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.

Osprey Publishing is bringing the 2015 game Tarot Storia by Yuo (Yu Ogasawara) to the North American market as Shahrazad. In Shahrazad, 1 player or 2 players cooperatively take turns laying tiles building a folk-tale tableau. Tiles are played in an overlapping bricks pattern, and at the end of the game a single path is traced through touching tiles from left to right, telling a story. Tiles to the right must be of higher number or they are flipped over. Stories are scored for groups of colors, and are penalized for turned cards or gaps in the tableau. The game comes with 22 beautifully illustrated oversized tiles, and a scoring sheet.

Shahrazad is expected to be in stores May 20, 2017.

David Sheppard (Galaxy Dice) and Twitch Factory have started a Kickstarter Campaign for Greedy Claw Crane Game, a dice driven game which mimics the old style claw games from your friendly local carnival. In Greedy Claw Crane Game, 2-5 players move a claw pawn over a grid of 36 toy tokens, selecting one to grab among the common, rare and, yes, bad toys available. Players roll a set of custom dice, each giving choices between claw movement and grip strength.

The winner is the player who collects a certain point value of toys first. Greedy Claw Crane Game comes with 6 custom dice, 72 unique toy tokens, a wooden pawn and 8 hidden goal tokens.

The Kickstarter for Greedy Claw Crane Game continues through April 27, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

Hasbro, Inc. has announced the winner of their 2016 Fall Gaming Challenge, in which the public were invited to submit board game designs through Indiegogo. After considering the five finalists, judges at Hasbro along with guest judge Daymond John of Shark Tank fame have picked a winner. Cloud Control, designed by Eugene Bryant of Suwanee, Georgia, is a card laying game for 3-10 in which players turn, twist, and overlap their cloud cards into recognizable shapes before time runs out.

Bryant will receive $25,000 and a trip to Hasbro to help make his game a reality. Hasbro started the Gaming Challenge in 2015, when The Mr. Toast Game came through victorious, and is now available for sale in stores. For more information on past and future Gaming Challenges, visit the Hasbro Gaming Lab here.

Table Tyrant Games is currently running a Kickstarter Campaign for Smiths of Winterforge, a board game in which 2-5 players compete as rival dwarven guilds to forge the best items and win the favor of the royal family. Players move around Winterforge and use an action selection mechanism to advance their guild. In the Tavern, players can hire crew with special skills and abilities.

Gain contracts and funds at the Guildhall, or Take out or settle loans at the Bank. Buy the best materials at the market, or try your luck at the Forge to create truly legendary items. Players can push their luck early on and roll for difficult to obtain items, or can build up their skill and supplies, making a more sure roll later on. The game comes with a beautifully detailed board, wooden pieces, component and contract cards, 14 dice and Kickstarter exclusive metal coins. Also available is an optional buy for Table Tyrants‘ previous game, Tavern Fame.

The Kickstarter for Smiths of Winterforge continues through April 24, and is expected to deliver in September 2017.

Steve Jackson Games just released a newsletter detailing several of the company’s releases for this July.

Munchkin Zombies: Armed and Dangerous adds 112 new cards to Munchkin Zombies, including trained attack flies and a prehensile tongue. The expansion also contains brain-hungry pawns, and requires Munchkin Zombies to play.

Munchkin Halloween Monster Box can hold over 2000 Munchkin Cards, plus some swag such as the Dungeons and Seals, and has box art by Len Peralta. As a bonus, the Halloween Box comes with 12 holiday themed Munchkin cards to add to any game.

Zombie Dice Horde Edition is coming in July, and contains the original award winning Zombie Dice along with the two expansions Double Feature and School Bus. Additionally, the Horde Edition comes with a score pad and a cloth bag.

Ares Games has put out some interesting details about their next game in War of the Ring line, Hunt for the Ring. This new game takes place in the early chapters of Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, in which one player controls Frodo and company, and are trying to get to Rivendell, while up to four others control the Nazgul, searching for the ring. The game plays in two radically different chapters divided by the hobbits’ arrival in Bree, with different boards and mechanics. In the first chapter, the hobbits use hidden movement while the Nazgul search for their location, but in the second chapter the hobbits’ movement is dictated by card draws from a Journey deck, giving many different routes to arrive at Rivendell in 16 turns. During this second chapter, the Frodo player will control Gandalf and try to draw the Nazgul away from the hobbits.

The Frodo player also has special ability cards for his companions, with separate first and second chapter abilities, however each card’s ability can only be used in one of the chapters, not in both. The Nazgul player also has special abilities, but these are dictated by use of special dice. If the Nazgul find Frodo and his companions, the Frodo player accumulates penalty points, known as Corruption, making the Nazgul’s strategy to slow and Corrupt the party, forcing Frodo to discard his ability cards and fail Corruption tests. Finally, game turns take place in three different hours, where Nazgul are weaker during the daylight, but stronger at night.

The Frodo player must get to Bree within 16 turns, with each extra turn bringing Corruption, while the Nazgul player must find Frodo and the Ring during their 16 turn trek from Bree to Rivendell, inflicting more and more Corruption, as they strive to escape. If a Corruption Test is called when Frodo has 16 or more Corruption Points, the Frodo player loses. You can read more about Hunt for the Ring at Ares website here.

The Hunt for the Ring is due to be released in Summer 2017, and is being developed by the designers of War of the Ring and Battle of Five Armies, Francesco Nepitello and Marco Maggi, along with veteran hidden movement game designer Gabriele Mari (Letters From Whitechapel, Mister X).

CMON Games has announced CMON Play, an organized play program exclusive to brick and mortar stores. Stores can enroll in CMON Play for free by signing up at the CMON website, and get exclusive access to Game Night Kits, Pre-Release Kits, Demo Copies and Kickstarter Retail Pledges. Game Night Kits will be available every other month and allow stores to run events for the popular CMON titles, and will offer exclusive game content not seen before. The first Game Night Kit will be for Zombicide: Black Plague in June. Pre-Release Kits will allow retailers to sell certain CMON games 2 weeks before they are otherwise available, starting with The Godfather: Corleone’s Empire by Eric Lang. Demo Copies will be available at a discount through the program. Finally, Retailers will be able to order core pledge levels and optional buys from Kickstarter through CMON Sales in quantities of 6, 9 or 12.

Czacha Games has begun a Kickstarter Campaign for the 2nd edition of Impulse by award winning designer Carl Chudyk (Glory to Rome, Innovation). First published in 2013, Impulse is a 2-6 player fast, card driven, 4X space game with great new art from Zak Eidsvoog. Like many of Chudyk’s games, Impulse uses cards in a variety of different ways; cards make up the spaces of a hex board, minerals mined from locations, tech upgrades and actions. Players move two types of ships around the board – transports to execute card actions and cruisers to explore and defeat opponent ships. Players execute all the actions off the Impulse line of cards, each turn adding and removing cards from the line, creating the backbone of actions for the next player.

The Kickstarter also includes two brand new expansions for Impulse. All Your Base adds the concept of bases to the game, while Brake For Launch adds a new combat ship type, the Wing.

The Kickstarter for Impulse 2nd Edition will continue through April 12, and is expected to deliver in October 2017.

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.