Dice Tower Newsletter

Denis Yanishevskiy

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Denis is an intellectual property lawyer who became addicted to board games in college. He now forces his friends and wife to indulge him as often as possible.

Stronghold Games has scheduled a slew of new releases this November, including new games from frequently collaborating designer Friedemann Friese and expansions for some of its other popular titles.  Visit the publisher’s page for more information.

FLEE, a new game utilizing the Fable System in Stronghold/2-F Spiele’s Fast Forward series.

Finished!, a new puzzle-style solitaire game.

Pursuit of Happiness: Community, an expansion for the life-building game Pursuit of Happiness that introduces the concept of local communities.

Flamme Rouge: Peloton, an expansion for the bicycle-racing game Flamme Rouge that introduces new tiles, a variant for solo play, and expands the base game up to 6 players, or even up to 12 players with each controlling one rider.

The Bottle Imp, a new version of the 1995 classic trick-taking game.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey (U.S. and Europe) is a new member of Days of Wonder’s flagship game family, aimed at younger children and junior gamers.  While physical versions of First Journey have been available since last year, the game is now available on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.  The digital adaptation supports both U.S. and Europe maps through Pass-and-Play and solo games against the AI.  Read the full press release from the publisher with links to available downloads here.

Continuing Uwe Rosenberg‘s exploration of polyominoes, Indian Summer is coming soon from Stronghold Games.  Stronghold Games released Rosenberg’s previous puzzle game in 2016, Cottage Garden, too.  This one features the same beautiful artwork of Andrea Boekhoff, but is touted as being geared toward more experienced gamers:

At the heart of the game are puzzle tiles with holes that are placed on individual forest boards to cover up treasures. When players get their hands on these, they gain more options and an edge over their opponents. All that counts in the end is to be the first to cover your forest floor completely with leaves.

From the publisher’s thematic description:

Before winter makes its appearance, a particularly warm fall bathes the forest in a golden shimmer. During the Indian Summer, New England blossoms one last time. Treetops are ablaze with countless colors — a living rainbow, from green to orange to red. Slowly the first leaves are starting to fall. Meanwhile, our steps and the diligent squirrels rustle the colorful foliage.

On our walks through the woods, we discover all kinds of little treasures; we collect berries, nuts, mushrooms and feathers. We pause for a moment to watch the shy inhabitants of the forest before we set off towards home once again. There, a good book and a hot tea are already awaiting.

Indian Summer is set to arrive in January 2018.

In a collaboration between Games Workshop and Devil Pig Games (Heroes of Normandie), Heroes of Black Reach combines the Warhammer 40,000 and Heroes Tactical System of Heroes of Normandie into a new 2-player war game to be released by IELLO.  The base box will feature 1 campaign with 8 scenarios between the Ultramarines and Orks.

On the hive-world of Black Reach, an Ork Waaagh! breaks, jeopardizing this sector of the galaxy!

You will soon be able to help the Ultramarines in their merciless fight against the Warlord Zanzag and relive the grim adventures of Captain Cato Sicarius and Sergeant Scout Marines Torias Telion!

Heroes of Black Reach is expected May 24, 2018.  Visit the publisher’s page for more.

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game has seen its (more than) fair share of expansions since 2012.  By now, it may be safe to assume that every major, and many minor, Marvel characters are part of the Legendary universe, but Upper Deck is not stopping there.  Its 14th expansion will now introduce characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man Homecoming!

Five new heroes, 2 Villain groups, 2 new Masterminds, and 4 new Schemes allow players to recreate the storyline of the hit blockbuster film in deck building form.  Overall, 100 new cards featuring Spider-Man, Iron Man, Vulture, and other characters from the silver screen are expected to enter the Legendary pool on October 18, 2017.  Visit the publisher’s page for more information.

In an interesting team-up, the game company Hasbro is joining forces with the travel site TripAdvisor in “expanding” The Game of Life for the first time since its release in 1960.  Now, players can take vacations on the way to Millionaire Estates or Countryside Acres!

Through the game, players will be encouraged to take a break, connect, and make lifelong memories together by choosing from vacation cards inspired by some of TripAdvisor’s top-ranked family destinations and activities, such as a ski trip, a beach day in Punta Cana, hiking the Great Wall of China, and visiting the Eiffel Tower.

The new version of The Game of Life: TripAdvisor Edition is expected to become available this month, August 2017.  Check out Hasbro’s page here.

Lucky Duck Games is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for a new large expansion for deckbuilding/resource managing game Vikings Gone Wild.  Besides new Divine Favor, End Game Bonus, Mission, Odin’s Path, and Unit cards, Masters of Elements introduces various new additional card types to the base game, including:

  1. The Masters of Elements (Nature, Water, or Fire) that give elemental resources to buildings;
  2. Artefacts that grant asymmetric abilities to the players;
  3. New Units with abilities that utilize the elemental resources; and
  4. Gods with activated abilities upon reaching a certain level.

The Kickstarter is set to conclude on September 11, 2017, and is already fully funded.  Deliver is set for April 2018.  Visit the Kickstarter page here to see samples of the new cards.

Having previously garnered success with co-published titles 504, Fabled Fruit, and Fuji Flush, Stronghold Games and 2F-Spiele announced 6 new jointly published games releasing in 2017, including:

  1. 3 games in the Fast Forward series of games, all designed by Friedemann Friese utilizing the Fable system introduced in Fabled Fruit.  Fear will be a hand-management game about chasing ghosts, Fortress will be a bluffing game about becoming king, and Flee will be a cooperative game about running from monsters.  The games supposedly forego rule books, so that players can begin playing immediately and discover new rules as they play.
  2. an expansion for Fabled Fruit, the progenitor of the Fable system.  Fabled Fruit: The Lime Expansion adds 20 new locations and the eponymous limes.
  3.  a new solo-only game, Finished!.  Friedemann Friese previously designed the hit solo game Friday.  In Finished!, the player is trying to sort a deck of cards to not fall asleep at work (which is more than a little meta).
  4. a reprint/update of 2007 game Felix: The Cat in the Sack entitled Felicity: The Cat in the Sack, a game about acquiring cats, but not bad cats, and not dogs or rabbits, either.

All of these games are set to release in October 2017, with the third Fast Forward title coming in November 2017.

Magic Circle Games is releasing its first game through Kickstarter, and it has players brewing potions!  Cauldron: Bubble and Boil involves 2-4 players growing and collecting ingredients to satisfy their potion recipes in order to fulfill them by game’s end.  Being competent witches and warlocks, players can also steal ingredients from their neighbors, but will suffer corruption for doing so.  From the publisher’s description:

During the game, you will be:

  • recording potion recipes (saving them for until the end of the game) that you will brew for Victory Points.
  • growing the potion’s ingredients in one of your two gardens.
  • picking some ingredients each turn until the garden is completely empty (harvesting), placing those ingredients in your cauldron. collecting a Crone Token (worth 3 Victory Points) each time you empty one of your gardens.
  • casting spells (called hexes) in order to expedite your harvesting, “borrowing” (read: stealing) ingredients from other players’ gardens or even randomly taking ingredients from another player’s cauldron. Often the cost of casting a hex is CORRUPTION! Corruption makes it harder to brew during the potion brewing phase.

Arguably the best part of the game?  It comes with tiny cauldrons to really put you in the Potions Class mood.  Find out more information from the Kickstarter here.  The campaign is set to end on August 25, 2017, and delivery is scheduled for January 2018.

 

Flying Pig Games, magazine and strategy war game publisher (Old School Tactical, Night of Man, and Armageddon War), has released a new issue of its Yaah! Magazine, issue #9.  It comes not only with articles, photographs, and story scenarios for other games, but a full game of its own: Donetsk: The Battle for the Airport.  For more information, check out the Flying Pig Games website here.   From the publisher:

And, once again, we’re back. Yaah! Magazine #9 is another thick issue stuffed full of things like words, pictures we stole off the Internet, die-cut counters, and game maps. How thick? 84-pages thick. Thick enough to discipline your dog, so just sit down and listen.

We’ll lead off with the game, because our surveys say that despite the riveting articles, the pulse-pounding pizzazz of their pretty pictures, and the immersive scenarios, people buy these magazines for the game. This issue’s game is Ryan Kirk’s Donetsk., a squad-level tactical game that simulates the battles for the Donetsk Airport in the Ukraine 2014-2015. You, or someone like you, will control squads, RPG and machine gun teams, BTRs, T-64 tanks, snipers and more, as you attempt to gain control of the airport.  The game comes with four scenarios, 88 sharp-looking die-cut counters, and a beautifully illustrated game map.  Ryan writes an excellent lead in article that will educate those who were unaware of the Russian-backed separatist’s little war with the Ukraine.

Articles? We’ve got your articles right here. There’s a great piece of prose on GMT’s Comancheria by Deborah Malmud, another on Twilight Struggle’s little brudder, 13 Days, written by Nick O’Neill, an insightful piece on one of the most creative slices of gaming released in 2016, Cool Mini or Not’s The Others, by Matt “The Man” Foster, as well as words on Paper Wars Finish Civil War, Col Smitty’s thoughts on The Great War, Eddie Carlson’s take on Monolith’s Conan, and Roger Leroux’s opinion on the amazing deck-building game, Hands in the Sea.

Last, but not least in terms of what we are super excited about, we have solitaire scenarios/RPG/story for Night of Man, scenarios for ’65Old School Tactical, Dead Reckoning, Herm Luttmann’s Stonewall’s Sword, and a King Arthur Variant for Command and Colors: Ancients.