T.I.M.E. Stories, published by Space Cowboys, is a narrative game where each player takes on the role of a temporal agent who lives through a story, as part of their mission. Players start the game in their home base where they receive their mission briefing. The objective is to then complete the mission in as few attempts as possible. Each expansion has players immersed in different environments as they proceed on these missions.
The latest expansion is T.I.M.E. Stories: Madame, which sees players pick up on plot points from earlier missions (expansions) as part of an overall story line dubbed, “The White Cycle”. This mission takes place in Versailles, Paris, and the publishers have hinted that the narrative flow sets up a major shift for the game which would take place in “The Blue Cycle” in future. The core game, T.I.M.E. Stories, is required to play this expansion. The T.I.M.E. Stories: Madame expansion is designed by Fabien Riffaud, and Juan Rodriguez, with art by John Mac Cambridge, and Pascal Quidault.
Space Cowboys kindly corrected an earlier article we had published about Time Stories: Madame:
“Just a quick update: the US/UK version of TIME Stories Madama doesn’t have the typo you refer to in this article: http://www.dicetowernews.com/time-stories-has-an-error/56900. The French version has, but we’ve fixed it for all the other versions.”
No date has been set for a US release as yet, though the correction offered by Space Cowboys implies that its on the cards.
Kickstarter has heated up again with multiple, big projects competing for that hard-earned money in your wallet. Here are some of the projects to have a look at.
The Tokyo Series
The Tokyo Series is 12 unique games, from designer Jordan Draper, about life in Tokyo, that can be played stand-alone or mixed together. This Kickstarter project is funding the printing of 3 games out of the 12. Tokyo Coin Laundry is themed after a laundromat and uses miniature, hand sewn fabric clothes, operable washers and dryers, and more. It includes over a dozen, unique games ranging from 5 to 45 minutes in length from guest designers around the world. Tokyo Tsukiji Market is a heavy, economic fishing game. Players are Japanese fisherman who set custom prices for their catch to sell to other players. There’s a randomized mix of 8+ fish markets which drives a completely-open, player-driven economy, with 7+ support stalls which can improve ships and fishing abilities. Tokyo Game Show has players participate in 5 rounds of a Japanese game show. Players put on colorful wrist bands and compete in tricky, mini games. There are over 50 games included in the box with 10 diverse categories. There’s also the option to use any of the other Tokyo Series titles as featured games.
There are multiple pledge levels which includes the options of prior Tokyo Series releases. Praise, Colorful, and Cactus, from other Japanese designers, have also been added as pledge options. The Tokyo Series Kickstarter project has already hit double its funding goal, with pledges ending on February 12th, 2019. Estimated delivery is October 2019.
War of the Worlds: The New Wave
From designer Denis Plastinin and publisher Grey Fox Games, War of the Worlds: The New Wave is a two-player, asymmetric game set in the years after H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds where humans defend against invading aliens. The aliens have returned in a giant spaceship and landed in Scotland. One player controls the UK defence units and the other the aliens. The game utilizes 3D models and cards, and takes place on a large game board. There is also the “Irish Sea” expansion, which includes more maps and tactical options, though this is on a separate pledge level.
The War of the Worlds: The New Wave Kickstarter project is currently at 8x its funding goal, runs until January 31st, 2019, and is expected to deliver in August of 2019.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – The Board Game
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – The Board Game, is a tactical, stealth game for 2-6 players. Its designed by Gergely Kruppa, published by Antler Games, is based on the video game of the same name, and includes over 40 miniatures. 1-4 players are ninja, trying to outsmart the guards, who is controlled by another player called the Daimyo, an evil mastermind. The ninja players can talk around the table, but the Daimyo can hear them, so they have to be careful when crafting plans. Players can choose from 5 unique ninja who have their own skill sets, while the Daimyo controls soldiers and samurai. The game includes story-driven missions in an ever-changing, non-linear campaign structure. The game includes Winter and Night modes which alter the game play. In Winter mode, snow shows the footprints of the ninja which can be tactically utilized to manipulate guards, while Night mode only shows the ninja and guards when they’re in a lit area.
The Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun – The Board Game Kickstarter project is close to its funding goal with over 400 backers. Pledges can be made up until February 14th, 2019, with delivery expected in December of 2019.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: City Fall
IDW Games are crowd funding the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: City Fall board game. Its designed by Daniel Lansdown, Pete Walsh, and Kevin Wilson, with art by Jose David Lanza Cebrian, Kevin Eastman, and Tony Vargas. The game is designed for 1-5 players, aged 14+, and plays in 45-150 mins. There are 2 stand-alone boxes to choose from, each with their own missions, enemies and character models. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Change is Constant stand-alone box serves as the first part of the story (based on the 1st two story arcs of the TMNT IDW comics), and is continued in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: City Fall stand-alone box (based on the TMNT IDW comics where 1 of the turtles joins the Foot Clan).
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures: City Fall Kickstarter project is already funded with over 1500 backers, with pledges ending on February 8th, 2019. Expected delivery is October of 2019.
The Transformers Trading Card Game is published by Wizards of the Coast and is designed for 2 players. Each player builds a team of Transformers, from the Autobot and Decepticon factions, made up of character cards who use Action and Upgrade cards which are Battle cards. There is currently 2 starter sets for the game, with the majority of the cards obtained by buying booster packs including at least 1 character in each of them.
In the Transformers: Rise of the Combiners expansion, players field 5 specific Transformers who combine together into a single, larger character when the Combiner mechanism, triggered by the Enigma card being played, is triggered. In one of the examples, Torox, Divebomb, Headstrong, Razerclaw and Rampage are in play and they combine into the hulking, Predaking Transformer. In this mode, all damage from the separate Transformers are carried over into this larger form.
The expansion adds 46 new character cards and 81 new Battle cards. The expansion is set to release in March of 2019.
Fantasy Flight Games have announced a new board game, based on tales from The Lord of the Rings, called Journeys in Middle-Earth. It’s a fully cooperative, app-supported board game for 1-5 players, aged 14+. Players take on the roles of Middle-Earth’s heroes such as Gimli the dwarf, and Frodo the hobbit, as they embark across Middle-Earth on grand adventures and fight against Sauron’s oppression.
“Shadows creep through the lands of Middle-earth, as whispers of new evils in Mirkwood and Mordor spread among the Free Peoples of Elves, Dwarves, and Men. As the shadow rises with festering evil and corruption, new heroes are needed to protect Middle-earth.” [source]
Individual games, which last roughly an hour, serve as standalone adventures in an overarching campaign across the wilderness. Players choose from 6 different heroes who have their own abilities and use special skill cards (instead of dice) while exploring, encountering threats, attacking enemies, and interacting with the people of Middle-earth. In addition to hero specific skill cards, there are also role specific skill cards which can be added to the deck. So, if Frodo takes on the role of a Pathfinder in one adventure, he could take on the role of a Hunter in another adventure and play very differently because of the cards in his deck.
As players travel across the map, tiles and encounters are revealed through the companion app, and matching tokens are placed on the physical tiles which represent the board. While many adventures take place on the bigger map, some scenarios will lead to combat situations which use a smaller board to represent an Orc camp or a musty cave. All enemies, represented by 25 miniatures, are controlled by the companion app. The campaign also features branching narratives and side quests to unlock so each play-through provides a different experience.
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys In Middle-Earth is designed by Nathan Hajek (known for Fallout, and Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Ed – Road to Legend), and Grace Holdinghaus (known for the Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed: Streets of Arkham expansion). It will be released in the 2nd quarter of 2019, and Fantasy Flight Games are already taking pre-orders which includes deluxe player mats.
Two new clans are set to be added to Crystal Clans from Plaid Hat Games. In Crystal Clans, a 2-player battle card game designed by Colby Dauch, J. Arthur Ellis, and Andrea Mezzotero, players take on the roles of clan factions, each with their own unique armies, who fight to control powerful crystals on a battlefield.
The Gem Clan uses the Crystal Force ability which lets them gain +1 attack for each crystal in any score area (including their opponent’s). This army is composed of nomadic artisans who rack up crystals throughout the game.
The Moon Clan has a ghostly, pirate crew, based army from the ship, Risen Anabelle. They make use of the Plunder ability to remove units from their opponents’ hands, and also have access to the Pirate and Reanimated keywords for their aiblities.
More details on how these clans play will be revealed on the Plaid Hat Games website soon.
Dicetopia, a quick strategy game for 2-4 players, was Kickstarted in January of 2018. In it, players try their luck in the city of Dicetopia by sending agents to take over neighborhoods, snatch loot, perform actions and carry out missions. After 6 rounds, the player to score the highest points based on the neighborhoods they dominate, the die resources they have, and their secret missions, is the winner.
Dicetopia: Roll with the Punches is an expansion for Dicetopia which is currently on Kickstarter. Its designed by the core game designer, Tobias Hall, with art by Anthony Cournoyer, and published by All Or None Games. It introduces a new wasteland area with toxic dice, blood dome challenges, turn order manipulation, extra protection and full support for 5 players. Five new factions, 20 missions, and 5 scenarios are also added.
The Kickstarter campaign currently has pledge levels for those interested in only the Dicetopia: Roll with the Punches expansion, or only the Core Game, or both. The project has already hit almost twice its funding goal with over 400 backers. The campaign is set to end on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019. Estimated delivery for the project is August of 2019.
Horrible Games is attending the Spielwarenmesse (International Toy Fair) 2019 held in Nuremburg, Germany, from January 30th to February 3rd. Tickets for this fair can only be purchased by trade professionals, but Horrible Games has made available a list of games which they will showcase there.
Their most anticipated game is Alone, a dungeon survival sci-fi horror game, to be Kickstarted mid-February, which includes more content and support for more languages.
The King’s Dilemma, by designers Hjalmar Hach, and Lorenzo Silva, is an interactive, narrative experience with branching story lines based on a deck-building mechanism. Players are various families who lead the government of a kingdom by drawing cards from a common deck which allows a story to unfold. Players discuss, bargain, and make decisions which builds the cards remaining in the deck and shape the story of the kingdom. The King’s Dilemma supports 2-5 players, aged 14+, plays in 30 mins, and is expected to release in Q3 of 2019.
Fantastiq, by the same designers, has players commissioned to create works of art simultaneously each round, using modelling clay, based on titles they’re given. Once done, everyone exhibits their creations which are also matched to the titles. Creations correctly matched score points. Fantastiq is for 3-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in 45 mins. The release date is yet to be announced.
Similo, designed by Martino Chiacchiera, Hjalmar Hach, and Pierluca Zizzi, is a co-operative deduction game utilizing a deck of 90 large cards which have portraits of famous historical or fictional characters (such as Buddha, Abraham Lincoln, and Cleopatra). A clue giver gets the other players to guess the correct character, from 12 displayed on the table, by giving them clues in the form of cards of characters which have something in common with the one they’re meant to guess. Players remove 1 or more characters which they think don’t have anything in common with the clue. If, at any point, the correct character is eliminated the players lose. If the correct one is the final one to remain the players win. Similo supports 2-8 players, aged 8+, and plays in 15-30 mins. The release date has not yet been announced.
Unicorn Fever, designed by Lorenzo Silva, and Lorenzo Tucci Sorrentino, is a game of racing unicorns. Players place bets then watch the race unfold while trying to influence the outcome by “fixing” it. Unicorn Fever is a spiritual successor to the 2009 title, Horse Fever by the same designers. The game supports 2-5 players, aged 8+, and plays in 60 mins. No release date has yet been announced.
Stonemaier Games, publishers of the immensely popular Scythe, have released all the details on their new game, Wingspan. Players are bird enthusiasts who seek to discover and attract the best birds to their network of wildlife preserves. Its described as a competitive, medium-weight, card-driven, engine-building board game for 1-5 players, aged 10+. Wingspan is designed by Elizabeth Hargrave, with art by Ana Maria Martinez Jaramillo, Natalia Rojas, and Beth Sobel. It plays in 40 – 70 mins.
The game is played over 4 rounds with the player with the most points being declared the winner. Habitats (which are actions in the game) are used by birds to perform combinations. Habitats focus on different aspects of growth:
- A bird feeder dice tower dispenses food tokens via custom dice
- Egg miniatures, in a variety of colors, are used to lay eggs
- A deck of cards allows hundreds of unique birds to be drawn and played
Featured game components include:
- 170 unique bird cards (57x87mm)
- 26 bonus cards (57x87mm)
- 16 Automa cards (57x87mm)
- 103 food tokens
- 75 egg miniatures
- 5 custom wooden dice
- 5 player mats
- 1 birdfeeder dice tower
- 2-piece Game Trayz custom tray
- 1 goal mat
- 8 goal tiles
- 1 first-player token
- 40 action cubes (8 per player)
- 4 clear plastic resource containers
- 1 scorepad (50 sheets; 1 sheet used for all players each game)
- 3 rulebooks
Wingspan also supports solo play by making use of an Automa. For more information on the game you can check out the Stonemaier Games website, or watch Tom’s video review on the Dice Tower channel. Wingspan will be released on March 8th, 2019.
The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia are 2 new decks which expand the game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from Plaid Hat Games. In Ashes, an expandable card game for 2-4 players, players take on the roles of Phoenixborn, who are demi-gods and protectors of their world. Unfortunately, the Phoenixborn are at war with one another and seek to bath in the ashes of their defeated foes in order to absorb their power and be the sole, remaining god with dominion over all the land. Ashes is designed by Isaac Vega and features amazing art by Thander Lin, David Richards, and Fernanda Suárez.
The Grave King deck includes the Phoenixborn, James Endersight, who uses divine and ceremonial magic to sacrifice and resurrect his armies in order to overwhelm his foes. The Protector of Argaia deck has Fiona Mercywind, a Phoenixborn of Birdsnest who uses Sympathy and Charm magic.
The Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Fracture of Biel-Tan Campaign Box is the first, big box expansion for Warhammer 40,000: Battle for Ultramar. In Dice Masters, 2 players make use of a team of characters who are represented by cards, to combat each other through card effects and dice rolls. The Dice Masters engine was developed by Mike Elliott, and Eric M. Lang, when they originally created Quarriors! for WizKids.
This expansion features characters such as the Daemons of Chaos and Skarbrand the Ynnari, The Masque of Slaanesh, The Yncarne, and Yvraine. The Campaign Box includes Sidekick dice, Basic Action dice, rules, and dice bags for two players to create teams comprised of Daemons of Chaos or Ynnari, or a mixture of them both.
To further expand play options for the game, players can also purchase the Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Blood Angels – Black Rage team pack. This expansion features the Blood Angels and special units such as Commander Dante, the Death Company, and Sanguinary Priests. If that’s not enough, the Warhammer 40,000 Dice Masters: Dark Angels — The First team pack adds the legendary Dark Angels. Special units such as Fallen Angel, Cypher, and the Deathwing Knight join the fray. Both packs contain 3 different versions of each character includes 24 cards, with 16 dice.
These expansions are expected to release around March of 2019.
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