Antoine Fortuin

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Bitten by a common house spider, Antoine emerged with the uncanny ability to buy more games than he had time to play. While living in the hills of Tennessee, USA, he tries to balance software development, family, and his multiple, competing hobbies. He hopes to someday discover a pocket dimension in which to store his games.

Level 7 [Omega Protocol] has been out of print since 2016 and its constant appearances on the Dice Tower’s Top 10 lists can only have contributed to this game vanishing from shelves since then. Privateer Press have chosen to seek funding on Kickstarter to gauge demand for the game instead of releasing it through traditional channels. Considering the project has already achieved over 75% of its funding goal on its first day it should meet its funding goal.

“LEVEL 7 is a sinister science fiction setting where nefarious conspiracies conceal the government’s collaboration deep within an underground research facility with an unspeakable alien menace. Officially, the top-secret military base doesn’t exist. There is no record of it: no blueprints, no photographs, no credible accounts. Rumors persist, but no one has ever found it. And those who have dared to look have disappeared… Now overrun with swarms of monstrous genetic creations led by their nefarious alien overseers, the underground facility of Subterra Bravo is the epicenter of an unfathomable government conspiracy—one that must be kept secret at all costs. To cover up the truth, the shadowy agency in charge of the operation has initiated the Omega Protocol, dispatching an elite team of commandos to retake Subterra Bravo and eradicate all evidence of the sinister creatures within. But the threat these creatures and their alien overlords pose may be far greater than anyone can possibly imagine.” [source]

Level 7 [Omega Protocol] was designed by Will Schoonover (who also designed the other Level 7 series of games), supports 2-6 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. Its a semi-cooperative, tactical miniatures game where players take on the role of a fire team of highly trained commandos who go up against a player, called the overseer, who controls a swarm of inhuman creatures which have token over Subterra Bravo, a U.S. government facility. Both the commandos and the overseer control a resource called adrenaline. Commandos use adrenaline to perform heroic actions, while the overseer uses it fortify their forces. Players can play the game as a campaign of nine missions or the individual missions themselves. The Extreme Prejudice expansion and the Kickstarter specific bonus content adds new creatures, characters, missions, and game cards.

If Kickstarter backers have the original game they can opt to get only the updated content of the 2nd edition, or backers can get the fully update core game, or all content released which includes the expansion.

The Level 7 [Omega Protocol] Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 1st 2018, with estimated delivery taking place in June of 2019.

Arraial is a tile-laying game where players create a diverse party and compete to attract visitors.

“Arraial” is the name given to traditional Portuguese summer celebrations during which people take to the streets eating, drinking, and having fun in the old neighborhoods that are bedecked with arches, colorful balloons, popular music, and the aroma of sweet basil. [source]

Arraial is published by MEBO Games, designed by Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade (who have also designed Madeira and Nippon), and features art by Nuno Saraiva. Its a game aimed at families and supports 1-4 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30 mins.

In Arraial, players take turns placing tiles in their neighborhood with tiles which fit perfectly with previously placed tiles. The central board, from which players obtain their tiles, rotates, which means that a player’s position at the table has an impact on game play.

Tom Vasel really enjoyed the game, even though he was unsure of it when it debuted on Dice Tower Tonight, and you can see his review to see why he said, “The game is fast, it’s simple, it’s fun.  I actually like it better than Uwe [Rosenberg]’s entire trilogy.   I like it better than Cottage Garden, Indian Summer and Spring Meadow.  I just like this one alot.”

If you’re fortunate enough to make it to Essen Spiel 2018, you can get Arraial from Portugese publisher Mebo games, and from Pandasaurus Games early next year.

Dreams of Tomorrow is a competitive, set collection game about weaving dreams, manipulating action spaces, and carefully using abilities. The game is published by Weird Giraffe Games, designed by Phillip Falcon Perry with art by James Masino, plays in about 45 mins, and supports 1-6 players aged 8+.

The future has fallen. After a mysterious decline brought humanity to the brink, the people of the future got to work on fixing the past – by sending sequences of dreams back to our time in order to give us the inspiration we need to change the future.

As a Dream Engineer working in the distant future, you must intertwine memorable and powerful dreams in order to change your present. Catch dream fragments from the Dreamscape and either use their abilities to help you – or weave them together into a completed dream sequence that can be sent back to the past to secure victory! [source]

There are two main modes of play: Pleasant Night, and Troubled Night.

During Pleasant Night, players turns consist of moving around the Collective Consciousness, which is a set of 8 action spaces, and taking the action of the space they land on. The 4 Resource action spaces give players a large amount of resources when used, but also give all other players a small amount of resources. The 4 Dream action spaces let players catch dreams from the Dreamscape, or weave those dreams into a Dream Sequence, or activate those dreams’ abilities. Dreams in the Dream Sequence add dream points, which are necessary to win the game. For an increased challenge, the game can be played in the Troubled Night mode, where the Night Mare can upset action spaces and take actions out of players reach. Solo players can compete against a robot player, which is added to the game. The robot player has quick turns and races the player for points. The robot player can also be added to the multiplayer game to increase the challenge.

The Dreams of Tomorrow Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 8th 2018, with estimated delivery happening in September of 2019. The project is currently more than 50% funded. There are multiple pledge levels with varying add-on items ranging from gifts to a bundle of games produced by Weird Giraffe Games thus far (including Stellar Leap and Fire in the Library).

The Men of Hawkshold is the 1st reprint of the Battleground Fantasy Warfare system, which was designed by Robert DoughertyDarwin Kastle (both co-designers of Hero Realms and Star Realms), and Chad Ellis.

“Hawkshold is a disciplined, combined arms faction. It has the flexibility to field a variety of armies.  Your Spearmen can be a redoubt for a strike wing of Lancers.  Or they can be the rampart protecting the Longbowmen who rain destruction upon your enemy. Or your Lancers can form the core a rapid attack force alongside Knights and Scout Cavalry.” [source]

Battleground Fantasy Warfare is a two-player (or two-side, if multiple players want to ally) tactical game without miniatures.  Before the game, you build an army from the units in your faction which portray your warriors and their characteristics as cards. Units have points costs and the total cost of all units can’t exceed the maximum points for each side. Players build their armies, deploy their units, and assign them battle orders. Each player has a limited ability to command their army once the battle begins and the player with the better plan can use their commands to inspire or enchant their units in combat.

The Men of Hawkshold Kickstarter project has multiple pledge levels ranging from backing only the faction itself, or multiple factions for more players to join in. Funding will end on Tuesday, November 6th 2018 and the estimated delivery is December of 2019. The project is currently at a little over 25% of its funding goal.

Born to Serve is about 2-5 jobless superheroes who have fallen on rough times and are competing for a job to wait on tables in a restaurant.

“You are a superhero, virtuous, respected and dare we say loved by millions, well ok maybe not millions, but by more than a few people in the little town you and your super group have been tasked with protecting. Unfortunately, the government has cut your group’s funding and that means you all are going to need jobs to support your superhero lifestyle. Sadly, there is but one job to be had in town, at the local restaurant. The restaurant owner has decided to let you all try out for the job and whoever has the most tips by the end of the day gets it.” [source]

Born to Serve is designed by Nick Sauer (known for co-designing Mystery Rummy: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld), and Diane Sauer (known for Pinball Showdown) and the game plays in about an 1 hour.

Each round, heroes have five service markers they can use to either spend time serving a table or to enlist the restaurant staff who can aid them. Tables which have been fully serviced score each round with the hero who has the most service markers getting the largest part of the tip, while those who helped get half the tip value based on each service marker they contributed. Since all players are superheroes, each have two powers which allow them to bend certain rules in their favor. The player who earns the most money in tips at the end of the day wins the job and the game.

The Born to Serve Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 1st 2018 with the estimated delivery taking place in July of 2019. The project is currently at around 30% of its funding goal.

UFO a Go-Go is the first game designed by David Logan (II), and Matthew Weekes, with art by Mike Shanks. This 3-8 player game is published by Akupara Games and is intended to play in 15-45 mins, depending on the number of players.

 “It’s party season throughout the galaxy, and everyone is hosting a spectacular celebration! But who will be crowned Intergalactic Party Captain…. Is it you? Invite Aliens to your party, just don’t forget to be a good host for your guests and give each of them the attention they deserve. If an Alien feels neglected, they will leave for another party in the galaxy. Will your party be a celestial success, or will you find yourself alone with the punch bowl?” [source]

UFO a Go-Go is a game about following hilarious rules and calling out your friends when they slip up. All the players are hosting their own parties and inviting Aliens to join in. Hosts need to give each guest the attention they deserve, or they’ll leave the party and join someone else’s in another part of the galaxy.

Hosts take turns drawing cards from a central deck which contain four types of cards. Drawing an Alien Card is ideal as they’ll join the host’s party but adding the alien to the party also adds a rule which the host must follow. Aliens can be swopped, stolen, or lured away. VIP Cards represent more impressive guests which hosts compete for, while Galactic Event Cards can mess up the best laid plans. Finally, Party Favors are “take that” cards which hosts force upon other hosts to cause trouble and confusion. The goal of the game is to reach the winning party point value and be declared the Intergalactic Party Captain.

If you’re not sure whether or not this game will work with your group you can download the print & play version to try it out. The UFO a Go-Go Kickstarter campaign will run until Thursday, November 8th 2018 and the estimated delivery date is June of 2018. The project is currently at 14% of its funding goal.

Ancient Terrible Things makes a return to Kickstarter running as a 10 day campaign in celebration of their 10 year anniversary. Ancient Terrible Things is designed by Simon McGregor with art by Rob van Zyl who are part of the Pleasant Company Games design studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ancient Terrible Things is a pulp, horror, adventure game for 2-4 players who are intrepid adventurers exploring a dark jungle. Each turn players travel to a Fateful Location, then face an Ominous Encounter, and attempt to unlock its Ancient Secrets through a combination of dice, tokens, and cards. For more information on how the game plays you can check Tom’s Review and see why he included it in his Top Ten Cthulhu Games.

The campaign does not have any stretch goals but there are multiple pledge levels depending on how much of the game you want to buy into. Both the Madness of McGuffin (the latest expansion) & The Lost Charter (an expansion which was previously out of print) are available as separate pledges or you can buy everything which exists for the game. If you’re a solo player, then The Lost Charter expansion will be of special interest as it includes solo rules for the game.

All pledge levels have limited quantities so be sure to act quickly if you’re on the fence about backing the project. The Ancient Terrible Things Kickstarter project will run until Tuesday, October 23rd 2018 and the estimated delivery of pledges ranges from December of 2018 until February of 2019 depending on which items you order. The project goal was fairly low, but they’ve already surpassed it by a wide margin.

Jakarta based, board game company, Chiveus, is still a small publisher with only 2 prior games under their belt, but they will be at Essen Spiel 2018 introducing 3 new games to the industry.

Jalan-Jalan is a party card game with “Take That” and “Voting” mechanisms for 3-5 players, aged 14+. It plays in 30-45 mins. Players create the perfect list of vacation plans with all the destinations to visit. Each destination is categorized (eg. water-related, cultural, and adventurous) and each player has two random interests, one hidden from the other players. Players attempt to go to places matching their interests, for which they earn points by convincing the group to go to them. This is decided through voting but players can play action cards to swing things in their favor.

Kancil is a hidden role game for 3-6 players who negotiate between a farmer and merchants. The farmer attempts to sell their hand grown cucumbers to the merchants while a creature called the Kancil, disguised as a merchant, attempts to steal the earnings and run away. The goal of the game is to earn the most profits through successful deals but this is hampered by the Kancil. Players take turns in each of the roles. The Kancil creature originates from Indonesian folklore.

Unmask! is a set collection, hidden role, press your luck game set in the Victorian Era where players take on the role of detectives. The detectives attempt to find the culprit behind a treasure heist by gathering information from witnesses while a villain attempts to block these efforts. Players try to unmask each other in order to nullify each other’s special bonus through deduction before the game ends. Points are gained by detectives expanding their card collection through investigations. The player with the most points wins.

WizKids have published multiple games using their Adventure System which makes them all compatible with one another. Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage Adventure System Board Game is the latest release for this system. Other releases for this game system include Castle RavenloftThe Legend of DrizztWrath of AshardalonTemple of Elemental Evil, and The Tomb of Annihilation. 

“In the city of Waterdeep rests a tavern called the Yawning Portal, named after the gaping pit in its common room. At the bottom of this crumbling shaft is a labyrinthine dungeon known as Undermountain, domain of the mad wizard Halaster Blackcloak, who has seeded his lair with monsters, traps, and mysteries.”

This game includes multiple scenarios, challenging quests, and game play designed for 1-5 players, ages 14+. There are also new Environment and Bane/Boon cards, and Trap and Spell decks. The other significant improvement is that players can now reach level 4 with their characters and gain even more powers … so you can finally tackle the earlier, harder games with characters more capable of handling them (I’m looking at you Wrath of Ashardalon).

As with previous incarnations of the Adventure Game System, the Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage Adventure System Board Game will also release with a Premium Edition which features pre-painted miniatures. This game will be available in March of 2019.

 

In August of this year the International Gamers Awards (IGA) committee announced the finalists for the 2018 IGA Awards.

“The International Gamers Awards were founded in 1999 for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding games, their designers, and the companies which publish them. The awards have gained widespread acclaim and have helped bring these outstanding games to the public’s attention.” [source]

The winner in the Multi-Player General Strategy category was Rajas of the Ganges. This game, designed by the husband and wife team of Markus and Inka Brand, with stunning art by Dennis Lohausen, was published by HUCH!. It has players represent powerful nobles who are gathering resources and wealth. Rajas of the Ganges also got the Seal of Approval from Tom at the Dice Tower.

The winner in the 2-player General Strategy category was Codenames Duet, designed by Vlaada Chvátil and Scot Eaton, with art by Tomáš Kučerovský, and published by Czech Games Edition (CGE).  In it, two players attempt to decipher the identity of their agents hidden behind a card with a word, by guessing those words based on one-word clues. Assassins are hidden in-between the agents which end the game when revealed. The crew at the Dice Tower have spoken well of this game numerous times as well.

You can learn more about the International Gamers Awards, the awards categories, and other nominated games, by visiting their website.