Dice Tower Newsletter

Corey Thompson

A retired veterinarian and ex-cell biologist, Corey spends his time with board games, computer history, banjo music and general useless frivolity. Corey can be found as doccabet on BGG.

Phalanx Games has announced the 20th anniversary edition of Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage, including the Hamilcar: First Punic War expansion. Hannibal is an award winning 2 player card based war game from designer Mark Simonitch. In Hannibal, players use multifunctional cards to gain both political and military control using the popular card system from Avalon Hill’s We The People. A second set of Battle Cards are used when two armies meet on the battlefield. To secure victory, players need to dominate both the military and political fronts.

The Kickstarter for Hannibal & Hamilcar will start April 19, 2017.

Level 99 Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for the second season of Exceed, themed to Seventh Cross. Exceed, released last year from D. Brad Talton, Jr. (BattleCON series of games), is a 2 player card game mimicking the arcade-style one-on-one fighter game experience. The original Exceed covered 16 characters from Jasco Games‘ Red Horizon Universe. Exceed Season 2 adds another 16 characters, this time from an original 1920’s macabre/horror setting, which will be the setting for a future rogue-like exploration board game.  Exceed Season 2 is offering 4 standalone boxes, each containing 4 characters and over 120 cards.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Exceed Season 2 continues through April 30, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

Van Ryder Games has listed several projects they are working on for 2017-2018.

Detective: City of Angels is a new big box noir style detective game set in Los Angeles in the 1940s. Players compete to solve crimes in this board game designed by Evan Derrick (Dark Moon) with art by Vincent Dutrait. Detective: CoA will be a Kickstarter project with a launch estimate of Summer/Fall 2017.

Saloon Tycoon will be getting an expansion via Kickstarter in Spring 2017. The Ranch Expansion adds a new player board, tiles, animals, and new characters.

Hostage Negotiator is getting Abductor Pack #8, designed by the lead play tester of Hostage Negotiator: Crime Wave, Mike Martins. Abductor Pack #8 is expected to release at GenCon.

The Big Score will have players completing small heists to build up to the biggest heist of them all. This new heist game by Chase Williams and Jason Mowery uses drafting and push your luck mechanisms, and is expected to start on Kickstarter in 2017.

NSKN Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for their new line of card sleeves designed for gamers, Paladin Card Protectors. The new sleeves come in packs of 55, so you don’t have to buy one more pack just for that extra 5 cards or promos. The new sleeves have excellent clarity, are extra durable at 90 microns thick, and are available in all standard sizes. Finally, NSKN is offering the sleeves through the Kickstarter with free shipping.

The Kickstarter Campaign continues through April 13, and is expected to deliver September 2017.

Haba is releasing the sequel to the convention favorite Rhino Hero, Rhino Hero – Super Battle. In Super Battle, players not only build and climb the toppling card tower, but they need to defeat the mean spider monkeys in the process. Luckily, Rhino Hero is joined by his superhero friends Giraffe Boy, Big E. and Batguin. In this continuation of the card stacking classic, it appears players can start from multiple foundations and join the towers together with bridges. Rhino Hero – Super Battle is due to release in September 2017.

The new game pieces for Monopoly have finally been revealed, after a 4.3 million people voted on their most and least favorite pieces. In addition to losing the thimble, the wheelbarrow and the boot, Hasbro has added (drum roll please)…

The T-Rex, the Rubber Duckie, and the Penguin. It seems that there was a bird theme to the new picks. People should be relieved that the Scottie Dog, the Cat, Top Hat, Race Car and Battleship will be returning. Hasbro has been using the voting process to publicize the new Token Madness Monopoly, which includes 16 total tokens.

Sentient Cow Games is planning on bringing its newest game Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape From Dulce to Kickstarter on April 15. This will be the first game in the Secret Unknown Stuff universe, where players are brought through science fiction, supernatural and unexplained adventures. The world has been compared to 50s pulp serials mixed with a bit of the World Weekly News. In Escape From Dulce, 2-6 players work cooperatively to escape from Dulce Base in NM, an area more bizarre and unexplained than Area 51. Players pick from 8 hilariously bizarre prisoners, all fully customizable, each with special abilities and stats which the players can level up as they play. These include a two-headed mutant cow with machine guns on his back, and an alien hybrid super-soldier who secretly just dreams of being a teenager hanging at the mall. Replay value is large due to customization of the characters, and the play of the A.I. Combat System, which dictates the focus of enemies’ attacks. Players must find their hidden objective before the timer runs out and the “Man in Black” is released. Play is on a 3D customizable board, where players traverse 7 layers to freedom in a full campaign game, or a shorter scenario game.

The Kickstarter campaign for Secret Unknown Stuff: Escape From Dolce begins April 15, 2017.

dV Giochi has announced English versions of two new games, 3 Secrets and Deckscape – Test Time.

In 3 Secrets, 2-8 players try to cooperatively discover the 3 secrets of an unresolved case with the help of an app before time runs out. One player plays the role of informant, knows all the secrets that need be revealed, and will try to help where possible. Other players can ask questions, and the informant can give clues if the payers become sidetracked, but it will cost precious time. Use deduction, observation and lateral thinking to solve the mystery.

Deckscape – Test Time is a card driven implementation of an escape room. With 60 cards, players try to escape from Dr. Thyme’s Laboratory by solving puzzles, figuring out the plot of the story, and intelligently using found items. Test Time is the first in a planned set of escape room games from dV Giochi, plays 1-6 players and contains 60 cards.

Artipia Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for an expansion to the popular “game of life for gamers” game The Pursuit of Happiness. In The Pursuit of Happiness: Community, players now interact with their local community. The game comes with a new board, room for a fifth player, as well as new projects, items, activities, jobs, and partners. The new community deck and popularity track allow players to engage in community related events, and affect their popularity within the community.

The Kickstarter for Community continues through April 7, has an option to buy the base game, and is expected to deliver October 2017.


At the recent South by Southwest Interactive Technology Festival in Austin, Texas, a panel group described the role board games are playing in training CIA officers. David Clopper is a Senior Collection Analyst who has worked with the CIA for 16 years, and since 2008 he has been designing board games for CIA officers. Clopper’s first game was “Collection”, a cooperative game where teams of analysts work against the clock to solve international crises. He has also designed a Magic: The Gathering like card game, “Collection Deck”, where card play is used to simulate intelligence strategies or bureaucratic hurdles. Another member of the panel, Volko Ruhnke, created a more commercial board game simulating the Afghanistan conflict.

You can read the full CNN article here. Additionally, Ars Technica posted an article of one player’s first hand account of the games here.