Pamela Simms-Borre

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Mild-mannered copywriter by day. Rampaging Gloomhaven resident, dungeon delver, Cthulhu cultist, by night. No really, I'm just a gaming mom. Originally from California, I have lived in Denmark for far too long. Find me on BGG via the username LuluChia.

Renegade Games is releasing a historical, two-player Stefan Feld game – Revolution of 1828.

The year is 1828. It’s time for elections and you want to become the 7th President of the United States. Players take on the roles of John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson, the two candidates for the top post.

“For the first time in history, this grand campaign is also fought on the pages of newspapers and the eager public audience. This was an election that found its way into history books with its yet unseen ruthlessness and malevolence. This was America’s first smear campaign.”

It’s not easy to become the next President of the United States. To reach this lofty goal, you need to take Election tiles that suit you best and hinder your opponent’s campaign. Election tiles allow you to garner the allegiance of Electors and use the power of Smear Campaigns to skew the populace in your favor. You can also use some powerful Campaign Actions to get the press to look away from your dastardly actions. If you plan your campaign right, nothing will stand in your way to becoming President!

Box contents

• 78 Election tiles
• 6 Figures
• 49 Vote tokens
• 1 Game board
• 1 Linen Bag
• 1 Rulebook (including historical background)

Revolution of 1828 is a two-player game for wannabe presidents ages 12+. It plays in 30-60 minutes. The game is available for preorder now and should be in stores in April 2019.

Everything Epic has launched a Kickstarter Campaign for Grind House, a fast-paced, narrative horror game for 2-6 players.

“You receive an invitation from the mysterious man known as “The Host” to take part in a contest at the infamous “Grind House.” The letter promises you the opportunity to play a game to win a reward greater than you could possibly imagine, 10 Million Dollars – with the only requirement to stay alive for 12 hours in the house.”

Now you’re locked up in this house of horrors trying to survive, losing arms and legs and wondering why you make such poor life choices…

In Grind House, the ultimate goal is survival but each player receives a persona card – a classic archetype with a secret motive. The benevolent Doctor wants to keep his fellow players alive, while the Psychopath would prefer that he is the only survivor. The Pianist has his priorities right – he just wants to keep his hands intact.

Since this is a horror game, some unfortunate souls will perish but lucky for them the game is not over. Players may return as ghosts to haunt the remaining survivors (and get revenge on that crazy Psychopath). It is even possible for a ghost player to win the game. After exploring all five rooms in the house, any survivors left total up their score to determine the winner.

Gameplay

After choosing your character board and getting a random persona card, receive a random Item card, which can be used during the game to help you survive.

To get started the first player will draw two cards from the Room Deck and choose one to explore, the other room is returned to the box. The Room Card is flipped over and read aloud to all of the players. Each room is unique and it will pit the players against each other for survival. Sometimes volunteers are needed, and other times you will vote for the players to come to harm. Remember getting injured means moving forward in the game – no one will leave unscathed.

Once four rooms have been explored, there’s one last room to survive. If you do, you escape the Grind House. Points are tallied up by having the most uninjured body parts, as well as any other secret objectives your persona might have. The player with the most points wins!

The Kickstarter campaign runs until December 2 and delivery is expected in May 2019. You can pledge for the base game only or choose the higher pledge to receive two expansions as well – The Carnival and The Cthulhu expansion. All pledge levels will include any unlocked stretch goals.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress by Games Workshop is an adventure board game that puts players in the heart of an unfolding mystery in the 41st Millennium. The game is a stand-alone sci-fi, dungeon crawl board game using the Warhammer Quest brand and format.

Players take on the role of a group of explorers delving into the labyrinthine halls of a vast and ancient space station. Everyone must work together, balancing strengths and skills to have any hope of survival.

To start, each player picks an explorer and starts on the adventure. Your characters will grow, develop and pick up new gear between runs, with each journey offering greater rewards – and greater dangers. With each expedition, you will discover powerful “archeotech” and learn more of the Blackstone Fortress’ closely guarded secrets, including, perhaps, the location of its greatest treasure.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress can be played solo, or with up to four friends, with the fifth player controlling the hostiles. It is a legacy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe with a “pause game” mechanic. At the end of each expedition, the players return to the nearby port city of Precipice to rest, recuperate and trade their loot for resources that will aid in their next adventure.

Details & box contents

1-5 players
Ages 12+
120-180 minute play time

Like most good dungeon crawlers, there is a lot in the box:

• 44 brand-new, colored plastic Citadel Miniatures
• 16 page rules booklet
• 24 page background booklet
• 16 page combat booklet
• 24 page precipice booklet
• 16 page datasheet booklet for using all miniatures in games of Warhammer 40,000
• 40 board tiles
• 234 cards
• 70 counters and markers
• 28 dice

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of the Warhammer Quest series of games.

IDW Games and Nickelodeon have joined forces to create Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Pizza Party, a fast, fun card game for 2-6 players.

You’re the chef of honor at the party but you have your work cut out for you. These turtles are pizza-scarfing machines and they like their pizza extreme! Players race to create non-traditional pizzas for the Turtles and their friends. Work fast and be creative. Satisfying these heroes means using crazy ingredients like toasted marshmallows, banana slices, cheese puffs, popcorn and more.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Pizza Party is delivered in a collector’s tin and includes 60 pizza slices with a wide range of crazy topping choices. Designed by Prospero Hall (Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle, Hullabaloo) for fans of all ages, get ready for action in the kitchen and make a pizza for your favorite Turtle! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Ninja Pizza Party will available in March 2019.

Avalon Hill has announced the launch of the newest board game in the Axis & Allies series – Axis & Allies & Zombies. Introducing zombies adds a fun, modern twist into the iconic World War II strategy game.

“It is 1941, and the world is at war. The Axis war machine is crushing everything in its path, while the Allies are rallying together to mount a heroic stand. And then zombies show up.”

Axis & Allies & Zombies includes an introductory scenario to provide new players with an easy-to-setup prelude, as well as quick-start rules for more experienced players to jump right in. The game also includes an expansion for the Axis & Allies 1942 board game.

Box contents

• 1 Game Board
• 1 Battle Board
• 5 National Setup Charts (one for each power)
• 70 National Control Markers
• 12 Custom 6-sided Combat Dice
• 6 Custom 6-sided Zombie Dice
• 50 Plastic Unit Stacking Counters
• 210 Plastic Miniatures (including 30 all-new zombie figures)
• 60 Cards
• Paper Money
• Rulebook (including quick start rules)
• Introductory Scenario
• Also includes an 80-card expansion deck for the Axis & Allies 1942 board game!

Axis & Allies & Zombies is designed by Wizards of the Coasts’ award-winning designers and developers – Mike Mearls, Scott Van Essen, Ryan Miller and Mons Johnson. The game is for 2-5 players, ages 12+ and it plays in 60-180 minutes. Axis & Allies & Zombies is available now.

Visit The Dice Tower for coverage of the Axis & Allies Series.

All Manor of Evil, by Kolossal Games, is an interactive game of larceny, hidden agendas and Lovecraftian horror for 1-6 players.

The game takes players inside the mind and abode of H. P. Lovecraft. Players enter the house looking to steal ancient relics but have they bit off more than they can chew? During the escapade, unseen forces awaken and madness stirs – will anyone survive to escape with the loot? Beyond the larceny at hand, each player has a secret agenda of their own. Some want only to survive the night, while others wish to call forth an elder god eager to devour the players… or the world.

All Manor of Evil is played over a number of game rounds. Each Round has three phases.

Select Actions
Players simultaneously select one of their four action cards each round. Each Action card has a Title, Initiative Order, Card Action and Room Action. Then, all players simultaneously reveal their cards. Any players who selected the same Action Card as at least one other player take a Madness Token from the supply.

Action Cards are resolved in initiative order with the lowest number first. If more than one player chose the same card, those players resolve their actions in clockwise order starting at the Lantern (first player) token.

Resolve Actions
When resolving an Action Card, first resolve the Card Action and then the Room Action. Room Actions require the player to steal a relic from one of the rooms on the Manor Board. Players MUST steal a relic from one of the rooms listed on their Action Card if possible. If the rooms don’t have a relic, there is nothing to steal.

The Madness Value and Relic Value on each of the Relic Cards will be considered at the end of the game.

Players will only know the values on the top card of each player’s Cache. The uncertainty of just who has the most madness adds to the tension of the game!

Once a relic is stolen, place or remove Awakening Tokens, gain or lose Madness Tokens and resolve any indicated special effect on the card.

End of Round
After all players have resolved their action cards, the round ends. Players check to see if any Elder Gods have six or more Awakening Tokens and if so the game ends. If not, the player with the Lantern Token passes it to the next player in clockwise order and the next round begins.

Game end
A game of All Manor of Evil ends when one of three game-ending conditions are met. At that point, each player reveals their Role Card and all abilities are resolved. Assuming that the thieves have not destroyed the world by awakening several of the ancient gods, the remaining players will total their Madness and Relic Values. Total up the Madness Tokens and the Madness Value of all cards in each players’ Cache. The player with the most Madness has delved too deep into the dark and unknown and is eliminated. The remaining players will then compare the total value of stolen relics to determine who among them was the most successful looter.

All Manor of Evil is the 2nd Mikro campaign from Kolossal Games and the 9th overall campaign from Kolossal Games. The Kickstarter campaign runs until November 16 with delivery planned for July 2019.

Have you ever wondered how and why cooperative board games work? Well if so, this new book – Meeples Together: How and Why Cooperative Board Games Work – is for you. From Gameplaywright, the publisher of The White Box, the book is written for people who play, discuss, critique, design and just generally love cooperative board games.

Meeples Together is a 384-page, 6″ × 9″ trade paperback with more than 150 illustrated figures. It is also available in digital editions, including a tablet-optimized PDF version, an Epub version, and a Kindle (.mobi) version.

What’s in the book?

Meeples Together contains 14 chapters about the nature, mechanics, theory and frontiers of cooperative gaming. It contains 14 in-depth case studies of cooperative gaming’s greatest hits — from Pandemic and Battlestar Galactica to Contract Bridge. These case studies are used to demonstrate the concepts and ideas presented in the chapters.

Top level table of contents

Foreword by Matt Leacock
Chapter 1: The Basics of Cooperation
Chapter 2: Styles of Competition
Chapter 3: Styles of Teamwork
Chapter 4: Styles of Cooperation
Chapter 5: Cooperative Systems
Chapter 6: Challenge Systems
Chapter 7: Players Facing Challenges
Chapter 8: Players Undertaking Tasks
Chapter 9: Adventure Systems
Chapter 10: A Theory of Cooperative Gaming
Chapter 11: A Theory of Challenge Design
Chapter 12: When Games Go Wrong
Chapter 13: The Psychology of Cooperative Gaming
Chapter 14: Assembling the Puzzle
Appendix I: The Basics of Game Design
Appendix II: Game Design Dilemmas
Appendix III: Game Design Types
Appendix IV: Game Design & Social Theories
Appendix V: Cooperative & Teamwork Game Synopses & Reviews

Meeples Together is already fully funded and the Kickstarter campaign runs until November 18th. Stretch goals include extra case studies and a soft-touch cover, among others. Unfortunately, the campaign is not yet internationally friendly but depending on funding, it might become a possibility.

Pencil First Games has launched its ninth Kickstarter – Skulk Hollow – a 2 player, asymmetric tactical combat game. Players take the roles of either a band of Foxen heroes or a towering behemoth of a Guardian.

One player represents a guardian trying to eliminate the smallfolk who corrupt their once pristine creation. The other player represents a band of Foxen heroes bent on vanquishing the guardian in order to protect their people and homes.

Players use action cards to move their units, summon and use special abilities. Play starts on an initial world map, but progresses to the Foxen player leaping onto the Guardian player board and taking out different parts of the character.

The Guardian wins the game by either eliminating the Foxen King, or by gaining enough Tribute. The Foxen Heroes win the game by eliminating the Guardian.

Skulk Hollow offers the following:

  • One vs many asymmetric combat
  • Action on the Kingdom board as well as full-size, Guardian game boards
  • Dual Purpose Cards that provide a wide range of movement and ability powers
  • Unique Foxen Nobles and Guardians with a varying range of tactics and dynamics
  • Epic Meeples!

Gameplay

Both players have the same turn structure: the Main Phase followed by a Cleanup Phase.

During the Main Phase, the active player may take as many actions as shown by the action limit on their player mat. Each action consists of playing one card or preparing. They may also spend power to take additional actions. Actions may be taken in any order.

Play Card: Play one card from their hand.
Prepare: Discard one card from hand and draw two from the deck.
Spend Power: Remove one power cube from the guardian player mat or any hero unit card to take an additional action.

During the Cleanup Phase, when the active player has taken all of the actions that they wish to take, or have no more actions available, they allocate power and refill their hand.

Skulk Hollow is already fully funded and working its way through a list of Stretch Goals. All Kickstarter Backers who pledge for Skulk Hollow will also receive the Ancient Relics Mini-Expansion free. This expansion will be available for sale on BGG, at Conventions, etc, but will not be packaged within the base game.

Skulk Hollow plays in 30-45 minute and the suggested age is 8+.

Cloudspire is a MOBA-style tower defense for 1-4 players by Chip Theory Games (CTG), the makers of the Too Many Bones Series. Cloudspire, which is already fully funded on Kickstarter, takes place in the floating realm of Ankar and tells the story of a war to acquire a powerful and rare energy known only as “The Source”.

Players control one of four unique factions in a battle to destroy and steal source energy from their opponents. Every race has their own unique units and heroes as well as the ability to bid and draft mercenaries for hire. The four factions are:

• The Brawen – an industrious, ambitious race of giants
• The Grovetenders – cousin to plant live, forced into the war
• The Heirs – a bird-like race that believes that controlling Ankar’s islands is their birthright
• The Narora – believe that that controlling The Source is their calling

PvP

The main objective in the PvP version is to destroy your opponent’s fortress. Armies are placed either individually or in stacks to conceal powerful units until the last possible moments. Heroes are controlled individually and may join the tide of battle or choose to explore points of interest in search of resources. Heroes can be levelled up to lead armies into battle with advanced and upgraded skills.

As armies and minions approach enemy bases, they’ll need to deal with Spires – powerful defense towers that can be built around the board. Players fight for control of build sites and acquire new spire schematics to build an impenetrable defense and hold off their enemies. Players can even upgrade their home base to unlock new strategies and abilities.

Solo/Co-op

Cloudspire features a full on Solo/Co-op scenario book, full of unique solo setups and a full story narrative to follow along as you move through the game. A variety of base and bonus objectives will make every scenario a unique challenge.

Like other CTG titles, the production value of Cloudspire is planned to be extremely high. Neoprene mats, heavy chips and PVC waterproof cards are hallmarks of CTG games.

Cloudspire will also follow other CTG titles, in its distribution method. After Kickstarter, Cloudspire will only be available directly via Chip Theory Games.

Various pledge levels are available via the Kickstarter, including one for the base game only as well as one with some expansion material and an extra faction. There’s a ton more information on the Kickstarter page and the campaign runs until November 9th, so go check it out.

Steve Jackson Games has announced a second expansion to Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 – Savagery and Sorcery. This 112 card expansion introduces two new antagonists – the Space Wolves and the Thousand Sons.

Space Wolves are elite Imperial soldiers, sworn to follow the ideals of Fenris and their commander, Leman Russ. The Thousand Sons have accepted the gift of sorcery from their evil god, Tzeentch, and are spreading Chaos throughout the galaxy. Although both expansions combine well together, you don’t need the first expansion – Faith and Firepower to enjoy this one.

Munchkin Warhammer 40,000: Savagery and Sorcery is designed by Andrew Hackard and features classic Munchkin art by John Kovalic. It is scheduled for release in Summer 2019.