downwood tales

Although designer Jerry Hawthorne’s Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales expansion sold out quickly at Gen Con last week, Plaid Hat Games have opened pre-orders for the people who were not lucky enough to snag a copy.  A couple of promo cards are also available and PHG is selling extra sets of their custom dice for the game as well.

downwood tales tile

This expansion comes with a new storybook, new miniatures, heroes, villains, location tiles, and search deck items.  The adventures in this story take the valiant mice outdoors where they will encounter a pretty wicked snake.

Robert Searing has some coverage on the game here and be sure to check out the Jakobe preview and Molox preview.


Coup: Reformation Expansion

Reformation is an expansion to 2012’s Coup that was funded on Kickstarter back in April for $254, 133.  Designed by Rikki Tahta, Reformation adds some new cards and rules for factions and team play and does require the base game to play.  With Coup: Reformation, each player must declare himself either Protestant or Catholic and can target only members of the other faith. Conversion is possible, however, for yourself or for another player by paying a charitable donation to the Almshouse. Like all factions, once you have eliminated the other sect, you just descend into in-fighting, so there’s still only one winner and no second place.  Components include 15 character cards and 10 faction cards.

dragon slayer

Dragon Slayer

Designed by David J. Mortimer, this fantasy, dice, press your luck game.  Each player is a Dragon Slayer and competing against each other in the Dragon Hunt.  The twist is that players can challenge and passing or failing will lead to rewards.  Dragon Slayer was funded on Kickstarter in May for $66, 740.

steve jackson games

I had the pleasure of talking with Leonard Balsera and Brian Engard at Steve Jackson Games.  They gave me a great look at a couple of their upcoming releases, Mars Attacks: The Dice Game, Knightmare Chess, and the now mainstream Hipster Dice.

When I asked Balsera and Engard about Hipster Dice, I felt like I was missing something.  “Don’t want to waste your time with Hipster Dice,” says Engard as we move into an overview of Mars Attacks.

Mars Attacks: The Dice Game


Mars Attacks: The Dice Game is built on the dice rolling engine found in Zombie Dice.  Designed by Sam Mitschke and Philip Reed, players are Martians looking to destroy cities and get their pictures taken at monuments across the world.  Each of these custom dice have three symbols: ray guns, nukes, and martian heads.

Cards are shuffled and split into even piles.  The top card of each pile is turned face up and represent cities around the world.  Each city will have a number of ray guns needed to  destroy that city.  Players want to get those ray guns before rolling too many nukes and busting out.  Martian heads can be re-rolled or used for taking pictures at monuments as they come up.

The game is for three to six players and plays under 30 minutes.


hipster dice

Maybe Hipster Dice is a new way to play chess?

Knightmare Chess (Third Edition)

Designed by Pierre Cléquin and Bruno Faidutti, this third edition includes cards that were initially released in 1994’s Knightmare Chess and 1998’s Knightmare Chess 2.  Knightmare Chess is a deck of 158 cards that will change the rules of regular chess in different ways.  For example, one card allows a bishop can move through other pieces.  The rules can create a handicap allowing less experienced chess players to hold their own against a more experienced player.  Each of the cards features artwork that was painted by Rogério Vilela and the game includes two blank cards for custom rules.

Car Wars

Announced back in May and releasing soon is the reprint to Car Wars.  Scott Haring will be Line Editor for the reprint and he will be updating some of rules from the original full game.  Stay tuned for more information.

In closing, I pitched a few random questions to both Engard and Balsera.

Joseph:     Chips – Regular or Wavy?
Engard and Balsera:     Wavy.

Joseph:     What’s your favorite movie?
Engard:     V for Vendetta
Balsara:     Big Trouble in Little China

Joseph:     What’s your favorite movie quote?
Engard:     I prefer the term “Artificial Person” myself. -Bishop, Aliens
Balsera:     The entire script of Guardians of the Galaxy.

Joseph:     And finally, how many fish can you name in thirty seconds?
Engard and Balsera:     Koi, Goldfish, Redfish, Bluefish, and Carp.

– Joseph Barber

lost realm

Fantasy Flight Games announced The Lost Realm, a fourth deluxe expansion to the Lord of the Rings themed living card game.  This expansion will come with 165 cards and focus on the wilds of the North.  It will introduce two new heroes, some allies, rewards for engaging enemies.

lost realm cards

In their announcement, lead developer Caleb Grace states:

…that not only was this a fun theme to explore, it opens a lot of exciting new possibilities in the game. While many of the game’s most successful strategies focus on maintaining a low threat in order to avoid engaging multiple enemies at once, the Rangers work very differently. They actively seek out their foes and gain strength from being engaged with them.

The expected release for this expansion is early 2015 at this time.

switching tracks components

School is almost back in session and as everybody knows, there are good teachers and there are bad teachers. If I could take classes with anyone, I’d be inclined to sign up for a class taught by the tastefully ridiculous Dr. Watts from the Switching Tracks Kickstarter video.

Switching Tracks is a pick-up and deliver game by Kris Gould (Jet Set, Buccaneer Bones) for 2 to 5 players. The objective of the game is to complete 5 contracts, which are delivery goals that are visible and available to each player. When a player delivers the goods designated by a contract, then that player claims the contract and nobody else can score it.

Of course, there is more to the game than just moving goods around the board. Aside from using your delivered goods to complete contracts, you can also spend those goods to buy upgrades. You can increase your movement speed, carry capacity, or you could hire more switchmen, who allow you to alter the track connections on the board. By completing contracts, you can build new offices that alter your train’s abilities in unique ways.

The Kickstarter will be ending very soon on Tuesday, August 19 and is expected to be shipped in late November. For more information about how the game plays, check out the rules page or the attached video.

dtn gencon


Well, I guess a Friday evening in the hotel makes for a difficult internet connection.  Apologies for the delay in yesterday’s content however you can stay current with the news by following @dicetower_news on Twitter.

One of the two biggest news stories from Friday was FFG’s announcement of their upcoming Star Wars Imperial Assault game that resembles their very successful Descent dungeon crawl however, with a Star Wars Theme.

imperial assault componentsThe other huge event was the Dice Tower Live show at 8pm.  The room was PACKED with fans and the panel of Tom, Eric, and Zee welcomed many guests from the Dice Tower Network along with owner of Stronghold Games, Stephen Buonocore.




The halls were packed but only to be topped by the Saturday crowd.  Saturday hosts the ever popular costume parade and there were quite a few costumes to be found:

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A few other things that happened today included:

The guys at Blue Peg Pink Peg interviewed John Kovalic

The guys at Blue Peg Pink Peg interviewed John Kovalic

Cones of Dunshire being played

Cones of Dunshire being played

rosen freedom banner


We came across some very interesting news where board games were crossing into the teaching realm.  Rosen Classroom is now offering two classes that will help teach history through board games.  One offering is “Teaching the Underground Railroad Through Play” which will allow students to take advantage of Brian Mayer’s Freedom the Underground Railroad to learn about history regarding the Underground Railroad.  There will also be an offering that will utilize 1775 for “Teaching the American Revolution Through Play”.  What an amazing concept!

dtn gencon


So – Day 1 – COMPLETE CHAOS!!  Remember, you can receive LIVE tweets as they happen by following @dicetower_news!!

The day started out calm enough, with the troup gathering for morning sustenance:


As many of you may realize, the hall opens at 9:00 for VIP guests.  This gives those that paid an insane amount of cash to get their first pick at their favorite releases.  THEN, 10:00 hits and BAM, the crowd enters:1408024935030


The boys manned the Dice Tower Booth:


And even the TARDIS couldn’t take me away from all the fun:


But I had to watch out for those pesky Daleks:


I was able to meet Ignacy Trzewiczek, designer of Imperial Settlers, this year’s popular card drafting, player power, and hand management game:


I was able to get pretty much everything I was wanting.  I ran them back to the hotel, but took time out to tweet open box pics:

King of New York

King of New York

Pathfinder Card Game Skull & Shackles

Pathfinder Card Game Skull & Shackles

Mice & Mystics Downwoo Tales Expansion

Mice & Mystics Downwood Tales Expansion

So Gen Con isn’t complete without a few staples like:



Long Lines

Long Lines

Balloon Sculptures

Balloon Sculptures

Game Demos

Game Demos



Gaming Statues

Gaming Statues

For more coverage, follow @dicetower_news on Twitter!!

star realms cards

It’s been a long wait, but after three rejections by Apple, the digital version of White Wizard Games’ deckbuilder Star Realms has finally been approved and released on the App Store! Much like the Android version, the game is free to download, but if you want to unlock all the content you’ll have to spend $4.99 on an in-app purchase (but that does unlock the content for all platforms, fortunately).

What are you waiting for? Head on over to the App Store and try it out!

Image courtesy of Upper Deck’s Twitter account

Fresh out of Gencon 2014, Upper Deck has announced that they’re bringing back their 2004 collectible card game ‘Vs. System’, except this time as a Living Card Game (LCG). The previous incarnation of ‘Vs.’ featured superheroes from both Marvel and DC universes (as well as a Hellboy set, which is a Dark Horse imprint). Details about the LCG are scarce at the moment, but as soon as we know more, you will too.

Stay tuned to this blog for more breaking news from GenCon!