Summer is in full swing, which means it’s the peak season for slipping into swimsuits, slathering on sunscreen and…exploring the ocean’s depths to uncover a villainous and dangerous conspiracy?!?
Well, if you’re a fan of KeyForge Adventures, then yeah, sure! Fantasy Flight Games recently released The Abyssal Conspiracy, the second adventure to expand on the Dark Tidings two-player starter set – and Kingwood Hobbies now offers a limited edition printing that you won’t want to miss.
New Way to Play
Earlier this spring, FFG announced KeyForge Adventures, a cooperative play version of KeyForge that pits one to three players – using decks from their existing collections – against a unique, pre-constructed adventure that replaces your usual human opponent and features multiple difficulty levels.
In the first adventure, Rise of the Keyraken, players battle the Keyraken, a powerful creature that absorbs the psychic power of Æmber. Players can choose multiple strategies for defeating this mythological monster. In the second adventure, The Abyssal Conspiracy, players must navigate a grid of nine locations as they descend into the ocean’s depths to uncover the conspiracy and find the tool needed to put an end to its villainy.
Both Rise of the Keyraken and The Abyssal Conspiracy are available as free downloads for fans who simply want a print-and-play experience. However, for players who prefer their KeyForge gameplay frustration-free and their game pieces high-quality, Kingwood Hobbies provides professional printing services for these cards along with unique additional accessories.
Included in this Kingwood Hobbies limited edition printing of The Abyssal Conspiracy:
All Seals and Vaultbinder cards are printed with a delightful foil finish that will make your gaming sessions shimmer.
An oversized 3.5″ x 5″ Tide card encased in hard plastic to give you an easy-to-read and easy-to-manipulate card for everyone at the table to see.
A high-resolution 8.5″ x 11″ booklet containing rules for The Abyssal Conspiracy, so that you’re never left wondering what you’re supposed to do.
The adventure deck comes in its own hard plastic case for secure storage of your professionally printed cards.
There’s no conspiracy, scheme, machinations or intrigue going on here – just a quality version of the latest flavor of KeyForge fun for you and your friends and family to explore this summer! Sunscreen not included: we prefer to leave that choice to the individual.
Lots of news swirling around X-Wing these days. Check out this new stuff.
Two new expansions ready for preorder for Resistance and First Order
Update your Resistance squadrons with a modern version of a classic starfighter! The BTA-NR2 Y-wing was designed as a craft capable of filling nearly any role with the right suite of modifications. The standard wartime loadout has been reworked as a separate upgrade module, making the craft lighter and more user-friendly. An ideal choice for small planetary governments, independent security operations, or even criminal cartels.
This expansion includes everything players need to add two of these reworked starfighters into their Star Wars™: X-Wing collection, beginning with two beautifully painted BTA-NR2 Y-wing miniatures. Additionally, beings from across the galaxy flock to join the Resistance, and 12 ship cards let them handpick the right pilots for their strategy. The BTA-NR2 Y-wing is highly versatile and 18 upgrade cards invite players to customize their ships to meet your parameters. Finally, four Quick Build cards help players combine pilots and upgrades to jump into missions as fast as possible.
The First Order’s starfighter engineers continue to develop new technologies for use by their ace pilots, and the Fury of the First Order Squadron Pack allows players to bring these advanced starfighters to their games of Star Wars™: X-Wing!. The TIE/se Bomber bristles with a heavy payload of ordnance, while the TIE/wi Whisper Modified Interceptor is a deadly craft worthy of the Supreme Leader himself. Armed with its stealth capabilities, advanced maneuverability, and heavy weapon turret, Kylo Ren leads his fanatical 709th Legion as they mercilessly hunt pockets of resistance across the galaxy.
This squadron pack includes content for Kylo Ren and his devoted diehards, featuring new abilities and upgrades based on their appearance in Star Wars™: The Rise of Skywalker and Star Wars™: Resistance. This pack includes everything you need to add 1 TIE/wi Whisper Modified Interceptor ship and 2 TIE/se Bomber ships to your games of Star Wars: X-Wing! 14 pilot cards create a pool of versatile pilots for these ships which can be customized in a myriad of ways with the 32 included upgrade cards. Players eager to play with these ships can as soon as possible can utilize the four included Quick Build cards which will get these powerful ships on the table in record time with effective suggestions on upgrades and configurations.
The Trident-class Assault Ship is in stock and shipping
Whether spearheading surprise attacks on key Republic facilities or pirate raids on innocent worlds, the Trident-class assault ship heralds the arrival of hostile forces, emerging ominously from the seas of stars. Armed with crushing tentacles and capable of operating in space, atmosphere, or the ocean’s depths, these versatile warships present an unorthodox threat that can strike unexpectedly to seize control of nearly any battlefield. Inside you will find multiple new Huge Ship Upgrade cards, Quick Build cards, and several new scenarios for using this craft: Rising Tide, a head-to-head scenario, and Leviathan Hunt, a co-operative scenario where multiple players work together to bring down a single Trident-class assault ship controlled by a simplified Solo System AI deck. This pack includes everything you need to add 1 Trident-class Assault Ship to your game.
Restocks are in hand for a number of hard-to-find ships
The TIE/rb Heavy is one of the largest TIE variants produced for the Galactic Empire and is often assigned to patrol routes where it is expected to fight without the support of a carrier or escorts. Thanks to its robust armor, swiveling laser cannons, and integrated MGK-300-series droid intelligence, this vessel lives up to its nickname: the “Brute.”
The TIE/rb Heavy Expansion Pack includes everything you need to add one of these imposing ships to your Galactic Empire squadrons, beginning with a beautifully detailed, pre-painted miniature and a medium plastic base. Four ship cards give you the freedom to choose your pilot, while 12 upgrade cards invite you to customize your ship to fir your needs. Finally, two Quick Build cards offer helpful combinations of pilots and upgrades to get you into the fight right away.
A durable, reliable workhorse capable of serving in a wide array of environments, the LAAT/i gunship is renowned for getting the job done. Whether making precision drops of clone troopers on contested worlds, supporting Republic formations with interlaced fire in atmospheric battles, or engaging starfighters in the depths of space, the LAAT/i can be outfitted for nearly any role or battlefield.
The LAAT/i Gunship Expansion Pack contains everything you need to add one of these sturdy ships to your Galactic Republic squadrons, including a finely detailed LAAT/i Gunship miniature, four ship cards, 14 upgrade cards, and two quick build cards to get your ship directly into the fight.
A menacing silhouette slides overhead, repulsorlifts humming ominously and eyes glowing with malevolence. The HMP gunship’s presence invokes fear thanks to predatory droid intelligence and an unpredictable capacity to strafe targets with devastating missile pods, bombs, and a wide-sweeping array of laser cannons.
The HMP Droid Gunship Expansion Pack unlocks new possibilities with a beautifully detailed HMP Droid Gunship miniature and six ship cards with their own programming and protocols for battle. Your droid gunship can be further modified to your exact specifications with eight upgrade cards, or you can follow the recommendations of three quick build cards to get your gunship into battle as quickly as possible.
While the COVID-19 pandemic hurt traffic to American board gaming cafes, the global board gaming industry continues to grow. One report projects revenue from board games to increase 13% over the next five years. A 2018 analysis estimated about 3,500 new board games are released every year. It seems like a pretty safe bet that many of them will suck. With such an overwhelming avalanche of choices, how can average Joes and Janes possibly expect to discover fun games worth spending their hard-earned dollars to play?
Fear not, our board gaming buddies: your friends at Kingwood Hobbies have already done the hard work of weeding through what’s wack and weak sauce to curate for you a trusted collection of games we think you’re likely to love. Much in the same way sommeliers develop wine lists for restaurants, we are experienced and knowledgeable game stewards who can personally vouch for and recommend every game we offer. So, mesdames et messieurs, mais oui…may we…recommend a fun party game for three to 13 adult players? It’s called Trial By Trolley and we think it’s worth your while.
Described as “an adult card game of moral dilemmas and murder,” Trial By Trolley is based on the famous Trolley Problem, a series of thought experiments in ethics and psychology introduced in 1967 by English philosopher Philippa Foot. In this fictional scenario, an onlooker has the chance to save five people in danger of being hit by a runaway trolley by diverting the trolley to another track to kill just one person. This experiment was explored in the second season of the fantasy-comedy television series The Good Place.
In the game, one player acts as the trolley conductor while the remaining players are split into two teams. Each team draws three “innocent” cards, three “guilty” cards, and three modifier cards. A round begins when teams place a good card on their track, attempting to dissuade the trolley operator from rolling down it. Then teams place a bad card on their opponents’ track. Finally, teams place a modifier card on either track, attempting to make something good worse or something bad better. Then the teams debate, each attempting to persuade the trolley operator to run over their opponents’ track.
Trial By Trolley is highly portable, simple to set up, and lends itself easily to custom variations of the rules based on your group of players. The cards are high-quality and durable. While the goal is to kill people on your opponents’ track, the game is not exactly family-friendly. However, the cards aren’t as risqué as those in games like Cards Against Humanity or Joking Hazard, so it’s better suited to play with older kids.
We’ve had a blast playing this game and think you will, too. Trial By Trolley fosters creative and hilarious debate that’s all in good fun and, in our opinion is great for parties and game nights. The easiest decision you have to make is to simply buy this game. The only thing we haven’t determined yet is what wine best pairs with it – and if you think we’re just being silly, there ARE indeed wine trolley tours. Probably something that comes in a wineskin to avoid spillage….
First thing to note. All KeyForge Adventures, so far, are available for free from Fantasy Flight Games. Our offer is for a high-quality printing service for these free cards. To find the free versions, please see the official KeyForge product page.
As a KeyForge family ourselves, we definitely had to try out this KF Adventures thing as soon as they arrive in-house, so we broke out the oversized KeyForge playmat, shuffled up the three Dark Tidings decks we’d opened, and got to playing.
The game says it supports up to three players, but I see no mechanics reason you couldn’t do more. The only difficulty we had was with space. KeyForge takes up quite a bit of table space, and with the three of us playing alongside the KeyRacken, I’m not sure how we would have fit my other daughter in.
You’re going to need tokens, and I mean a lot of tokens. You’re going to want to keep the tide high most of the time, meaning 18+ aember are on the KeyRacken before it rises. That, coupled with 90 health in a three-person game mean bits are floating around everywhere. I’d highly suggest getting a big supply of pennies for aember and maybe a scoresheet for KeyRacken damage.
It’s a little awkward at first as you fumble your way through how the KeyRacken plays, and that’s ok. Press through, however, and you should get the hang of it before long. Don’t be afraid to take a break for dinner or something. When you come back things will run more smoothly.
The rest of my family suggested that there should be a player who sits at the table only to run the KeyRacken rather than each person flipping up KR cards themselves. I’m not sure I agree with that one because it seems like that would be boring, but we did find it easier to have one person flip all of the KeyRacken cards instead of each player.
We found it useful to apply our creatures, ‘Opponents’ keys cost X more’ cards towards the KeyRacken’s advances so that these cards contributed to the game in a meaningful way. I could not find anything referring to this in the rules for this adventure, so this may just be a house rule that we keep.
If you make a mistake, just keep going. There’s a lot of action going on, and it’s easy to forget a step here or there. Since your opponent doesn’t have an intelligence to get offended by an accidental cheat, it makes much more sense to keep the game flowing smoothly than to back up and try to iron out a mistake that happened a couple of turns ago. Our family members are all game players, but some are less interested in getting all the fiddly bits perfect than others. Smooth gameplay goes a long way towards helping everyone have a good time.
Our first time into the Rise of the KeyRacken gave us a bit of a pause as we tried to figure out exactly what on earth we were trying to do. We all know how to play the game, but what is our strategy? Are we assaulting the KeyRacken directly? Do we need to try and build a battle line? Are we going to try and forge any keys or just go straight through the armor? This, coupled with the confusion of learning how to run the KeyRacken’s turns, made the first several turns of our game a bit of a mess. Cards and tokens everywhere. No one really understanding what’s going on. It wasn’t great.
The KeyRacken, on the other hand, had no such qualms about its strategy and hit the ground running. Some of its first actions were to tack on upgrades that give it extra cards on each of its turns. Since the KeyRacken’s power is directly tied to playing cards, doubling the number of cards played every turn means things are going to get out of hand VERY quickly. I blame Tori’s shuffling skills. I let her shuffle the KeyRacken’s deck, and it let this guy rip out of the gate swinging. I really need to spend more time teaching her the finer points of messing up an opponent’s game with a good shuffle (note: this is a joke. It’s like when I tell Destiny people they should subscribe to my Patreon where I will teach them to roll dice better).
Despite the mess of the early game, we were able to get a grip when Melissa and I combined to thoroughly house one of the KeyRacken’s advancements. She managed to stick a Bombyx on the table while I helped it capture something like 20 aember just before the KR advanced. This six-armored up egg sat there like a giant turtle hoarding all that aember while we got our feet under us.
The mid-game saw us start to land some big shots on the KeyRacken’s body itself, mostly through Melissa’s Saurian monsters (who, incidentally, also let her start spending all that Bombyx aember forging her own keys). Tori’s Shadow cards and my triple Ritual of Balance worked to slow the KeyRacken’s advance, but there was only so much we could do before our opponent began advancing.
We went round and round the table doing work but weren’t quite able to prevent this horror from creeping ever closer towards laying waste to the Crucible. Things were looking pretty grim as we started our last trip around the table. Tori went first and had to do something, anything, to get the KeyRacken below 18 aember. With a bit of desperation in her plays, she was able to just barely accomplish that and punt to me. Now, with defeat looming even closer, I was able to once again just barely hang on to prolong the game one more round.
The final turn came around, and my wife was despondent. Tori and I had scrabbled and clawed and held off the KeyRacken’s last advance as best we could, but Melissa couldn’t keep the game up any longer. The KeyRacken had amassed an insane amount of aember and had a battle line that was multiple rows deep (this game can take up a lot of space). In frustration, she was about to toss her hand down and concede when I looked at her and said, “Honey, just play out your turn.” I didn’t know what was in her hand, but I knew the deck I’d given her. In exasperation, she called Star Alliance and proceeded to lay down her deck’s copy of Selective Preservation.
Turns out she’d completely forgotten about that little line on the bottom of the KeyRacken’s creatures that says, “When this card is destroyed, deal 3 damage to the KeyRacken”. After choosing a creature at each power level, I dramatically picked up each of the KeyRacken’s dudes, slapped them down in his bin, and said “3 damage to the KeyRacken. 3 damage to the KeyRacken. 3 damage to the KeyRacken…” With this one play, the KeyRacken from eight remaining health as it crashed over the world to us obliterating it with well over 100 damage.
It was an amazing victory! Melissa was the hero of the tale and saved all of the Crucible from destruction at the hands of the KeyRacken. Tori and I looked on as pleased sidekicks while all the denizens of the Crucible celebrated my lady’s victory.
A couple of small announcements for ARH set printings today:
All of the new additions for High Stakes orders are being applied retroactively to Redemption and Faltering Allegiances set. If you haven’t picked up those sets yet, they will now come with
The black bookshelf storage box, including spine lettering and upgraded foam dice storage.
A $10 donation to the ARH team to keep this wonderful game alive.
One free, random, foil character, plot, or battlefield from the set.
Also, going forward and applying retroactively to everyone who has ordered or will order regular priced sets from Kingwood Hobbies, errata insurance.
Periodically, the A Renewed Hope team releases updates to their cards in the form of changed wording or updated point totals. These changes, while necessary for the health of the game, can make it tough to play physical cards.
NO MORE I SAY!
Kingwood Hobbies will begin offering errata packs that contain updated versions of the cards touched in each balance update. As soon as ARH releases updated images, packs of new cards will be going on sale for those who want the newest versions of their cards. For folks who get their sets from us, however, for one year from the date of your last set purchase your errata packs are on the house. Simply cover shipping, and the updated cards will keep your physical collection fresh and correct.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the work I’m doing in the Destiny singles section, but that’s only because I’ve been quite the busy beaver. Now that I’m pretty caught up, I have a ton of news to share about new and exciting ways to get your Destiny on.
First, let’s talk about Smash. The fellows over at Dice Commando have put together an incredibly exciting format that has taken the Destiny Community by storm. If you’ve not played it yet, the synopsis is that there quite a number of 15 card decklists paired with 14 or 15 point characters. At the beginning of the play session, everyone gets a random pair of these, smashes them together (get it?), and then goes to town on each other. It’s insanely fun, and an amazing way to both use your old cards and keep the game fresh and exciting.
They started with 18 characters in Wave 1 last year, and then released a whole passel more in February. As of this writing, there are 34 different characters you can pair up. That’s 561 different decks to smash together.
While other folks are doing snazzy accouterment for the Smash decks, I simply don’t have time to work on creating something right now, and, honestly, the stuff other people are making is already amazing. At some point, I might gin up some assignment cards, but I have no idea when that would be. Nope, what Kingwood Hobbies can do for you is provide the card lists and the cold, hard cards that let you actually play the game.
Our new Smash section gives you complete lists of each Smash deck and the opportunity to pick up the cards you need to complete your Smash collection. Also, there are links to any promo versions of cards that were printed by FFG in case you want to snazzy up your Smash. Gotta look slicker than the other guy, right? To take a peek at our new Smash section, GO HERE, or click on one of the character names above to hop directly to that deck.
One of the tricky parts of using the cards from A Renewed Hope has been the high cost of getting professionally printed cards in your hand. So far, playing with cards physically meant you had to pick up a complete set from me for quite a few shekels, or you had to print your own cards for free and run the risk of your cards looking like they were assembled by a sleepy kindergartener with safety scissors and crayons. Well, FRET NO MORE! If you want to play with some of the new cards, but you don’t want to shell out for everything at once, Kingwood Hobbies is now doing individual printings of every new card released. Simply go on over to the Destiny Singles section, and the new cards are listed alongside the old ones. Both Faltering Allegiances and Redemption are live and selling now. These are excellent for finishing off that updated deck that’s mostly made of older cards or picking up more copies of those staple cards that you’re tired of switching between decks.
Single card printings are available with and without dice, so it’s not necessary to get quite as spendy if you’re content to use regular six-sided dice and just want pretty, professional cards. Characters come with two dice and deck cards come with one die. Cards with weird dice pairings have the options to pick those extra dice up as well.
They’ve been available as complete sets for a while now, but maybe you don’t want the full set. Maybe you just want a single foil Admiral Ackbar to spice up your deck. Maybe you just want your opponent to feel less sad about the lost resource so you hand over a shiny Pirate Loyalist. Maybe you even think you need foil characters, plots, and battlefields like you need a hole in the head. Well, guess what? Without a hole in the head you couldn’t see, smell, breathe, eat, taste, talk, or hear. YOU NEED THESE FOILS! That’s how you exert dominance as your playgroup starts in-person games again.
Anyway, they’re all available individually now, also with dice or without. Snatch them up when you’re ready.
When I first ordered cards, my printer said I should be them by the 15th.
When they finally shipped on the 10th, FedEx told me the 19th.
When the week of the 19th saw some incredible weather in Texas, FedEx began changing the date on me. First the 21st. Then the 22nd. One day after the next until cards finally arrived on 24th.
The cards are here now, however, and have joined with the dice and stickers already pulled to begin their journey to you. As of the 25th I’ve shipped about 50% of my original orders. If you’ve received a tracking email (they often go to spam), yours has hit the mail.
What’s In the Box?
While I’ve got you here, I thought I’d show you what you actually get in the box when you order a set from Kingwood Hobbies. The first thing you’ll notice is that these no longer come in random white card boxes. I decided that I wanted to address this issue we’ve had all along with dice storage. When you open your package up you will be greeted with this box. With this attractive set identifier on the side.
After you’ve “ooh”d and “ahh”d over your box for a moment, go ahead and open it up. Inside you will be greeted with your cards and dice.
I really felt like there was going to be more to say for this, but that’s it. Going forward, all Kingwood Hobbies sets will come packaged like this for easy storage.