Eddie Guida

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I'm an engineer manager by day, board game entusiast by night. I will play most anything once but I love adventure style games and cooperative games, or just playing games with my wife. Games like the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, TIME Stories, and 7th Continent really hit on all those marks for me and I love discovering new gems. I can be contacted on BoardGameGeek.com under the user ID "burke4865"

The Spiel des Jahres awards are the premier awards for board gaming each year, with awards for Family Game of the Year, Strategy Game of the Year, and Kid’s Game of the Year.  Each year the Kid’s Games of the Year is announced in June while the rest are announced later in July, and today we have found out who the winner of the Kid’s Game of the Year is.  That game is Dragon’s Breath by HABA Games.

Dragon’s Breath is a cute little game for ages 5 and up, and in it you will have four young dragons and one dragon dad, trying to get the most gems out of a ice column filled with them.  That ice column in the game is represented by a stack of rings filled with plastic gems.  Each round the young dragons will pick a gem color that they think will come out of the ice when the dad melts it.  Once they have all picked the dad will pick up the top most ring, allowing some gems to fall off the tower to be collected by the young ones.  There is also some holes in the board that if a gem falls in there, it goes to the dad and he may win.  After all the gems that fell have been collected, the young dragons pick again what color they will collect and the next ring comes off.  This will continue until all the rings are gone and then whoever has the most gems is the winner.

As you can tell the game is simple, but with the fun theme and unpredictability of the gems in the ice, means everything isn’t always going to go as you think.  This is definitely a game for kids as it’s mostly luck with what gems will fall, but still has a element of strategy as they have to evaluate what gems they think will fall.  Dragon’s Breath is available now so if you are looking for a good kids game, go check it out.

Games Workshop continues to branch out and this time it is with a digital and analog trading card game called Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions.  Champions is a two player card game where each player will be fielding four champions from their chosen faction, and then spend the game trying to take each other down.  From the start you will have four factions to choose from; Order, Chaos, Destruction, and Death, each with their own different units, spells, and blessings to use.  At the start of the game you will put our your four champions and then hidden blessings for each champion.  Each of your champions has specific quests associated with them, like bringing out certain units or damaging your opponent, and when those quests are achieved you get to activate their blessing.  Blessing effects are pronounced and will have a big impact on winning, so ignoring them isn’t the best plan, and getting them activated is always a good one.  But you will have more than just these champions, you will also have a deck of 30 cards consisting of units, spells, and other actions you can use to win the battle.  The winner will be the one who takes out their opponent first.

At launch in August there will be a campaign deck available for each faction which will have everything you need in order to play the game with that deck.  There will also be booster packs of 10 cards which will contain 6 common, 3 uncommon, and 1 rare card, plus of those cards 2 will be champions or blessings and 1 will be foil.  You can pre-order a Founder’s Pack from the Champions website which includes all the campaign decks, 10 booster packs, playmats, tokens, and even more goodies for a collector.  You can find out more on the Champions website.

I mentioned this was also a digital game as well, and so the app version of the game will launch at the same time as the physical game on both iOS and Android, and then later on Steam.  So whether you like your cards in hand or on your computer, Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions has you covered.

When Cutie Met Patootie is anything if not unique in both name and theme, but beyond that stands a game that has a solid design.

In the game you are racing up the mountain trying to collect gems of the color you desire without getting captured by Rewind as it floods the board.  At the start of the game you are given a citizen card (this is the card that will tell you what gems give you points) and thus will drive you decisions during the game.  In the game everyone will be controlling all of the characters, so you will have to be a bit obscure in what you are collecting, less someone figures it out and starts spending all of your point gems.

On your turn you have two options, move or collect gems.  To move you have to pass through colored gems on the board, and to pass them you have to spend that color gem, or two of a single different color, in order to pass it and move up to the next card.  If the card you are moving to shows your character though, you can move to that card for free.  To collect gems you will be playing cards from your hand and distribute out the colored gems shown on it.  There are two ways you can do this; to do it quickly means you put all the gems on the visitor depicted on the discarded card, to do it slowly means you can put the gems on whoever you like.  However, doing things slowly can come back and bite you because this also adds cards to the rewind display and can cause rows of the forest to be flooded.  When a row of forest floods, all the characters in that row are captured and removed form the game.  But that isn’t the only time a row of cards will flood, if the bottom most cards of the forest are empty of characters, then this row floods automatically.  This means you could get two rows flooded at the same time if you don’t plan carefully.  Once nearly all the rows have been flooded the game will end, all the gems will be pooled together, another set of starting gems will be added, and players will score according to their citizen cards.  The player with the most points is the winner.

The Kickstarter video, although not showing game play, shows the first part of the story that they will unfold over the course of the campaign.  The art for the game is good with a bit of anime flair to it. Game play is solid, and there is even a single stretch goal that will upgrade the pawns to fully painted minis.  So if the game interests you, or you want to find out more about the back story, check out the Kickstarter campaign today.  A copy of the game will set you back $39 plus shipping.

Christmas Lights is back from a second round on Kickstarter, and this time they have already funded.  Christmas Lights is a light card game all about arranging your lights in the order specified on your card.  Each turn you will be swapping cards with other players, playing cards from your hand, and trading information with the other players to avoid playing cards.  The trick is that you have to play something every round, so you need to get the cards you need to be able to achieve the desired arrangement.  First person to complete the arrangements on two cards is the winner!

Christmas Lights is a fun, festive, and quick card game that takes under 30 minutes for up to 6 players, so the whole family can join in.  Also for this campaign they are adding an additional bonus, rules for 9 additional games that can be played with these cards will be included in the box.  So if you get tired of the base game you have 9 other variations to try with varying player counts, mechanics, and victory conditions.  Cost for a single set is only $15 plus shipping so give this campaign a look.

Zen Bins is trying to make a name for itself in molded plastic insert market and so they continue to work and expand their line, and now they have launched their Kickstarter for card holders.  These card holders are specially designed to hold your cards, make it easy to draw them, and even to pick up the entire deck out of the holder.  They have two sizes currently, one for standard card/american board game card size, and one for mini american card size.  The standard card size holder can hold 80 unsleeved cards, or half that number sleeved, and the mini holder can do 50 unsleeved or 25 sleeved.  Each holder also comes with a lid for easy storage and transport, and the lid is designed so that is can be flipped over and used as a discard pile holder.  The holders themselves are also stackable so you can save space stacking up several of them and use only one lid.

Pledge levels for this come in bundles, so you can get a bundle of 8 standard or 16 mini for $15 plus shipping.  There are also master pledges that get you more than double (18 and 36) for only double the price, $30.  To find out more information and to pledge for your own sets, check out the Kickstarter today.

Warsaw: City of Ruins, or Capital if you are buying the Granna edition of the game, is a game all about building and rebuilding the war ravaged city of Warsaw.  If you go to modern day Warsaw you will see that the city is an amalgamation of older buildings, modern buildings, socialist blocks, and more all jammed together in one area.  This makes things look like a mess but also speaks to the people’s resilience as parts of the city got destroyed in each world war.  In the game  Warsaw: City of Ruins you will be playing a tile laying game to build up, and then rebuild your city over the span of six rounds called epochs.  In each round everyone will get a hand of tiles that they will draft from, and once they pick a tile they can either pay it’s cost and build it, or turn it in for some money to be able to build tiles later.  At the end of the round each player’s city will activate and give out points and money based on which buildings you built.  At the end of third and fourth rounds though is when war comes and ravages parts of your city, so make sure to prepare for it.  At the end of the game it will be the person with the most points that will be the winner.

The art of the game is pretty minimal with the city blocks having  having clear colors and icons, and the monument tiles are photos of the actual monuments.  Also if the gameplay sounds family, that is because it plays similar to other drafting, city building games like Fields of Green or Among the Stars, but some new mechanics added in make this game stand out as a unique entry.  If you are going to Origins you will be able to check this game out there, if not then you will just have to wait for it to hit store shelves in August.  Either way you can check out North Star Games’ facebook page for more information.

Herbaceous was a Kickstarted game from last year that featured lots of beautiful art, and a theme all about storing and growing the most valuable variety of herbs.  Dr. Finn Games and Pencil First Games are back again with a new version of the game, Herbaceous Sprouts, which takes the original card game and morphs it into a dice game.  In the game each round will have a set number of tool cards, and on those tool cards will be dice that you will get to draft along with the cards.  On your turn you will pick a tool card, get all the dice on that tool card, as well as the tool card with gives extra abilities that is associated with that tool.  Some of the tools include trowels that allow you to plant flowers, market packages that all you to change dice, seed bags which give extra dice, and more.  What you are trying to do is get sets of dice in order to plant your seedlings in the garden, sets like all the same, all different, pairs, or a flower and trowel together to plant in the flower garden.  Space is limited in each area so the first person there will get higher points, and if all the spots are taken then you are just out of luck.  If you are playing with less than 4 players then there is also a rival who will be planting their seeds according to the leftover card from the initial draft, making card choice at the start even more critical.  In the end, whoever has the most points will be the winner.

Like the card game this is based on, Herbaceous Sprouts is beautiful to look at, and with rules that are streamlined and easy to learn, a quick game to play in 30 minutes.  A pledge for the base game comes in at $35 plus shipping, and there are additional pledge levels to get other games like Herbaceous or Sunset Over Water along with mini expansions.  So head on over to the Kickstarter page to give this one a look, the game also comes packaged with a solo mode for those looking to garden alone.

Warhammer: Age of Sigmar was released three years ago to the pleasure of some, and disdain of others, but has been going strong as THE fantasy skirmish game set in the Warhammer universe.  Now three years later the game has grown and changed, and so to clean things up Games Workshop is going to be doing a new edition of Age of Sigmar Core Rulebook.  In this new edition will be an expanded narrative and lore, cramming lots of new background and history to the many places and times you have heard about in the game.  Also they have managed to add in one thing players have been asking for, maps, lots and lots of maps of all the different locales you can take your armies.  Plus they have refined the rules of the game to play faster and cleaner while somehow making it more fun to play.  They have even teamed up with tournament organizers and champions to create some of the best competition rules for the game to date.  So whether you are a veteran or a new comer, this new core book will be everything you need to drive headline into the Age of Sigmar universe.

You can find out more information on the Warhammer Community website, and look for this jam packed core book on store shelves in June of this year.

Dungeon crawls are usually more serious affairs and can get rather involved with games like Gloomhaven, Descent, and Massive Darkness.  But what if you just want to have a silly time dungeoning in a short time span?  Then Fungeon Party is here to save the day.

Fungeon Party is a light dexterity, party game that plays in only 3 minutes, and can support up to 4 people.  In the game you will pull 6 quest cards from a quest deck, and it’s these quests that you have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Each player will pick a class like barbarian, cleric, ranger, or others, with each class having their own special abilities to accomplish quests, and stats that can increase over time.  But two questions remain, what do you do on these quests and how does it play in only 3 minutes?  Well to answer the time question is simple, you get 30 seconds to complete each quest for a total time of 3 minutes.  As for what quests you will be doing, you will be doing things like stacking dice on your forehead, knocking down a meeple surrounded by dice, balancing a meeple on a stick, bouncing dice into the box, and more.  Manage to complete all six quests and you win!

Fungeon Party is a random and frantic game that while may not exactly scratch that dungeon crawling itch, it would definitely be a fun opening game before the heavy stuff.  Look for it in stores in June, but you can go and pre-order the game today.  Check out Wizkids’ webpage for more information.

Steve Jackson Games continues to roll out with the Munchkin releases, but they will soon be releasing quite a different game as well.  First up are two releases coming in August for the Munchkin CCG, Fashion Furious booster packs and Phat Packs.  Fashion Furious is the latest set for the Munchkin CCG and will feature lots of new cards to use in your decks, most likely with a focus on accessories for your hero.  The Phat Pack is a collection of booster packs to help you expand your choices even faster.  In the pack you will get three boosters from the core set, one from Desolation of Blarg set, one from the Fashion Furious set, and two additional cards unique to the Phat Pack.  These unique cards are randomly picked out of a selection of 12 and are only available in the Phat Packs.  Look for these sets on store shelves in August to help feed your Munchkin CCG needs.

Next we have two expansions for the standard Munchkin game in the form of Fowl Play and Side Quests.  Fowl Play, illustrated by the talented John Kovalic, add a bunch of new cards to the Munchkin game, all themed around fowl like ducks, chickens, and turkeys.  Expect the bird puns to start flowing when this pack is released in August of this year.  Munchkin Side Quests on the other hand doesn’t add treasure or doors cards, but adds a whole new deck of cards called side quests.  These quests have you trying to achieve a specific goal, and when completed allows you a special bonus.  These goals also change things up because if you complete three quests, the next monster you defeat wins you the game, no matter what level you are.  How will adding alternate victory conditions mess with the game?  We won’t know until the expansion releases in the fall of this year.

Last on the list is a game that might be odd coming from the house of Munchkin, and that is a reprint of Triplanetary.  Triplanetary is a hex and counter style game where you are battling it out in space in ship to ship combat.  One thing that is unique about this game is that it takes into account that you are in space when you are moving, meaning that after you accelerate, you keep going that speed until you accelerate in a different direction.  This can make things interesting as if your engines get disabled, you will keep moving in the direction you last accelerated.  Rules remain largely unchanged and this edition brings the game back into print after being out of print for over 20 years.  Look for this new edition of the game in stores in August.