If you’re South African and love board games, TCGs, RPGs or miniatures, join us each week on “This week in Tabletop”. We release exciting new episodes featuring bite-sized tabletop gaming content straight from local product managers themselves. Get insight into some of the best board game releases, newest TCG expansions, local events and much more!

CATAN

25th Anniversary Edition

Okay, so yeah, I’ll start off with the numero uno board game for me and the world. If anyone is starting with this hobby in any shape and form Catan should be their first port of call. So we’re quite fortunate to have the 25th-anniversary edition of Catan in stock, and it will be rolling out to key retailers during June. Now this game is very nice. I mean, it contains the five six-player expansion and an additional little mini-expansion and it comes in a very neat box that has all the pieces that you should require to be able to build and play a game of Catan.

Now CATAN is essentially at its core, a resource collection slash trading style game where you will roll dice. If you are savvy enough to have your settlements in the right areas on the board, you’ll collect those resources and then grow your, towns into cities. you’re connecting up roads into ports, which will allow you to trade for better resources. 

It’s just an overall great game with endless replayability because once you’ve set it up in a certain way you can change the tiles around, the numbering on those tiles can also be customised, then you can tweak it however you want. So it’s not like, monopoly where you have one set way to move around the board. Catan is very versatile in that regard. And I do think it’s probably the best board game any person can start with when they want to get into this really cool tabletop hobby.

CATAN - 3D Edition

Another cool addition to the CATAN family of board games is the 3D Edition. This very stunning version of the board game is a complete 3D version that has amazing component quality. I mean, if you’ve ever played CATAN normally, whatever you saw in 2D will now be in 3D and it looks really impressive.

Unfortunately, it does come at a bit of a steep price point because of its collectable nature. But I think for any fan of Catan, they would probably, you know, do whatever they can to get their hands on this particular copy. And we are going to be sourcing limited quantities of this particular edition. So do look out for it at your FLGS or favourite retailer. And yeah, chat to them and check on availability. This is hopefully going to be in stock around August. So yeah, keep your eyes peeled for the 3d edition of Catan.

Ticket to Ride

All right. Now next I would like to talk about Ticket to Ride. So if anyone has ever been looking for a really cool family game, Ticket to Ride would be one of the best options I can recommend out there. Now the main two versions of the game are the US edition which has a map of America and the other one, my personal favourite, has a map of Europe. Both of these additions are currently available at retailers along with our localised version of the US edition. So please, if you ever want to get in on a good game, this is it. 

Ticket to Ride Europe 15th Anniversary

An exciting addition to the Ticket to Ride family celebrating 15 years is the European 15th-anniversary edition that is due to hit shelves hopefully if there are no more delays with shipping towards August of this year. This particular edition is unbelievably jaw-droppingly beautiful, it has a collectable nature to it. And you’ll just see by the images you can find online that the board itself is breathtaking. It is much larger than your original version of Ticket to Ride Europe and probably the best part of this one is the tins that contain the train pieces. So you’ll have a very unique looking set that I just think for years to come, you’ll probably cherish and you know pull out of the shelf when you want to impress family and friends. So yeah, this is a limited edition.

We are getting in, I think decent stock quantities, but I have a feeling it is going to sell really fast. So if you ever wanted to get in or Ticket to Ride, and you were looking for something that is going to be incredibly beautiful on the table, this is the version to go for. 

Klask

Klask is a very cool almost like an air hockey style dexterity game that uses magnets. It’s incredibly addictive. And I can highly recommend this for any person that’s looking for a game to play with their partner, best friend or siblings. And yeah, it’s just a tremendous amount of fun. You only need to look at some of the YouTube videos and promotional materials that are out there to get a good idea of how cool Klask really is. It’s a fun game. It’s been around for quite a few years and there’s even a world championship that people play in. 

Klask comes in two different variants. There’s the standard two-player game, and then also the four-player version, which allows more people and obviously more chaos will follow. But yeah, really awesome dexterity game. Please check it out.

Gloomhaven

In our recommended adventure game category, we have Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven comes in two different formats. One is the standard Gloomhaven Box Edition, which is a hefty big boy of a board game coming in at about 10kg of cardboard goodness. And it’s lighter, easier to play brother that goes by Jaws of the Lion. Both of these are currently in stock. And if any person is a fan of fantasy, story-driven role-playing style game Gloomhaven is definitely one to check out.

Jaws of the Lion

I’d highly recommend you to start with Jaws of the Lion as it comes with a very easy to play and easy to learn guide that will get players into the system very quickly. And then once you’ve had your fill of Jaws of the Lion, of course, you can move over to the big version, which is just known as Gloomhaven. So yeah, definitely check these titles out.

Citadels

In our recommended bluffing and deduction games section. One thing that stands out to me would be Citadels. Now Citadels has been around for quite some time, and this charming mediaeval bluffing card game is really something to look out for. And if you’re looking at wanting to expand on your collection, this is definitely a game that I can recommend. 

It plays very quickly, the rules are quite simple and it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Even for a party situation, if you have friends over for a braai, and you want something that’s going to be entertaining, this is something I would really put forward as an option to play. 

There is a smaller box version. But I would say rather get yourself the proper standard size version of the game as it comes with beautifully illustrated art, and cool game pieces, gold coins, you name it. It’s a really awesome little game, and I can highly recommend it.

Gigamic Range

Next up in our recommended category is our classic style games. And in this particular category, we have a lot of good abstract style board games. What stands out is the Gigamic range, my personal favourite being Quoridor and Quarto.

These cool abstract wooden games look stunning on a coffee table, and they played just as well. Easy rules and it’s definitely something that I think a lot of people should definitely check out if they’re looking for something that’s not going to take, you know, an hour to play. These games play quick and fast. They’re quite addictive, definitely, some of them have some puzzle elements to them. But I can highly recommend these wooden games from Gigamic.

Marvel Champions: The Card Game

I’d like to take the opportunity to tell you more about Marvel Champions, this living card game from Fantasy Flight has definitely crept into a lot of my gaming sessions with my friends and I can very much recommend this. If you enjoy Marvel, and you enjoy a bit of a cooperative style challenge, then this is definitely a card game that I would suggest you add to your collection. 

There have been quite a few expansions for it and they range from character packs, which add more heroes to the game. So if you want to play with Ant-Man, or if you feel like, including Captain America, you can add this to the Core Set, and then just expand on that and add various different heroes to the scenarios. 

Talking about scenarios. There are also villain packs on larger box campaign expansions that you can add to marvel champions, which adds a bit more spice to the game. You can adjust also the difficulty on some of the villains that you’ll encounter, and go through a whole story whilst you develop and deck built and tweak so that your hero at the end of the day is going to be at the top of his performance. But yeah, there are so many more exciting things that are being developed for Marvel champions, which I’d love to expand on. But definitely, something to look into if you enjoy a really good cooperative card game. 

Star Wars X-Wing

Next up Star Wars X-Wing, this tactical miniature tabletop game has a big following and it’s forever expanding, adding new models to the already bursting selection of available miniatures. So if you enjoy Star Wars in any shape and form, this is definitely the miniature game for you. What’s great about it is it’s already pre-assembled pre-painted. All you do is you just pop your models onto the little stands, you put them on the table and you’re good to go. 

We’re also happy to announce that the latest packs have finally hit our shores and are available in stores. So if you want to expand on your current army or squadron, Skystrike Academy, Phoenix Cell and, Fugitives and Collaborators Squadron Packs are currently available. So keep your eyes open for these packs at select retailers across the country.

Star Wars Armada

Star Wars Armada is another very popular miniature combat game from Fantasy Flight and is currently definitely picking up steam in the country, we’ve seen a resurgence in a lot of stores for players coming up and saying, “Hey, we want to get in on this game!”. 

So luckily, there have been many, many releases for Armada, lots of different options are currently available for you to bolster your forces with most notably the latest releases are focusing on the Galactic Republic and Separatists. And we are happy to announce that our next wave of expansions will be hitting us fairly soon. We are obviously a little bit behind compared to the US release dates. But with the current global shipping crisis. You know, we’re just asking all our fans and retailers to please just be patient as we are trying to get the stock as quickly as possible. 

The packs that are hitting us fairly soon is the hotly anticipated Pelta-class Frigate and the Venator-class Star Destroyer, this would round off what is coming for the Republic. Then we’re going to quickly look at what is coming for the separatists. The Invisible Hand Expansion and Recusant-class Destroyer Expansion Packs will also be hitting tables fairly soon. So keep your eyes out for this and if you haven’t already put a pre-order in with your FLGS I would suggest you do so as I think these are gonna sell really fast. 

Marvel: Crisis Protocol

Marvel: Crisis Protocol is a miniature tactical combat game from Atomic Mass. This game comes with highly detailed miniatures which you will have to assemble and paint. It also has an array of accessories that you can add to your table. This would include terrain packs, and your standard dice and measurement tools, etc.

What makes this hobby so great is that everyone loves Marvel, and why would you not want to play as the Hulk or Iron Man, but every month, they are releasing new character packs that will include different models. And so you can expand on your adventure through crisis protocol. 

I can highly recommend this for people that enjoy skirmish-style war games. The rule sets pretty decent and keeps an eye on this one, I think this game still going to grow immensely in the years to come.

Gamegenic

Gamegenic is accessories range from Asmodee and this includes card sleeves, boxes, binders and pages. This range is definitely something to keep an eye on and I can tell you just using the sleeves, it really works really well. 

The variety of sleeves may be in the past would be better known as the Fantasy Flight range and I think a lot of board gamers out there would recognise some of the colouring like for instance, the standard size which is grey, or the US size, which is green. All of these have been ported over to Gamegenic. 

For those of you that are going to be asking your favourite local game store for Fantasy Flight sleeves, please remember that that has all moved over to the Gamegenic range now. And by all means, go check out gangetic.com and our website for more information around this beautiful range of accessories and give it a spin. I can personally vouch for the board game sleeves as I have used them quite extensively in my collection and the quality is really good. 

Solarpop's 5th birthday

To celebrate Solarpop’s 5th birthday, we have decided to do price drops across key core lines in our catalogue. So please if you can reach out to your favourite store and check on the reduced pricing on select lines like a Catan, Ticket to Ride, Exploding Kittens, Pandemic, Qwirkle and a lot more.

Head to your Friendly Local Games Store today and ask them about these great titles!

 

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By Etienne Le Roux

My name is Etienne Le Roux and I am the product manager at Solarpop Distribution. My expertise lies in board games and miniature systems. I absolutely love all of these games and I play them on many of them.