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Wizards of the Coast Changes Your Money into Their Wallets with Transformers TCG; Azul Shines Again with Stained Glass of Sintra

W. Eric Martin
United States
North Carolina
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• In March 2018, I had posted a teaser about Axis & Allies & Zombies from Avalon Hill, and in that very post, the teaser image also referred to a Transformers Trading Card Game from AH owner Wizards of the Coast, and for some unknown reason I forgot to mention that forthcoming TCG in that post!

Well, now WotC has released a smattering of info about the game, which it will tease in mid-2018 at Comic-Con International and Gen Con with a four-card Convention Edition pack that gives owners a few exclusive cards without giving them enough to play the game. The two-player Autobots Starter Set and Booster Packs will debut on September 28, 2018, and the game bears this brief description:

The Transformers Trading Card Game is a battling card game designed for two players. Players build a team of Transformers character cards and power them up with a customizable deck of battle cards. Transformers character cards — such as those in the Autobots Starter Set and Booster Packs — are twice the size of standard playing cards; they can be flipped from bot mode to alt mode and back, and they feature premium printing treatment on one of their sides. The deck of battle cards features Action and Upgrade cards to enhance Transformers character cards.

• Shortly after announcing combined sales of 320,000 copies of Azul across 25 languages, Next Move Games has announced its next release — Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, a standalone game from Michael Kiesling that will debut at SPIEL '18 in October. From the image and short description, gameplay seems akin to Azul in how players draft tiles from a shared space, but then things diverge from there:

Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra challenges players to carefully select glass panes to complete their windows while being careful not to damage or waste supplies in the process. The window panels are double-sided, providing players with a dynamic player board that affords nearly infinite variability!

Players can expect to discover new unique art and components in Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, including translucent window pane pieces, a tower to hold discarded glass panes, and double-sided player boards and window pane panels, in addition to many other beautiful components!
I suppose that by using subtitles, Next Move Games has assured themselves of an infinite supply of four-word titles, a loophole that I didn't foresee when the company announced its naming scheme in early 2018.

As for Sintra, a little research shows that the Pena Palace in Sintra, Portugal "holds the totality of the stained glass collection of King Ferdinand as well as a very significant proportion of his glass object collection", according to the Parques de Sintra website, with this company having been formed in 2000 to merge "the different institutions holding responsibilities for safeguarding and valuing the Sintra Cultural Landscape". The more you know...

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