Image from BGG

Image from BGG

Eric Martin, over at Board Game Geek, recently visited the Tokyo Game Market and posted a really good article about his experiences here.

The majority of releases at Game Market are card games of some type, partly because they’re small and therefore can be displayed more easily at the minuscule stalls available for exhibitors and partly because they’re easy to produce compared to a game with wooden pawns or punch-out cardboard tokens. Name cards — and the exchanging of them — are a cultural touchstone in Japan, and name card producers can just as easily be game card producers. Publisher Tagami Games, for example, released 原始人の晩餐 (Banquet for Early Humans), a game in an AMIGO Spiele-sized card box jam-packed with 160 half-sized cards.

While we all have some degree of familiarity with cards, designers keep finding new things to put on them or new activities to do with them, new ways to hold them or place them or stack them or throw them. One example of this: Six weeks prior to Game Market, designer Shimpei Satochallenged designers to create a card game that consisted of only two types of cards. You could have different artwork on the cards if desired, but if the artwork had a functional meaning, then you were violating the spirit of the challenge. A number of designers released new creations that fit these guidelines, such as Susumu Kawasaki‘s bluffingish deduction game 15 ○ 9 ×, just as years ago designers took on the ¥500 challenge — a price ceiling that required designers to think small, with Seiji Kanai‘s Love Letter being one such result (as detailed here), and with the chance publication of that game by AEG and the subsequent shift within the international industry in terms of what’s viable making Love Letter the most important release this decade in my eyes.

Image from BGG

Image from BGG

(Curiously enough, Sato did not himself release a two-card design, instead selling a new start player die at his stand along with copies of Komodo’sJushimatsu and Nanahoshi. How do you use it? Roll the die and see to whom the triangle points. If you’re stuck on deciding which game to play, roll it to determine a genre.)

You can read the entire article over on BGG here.

DSC_0158 (Med)

There’s a Kickstarter going on to raise money to fund a project to create some really exciting storage trays for dice and card games; specifically tailored towards the popular Dice Masters and Quarriors series. Zen Bins has already raised more than enough money to fund the project so there should be no worries as to it funding. For a very minimal cost, you can get in on the campaign and receive enough trays to hold a hundred dice and quite a few cards.

This core set comes to a Total of holding 100 collectible dice and approximately 160 unsleeved cards (80 Standard Card Game Size Sleeved).  The top layer serves as the lid but you can keep stacking and it turns into a bin as well. **This makes it so 2 sets (6 bins) will increase your storage capacity to hold 250 dice and 400 unsleeved (200 sleeved cards**

  • 3 Bins– 100 Dice + 160 Unsleeved Cards (80 Sleeved)
  • 6 Bins – 250 Dice + 400 Unsleeved Cards (200 Sleeved) 
  • 9 Bins – 400 Dice + 640 Unsleeved Cards (320 Sleeved)
  • 12 Bins – 550 Dice + 880 Unsleeved Cards (440 Sleeved)
  • 15 Bins – 700 Dice + 1120 Unsleeved Cards (560 Sleeved)
  • 18 Bins – 850 Dice + 1360 Unsleeved Cards (680 Sleeved)
  • 21 Bins – 1,000 Dice + 1600 Unsleeved Cards (800 Sleeved)

zen bins stackPictured above are personal pics taken illustrating the trays at work. What I find particularly exciting is how the trays hold sleeved cards and more than enough space to hold die to accommodate collecting enthusiasts who like to store multiple copies of their die sets. As many are aware, most DM sets allow for a maximum of 4-5 copies of a die per player per card. These trays hold are designed specifically with this in mind with plenty of room to grow. Not only that, but they’re stack-able and lock. The picture at the very top of the article shows a the stack I have displayed out above all locked tight. Having many kids in my family, this is a wonderful solution as they won’t easily tip or fall!

I strongly suggest visiting their Kickstarter campaign here. There’s quite a few stretch goals and some really cool designs to be released as part of the series in the future. You can’t go wrong, as the campaign has already funded. This clever and innovative storage solution for DM and Quarriors is going to satisfy your desires for tucking these games away!!



ashes banner

I’ll come right out and say it I am a big fan of publisher Plaid Hat Games (PHG) and am very excited about their upcoming release Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn by designer Issac Vega. The illustration by artist Fernanda Suarez is some of the best I’ve seen in the board game world, coupled with the fact that players will have dice and cards in a back and forth battle that will allow players to react to each others actions not to mention the fact that players will get to choose their starting hand! I’m not sure there is anything quite like it on the market yet.

phoenix prepare

But that brings up the question: How does it all work? We’ll we’re in luck because PHG is known for posting ‘preview articles’ on their website giving those of us anxiously awaiting their releases some insight into just what our hard earned money will be getting us. The first of their articles on Ashes is all about understanding the phases of play for this unique game. Going over the three phases of play: Prepare, Player Turns, and Recovery the article will give you the details on what happens in this quick to play game.

So if you’re interested head over to PHG’s website and read all about how to play Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn! And don’t forget to be on the look out for Ashes at your favorite FLGS/OLGS.

fantasy-flight-games-logoOriginally published by Asmodee in 2005, Mission Red Planet, designed by Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti, is a popular sci-fi game about colonizing Mars. It’s a character/action card system mechanic game that featured a steampunk theme. FFG announced today that they will be releasing a revised edition featuring small modifications made by the original designers. The following is a press release about the upcoming release:

Fantasy Flight Games announces Mission: Red Planet

A board game of planetary exploration in a

Victorian Steampunk universe

Roseville, MN – April 24, 2015. Today Fantasy Flight Games announced the upcoming release of a revised edition of Mission: Red Planet, developed in collaboration with the original designers Bruno Faidutti and Bruno Cathala.

Highly acclaimed when it was first released in 2005, in Mission: Red Planet players take control of mining corporations competing to occupy Mars and harvest its invaluable, newly discovered natural resources. Players launch their astronauts into space, station them in the most profitable zones of the planet, and mine for minerals and ice, all the while cunningly undermining their competition. The game unites a German-style area control mechanic with hand management and simultaneous placement, creating suspenseful and intense player vs. player interactions.

This edition maintains the core mechanics of this fast-paced game while incorporating updates by the original designers. Astronauts can land in a new zone, the moon Phobos, and the Soldier can now convey astronauts from Phobos to anywhere on Mars. Missions and Discoveries have been fine-tuned, and new Action Cards join the Event deck. The game can now handle six players, with rules for a two-player variant also included for the first time. The Victorian steampunk aesthetic has been refreshed with all-new graphic design for a more contemporary look.

Mission: Red Planet is designed for two to six players, suitable for ages 13 and older, and takes approximately 45– 90 minutes to play. It is currently scheduled to be available in the third quarter of this year.

About Fantasy Flight Games

Fantasy Flight Games is a leading publisher of board games including XCOM: The Board Game and Twilight Imperium, Living Card Games such as Android: Netrunner and Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, miniatures games including Star Wars®: X-Wing™ and digital games including BattleLore: Command. We also publish games based on the bestselling series A Game of Thrones, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, and the horror stories of H. P. Lovecraft,  and we pride ourselves on epic themes, innovative gameplay, and top level production values.

For more information, visit our website at You can also find us on Facebook and follow @FFGames on Twitter.



504 is a new game from acclaimed designer Friedemann Friese, who brought us games like Power Grid and Fearsome Floors.  It comes with nine different modules: Wargame, Pick-up & Deliver, Production, Streets, Exploration, Racing, Majority, Add-Ons, and Stocks. For each game players will choose three of these modules in any order to create one of 504 different games. The order that you choose the modules will lead to different rule sets for each module so a Wargame-Production-Racing game will play differently than a Racing-Production-Wargame.

Friese started the design of 504 in 2011 and believes he will have this ready for Spiel 2015 which will take place in Essen, Germany in October.



Fleet Commander Nimitz is the fourth game in our Commander series of solitaire games. For the first time, we take the Commander series to the high seas!

At the start of the war, Nimitz faces a Pacific Ocean on the brink of disaster. The Imperial Japanese Navy has just delivered a devastating attack against the US fleet at Pearl Harbor, and little stands in the way of total defeat for the US in the battle for the Pacific. In the months to come, the situation will spiral from bad to worse. Nimitz will see the Japanese score one victory after another as they march across the Pacific, until only Midway and Hawaii stand between them and the West Coast of the US.

The game spans the entire Pacific war from January 1942 until the end in September 1945. Success depends on the vital balance between strategic and tactical focus. You must move your forces across the maps to achieve your strategic goals, but you must also out-think your opponents on the battlefield.

You can play each campaign as a stand-alone game, or as part of a linked series of games.


  • 22”x25.5” Mounted Strategic Map
  • 4 Campaigns
  • 8 Counter sheets of 5/8” and 1.25” counters
  • 11”x17” Tactical Battle Sheet
  • Full color Rulebook

ceramic tokens 2

Everyone seems to want to upgrade their game components and now on Kickstarter is a great way to upgrade the more common resources for some very popular games.  These are about 4 cm across and look like they should have some good heft to them.  The idea behind these reminds me a lot of what people like about the game Splendor which uses chips for its gems.  Though you get a lot of chips in that game.

ceramic tokens 3

Initially they are looking at the five main resources of the Settlers of Catan along with Gold, Silver, Stone.  These look to be quite nice though on the pricier side.  In order to have enough resources to play a game you will be looking at hundreds of dollars in chips.  I would assume that these are fairly likely to be able to be produced in a fairly timely manner since gaming chips like this are regularly produced with whatever imagery the purchaser wants on them.  That being said like any kickstarter project there are many factors that can cause ship dates to slip from the March 2015 date that they are giving as part of the campaign.

You can find it on Kickstarter here.

USAopoly Game Announcements

monopoly hobbit

Monopoly: The Hobbit Motion Picture Trilogy

This Monopoly version will be based on the recent film trilogy. It will feature locations from the story in their quest to regain the home of Erebor.

bang heroes

Bang!: Heroes of the Storm

This game is based on the Blizzard Entertainment’s new online team brawler. The game pits heroes and villains from World of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft against each other.


Supernatural Ouija

This is based on the Supernatural show… I think, I’m not sure since I’ve never seen the show but it seems to be that way. Well, either way you will use the Ouija Board to find the answers you seek by contacting otherworldly realms. You may grab and pose your questions using the planchette that is included.

thedicetower logo


It’s that time again – time to announce this week’s $10 Cool Stuff Games certificate give-away.  Congratulations to Jason G – you are this weeks winner!  Jason, thank you for registering to Dice Tower News, prior to posting this, I emailed you with instructions on how to claim your prize!

I’d like to thank not only Jason but also all of those people that have registered to Dice Tower News.  We’ll keep picking weekly winners so don’t forget to come back and see if you’re our next winner!  Registering is really simple.  Simply fill out the short form on the right where it says “Click here to sign up for our newsletter”.

As always, a very huge THANK YOU to Cool Stuff Inc for providing the certificates.  Cool Stuff – Great Prices!


The Gryphon Bookshelf Series just begs to be collected. Not only are the games created by well-known designers like Sid Sackson, Reiner Knizia, Alan R. Moon, and Bruno Faiduti, but they also come in small numbered boxes that look fantastic sitting on a shelf next to each other. In the Kickstarter campaign for Musée by Alf Seegert (Fantastiqa, The Road to Canterbury), Gryphon and Eagle Games announced that four new games would be added to the series. The new games include Jason Corace’s Lords & Ladies, Wyatt Earp by Richard Borg and Mike Fitzgerald, Sid Sackson’s Sleuth, and Alf Seegert’s Musée.

musee cards

The main focus of the Kickstarter Musée, which is a quick 2 to 4 player card game about organizing valuable pieces of artwork within your own personal museum. Musée features 60 pieces of art from the fifteenth to early twentieth centuries, and you earn points in the game by putting similarly themed pieces of art next to one another. You can’t just put any piece of artwork wherever you please though, each painting has an exhibition number that limits how you can organize your museum. It will take a lot of planning and clever placement of each painting to make your exhibition the best that it can be.

If you’re interested in Musée or the Gryphon Bookshelf series, check out the Kickstarter page for more details. The funding period ends Wednesday, August 27 and the game is expected to ship in December 2014. One of the neat things about this Kickstarter is that you can also purchase other games featured in Bookshelf series along with your order of Musée.