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.

Cult: Choose Your God Wisely is a worker placement game by Cryptozoic Entertainment and Igrology. The game is designed by Konstanin Seleznev with art by Anton Kvasovarov (both known for Master of the Galaxy). In Cult: Choose your God Wisely, players choose from 8 gods around whom to form a cult following to curry favor with their Dark Entity and bring them total domination over the world’s populace. Each god has their own strengths and weaknesses and includes Cthulhu, Janus, Fafnir, and Arachne.

To win, players will need to either summon their god, build 5 altars to their god’s greatness, or rouse 4 fanatical mobs to dominate the Eternal City. The game has two phases. The Intention Phase, where players place their free Priests onto locations on the board, and the Resolution Phase, where a winner is determined in each location based on the player’s Priests influence there. Miracle and Intrigue cards are used to alter the outcomes of each conflict. Players who win a location are able to use its benefits, while other players with lesser influence receive alms in the form of coins. As the cult grows they gain access to more locations to choose from.

Cult: Choose your God Wisely supports 2-5 players, aged 12+, and plays in 45-90 mins. It’s expected to release before the end of the year. For more information, visit the Cryptozoic website.

Lift Off is a space race game which has players hire the best specialists, build rockets, then tackle missions in a race to be the first to the stars. Its designed by Jeroen Vandersteen with art by KreativbunkerNache Ramos, and Andreas Resch. It was originally published by Hans im Glück but will now be published for an English audience by Z-Man Games. Lift Off supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in 60-90 mins.

“Humanity yearns for the stars and the race to explore is in full swing! With everyone wanting to claim their spot in history and start the golden age of space exploration, you must make strategic choices to outwit your opponents. Compete against other agencies to hire the best specialists, expand your research, upgrade your rocket, and complete missions in this retro resource management game.” [source]

In Lift Off, players will build their own space agency, compete for milestones in space travel, send up the first satellites, mine asteroids, build orbital trading posts, and land on new planets. More complex missions have bigger payoffs but will require more work. Technologies in life support, fuel, and oxygen will also need to be developed prior to missions to improve their chances of success.

Lift Off is expected to release in Spring of 2019. For more information about the game visit the Z-Man games product website.

The 2nd Meeplecon India event will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, 2018 at Dublin Square, Phoenix Market City, Mumbai, India. Its the first, and only, event dedicated to board games in India.

Event organizers are expecting over 3000 adult hobby board gamers. A large portion of the venue has been allocated to the Kidzone, a dedicated gaming section for children aged 4-12, which will feature various STEM toys and board games. Over 300 schools across Mumbai are expected to participate as well. Tournaments and scheduled gameplay sessions are also planned.

Information on their website is still being updated but you can find out more information about the convention there.

Glyph Chess is a tactical board game for 2-3 players adapted from the Tales of Tarsylia, Chinese comic book. The game is 3 years in the making by Bluepiper Studio, a design company based in Vancouver. The primary designer is Liu Xiao (known for co-designing Herbalism). Expected play time is 30-60 minutes for players aged 8+.

“Please allow us to welcome and introduce you to the first magical board game in this world: Glyph; Which can only be played by the most powerful wizards. Glyphs are relics from ancient times. It is said that they were discovered in a mysterious ruin, by the greatest wizard in history, Tisslair. Tisslair deciphered the rules of Glyph and recommended it to all his wizard friends.” [source]

Like standard Chess, each character on the board has its own unique skills. The objective of the game is for a player to get their Scepter Piece to the center of the board or eliminate all enemy players’ Scepters. On a player’s turn there are 3 steps. In the Awakening Step, the player will gather magic resources such as Glyph Coins and roll Glyph Dice. During the Action Step, the player will either remove a character piece or cast a spell by consuming Glyph Dice or Glyph Coins. Finally, in the Reset Step, the player will re-roll any Glyph Dice used then pass those on to the next player as their resources.

The 3rd player pieces are an expansion add-on for the game. Backers who suffer from from color blindness can pledge for the 3rd player expansion, then inform the game producers in a survey at the end of the campaign that they should paint the expansion pieces with a special color.

This is Bluepiper Studio’s first Kickstarter. The Glyph Chess Kickstarter project runs until Monday, December 10th, 2018.  Expected delivery of Glyph Chess is November of 2019, and the project has already reached its funding goal with over 300 backers.

You can see The Dice Tower’s preview of Glyph Chess done by Mark Streed for more information.

The Toy Association presented their 2019 Toy of the Year Award nominees. While they have categories for various nominated toys (eg. action figures, collectibles, tech) you are probably most interested in their board game category nominees.

They are:

You can vote for your favorite nominees in all of these categories at their website.

The Toy Association is the not-for-profit trade association, consisting of over 950 members, which represents all businesses that design, produce, license, and deliver toys and youth entertainment for kids of all ages.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, by Fantasy Flight Games, is a cooperative, card game where teams of heroes from The Lord of the Rings lore take on the Dark Lord and his influences, represented by encounter cards. The goal of the game is to complete all of the stages in a scenario before players lose all their heroes or the threat becomes too great.

“In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, you have taken part in adventures spanning across Middle-earth, from the scorching deserts of Harad to the seaport of the Grey Havens, from the streets of Minas Tirith to the wilds of Rhovanion, and along the way you have battled all manner of monsters, and even the host of Mordor itself. But now, for the first time, the power is in your hands to create your own story and define your own journey.” [source]

Unlike the other adventure packs, which provide a linear quest, The Wizard’s Quest and The Woodland Realm custom scenarios allow players to craft their own adventures. These sets are also compatible with each other and can be combined for more options or played on their own. Each Custom Scenario Kit comes with seven quest cards which can be used to shape the narrative of the adventure, and guide which encounter cards fit the story. Once the quests are setup, players can choose between a Quick-build (allowing adventure construction in minutes), or Advanced-build (which allows greater customization).

In a 2-player game, players can play against each other’s scenarios in a competitive, solo challenge called Race Against the Shadow. Alternatively, you can do the same challenge in a 4-player game in teams of two.

The scenarios were originally available at the Gen Con 2018 and Fellowship 2018 events but will soon be available at retail.

Related: The Dice Tower videos featuring The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Hero Realms Journeys is the latest Kickstarter project from White Wizard Games, which adds six new expansions to the existing Hero Realms card game. Hero Realms was designed by Ben CichoskiRobert DoughertyDarwin Kastle, and Daniel Mandel and is a fantasy-themed, deck-building, card game featuring competitive play for 2-4 players. Players attempt to reduce each other’s health to zero, after recruiting help from a market deck that includes champions, weapons, spells, and events. Multiple expansions have since been released which dramatically changes game play, and includes the ability to play various characters (such as a Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Thief, or Wizard), or fight cooperatively against a Boss, or compete in a campaign mode.

Hero Realms Journeys features four, 12-card packs. There is the “Hunters” and “Travelers” packs which feature new Champions and Actions for the market deck, and the “Conquest” and “Discovery” packs which each contain 6 new Quests and 6 new Relics. At the beginning of the game each player is given a random quest, which can be shared with teammates, but are unknown to opponents. Relic cards are also dealt into a “relic pile” for each quest card in the game, while the rest of the relics are added to the market.

The Ancestry Pack adds 20 cards which allows players to be a Dwarf, Elf, Ogre, Orc, or Smallfolk, who all have their own strengths and weaknesses. These can be combined with any character packs or played by themselves. So, if an Elven Ranger or Dwarven Fighter was always your jam, Hero Realms has you covered with multiple race-class combinations. Each race comes with an Ancestry card which shows health modifications and special rules, an Ancestral skill or Ability card, and two cards which modify the starting deck.

The Lost Village Campaign Deck features a full color adventure book and over 100 cards, including 12 over-sized Master cards.

The Hero Realms Journeys Kickstarter campaign has multiple tiers to allow backers to fund only a few of the expansions, all the way up to everything which currently exists for the Hero Realms game. The project is seeking funding until Thursday, December 6th, 2018, is already well over 100% funded, and is expected to deliver in December of 2019.

In collaboration with Toys for Tots and Ronald McDonald House, White Wizard Games also plan to donate games to a children’s charity to brighten their lives over the holiday season. You don’t even have to back the project to participate. Each person who signs up for their newsletter, which will provide information about the progress of the Hero Realms Kickstarter and other news from White Wizard Games, will add a game to be donated.

Related: The Dice Tower reviews Hero Realms, Hero Realms: The Ruin of Thandar, and Hero Realms Boss Deck – The Dragon

Sword & Sorcery (also known as Sword & Sorcery: Immortal Souls) was originally released in 2017 and quickly sold out even though it was released with many other critically acclaimed dungeon crawlers that year. Sword & Sorcery is a cooperative, fantasy, dungeon delving board game in which 1-5 players combat the forces of evil, controlled by the game itself. Players control legendary characters recalled from the dead and made immortal by Three Gods, resulting in them being weakened by resurrection, but grow stronger through story-driven quests.

Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles is a standalone expansion to the original game which sets up a new story cycle and serves as a new starting point for the game. The characters from this game are compatible with the original if players wish to replay it with the newer heroes, or vice versa, if players want to play with the original heroes in this game. The story takes place in the distant past of events narrated in the original game. Sword & Sorcery: Ancient Chronicles is designed by Simone Romano and Nunzio Surace from Gremlin Project (also known for Galaxy Defenders), with art by Mario BarbatiFabrizio FiorentinoPhroilan Gardner, and Fausto Gutierrez, and distributed by Ares Games.

The Kickstarter project has a single, Legendary Hero, pledge level which includes the special Kickstarter content, as well as unlocked stretch goals. Its set to end on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018, with expected delivery taking place in December of 2019. Its already surpassed its funding goal with over 1700 backers.

 

Broken Hearts: The Unconventional Relationship Card Game is designed for breaking the ice with strangers, matchmaking within a group of friends, or families who want to spend quality time. The game is designed by Joey Teh, Keely Sim, and Seik Yee Thoo, and will test relationship skills and your personal boundaries as you build and break hearts to win the game.

To win a player has to form connections by linking a complete set of 5 unique heart cards. At the start of the game, players are dealt 7 cards and they can place any unique heart cards they have in front of them. If they have matching heart cards, they keep these in their hand. As 1 of their 2 actions they can play an ‘I like you!’ card to link to somebody else’s card, or link to their own card (in an act of self love) with a matching duplicate from their hand, or play an ‘I want you!’ card to steal a connection from somebody else. To confirm the connection, both players must perform the action as depicted on the heart card. These include the ‘ET Touch’, the ‘Blow Kiss’, the ‘Heart Sign’, the ‘Pinky Promise’, and the ‘Flirty Wink’. Players can also reject connections to their own heart cards or any other actions from players if they play an ‘I Hate You!’ card. There are also ‘Broken Heart’ cards which destroy existing relationships made by connections. To spice things up even further, there are 3 types of event cards which change up the game dynamics.

There are multiple pledge levels which adds more deluxe components the higher up the pledge levels you go. The Broken Hearts: The Unconventional Relationship Card Game Kickstarter project is almost 100% funded, and will end its funding on Friday, November 23rd 2018. Its expected to ship in May of 2019.

A second printing of Welcome to… with new expansions for the game has launched on Kickstarter. In this roll-and-write dice game (without dice), players build the best new town in 1950s United States. Instead of dice, cards are flipped from 3 piles to make 3 action sets to fill in a house on your street in numerical order. Actions are taken to increase point values of estates built or score points at the end of the game for the best buildings, parks and pools. Welcome To… caters for solo and large groups of players because of its communal actions (think Bingo with more strategy and less retired people).

Thematic Neighborhood Sheet Packs have been added as expansions to the base game and serve as refill packs. While the pretty decorations change the feel of the game a bit the packs also come with new ways to score to add strategic variety. In the Halloween themed sheet pack, a spooky neighborhood has players build houses then choose a trick or a treat. Circling a ghost marks the trick while circling the candy is the treat. The firsts player to reach a certain amount of either type can declare it as their bonus which prevents all other players from claiming it as their bonus. In the Zombie Outbreak themed sheet pack the neighborhood needs to be protected from zombies. Ammo is collected, barricades are repaired, and the horde must be repelled.

Welcome To… is designed by Benoit Turpin, with art by Anne Heidsieck, and published by Blue Cocker Games. It supports 1-100 players (depending on the number of score sheets available), for players aged 10+, and plays in roughly 25 mins. The Welcome To… 2nd printing & expansions Kickstarter project will run until Tuesday, November 20th 2018, with shipping expected in March of 2019. The project has made 600% of its funding goal with close to 1500 backers.