Blayne Miley


The next big thing designed by Jamey Stegmaier is Tapestry, a 1-5 player civilization game that plays in 90-120 minutes. The game was revealed on Stonemaier Games’ weekly livecast video on Facebook.

In Tapestry, you start from nothing and advance on any of the 4 advancement tracks (science, technology, exploration, and military) to earn progressively better benefits. You can focus on a specific track or take a more balanced approach. You will also improve your income, build your capital city, leverage your asymmetric abilities, earn victory points, and gain tapestry cards that will tell the story of your civilization.

Stonemaier website

The game features art by Andrew Bosley, of Everdell fame, and sculpts by Rom Brown. The first English print run of 25,000 is complete and the game is sailing from production to fulfillment centers now, with each box individually numbered. Tapestry will be available for preorder through Stonemaier’s website in early September, and will be for sale at Essen Spiel.

Some tidbits from the video: Tapestry is not tied to real world history. The rulebook is only four pages long. The factions have asymmetrical starting points. The solo mode is by Automa Factory. The game includes a spatial placement element somewhat similar to A Feast for Odin.

Over the coming weeks, additional game details will be revealed through the Tapestry Facebook group and the Stonemaier website.

Cosmodrome Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for the second printing of Smartphone Inc. This economic simulation euro has 1-5 players operating competing smartphone companies through R&D, production, and distribution. Designed by Ivan Lashin with art by Viktor Miller Gausa, the game received a Dice Tower Seal of Excellence, and will be part of the Dice Tower Essentials line, brought to retail by Arcane Wonders.

The game plays over five rounds, each with eight phases. Players will plan their actions for the round using a distinctive method of overlaying two pads containing action symbols. Based on this placement, players will set the prices for their company’s smartphones, determine how many units they produce, research technology upgrades, and distribute product to regions with variable customer preferences.

The Kickstarter stretch goals announced so far include added variability, exclusive components, and an alternative board for 1-3 players. The campaign ends on Monday August 12th.

Bezier Games has released a temporarily-free app version of their card game Silver, designed by Ted Alspach. The physical version of Silver is for sale at Gen Con 2019, and will hit retail in October. In the game, 2-4 players are dealt five cards, each numbered 0-13. Players secretly know only two of their cards at the start of the round. Each card has a special ability that can trigger when drawn from the deck or be available if the card is face up in a player’s village. Each round players try to end up with the lowest total in front of them. The round ends when one player calls for a vote followed by each other player taking one last turn, or when the draw deck is depleted. The player with the lowest score after four rounds is the winner.

The only play mode in the app is to face off against an AI opponent, allowing you to learn the game and see if you want to purchase the physical version. The app is available on iOS and Android.

Take a look at the app preview video here. There is also a Facebook group for the Silver game.

The company known for their collectible Pop figures is publishing a line of board games using their brand aesthetic. The Funkoverse Strategy Game, designed by Prospero Hall, will be a line of standalone games sold in two and four character sets that you can mix and match. Each set will include exclusive Funko Pop figures, along with the necessary board, cards, tokens, and dice for the included scenarios. The announced sets (with pictures) include characters from Batman, Harry Potter, The Golden Girls, and Rick & Morty. The mix and match element means you can enter a scenario with Harley Quinn versus Blanche versus Morty versus He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named….how’s that for ambitious crossovers?

The Funkoverse Strategy Game will hit retailers in October, but Gen Con attendees will have the opportunity to demo and purchase the game through the events listed here.

Have you seen all the live action remakes? Do you know the words to all the songs? Well, the trivia game Geek Out! is getting a new version that will let you show off your Disney expertise.

The family party game pits individuals or teams of any size against each other. Each round, a prompt will be randomly selected from five categories.

After the prompt is read, bidding begins for the most examples a player or team can provide for it, e.g. “characters from Aladdin”, “sports played in Pixar films”, or “films in which a character makes a wish”.

The OP press release

If the highest bidder successfully provides the number examples they bid, then they receive one point. If they fall short, then they lose two points. First to five points wins. Geek Out! Disney will be available to settle disputes over who the biggest Disney fan is this fall.

Dice Hospital, published by Alley Cat Games, is a the thematic worker placement game that uses dice as patients. Through the currently live Dice Hospital Community Care Kickstarter campaign, the game is getting three modular expansions: City, Maternity, and Investments.

The City expansion modifies the intake phase of the game through the use of a 3 x 3 grid of city tiles where players will send their paramedic meeple to collect patients. The City expansion also introduces a helicopter (get to the choppa!) that can be used to collect patients from anywhere on the grid. Which patient dice each player collects with their ambulance in a round will determine which player gets to use the helicopter in the following round.

The Maternity expansion adds a spatial element to the game, as well as some end-game objectives to target. Your hospital will be able to admit a new type of patient die: mothers. Mother dice will produce baby dice (sometimes twins), and mothers will get sick quickly if they have to share a ward with other types of patients.

The Investments expansion allows you to upgrade and customize your hospital with new types of tiles. Upgraded hospitals will attract more patients, creating a greater opportunity for points as well as a higher burden of care.

The Dice Hospital Community Care campaign runs through July 25th. You can pledge for the retail edition of the expansion content or the the special kickstarter version, which includes an upgraded helicopter figure that can hold dice, components to add a 5th player, and some base game upgrades to tokens and trackers. If you do not have the base game of Dice Hospital, you can pledge for it and the expansion. You also scoop up a variety of other Alley Cat Games products through add-ons. Check out the campaign here.

Stronghold Games is bringing out a new edition of Diamonds, the popular trick-taking game for 2-6 players designed by Mike Fitzgerald. The second edition includes redesigned player cards, redesigned player aids, as well as the Thief mini-expansion. The new player cards have eschewed the black border look in favor of a more traditional, easier to read visual design, while maintaining the splash of color in the middle of the card.

Gameplay remains the same. Each suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades) has a corresponding suit action that triggers when a trick is won, when a player does not follow the suit that was led, and at the end of a round of ten tricks for the player with the most cards of each suit. Players collect diamonds (acrylic crystals, not the suit), first into their showroom and then moving them into their vault. Diamonds can be stolen from a player’s showroom, but not from their vault. At the end of the game, diamonds in showrooms are worth one point and diamonds in vaults are worth two points. The Thief mini-expansion adds a rotating thief token and changes the suit action for clubs. The new suit action allows the player triggering the action to take a diamond from the showroom of the player with the thief token in front of them.

Diamonds second edition is scheduled for a September release, however Gen Con attendees will get an early opportunity to acquire the new edition of Zee Garcia’s #1 card game (as of this Top Ten from 2016).

Since 2015, Popular Mechanics has published a running article on the best new boardgames that they periodically update. The list has grown from 15 to 35 to 50 games (archived articles here). Every iteration of the list has been written by William Herkewitz, so the list captures his evolving exploration of new entries in the hobby. Popular Mechanics recently published the latest update to Herkewitz’s list of best new boardgames. New is a relative term in the parlance of boardgames, and in this case it means published in the last six years, as the oldest game on the list is Quantum. The list is not ranked, so it is a collection not an order. Each entry has a well-written two-to-three paragraph description of the game and why it merits inclusion.

So, what changed since the list was last updated in December 2018? Games added to the list: Architects of the West Kingdom, Azul, Betrayal Legacy, Brass: Birmingham, Claustrophobia 1643, Decrypto, Monolith Arena, Nemesis, Planet, Vindication, Western Legends, and Wingspan. These twelve new additions bumped the following titles off the list: Camel Up, Century: Golem Edition, Clank!, Dead of Winter, Dice Forge, Five Tribes, Mombasa, Nemo’s War: 2nd Edition, Now Boarding, Super Motherload, The Voyages of Marco Polo, and Whistle Stop

Here you can check out the full list and see the thirty-eight titles that kept their spot.

The Vengeance of Mordor cycle in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game started with the deluxe expansion A Shadow in the East. Now the cycle continues with the cycle’s first adventure pack, Wrath and Ruin.

The Vengeance of Mordor story began in A Shadow in the East with your heroes (1) traveling the River Running, (2) investigating a series of abductions in Dorwinion, and (3) entering an ancient temple to save the kidnapped from a cult of Sauron. Now back in Dorwinion, Wrath and Ruin continues the story with the city under attack. An army of Easterlings led by Thane Ulchor has invaded Dorwinion, and mechanically it is up to you to control contested locations to support the city guard and repel the invaders!

To aid you in your plight, you might be able to call upon the mercurial Tom Bombadil for assistance. However, he does not start in your deck. He begins the scenario out of play, and you must play a specific event card to shuffle him into the encounter deck for a chance of gaining his help (more details here).

Wrath and Ruin comes to Dorwinion in the third quarter of 2019.

Succubus Publishing has launched a new Kickstarter project offering entry and additional content for Middara, their massive 1-4 player fantasy dungeon crawl set in an alternate reality Earth.

The core game of Middara features an 80+ hour campaign where you can fully customize characters from the ground up using over 110 different abilities and over 160 different items. The box is packed with 44 miniatures and 36 double-sided map tiles. The narrative in Middara is driven by its 482 page adventure book that can be experienced in its spiral bound form or through an audio app. You can also play single scenarios separate from the main campaign in Crawl Mode.

Combat in Middara is dice-driven utilizing action points. The custom dice include numbers, which you will compare to your target’s defense, as well as symbols that trigger abilities. The different between your attack roll and your target’s defense equates directly to how much damage you do. Enemy cards lay out their abilities and individualized AI. For more on gameplay, check out the Dice Tower’s Testing Tuesday playthrough.

The new content available through the Kickstarter project consists of acts two and three continuing the story from the core game. Each additional act is a 40+ hour campaign adding around 40 new miniatures. They also include more map tiles, character abilities, gear, and Crawl Mode scenarios. If you are still looking for more, the project offers add-ons for new scenarios, alternate enemy cards, and additional miniatures. The project runs through 11:00 am EST on July 24th. The estimated delivery for wave 1 content is May 2020, and for wave 2 is December 2021. The original Kickstarter delivered three years after its estimated delivery, and you can read about that journey through the original project updates.