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.

Calliope Games are releasing a number of games from some very accomplished designers through the 2nd quarter of 2019.

ShipShape

“Ahoy, captain. Set sail for fun, adventure, and riches! Your savvy crew does your bidding, stacking your hold with the most profitable crates. Will you choose glittering treasure, colossal cannons, or perhaps some risky—but lucrative—contraband? Outwit and outbid all others to earn the biggest bounty…but above all, keep everything ShipShape!” [source]

ShipShape is a new game by the legendary designer, Rob Daviau (known for Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Pandemic Legacy), which has each player controlling a ship over the course of 3 voyages. During the voyages (rounds), players bid using numbered crew cards to claim unique crate tiles off the central stack. They then fill their holds with gold, cannons, and contraband, and cover up what they don’t want. At the end of each voyage, coins are scored when players compare what’s visible in their holds against each other. The player with the most scored coins at the end of the game wins. ShipShape caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 20-50 mins.

Everyone Loves a Parade

“Everyone loves a parade! It’s a beautiful day, and your hometown is excited to watch all the fun, pageantry, and spectacle of the event! But first, the floats that will thrill the crowd must be built…and the one who crafts the most exciting floats will become the Grand Marshall!” [source]

In Everyone Loves a Parade, designed by the seasoned designer Mike Mulvihil (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana), players act as float designers. They select colorful decoration cards (flowers, balloons, and flags) to add to their floats and win over the crowd. The crowd is represented by dice showing colors and items they wish to see. Decoration cards allow immediate actions which allows players to move or re-roll crowd dice. Players reveal their secret order cards at the end of each round, which allows them to perform one last action, then enter their completed float into the parade in front of a crowd. Players gain points for giving the crowd what they want, and the player with the highest score after 3 rounds wins and becomes the Grand Marshal. Everyone Loves a Parade caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in approximately 20-50 mins.

SpyMaster

“Direct a vast network of spies all around the world! As the head of a clandestine spy agency, gather intelligence files that have been strategically divided, and use them to maneuver your agents across the globe and accomplish daring missions. Along the way, uncover secret directives and powerful spy gadgets to give your agency the advantage over your rivals. The mission awaits, spymaster!” [source]

Players are in control of intelligence agencies and manipulate their spies all over the world in SpyMaster, designed by Seth Johnson (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana). A spymaster deals intelligence cards into stacks of files then, in clockwise order, lets players choose a stock from them using the I-split-you-choose mechanism. The intelligence cards players gather allows them to move agents into position to control areas which meet mission requirements, then claim mission cards. After 5 rounds, the player with the highest value of accomplished missions, along with any bonuses from intelligence cards remaining, wins. SpyMaster caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30-60 mins.

Renowned artist Beth Sobel (known for Viticulture, and Arboretum) teams up with designer Steve Finn (known for Herbaceous, and Biblios) to take players on an adventure in Waters of Nerues. In the latest game from publisher, Dr. Finn’s Games, 2-4 players explore the waters of Nerues, looking for treasures in the vast seas.

On their ship they lead a talented crew, including the captain, pilot and first mate, purser, scientist, boatswain, and merchant. Each crew member serves a unique function on the ship and the player who manages their crew by keeping them happy with treasures they find will be victorious. In each of the game’s 6 rounds, a round card is flipped, showing how many crew members can be activated during that round. Players then simultaneously choose which crew members to use, then, in turn order, they perform the crew member’s action. The crew is paid with collected treasures to score victory points and gain additional actions.

Waters of Nerues is designed for players aged 14+, and plays in about 45-60 mins. It’s expected to release in May of 2019.

In Pipeline, players start an oil company business and focus on building an efficient pipeline network for their refineries. It’s designed by Ryan Courtney, with artwork by the incredible Ian O’Toole (known for Nemo’s War, and Vinhos). Pipeline is published by Capstone Games, and is intended for 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in about 120 mins.

“The refinement of oil has long been part of the government-controlled energy sector. Amassed with an incredibly complex and inefficient system of refineries, the government has felt the severe pressures of worldwide demand and the ever-increasing global standards for refinement. Unable to keep up with demand, the government has only one option: privatizing the oil industry.” [source]

While constructing their pipeline, players focus on hiring experts that provide valuable benefits over their competitors. They also manage the logistics of purchasing and selling refined oil in various markets. A carefully crafted, interweaving pipeline network is the key to end game victory.

Expect Pipeline to release in August of 2019.

Senators, by Indie Boards & Cards (originally released in 2017 by La Mame Games), is an adversarial, bidding game where players are leaders of one of the factions in the city of Rome. It’s designed by Haig Tahta, and Rikki Tahta (known for Coup), with art by Andrew Higgins (also known for Coup), and Pascal Quidault (known for Splendor, and Time Stories).

In the late Republican period of Rome, players compete for power in the Senate. They increase their wealth by buying up resources, then use their position to sell them to the state for profits. Players use the cash to “buy” more Senators (thereby controlling more votes in the Senate), support wars, and defend against aggressive bids. Since Rome is constantly in conflict, the Senate will choose to centralize power and appoint a single leader who will be appointed as Caesar. The game lasts a variable number of turns and ends when the 4th war is revealed. The winner is the player who has the faction with the most control over the Senate at that point.

Senators can be played by 3-5 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45-60 mins. It’s expected to release towards the end of March 2019.

In Chronicles of Crime, from Lucky Duck Games, players are investigators who work together to solve a crime. The game mixes an app, a board game, and some Virtual Reality. In the Chronicles of Crime: Welcome to Redview expansion, 1-4 players investigate strange occurrences in the small town of Redview. It all begins when many animals start disappearing over the course of a few weeks, including Wookie, Richy’s dog. Richy’s 6 friends get together to find him. The Chronicles of Crime: Welcome to Redview expansion is designed by David Cicurel, and Ghislain Masson, with art by Matijos GebreselassieMateusz Komada, and Katarzyna Kosobucka.

Unlike the core Chronicles of Crime game, this expansion is family friendly as there are no murders to investigate. There are only strange things happening in a small town in Maine, USA, in the 80’s. The players take on the role of the 6 kids who rely on strength, guile, agility, and wit, to meet their objectives.

The expansion includes 4 new scenarios, 10 location cards, 15 special item cards, 25 character cards, 6 player boards, a die, and a rule book. It also requires the base game of Chronicles of Crime, and a device to run the app on Android 4.4 or newer, or iOS 8.0 or newer. Once downloaded, the app no longer requires an internet connection. Purchase of the VR glasses is optional and separate.

Expect the expansion to release in March or April of 2019.

Renegade Game Studios are crowd funding Terror Below on Kickstarter. Players collect worm eggs across the desert or hunt down massive, vicious worms. It’s designed by Mike Elliott (known for Dice Masters, Thunderstone, and Dragonfire), with art by Eric Hibbeler (known for Junk Orbit), and caters for 2-5 players, aged 10+. It plays in 45-60 mins.

“Terror Below is a game of government experiments gone wild in the Nevada desert. The faster you move, the more vibrations you make, attracting the attention of the vicious worms underground. Navigate the difficult terrain to collect valuable worm eggs and deliver them to locations around town to claim bounties. If you’re feeling lucky, collect items and weapons to go hunt ’em.” [source]

In Terror Below, the 1st player to score 20 victory points by collecting worm eggs and delivering them to locations around town, or by hunting down and killing the worms, is the winner. At the start of the game, players are dealt 3 heroes, who they pick 1 to start the game with. If a hero is defeated by a worm, players continue to play with their remaining heroes and are able to revive their downed hero at the hospital. During the course of the game, the heroes visit locations around town to find bounties, scavenge for weapons, and survive distracting the worms. Should the worms attack, the heroes would fight back.

The Terror Below Kickstarter project has already reached 5x its funding goal with over 1,200 backers, will continue seeking funding until February 27th, 2019, and is expected to deliver in August of 2019. There is only a single pledge level with exclusive, Kickstarter content, and multiple stretch goals that improve the tactile nature of the already good looking game.

Follow the adventures of Captain Nemo and the crew of the Nautilus, as reintroduced by C. Courtney Joyner in his novel, Nemo Rising, in Nemo Rising: Robur the Conqueror, from WizKids. It’s a co-operative board game where 1-4 players assume the roles of Captain Nemo, Sara Duncan, Adam Fulmer, or Ulysses S. Grant. Together, they explore either the Undersea Grotto or City in the Sky scenarios. It’s designed by Matthew Cattron, and Andrew Parks (known for Core Worlds and Assault of the Giants), with art by Mirco Paganessi, and Nicoleta Stavarache.

In the Undersea Grotto, players leave the Nautilus to gather supplies while they avoid sea hydras, deep sea scavengers, and the mechanical Kraken. In City in the Sky, they fight against Robur the Conqueror and his army of foot soldiers, war dogs, and steam-powered creations. The game includes various tokens, a game board, custom attribute dice, adventure tiles, hero tokens with plastic bases, and a rule book.

Nemo Rising: Robur the Conqueror is best suited for players aged 14+ and plays in 30-60 mins. It’s expected to release in September of 2019.

Flotsam Fight, by Oink Games, has players taking the role of explorers who are trying to survive their ship sinking after a massive storm hits them. The explorers try to save the treasure they amassed before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean, by loading it onto a lifeboat.

Players are dealt treasure cards which each have a value and the number of lifeboats they can occupy. Treasure can only be loaded onto the lifeboat if its value is higher than existing treasure in the boat. The player who can load all their treasure into the lifeboats wins the game.

Flotsam Fight is designed by Tomoyuki Maruta, is for 3-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30 mins. You can watch The Dice Tower’s own Zee Garcia’s review for more information. It’s expected release date is February 20th, 2019.

In Mage Wars Academy, published by Arcane Wonders, 2-4 players are mages who have completed their studies and will battle mages from rival schools in head-to-head combat. In the latest expansion, a new student has enrolled at the academy who wields the power of legions of the undead as the Necromancer. He can summon skeletons, mummies, and other foul spells which can rend souls from the weak.

The expansion comes with 72 spell cards, game markers, and rules, and all cards are compatible with the Mage Wars Academy and Mage Wars Arena games.

Mage Wars Academy: The Necromancer will release in April of 2019.

Here is the line of new Ravensburger Escape Puzzles, first available in Germany and now available in the UK.

Ravensburger are specialists in creating puzzles, and their recent Escape Room games, now available in the UK, have also proven to be a great success. Now, they’ve combined their best selling products to create Exit Room puzzles where players have to build a 759-piece puzzle using clues on, and in the box. Clues are given through QR codes, puzzle pieces, an in-box leaflet, and, if players are really desperate, a secret envelope in the box. All of the puzzles are designed for players aged 12+, with no limit on the number of players who can participate. The puzzles are 70 x 50 cm (27 x 20 inches) in size, and made from a strong, premium grade cardboard, with a linen finish.

In Escape Puzzle: Space Observatory, a huge fireball is racing towards the earth and players need to save the planet by assembling, then firing, a powerful laser within the observatory.

Escape Puzzle: Witch’s Kitchen has players find themselves in a witch’s woodland kitchen after eating a poisonous mushroom. They need to find the antidote and save themselves.

The Escape Puzzle: Temple scenario has players on a holiday trip to Asia where their guide takes them to an ancient temple. The players become weary, then get lost, and slip into the depths. They need to put together the puzzle, utilizing the clues, to escape.