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.

Wizkids has announced plans to release Fistful of Monsters, an expansion to their 2016 Dungeons & Dragons Game Rock, Paper, Wizard. Like the original game, the expansion allow 3-6 players to spend around 30 minutes to try and grab the most gold possible from a dragon’s hoard. The expansions is currently scheduled for an October 2018 release.

You have once again bested a dragon in its own lair and now comes time for your party to split the foul beast’s hoard accordingly… Can you deal with these Wandering Monsters and still come away with the most gold? Maybe that stash of magic items you left by the cave entrance will prove helpful…

Like the original game, the expansion is designed by Josh Cappel, Jay Cormier, and Sen-Foong Lim with artwork by Josh Cappel.

In this new expansion for Rock Paper Wizard, dastardly wandering monsters add a new threat. Each new wandering monster has a unique ability capable of forcing a wizard to move around the board, lose gold, end up injured. New magical items, used in combination with spells, might help players gain even more loot however.

The new box included with Fistful of Monsters features a deeper box so both the expansion and the original game can all be stored in a single box.

In the base game, Dungeons & Dragons: Rock Paper Wizard, a dragon has been slain, leaving behind a pile of treasure players will fight over.

A shared spell book will be placed on the table, with hand gestures representing various possible spells. Players will will choose spells simultaneously, moving a player closer or further away from the loot or affecting the game state in other ways. Players will need to carefully manage the chaos in an attempt to be the first to grab 25 pieces from the dragon’s hoard and win the game.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced plans to release a Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition the 3rd quarter of 2018. Tom Vasel’s favorite board game for six years in a row (2010 to 2015), could a new edition of the game cement the place on the top of Tom’s list?

The Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition will become the new standardized version of the game when it is released. The new edition of the game will be fully compatible with all existing Cosmic Encounter expansions.

In the far reaches of space, the aliens of the cosmos vie for control of the universe. Alliances are constantly forged and broken in the pursuit of power as starships journey from planet to planet, ready to build colonies and battle foreign powers, ensuring the survival of their people as they spread throughout the stars. 

Designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge, Bill Norton, Peter Olotka, and Kevin Wilson, the game was originally released by Eon in 1977. When a new edition of the game was released in 1992 it received the Origins Award for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Boardgame of 1991. It was inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design Adventure Gaming Hall of Fame in 1997

In 2008 Fantasy Flight Games reprinted the game in 2008 and subsequently released 6 expansions full of additional alien factions and mechanics.

What’s New?

The Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition includes both a revised rulebook as well as an illustrated Quick-start Guide that aims to capture all of the nostalgia of the original game while making it easier for new players to learn the game. The Quick-start Guide is styled as a 1970s comic book style. The anniversary edition also includes translucent ship pieces factions will use while spreading their colonies across the galaxy.

While traditional favorite aliens will be included in set, the game will also include the ruthless Demon aliens. Previously only available at Cosmic Con, the new aliens will be included in the anniversary edition of the game. Having been exiled from earlier editions of the base game, they now seek cosmic vengeance and will use their power to possess other players’ hands, bolstering their strength while draining the strength of others.

Cosmic Encounter 42nd Anniversary Edition will also introduce new Cosmic Combo cards. These cards offer a list of alien species with a brief description of their powers to help curate themed matchups and explore different types of game strategies.

Diplomacy on a Cosmic Scale

Just like previous editions of the game, players will each take on the role as leader of their own alien species with unique abilities, seeking to expand their reach across cosmos. Players will take turns launching spaceships from their fleets through a Hyperspace Gate to reach planets beyond their home system, attempting to colonize on opponents plants.

Colonizing on other planets is not as easy as launching a ship. Each planet is already controlled by another player, and other factions may not let you place those colonies without a fight. Diplomacy will be just as important as military strategy. Once both offense and defensive players launch their spaceships, they can ask the other aliens for support in their campaign.

Other players might jump in, using their Alien Powers, Artifacts, Reinforcements, or Flares to tip the odds in one side’s favor or the other. Win the encounter and you can establish a colony, but lose and your ships will be trapped in the warp.

The first players to successfully establish colonies on five foreign planet will be the winner.

Upper Deck is making the biggest expansion for yet into the Marvel universe with the World War Hulk expansion for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game arriving in stores this June (2018). The latest expansion will be based on some of the most iconic Hulk storylines published including Planet Hulk and World War Hulk.

Thrown off course and drained of strength, Hulk crash lands on the savage planet Sakaar. There, Hulk is chained and forced into gladiatorial servitude. Fighting for his life as his strength slowly grows,

Hulk forms a blood pact with an unlikely band of powerful alien gladiators: the Warbound. Together they rise through the ranks, pursue a death-defying series of journeys, and eventually rally the people of Sakaar to overthrow the tyrannical Red King.

For a moment, the newly-crowned King Hulk knows peace. But when an explosion from the Illuminati’s ship kills King Hulk’s new wife Caiera, Hulk is filled with a rage greater than ever before. He returns to Earth with his Warbound to punish the Illuminati for their crimes against him, even if he has to tear apart all of Earth’s super-teams to do it, and perhaps Earth itself. 

World War Hulk will be the 16th expansion for Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game and will be the biggest expansion yet with four hundred new cards including Heroes, Masterminds, Schemes, and Villains.

This big box expansion has Marvel’s biggest characters, including Sentry, Hulk (both Bruce Banner and Amadeus Cho), and She-Hulk! It brings the new Warbound team faction to the forefront with plenty of new characters and some of the most exciting and challenging Masterminds and Schemes yet!

Players will be able to take on roles as Gladiator Hulk and the Warbound, or as other Heroes trying to hold Hulk and the Warbound back.

About Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game

Legendary: A Marvel Deck Building Game is a semi co-operative deck building game set in the Marvel universe.

One to five players will choose a villain and scheme to battle and then face off using a mixture of hero decks featuring iconic characters like Spider-Man, Hulk, Cyclops, and Wolverine.

During the game players will recruit hero cards to build a more powerful deck and increase their ability to battle the villains that are revealed and cause havoc through the game. As players defeat villains they collect villain cards that will be worth points at the end of the game. Once all of the mastermind cards have been claimed and the player with the most points wins. If the mastermind is able to complete their scheme before the players have defeated them all players lose the game together.

The game has been included in many of the The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists including:

Days of Wonder has announced plans to release Ticket to Ride: New York. The new release is a stand alone Ticket to Ride game and features a shortened version of the game using taxis instead of trains.

Welcome to the Big Apple! Enjoy the sights from Times Square to Brooklyn, and all over NYC. Admire the stunning view from the Empire State Building or take a walk through scenic Central Park!

Designed for 2 to 4 players, Ticket to Ride: New York features a much smaller map then previous Ticket to Ride games, and with fewer starting pieces the game will play in just 10 to 15 minutes.

The game features Alan Moon‘s familiar Ticket to Ride rules including scoring points for completed tickets and for connecting cities, with bonus points given for connecting popular tourist destinations. The game ends when one player has two or fewer taxis left in their supply. Starting with only 15 taxis at the beginning of the game, players will find themselves down to two and ending the game much sooner than in a traditional game of Ticket to Ride.

For players eager to prepare for their first game Days of Wonder has already released the rules. Players can also take a look and hear Tom’s thoughts on the game by checking out his video here.

The game will include:

  • One board map of New York City
  • 60 plastic taxis
  • 44 Transportation cards
  • 18 Destination Ticket cards
  • 1 rule leaflet
  • 1 score pad
  • One pencil

Ticket to Ride: New York will be released July 2018 in the U.S. exclusively through Target stores.

Ticket to Ride
Designed by Alan Moon, the original Ticket to Ride game was released in 2004 and is considered a staple entry point into the board gaming hobby. The game won the coveted Spiel des Jahres, along with many other awards including:

 

Ares Games have announced plans to release Darkness Falls in August 2018, an expansion to the epic Sword & Sorcery campaign. The newest campaign pushes the heroes towards their final destiny, recreating the final act of the legendary saga.

The darkness is covering all the land, the cemetery gates are no longer closed, and the immortal heroes must now face enemies who ignore pain and never sleep… the undead army! Skeletons, vampires and werewolves appear everywhere… Will the heroes accomplish their mission and finally free their souls from the soul gems’ spell?

In this expansion players can expect to find new soul rank powers and challenging new enemies, providing what is like to be an intense new experience for those who have been wandering in the Sword & Sorcery universe.

The new campaign will be played through seven new high-level quests, using a combination of Storybook, Book of Secrets and cards to drive players towards a story-driving end to the Immortal Souls campaign.

To get players to the end the Darkness Falls expansion will include includes 20 new enemies: Succubi, Skeletons, Death Knights, and Werewolves. The game will also include two new master enemies, new Act II cards for items, traps, treasure, events and enemies.

Darkness Falls has 1-5 brave souls ages 13+ playing for +30 minutes per scenario.

Number of Players: 1-5
Length: 30+
Age: 13+

What’s in the Box?
Darkness Falls will include:
  • 1 Storybook
  • 1 Book of Secrets
  • 1 Reference Sheet
  • 23 32mm Scale Plastic Figures
  • 14 Double–sided Map Tiles
  • 1 Werewolf Sheet
  • 2 Master Enemy Scrolls
  • 15 Enemy Scrolls
  • 109 Cards
  • 129 Tokens and Markers

About Sword & Sorcery
Released in 2017, Sword & Sorcery is an epic-fantasy cooperative board game for 1-5 players who battle together against the forces of evil. While evil is controlled by the game system, each player will control one or more heroes who have been brought to life through powerful sorcery yet have been weakened during their resurrection. Players will acquire soul points during their quests to gain strength and restore their legendary status.

The game was designed by Gremlin Project and is an evolution of the Galaxy Defenders game.

While the Marvel universe dominates the box office, the DC universe is getting a little bigger with the release of The DC Deck-Building Game:  Rivals—Green Lantern vs. Sinestro from Cryptozoic Games.

A new stand alone game using the DC Deck-Building Game mechanics, the latest itteration places players into the never-ending conflict between Hal Jordan and Sinestro. The game will feature two different paths depending on what role the player takes. The Sinestra role is focussed on attacking and forcing opponents to take bad cards. The Green Lantern role will focus on drawing cards and features a strong defense.

The game comes with 98 cards that includes new heroes, villains, equipment, locations, and constructs. It includes six over-sized character cards with variable cards associated with them. Each character in the game will have unique abilities and will become more powerful when defeated, gaining access to additional abilities, until at the end of the game one ring-bearer is finally triumphant.

While a stand alone game, the game is also fully compatible with earlier DC Deck-Building Games games including Rivals—Batman vs. The Joker and the Confrontations set. The game is made for 2 players age 15+ and takes around 30 minutes to play.

DC Deck-Building Game

The DC Deck-Building Game:  Rivals—Green Lantern vs. Sinestro from Cryptozoic Games is built on the original DC Deck-Building Game system which was released in 2012 by Cryptozoic Games. In the system each each player chooses a hero with a special power and starts the game with a deck of ten cards. On each turn a player will use the five cards in their hand to acquire or conquer the five types of cards in the game: heroes, villains and super-villains, equipment, super powers, and locations. Players will defend themselves from attacks while attempting to defeat super-villains in an attempt to gain the most victory points.

The Rivals systems was introduced in 2014 with Rivals – Batman vs The Joker as more direct combat was introduced with confrontation rules that allow players to attack their opponents and block cards that ward off confrontations.

In Rivals the first player to drop the opponent three times wins, though if the deck runs out of cards the player with the most victory points wins.

Renegade Game Studios has started laying the groundwork for another big GenCon with plans to release Gunkimono by Jeffrey D. Allers with art by George Sellas. Gunkimono has already received a Seal of Excellence from The Dice Tower!

Gunkimono is a tactical tile-laying and area control game set in feudal Japan where players will be challenged to optimize their troop deployment in order to gain the most ground while increasing military strength. The game is designed for 2-5 players aged 10+ and will play in 45-60 minutes.

In war-torn feudal Japan, the soldiers are restless. The endless battles, betrayals, and broken promises have the soldiers questioning where their loyalties lie. Meanwhile, the daimyo are strategizing, marshaling their troops, and erecting strongholds to bolster the strength of their armies, all in pursuit of honor and ultimate victory.

In the game each player will take on the roles of a daimyo. Players will then plot military movement across the countryside. Players will develop new squads of troops to build up victory points but must balance this with the need to forego expansion in order to build up their stronghold instead.

The game will be released at GenCon 2018, taking place August 2-5th 2018.

 Designer Jeffrey D. Allers
Jeffrey D. Allers is a German based designer currently living in Berlin and is active in the Berlin board game design community. Other designs by Allers include New Amsterdam, New York Slice, and  Heartland,

What’s in the Box?

Included in the game will be:

  • 1 Game Board
  • 25 Small Army Tiles (1 troop each) – infantry, samurai, cavalry, spearman, archer
  • 60 Large Army Tiles (2 troops each)
  • 15 War Banner Tiles – dragon, crane, lotus
  • 10 Strongholds
  • 5 Daimyo Figures
  • 5 Daimyo Tiles
  • 25 Honor Markers
  • 1 Start Player Sword
  • 1 End-of-Game Tile
  • 1 Cover Tile
  • 1 Rulebook

Acram Digital has announced they are looking for beta testers for the digital port of the board game Istanbul. Acram has teased that the game is coming in Q2 2018 and is seeking beta testers now. Those interested can find more information on how to join the playtest here.

The game is currently in development for PC/Mac/Linux, Android and iOS systems. Digital features of the game will include:

  • official, digital version of Istanbul board game
  • optimized for PC, smartphones and tablets
  • play with AI, with friends or both
  • pass and play mode
  • online multiplayer with asynchronous mode option
  • modular board
  • official rules plus extra additions
When the app is released players will no longer have to gather around the same table to enjoy the merchant life, but instead will be thrust into the usual day in this city market via their favorite digital device.
Hustle and bustle in the bazaar district of Istanbul: merchants and their assistants are hurrying through the narrow alleys attempting to be more successful than their competitors. Good organization is key: wheelbarrows have to be filled with goods at the warehouses and then swiftly transported by the assistants to the various destinations. The goal of the merchants is to be the first to collect a certain amount of rubies.

In the game players will take on the role of merchants with their four assistants roaming through the 16 bazaar locations. Each location allows players to leave an assistant behind to take a specific action, returning later to pick up the assistant. When a merchant has finally collected five rubies in his wheelbarrow all players will complete the round to end the game. If the player who ended the game has completed their goal they will be declared the winner, otherwise ties will be broken by money still in hand.

The original board game, released in 2014, was the winner of numerous awards including the coveted Kennerspiel des Jahres. Awards included:
Acram Digital studio is a independent developer based in Poland. They are the developer of the digital ports of Steam: Rails to Riches and Eight Minute Empire. Acram Digital was established in 2014 by two board game enthusiasts enthusiasts focused on porting board games to digital platforms including  tablets, smartphones, PCs using iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems.

Ares Games has announced that they will be publishing Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles a combat miniatures game set in Battlestar Galactica universe.

The Battlestar Galactica – Starship Battles will be based on the TV series and will include both the “Classical” and “Reimagined” settings. The licensing agreement covers both the classic series created by Glen Larson in the 1970s as well as the more recent series developed by Ronald D. Moore and David Eick which ran until 2010.
The new game has been designed by Andrea Angiolino and Andrea Mainini, designers of both Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory. The game will features miniatures that come fully assembled and already painted. Miniatures will be built into special bases supporting unique game mechanics.
In the game players will take control of one or more Colonial or Cylon ships and face off in both one-on-one dogfights as well as battle through a variety of missions.
The game will be available for preview at GenCon 2018 (August 2-5, 2018) with no firm on-sale release date.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to reprint Taj Mahal by Dr. Reiner Knizia. Originally released by Rio Grande in 2000 as #3 in the Alea box box series, the game had a 2006 reprint but has been out of print now for over a decade.

India has progressed and prospered, but that wealth could collapse at any moment. Instability and unrest plague the courts with petty concerns tearing the people apart. The Grand Mogul desperately seeks new leaders to carry India into a new age. Play your cards right and seize the opportunity to win the Grand Mogul’s favor as he tours across the beautiful provinces of India.
The game places player in Northwest India at the beginning of the 18th century as the rule of the Grand Moguls is fading. Maharishis and princes will take this opportunity to attempt to seize control of the region. Cunning potential rulers will influence forces, build palaces and create a supply of commodities until one one has enough power to win the game.

The goal of the game is simply to gain the most influence points. Influence points can be gained by either building palaces or by acquiring commodities. To build a palace a player first must gain the support of the Vizier, the General, the Monk, the Princess, or the Grand Mogul. The different commodities are gained in the game by taking control of a region or by taking them off of a space where a palace has been built.

The game plays out over twelve rounds, each starting with an auction for region control and for the support of the Vizier, General, Monk, Princess, and Grand Mogul. Using cards in four colors, each player will choose a color to play on each turn and use cards of that color to bid for the most useful auction items. For each member of the court a player has managed to influence more than  their opponents, they will claim the corresponding tokens. By carefully spending their cards players will control more of the board, gain more commodities, build incredible palaces, and gain enough influence to win the game.

Awards
When released in 2000 the game was a critical success, earning a spot on the 2000 Spiel des Jahres Recommended list. Awards and honors included:

Dr. Reiner Knizia

Dr. Reiner Knizia is one of the most award winning board game designers in history. Dr. Knizia has won the coveted Spiel des Jahres multiple times, and is a full time game designer in England. With a PhD in mathematics fueling his game design, he has over 500 games and books published both with self-designed themes and with global licenses including Lord of the Rings, LEGO, Mensa, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, Monopoly, Playmobil, Simpsons and Star Wars.