We’ve already brought you 10 board games that don’t exist, but what if you’re not a pasty-faced nerd who sits inside all day? Well, then you’ve probably never heard of these ten ridiculously geeky sports. But don’t worry, we’ll coach you on how to get out of your chair and play them - right now! But first read this list. Then get out of your chair:


10. Timmy Ball (From The Fairly Oddparents)
The hardest thing about playing this game from The Fairly Oddparents’ resident wish-maker? You have to be Timmy to win. The game involves taking a purple ball, and hitting your friends with it. Every time you hit one of your friends? You get a point. But, again, the only person that gets points is Timmy, so good luck with that.


9. Anbo-Jitsu (From Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Called the “evolution of martial arts” by Commander Riker, Anbo-Jitsu involves wearing protective armor, holding a staff, and wearing a helmet that effectively renders you blind. And then you fight. Come to think of it, I think they played this on the current season of Top Chef. No? No Venn diagram for that reference? Okay then. Read More...

If you haven't read any of the Discworld novels, the box art for this game is worth a thousand words in describing the series' tone.

Welcome to Ankh-Morpork, the largest, smelliest, and most ‘interesting’ city on Discworld. The city’s patrician, Lord Vetinari, has disappeared, and the citizens are calling out for firm leadership. Will one of the noble families take control of the city, or will the people welcome the return of the king to restore peace? Then again, Vetinari’s absence may have been temporary and his spies could be spreading around the city, ready to start pulling the levers of power for their master.

In the most unlikely of pairings, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork takes the off-beat satirical works of author Terry Pratchett and puts them in the hands of Euro-style board game designer Martin Wallace. For those not familiar with Wallace, know that he is most famous for economic games such as Automobile and London, deep-thinking strategic experiences that are not for the faint of heart.

Having those examples in mind, I was a bit skeptical when first looking at Discworld: Ankh-Morpork, but the game is actually fantastic. Read on for the full review to find out how Wallace pulled it off.

Just the Facts:

Players: 2-4
Playing Time: 60 minutes
Age: 11 and up
Publisher: Mayfair Games
MSRP: $49.00
Release: October 2011

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It was only a few months ago at PAX East when Steve Jackson Games announced Munchkin Axe Cop, the first-ever licensed Munchkin card game set. Now, the product lineup is starting to grow. While Munchkin Axe Cop is not set to release until later this year, popular franchises Conan the Barbarian and Terry Pratchet's Discworld are also getting the Munchkin treatment.

If you're a Munchkin fan at San Diego Comic Con, here's what's not to miss:

  • First shot at purchasing Munchkin Conan booster packs. The Steve Jackson Games crew of Phil Reed, Andrew Hackard, and Ben Williams are eagerly awaiting your dollars, and will gladly hand you this first of the licensed Munchkin expansions. Go quickly, though, as these may not wait around for Sunday stragglers.

Boxed of Munchkin Conan booster packs ready to be sold for the first time to SDCC attendees. Photo: Phil Reed

  • Preview the Munchkin Axe Cop cards. This set has been completed and has been sent to the printer for production, so stop by the booth for a hands-on look at some of the early samples. If you ask nicely, that is.
  • Grab a free Discworld card. While there are no announced plans for further cards, Terry Pratchet's Discworld has received the Munchkin treatment in the form of this one-off promo card, "The Luggage." If you ask REALLY nicely, the Steve Jackson Games crew may send you home with one.
  • Get your card signed. If you've got a keen eye, you may spot Munchkin and Dork Tower artist Jon Kovalic. He'll be roaming the halls and occasionally tweeting his location to give away some of the above-mentioned Discworld promos. Bring a pen and you'll have yourself a souvenir worth saving.

Since the early 80's, British author Sir Terry Pratchett has been parodying fantasy literature with his Discworld series. Trust me, it's not a series that takes itself too seriously. Discworld is described as "a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A'Tuin." Thirty-eight novels later, Pratchett's novels have gained a loyal fan following, and will be the subject of upcoming board game releases from publishers Mayfair Games and Z-Man Games.

First up is Ankh-Morpork from the mind of famous game designer Martin Wallace, set for release at Essen 2011 under his independent label Treefrog Games. As has become customary for the last few Wallace releases, Mayfair Games has picked up the right to later distribute the game in North America.

Set in the city of the same name, Ankh-Morpork is a center for both sprawling commerce and corruption. As an area control game, players will fight over limited space (the city map is carved into twelve areas) to achieve their goals. These goals are the hook to Ankh-Morpork, as they are assigned at the start of the game yet never revealed to other players. When everyone at the table has a slightly different victory condition, players must think on their feet to devise strategies for getting ahead without tipping their hand.

The game hopes to walk a bit of a tightrope, providing enough thematic satisfaction for Discworld fans, while remaining a strong enough game to please fans of Martin Wallace's past successes. On a hopeful note, Wallace himself addresses this issue saying:

The cards bring the game to life as they include most of the famous characters that have appeared in the various books. The rules are relatively simple: Play a card and do what it says. Most cards have more than one action on them, and you can choose to do some or all of these actions. Some cards also allow you to play a second card, so you can chain actions.

Gamers who don't want to wait that long for a trip to Ankh-Morpork will instead be looking to play Guards! Guards! from Z-Man Games, due out this summer. This game takes a narrower focus than Ankh-Morpork, although it is set in the same city. Players take on the rolls of newly recruited members of the city watch, tasked with tracking down and returning stolen scrolls to the city's Unseen University.

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