2017 – The ATGN Summary

What a year it’s been for tabletop gaming!  I had to scroll back to page 21 to find the start of 2017 on the ATGN website, so that means about 200 articles were published this year, almost four a week.  Not bad for a group of passionate gamers with little to no journalistic training or writing skills.  But hey, that’s the way we like it here at ATGN! Gamers talking to gamers.  Real gamers. If you poke around gaming stores along the East coast of Australia you’ll no doubt find one of our contributors pretty quickly.

Anyway I ramble and digress.  Let’s take a look at some of the tabletop highlights for 2017!

For us it started on January 3rd with another of Felicity’s Daydreams.  This long running series of cartoons has truly been a highlight of the ATGN website.  Felicity is an amazingly talented individual and extremely creative and artistic, way beyond just drawing.  We started the year with #58 and at the time of this article are currently up to #82.

You can check out the entire series of Felicity’s Daydreams here.

Lin brought us our first look at the Final Fantasy Trading Card Game which included some much watched video on how to play the game. While the game started strong it appears to have wavered somewhat over the last 12 months.  Dedicated players are still found at local stores but not quite in the same numbers.  To be fair this is a common fate of many TCG’s.  New product is still being released though and those still playing the game are seeing plenty of support which is great.

Derek ‘Dez’ Maggs was in full swing and churning out the board game reviews. He hit us with Reign, Argle Bargle, Kinger of Aer: Kingmaker and Ember: The Magical Card Game all in quick succession.  Dez’s passion for board games was only matched by his desire to review them and share his love of them with all.

With a tear in our eye Dez would leave ATGN by the end of the year, however he’s moved on to much bigger things – writing for multiple sites, creating podcasts, video content, and starting up a successful Patreon.

Daniel kicked off our Yu-Gi-Oh! coverage for 2017 with a look at the Pendulum Structure Deck.

Anthony did likewise for the Pokémon TCG with his review of Sun & Moon.

In the world of Magic: The Gathering Connor told us about the Modern Grand Prix in Brisbane and how much better it was than previous Chain Links events; ironically it would be one of their last.

We were the only news outlet on site and managed to record the final match between Oliver Oks on Lantern Control and Zen Takahashi on Dredge.

Games Workshop began rebooting a lot of their older, out-of-print games, much to the delight of long-time fans.  Our resident war gaming expert Bensome was there to tell us all about it.

Wizards of the Coast continued to bring us quality Dungeons & Dragons content, with Ivan being very pleased with ‘Tales from the Yawning Portal’.

Kenny brought us the low-down on Fantasy Flight Games’ latest foray into the tabletop gaming world, this time with miniatures.  Runewars: The Miniatures Game looked fantastic and has continued to do well throughout 2017.  While it doesn’t looked to have kidnapped many of the ardent Warhammer Fantasy fans it does appear to have introduced a swathe of new people to the world of miniature wargaming.

Ultra Pro sought to lift their name back to the lofty heights it once held with the release of their ‘Eclipse Pro-Matte’ series of sleeves.  I let everyone know that they were definitely a marked improvement over existing Ultra Pro sleeves.

Our friends at Rule & Make were going from strength to strength with their biggest Kickstarter success to date.  We got some hands on time with Hand of Fate: Ordeals, a board game based on the Australian made and wildly popular video game.  The team really enjoyed the game, and many are now eagerly awaiting their copy of the game in the mail.

Ivan was back and sought to take on the impossible by reviewing every single game submitted to the 2017 200 word RPG challenge.  What a loon! Thankfully Ivan skimmed the cream from the top and let us know what he thought were some of the more interesting titles.

The 8th Edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules arrived and we had Bensome go over them ASAP to let us know all the changes and what we should expect.  It wasn’t enough though to sway this grizzly veteran of tabletop wargaming back to the 40k table.

Link Summoning was a huge change for the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game and luckily we had resident expert Dan to tell us all about it.  There sure was a lot of division among the Yu-Gi-Oh! community surrounding this one, most of it has since died down although you still hear the odd grumble.

Ben took part in the Magic: The Gathering Sydney Grand Prix which was a team sealed event.  He didn’t do so crash hot in the main event but had a decent run in the side events as well as a great time with friends (which is what gaming should be about right?).

Kris continued his long running Behind the Screen series of articles designed to help players of role-playing games.  If you haven’t checked this series out yet I highly recommend it.  Kris covers a vast array of topics from player handouts to lighting, miniatures, dealing with unruly players and more.

The Force of Will trading card game continued to go from strength to strength with it’s small but passionate Australian player base continuing to grow.  Lin and myself sat down with local Brisbane gurus Archie and Jono (the latter of which joined the ATGN team not long after) to take a look at the Echoes of the New World expansion.

The Pokémon TCG went through a shake up with the 2017/2018 rotation. Thankfully, we had Anthony on hand to tell us all about it and what to expect.

The new Dragon Ball Super Card game was released and Lin brought us his definitive review along with unboxing videos to enjoy.

Caster Chronicles arrived on the scene and I took a look.  A pretty niche title that’s enjoyed small pockets of success.

Kenny took a look at the latest Living Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games, that being Legend of the Five Rings.  Previously published for many years by AEG as a trading card game, it enjoyed a small but fanatical player base here in Australia.  The new game has gone on to do quite well, capturing interest from veteran and new players.

October rolled around and so did PAX.  Myself and a number of the ATGN team made our way to Melbourne to get involved in one of the largest gaming events in the land.  I summarised my thoughts on the tabletop area.

While there I also managed to catch up with Allen from Rule & Make, a fantastic chap I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for several years now and a pioneer in the Australian tabletop community.

Both Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon continued their releases with Harrison now taking the lead on all our Yu-Gi-Oh! content after the departure of Dan (Who now works for Blizzard Entertainment) and having a look at Circuit Break.  Meanwhile Jack and Anthony brought us up to speed with the Crimson Invasion release.

Magic: The Gathering received a slew of new expansions in the later half of the year, one of which was Iconic Masters.  We drafted a box with friends and put up our thoughts on the set. Meanwhile David went down to his local game store and participated in an ‘Unstable’ booster draft and told us all about it.

The fine people over at Bushiroad released Dragoborne: Rise to Supremacy, a TCG released only in English and geared towards a Western audience.  Lin brought us his review (to which I added my own thoughts) on this title that I personally hope continues to grow and get more attention in Australian stores.

Imperial Assault from Fantasy Flight Games continued to grow, as did Kenny’s skill and love for the game.  He brought us a post nationals wrap-up.

Jono took the lead with our Force of Will coverage (rightly so as the man know the game infinitely better than Lin and myself) and brought us his thoughts on the ‘Advent of the Demon King’ expansion.

And it took a while but Games Workshop finally brought Necromunda back to the war table with Necromunda: Underhive.  Ivan was on hand to let us know if it was worth the wait or not.

What better way to end the year than with another competition? This time giving away a special ‘Happy Holiday’ promotional card for Magic: The Gathering.

Of course there was a LOT more that took place this year, this being just some of the highlights.  Overall it was a fantastic year for Australian Tabletop Gaming Network, as we’ve continued to grow and prosper.  We started our own Patreon campaign (which is only $2 off our first milestone!) and removed all form of adverts from our websites.  We hit 2,000 likes on Facebook and show no sign of slowing.  We’ve lost a few people sadly, but also welcomed new faces into the family.  Our relationships with PR companies, wholesalers and retailers continue to blossom and our reputation in the wider community continues to grow.

I’m super excited about what 2018 has in store for us, and no matter where you are or what you play, I’m sure 2018 is going to be a great year for tabletop gaming too.

From everyone here at the Australian Tabletop Gaming Network team we wish you all a very happy holiday and thank you earnestly for reading and supporting us this year.

Liked it? Take a second to support ATGN on Patreon!