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.
After the astronomic growth and resounding success of Dice Tower Con, The Dice Tower has decided to change the convention so that the team has more creative control and direction in running the event. In a live Q&A Session on The Dice Tower channel, Tom detailed the planned changes.
Dice Tower East will be shrinking in size to accommodate around 1800 people (subject to change depending on room available at the venue). The Florida Hotel, part of The Florida Mall, will serve as the new venue. It’s just off the turnpike in Orlando, very near the airport, and will retain the same event dates over the July 4th week. Several rooms will be available for Open Gaming (four ballrooms and a few smaller rooms). There are still plans to have a vendor presence there, though it may not be as big as in the past due to space limitations, as well as a Kids Area, Hot Games Area, and flea markets. Food options are abundant, with the venue being part of a mall, and parking will not be an issue either.
With The Dice Tower team in control of all four of their events, Dice Tower East, Dice Tower West, Dice Tower Retreat, and Dice Tower Cruise, it means that The Dice Tower library will be consistent at the different events they will run. There are some logistical issues to handle in order to make this possible but that is their plans. Plans are also afoot to double the current Dice Tower library catalog. Tom will continue to curate the library and will be working with publishers and accessory companies with the goal of making it the best board game library in the world.
Official Dice Tower events will also be reduced so that The Dice Tower team are more available to play games with. This means that The Dice Tower Awards will also be pulled from the convention and be run online so that the focus of the event can be on gaming. There will still be game shows, Pitch Car Tournaments, and plans for the return of Wits & Wagers.
Your bear park is expanding … because the grizzlies are coming! That’s right, some of the biggest bears on earth will be making their new home in your park. Their habitats are going to be huge though, so do your best to ft them in any way you can! And with a bigger park, you’ll also need to give your guests a way to get around: that’s where your brand new monorail system comes in.[source]
If you’ve ever felt that your Bear Park needed more bears, and a better way of getting around the park to see them, then the Bärenpark: The Bad News Bears expansion is for you. Designer, Phil Walker-Harding, has added two new modules which can be added to the base game independently, or in combination with each other. Bärenpark is a tile-laying game, where players build their Bear Park in their open park areas by adding attractions and facilities to their parks while trying to accumulate the most points in doing so.
The first module adds a new challenge in the form of Grizzly bears, who need more space than the bears from the base game and make the puzzle of laying tiles more difficult. A new park area is also added, to bring the total available building space to five park areas. The second module adds a monorail that can be added to the park which enables customers to experience the natural behavior of the bears without disturbing them. Monorails add a 3rd dimension to the game board as they’re built by placing towers, in a “zig-zag” pattern, across green areas. Finally, new achievements are also added to create new challenges for expert players.
Sensible Object garnered attention with their augmented-reality board game, Beasts of Balance, where players utilize a combination of strategy and balance to build a tower of animals on their tabletop, then evolve the animals in a digital world. Founded in 2014, they were among the first companies to participate in Amazon’sAlexa Start-up Accelerator Program in Seattle in 2017, and even released an Alexa powered board game (When in Rome).
“Sensible Object will offer support for its existing slate of titles during a transition period at the end of which the team will focus its efforts on building all new real-world AR experiences with Niantic as the core of Niantic London. We’re excited about Sensible Object joining Niantic as it significantly advances our efforts in developing a wide range of gaming experiences that bring the physical and digital world closer together. The team’s deep roots in large-scale outdoor activations in particular is very complementary to the many Niantic real world events we host around the world to engage with our loyal players.” -Niantic Inc. [source]
Dungeon Mayhem is a 2-4 player card game set in the world of Dungeons and Dragons where players aim to be the last adventurer standing. The base game had 4 characters (barbarian, paladin, rogue, and wizard) who battled in a dungeon full of treasure, all lovingly illustrated by Kyle Ferrin (known for Vast: The Crystal Caverns, and Root).
“With magic missiles flinging, dual daggers slinging, and spiked shields dinging, it’s up to you to prove your adventurer has the guts to bring home the glory!”[source]
In the Battle for Baldur’s Gate expansion, the first expansion for the game, 2 new characters from Baldur’s Gate are added. The ranger, Minsc, with his miniature, giant space hamster, Boo, and the shapeshifting druid, Jaheira. Dungeon Mayhem: Battle for Baldur’s Gate is illustrated by Jake Parker (founder of popular art challenge, Inktober) and is designed by Jordan Comar, and Roscoe Wetlaufer.
Expect the expansion to release on the 17th of September 2019.
Ubongo is a fast-paced, easy-to-learn, geometric puzzle game where players race to piece together interlocking tiles. The goal is for players to get them to fit perfectly on their own puzzle boards. Ubongo Extreme: Fun-Size Edition is a smaller, lower-priced, and more portable format of the larger game and adds a higher level of complexity by using polyhex tiles instead of the traditional tile shapes. Ubongo Extreme: Fun-Size Edition is designed by Grzegorz Rejchtman for 1-4 players, aged 8+, and is expected to release on July 1st, 2019.
Inka Brand & Markus Brand continue releasing games in the popular EXIT series, with the latest iteration being EXIT: House of Riddles. The game is classified at a beginner difficulty level, caters for 1-4 players, and plays in roughly 1-2 hours. Players are detectives who are summoned to an abandoned house to investigate an unsolved mystery. Upon entry, the detectives hear screams and find the entrance shut behind them and need to crack the case to find their way out. Expect EXIT: House of Riddles to release on July 22nd, 2019.
Brainwaves is a series of games developed by neuroscientists and game designers where players challenge their episodic memory (memory of recent personal events). Thames & Kosmos are releasing 3 games in this series which are all for 1-4 players, aged 8+, and play in roughly 15 mins.
Blackstone Fortress: Escalation expands on Games Workshop‘s 2018 hit board game, set in the Warhammer 40k universe, Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress. In the Escalation expansion, players face Obsidius Mallex, a Chaos Lord, who threatens not only the Precipice, but the Imperium of Man. The alien space station, Blackstone Fortress, commands apocalyptic power which is now under Mallex’s control and aims to use it against his foes. Players are no longer fighting for treasure, but for survival in a new quest for Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress.
Four new Explorers (including an Adeptus Ministorum Crusader, a Primaris Psyker, and a loyal Servitor), and their accompanying plastic models, are included in the expansion. The Servants of the Abyss are also bolstered by new cultists who sport a more occult, barbaric aesthetic than the Slaves to Darkness in the core set, and are led by a Firebrand.
The CMON Expo 2019 is hosted in the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Downtown hotel over 3 days. This year multiple panels were organized with a number of them hosted online by Gloryhoundd on both Youtube, and Facebook, and moderated by Director of Marketing, Rhea Friesen. The day started with a bang with the crowds registering then picking up their swag bags of goodies.
Creating a Legacy in Trudvang Legends – Designer, Eric M. Lang, discussed the hotly anticipated adventure game, Trudvang Legends, designed by himself, Fel Barros, and Guilherme Goulart, and revealed it to be a 1-4 player, co-operative, story-driven board game. It’s based on Norse mythology (though with its own pantheon of gods instead of the traditional Norse pantheon), with a strong emphasis on epic stories which change the gaming world based on the outcomes of those stories. The game begins with a single, unlocked story which is played over a session. Obtaining an epic ending unlocks future stories which affect the overall game world depending on the sequence they’re played in and their outcomes. Its solo friendly and scales well in difficulty across all player counts, but its best played with more players for the full experience. Combat uses a push-your-luck, rune based system (wind, fire, water, earth, and demonic) which affects the available abilities (such as bash, or block) a character can use based on the drawn runes. Demonic runes trigger enemy abilities and can fail the heroic abilities. The Bestiary is represented by cards, and creatures’ abilities can change over the lifetime of the adventure based on story outcomes. Trudvang Legends is based on the role-playing game, Trudvang Chronicles, by Riot Minds. Game components on display were all in prototype form and are subject to change.
What’s Over the Horizon for the A Song of Ice & Fire: Tabletop Miniatures Game – Designer, Michael Shinall, previewed upcoming releases and gave some sneak peeks. First on the list was an update to the Umber Champion, Gregor Clegane, Sandor Clegane, Jaime Lannister, Twyin Lannister, and Tyrion Lannister heroes who weren’t seeing enough tournament gameplay and needed to be adjusted. CMON constantly monitors tournament builds and outcomes, and listens to the community. The adjusted heroes will be available as printable cards from the CMON website and available in the War Council app. New releases include heroes for the Neutral Faction, the Baratheon Faction, and the Targaryen Faction. The Baratheons are characterized by a heavy armored, sieged style of play. The Baratheon brothers also introduce a “Loyalty” mechanism where certain units are loyal to the brothers. The Targaryens represent Daenerys Targaryen as the Khaleesi during her days with Khal Drogo. As such, the army is composed mostly of the Dothraki Horde who are expert cavalrymen and are focused on speed and blatant combat buffs. CMON also spoke of increased organized play support in the form of kits in stores.
Stopping Ragnarok in God of War: The Card Game – Designer Alexandru Olteanu, along with Head of Game Development, Eric M. Lang, gave a sneak peek of the hit PlayStation game converted into a card game. Santa Monica Studio, designers of the video game, were delighted to have CMON adapt the game into its card game form. God of War: The Card Game supports 1-4 players, who co-operatively attempt to stop Ragnarok, in 60-90 mins. Kratos, Atreus, Freya, Mimir, and the Blacksmith Brothers (Sindri and Brok) are playable characters who take part in a branching storyline of the video game. There are 4 possible endings (with accompanying final bosses), as well as 6 scenarios on the path to the Final Boss. A scenario is represented by cards arranged in an art mosaic, with 4 columns made of 8 cards, where objectives are achieved based on player positioning in the columns, and card play. At it’s core, the game is an action/puzzle/deck-building game which is easy to teach, has few core mechanisms, but deep strategy. The designer also made it clear the solo gameplay wasn’t slapped on but had its own design focus, as players use an alternate version of Kratos as their sole character, with alternate Mimir and Atreus support characters to handle the increased difficulty of solo play.
At the final
panel of the day, a Q&A with CMON’s Designers, they also spoke of more
family centric games on the way as they branch into bigger markets.
CMON hosted multiple tournaments and events which included demos, and learn-to-play sessions. The Dice Tower crew (Sam and Roy), were also in attendance. While Friday has the least number of people in attendance, this sold out event had very few open tables and even the Quiet Gaming area, a separate room, was busy. The CMON Expo will continue to run until Sunday.
If you’ve ever transported your Gloomhaven, Mechs vs. Minions, or Imperial Assault (with expansions) games, you know how challenging it can be getting your games from Point A to Point B without bashing up the boxes, jumbling the components, or throwing your back out from carrying a stack of heavy games. What’s that you say … you haven’t even attempted it because it was easier to bring your game group over than take the game to them? Enter … The Deep Space game bag to save the day! This bag is the latest, and biggest, in The Game Canopy System, a series of board game bags developed by Level 3B.
Level 3B are currently running a Kickstarter project to fund The Deep Space but the campaign also has the smaller bags available, The Vanguard, and the Game Canopy, if you’re looking for something smaller or taller. A shoulder strap is included with each water-resistant bag, along with D-rings (to attach keys and luggage tags), side handles, and side pockets (for storing smaller games, tablets, and phones). If you plan to brave a storm to get to game night (as one should … those dice aren’t rolling themselves), then the Rainfly is also available to provide a water repellent, extra layer of protection.
The bags come in several color schemes and trims including a Dice Tower Edition, which has the Dice Tower logo and colors. Alternatively, the Hero Edition is the Kickstarter exclusive color scheme for 2019. The Deep Space Kickstarter project has already hit 8x its funding goal, with over 270 backers, and will end on Tuesday, June 4th, 2019. The estimated delivery date is May of 2020.
Era of Tribes is a civilization themed, strategy game for 2-4 players (aged 14+), based around an asymmetric worker placement mechanism. The game is set in Europe during the Neolithic period up to the High Middle Ages. The goal of the game is for players to acquire Influence Points (IP) by growing their civilizations, expanding, discovering, developing, and interacting with other civilizations. It’s designed by first time game designer, Arne Lorenz, with art by Marc Exner, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
The game begins where humanity is a handful of tribes led by chieftains. Players start by picking from 10 tribes, each with their own starting positions and unique special abilities, including The Britons, The Carthaginians, The Germanics, The Gauls, The Greeks, The Iberians, The Norsemen, The Egyptians, The Romans, and The Slavs. For example, The Britons excel at fishing and have unshakable morale, while The Greeks improve technology more easily and excel at naval expansions. Play takes place over a large board which contains the map where exploration, combat encounters, improvements, and morale is kept track of. Players also have a Tribal Action Board which displays the tribe’s available actions. Each turn, players can choose one of 7 actions – Expansion, Trade, Taxes, Diplomacy, Improvement, Bread & Circuses, or Revolution. There is also a Battle Board where combat takes place using uniquely faced dice.
Solitaire play is mentioned as part of the project and the game comes with a tremendous number of cards, tokens, resources, coins and cubes. The Era of Tribes Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, with over 700 backers, and will end on Monday, June 3rd, 2019. The estimated delivery for the project is October of 2019.