Dice Tower Newsletter

Michal Mikeš

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As a student/teacher of literature, I was always intrigued to experience imaginary worlds, so my route to boardgaming was paved by lots of RPG sessions. I love to role play characters, hack off tentacles by dice, and, occasionally, destroy a civilization or two. You can find me as "drearem" on BGG.

Game Toppers launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal to enhance your gaming nights with a quality yet affordable table top. After a year of development, Game Toppers table tops are ready for everyone who does not have a space for a dedicated gaming table but would still like to enjoy playing games on a professional and comfortable surface.

Game Toppers can effectively transform an existing table into a fully-fledged gaming solution with very little work in a matter of minutes. This is possible because they come fully assembled, so the only preparation necessary is to place one of the available variants on top of a table and, in case of the two larger ones, fix the two halves of a Game Topper together – without any tools required. When it is ready, you can spread one of the 3mm stitched edge gaming mats that are also available in the campaign on top of it for additional thematic feel.

Each Game Topper comes either in a standard or luxuriant variant, the main difference between them being that the luxuriant extrusion mold allows for a highly finished hard wood to be placed in the inset, thus, providing a crafted hardwood experience. Among the key features of every Game Topper are a powder coat finish, premium stains & wood finishes, and soft rubberized protection strips that keep the table top securely in place while also protecting the table underneath. Last but not least, even the standard variant features military grade aluminum with an integrated card slot that ensures both of your are hands are always free to support your head when racking your brain to come up with the best move during a heavier game.

There are four different sizes you can choose from, ranging from 30″ x 38″ to 36″ x 72″ play area. The accessory rail addon allows you to convert a one of the two larger Toppers into a mini Topper that is half the size. Other addons include all the possible accessories a proper gaming table could be equipped with, such as cup holders & component trays, dice towers, and adventure cases. A storage bag that makes carrying Toppers from one place to another more comfortable is available as well. In case you would like to get a Game Topper as early as in February 2018, visit the Game Toppers Kickstarter campaign.

 

Grail Games, an Australian publisher devoted to family friendly games, launched a Kickstarter campaign aiming to fuel up a fresh take on Stephenson’s Rocket designed by Dr. Reiner Knizia. While other Knizia’s games, such as Tigris and Euprhates or Ra, were already reprinted, this campaign provides the first possibility to lay your hands on Stephenson’s Rocket since it’s 1999 release, yet this time with illustrations by Ian O’Toole, whose artworks can be found on components of The Gallerist or Lisboa.

In Stephenson’s Rocket, players take on the role of rail barons in 1830s England. By investing in the various new rail lines, transporting passengers, and building up the local industries, players will vie for the honor of becoming the most prestigious rail baron in the early days of the steam locomotive.

It will take the 2-4 competing rail investors between 60 and 90 minutes to acquire stocks and see who earns the most Prestige in this tile-laying, route-building, set-collection, and bidding game.

Apart from new artwork and upgraded components, changes include shares, Prestige (no more paper money), and city tokens being tracked directly on the board itself, which is in the Kickstarter version double-sided and features a new Eastern USA map. Stephenson’s Rocket arrives in April 2018; if you would like to take a ride, check out the ticket prices on its Kickstarter campaign here.

 

Streets of Arkham expansion for Mansions of Madness: Second Edition and Empire at War set of booster packs for Star Wars: Destiny were recently announced by Fantasy Flight Games.

In Q4 of 2017, you will be able to enlarge your MoM 2ed collection with a Streets of Arkham expansion that brings a even more to the table than the previous one, Beyond the Threshold. It will shift the focus into the streets as four new investigators that you may know from the other Arkham Horror Files games join your crew to help you find out what lies beneath the disturbances in Miskatonic Museum, Miskatonic University, and in the streets of Arkham themselves – the locations of the three new digital scenarios.

Apart from new tiles, mythos events, monster types, and cards, the expansion also includes a possibility to upgrade investigators’ skills (each skill once) using Improvement tokens by, for example, drinking one of the Elixirs, a new item type that will appear in the game. However, you can never know what might happen after devouring such a potent chemical compound – at least not until you flip the Elixir card over and read the full effects that it has. Finally, another challenge to be solved awaits in the form of a tower puzzle (similar to Tower of Hanoi) that will be added to the companion app.

A little earlier, however, in the third quarter of 2017, Star War Rebels series along with the crew of the the Ghost will appear in Star Wars: Destiny as a part of the third set of booster packs for the game, Empire at War.

Empire at War emulates the chaos found in the Star Wars galaxy during its darkest times with themes that disrupt your opponent’s board and decimate their best laid plans. These 160 brand-new cards will focus on taking core concepts of Star Wars: Destiny and throwing them into disarray.

You can look forward to characters such as the master strategist Thrawn, Mace Windu, or Ezra Bridger joining the forces of their respective factions.

 

 

Seikatsu by Matt Loomis and Isaac Shalev is coming at the end of August from IDW Games. It is a 30-minute competitive tile-laying game for 1-4 players who will have the opportunity to build a Japanese Zen garden. It might not be as peaceful as it sounds, though, because each player looks at the garden from their own pagoda (their place on the board), which influences the patterns they would like to see emerge. Of course, it is important to ensure that your pagoda has the access to the most beautiful and calming view – and there are ways to do that since a particular tile placement may favour your point of view but might not be nice at all from the perspective of others.

Featuring a one-of-a-kind dual aspect tile design, players must weigh the benefits of scoring flocks of birds now, or the benefits of planting sets of flowers to be scored later. In a battle of serenity, tensions will be high as the best tile placement for you may also aid your neighbor. Who will have the best view of the garden? It’s all a matter of perspective!

 

Abba Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Fernando Abad‘s Feudalia, in which 2-4 players become medieval feudal lords competing for the favor of the king and the church.

“After an everlasting period of wars, the time has come to collect the spoils. The king has distributed the new conquered lands amongst his newly appointed feudal lords. They’ve hired the best artisans, builders and masters of all sort to show their gratitude by raising the most glorious cathedral.”

Feudalia is a deck-building, resource management game that includes over 60 different types of characters that players can improve their starting decks with. This guarantees a high level of replayability because only a limited number of the different character types can be available in a single game. On their way to 10 Victory Points (the winning condition of the game) players will govern three fiefs that they can upgrade or send people to work at.

There are three main zones in the game: Cathedral zone, Vassal zone, and each player’s private area of play. Cathedral zone represents the state of the cathedral that the players are building from the foundations through the main nave to the finishing touches such as a beautiful stained glass window. It is mainly a source of Victory Points that are available for anyone who spends enough resources to help with the construction progress. Vassal zone is a marketplace from which players obtain different vassals and masters. While vassals have to be drawn to hand before use (after which they go to the discard pile), masters come directly into the player’s area and they stay there so they can be put to work every turn. Finally, players’ private area is where the fiefs with all their stored resources (wheat, wood, clay, and stone) are. Also situated here is the treasury, which functions as a tracker of player’s current gold and includes a possibility to store some of it to the next round. Players have to choose wisely at which time to keep resources and when it is better to spend them because one of the cards in their decks is always the tax collector who will take half of what the player has stored in each of their fiefs.

Together with the unlocked military expansion that allow players to battle each other and steal their opponents’ resources, Feudalia now includes 12 preset scenarios, over 300 cards and about 150 wooden cubes of various sizes and colors to push around. All of this should be delivered to backers in October 2017. To learn more about the game, check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

 

Nomad Games, an independent video games developer and publisher best known for their digital version of Talisman, announces their newest licence, Fighting Fantasy, in conjunction with Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, co-founders of Games Workshop and creators of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks.

Fighting Fantasy Legends, a card-based role-playing video game from the familiar gamebook universe, will become available this summer on Steam, iOS, and Android. Players will collect cards and power up their dice during the exploration of Allansia, the continent that provides the setting for the three books featured in the game: City of Thieves, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and The Citadel of Chaos.

“Tricky decisions lurk around every corner as the player advances through decks of cards themed to their location, including cities, dungeons and more.”

Spherewalker Games present the first game under their brand: Defense of the Citadel.

This cooperative hero defense game for 1 to 4 players is set in a high fantasy world in which the Citadel faces waves of enemies that strive to destroy the Citadel’s core. The Defense can take place either during 30 to 60-minute missions that are connected through a storyline, or it can be played as a 6 to 8-hour campaign. While all the missions have their goals and layout specified by the rulebook, the campaign offers more variety given that the layout of the Citadel is randomized.

The only ones who are able to fend off the invaders are heroes of diverse backgrounds (Jyujin, Sun Elf, Human, and Sentients), who are all able to select up to two of the four available classes (Ranger, Warrior, Wizard, and Cleric). Apart from racial abilities so powerful that they can be used only for a few times during the whole game, hero’s race also determines their attributes (Dexterity, Strength, and Magic) which state the minimum d6 roll to succeed when such attribute is required. Finally, the chosen classes give heroes the ability to draw and use cards from the specific class decks as well as to perform distinct actions during the game. This allows for one of the underlying mechanics of the game – deck management. Since every hero has access to two of the four class decks, they need to choose the type of cards they draw wisely, keeping in mind that once a deck is depleted there is no reshuffling it back again – it’s just gone.

There are two alternating stages of the game: preparation for the battle, and the invasion. During the preparation, heroes can perform mostly class restricted actions such as scouting or crafting items, barricades, or traps. This is followed by the invasion stage that requires heroes to deal with different events and overpower the attackers. To win, heroes must either fulfill the mission objectives or, in case of playing the campaign mode, spend their valuable time to power up the core of the Citadel and defeat the final enemy, the Knight Dragon. The campaign mode has a built-in gradual increase of difficulty because the closer the heroes are to powering up the core, the more invaders they attract.

The gameplay accentuates cooperation between heroes by allowing them to help each other when performing difficult tasks and by including the option to revive (+1 health) heroes who have been knocked out due to losing all their health tokens.

To keep the KS campaign simple, there is a only a single pledge level available that includes, besides other goodies, 4 miniatures to represent the playable races, 31 minis of the enemy units including the oversized Knight Dragon, and 32 tokens for bat imps. The game is scheduled for a March 2018 delivery. If you are interested, visit the Kickstarter campaign page for more information.

Embark on an adventure in a land where dinosaurs and humans live together, guide lost dinos safely to their farm, and create a remarkable story to tell.

Jason Heath, Game on 23rd founder and the author of Unstable, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Mr. Fossil’s Dino Farm. Inside the box, you will find four educational games full of cute dinosaurs that, while aiming to improve memory and develop imagination, expose children to the world of prehistoric creatures.

Apart from a memory game that asks brave adventurers to find all the different dinos, the package includes Dino Match during which players pair dinos together, two puzzles that invite children to explore Dino Farm and its surroundings, and, finally, a storytelling game inviting everyone to be creative (or just plain silly) in order to illustrate what happens to the dinos.

Mr. Fossil’s Dino Farm is scheduled to arrive to backers in July. The basic pledge includes 9 board tiles, 9 story cards, 4 character cards, and 24 dino cards. Among the additional pledge rewards is also an expansion package that contains more dinos and story cards. If you are interested, you can find more information on the Kickstarter campaign by clicking here.

 

Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves are preparing for an upcoming war, but only one faction can emerge victorious – who will it be?

Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, presents a 4X style wargame for 2-4 players (5-6 with at least one Faction Pack addon) that takes 30 minutes per player to play. During the course of a round, players will be able to select two actions, some of which can be copied by others. Throughout the game, players will expand their territories, build or upgrade units and structures, and compete with other factions at land, air, and sea for valuable resources and exploration tokens. The inevitable combat is resolved in a luckless fashion: during a battle, players pick one Tactic Card from their deck (everyone starts with the same one) and add the value of that card to the strength of their army. There are 4 end-game conditions that correspond to each of the 4Xs, and when any of these are triggered, one more round will be played.

The base pledge for the game includes 80 miniatures (3 heroes, 5 warriors, and 12 peons for each of the four factions) and 32 cardboard constructs such as towers or aircrafts. Apart from an option to have the hero miniatures pre-painted, there are also faction addons available, each of them bringing two more factions into the game.

The release is anticipated in March 2018. If you are interested, you can learn more about the game on its Kickstarter campaign page.