonemaier Games
The Colonists Designer Tim Puls Lookout Games
Ulm Günter Burkhardt HUCH!
Yokohama Hisashi Hayashi OZAKU Brand

*In the multi-player category, the award goes to Great Western Trail, the creation of award winning designer Alexander Pfister and published by eggertspiele. Great Western Trail sets players as ranchers in 19th century America. Players herd their cattle from Texas to Kansas City, earning money and victory points. However, the “Great Western Trail” not only requires that you keep your herd in good shape, but also that you wisely use the various buildings along the trail. Players will seek to hire capable staff: cowboys to improve their herd, craftsmen to build their own buildings, or engineers for the important railroad line. This is the second consecutive IGA for designer Pfister and publisher eggertspiele.

 

GENERAL STRATEGY GAMES – 2 Player category
Title Designer(s) Publisher(s)
*Arkham Horror: The Card Game Nate French, Matthew Newman Fantasy Flight Games
Caverna:  Cave vs. Cave Uwe Rosenberg Lookout Games
Holmes:  Sherlock & Mycroft Diego Ibanez Devir
Santorini Gordon Hamilton Roxley
Star Wars: Destiny Corey Konieczka, Lukas Litzsinger Fantasy Flight Games

*The award in the 2-player category goes to Arkham Horror: The Card Game by designers Nate French and Matthew Newman. The game, published by Fantasy Flight Games, recreates the mythos created by legendary writer H.P. Lovecraft. Players become characters within the quiet New England town of Arkham. Players will find both strengths and weaknesses reflected in their custom deck of cards, and these cards will be their resources as they work cooperatively to unravel the world’s most terrifying mysteries. Each adventure carries players deeper into mystery, where they will find cultists and foul rituals, haunted houses and strange creatures. And they may find signs of the Ancient Ones straining against the barriers to our world…

 

You can learn more about the International Gamers Awards at: www.internationalgamersawards.net

 

The Sinkhole – Chapter 3

“Flashlights off,” whispered Brandon with tension in his voice and a rising sense of panic in his mind.

Click. Click. Click. Three flashlights went dark in seconds.

Brandon’s mind was racing. Who’s coming? Is it the landowner? Is he going to shoot them for trespassing? Who else could be down here? What should they do? Should they run deeper into the tunnel?

The beam of light from the mysterious person’s flashlight appeared brighter as the person moved ever closer.

Brandon tried to calm down and think. It was pitch dark so he couldn’t see the faces of his friends, but he could feel their tightly-coiled tension; it emanated from them like a radio wave – invisible, but powerful. Every neuron in his amygdala screamed for him to flee yet he knew it was no use. They couldn’t go back the way that they came as they would run headlong into the person approaching. Going deeper wasn’t really an option either as they wouldn’t get far without turning their flashlights back on and of course the lights would give them away and they’d quickly be caught anyway. Not to mention, they didn’t know the layout of the tunnels beyond where they stood. As Brandon’s mind calmed a bit, he realized that the best course of action was to just allow whoever this person was to confront them and hope for the best.

Brandon clicked his flashlight back on and at the edge of its light beam he registered the tightly drawn and surprised expressions on the faces of his companions. The look in their eyes was an accusing [i]what are you doing[/i], but Brandon knew this was the only viable option.

The light from the most recent intruder into the tunnel stopped moving and Brandon realized that was because the person had seen the light from his flashlight.

Suddenly, a man’s voice rang out from around the corner and despite the quieting effect all of the surrounding dirt should have had on the volume of the voice, it still seemed booming in the taut silence of the tunnel.

“This is the Taylorsville Police. Stay where you are.”

Not that being pursued by the police was a good thing, but Brandon breathed a small sigh of relief that it wasn’t some trigger-happy backwoods type with a double-barreled shotgun.

“I’m coming around the corner. Keep your hands where I can see them,” the police officer’s voice sounded again.

As the voice registered in Brandon’s mind, it dawned on him that the voice sounded familiar.

Within seconds that felt like long minutes, a figure appeared around the corner and it was indeed a police officer. He was tall and had to stoop slightly to move through the tunnel. He held a flashlight in his left hand and his right hand rested on the butt of his holstered pistol. The beam of his light quickly darted back and forth among the three companions who all stood with their hands raised in front of them. Then the light darted back to Brandon and stayed there.

“Weston, is that you?” the officer asked Brandon. Weston being his last name.

With a sudden wash of realization, Brandon understood why the voice had sounded familiar. It belonged to Charlie Anderson – one of his high school classmates.

“Yeah, it’s me,” Brandon replied sheepishly. “How you doin’ Charlie?” Brandon added, feeling stupid even as the words left his lips.

“Hi Charlie,” Chas said from a few feet away. “Long time, no see.”

Charlie’s flashlight swung to Chas. “Reynolds? You’re here too? I should have known where I found the one I’d find the other.”

Now that he knew who he was confronting, Charlie was more relaxed and he removed his hand from the Glock at his side.

“My name’s Tyrone officer,” offered Ty. “Tyrone Collins.”

Charlie shined the flashlight over to Ty and acknowledged him with a curt nod. “Just what in THE hell are you all doing down here?” demanded Charlie of the group.

“Just doing a bit of exploring,” Chas quipped.

“I read about the sinkhole and the tunnel on WTAY’s website and we had to come check it out,” explained Brandon.

“This area is a safety hazard and is off-limits to the public,” Charlie shot back. “I have orders to make sure no one is skulking around down here. I ought to cite all of your asses for criminal trespass.”

“What?” Brandon asked sounding worried and incredulous at the same time. “We aren’t hurting anything down here. We were just nosing around a bit. Can’t you just let us leave?”

Charlie took a few breaths and seemed to ponder this for a few seconds. “I’ll tell you what, Weston. I’ll cut you a break this time. You’re lucky that I know you and realize that you’re relatively harmless. You leave with me now and I’ll forget that I found the three of you down here.”

“Thanks Charlie,” said Brandon sounding relieved. “I appreciate it.”

Chas and Ty echoed Brandon’s gratitude.

“You better,” said Charlie with a snort. “Don’t let me catch any of you down here again. Let’s get out of here.”

Reigniting their flashlights, the three friends turned to begin filing down the tunnel back toward the sinkhole. With all of the light illuminating the interior of the tunnel including Charlie’s powerful light, something caught Brandon’s eye as he turned. Something just beyond the small chamber where they stood. With that he turned and began walking with the others, Charlie walking behind them to ensure they vacated the premises.

On the walk back through the tunnel and back to his car, Brandon could think of nothing else but what he saw during that last moment in the tunnel. What was that…?

Chapter 2

It had been dark maybe 10 minutes when Brandon edged his car into a secluded field surrounded by woods. Chas and Ty were both waiting for him.

“It’s about time,” grumbled Chas jokingly as Brandon climbed out of the car.

“Yeah, the two of us were starting to think you had lost your nerve,” added Ty.

“Sorry guys,” Brandon apologized and then added, “Not all of us are complete slackers at work who can just leave whenever we feel like it.”

This drew a laugh from Chas and Ty and Brandon chuckled along with them, but their laughs belied their nerves and the anxious tension among the trio was palpable.

“Does everyone have a flashlight?” Brandon asked pulling his bright LED light out of his pocket.

“Yeah, we’re both good,” Ty replied.

“Alright then, let’s go,” Brandon said as he headed off toward the sinkhole.

Chas and Ty fell in line behind Brandon. They were parked about 200 yards from the police tape that cordoned off the sunken area. They walked toward their objective with their flashlights turned off; navigating only by moonlight. The moon wasn’t full, but was bright enough to see where they were going once their eyes adjusted.

Not much of the surrounding area was visible in the darkness, but Brandon was familiar enough with this area to know that there wasn’t much to see anyway. He was pretty sure the ground they were on had once been a farm, but the fields hadn’t been tilled in years and were now derelict and overgrown with weeds and scrub brush. The several acres of fields were bordered on three sides by woods and on the fourth side by the road they had all traveled to get here.

Once they got within 50 yards or so of the sinkhole, it was easy to make out the bright yellow POLICE tape by the light of the moon. They headed toward it cautiously, but with purpose. Less than a minute later, they were gathered around the police tape, the blackness of the sinkhole gaping up at them like a monster waiting to swallow them.

Brandon said, “Let me go down first. I want to make sure it’s safe before the two of you come down.”

Chas and Ty gave Brandon doubtful looks telling him they didn’t like him going down there alone, but they grudgingly agreed, as they knew it made sense. If something went awry, Brandon would need someone to pull him out of there or get help; it didn’t do any good for all three of them to be trapped down there.

Brandon leaned down and shined his flashlight into the sinkhole. It didn’t appear to be too far down to solid ground so he sat on the edge and shimmied himself down. After a drop of five or six feet, his shoes sunk into the earth below. He had come down on top of what used to be the earth between the ceiling of the tunnel and the surface.  He pulled his feet loose and took a step forward into the tunnel. Once he was on the actual floor of the tunnel, he was surprised to find that the it was at least six feet high and he could stand comfortably. He immediately shined his flashlight out into the mysterious blackness ahead of him. The light penetrated about 25 feet ahead, but he couldn’t see what lay beyond. Brandon walked a few more steps and shined his light up at the ceiling to see if the tunnel looked stable. It did. He didn’t know what made that one small section collapse, but the section that he was looking at now seemed solid. The walls and ceiling were just packed soil and seemed to have no structure holding them up; no beams or supports of any kind. They looked to have been hand dug through the Earth.

“Okay guys, you can come down,” Brandon called up to Chas and Ty. Ten seconds later, they were both standing in the tunnel behind him. “Come on,” Brandon whispered and they headed into the foreboding unknown of the tunnel.

Brandon could see the anxious tension on the faces of his two friends and he supposed that they could see it on his face as well. He wasn’t scared so much as on edge. Heading into the darkness brought out those primal survival instincts that had kept early Humans alive. He could feel the regular thump-thump of his heart and knew that his pulse and blood pressure were elevated. Despite it being a cool evening, clammy perspiration had formed on his hands, face, and neck. His body was tense and ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice.

The tunnel was only about four feet across so they had to travel single file. Brandon led, with Chas behind him and then Ty brought up the rear. The trio made steady progress down the tunnel and after about 20 feet, Brandon thought he saw an earthen wall and began to think that the tunnel was going to dead end just ahead. After going another 10 feet however, he realized that the tunnel made a sharp turn to the left. When he got close enough, he shined his light around the corner; holding his breath in expectation of what might lie beyond the turn. All he could see though was the tunnel stretching out before him.

Brandon looked back at his friends and whispered, “Should we keep going?” Both Chas and Ty nodded, resolute looks on their faces. He could tell that they were just as curious as he was about what might be down here. It was now obvious that someone had dug this tunnel, but for what purpose?

The group continued down the tunnel another 40 feet and then the tunnel made another sharp left turn. About 10 feet further on, the tunnel began to curve to the right and gradually got wider. Pretty soon they found themselves in a small room about 10 feet long and 15 feet wide.  Brandon stopped and began shining his light around the room. Chas and Ty turned on their flashlights and followed suit.

“Wow, look at that,” Ty exclaimed as the beam of his light danced across walls and a ceiling lined with bricks.

“Yes, very interesting,” Brandon agreed as he began scanning the other side of the room. As he moved the beam of his light down the wall to the floor, he noticed something shiny reflecting the light back at him. “What do we have here?” Brandon quipped as he headed over to check it out.

Chas and Ty were close behind as Brandon bent down to see what had caught the beam of his flashlight. He sifted through some loose soil and several inches of dust to reveal a brown glass bottle.

“Check this out,” Brandon said as he cleaned off the bottle and held it up to inspect it.”

“It looks like someone’s garbage,” Ty commented.

“I think it’s more than that,” Brandon responded as he ran his light over it.

“I agree with Brandon,” Chas offered. “That bottle looks quite old. It has been down here for a long time I’m guessing.”

Chas shined her light back down to the spot from where Brandon had retrieved the bottle and noticed something else there. She reached down into the dirt and pulled out a dilapidated piece of wood about nine inches long and three inches wide. The one side seemed to have some lettering stenciled on it, but it was difficult to make out.

With Brandon and Chas both engrossed in inspecting their discoveries, Ty walked back to the room’s entrance and looked back the way they had come. A few seconds later, he was rushing back to their sides. “Uh guys,” he whispered urgently, “ it looks like someone is coming.”

The Story Begins

PROLOGUE

 

“Okay, this is it. We need to kill him this round. We won’t survive his attacks. What do you need to roll Brandon?”

Brandon looked down at his cards, reading silently to himself and making mental calculations. “Uh, it looks like….I need a 9 to hit him and then I can use my critical strike ability to do an extra damage and finish him off.”

“Well that shouldn’t be too hard,” mused Chas with a sarcastic smile. Brandon responded with a roll of his eyes.

“Would you just roll already man?” quipped Ty. “The suspense is killing me.”

“Okay, here goes,” says Brandon as he shook the d20 in his hand. He threw the die into the dice tray. <Sound of a die rattling against the wood and felt>…”Shit, I rolled an eight!” exclaimed Brandon in disgust.

“Brilliant,” Chas chimed in with a shake of her head.

“You asshole,” chided Ty with a teasing chuckle.

“Hold on, hold on, wait, wait, wait,” Brandon pleaded, thinking. “I can discard this lucky charm item to reroll my attack.” Brandon quickly picked up the d20 and threw it into the tray again. “YEAH!!!!!! FOURTEEN!” Brandon exclaimed joyously as he collected a dual fist bump from his two friends. “I’ll just use my critical strike to inflict an extra damage and that kills the evil necromancer.”

“It sure does,” agreed Chas as Ty nodded his head in consensus.

“Great job, Brandon,” congratulated Ty. “I knew you could do it,” he added with a laugh. “Never a doubt.” The three friends all laughed.

“Alright, next week is at my place,” reminded Chastity (known to everyone but her mother as Chas) as the three friends began cleaning up the game.

“Sounds good,” replied Ty. “Just let me know what you’d like me to bring.”

“Yeah, sounds good and ditto,” agreed Brandon as he finished putting the game away.

“Okay, then I’ll see you losers later,” teased Chas as she headed for the front door of Brandon’s house.

“Good night sweet princess,” Ty yelled after her, which got an appreciative chuckle from Brandon.

“Whatever,” replied Chas as she headed out the door, but she turned and gave a warm smile. “See you guys next week. Thanks Brandon.” With that, she disappeared through the front door.

“Alright, well I guess I’m out of here too man. Thanks for hosting. I’ll catch you next time,” Ty said as he extended his hand to Brandon.

“Sounds good, buddy,” replied Brandon as he shook Ty’s hand and patted him on the shoulder. “Take care.”

“I will. You do the same,” replied Ty looking back as he walked down Brandon’s sidewalk.

Brandon watched Chas pull away in her sporty Lexus as he looked after Ty headed for his Ford SUV. Brandon had known Chas since high school. They were both the quiet, introverted type around strangers and didn’t officially “meet” until their sophomore year although Brandon saw Chas every day in the halls of their school. Back then, she was a gangly teen with braces, green eyes, and dark hair who spent a lot of time alone or with a few girlfriends. Someone at their school started a D&D club and when Brandon showed up to the first meeting, he was surprised to see the shy, demure Chastity there. She was the only girl and Brandon could tell she felt a bit uncomfortable, so he introduced himself to her. Over the next two years, the pair became good friends; with Brandon learning that Chas wasn’t nearly as shy once you got to know her. She could rib him and bust his chops as well or better than any of his male friends. They were like two kindred spirits. When they went off to different universities, they kept in touch and got together over breaks to hang out and play some D&D. After college, they had both moved back to within 20 minutes of their hometown and their friendship grew stronger. Chas was intelligent, witty, successful, and attractive, but Brandon had never felt anything but friendship toward her. He thought of her like a twin sister and as far as he could tell, Chas felt the same way in return.

Ty backed out of the driveway and waved to Brandon as he put his SUV into Drive and pulled away. Brandon had met Ty in college at – shockingly – a meet-up for a game club. They ended up playing D&D in the same group and became fast friends despite their differing backgrounds. Ty was tall and strong and carried himself with a kind of quiet dignity that immediately commanded your respect. He had grown up in a more urban environment, while Brandon had grown up in a small town. As their friendship grew and they discussed other things outside of gaming, Ty challenged Brandon’s beliefs about the world and encouraged him to look at things in different ways and from a variety of perspectives. Ty seemed to have an insight and wisdom well beyond his years and Brandon came to respect and admire that about him. Over time, Brandon opened his mind to many things he hadn’t considered previously. Ty had a way of pointing out things in a manner that wasn’t threatening or confrontational. They became very close friends over their years in college and Brandon wasn’t afraid to admit that Ty had made him a better person by helping him to see the world differently than he had during his younger years.

Despite growing up a couple of hours apart, when college graduation neared, both Brandon and Ty accepted job offers near Brandon and Chas’s hometown. It ended up that all three of them lived within 30 minutes of each other. After college, Brandon introduced Ty to Chas. He was very nervous about that initial meeting. These were his two best friends in the world. What if they didn’t get along? What if they hated each other? Brandon needn’t have worried though. Chas and Ty hit it off right away and it quickly seemed like they had been lifelong friends. That was 10 years ago. The three friends had been getting together for regular gaming sessions ever since.

Brandon turned off all the lights, checked that all the doors were locked, and headed up to get ready for bed as it was back to work in the morning. Good night sweet princess, Brandon mumbled to himself as he headed up the stairs; still laughing at Ty’s parting shot on Chas.

 

CHAPTER 1

 

“Christ, I hate Mondays,” Brandon muttered under his breath as he finally caught up on the last of the issues from the weekend.” As a software administrator at a company that manufactured knee and hip replacements, there were always software issues of one type or another: access problems, systems running slowly, connectivity issues, you name it.” He picked up his coffee mug and looked into it – empty. Then, with his stomach growling, he glanced at the clock in the lower right-hand corner of his computer monitor. 11:52 already?! Holy shit, where did the morning go?

Brandon got out his lunch and began eating at his desk as he went to the local news site on his computer. Eating, he mindlessly scrolled through the site, not much catching his eye. He paused to look at the weather forecast and read a brief piece on one of his former high school teachers who was retiring. Then, as he got to local news, he saw something that immediately grabbed his attention. The headline read: Sinkhole Opens, Exposing Buried Tunnel. What do we have here, Brandon thought to himself, clicking to read the article. Brandon read the article transfixed. It turned out that a fairly large sinkhole had formed on the outskirts of Taylorsville – Brandon’s hometown. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the ground had sunk because there was some type of underground tunnel. Rodents had been ruled out as the cause due to the size of the tunnel. The area has been declared unsafe and cordoned off by police. Very interesting, Brandon thought.

He fired off a quick email to Chas and Ty with the subject: Who’s Up for a Real Dungeon Crawl that had a link to the article on WTAY’s website. He sent the email and went back to scrolling through the rest of the news from Taylorsville, which not surprisingly, wasn’t much. He had been joking when he sent the email, but something kept tugging at the edge of his consciousness. He really DID want to know more about the tunnel. It was obviously made by someone, but by whom? And why?

Brandon tried to put the sinkhole and the tunnel out of his mind and get back to work. He was beginning to answer an email that had landed while he was eating when another email hit his inbox. It was from Chas, RE: Who’s Up for a Real Dungeon Crawl and it read simply – So when are we going to check it out? Before Brandon could ponder Chas’s response another email came in; this one from Ty. It was a reply all to Chas’s email and it read: I’m up for it, let’s go. After a few more emails back and forth among the three of them, they agreed to meet at the site of the sinkhole just after dark. Brandon found himself excited and a little unnerved. He told himself that the tunnel was probably little more than an old cave that had collapsed, but his instincts told him that there was something more to it.

 

 

 

2017 Spiel Des Jahres

Game of the Year 2017 Nominees

 Kingdomino

You are a Lord seeking new lands in which to expand your kingdom.  You must explore all the lands, wheat fields, lakes, and mountains in order to spot the best plots.  But be careful as some other Lords also covet these lands…

 

 Magic Maze

A mage, dwarf, elf and barbarian need to steal equipment from the mall for their next adventure.  In order not to be caught, they must be quiet.  For the players in this cooperative real-time crime, this means: Talking and gesticulating prohibited

 

 Wettlauf nach El Dorado

In the “Race to El Dorado”, every player would like to be the first goldsmith but the way to get there is long. The adventurers bounce their way through the jungle with machetes and cross many waters.

 

 

Children’s Game of the Year 2017 Nominees

 Captain Silver

Feel and grab the right pirate object out of your pirate bag. If you grab the correct object, many treasures await. Get gold coins and sail with your pirate ship to treasure island — but only the quickest and most skillful pirate will win.

 

 Ice Cool   *WINNER*

You won’t believe it! These penguins are real rascals: if your flick is good enough, they can slide not only straight, they can make curves and even jump over the walls

 

 Mysterious Forest

Jonas passes through a magical painting into a mysterious forest full of dangers. If the boy packs the right equipment in his backpack, he can successfully cross the forest and finally defeat the evil insect queen Draconia.

 

 

Kinnerspiel Year 2017 Nominees

 EXIT – The game

The Exit series takes up the idea of ​​the Escape Rooms, in which a group must escape from a locked room. The players solve one puzzle after another to finally master the final puzzle. The faster the team is, the better the rating.

 

 Raiders of the North Sea

Raiders of the North Sea is set in the central years of the Viking Age. As Viking warriors, players seek to impress the Chieftain by raiding unsuspecting settlements. Players will need to assemble a crew, collect provisions and journey north to plunder gold, iron and livestock

 

 Terraforming Mars

Corporations are competing to transform Mars into a habitable planet by spending vast resources, and using innovative technology to raise temperature, create a breathable atmosphere, and make oceans of water. As terraforming progresses, more and more people will immigrate from Earth to live on the Red Planet.

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The Long View

THE LONG VIEW

Hosted by Geofrey Gambill

The Long View is a podcast dedicated to taking a closer, more detailed and critical look at the games we love to play. Each episode focuses on in-depth review and discussion of a single game, often for close to an hour or more! My guest is always an expert in the game; someone who has played the game many, many times, and has discovered it’s hidden features or flaws. In addition, The Long View also offers Quick Looks episodes which feature more traditional reviews of new games. It is my hope that deeper discussion and analysis of games will help us discover what makes some games truly memorable, lasting and great, while others quickly fade away. Join us through iTunes or Stitcher subscription, or you can check out the podcast archive of episodes at www.thelongviewpodcast.com  Thanks for listening!