Robert Searing

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Ares Games, publishers of hits such as War of the Ring and Sword & Sorcery (but also well known for publishing many war-themed games), announced a partnership with Pendragon Games to distribute titles in North America. They will be starting with Hexamonia and Waterloo. Their official press release follows:

The two companies extend their co-operation partnership to distribution, starting with the Greek-themed “Hexemonia” and the Napoleonic “Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes” board games

HEX_3d_boxAres Games and Pendragon Game Studio announce they are extending the scope of their partnership, which began in 2016 with the release of the survival horror board game “Last Friday”. Ares Games will also distribute games directly published in English by Pendragon, starting with the epic, ancient-Greece themed “Hexemonia” and the Napoleonic game “Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes.”

Until now, Ares Games has produced and distributed the English version of three games created by Pendragon – the survival horror game “Last Friday”, the new edition of the card game “Stay Away!”, and the just released “Monsters vs Heroes”, a card game of thrilling mash-up of Victorian mystery and horror stories. “Hexemonia” and “Waterloo. Enemy Mistakes” had limited distribution in Europe, but they were never available before in the USA.

Hexemonia is an epic game of expansion and hegemony set in ancient Greece. Players are leaders of mighty city-states competing for supremacy in a relentless struggle for dominance, each fighting in the name of its own patron god. From humble beginnings, they must grow their might and power, gather resources from their holdings and use them to expand their city and curry favor with the gods. And then, use their military and cultural might to overcome their rivals. Hexemonia is a game for 2 to 4 players, with an average playing time of 30-45 minutes.

Waterloo: Enemy Mistakes is a strategic game about the last battle of Napoleon Bonaparte that forever changed the destiny of modern Europe, for 2/3 players, from 13 years old and over, with an average playing time of 150 minutes. The game recreates the clash between the British army, supported by the Prussian army, and the French one. Players fight an immense battle: 3 Commanders in Chief give instructions to the 14 Generals, who leads 141 Units (corps of artillery, foot soldiers and cavalries) on the big battlefield. The game uses a die as a random factor, but the focus of the gameplay emphasizes above all the elements that characterize the commands and the decisions the players must do.

For more information, visit Ares Games and Pendragon Game Studio websites. 

 About Pendragon Game Studio

Pendragon Game Studio was born from a group of Italian hobby market professionals with more than two decades of experience, with the mission of creating new games for the international market and produce them in different languages through established partners. This long experience in publishing products such as books, magazines, newspapers, and games, as well as marketing them and working with game associations, gives Pendragon Game Studio complete knowledge of the hobby and how to produce and sell games in both national and international markets. In the first threes years of operation, Pendragon produced a dozen of brand new titles and several localizations in Italian. See more info atwww.pendragongamestudio.com/EN and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Pendragon-Game-Studio-534363276680250 and Twitter at https://twitter.com/GamePendragon.

 About Ares Games

Ares Games is an Italian board game publisher established in 2011 to create quality hobby products for the international audience. Ares Games is the publisher of the award-winning “War of the Ring” board game, of “Wings of Glory” range of airplane combat games and miniatures, recreating aerial warfare in WW1 and WW2, and more recently, of the award-winning tactical ship-to-ship miniature game “Sails of Glory,” and the cooperative tactical miniatures game “Galaxy Defenders” and “Sword and Sorcery.” Ares Games’ catalog also includes Family Games and Euro Games. For further information, visit the website www.aresgames.eu and the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AresGames.

Glenn Drover is a name known to most board game enthusiasts. He founded Eagle Games, designed many games, including Railroad Tycoon (AKA Railways of the World), Conquest of the Empire, and Age of Empires III.

The name Jason Kapalka may be less well-known in our circles, but his accomplishments are not. He is the co-founder and chief game designer at PopCap who make the insanely popular video games Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants Vs. Zombies.

Those two luminaries are coming together to found Forbidden Games, and they are bringing their unique design aesthetic with them. PopCap Games turned casual gaming on its ear, investing as much into the lighter end of games as most companies did only with their premium games, and making their games visually and aurally superior to others in the same market in the process. Eagle Games made a similar mark, producing mid-weight board games with large, lovely boards, miniatures and attention to detail in components.

Forbidden Games promises to continue this trend, with a mission statement that reads, “We believe a great board game is something you should treasure and play for years to come.” For their first game, Railroad Rivals, which will launch on Kickstarter later this month, they have hired veteran Disney animator Brian Kesinger, who has worked on movies like Tarzan and Moana.

Upper Deck is teasing a new card game called Dark Legacy: The Rising on their blog.  This new game is going to be a two player battle card game that will involve some dice rolling as well, and will be released in the form of starter packs featuring two different factions each.  In the game you will pick one of six different factions, and build a deck out of their available cards.  On your turn you will either attack or cast, if you cast you will then roll the included d20 to figure out how many casting points you will have available this round.  From there you will spend those points to cast spells and ready your assault on your opponent.  As you defeat your opponent and cast different spells you will also gain experience points and level up, which will allow you to cast spells easier and give access to more advanced cards.  The currently planned starter packs will get you to level 5, with later packs getting you to level 10.  You can find out more about this game on Upper Deck’s blog, and look for the game to hit store shelves this summer.

USAopoly has been foraging more into the hobby board game industry as time goes by. With huge hits such as Harry Potter: Hogwart’s Battle, USAopoly has shown that they are growing into much more than a monopoly re-skin company.

They have now released rather large news (specifically in regards to the license) in that they will be releasing Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War. Thanos Risinig will be a cooperative dice and card game made availabe at GAMA in March. Their official press release follows:

USAopoly Introduces Gripping New Hobby Game Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War Cooperative Mission Challenges Marvel Fans to Deter The Mad Titan’s Power Trip

March 7, 2018 Carlsbad, CA – USAopoly, Inc. dares hobby game enthusiasts and Marvel Cinematic Universe devotees to leave no stone unturned this spring with their newest tabletop battle, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War, inspired by the upcoming Marvel Studios theatrical release.

Fulfilling an increasing demand for modern themed, team-centric entertainment, Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War provides an outlet for both older and newer generations to take on the role of a hero in a challenge that also keeps the standards of the Marvel fandom in mind.

The cooperative dice and card game features an eye-catching 120 mm, custom-sculpted figure of Marvel villain Thanos among more than 190 intricate game components. The prominent centerpiece oversees a detailed galaxy setting that welcomes players to recruit their favorite heroes and join forces that will defeat the power-hungry despot on his mission to collect all six stones of the Infinity Gauntlet. Building upon the strengths of the characters on their team, as well as other players, winning requires critical thinking and communication to reach a common goal. The hour-long game provides context for those unfamiliar with the Marvel franchise, as well as a learning opportunity for newcomers to the hobby game world.

Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War will retail for $49.95 this spring to perpetuate the streak of anticipation for the iconic protagonists’ return in the third Avengers film coming to theaters April 27, 2018.

Media and retailers are welcome to get their hands on Thanos Rising: Avengers Infinity War by visiting USAopoly at GAMA in Reno, NV from March 13-15 at booth #106. For more information and details on some of the industry’s best games, visit USAopoly.com.

About USAopoly, Inc.

USAopoly Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of board games, collectibles and puzzles. We’ve been producing the world’s most beloved games “with a twist,” under license from Hasbro, since 1994. Our partners include marquee brands and licensors such as Disney, Nintendo, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, HBO, FOX and CBS. With the 2009 release of Telestrations®, named the #1 Party Game by Board Game Geek, we launched our original game business. Our portfolio of original games is constantly growing and now includes the award-winning Telestrations® After Dark, Tapple®, Rollers®, Nefarious™ The Mad Scientist Game, and many more.

USAopoly is serious about fun and games! Our goal is to show our passion through each and every game we make. Our games are created to bring people together to share an emotional

connection and make memorable, fun experiences for families, friends, game enthusiasts, fans, and collectors alike.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit marvel.com. ©2018 MARVEL

Following the acclaimed success of Grimm Forest, Druid City Games has released their next game, Sorcerer City, on Kickstarter. As of the writing of this article, Sorcerer City has already doubled it’s initial funding goal (with 23 days remaining). So what is Sorcerer City?

Sorcerer City, from designer Scott Caputo (Voluspa & Whistle Stop) mixes tile laying and deck building into a strategic game that is kept moving by a casual timed element. Imagine if Carcassonne, Dominion, and Galaxy Trucker were combined into a magical strategy game of sorcerer architects competing to see who could gain the most prestige! Walk with us down the streets of Sorcerer City!

As is the case with all Druid City Games, Sorcerer City is full of gorgeous components but the buck doesn’t stop there. The game play is quite unique. Each player will have a set time to build your city by laying tiles in the best strategic means possible. Over time, however, you will have opportunities to better your tiles and thus allow you to build a better city. But watch out, there is a monster phase that will add unique monsters to each player to add to the mix.

Additionally, Sorcerer City will have a deluxe copy available that replaces components with metal coins and plastic miniatures along with a deluxe game box.

Druid City is not only known for their beautiful components, but their unique game-play. Sorcerer City seems as if it won’t disappoint. You can head over to the campaign here to learn more as well as fund the project.

Gilgamesh Games introduces us to their first game, Hive Smashers, a 2-player card battle game that has players fighting with the advanced Bees against the primitive Wasps. The cards in this game are hexagonal, and each player begins the game by building a hive with 18 random clan cards with their Queen card in the center. A deck of action cards and a deck of clans cards are shuffled and placed between the players. Players win the game by building a path to their opponents Queen, then playing cards to defeat the Queen, or if neither player manages to accomplish this, by having more strength in your hive than your opponent at the end of the game.

Each turn you can play cards to increase the strength of one of your clan members locations, or if you have a card with a higher number, you can cover their clan member with yours, and you can even lower their clan members strength by player lower cards of their clan, all of this in their hive, or in your own. Doing this lets you gain Action Cards. You need Action Cards to build tunnels to your opponents Queen, to collapse Tunnels your opponent has built into your Hive, and to (eventually) defeat the opposing Queen.

The Kickstarter for this game closes on April 1st, so if the game sounds interesting to you, be sure to check it out soon.

 

Adepticon, a premiere wargaming convention, kicks off next month in Schaumburg, Illinois. Part of of con includes presenting the Crystal Brush Awards, which started in 2011, and awards people for their skills in painting. This year’s categories are:

  • Fantasy/Steampunk/Historical Single Figure
  • Sci-Fi/Modern Single Figure
  • Units
  • Vehicles and Monster
  • Large Scale (54mm and up)
  • Busts
  • Diorama
  • Chibi-style

Cool Mini or Not recently got together with Jen Haley, one of the judges for the Crystal Brush Awards, to find out more.

“Entries come in such a vast range of scales, genres, and painting styles, that the audience sometimes wonders how they can be judged against each other,” explains Haley. “The judges look for a balance of technical skill and aesthetic quality, whether the competitor has used a style that’s extremely realistic or highly stylized. For the Diorama category, narrative quality (the story that is told by the figures) is important. We like to see traditional techniques and motifs executed well, and we like to see new ideas and techniques that help push the boundaries of the miniature hobby into the realm of art.”

You can read the entire interview over at CMON’s site here.

Those of us who have played and appreciated such ‘restored’ classic games as Stop Thief and Downforce have been anxiously awaiting the chance to see what Restoration Games will offer us in their latest project, a new iteration of the cult classic Fireball Island. We are now one step closer to dodging giant boulders and running pell mell for our lives as the company today announced that the game will soon be appearing on Kickstarter.

Restoration Games prides itself on its creative practice of never merely ‘reprinting’ a game but always re-thinking and re-fashioning it to meet modern standards and allow new levels of player participation, choice, and excitement. As their announcement defines this mission, “Find the “soul” of the game, turn that up to 11, and build a great game around it.

With Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar this means that the game ” will offer an experience that has: an amazing table presence, moments that will cause players to scream in delight and agony, enough strategy to keep gamers engaged but not so much that kids and casual players can’t partake in the fun, variety to reward repeat plays, a playtime under an hour. In short, we will make a game that honors its legendary predecessor and the fond memories of its fans, while at the same time offering a great time for people who never played the original.”

The Kickstarter is expected to launch its first boulder down the shoot on April 3, and the publication date is presumed to be available at that time as well.

In the meantime…Get your Pit Helmets and Running Shoes ready for dodging those Fireball Marbles!

Monolith Board Games is no stranger to Kickstarter or board games. In early 2015, Monolith ran a very successful Kickstarter campaign that rose over $3.3 million dollars to fund a miniatures board game set in the Conan universe. Conan was full of gorgeous miniatures but it wasn’t just the miniatures that set this game apart from other similar adventure games. Conan featured a unique play-style that included beautifully crafted dashboards to store player components. Additionally the art work was superb. You can view the Dice Tower review of the game here.

Using a very similar, but much improved, dashboard as well as a similar game mechanism, Batman: Gotham Cities Chronicles seems to push the boundaries set forth by its predecessor.

Batman™: Gotham City Chronicles is a scenario-based miniatures board game where 2 to 4 players control the Dark Knight and his allies in their never-ending battle against crime through an asymmetrical and open game system.

Each game involves an action-packed fight where two sides face off. One of the players assumes the role of the Villain and controls the most notorious criminals of Gotham City. The remaining players take control of the Heroes, who must work together as a team to foil the Villain’s plots. Each side takes turns, pitting their strategies against each other in order to achieve their objectives.

The game comes with two boxes (1 Hero box and 1 Villain box) chock full of minis and many beautifully drawn scenario tiles. As of the writing of this article, the campaign has raised nearly $2 mil with 31 days left. The base game pledge is $140 however there is a $320 pledge that gets you the game and all the expansions. There’s even a Batmobile!

Any Batman fan is bound to really enjoy this. It’s a solid theme, wonderful components, and a great game system. You can visit Kickstarter here to view the campaign.

AZUL has won this year’s d’OR Game of the Year Award at the Cannes Games Festival. In its acceptance statement for the prestigious award, Plan B Games thanked the Jury and the designer of the game, Michael Kiesling, as well as the many fans of the game who have helped make AZUL such a success in France. AZUL is the abstract strategy tile-laying game which has also been such a significant success here at home in the good ol’United States. The game currently has a BGG rating of 8.0.

In other categories, TERRAFORMING MARS reportedly edged out GREAT WESTERN TRAIL  and ARKHAM HORROR THE CARD GAME for the win in the EXPERT category while OUTFOXED was the ‘wiley winner’ of the Children’s Game honors.

 The As d’Or (Golden Ace) is a games award given out by a jury at the Festival International des Jeux (Wikipedia) and last year’s top honors went to MYSTERIUM.