Robert Searing


Do you like clear water beaches, pools, diving, rock climbing, shows…? Ok, do you like board games? Well, the Dice Tower Cruise is for YOU! Last year was a blast! This year is geared to be even more fun with a second port stop planned. Like last year we will be stopping in Cozumel but this year we’ll be adding in a stop at Costa Maya!

The Dice Tower Cruise adds quite a few amenities not found on your run-of-the mill cruise. There are quite a few shows to check out, including game shows and the Dice Tower Live show. There’s a game room with a HUGE selection of all the newest games. The Dice Tower crew will be mingling around with plenty of opportunity to meet Tom, Eric, Sam, and Zee. We’ll be sailing in December and tickets are bound to go fast (we sold out last year). You can find out more information here.


Say goodbye to flimsy department store bags and repurposed drum cases—a new board game bag on Kickstarter is here to upgrade the way you carry your favorite games. The Board Game Garage is stylish and versatile, with the ability to carry everything from the smallest accessories to oversized favorites like Gloomhaven, Scythe, and Conan. The main compartment can fit up to six standard-sized square games!

The bag is padded and comes with side handles and an adjustable shoulder strap for easy carrying. It also folds flat when not in use. The project funded quickly and stretch goals include a waterproof rain cover and alternative colors. Head over to Kickstarter and check it out!

Fantasy Flight Games announces a new game set in the bountiful world of Westeros; A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the WatchThis will be a standalone game of resource gathering and trading that is familiar to those that know the classic game Catan, but will offer many differences inspired and adapted from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series.

The Brothers of the Night’s Watch seek a new leader from among their ranks. Jeor Mormont wishes to promote one who can improve the infrastructure of the Gift, the bountiful and undeveloped area south of the Wall bestowed to the Watch by the Starks thousands of years ago. Drawing sustenance from the unforgiving landscape of the north offers enough challenges, but whomever takes up this task must also man and defend the Wall against the onslaught of Wildlings fighting their way into Westeros. Many brothers now compete to build, defend, and do what they can to protect Westeros, but only one shall rise above their brothers to become the new Lord Commander. But be wary—the north holds many dangers, and winter is coming.


The areas within the Gift are made of resources needed to supply the stalwart brothers of the Night’s Watch. Players will build roads, settlements, and keeps; recruit guards for patrolling; and buy development cards.  However, the areas surrounding the Gift are dangerous and must be managed in addition to gathering resources. Tormund Giantsbane, a wildling from the north, has crossed the wall and robs Brothers of their hard earned resources. Wildling forces gather in the Frostfangs, and each player may recruit up to seven brothers from the Westeros prisons to man a section of the wall. Finally, each player commands a unique hero, based on the order of play. These heroes (Jeor Mormont, Bowen Marsh, Samwell Tarly, and Othell Yarwyck) have a unique ability that can be used twice during the game. Other heroes are available to select once your hero’s ability has been used.

At the start of their turn, a player rolls three dice: two to indicate which resources will be harvested from the Gift and one to determine which, if any, Wildlings advance toward the Wall.  However, fortifying the Wall has consequences, as those comfortable settlements and keeps attract the notice of the Wildlings. Any time a player builds a settlement or keep, they reveal a number of facedown Wilding tokens in the Frostfangs, and further their inevitable advance toward the Wall.

Of course, the most important duty of the Night’s Watch is to defend the people of Westeros from the feral Wildlings that dwell beyond the Wall. The Wildling clans consist of Regular, Climbers, and Giants that gather and move southward toward the wall once revealed. Players must hire Guards and earn their loyalty by giving them goods in return for their protection.

The protection of the wall must be delicately balanced with the gathering of resources and establishment of settlements, and in familiar fashion, the first player to 10 victory points wins. However, A Game of Thrones Catan: Brotherhood of the Watch has two forms of possibly victory. If the Wildlings breach the wall three times, the game ends immediately and the player commanding the most guards holding their posts at the wall wins.

Look for A Game of Throne Catan: Brotherhood of the  Watch at your local retailer in Q4 of 2017 and make sure to stop by the Fantasy Flight Games booth at Gen Con for a demo as well as the Catan Studios booth!



A mobile version of the beautiful, flower growing card game Lotus has been announced by Dire Wolf Digital.  Designed by Jordan and Mandy Goddard, Lotus was publish by Renegade Game Studios and released in 2016.

Clear your head and take in the quiet strength of the Lotus garden. It takes skillful care and nurturing to grow these flowers to their full potential, but once picked, they provide their owner with wisdom. Beware, for there are others who will do anything they can to get their hands on these mystical flowers. You’ll need to enlist the help of creatures native to this land to take control of the Lotus garden and achieve true enlightenment.

Lotus is the fourth title in the ongoing collaboration between Dire Wolf and Renegade, joining the critically-acclaimed hit Clank!: A Deck-Building Adventure, the digital adaptation of Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, and the Renegade Companion App that adds a digital twist to tabletop play.

Lotus will release for iOS and Android phones and tablets later this summer.  For more information, visit the Renegade Game Studios news page.

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.



Origins Game Fair is next week (June 14-18, Columbus, Ohio) and Ares Games will be attending as a sponsor of the show.  As such, they will be presenting the long-awaited epic-fantasy cooperative board game, Sword & Sorcery as well as four new airplanes in the WW1 Wings of Glory line.  In addition, three games coming this summer will be showcased at Ares’ booth – Hunt for the Ring, the hidden movement, deduction and adventure game, Divinity Derby, the racing and betting game, and This War of Mine the Board Game, the tabletop adaptation of the award-winning video game.

Visitors will also have the chance to try games recently released by the company, such as the WW2 Wings of Glory Battle of Britain Starter Set, the family game Quickpick – Mutant Dinosaur Park, and the new edition of the horror card game Stay Away, and can get special items as the promo card “H.P. Lovecraft” with any purchase of Stay Away or the promo card “Bubi” with Last Friday, along with other promotions and special deals.

In addition to the demos at the booth, many events are scheduled during the five days of the convention. Buckeye Gamers in Flight will run events of WW1 and WW2 Wings of Glory and Sails of Glory, with prize support from Ares. Attempts of new world records of most players in a game will be held by Ares. On Friday, from 10AM to 12PM, for WW1 Wings of Glory, and from 12PM to 2PM, for WW2 Wings of Glory. On Saturday, it will be time to try to break the world record of Sails of Glory, at 10AM. The schedule also includes 9 Sword & Sorcery’s events and 4 Galaxy Defender’s missions.

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 Sci-Fi miniatures game “Galaxy Defenders.” Ares Games’ catalog also includes Family & Card Games and Euro & Thematic Games. For further information, visit the website and the Facebook page –

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) announced a new game, Cutthroat Kingdoms by designer Bryan Merlonghi. Players will take the role of a leading lord or lady in the six Houses of the Kingdom of Aurum. Utilizing political intrigue, powerful armies, and strategic alliances, Cutthroat Kingdoms is a competitive game of negotiation and dealmaking with a medieval fantasy theme.

The throne to the Kingdom of Aurum lies unclaimed.

As memory of the slain king Ratimir Dravanof passes, the six great houses vie for control of the land in a neverending dispute of title, territory and birthright.

Now, embroiled in conflict, the lords and ladies lock eyes on the crown, as they fight to contend with the remnants of the Dravanof legacy: the great plague that has now turned upon the people, to ravage the countryside, exacting its cruel revenge.

This is the innovative new social game of contract, duplicity, arranged marriages and tainted food. Every group will create their own rules for how to play and every game will be different. Will yours be high on subterfuge, backstabbing and betrayal, or conducted on a higher plane of rock-solid agreements and unbreakable oaths?

The game supports 3 – 6 players, with a playing time of 90 – 150 minutes. For more information, visit the AEG Cutthroat Kingdoms page, where you can download the rulebook and see images of some of the cards.


The 2017 Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. The “Game of the Year 2017” will be selected on July 17, 2017 in Berlin. There were several other games that made it to the jury’s “recommendation” list and they can be viewed on the official announcement here.

Game of the Year 2017 (Spiel des Jahres)

Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Prestigious tile laying for 2 to 4 crowned terrain planners
Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down !, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele
Cooperative shopping house break for 1 to 8 hectic heroes
Race to El Dorado of Reiner Knizia
Publisher: Ravensburger
Deck building in the jungle for 2 to 4 fast treasure hunters
Children’s Game of the Year 2017 (Kinderspiel des Jahres)
Captain Silver  by Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl
Publisher: Queen Games
Fast-paced treasure hunting for 2 to 4 sensitive pirates from 6 years
ICECOOL  by Brian Gomez
Publishing house: Amigo Interlaced snips for 2 to 4 ice-cold schoolchildren from 6 years
The Mysterious Forest  of Carlo A. Rossi
Publisher: Iello, Vertrieb. Yikes! & Friends
Adventurous journey for 2 to 4 clever scouts from 6 years
Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year 2017 (Kennerspiel des Jahres)
Exit – The Game * by Inka Brand and Markus Brand
Publisher: Kosmos
Congenial Knobeleien for 1 to 6 (our recommendation: 1 to 4) creative cryptologists
* “The Abandoned Hut”, “The Secret Laboratory”, “The Grave Chamber of Pharaoh”
Raider of the North Sea by Shem Phillips
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Plentiful plundering for 2 to 4 walkers-worshiping Vikings

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Planetary project development for 1 to 5 climate changing corporate boards

The one man army is coming to the tabletop! Everything Epic has announced that they have secured the license for the Rambo series to create Rambo: The Board Game. The game is currently in development as a passion project by Chris Batarlis and Jim Samartino of Everything Epic, and is coming to Kickstarter in January of 2018. The game is a thematic, cooperative, tactical, miniatures, scenario-based campaign game that allows 1-4 players to experience the events they remember from the film as well as embark on new, never before seen, missions.

The game provides sealed “legacy-like” mission envelopes which gradually expand the game as each mission completes. Each mission tells a story and takes the players on a unique adventure to various locations to save POW’s, escape a military prison, raid a jungle encampment, defend a secret air base, or survive a treacherous jungle and much more! Missions will unlock new equipment and tactics to help players customize their experience and allow for high replayability and great tactical strategy. Taking actions and engaging in combat is done without random dice, but with a card-based system where the player is in control, and where every choice can be life or death!

Players will choose from an iconic variety of special forces characters each with highly detailed miniatures, including, of course, John Rambo, Col. Trautman, other members of Baker Team, and other companions that Rambo teamed up with over the years. Each hero will have unique abilities and customization options that make them valuable during missions. You control how to approach the mission: Do you go in guns blazing? Or do you take a more stealthy approach? Perhaps you set a trap for the enemy? It’s up to you to decide and lead Rambo and his team to victory!

Everything Epic is also known for other upcoming titles include Big Trouble in Little China: The Game (Pre-Order Mid-May 2017), Metal Dawn (Kickstarter May 2017), and the “Secrets of the Lost Tomb” series long awaited sequel Secrets of the Lost Station (Kickstarter July 2017).

For the latest information and news, subscribe at or follow Rambo: The Game on Facebook.

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!