Category Archives: board games

CADWALLON, City of Thieves: The King of Ashes

Fantasy Flight Games recently published an updated preview for the forthcoming expansion to Cadwallon: City of Thieves:

The King of Ashes expansion for Cadwallon: City of Thieves brings some exciting changes to the standard rules, and adds in a whole host of new mechanics to liven up your thieving experience as your gang skulks the streets of Cadwallon. When we announced the expansion, we only hinted at the wealth of new content for the denizens of the City of Thieves. In this preview, we’ll take a closer look at the both the brand new and the revised mechanics that will add to your experiences in the Cadwallon: City of Thieves universe!

CADWALLON, Isabeau, O, Isabeau

(from the left) Werner Klocke’s Isabeau, MIKH’s Isabeau, and the C:CoT Isabeau

A little over a week ago Legacy Miniatures, in conjunction with CoolMiniOrNot, released three more sets of models formally produced by Rackham: Nobles of Cadwallon, Bodyguards of Cadwallon, and Griffin Pack 1.  The pattern for this release followed that of the others: each set was comprised of models previously available from Rackham (and still ubiquitous in the aftermarket) and one or two rare or never-before-released models.  It’s the latter that usually makes the sale (it has been in my case, anyway).

I’ve been hesitant to buy any of these three sets.  My gut tells me I’ll eventually give in and buy the two Cadwallon sets, but I’m not quite there yet.

During some downtime, today, I checked the CMoN site to see if there were any reviews of the models, as some have no doubt been delivered by now.  In the announcement for this release, one customer wrote the following:

There is a problem with this release.
The Isabeau miniature that is provided is neither the original sculpt (thats shown) nor the WK…. Instead it appears to be a recast of the pre-paint figure thats available in the Cadwe FFG hero set.

Really?  I began in investigation immediately.  It didn’t take long, because as fortune would have it the customer who wrote that comment on CMoN posted a comment here when I was in the thick of my search.  After a brief exchange via email, he pointed me to his post on the UK:CORD forum, which included a photo of the model in Legacy’s Nobles of Cadwallon set.  Sure enough, it is indeed a resin cast from the same sculpt used to make the board game piece for Cadwallon: City of Thieves.

I’m not entirely surprised to learn this.  Sculpts and masters, especially if they’re resin, are prone to breakage unless they’re cared for properly.  The only reason I can think of for including this sculpt in the set, is that the others were lost or damaged beyond repair.

As to why they advertised the set with a photo of a different sculpt, I blame this either on human error, or because painted models lead to better sales and they had access to a great studio photo of Isabeau.  Why not just use a photo of the model in the set with an updated paint job?  Because Legacy Miniatures is a side project for Dust Studio/Games, and their resources are largely devoted to the game universe they’re currently developing (Dust) as opposed to one from their past.  And thank god for that.  Artists create, they don’t dwell.  Ever forward, boys–ever forward.

NOTE: MIKH’s version of Isabeau was released in 2006. Werner KLOCKE’s version (together with Rafal ZELAZO) was released in 2007 as a free promo for subscribers to the French edition of Cry Havoc!.


Steve Jackson GamesOgre Designer’s Edition far exceeded expectations in their Kickstarter drive.  SJG raised $923,680 USD, which is a far cry from their initial estimate of $20,000.  The project was funded at 4618% of its scoped cost, and was back by 5512 individuals (including UtM at $150).

Ogre Designer’s Edition is the 8th most funded project on Kickstarter and the highest ranking analog game project to date.  Kudos to Steve Jackson, his tireless crew, and all the backers for making this such an unprecedented success.

So begins the long wait until November.  Fortunately I have other anticipated products and personal projects to keep me busy in the meantime.

CADWALLON: CITY OF THIEVES, The King of Ashes Expansion

Fantasy Flight recently announced the forthcoming release of the first expansion for their board game based on the Aarklash Universe, Cadwallon: City of Thieves.  From their website:

As you seek to outmaneuver rival guilds, you’ll find many new challenges in the catacombs beneath Cadwallon. Rumored to house the legendary riches of the King of Ashes, these rooms and passageways have piqued the interest of all Cadwallon’s guilds.

The King of Ashes expansion introduces new strategic considerations to the game with its exploration tokens. During set-up, players randomly place exploration tokens alongside the chest tiles in all the district’s rooms, but unlike the chest tokens, these remain facedown [sic] until a thief explores them. Exploration tokens represent the many secrets hidden in the shadows of Cadwallon, including staircases that can lead to the newly-exposed catacombs beneath the city!

This expansion is being produced in partnership with Dust Games and Cyanide Studios.

I own the base game for this series, but have not had a chance to play it yet.  That’s not going to prevent me from snatching up a copy of this expansion once it’s available.  I buy games like this as much for the art and miniatures as I do with the hope that my schedule will allow me to actually play them one day.

Speaking of miniatures, included in this expansion is the third printing of the Mid-nor cyclops.  If you didn’t get one in lead when they were still widely available or are hesitant to invest $79.99 on a resin copy from Legacy (via CMoN), this game presents yet another opportunity to acquire this fine miniature.


SJG, Ogre Designer’s Edition

Congratulations!  You are now an official backer of Ogre Designer’s Edition.

I think I first heard about this project two years ago; my interest was piqued immediately then, and I backed the project almost as soon as the Kickstarter announcement was made.

I never played the first edition of OGRE or any of its later incarnations, but was keenly aware of the game when I made my first steps into the hobby.  That was back in 1982; I was nine.  I was far more drawn to D&D, Grenadier and Ral Partha miniatures, and board games like Dragon Pass, Dragonhunt, Circvs Maximvs, and The Trojan War (the latter by the same publisher as OGRE, Metagaming Microgames).  I knew OGRE had a loyal following, but recall that I was strongly disappointed to find that the game had nothing to do with fantasy ogres.  I’m happy to say I’ve since shed such prejudices.

CYANIDE STUDIO, Cadwallon: City of Thieves Video Game

Cyanide Studio is currently developing a video game version of the Cadwallon: City of Thieves board game for iPad.  From their website:

Cadwallon: City of Thieves is a faithful adaptation for iPad of the board game of the same name.

Recapture the sensations of the original board game in glorious 3D and take the game with you wherever you go!

Place the four members of your gang of thieves within the dangerous city of Cadwallon and get rich or die trying. Outpace your rivals to open the treasure chests or simply defeat an opponent to steal what he is carrying. Each character has 3 abilities and one unique skill, so you will have to adopt the right strategy and trust the luck of the dice, if you are to bring as much treasure as possible back to the thieves’ den.

In the City of Thieves, dirty tricks are the order of the day!

Be careful though, as two militiamen have been assigned to maintain law and order and they move about the board, interfering with your Machiavellian plans… Woe betide any thief caught inside the militia’s cordon at the end of the game. This iPad version takes you on a 3D adventure deep inside Cadwallon; an adventure you can take with you wherever you go, to play against friends or fellow travellers. The intuitive gameplay of a City of Thieves allows beginners to quickly understand the rules.

ARCANA, Revised Edition

I’ve just learned that Fantasy Flight Games, in conjunction with Dust Games, is releasing a revised version of the card game based in Cadwallon, Arcana.

The revised edition of Arcanaprovides players with two new guilds to choose from, the Guild of Fortune-tellers and the Guild of Architects. Additionally, the revised edition incorporates a variety of optional rules that players can utilize to enhance their experience.

Deck customization allows players to pre-strategize. Will you concentrate on having your agents bribe personalities, or perhaps you are looking to gain the advantage over your competition through locations?

Increase the challenge and unpredictability of Arcana through Objectives or Guild Masters. Objectives require players to fulfill stake card requirements to gain additional victory points, while Guild Masters provide competitors with a unique ability that can sway the outcome of card resolution each round.

These game variants and more await you in the revised edition of Arcana. Lead your guild to victory in the streets of Cadwallon!

For more information, visit the Arcana page on the FFG website.