Antoine Fortuin

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.

Lucky’s Misadventures – Episode 42: Lost in Oddtopia is a quirky sounding title but it matches the theme of the game to a tee. It’s a very “odd”, deck-building game set in an imaginative world unlike anything else. It has an Alice in Wonderland crossed over with Steampunk and a Tim Burton movie visual design. The game is published by Great Northern Games, designed by Jay Mayer (Council of Blackthorne), and features art by Abigail Larson (Sleepy Hollow) and Michael D. Clarke with graphic design by Peter Wocken.

You and your dog Lucky should not have taken the shortcut through the woods that night. How were you to know that Pumpkin Ted was going to open a portal to the strange world of Oddtopia? Lucky, your protector and faithful companion, broke his leash and chased Pumpkin Ted back through the portal and into an unfamiliar world.

Oddtopia is a surreal and sometimes dark world of Tinkerers, Wickeds, and Oddlings and is protected by the Great Mechanical Toad. [source]

Lucky’s Misadventures supports simultaneous play, so all players are constantly involved. Fate cards change the game conditions from round to round in weird ways. Players use the strongest cards together to win challenges and gain free cards in head-to-head challenges. You can also combine junk cards to build steampunk machines with strong effects. To win, gather the right cards at the right time to escape Oddtopia and instantly win the game.

The game supports 2-4 players, aged 10+, and plays in 45-60 mins. The Kickstarter project ends on February 24th, 2018 and you can snag a base copy of the game with a pledge of $29 (excluding shipping). The project has already reached over half its funding goal and still has 29 days to go.

Renegade Games Studios have announced an expansion to Clank: A Deck-Building Adventure. It’s been almost a year since the last expansion, Clank! Sunken Treasures, which released March 2017. Players will explore a new pyramid themed board with a wandering mummy, which they have to avoid, and new monsters and tombs.

Untold riches await you inside the pyramids of the Ancients – but they are well protected. An undying Mummy guardian spreads a vile curse to those who would rob its tomb. And, inevitably, the treasure has attracted a dragon. Can you escape the fearsome Croxobek? [source]

In Clank! A Deck-Building Adventure, players venture underground to loot treasure as quietly as possible to avoid the dragon’s attention. When the dragon awakens he attacks those who have made the most noise. To win, players need to have the most valuable treasure and make it out of the dungeon alive!

Dire Wolf Digital designed and co-published the first expansion, Clank! Sunken Treasures, and was their first foray into board game publishing. They’ve designed this latest expansion and will co-publish it with Renegade Games.

Scott Gaeta, President of Renegade Game Studios:

The Mummy’s Curse ramps up the suspense as players try to avoid being cursed by the wandering monster. We can’t wait to share this with Clank! fans everywhere!

Clank! The Mummy’s Curse will see release in March 2018. The game is ideal for 2-4 players, aged 12+, and takes 30-60 minutes if players have a particularly good treasure run.

Eagle-Gryphon Games have launched The Scarlet Pimpernel: Signature Edition on Kickstarter. You play as members in the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel in France helping Sir Percy Blakeney rescue the innocent from the guillotine. While there are 7 missions to complete, none are as important as rescuing the young Dauphin, heir to the French throne, and escaping with him to Vienna.

The year is 1973.

France cowers under the Reign of Terror and not even the innocent are safe from the Committee of Public Safety and their precious guillotine.

In the midst of all this turmoil, one man uses courage and cunning to fight the brutality … [source]

The Scarlet Pimpernel supports 2-6 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. In the game players reveal mission cards which show the next location the Scarlet Pimpernel must visit. The mission cards will also show the required number of supporters and resources needed for a successful rescue. As League members, the players must help the Scarlet Pimpernel carry out these missions by placing cubes from their supply in various spots on the game board to score points. Influence over sections of the Mission Planning Area can earn Special Favor Tiles that provide access to elaborate new actions. These aren’t permanent and can be stolen away by other players. Although players work together thematically to accomplish missions, only the player with the highest score will become the Scarlet Pimpernel’s trusted adviser.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is designed by Brian Kelley and illustrated by Ian O’Toole (The Gallerist, Lisboa, Nemo’s War). It’s currently up on Kickstarter and has already raised 224% of its funding goal with 486 backers. A pledge of $55 (excluding shipping) will secure you a copy of the base game and funding ends on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.

Dynamite Entertainment and Lynnvander Studios have announced that Red Sonja: Hyrkania’s Legacy is available for pre-order and will release in April 2018. Red Sonja is a sword-and-sorcery, comic-book heroine created for Marvel Comics in 1973, and is partially based on Robert E. Howard’s “Red Sonya of Rogatino” character in his 1934 short story. Marvel had the license to create Conan comics at that time, so she joined Robert E. Howard’s Conan universe as part of the Hyborian Age in their comics. She is currently published by Dynamite Entertainment and appears in their monthly series.

Red Sonja: Hyrkania’s Legacy is a cooperative, adventure game for 1-4 player. This game crosses over with existing Legacy games in the Lynnvander Studios line and features a modular tile-based map. You and your allies choose from many quests before travelling through the realms in search of artifacts, treasures, monsters and adventure. Combat is done using dice and cards. It features characters from the current Red Sonja comics such as Red Sonja herself, Ayla & Nias, Rat, Gamble, Suumaro, and Osin.

Red Sonja: Hyrkania’s Legacy accommodates players aged 14+, and plays in 60-90 mins.

If you couldn’t get enough of the campaign in Sword & Sorcery – Immortal Souls, then the Sword & Sorcery – Arcane Portal expansion allows you to continue the epic campaign. Players travel to the imposing Thunder Mountains after hearing of a cult trying to the end the world (as they’re wont to do). You’ll face new perilous quests, The Hellspawn master enemy, and 15 new demonic enemies. The expansion also includes new items, traps, treasures, events, and enemy powers.

To take on these new challenges you can add new, powerful characters to your Sword & Sorcery campaign. The first two Hero Packs, Onamor (a Chaotic Necromancer or Lawful Summoner) and Victoria (a Lawful Captain or Chaotic Pirate), are due in February 2018. Two months later, Morrigan (Demon Huntress or Witch Huntress) and Ryld (Bard or Blademaster) will see release. These Hero Packs include a Ghost Soul version of their miniatures.

The Ghost Soul Form Heroes pack allows you to replace the miniatures included in Sword & Sorcery – Immortal Souls with their Ghost Soul version when they die. Also included in this pack is a set of 10 double-sided Background Talent cards which allows further customization of your characters based on their experiences prior to their adventuring life.

The Sword & Sorcery – Immortal Souls base game is required to play with this additional content. The game is an epic-fantasy cooperative board game for 1-5 players, aged 12+, in which heroes fight together against the forces of evil (controlled by the game itself) to break the spell that binds their souls. Sword & Sorcery is a game designed by Gremlin Project (who also created Galaxy Defenders) and is published by Ares Games.

Ninjas have taken over the ancestral lands belonging to the Pandas so its up to the four Panda Clans to reclaim what is theirs. They send out their mightiest heroes to remove the ninja and rebuild their once-magnificent cities. However, only one Clan will be awarded a place at the Emperor’s right hand for their mighty deeds.

In Way of the Panda, players take on the role of the leader of one of the four Panda Clans. Each clan has a Monk, Warrior, and Governor, who will move around the map board defeating ninjas. Once bandits have been removed from the roadways around a city, players start to construct buildings to rebuild the cities. To gain prestige, players have to defeat ninjas and erect buildings. The player with the most prestige is the winner.

Players plan their strategy on the Action Board using a worker-placement mechanism where each new move they make must be more powerful than the last. They spend action points to choose their action to move around the board, build buildings, and train their characters to gain wisdom. If they choose stronger actions they cost more,  and they cannot go back on the Action Board.

CMON have outdone themselves once again with 52 fantastic miniatures (3 Champions and 10 Guards for each of the four clans) and 30 building miniatures. Way of the Panda is designed by Andrea Mainini (Sails of Glory), Walter Obert, and Alberto Vendramini with art by Davide Corsi (Kingsburg 2nd Edition). The game supports 2-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in 60-90 mins. The game is expected to release late May, 2018.

Grail Games have announced a few games they’ll be publishing by prolific designer, Dr. Reiner Knizia.

Yellow & Yangtze

Yellow & Yangtze, the sister game to Tigris & Euphrates, will be released in 2018. The game is set in the Qin Dynasty (part of modern day China) along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. It sees the rival states of Qin, Chu, Qi, Yan Han, Whei, and Zhao battling for supremacy in 221 BC and is beautifully illustrated by Vincent Dutrait. Yellow & Yangtze supports 2-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90 mins. The designer has improved and tweaked the game play of Tigris & Euphrates so that while Yellow & Yangtze will have a similar feel it will be its own “beast”.

Game play details according to the publisher:

In Yellow & Yangtze, players build civilizations through tile placement. Players are given five different leaders: a Governor, Soldier, Farmer, Trader, and Artisan. The leaders are used to collect victory points in these same categories. However, your score at the end of the game is the number of points in your weakest category. Conflicts arise when civilizations connect on the board. To succeed, players’ civilizations must survive these conflicts, calm peasant revolts, and grow secure enough to build prestigious pagodas. [source]

Criss Cross

Coming in Q1 of 2018 is Criss Cross, a roll-and-write game illustrated by Heiko Günther. This is a custom dice game played over 12 rounds where 2 dice are rolled, and players write the symbols in adjacent squares on their scoring sheet. Groups of symbols in columns and rows score points. While all players share the dice symbols the placement of these will vary across players. Criss Cross supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 10 mins.

Stephenson’s Rocket

In Stephenson’s Rocket, players take on the role of rail barons in 1830s England. They can invest in railway lines, transport passengers, build up local industries, and compete for the honor of becoming the most prestigious rail baron. Illustrations are by Ian O’Toole.

On September 15, 1830, the age of the railroad began with the opening of the first line between Liverpool and Manchester. The locomotive that ruled those rails was George Stephenson’s Rocket. With a top speed of 45km/h (28mph) Rocket, was the most advanced engine of the day, and its arrival marked the beginning of the modern railway. [source]

Stephenson’s Rocket supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays between 60 and 90 mins.

King’s Road

In King’s Road, players are nobles attempting to gain power and influence in the king’s provinces. As the king travels along the road in his provinces, he will allow the most influential noble in each region to govern in his stead. Over time the most favored noble will win the game.

King’s Road is an area-majority game. Each player has identical decks of eleven cards. On a turn, players simultaneously select the three cards they will play, and in what order. To win, players not only have to influence the king as he traverses the land, but attempt to read the minds of their opponents.

King’s Road re-implements the game Imperium, previously only available within game compendiums. [source]

This game is also illustrated by the great, Vincent Dutrait and supports 2-5 players, aged 10+. Game play length is around 30 mins. King’s Road is currently available at retailers.

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road

Unlike the prior games in this list, this one is not designed by Dr. Knizia but by Gerhard Hecht with art by Franz Vohwinkel. The core mechanism will be “open deck-building” with players trading spices along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45 mins.

According to the publisher, the game plays as follows:

In the beginning, each caravan consists of three cards that are spread out vertically so that the top part of each card is visible; each card stands for a caravan member with different abilities.

On his turn, a player performs only one action, choosing one of the cards on top of the three caravans and executing one action shown on that card. Then the card is put at the back of its caravan. To use the same caravan member again, a player must first use all the other cards on top of that caravan row. [source]

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road will release in Q2 of 2018.

Fantasy Flight Games are releasing the final Force Pack in the Alliances cycle for Star Wars: The Card Game, a game designed by Eric M. Lang. In Star Wars: The Card Game you command legendary characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Boba Fett, and Darth Vader and launch strategic assaults against your opponent’s objectives. In this two player game, you tempt fate with Edge battles and either ally with the Force or master it’s power for the Dark Side.

The Promise of Power Force Pack includes ten new objective sets and rewards players for melding affiliations together in a single deck. It also includes plenty of characters from Star Wars Rebels, the animated TV show, with a new version of Ezra Bridger, Cikatro Vizago, and more Inquisitors being added to the game.

While this is the final Force Pack for this cycle it is also the final release for Star Wars: The Card Game. Over the past five years the game has seen five deluxe expansions and six cycles of Force Packs. With the game now complete, the Star Wars World Championships in May will be the final Organized Play World Championship for the game.

Long before Dice Masters was a twinkle in WizKids eye, Quarriors!, designed by Mike Elliot and Eric M. Lang, was the granddaddy of Dice Building games. It followed traditional releases in the form of big boxes for each expansion.

Dice Masters followed later but with a different release system in that you bought starter boxes and booster packs to expand your collection. They started dabbling in mini-releases such as Team Packs (like Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage and Dr Strange) and even released two big box standalone expansions for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Given the demand for the standalone expansions, Wizkids will be releasing the Avengers Infinity and Warhammer 40,000 Campaign Boxes.

According to Wizkids:

By shifting the focus of how players buy Dice Masters to non-blind product, we’re trying to lower the barrier to entry for fans who are interested in trying the game fresh or maybe exploring one of the IPs in the game they haven’t tried yet. [source]

The campaign boxes offer a lot of value. Each one has 48 different character cards which could be used to build hundreds of different thematic teams. There are also 10 Basic Action Cards to add variety. Adding in Team Packs will allow players to customize their teams even further. Campaign Boxes are able to store over 300 dice and their matching cards which means it can accommodate the basic set along with 10 added Team Packs.

Cards in the Campaign Boxes are also going to have their Max dice based on the game play but tournament play will be kept in mind when these are released instead of the stifling maximum previously designed into previous non-blind releases.

For more details on the upcoming Campaign Boxes check out the Wizkids Dice Masters page for details.

Phil Eklund‘s original version of Neanderthal was released in 2015 while Greenland was released in 2014 and both sold out within a few months at the time. They’ve both since been difficult to obtain so these new editions are being released by Sierra Madre Games on Kickstarter so that more people can experience them.

Greenland and Neanderthal are part of Phil Eklund’s “Dominata” series in which important periods in the evolution of humanity are explored through the game.

In Neanderthal, 1-3 players are one of the human species existing after millions of years of evolution. They’re developing complex language, forming tribes and building villages. The game system enables players to follow their tribe’s evolution as well as the environment in which they live.

Greenland is linked to Neanderthal in that the tribes who migrated West populated Europe while those who migrated East populated Asia, and ultimately, the Americas. The first time these waves of migration crossed paths was on the inhospitable island of Greenland about 1,000 years ago, when the Vikings met the Tunit people. In Greenland you play as one of the peoples who attempt to colonize Greenland during the Middle Ages. The little-known Sea Sami expansion pack is included in this edition of the game and features the Sea Sami as a playable tribe and allows for up to 4 players instead of the original 1-3 player count.

You can get Neanderthal or Greenland for a pledge of $29 (excluding shipping) or both games for $49. The campaign will end on Friday, February 9th 2018, and is currently 724% funded. You can check the Kickstarter project page for more information.