Corey Thompson

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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.

Plaid Hat Games has just announced their new game, Super Punch Fighter, a card driven arena battle game with a video game theme from designer Robert Klotz. In Super Punch Fighter, 1-6 players try to knock their opponents off of the stage a la Smash Brothers, and complete achievements, earning stars towards victory. Players each control a fighter with its own deck of cards representing button mashes. Place thumb tokens on the cards to increase movement, allow more draws, initiate extra attacks, or even block. Don’t mash buttons too haphazardly, because you can only remove tokens from 4 cards. Any cards which still have a token at the end of a turn are discarded. Unique fighter cards can be played if you have enough buttons available, and if you start a new fighter card with the last button from a previous card, you can combo the attack. Super Punch Fighter also comes with a 1-2 player cooperative “minion rush” stage. Look for Super Punch Fighter coming Q1 2019, and for more information and pictures, check out Plaid Hat Games’ official announcement here.

Everything Epic Games has just announced the first expansion for their 2018 dice driven adventure board game, Big Trouble in Little China, by designers Christopher BatarlisBoris Polonsky, and Jim Samartino. BTiLC: The Game brought the world of old Jack Burton and friends to life, as players rolled dice to work on their Chi and abilities, trying to build up enough Audacity to find and defeat the evil Lo Pan. The Legacy of Lo Pan continues the adventure, telling the story of what happened after the classic 1986 movie. This expansion increases the player count to 6, previously only available with the Deluxe Edition of the game, as well as adding a new story campaign. The 40 page mission book tells the story of Jack Burton’s travels through time, using the Tardisian Hourglass, an ancient artifact kindly supplied by Egg. Not only that, but the new expansion comes with the famed Six Demon (Dice) Bag. Look for The Legacy of Lo Pan in stores in March 2019, and for more information, check out Everything Epic Games‘ webpage here.

Queen Games has announced Copenhagen, a new tile-laying polyomino game by designers Asger Harding Granerud (Flamme Rouge) and Daniel Skjold Pedersen (Gold Fever). In Copenhagen, 2-4 players are competing to collect cards which grant them polyomino window facades to place on their board. Overbuilding certain floors and areas can grant abilities for the rest of the game. The most beautiful facade, fitting seamlessly into the harbor setting, especially those with full windows, score points to win the game. Copenhagen features beautiful art from Markus Erdt (Pioneers, Treasure Hunter), and plays in 20-40 minutes. Not much information is available at this point, but all of it is on Queen Games’ website here.

A second expansion is finally coming for the fantastic 2014 dice management game, Roll for the Galaxy (BGG #65), and it is a massive one. Roll for the Galaxy: Rivalry from designers Wei-Hwa Huang and Thomas Lehmann contains 3 full expansions in one box, expanding and changing multiple aspects of this already great game. Firstly, Rivalry adds pieces, and lots of them – 60+ new dice, start factions, home worlds, a new die type, and many new game tiles. In fact, Rivalry contains twice the tiles included in the 2015 expansion Ambition.

Rivalry also adds a new “Deal Game” mode, where fundamental aspects of the game are up for trade. Seven deal dice are rolled each turn to see what aspects are negotiable. You can trade surplus tiles for more space on your money track, extra tile draws for losing citizenry dice, or convert citizenry dice into developers or settlers. The possibilities to manipulate almost all restraints on game play are enormous. But these large deals take time to mature, and as the deals change turn to turn, deals can turn sour, and other players may want to take advantage or destroy what you worked hard to start.

Finally the new “Orb Game” adds an Alien Orb die type with interchangeable faces, along the lines of Rattlebones or Dice Forge. Players can buy new faces by assigning “Researcher” dice, using a progressive tech tree to constantly improve their orbs. At the end of the game, the faces are worth points, depending how advanced they are along the tree. Die faces include discounts on development dice, settler dice, and several other options.

Rivals includes brand new player screens, printed with new rules and game modes for handy reference. For more information, you can read the announcement from Rio Grande Games here.

Schmidt Spiele has announced the first expansion for their Kennerspiel Award winning board game, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, called Die Kräuterhexen (The Herb Witches). Quacks blew up the board game world when it hit in 2018, not only for being a simple yet engaging push your luck bag builder, but because it was super-designer Wolfgang Warsch‘s THIRD nomination for Spiel that year, joining The Mind and Ganz Schön Clever. In Quacks, players pull ingredient tokens from a bag and add them to their cauldron, knowing that too many cherry bombs will make the cauldron explode. When a player stops, they earn points and money to buy new ingredients. Kräuterhexen adds a much requested fifth player to the game, as well as higher value pumpkins, new ingredients such as the variable value “fool’s herb”, and the ability to request help from the witches. Players are given 3 Witch’s Pennies, which are worth points at the end of the game, but can be spent to get special powers, such as the ability to drink a potion after blowing up the cauldron, or reducing the drop advance price to a single ruby. Look for Die Kräuterhexen later this year, and for more information and images check out Schmidt Spiele’s webpage here. No information is currently available for the English version, expected to come at a later date from North Star Games.

Also from Schmidt Spiele and the ludological deity Wolfgang Warsch is the just announced title Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal (The Taverns in Deep Valley). This dice game takes place in the deep valley, where players need to attract new wealthy patrons, hopefully gaining enough money to expand, and go for the big fish – the nobles. Is it better to focus on a nice tavern, or to keep the beer flowing to keep the regulars happy? And which expansions are the best to build first? Players need to choose the correct dice, and develop their personal deck of cards. Five included modules allow each player to set their own difficulty. Given Mr. Warsch’s track record, Tavern should be an interesting game.

Looney Labs, the studio behind all things Fluxx, has just announced their new card game Time Breaker, by designer Andrew Looney and artist Derek Ring. In Time Breaker, players are security for the Time Repair Agency (TRA), hunting down the mysterious Time Breaker in a chase through time. The board is composed of 25 cards in a 5×5 grid, representing specific points in the past and the future, with the TRA taking the middle space. Each turn, players can move to the next point in time, placing their piece on the card from that specific date, regardless of where it is in the grid. Additionally, action cards can move the Time Breaker, move a players’ piece physically one space vertically or horizontally on the map, or generally cause chaos. The goal is to get to the Time Breaker and bring him back to TRA headquarters. Time Breaker plays 2-5 players in 10-40 minutes, and is due to hit stores on February 28. For more information, check out the Looney Labs webpage here.

Shoot Again Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for their new action selection, area control game Born to Serve, by designers Nick and Diane Sauer, including beautiful comic book style art by Ryan Browne. In Born to Serve, 2-5 players take on the role of out-of-work superheroes, forced to compete for tips in a restaurant. Players take turns placing their service markers at tables to compete for tips, or on employees to gain special favors from the staff. At the end of the round, the player with the most service markers at each table earns that table’s tip, while other players earn a fraction as much. Winners, however, lose their service markers, making future rounds more difficult. New customers fill finished tables each round, and after all customers have been served, the most tips wins the game. The game comes with 10 different superheroes, each with 2 special powers usable once per round. The Kickstarter Campaign for Born to Serve continues through January 31, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2019.

In a controversial piece of board gaming news, Michael Stackpole has resigned from the GAMA board of directors after many decades of service. Michael Stackpole is an Origins award winning designer, a video game writer and designer, fantasy author, and has been a vocal and active advocate on the side of board gaming for 30+ years. In a letter of resignation made public, Stackpole states “I have not reached this decision based on any political divide within the Board. I have come to it because the Board is broken.” He further goes on to cite recent problems within GAMA, including ineffectiveness to pass decisions, and the mismanagement of a highly publicized altercation between an officer and a security guard during Gen Con 2018. For more information, you can read Michael Stackpole’s letter on his webpage here.

Renegade Game Studios has just announced Proving Grounds, a solo story driven dice game by acclaimed designer Kane Klenko (FUSE, Flatline). Proving Grounds takes place in a fantasy world created by writer Monica Valentinelli (Firefly RPG), in which Maia Strongheart must prove her innocence in the death of her mother, the Sun Queen. The game comes with the novella “Only The Strongest Has The Heart Of A Wizened Queen”, setting the stage for all the events of the game. The game involves dice and card play, and true to Kane Klenko‘s portfolio, involves realtime elements. The story progresses by adding 6 modules one at a time to the game, and an introductory training module for new players. Look for Proving Grounds in stores April 2019, and read more about the project on Renegade Studio’s webpage here.

Stronghold Games is starting 2019 off with a bang, and has announced 5 new games coming soon in the new year.

Ganz Schon Clever is a fantastic (BGG #295) roll and write game from wunderkind designer Wolfgang Warsch, which took the gaming world by storm last year. In Clever, 1-4 players roll dice in order to fill in spaces from 5 different tracks. Each track has checkpoints which allow bonus fills on neighboring tracks, allowing for some amazing combination moves. Ganz Schon Clever was nominated for the 2018 Kennerspiel des Jahres award, but unfortunately for Mr. Warsch, of the 3 (!) nominated games he designed, the only win that year was Quacks of Quedlinburg. The new english version coming from Stronghold Games will be called That’s Pretty Clever, and is expected to release in April 2019.

CO2 (2012) is a well regarded (BGG #585) heavy worker placement game from designer Vital Lacerda (The Gallerist, Vinhos, Lisboa), and Stronghold is bringing the remastered CO2: Second Chance to stores this March. 1-4 players take on the role of corporations trying to make the planet a greener place, correcting the pollution made standard in the 1970s. The second edition includes a new rulebook and iconography, a more balanced gameplay, a new events deck, and upgraded wooden components. Stronghold has stated that this edition will be printed once, then not reprinted, so get it while it is available.

Astro Drive is a “fast paced card driven spaceship racing game” from designers Mikko Punakallio (Dokmus) and Max Wikström (Space Freaks). 2-4 Players secretly pick movement cards from their hands, then simultaneously reveal. The cards have an initiative number, determining who moves first, movement points, compelling their ship to move forward, and control points, allowing side to side wiggle. Players also have a limited number of energy cubes, which can be spent for either 2 extra movement or control points. Players race over map tiles, avoiding crashing into obstacles, until someone crosses the finish line. Expect Astro Drive in stores in April 2019.

The Violet Morass is a new expansion for the skirmish board game Space Freaks (2017). In Space Freaks, 2-4 players combine different body parts to create the perfect team of freaks, then lead them into the arena for battle. The Violet Morass adds 2 new arenas, the perilous waters of the planet Azorax 5, multiple new head and body parts, as well as some terrifying equipment. The Violet Morass is tentatively scheduled for an April release.

Another anticipated expansion is the Meteo Expansion for the card driven bicycle racing game Flamme Rouge. Flamme Rouge has 2-4 players controlling the speed of their 2 person team up and down hills and around bends, trying to manage cards and jockey for position most efficiently. Meteo adds weather and wind management into the mix, adding more options into this strategic racing game. The Meteo Expansion for Flamme Rouge is expected in stores February 2019.