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.

The Grand Gamers Guild and designer Joe Hopkins have brought their new cooperative game Endangered to Kickstarter, featuring art by Ben Flores and Beth Sobel. In Endangered, 2-5 players take on the role of conservationists, working together to try to save one species. The base game of Endangered comes with 2 modules – one for Tigers, one for Sea Otters, however other modules featuring endangered animals are planned for the future. Hopefully your remaining animals will breed in the wild, with each species having its own rules for such, will have enough space to live after inevitable environmental decline, and will make it through the random events of the Impact Deck.

Endangered is also a modular game system. The base game includes the Tiger and Sea Ottermodules; you’ll play with the environment, cards, hazards, and special rules that apply to your chosen species. We also have a number of other modules planned for a variety of threatened species. Each module tells a different story, offers unique challenges, and helps players understand the difficulties facing these animals and the conservationists determined to help them. With your help we will be able to make many modules a reality!

Endangered has the support of the Center for Environmental Diversity, who are advising on the details of the game, and who will benefit from game sales. The Kickstarter Campaign for Endangered will continue through April 26, and the game is scheduled to ship in March 2020. For more sneak peeks, check out the Endangered website at the Grand Gamer’s Guild.

Wizkids is adding a trilogy of new sets to the Dungeons and Dragons: Dice Masters line of collectible dice games, this time focusing on the city of Waterdeep. Waterdeep has become a wealth of legend and lore in the Dungeons and Dragons mythos, and now Eric Lang and Mike Elliott‘s classic Dice Master is incorporating characters and monsters from this iconic city.

D&D Dice Masters: Trouble in Waterdeep is a 2 player Campaign Box containing everything needed to play a complete game, including Sidekick Dice, Action Dice, rules and dice bags. This set includes over a dozen characters, including Xanathar, Manshoon’s spies, and Volo.

The D&D Dice Masters: Adventures in Waterdeep Team Pack contains 24 cards and 16 dice for those already familiar with Dice Masters, and can be paired with any Campaign Box or Starter Set. Characters in this pack include Brawlwin Chainminer, the Black Viper, Jarlaxle, and Durnan, as well as many others making their first appearance. Similarly, D&D Dice Masters: The Zhentarim Team Pack includes Manshoon, Istrid Horn, and Ziraj, as well as many other Zhentarim in its 16 dice and 24 cards.

Look for all three Waterdeep themed Dice Master sets at your FLGS in September 2019.

Plaid Hat Games has just announced a new gothic horror strategy board game, Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein by designer Dan Blanchett. In Abomination, 2-4 players take on the role of scientists in 1800s Paris competing to complete the work of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Scientists need to deploy assistants to raise money, charge Leyden Jars, research new scientific findings, and most importantly collect raw materials.

Body parts need to be harvested, exhumed or bought, then used to build bodies before they go bad. Players only have 12 rounds to try to create a viable creature for their mysterious benefactor. For more information and game rules, check out the Plaid Hat web page here.

Freshwater Fly is a new highly thematic fishing game currently on Kickstarter from designer Brian Suhre (Coldwater Crown) and Bellwether Games. In Freshwater Fly, 1-4 players try to catch sets of fish cards from a river made up of a grid of 6×3 cards using dice drafting. First, players cast into the river, placing the casting token on a fish card in the column corresponding to the die drafted. Under the column are colored hatch tokens, and if the player’s chosen fly matches the color of a hatch token, they can draw a strike card. Strike cards indicate whether a fish has taken the bait. If the fly fails to attract a fish, it drifts down the river. However, if a fish is hooked, play proceeds to the beautiful rondel on the player’s board.

This rondel has an attached spinner, which when coupled with a wooden hatch token, looks like a fly reel. Players advance the spinner by drafting dice, getting closer to catching the hooked fish. The battle is between the strength of the fish and the value of the drafted dice, with players advancing the difference on the rondel. The gained finesse of the player, bonus action cards, and momentum tokens all help to finally catch the fish. The game ends when one player has landed 7 fish, and points are scored for card sets. Freshwater Fly comes with a game board, 4 reel boards, 12 flies, 4 strike cards, 48 fish cards, 9 dice, 60 hatch tokens, a large casting token, momentum tiles, hatch tiles, and a cloth bag. The Kickstarter for Freshwater Fly continues through April 25, and the game is expected to deliver in September 2019.

It has been a rumor for some time, but now some details are starting to come out about Machi Koro Legacy from Pandasaurus Games, and designers Rob Daviau (Pandemic Legacy), JR Honeycutt (Fireball Island), and Masao Suganuma (Machi Koro, Diamonsters). Pandasaurus has even hired the original artist Noboru Hotta for all new art. The original Machi Koro hit the gaming world hard in 2012, with people importing the Japanese version in order to experience the quirky minimalist art and elegant game play; In Machi Koro, players buy buildings, which generate income on specific die rolls, which then allows the purchase of more buildings. The legacy game will keep the game play we all love, but will feature a complete story arc over 10 games. For more details, read the press release from Pandasaurus here, and expect the game to hit shelves in Spring 2019.

Mr B Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Vintage Racers, a microdeck racing card game for 2-4 players, although 2 copies of the game allows up to 8 to play. Vintage Racers, by designerSean Brown takes place in the wild and lawless days of early 1900’s automobile racing. In the game, players construct a race track from a deck of road cards, then create a car by drafting pieces of an automobile. Different cards add to better braking, better tires, quicker top speed, or better acceleration. During the race, players are allowed to change the speed of their car up or down according to their acceleration or braking. Hitting turns too quickly can do damage to tires. Each racer has a number of “expertise” cubes, which can be spent to break these rules.

The limited Edition of Vintage Racers will be available here on Kickstarter for only a short time, with no late pledge after. Remaining copies will be sold directly from Mr. B. Games and via our website as supplies and demand last. 

The Kickstarter Campaign for Vintage Racers continues through April 15, and the game is expected to ship in September 2019.

Splotter Spellen is a publishing house known for some of the most deep, strategic board games loved by the community, such as Roads and Boats, Food Chain Magnate and Indonesia. Unfortunately, the company is also known for small print runs, and several of their older games have become very difficult to obtain. Well one of those classics is coming back, as Capstone Games has just announced that they will be reprinting a 20th anniversary edition of Bus (1999) by Jeroen Doumen and Joris Wiersinga, one of Splotter‘s earliest games. In Bus, 3-5 players build routes with buses, trying to deliver as many people as possible to their destinations. Players can achieve this goal by expanding their routes, buying more buses, or even expanding the city to include more destinations. No official date was given, but keep an eye out for this classic.

WizKids has announced the first Star Trek flicking dexterity game to the market with Star Trek: Conflick in the Neutral Zone. Conflick, by designer Mike Elliott (Thunderstone Quest, Star Trek: Fleet Captains) has 2-4 players taking control of Federation or Klingon vessels, represented by disks. The disks are flicked to both collect abundant resources, and attack other ships in the eponymous neutral zone. Resources are gathered by flicking a collector ship within range, winning energy and/or command points. Players can expand their fleet by using resources to buy more ships. The first player to 10 command points wins the game. Expect Star Trek: Conflick in the Neutral Zone in Summer 2019, and for more details read the official announcement from WizKids here.

Passtally is a new tile laying game coming soon from Pandasaurus Games and designer Masaki Suga (須賀 正樹). In Passtally, 2-3 players take turns laying elongated hexagonal tiles on a board full of weaving paths, reminiscent of the classic game Tsuro. Players have pieces at the borders of the board, marking the ends of certain paths. Tiles change the underlying paths, and tiles can be placed on top of previous tiles, building up layers. Players score by tracing lines between their pieces, integrating the placed tiles, trying to use higher stacked tiles to gain more points. Passtally is one of those rare games which is elegant to look at, simple to teach, but deep in strategy. Look for Passtally in stores in late June.

Genius Games, the masters of good, entertaining science games, have a new Kickstarter Campaign for the party word game Nerd Words: Science by designers John Coveyou and Eric Slauson. Genius has hit it out of the park in the past with science based board games, such as Cytosis: A Cell Biology Board Game (2017), Subatomic: An Atom Building Game (2018) and most recently Periodic: A Game of the Elements (2019). Nerd Words is a team based word game, in which a clue-giver picks a science term from two given clue cards. Clues must be a single word, and start with a letter from the original word, although the first letter of the original word is off limits until the final clue. Additionally, the clue giver may bet up to 4 points, if they think their clue is really extraordinarily good. I had a chance to look at an early copy of Nerd Words at GAMA Trade Show, and the game continues to succeed at Genius Games’ trademark ability to present real, sometimes complex, educational ideas in an elegant, simple manner. Nerd Words comes with dry erase boards for clue giving and guesses, and additional themed card packs are planned for the future, including Space Science, Earth Science, Medical Sciences, and Advanced Biology. The Kickstarter for Nerd Words: Science continues through April 11, and the game is expected to deliver in April 2019.