Dice Tower Newsletter

Greg Burbidge

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Born in the wilds of northern Canada, Burbidge spent his early professional life as a gold miner before making his way into the art and culture field in Atlanta and then Calgary (both Olympic cities!). In his spare time, he enjoys playing board games, spending time with his wife, Christina, and creating art with textiles, a hobby that intertwines his interests in mathematics, sheepherding and wearable art.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Stuffed Fables designed by Jerry Hawthorne, the first in the new StoryBoard line of products.

In the first game in this new line, Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.

Stuffed Fables is a unique adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Players roll and assign color-coded dice to perform a wide variety of actions, from daring melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.

StoryBoard games will all come with a large storybook that, when opened, will have one page acting as a the board for the game while the opposite page will act as a rules reference and story guide. Stories will play out over multiple adventures, with each adventure moving through multiple pages from the immersive Storybook.

In addition to fighting minions, each page of the storybook offers numerous points of interest, charming characters to interact or trade with, as well as many unusual challenges. And each page is but one chapter that folds into a branching, overarching story with a multitude of items and a special discovery deck full of surprises.

Driven By Dice

On a players turn, they will draw 5 dice from a bag. The colors of the dice will determine what actions a player can take. White dice can re-stuff the stuffed heroes. Red dice and green dice perform melee and ranged attacks respectively. Yellow dice will allow for searching, blue dice will allow for special actions, and finally purple dice act as wild dice. Dice will help move items, use items and contribute to unique group tasks. Dice can even be stored for later to make stronger actions or multiple activations on a single turn.

A truly cooperative game, players can share dice or share stuffing, which acts as health in the game. As black dice are drawn minions emerge and attack, resetting the bag at the same time.

What’s in the Box?

Box contents include:

    • 23 miniatures
    • 35 multicolored dice
    • 1 dice bag
    • 6 unique character cards
    • 100+ page storybook
    • 1 Sideboard
    • 29 Lost cards
    • 10 Sleep cards
    • 47 Item cards
    • 40 Discovery cards
    • Counters

Playtime is listed at 60-90 minutes for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+. Players eager to find out more about how the game works can already take a look at the rulebook posted on the Plaid Hat Game website.

Gamers eager to help save their beloved child from a nightmarish land can preview and demo the game at GenCon 2017 in Plaid Hat Games booth #1537.

The Worlds of Jerry Hawthorne

Stuffed Fables will be the second universe that designer Jerry Hawthorne has brought to Plaid Hat Games. Hawthorne is the designer of Mice & Mystics as well as the subsequent expansions and Tail Feathers game. Hawthorne is also credited as a designer on multiple Heroscape products.

Mice & Mystics has proven to be both an evergreen title for Plaid Hat Games as well as being a critical hit. Awards for the game included:

Kristen Pauline and Regis Demy are the artists bringing the world of Stuffed Fables to life.

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games was acquired in 2015 by F2Z Entertainment, and subsequently Asmodee in 2016 when Asmodee absorbed F2Z. Plaid Hat Games now functions as an independent design studio under the Asmodee umbrella.

Modiphius Entertainment has announced plans to release both a Collector’s Edition and a Limited Edition of the book Rendezvous with Randomness. These two elaborate art books feature extremely high quality images of dice. The limited edition photobook will only have 200 copies produced.

Rendezvous with Randomness is a coffee table style book for impressing your RPG guests. Måns Danneman has taken incredible photographs of dice to fill out this volume. Images feature effects and situations you might never want to put your own dice into. Bio Hazard Dice are dropped into frying pans of oil to melt on impact while other dice are featured in equally appropriate situtations.

Freeway Warrior Choose Your Own Adventure

Modiphius Entertainment has also announced plans to release Freeway Warrior 1 – Highway Holocaust, a choose-your-own-adventure-gamebook from British Lone Wolf game designer Joe Dever. Dever was the first British winner of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Championship in 1982.

The Freeway Warrior book is set in a post apocalyptic world, the first in his America 2033 AD series.

Eight years ago the terrorist agents of H.A.V.O.C. triggered a nuclear nightmare that devastated the northern hemisphere, its radioactive aftermath claiming all but a few lucky survivors. Patiently, in scattered colonies deep underground, these survivors have been waiting for the earth to heal itself, waiting for the day when they could walk once more upon the surface of their shattered world.

That day has arrived, but it means the battle for your survival has only just begun. As Cal Phoenix, the Freeway Warrior and protector of Dallas Colony One, you need to defend your colony from a the gang of H.A.V.O.C. clansmen led by  psychotic Mad Dog Michigan. Make critical choices to defend yourself and those who rely on you in this choose your own adventure.

 

 

One of the greatest video game franchises of all time will be adapted by Fantasy Flight Games in 2017 for tabletop gamers. FFG has announced that Fallout: The Board Game will hit tables in Q4 2017.

Based on Bethesda’s blockbuster video games, Fallout: The Board Game will put 1-4 adventurers in a post-nuclear landscape inspired by the worlds represented in Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.

The Great War of 2077 is so long past there is no place in your memory for its events, but the barren landscape before you has its own story to tell. Immaculate homes which once housed seemingly perfect families and busied Mr. Handys have been transformed into empty shells. Humans wander the wasteland among mutated creatures and rogue robots, in search of little more than survival. You are now among them. Sure, this world might be a mere shadow of its former glory, but plenty of adventure and mystery still await a brave traveler. And your adventure has only just begun…

Only a few locations are available on their map at the beginning of the game and players will have to make tough choices as to whether or not to work together or as individuals when exploring this world.

Scenario Based Gameplay

Each scenario begins with a few landmarks to guide you on your quest. The base game includes four scenarios which will be very familiar to franchise fans; The Capital Wasteland, The Pitt, The Commonwealth, and Far Harbor. While key locations are predetermined based on the scenario, the rest of the map territory is variable when setup. Scenario setup will also determine which two factions will be available to play.

The back of the scenario card will include a progress track for each faction, with the game ending when one faction reaches the end of the track, though that faction may not end up the winner.

Much like the video games, choices made along the journey are what make up the adventure. Players will decide whether to pursue experience or Caps, collect loot or add loyal companions to the party, and most critically decide when to continue to progress in the main quest and when to head in a slightly different direction. The scenarios are driven by cards that will provide actions that will need to be completed to move the story in the game forward and moving towards the completion of a main quest, while also providing a path towards side quests.

The game pushes back as time ticks by. While players move around the board filling inventory and building skill, warring factions will be gaining power and will force players to pledge loyalty or defy conformity while working towards establishing themselves as the most influential player in the wasteland.

While the journey is what defines Fallout: The Board Game, someone needs to be a winner. Influence cards will be collected as quests and actions are completed, earning you glory.

Fantasy Flight Games has provided a walkthrough of some of the key cards (character cards, influence cards) and concepts (HP, possessions, XP, special tokens) in their product launch announcement.

While Fantasy Flight Games has listed Fallout: The Board Game as a Q4 2017 game, attendees to the sold out GenCon 2017 can likely expect game components inside a glass case at the FFG booth.

Fallout Video Games

The Fallout Video Game series dates back 20 years, with the first Fallout game having been released in 1997, with seven additional games and spinoff games having been released since then.

The reception to the first game cemented the legacy of the franchise. The game was ranked as the fourth best PC game of all time by PC Gamer, and has been inducted in the video game Hall of Fames by Computer Gaming World, GameSpot, GameSpy and IGN. The Smithsonian featured the game in their “Art of Video Games” exhibit alongside Fallout 3. Gamespot included the game in a list of 10 best video game endings, while Game Informer featured it in a list of top game openings.

Building off the content of seven video games, Fantasy Flight Games will have plenty of material to develop future expansions should Fallout: The Board Game find any of the success of the original video games.

Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.

The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.

Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.

Creating New Galaxies and Federations

Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.

Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.

Starting on the Cutting Edge

You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.

Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.

Gaia Projects

Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.

A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.

A Legacy of Success

Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:

The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:

  • The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
  • The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
  • Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.

Since 2015 a big box expansion has come out for Dominion every year and it appears that 2017 will be no different as Dominion: Nocturne has been announced with an anticipated October 2017 release date. Designer Donald X Vaccarino, artist Garret DeChellis and Rio Grande Games have begun exploring the darker side of the Dominion universe for the 11th expansion:

You’ve always been a night person; lately you’ve even considered becoming a vampire. There are a lot of advantages: you don’t age; you don’t have to see yourself in mirrors anymore; if someone asks you to do something, you can just turn into a bat, and then say, sorry, I’m a bat. There are probably some downsides though. You always think of the statue in the town square, that came to life, and now works as the tavern barmaid. The pedestal came to life too, so she has to hop around. The village blacksmith turns into a wolf whenever there’s a full moon; when there’s a crescent moon, he turns into a chihuahua. That’s how this stuff goes sometimes. Still, when you breathe in the night air, you feel ready for anything.

The next expansion is a big box expansion and includes:

  • 500 cards
  • 33 new Kingdom Cards
  • Night cards, which are played after the Buy phase
  • Heirlooms that replace starting Coppers
  • Fate and Doom cards that give out Boons and Hexes

The game is also listed as including a variety of additional cards that “other cards can provide.”

The game is currently scheduled for a mid-October release date.

The Last Expansion… Again

Dominion: Guilds was the 8th expansion, released in 2013, and was the final planned expansion at the time according to designer Vaccarino. Two years later the Dominion machine started working again with yearly expansions. Since then we have seen big box expansions Dominion: Adventures in 2015 and Dominion: Empires in 2016. New editions of the base game and Dominion: Intrigue were also released in 2016 alongside upgrade packs for the first edition of Dominion and the first edition of Dominion: Intrigue. Dominion: Nocturne will be the third box expansion for Dominion since the final planned expansion was released 4 years ago.

Award Winning Franchise

It’s not surprising that the world of Dominion continues to expand. The original Dominion spent 2008-2010 cleaning up major awards:

Though only Dominion: Prosperity has actually won the Golden Geek award for best board game expansion, all but one of the other 10 expansions have been nominated for the award. Safe betting odds in Las Vegas at this point are favorable at this point.

Dominion continues to make regular appearances on The Dice Tower’s Top Ten lists including:

 

Wizkids games has announced plans for an October release of their new Lancelot game.

Attempting to prove their worth in the Court of King Arthur, players take on the roles of the Knights of the Round Table and perform heroic deeds, quest for the Grail and obtain various Knightly Virtues all with the goal to be elected First Knight – Lancelot. Eventually as Lancelot you might even steal the heart of Queen Guinevere!

Undeterred by the recent global flop of a movie that was King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Wizkids will have you traveling to the land of ancient Britain to defeat enemy knights. Success when meeting the Lady of the Lake and she will gift you with the legendary Excalibur. Even with Excalibur in your hands and Merlin at your side, your enemy Morgana will still be a fearsome foe.

Though little information is out, we know you move pieces at your own pace but falling behind will have others grabbing the resources necessary to be successful in the game.

Contents:

  • 90 Round Tokens
  • 16 Tiles
  • 1 Excalibur
  • 85 Cards
  • 16 Stickers
  • Wooden Cylinders
  • Wooden Discs
  • Rule Book

Last year WizKids announced that Zev Shlasinger, founder of Z-Man Games/F2Z Entertainment joined their team to expanded Board Game operations. Zev and Wizkids will continue to enter righteous battle in the board game market this October when Lancelot hits the marketplace.

Stronghold Games has announced details on the Fast Forward™ Series which uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced by Friedemann Friese in Fabled Fruit.

Fabled Fruit was the first in the series, and Stronghold has announced that Fortress will be the second game using the Fable system.

A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress! FORTRESS is a game about risk taking, out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom, and second in our Fast Forward™ Series .

No rulebook reading is necessary in the second game in the series. Put 2-4 gamers around a table and discover constantly changing rules while playing the game. Similar to Fabled Fruit a pre-sorted deck of cards slowly introduces new rules to the games. Through 12 games of Fortress gamers can explore the entire set of rules. Each game takes approximately 15 minutes. Once complete it can be reset to be played once again by the same group or a new set of gamers.

Fabled Fruit was the first of the Fable games, now referred to as the Fast Forward Series. In the series a game starts in an initial and very simple set of cards and rules but as you play through the game system both the mechanisms and gameplay evolve.

Playing through the game multiple times each play changes the game slightly. Unlike Legacy games the game is never permanently altered. At any point you may easily reset a Fable game from the beginning either after playing through the entire set of cards or at any point partway through the game.

Awards

Fabled Fruit, the first in the series, was shortlisted on for a variety of awards:

  • 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended List
  • 2016 Golden Geek Most Innovative Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Family Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee

Z-Man games has begun releasing details of what has happened following the pandemic that broke out in Pandemic Legacy: Season 1.

The world is on the brink of total collapse. Already devastated by a terrible plague, much of the globe has gone dark. Small groups of survivors struggle to keep the world alive, but their efforts are no longer enough. The world needs leaders to rise up and find the way back from the brink of extinction. That task has fallen to you. You must find a way or nobody will. You are humanity’s last chance.

Following the format of the many Pandemic games that preceded it, Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 again brings two to four players into a high stakes legacy format co-op situation.

Taking place 71 years after the final events of Pandemic Legacy: Season 1, humanities very existence continues to be in peril. Only a few known cities still exist at all, and are now being supplied by floating stations in the ocean known as “havens.” For three generations survivors have lived on these havens, but with haven supplies dwindling it’s your job to set foot on land and save whatever cities you can to stop the end of civilization as you know it.

Over a year you and your team search for answers to questions that still surround the plague, while at the same time trying to maintain a supply network. Like in Season 1 and other legacy games, actions in each game will carry over and impact future games, forever altering the world of Pandemic Legacy.

Cities will rise, cities will fall. Characters will learn new skills and gain scars from the horrors they experience. Through the game new rules will come into play and each new development will affect your group’s journey.

 Journey from the Havens to Distribute Supplies

Your team has grown up in the havens your knowledge of the mainland is very limited. The plague has devastated the world you great grandparents knew, and cities have no hope of developing a cure. The few cities that remain need your supplies.

Instead of removing disease cubes, you now must add supply cubes to ward off future plague outbreaks. Balance your time and focus between balancing more cubes with distributing them to the cities that need them most. Drawing infection cards results in cities using supply cubes. You will need to constantly deliver new supplies in order to avoid the city becoming infected. Cities that become infected are a critical threat to you and to your team.

Characters entering a city infected with a plague run the risk of being exposed to it. There’s no guarantee that exposure will lead to any detrimental effects, but it will always be a threat. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide when to risk exposure and when to play it safe, letting the infected city fend for itself.

The World Has Changed

The world players find at the beginning of Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 has altered drastically. At the beginning of your first game only a small portion of the earth is visible, with access to only the few surviving cities still on the grid. On top of supplying cities you’ll need to explore a world lost to darkness. Make discoveries, encounter new dangers and face new challenges on your search for answers.

With so much infrastructure lost, you’ll have very limited communication, diminished medical technology and a loss of air travel. Sail from port to port, but once on land travel will be slow.

Fall 2017

Pandemic Legacy: Season 2 is a stand alone game that does not require having played Season 1. Prepare time this fall to save the world with a sneak peek at Gen Con 2017.

A Legacy of Awards

The original Pandemic Legacy has won many awards on the way to the top of the BGG rankings, currently ranked the highest rated game on Boardgamegeek. Selected awards include:

The game also took home an armful of 2015 Dice Tower awards including Co-Op Game of the Year and 2015 Game of the Year.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to release Spynet, a new card game by famed designer Richard Garfield.

As a spymaster your task is to dominate the espionage trade by recruiting undercover intelligence agents to complete missions. Two to Four players can either work alone or with teammates to gather all the necessary information required to recruit agents and disrupt the plans of their opponents in this card drafting game.

Game Play

The deck in play contains agents, funding and missions. Players take turns drafting cards from a series of face down row of cards. A player can look at the first card (or stack of cards if there are multiple cards in that spot in the row) and take the card(s) or return them back to the row. If you put them back you can look at the second stack of cards, the third stack etc. Once you take a stack you add one card to each empty spot in the row of cards as well as to each stack that you looked at but did not choose, sweetening the stack for future players.

Having the knowledge of passed over cards means players will know at least a little about what cards their opponents are collecting. Success in building your agency will require paying attention to what your opponent is gathering while at the same time doing your best to hide your own intentions.

Players can lay down multiple cards in a turn, playing one agent in any of the four espionage fields (tech, infiltration, counterespionage or enforcement), attaching any number of funding cards to boost the power of that agent, and one mission card in each of the espionage fields the player currently has the highest power in. Complete enough missions and you can claim the title of ultimate spymaster.

Spynet is scheduled for a 2017 release.

Richard Garfield & Z-Man Games

Richard Garfield (whose birthday its later this month –  June 26!) is a game designer and mathematics professor who is best known for creating the card game Magic: The Gathering. Garfield is also the designer of the games RoboRally, Netrunner, King of Tokyo, Android:Netrunner, King of New York and many more.

Originally founded in 1999 to publish the card game Shadowfist, Z-Man Games has gone on to publish over 100 additional games including Pandemic and Pandemic Legacy as well as the english translations to Carcassonne and Agricola.

 

 

Days of Wonder has just released the award winning game Jaipur as an adaptation for mobile devices.

Now players can pick up mobile devices and tables to adopt a role as one of the most powerful merchants in Rajasthan in this two player game. Buy, trade and sell commodities for profit while using camels to cash in on end game bonuses. Win two out of three rounds to claim the title of the greatest merchant in the capital of Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The game is now available for mobile devices and tablets both in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store:

Asmodee and Days of Wonder have released a trailer for the app: YouTube Trailer.

Designed by Sébastien Cauchon and originally released as a small box card game by GameWorks SàRL Jaipur received much early critical success, including making it to the prestigious 2010 Spiel des Jahres recommended list. The game has also made the Dice Tower’s People’s Choice list for Best Games of 2009 and Eric placed it on his list of Top 10 Asmodee Games.