In all professions, networking with your peers is always a good practice to help get your foot in the door to new places and to improve your skill whether it be coding, engineering, or designing board games. So Geoff Engelstein, Tim Fowers, and Jeff Beck has decided to launch a new board game design retreat called Tabletop Network. This will be a two day retreat out in the relaxing Snowbird mountain resort near Salt Lake City, Utah starting on Friday June 8th.
There will be lots of people presenting including Rob Daviau, Ryan Laukat, Tom Lehmann, Geoff Engelstein, Stone Librande, Tim Fowers, and more. Some of the subjects that will be discussed will be engagement, balance, and emerging trends in board games. Also, while there will some time set aside for playing games, this conference is meant to be about learning together and sharing ideas to improve everyone’s board game design skills, so you might want to leave the prototype at home.
In order to fund this trip they are using Kickstarter for selling the tickets. To attend in person a physical ticket will run you $295, while a virtual pass where you can watch all the panels and talks online will run you $55. So if you are itching to rev up your game designing engine, this retreat may be just the jump start you need.
54 AD – Rome stands at the height of its power with majestic buildings, robust infrastructure, and the world’s mightiest army. Rome’s Legions have vanquished her foes, and the Empire stands secure…or does it? Agrippina the Younger’s deadly intrigues ensured Nero’s rise to power, but can Nero hold the Empire together? Oppressed people all over the Empire yearn for their freedom. In particular, the Jews hunger for their independence and the chance to cleanse their homeland. Outside the Empire, a Coalition of Germanic Tribes, Goths, and Parthians will suffer no more Roman expansion. Sensing an opportunity, they begin to push back against Rome. Meanwhile, small groups of Christians are challenging all kinds of religious and cultural norms.
This is the setting of the latest game being published by Chara Games, Soul of the Empire, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. This game is going to be the heaviest game in their library and promises a deep strategic experience as you take on the role of one of four factions during the pinnacle of the Roman empire. Each faction is different from the other, with different player powers, different strengths and weaknesses, and each with their own special way to win the game beyond the standard. The standard way to win the game is to claim seven objectives, and even these objectives are different depending on which faction you are playing, and are usually pushing you towards your own special victory condition.
Play itself is interesting in that you will roll dice Yahtzee style and from those dice form sets or runs in order to activate your abilities. This abilities include spawning units, moving units, purchasing power cards, claiming objectives, and fighting other players on the board. Fighting in this game is deterministic with the number of units on the battlefield being your strength, augmented by cards you can play from your hand. Using this system means that you don’ know 100% what you will be facing, but also allows players who are looking at a certain defeat to get some benefit out of the battle through card play. The final piece that sets all the factions apart are their unique power cards, these are cards that they can purchase each round and give you distinct advantages to completing your objectives. So plan well, pick your battles wisely, and accomplish your goal to claim the soul of the empire.
If you are a fan of Chara Games or these types of strategy games, check out the Kickstarter for more information. A base pledge of $50 plus shipping will get you the game, and additional levels allow you to get full size art prints of the factions, or get multiple copies of the game at a discount.
The Houghton Library at Harvard houses some interesting books, but did you know it also has a collection of some historical board games from over 100 years ago? Some of the highlights include The Magic Ring, a spin and move game from 1796 where you are trying to reach the center of the ring first. Or maybe you would enjoy The New Game of Emulation for the Instruction and Amusement of Youth from 1804, another spin and move style game that taught players various virtues, which could have been a prequel to The Mansion of Happiness, a similar game in both theme and play that Chaz talked about on Board Game Breakfast. They even have copies of early paper games, one of which is a German language game which plays strikingly similar to the modern games Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity.
Any way you slice it the collection is very interesting and showcases the history of board gaming over the centuries. And as an added bonus, the library has even done high resolution scans of some of the boards so you can print out and play your very own copy of the game (yay?). You can read more and see some of the highlights on the Harvard Gazette website.
Renegade Games has announced that they have formed a partnership with Saban Brands, long time owner of the Power Rangers license, to produce Power Rangers themed tabletop games. What kinds of games and when have not been released yet, but they promise to deliver on the same themes of inclusivity, diversity, and teamwork that have sustained the Power Rangers brand for 25 years. You can read the short press release on their website, as well as sign up for an email newsletter to be kept up to date on new developments. With the popularity of the theme and Renegade Games’ knack for creating great games, this partnership should bear some megazoid sized fruit.
Dinosaur Island, what everyone refers to as Jurassic Park the board game, has come back to Kickstarter to allow everyone another chance at getting the Kickstarter edition, as well as an expansion and a two-player spinoff entitled Duelosaur Island. Dinosaur Island is a worker placement and dice rolling type of game where you will be collecting things like DNA and money in order to expand your park. The things you can get for your park include upgrades to park equipment, concessions, and those all important dinosaur pens for you to later fill with dinosaurs. But be careful, the dinosaurs can break out and eat your visitors, which is never good for business. So keep those dinos in their cages, and the visitors happy, and you just might win the game. The Kickstarter edition of the game, which they are calling the X-treme edition, includes a slap bracelet first players marker, upgraded tokens, and sleek metal coins.
The expansion for Dinosaur Island is called Totally Liquid, and aside from having a commercial straight from the 90s, includes lots of new content to add to your game. Included in the expansion will be all the components to add a fifth player to the game, which is something requested by a lot of players. Also included will be blueprints, which give you points based on how you build your park, a park extension with a special attraction and worker, and PR events which give bonus scoring opportunities at the end of the game. But the big addition is the fact you will now be able to build water pens into your park and have the majestic Elasmosaurus and the vicious Dunkleosteus grace your parks. Basically the expansion will be giving you more of what you love about Dinosaur Island, just with more water.
And finally, you will be able to get Duelosaur Island, a two-player version of the game where you will play head to head against an opponent to build the best dinosaur park. A lot of the game will be familiar to Dinosaur Island players, but still utilize new mechanics like a variation on the I split, you choose mechanic for assigning dice modifiers in the game. This way the game will stay fresh and be streamlined for a better two-player experience.
So if any of this sounds like fun to you, check out the Kickstarter campaign, Duelosaur will run you $35, the expansion $45, and the X-treme edition of the base game will set you back $85.
Filler games have come to be known as short, light games you play at the start and end of game nights to fill time while other people arrive, or to try and squeeze out just a little bit more time gaming. Well Green Couch Games intends to confuse us all when talking about a filler game as they have created a card game called Filler. While this may seem like another game in the joke series of games from Dice Hate Me Games, this is actually a card game about filling pastries with all sorts of delicious fillings. The will use many aspects together like multi use cards, set collection, resource management and simultaneous action selection.
At the start of the game you have just a hand of three cards, and from these cards you will simultaneously determine player by each picking a revealing a card at the same time. From there you will go in turn order playing down cards to fill orders that are in the central row, and with those filled orders get more cards, money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim. But be careful, played cards stay down until you take a turn to pick them back up, so plan careful so you don’t miss filling critical orders. As you progress you will have more and more ingredients to use to complete bigger orders for more acclaim, and at the end it will be the most prestigious baker that wins the game. Green Couch will be Kickstarting the game in April, but if you miss it there you will be able to find it on store shelves in the 3rd quarter of this year. You can read the press release below for more information.
(Grand Rapids, Michigan) – Green Couch Games springs ahead with the ultimate “Filler” card game!
You are a pastry chef in charge of putting delicious ﬁllings in a variety of cakes, pastries, and baked goods. By coming to work early and making use of your full pantry of supplies, you will earn money, customer reviews, and critical acclaim. With a little luck, you might win out over your rivals and be crowned Star Baker!
Filler combines many of the ingredients that have made Green Couch Games a treat to bring to the table. Easy-to-learn rules mixed with a quick playtime and playful appearance makes Filler a great game for families of casual gamers or connoisseurs looking to pass the time waiting for more guests to arrive.
In the game, players will use multi-use cards and a blend of simultaneous action selection, time and resource management, set-collection, and hand-building to collect ingredients needed to fill tasty pastries on their way to becoming the Star Baker. Starting with a hand of 3 cards with various start times and basic ingredients, players will choose a card to reveal along with other players to determine the turn order. The earliest player to show up for work goes first and so on around the table. Using cards from their hands (Pantry), players may use ingredients they have acquired to Fill recipes from a central row of available cards (Recipe Book) or Restock The Pantry by picking up all of their previously played cards. Each recipe filled will provide new start times and ingredients to use in future rounds and may earn points that are represented by money, customer reviews, or critical acclaim at the end of the game. The availability of bonus points and cards containing special actions help to direct players’ choices in the kitchen, add depth of play, and provide variety and replayability.
This card game crams a lot of sweet delight into its 72-card package. With illustration and graphic design by Claire Donaldson (Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun, Go Nuts For Donuts, Food Truck Champion), Filler will leave players with a mouth-watering desire to play this delicious game again and again.
Filler is a game for 2 to 6 players, ages 8 and up and is designed by Jonathan Chaffer of GRUBS (Grand Rapids Unpublished Boardgame Society). This game follows Chaffer’s first game, Stroop, from Grand Gamers Guild. The game plays in 20-30 minutes.
The game is set for a Kickstarter campaign launching on April 11th, 2018 with plans for a Q3 2018 release.
Green Couch Games was founded by Jason Kotarski to release great little games that make great big connections. Filler will be its 11th release. Jason is also a game designer and co-host of 20 Minutes of Filler.
Crystal Clans, a successor if you will of Plaid Hats’ popular card game Summoner Wars, finally has a release date, and that date is March 29th. This will be a simultaneous international release so you will be able to go to your local game store and pick up copies in English, French, German, and Chinese. Crystal Clans is a new strategic card game where you are playing down cards as units, and then moving and attacking with those units on the board. Each unit has different stats as well as different abilities based on which clan they belong, like the “adaptable Water Clan, the peaceful Flower Clan, the relentless Skull Clan, the innumerable Blood Clan, the wise Meteor Clan or the unyielding Stone Clan“. You will fight hard in order to control the crystals on the battlefield, and with those be able to win the battle. You can find out more on Plaid Hats’ website, including links to their many preview articles for the game.
River Horse, a company making a name for itself with game adaptations of movies, is bringing the epic scale action of Pacific Rim: Uprising to your tabletop. In conjunction with Legendary Entertainment, they are creating a two or more player miniatures game where one side will control the Jaegers defending humankind, while the other side controls the Kaiju bent on their destruction. Pacific Rim: Extinction will feature 75mm tall figures of some of the iconic Jaegers like Gipsy Avenger and Saber Athena, along with deadly Kaiju like Hakuja and Strikethorn. Each character will have their own special powers and abilities, and you can play the game as a skirmish game, or as a more strategic scenario type game. In the scenario mode instead of just working to eliminate the opposing team, you will have specific objectives to accomplish in order to win. But either way you will be living out the movie on your tabletop.
The Kickstarter for the game will launch very soon, that way it will be running when the movie hits theaters on March 23rd, and then be released to stores at a later date. In the mean time, you can read more about the game in the press release below.
River Horse and Legendary Entertainment Join Forces for Pacific Rim: Extinction, a Thrilling Tabletop Miniatures Game Full of Mammoth Action.
Miniatures Strategy Game to Launch Following the Release of
Legendary Entertainment’s Pacific Rim Uprising Film
River Horse (EU) Ltd. is delighted to announce a partnership with Legendary Entertainment to bring epic Jaeger vs. Kaiju action to your tabletop with an exciting miniatures game inspired by the upcoming film, Pacific Rim Uprising, in theaters on March 23rd.
Pacific Rim: Extinction is a scenario driven strategy game of city-wide destruction and chaos, capturing the spectacular conflict of the Pacific Rim universe with fantastically detailed 75mm scale miniatures of the film’s iconic Jaegers – mechanical guardians of humanity – and Kaiju – living weapons from beyond our world.
In Pacific Rim: Extinction, two or more players will be able to jump right into the action playing either a PPDC Jaeger or a monstrous Kaiju, in a quick play match of intense combat, or a more constructed battle with both Jaegers and Kaiju using all of their skills and abilities to achieve a challenging objective.
Pacific Rim: Extinction will launch on Kickstarter on Monday March 12, before hitting retail shelves at a later date. Further details on the release of Pacific Rim: Extinction will be announced shortly.
Pacific Rim: Extinction – The biggest miniatures game you’ll ever play!
Alessio Cavatore, Manager Director at River Horse, commented:
“With Pacific Rim’s extensive lore and deep catalogue of Jaegers, Kaiju and action-packed battles fought in major cities, we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Legendary Entertainment to bring Pacific Rim: Extinction to the tabletop.”
Jamie Kampel Legendary Entertainment, commented:
“We are delighted to be working with Alessio Cavatore and the team at River Horse to bring the Pacific Rim universe to the world in an exciting new way. River Horse has always demonstrated an ability to deliver a top-quality game while bringing passionate fans of a franchise along for a thrilling ride. We can’t wait to see all of the Jaeger v Kaiju action of Pacific Rim: Extinction in hobbyist’s hands around the globe.”
Subscribe to the mailing list or find out more about River Horse at: http://riverhorse.eu/
About River Horse:
Founded in 2010 by gaming industry veteran Alessio Cavatore (Warhammer 40,000, The Lords of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, Bolt Action, Jim Hensons Labyrinth: The board game, Tails of Equestria: The storytelling game), River Horse (EU) Ltd. was originally established to self-publish games of Alessio’s design. Since then the company has expanded to providing the many companies who wanted to utilise the services of River Horse’s pool of game designers and graphic designers, producing or supporting the production of many games.
River Horse’s team includes a bunch of enthusiastic fellows with lots of experience in the fields of games design, web-based entrepreneurship and corporate licensing. As well as designing their own products, they aim to support and advise any company that can benefit from their experience and skills through consultancies, commissions, and joint-ventures.
About Legendary Entertainment:
Legendary Entertainment is a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media) and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to worldwide audiences. Legendary has built a library of marquee media properties and has established itself as a trusted brand which consistently delivers high-quality, commercial entertainment including some of the world’s most popular intellectual property. In aggregate, Legendary Pictures-associated productions have realized grosses of more than $14 billion worldwide at the box office. To learn more visit: www.legendary.com
Dice Settlers is a new game on Kickstarter being funded that aims to combine both dice pool building and a 4X game [eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate] into one box. In the game you will start with a standard array of dice, on your turn you will be pulling five dice out of the bag to roll, re-rolling or drawing more dice if you got re-roll symbols or resources to spend. After that you will then pick two actions to perform out of all your rolled dice, with each action being indicated by different symbols. If you rolled compass symbols, you can draw as many tiles as you have symbols and then add it to the board. If you rolled torches you can use the total number of torch symbols to research and upgrade new technologies which give you special powers or actions. Guns will allow you to raid and remove other player’s markers, while campfires will let you add more of your own to the board. And finally the hire symbols allow you to add more dice to your bag and trade symbols allow you to turn in resources to earn points. All of this is to expand your influence on the board and explore more of the countryside, because it’s on the board where you will find the most victory points. Each tiles has two point values, if you have more tokens on a tile than anyone else, you are the governor of that tile, which will allow you to score the higher point value at the end of the game. The person with the second most will score the lower of the two values. But, if you manage to have 3 more markers than anyone else on that tile, you can put down a house, making you the permanent governor of that spot no matter how many other markers are there. If you can maintain your governorship over the most valuable spots, you may just win in the end.
This game sounds very interesting with the dice rolling and pool building being used as the driving force behind a 4X game, but it could also make this game into a luck fest for over an hour. You can find out more information, and pledge for a copy of the game, on the Kickstarter page, where a basic pledge of $50 plus shipping will get you everything you need. However, if you bump up to $75 you can get the deluxe edition with realistic looking resources, and all the wooden cubes and houses replaced with plastic mini tepees and log cabins.
Mini expansions seem to be the thing now as Matagot is releasing a new mini expansion for Dice Town in March of this year called Fistful of Dollars (or Cards). What is included? About 26 cards which includes 3 new cards for the base game and each of the two expansions, 10 new cards for a new mechanism centered around the titles of properties, and 7 elixir cards for first edition holders. Not much else is said about this expansion other than it gives you the chance to be the Baron of the Black Gold if you own the most derricks. You can find out a bit more information on the Matagot site, but you will find out more by picking it up at your local game store in March.
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