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.
Ascension is a deck-building game designed by Magic: The Gathering Pro Tour champions Justin Gary, Rob Dougherty, and Brian Kibler, with artwork by Eric Sabee. Players spend Runes to acquire more powerful cards for their deck, then buy powerful upgrades or defeat monsters for victory points. The upcoming expansion, Ascension: Deliverance, is designed by Gary Arant and Justin Gary and features art by Rod Mendez, Aaron Nakahara, and Eric Sabee. It plays 1-4 players, aged 13+, and plays in roughly 30 mins.
“In Ascension: Deliverance, the world of dreams has become a living nightmare. With the portal between dreams and reality opened, the world has descended into madness. Only you can harness the power needed to close the portal to the Dreamscape and restore the world to order.” [source]
Players start the game with an additional card, the Dreamseeker, which grants them additional Insight over the course of the game. There are also Phantasm cards, new to Ascension, which allows players to gain their effects while they’re in the center row. Dreambind Monsters can also be acquired, once they’re defeated, by paying their Insight cost. Transform cards also make a return in this set where paying the Transform cost makes the card an even more powerful version of itself.
Ascension: Deliverance will be released November 15th, 2018.
Renegade Game Studios, in association with Huch!, are reprinting the Stefan Feld designed and Jo Hartwig illustrated, Roman development game, Trajan. Vasel’s Law has once again kicked in and you can see the The Dice Tower’s glowing opinions of the game over time in their videos. Trajan supports 2-4 players, aged 13+, and plays in roughly 60-120 mins.
“110 AD – the Roman Empire is at its height of glory, ruled by the “optimus princeps,” Emperor Trajan. All borders are secured, and people can focus again on the empire’s internal matters — ROME. Take your chances and boost your power! With the proper tactics, you may outmaneuver your opponents and eventually claim victory.” [source]
Players will need to balance politics, military, trading, and other parts of Roman culture. They try to score victory points by taking advantage of 6 different actions using a rondel mechanism to plan them. Careful planning, hampering opponents’ plans, and the careful acquisition of tiles are integral to success with the player having the most victory points at the end of it all being the winner.
Trajan will be released in December of 2018. See the Renegade Games Studios website for more information.
Kodachi is a card game designed by A.B. West and produced by WizKids. A kodachi is a small sword used by the samurai in Feudal Japan. The game designer has described Kodachi as a streamlined version of Ninjato (which he also designed) which features a push your luck invasion mechanism at its core. Kodachi will support 2-4 players, aged 14+, and will play in roughly 45 mins.
“In 12th century Japan, you rested after the Gempei War, retiring your ninjato sword, desiring a life of peace. But, once again, the ruling families call for your special skills to establish their honor. You will need stealth and strength, cunning and intrigue, and the swiftness of a Kodachi sword!”
Players are called upon to acquire treasures by facing guards with either strength or stealth. Guards are overcome when playing cards of higher numbers when testing strength or overcome when playing lower numbers when testing stealth. Treasures can be used to generate rumors, bribe envoys, and strengthen skills. Clan tokens, when gained by playing envoys, advance the game until the last clan token is taken and the game ends. The player with the highest score wins the game.
Kodachi is expected to release in May of 2019.
If you’re a fan of deck boxes then this latest project on Kickstarter has the Rolls Royce of deck boxes. Quentin Quadrangle and Dan Disco founded the Elderwood Academy who’ve spent years making premium wood and leather craft gaming gear. The Centurion is designed for card games (with sleeves) like Magic: The Gathering, but with the add-on Dungeoneering Kit (which can hold models for your RPG) it doubles as a sleek travel pack for all your RPG needs.
There is the option of large (holds 100 double-sleeved cards), standard (holds 100 single-sleeved cards), and compact (holds 80 single-sleeved cards) deck boxes. Each box shuts closed using a powerful magnet, and has a removable back plate (the faux door) which doubles as a dry-erase surface to track life and stats.
You can build your own, custom version with a choice of size, wood, foils and leathers, and signature art. To find out more have a look at the Centurion, the Elderwood Kickstarter project page. They’ve already hit 4x their funding goal and the project will end on Thursday, October 25th, 2018. Project delivery is June of 2019.
In The Artemis Project, players each head a team of Stabilizers who attempt to establish the most successful colony on Europa before the game ends.
“The year is 2348, and we have carved out a meager handhold on Europa, the frozen moon of Jupiter. Decades of effort have made air breathable and the temperatures survivable, but the real prize is the great living ocean hidden deep below the ice. The waters are warmed by volcanic action and are burgeoning with alien sea life. Food, minerals, energy, and living space are waiting for the team with the skills to harness them.” [source]
This 1-5 player game is designed by Daryl Chow (also known for Book of Dragons and Overbooked), and Daniel Rocchi (known for Bomb Squad Academy) with art by Dominik Mayer (best known for Concordia). It plays in about 60-75 minutes and is aimed at players aged 12+. The Artemis Project features Dice Placement, Resource Management, and Engine Building mechanisms and takes place over the course of 6 rounds. Players can send colonists to The Hangar on expeditions as a group where they’ll earn individual rewards based on contributions. The Vents, The Doorstep, and The Quarry can also be harvested for energy, colonists, and minerals respectively, using the Exposure System, which introduces an element of mind games as players try to outguess each other and their dice commitments. At The Gantry players can construct buildings to improve the colony where dice are bid in minerals for construction rights. At The Academy, colonists can be trained to be Pioneers, Engineers, Marines, and Stewards who each bring different skills to the team.
Currently The Artemis Project Kickstarter project is at 200% of its funding goal and is set to end on Friday, October 5th, 2018. Its expected delivery date is May of 2019. There is a pledge level for the standard version of the game and another for the deluxe version, but both levels exclude shipping costs.
Unleashed – The Ultimate BattleCON Edition!
BattleCON is a Kickstarter veteran and many different updates and expansions have released since its original project in 2011. This will also be their last Kickstarter for the BattleCON system so now is the time to catch up on anything you may have missed. This new project seeks to make your BattleCON collection a lot easier to manage, setup, and play. For starters the BattleCON: Unleashed storage box holds 110 fighter tuckboxes, a game board, and a rulebook. The tuckboxes are a new addition as well and they allow easy storage of fighters.
BattleCON is a head-to-head card game which plays like a fighting, video game on your table. Players choose a fighter from over a cast of over 100 who each have a selection of cards unique to them. Fighters possess unique abilities which are a sub-system that interact with abilities and provides for varied play. BattleCON was designed by D. Brad Talton, Jr. and features anime style artwork from a variety of artists. It supports 1-5 players in varied game modes. Tom is a big fan of the BattleCON system and you can watch his Dice Tower videos in support of the game.
The BattleCON: Unleashed Kickstarter project has pledge levels to “continue” your existing collection with upgraded components and rules, and pledge levels to get everything in existence for the game if you’re new to it. Its already 100% funded. The project is set to end on Sunday, October 21st, 2018 with the estimated delivery in August of 2019.
Arthur The First Expansion for Merlin
Arthur is the first expansion for Merlin. Merlin was designed by Stefan Feld and Michael Rieneck, with art by Dennis Lohausen, and is published by Queen Games. It supports 2-4 players where players move Merlin and the Knights around an action ring to execute desired actions. The ultimate goal is to score victory points by defeating barbarians, building manors, and increasing influence in surrounding counties. The player who is most efficient will score the most points to become the successor to King Arthur’s throne. You can watch the Dice Tower reviews on Merlin for more information on the core game.
The expansion adds King Arthur, who gives each player an extra die and, therefore, another action. It also adds a new rondell, with 13 extra spaces, to replace the base game’s rondell. Pict tiles have been added to go with the new, pict action space. King Arthur’s signet ring, 2 new flag designs, King Arthur’s player board, and a new round track has also been added.
The Arthur expansion Kickstarter project, already 400% funded, will end on Friday, September 28th, 2018 and the project’s estimated delivery date is November of 2018.
Unrecorded Siege is set in Medieval Europe during the Hundred Years War. Players take the roles of French and English generals seeking to conquer or defend the battlefield. Resources and strategies are setup in tactical formations, including armies and siege weapons, to deceive and defeat opponents. This co-operative game is designed by Elroy CT, with art by WuWuMew, and supports 1-4 players across 3 scenarios.
The game features a beautiful play area and seeks to add miniatures for the generals through the Kickstarter stretch goals. Its currently over 50% funded. The Unrecorded Siege Kickstarter project will end on Saturday, October 20th, 2018 and has an estimated delivery date of August in 2019.
The Stygian Society – A Kevin Wilson Cube Tower Adventure
Kevin Wilson, the hit, board game co-designer of Descent, Arkham Horror, Arcane Academy, and many other great titles, has designed a cooperative dungeon crawl where heroes are able to sacrifice themselves for the good of the party. The Stygian Society, with art by Jacqui Davis, is designed for 1-4 players and features a Deluxe Cube Tower which is central to the randomization of the game play. Players take on the role of different warriors who make their way up the wizard’s tower, one floor at a time. Instead of rolling dice, players throw cubes down the tower matching the colors of their abilities and, depending on what falls out the bottom, determines the outcome of the encounter. There is also an expansion, The Stygian Society: The Tower Laboratory, designed by Philip duBarry, which can be added.
The Stygian Society Kickstarter project is already 200% funded and is set to end on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 with the estimated delivery to happen August in 2019.
Tombed is a dungeon style game for 2-5 players set in Egypt in the 1940s with fantasy elements. Players are a group of adventurers who enter an ancient Egyptian temple to become rich and famous … if they can survive awakening the ancient pharaohs. One player takes on the role of a pharaoh (there are a few to choose from with varied abilities) while the rest play the adventurers. Tombed is designed by Jorge Fernández Alonso, Elena Herrero Jaén, and Cristian Casado Otazu.
The Tombed Kickstarter project is already fully funded and will end on Monday, October 8th, 2018 and is expected deliver on October in 2019.
Kickstarter continues to tempt our wallets with a glut of game releases this week. While we do try to cover every significant project quite a few slip by unnoticed, but hopefully we’re able to draw your eyes to those which should not be missed.
Inhuman Conditions: A Game of Cops and Robots
Inhuman Conditions: A Game of Cops and Robots, is designed by Tommy Maranges (known for Secret Hitler) and Cory O’Brien and illustrated by Mackenzie Schubert (also known for Secret Hitler). This is a Blade Runner inspired, 5-minute party game for 2 players where one player is the Investigator and the other the Suspect. The investigator must discover if the Suspect is a Human or a Robot through conversation around a specific topic. Aggressive robots are also able to kill the Investigator if they’re able to fulfill objectives during the conversation. The design is simple and evokes a retro-futuristic design with a strong focus on the players instead of the components.
There is a single pledge level for the Inhuman Conditions Kickstarter project and it has already exceeded its goal. The project ends on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 and the estimated delivery date is September of 2019.
World of Mythology: King of the Hill
World of Mythology: King of the Hill is a strategic, role-playing board game, that plays in 30-120 mins, which has both competitive and cooperative modes. It supports solo play or group play for 2-5 players. The base game includes 6 mythological trees including the Greek, Slavic, Egyptian, Norse, Hindu, and Mixed pantheons. These pantheons each have 6 gods and goddesses where each deity holds a rune quest and a unique artifact. Playable heroes are from 5 pantheons and include Heracles (Greek), Baba Yaga (Slavic), Ramesses (Egyptian), Fenrir (Norse), and Karna (Hindu). There are also 5 monsters which can be summoned by the heroes with a 6th, Cthulhu, which appears when an eclipse happens. Should the heroes fail their quest they fight against one of the guardians of the 6 pantheons. Gods have quests in the Arena where they must defeat 3 guardians, get rewards and a powerful artifact, and progress to the Holy Hill.
The base pledge for the World of Mythology: King of the Hill Kickstarter project only has cardboard content while the next pledge level up (limited to 300 copies) includes miniatures. The game is 40% funded and has a project goal ending on Thursday, October 18th, 2018. The project’s estimated delivery date is October of 2019.
Homebrewers is produced by Dice Hate Me Games and designed by Ben Rosset & Matthew O’Malley (both known for Between Two Cities), with art by SaRae Henderson (known for Sentinels of the Multiverse). Its an engine-building and dice-trading game, which plays in 45-60 mins, where dice represent the actions which can be taken. Players craft unique beer recipes and gain reputation as they improve their recipes and gain the favor of judges at events. There are several characters which provide unique abilities to players. After 8 months, with each month played as a round, the player who gains the most reputation as the club’s best brewer wins.
The Homebrewers Kickstarter project ends on Friday, October 5th, 2018 and is approaching 50% of its funding goal. The expected delivery date is December of 2019.
Lockup: A Roll Player Tale
Lockup: A Roll Player Tale is a board game for 1-5 players designed by Stanislav Kordonskiy (known for Rurik: Dawn of Kiev) with art by Lucas Ribeiro, and plays in roughly 90 mins. Players take command of squadrons of imprisoned minions who must hire the strongest crew and build the most powerful items without raising suspicion from the guards. Its a worker placement game which has elements of bluffing, set collection, resource management, and variable scoring. In the solo mode the player is isolated in an old wing of the prison and plays against the automated guards that have 3 levels of difficulty. There is also a Roll Player Lockup Pack, a set of 6 cards, which can be added to the “Roll Player: Monsters & Minions” game.
The Lockup: A Roll Player Tale Kickstarter project is already over 50% funded and the goal ends on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018. The estimated delivery date is August of 2019.
Welcome To The Jungle
This is a 2-4 player board game which plays in 60-120 minutes where players gather goodies, money, and crew members to become the Kingpin of The Jungle. Welcome To The Jungle is designed by Cory Goonan & Eric Zelanski with artwork by Charlo Nocete, and is an inventory and land management game with some card battling. Players are rival crew leaders fighting over turf and raising street cred of turf they already own. There are also elements of gambling, including a roulette spinner, which happen when a Smash and Grab card is drawn. Turf wars are played by drafting cards which form a crew and weapons.
The Welcome To The Jungle Kickstarter project is currently falling under the radar even though it has great artwork and interesting game play elements as its only at 10% of its funding goal. The project funding deadline is Thursday, October 18th, 2018 and its estimated delivery date is June of 2019.
Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails
Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails is a humorous card game with dysfunctional dungeon crawling for 2-4 players which plays in 45-60 mins. The game is designed and illustrated by Jamie Noble which has players squabbling over the right to be the Party Leader, avoiding conflict, and gathering enough gold to leave behind their fellowship which is terrible. Players create a character by combining a deck of race and class card then face a series of encounters which take place in various locations during the heroes’ adventure. The artwork on this project is quirky but reminiscent of the Adventure Time cartoon.
The Hero Master: An Epic Game of Epic Fails Kickstarter project is already 200% funded with a funding goal deadline of Tuesday, October 16th, 2018. The estimated delivery date of the project is June of 2019.
Set A Watch
Rock Manor Games have released some excellent games this year which have all funded on Kickstarter. Set A Watch is a 1-4 player game designed by Mike Gnade (known for Brass Empire) and Todd Walsh with art by Andreas Rocha and Robert P. Schneider. Players must secure locations to prevent acolytes from breaking seals holding back the evil Unhallowed. Each round the party visits a new location where an adventurer can rest and take strategic camp actions. The rest of the party must take watch and fight a line of creatures attempting to breach the camp. Combat is a puzzle which is solved using dice and unique class abilities.
The Set A Watch Kickstarter project has a basic and a deluxe pledge with some really nice components included in the latter (especially if you’re a dice fan). The project has already exceeded its funding goal on its first day on Kickstarter and will end on Thursday, October 11th, 2018. The project’s estimated delivery date is September of 2019.
This is a fairly ambitious project because a video game of the same name, upon which it is based, will also be funded on Kickstarter soon. The Waylanders is designed by Jaime González García and published by Eclipse Editorial, supports 2-4 players, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. Players configure a part of 5 adventurers who complete objectives, knock down opponents, or conquer strongholds in order to obtain victory. This game has a strong Celtic, artistic focus with some beautiful miniatures.
The Waylanders Kickstart project is at 75% of its funding goal which will end on Thursday, October 4th, 2018. The project’s estimated delivery date is September of 2019.
Periodic: A Game of the Elements
Periodic: A Game of the Elements is a board game themed around the period table of elements and some of the fundamental principles of chemistry which can be derived from the structure and function of the periodic table. Its designed by John Coveyou (known for Cytosis) and published by Genius Games. In Periodic, 2-5 players must activate periodic trends to maneuver across the period table and discover elements to score points. If players end their turns in specific families of elements they move up the Academic Achievement Track in a race against other players for limited spots and additional points.
The Periodic: A Game of Elements Kickstarter project has a number of pledge levels and has already hit 300% of its funding goal. The project will end funding on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 and is estimated to deliver on June of 2019.
Brain Games have created a competition where you could win a trip to Antarctica worth $18,000. It’s a global, ICECOOL trick shot video contest where the winner will win a two-person trip to visit real penguins in Antarctica.
The contest will run from October 1st, 2018 until January 15th, 2019 and will be available in 26 countries. To enter the competition, you’ll need to submit a video of yourself doing a trick shot with the ICECOOL penguins. The video should then be submitted through the ICECOOL Antarctica Challenge website along with required information regarding your entry. Note that your videos can be shared on various public, social media platforms to increase competition awareness and public votes.
Once all videos have been submitted there will be an evaluation period between January 15th and February 4th, 2019. In the first part, national judges will select winners from the regions who will receive prizes from ICECOOL distributors and partners. Each nation’s judges will then select the 5 best videos to compete in an international competition in the finals for a world, final prize winner.
The global jury will consist of well-known board game experts like The Dice Tower’s Tom Vasel, Amigo Spiele CEO, Joachim Ulbrich, and Brain Games CEO, Egils Grasmanis.
“The trip includes plane tickets to Argentina (including connecting flights) as this is where the cruise will depart from. Winner will also enjoy 9 nights of discovery and learning voyage through the “Classic Antarctic” route, taking on an adventure through Antarctica, where travelers will stay in a complete twin cabin on a new and advanced vessel, Hondius. The prize will include two inspiring activities including a night of camping out under the Antarctic night sky with all the camping gear provided and kayaking through the Polar waters with a chance to explore the shorelines of the Polar regions. This incredible trip is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and will be used on December 9th-11th, 2019.”
Visit the ICECOOL Antarctica Challenge website for more information.
Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game is based on Quartz, also published by Passport Games Studios. Players push their luck as they collect valuable gems from the mine and earn bonus points by discovering gem combinations given as objectives from Snow White. The game is designed by Sérgio Halaban, Scott Morris, and Andrew Wolf and supports 3-7 players, aged 8+. It plays in roughly 45-60 mins.
In the game players mine for gemstones and collect as many as they can to trade in for Snow White pie points. There are, however, dangers which lurk in the mine which could force players to return home empty-handed. The player with the most pie points after five days in the mine wins.
Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: A Gemstone Mining Game is expected to release in September 2018.
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