Dice Tower Newsletter

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"

Downfall is the latest game being published by Tasty Minstrel Games as well as the latest in their line of Deluxified games.  Downfall is a 4X game where you are trying to survive in the post apocalyptic wasteland that is the year 2213 where nearly all of the planet’s population has died.  You will have to gather resources, build bunkers and airships, combat other factions, and explore the wasteland in order to survive.  Actions in this game will be done through card drafting and each card has a major action and a minor action, with major actions being things like gather, build, command, research, and war.

Gather and build are pretty self explanatory, command is how you will get your people around the board, research improves your major actions with technology cards, and war initiates battles between groups.  You will be doing these actions, taking over parts of the board, gathering resources for building or feeding your people, and trying to keep the radiation at bay in order to score points.  Each round has you drawing event cards with differing effects, and from time to time you will draw winter cards which will have negative effects as well as move the game timer along.  Once the timer reaches the end you will total up your points and to see who is the winner.

As per the other deluxified Kickstarters you have two options, the retail version or the deluxified version.  In the deluxified version you get things like wooden bits instead of punchboards, minis for the your leaders and airships, metal radiation tokens, and bigger hexes to make things easier to move around.  The long and short of it is you will be getting a blinged out game for an increased price.  You can check out more information, and back for one of the two versions, on the Kickstarter page.

In the competitive card game sphere there are two styles of play that reward skill and deck construction more than just having the best cards, draft play and sealed play.  These types of matches have been going on for a long time with Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, and EPIC the Card Game, so having a collectible style game without it just feels incomplete.  Well now Star Wars Destiny will get that format now with the latest announced set, Rivals, which includes 20 cards that straddle the line between good and evil.

With this set and a handful of booster packs, you will be able play in either style format and be able to construct some solid decks of cards and dice.  Some of the set’s highlights include Anakin Skywalker, Conflicted Apprentice, whose ability differs based on if you discard a hero or villain card, and  Ketsu Onyo, Black Sun Operative, who allows you to save a weapon before it gets discarded.  These and many other cards will not only allow you to play in these new styles, but will bolster your decks in regular play as well.  Look for Rivals to hit shelves in 2018, and you can read more about it on the FFG website.

Like with any good living card game, you need to keep bringing out more content in order to keep things fresh and in the case of Legend of the 5 Rings, keep the story moving forward.  So it comes as no surprise that Fantasy Flight Games has announced the Imperial Cycle for the Legends of the 5 Rings LCG, but with a major difference.

That difference is that the six new packs will be released over the span of six weeks, instead of six months like normal.  At the same time the narrative of the L5R story is going to be expanded over those same six weeks, following the events in Rokugan in almost real time if you get the packs as they release.  This will shake things up and change the landscape of the card game in a matter of days instead of weeks.  At the end, there will be lots of new cards for each of the factions, and of note is that there will be cards specific to the role you choose, whether you are a Seeker or a Keeper.  You can preview some of the cards and read more about this event on the FFG website, and look for the packs to start appearing on store shelves in early November.

All three of these games have had many expansions already put out for them, so publishers figured that some more would be just what people want.  First on the list is the Omens of the Pharaoh expansion for the dice game Elder Sign.  What is interesting about this expansion is that it started as an expansion for the digital game only, but proved popular enough to be brought to the physical game as well.  This new expansion will be a new adventure deck to the game of all new horrors you have to face, this time against an Egyptian back drop.  One thing that does work in your favor is that this expansion will bring artifacts into the game, giving you a leg up by being able to re-roll dice without spending clues.  You can read more about the expansion on the FFG website, and look for this release on store shelves in the first quarter of 2018.

Next are two more characters to add to the already long list of characters trying to drink each other under the table at the Red Dragon InnAllies: Adonis vs. The Lich King brings the hunky bard and the undead fiend into the game.  Adonis will be another character you can play as, with several musical instruments at your disposal to either lull your opponents to sleep, or bash them over the head.  Either way you can carry a tune and looking to take everyone else down.  The Lich King is a new boss, and by far the most defensive boss, that you and all your friends can “fight” against.  He brings a lot of magical prowess to the table so you will have to dodge his spells and strike when the time is right to keep him from drinking you all under the table.  Look for this expansion to hit shelves in January of 2018.

And finally, we have some upcoming releases for the Hero Realms deck building game.  First of those is a new campaign box called The Ruin of Thandar, which turns this competitive game into a cooperative adventure style deck building game.  You will be working together with your friends to defeat these new evils, acquiring experience points and better cards as you go along until you can defeat the final boss.  Look for this in the last quarter of this year.

The other two expansion are boss decks which add new characters that you can play as to the game.  One is the Dragon Boss Deck and the other is the Lich Boss deck, each giving you a full starting deck for the respective bosses, allowing you to play as them instead of a hero.  Look for both of these to hit stores in the fourth quarter of this year.

CoolStuffInc.com, sponsor of The Dice Tower and host to this news site, has announced the opening of a new location, this time in the bustling city of Miami.  This is their 7th physical store and shows CSI’s commitment to continue growing and expanding the board gaming hobby.  They already have weekly events lined up for the new store as well as tournaments for popular board games and the most popular card games like Magic, Pokemon TCG, and Star Wars Destiny to just name a few.  You can read more about it in the press release below, and if you are in the area why don’t you drop by.

Miami, FL: Today, CoolStuffInc.com, a leading online retailer of hobby games and owner of hobby game stores throughout the state of Florida, announced that the latest addition to the CoolStuffGames family, CoolStuffGames Miami, is now open for business. It is located on 12550 SW 88th Street in Miami, Florida.

CoolStuffGames Miami is a huge milestone for the prominent online hobby retailer, marking the company’s seventh physical store. It joins the ranks of six other CoolStuffGames locations across the state: three Orlando area stores, Jacksonville, South Florida, and the recently opened Tampa store. It is their mission to offer superior customer service and foster a community for gamers of all stripes to participate.

Gerald Sunkin, CEO of CoolStuffInc.com, shares his feelings on the opening of CoolStuffGames Miami. “We’re excited to open our seventh hobby game store in Florida. This new store will give us a chance to build more gaming communities so customers have a place to play their favorite games.” The new CoolStuffGames Miami location offers a full schedule of weekly events and tournaments for Board Games, Magic: The Gathering, the Pokemon Trading Card Game, Yu-Gi- Oh!, Star Wars Destiny, and much more. In addition to weekly events, CoolStuffGames Miami regularly updates their schedule with special events and tournaments.

Visit the newest CoolStuffGames store:
12550 SW 88th Street
Miami, FL 33186
For more information about the Miami store:
Call CoolstuffGames Miami: 786-452- 9490
Visit Their Webiste: http://www.coolstuffgames.com/miami/

About CoolStuffInc.com: CoolStuffInc.com is a hobby retailer based in Orlando, Florida. Founded in 2002, CoolStuffInc.com now has seven Cool Stuff Games retail locations in Maitland, Waterford Lakes, South Orlando, Hollywood, Jacksonville, Tampa, and the brand new seventh location in Miami.

Essen is THE convention for board gamers to grab the latest and greatest when it comes to their favorite hobby.  But one thing is for sure, Essen it not a playing convention like your Dice Tower Convention or GenCon, so Pegasus Spiele is offering the chance to have a game night right at the fair.  Starting now, you can purchase tickets for Thursday the 26th and Friday the 27th to be able to hang out at the Pegasus Spiele booth after the hall has closed, and play games with them into the wee hours of the night.  And just like your game nights at home, food and drinks will be offered for no additional charge to keep you going.  You can find out more on the event’s Facebook event page, and once you purchase a ticket, you can rest easy knowing you have some game time already scheduled to play all the amazing new releases.

Here we are with another week of Kickstarters of a wide array from an election game, to a detective game, to a war game, so lets get started.  Up first, we have a card game based on an app called Cahoots, and being published by Mayday Games.  The game Cahoots is a normal trick taking game, but with a bit of a twist in that there are no follow rules and you score is based on which suit won the trick, not who won the trick.  But the question is, which suits will score for you?  That is determined by a card you receive at the start of the game and will have three of the six suits on them, and it’s these suits that will score for you.  However, you won’t be the only one scoring with those suits, so over the game you will be partnering with different people in order to score the suits on your card.  So each round you will play out a total of two cards, and whatever suit had the highest total value will be the winner and be scored that round.  After that you will choose some cards to keep, and some cards to remove from the game, shrinking the available card pool.  Once all the cards are out of the game, whoever has the most points is the winner.  So if this new take on trick taking sounds interesting to you, or you are a fan of the app, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is our war game entry, coming straight to you from the prolific war game creator DVG, this time as an air dog-fighting card game called Down in Flames: Locked On.  In this game you will be flying one, two, or three of dozens of different aircraft of the recent age like the F-15C Eagle or the Sea Harrier FRS1.  You will be taking these into battle trying to shoot down the opposing player’s planes through clever use of your missiles.  At the heart of this game are the action cards, each with multiple uses from special abilities, to maneuvering, to attacking, and even countering your enemy’s attack.  When you attack you will play your card, if your opponent counters with a card you then have the opportunity to counter that card, continuing like this until the final card is played.  If you managed to play the final card your attack succeeds, if your opponent, then the attack is canceled.  When an attack is successful you will then draw cards based on what you fired to then carry out another attack sequence with those cards.  If you succeed there, you have destroyed the enemy craft, and if they are all destroyed you win the game!  So if a fast playing, dog-fighting style card game with a healthy dose of real life accuracy is your kind of thing, then check out this Kickstarter today.

Next we have a new detective game from Van Ryder Games called Detective: City of Angels.  This game I think is best described as Clue on steroids, with the main difference is that this game is more complex and is done as a one versus all style game.  One person is The Chisel, whose sole job is to lead the detectives astray and keep the case from ever being solved.  The detectives will be moving around the board, investigating locations and questioning suspects.  But here is where it gets tricky, The Chisel will be choosing the responses that he gives from those being question, and he can even outright lie to you.  However, if you challenge him on his bluff you can get the truth, revealing much needed information to solve your case, but challenge on a truth and he gets leverage over you to use against you later.  You can also bribe a snitch to be able to listen in on this info so even if you aren’t there, you can get some critical info to help you solve your case.  Strong arm some suspects, get to the truth, and solve the case before the trail goes cold and you can win the game.  You can find out more on the Kickstarter page.

After that is the unusual game of the article, and that is Electioneer, the Hong Kong election board game from Nightdreamer.  This game aims to do with the Hong Kong election system what Die Macher did for the German election system, and that is create a great game out of it.  This is an area control and resource management type game where you will be going around the various towns and cities trying to secure the most votes.  One way to get votes is through strategy cards, which show a number of territories that have some connection to them, like hitting the 12 different districts that are home to higher education institutions to get the college vote.  You will also get votes for holding the most influence in different zones on the board, as well as for holding the second most influence.  Basically there are a lot of ways to get votes, and this game shows it’s designer’s researching ability because all of these ways to get votes are methods used in actual Hong Kong elections.  Will you be able to manage your money well and get enough votes to be elected?  Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

And last but not least, we have a reprint and revamp of a previously Kickstarted game, and that is Endure the Stars from Grimlord Games.  This 1.5 version will not only allow new players to be able to acquire this game and it’s many extras, but also improve the game for those who already own it.  Endure the Stars itself is a survival horror type game where you are passengers on a colonization ship a year into it’s long journey.  However, unauthorized experiments have been conducted to try and engineer a new life-form to explore new planets, but those experiments were discovered and the lifeforms got out, killing everyone in their path.  Now people are living in small groups scavenging to survive, and it’s up to your group to try and root out these creatures before they kill you all.  Fight back with all sorts of different weapons and ammo, and try to maintain your sanity as you play through the campaign to defeat this evil.  So if a sci-fi dungeon crawl game sounds interesting, or if you own the first edition, check out the Kickstarter page today.

Near and Far is an adventure game with a choose your own adventure story telling aspect to it, and people have loved it.  So naturally, Red Raven Games is looking to expand this game and so are turning to Kickstarter to get it funded.  Near and Far: Amber Mines adds four new things (now five with stretch goals) to the game that help increase replay-ability and just improve the game.  First is a replacement for the standard mine on this board, this new amber mine is card based and so what you get will be a little more random.  But what is good is that these mines will offer better rewards than the normal gem/coin combinations, making up for the more chaotic nature.

The next addition is adding magic to the game, allowing you to have special abilities during the game.  Need help with bandits?  If you get the lightning bolt spell you can convert a gem into three swords.  Running low on money?  With transmute you can exchange up to four gems for two coins for each gem.  Needless to say this opens up all sorts of new possibilities in the game as you collect magic in order to gain access to these different spells.

Third is a new general store, giving you the option to refill hearts and also gives you the opportunity to place camps there if you buy an advanced artifact.

Fourth are new dangerous encounters, so instead of just the same endless stream of bandits, you now have all sorts of new foes to fight, with also differing rewards for when you defeat them.

And finally, due to the stretch goal being reached, a co-op mode will be added to the game, allowing you to play cooperatively with your friends through any of the game modes.  This to me is awesome because playing this game you often forgot it was competitive, and so now with this you can play it cooperatively against the final bosses.

So if you love Near and Far, or if you missed some of the extra goodies from the Above and Below or Near and Far Kickstarters, check out this campaign today!

Fantasy Flight Games isn’t done with Eldritch Horror yet, as they have just announced the next expansion for the game, Masks of Nyarlathotep.  Those who are players of the Call of Cthulhu RPG may recognize that title, as it is one of the iconic adventures that you can undertake in the RPG.  So with that in mind, not only is FFG adding this new expansion to Eldritch Horror, but Chaosium will be updating and reprinting the Masks of Nyarlathotep RPG campaign.  You can read more about the RPG on the Chaosium website, so lets talk a bit more about the Eldritch Horror expansion.

In this expansion for Eldritch Horror you will be getting a ton of new cards in order to fight this horror which can change forms as easily as you change clothes.  In addition to the extra spells, items, allies, as well as monsters and events, you will gain access to character specific back stories.  Each of these back stories have different success and failure conditions, and depending on which you trigger, will either give you a helpful boost, or just drag you down further.  Also new in this expansion is the addition of a campaign system, allowing you to play multiple games in a row, with the state between games not resetting.  This will amp up the stress and theme even more as you will have to deal with the long term consequences of the status ailments you accumulate over the course of the game.  So if you like Eldritch Horror and want even more content, check out the FFG website for more info and look for it on store shelves in the first quarter of 2018.

FFG continues to expand and support Star Wars Destiny by announcing a new set, simply called Legacies.  The name suits this set well as the majority of the new characters and items you will be getting have a foot firmly planted in the Star Wars movies of the past.  The two starter sets available will be Boba Fett with a veteran Stormtrooper, and Luke Skywalker with the heroic smuggler Han Solo.  These starters are pretty standard and include enough in the box to field an army with just what is there, but what is really interesting is all the new mechanics that this set will be adding to the game.

First on that list is indirect damage, this type of damage is usually coming in higher numbers than other types of damage, but because it is indirect, the player receiving the damage chooses where it goes.  So while you can dish out more damage than ever, it’s not going to be hitting what you want.  Another new mechanic are Power Actions, these are powerful actions you can take, but come with the limitation of only being usable once per turn.  So Wedge Antilles’ ability to flip a ship die to whatever side you want can devastating at the right time, just know you won’t be using it more than once a round.  And finally we have a new card type called plot cards, this are cards costing only a couple points, helping up bump that 27 or 29 point army up to a full 30.  These plot cards give you an extra leg up by giving you extra starting resources are forcing other players to discard cards.  Overall if you are a fan of Star Wars Destiny, this set will open up all sorts of new possibilities.  You can find out more on Fantasy Flight’s website, and then patiently wait for it’s release.