Above and Below

Red Raven Games announces Roam, a new game sharing the same world as Near and Far, Islebound, and Above and Below.  Roam is set in the land of Arzium and features characters seen in the other games in the shared world.  In Roam, players seek out lost adventurers scattered across the land, rescue them and add them to their party, increasing their ability to find more lost adventurers faster. The area being searched is made up of six land cards in the center of the table, and each character has a unique search pattern players can use to search the lands.  Each land card is divided into six squares to be searched, some of which have coins that players can use to purchase upgrades and tools to aid in their search.  When a land card has been completely searched, the player who did the most searching adds the adventurer to their party.  Each new adventurer also adds a new search pattern the player can use.  Both tools and found adventurers are worth points. When one player has ten adventurers in their party, the game ends, and the player with the most points wins.

Roam plays 2-4 players, ages 8+, in about 30 minutes. A release date has not been announced yet.  More details will be available when the Kickstart launches soon.

Near and Far is an adventure game with a choose your own adventure story telling aspect to it, and people have loved it.  So naturally, Red Raven Games is looking to expand this game and so are turning to Kickstarter to get it funded.  Near and Far: Amber Mines adds four new things (now five with stretch goals) to the game that help increase replay-ability and just improve the game.  First is a replacement for the standard mine on this board, this new amber mine is card based and so what you get will be a little more random.  But what is good is that these mines will offer better rewards than the normal gem/coin combinations, making up for the more chaotic nature.

The next addition is adding magic to the game, allowing you to have special abilities during the game.  Need help with bandits?  If you get the lightning bolt spell you can convert a gem into three swords.  Running low on money?  With transmute you can exchange up to four gems for two coins for each gem.  Needless to say this opens up all sorts of new possibilities in the game as you collect magic in order to gain access to these different spells.

Third is a new general store, giving you the option to refill hearts and also gives you the opportunity to place camps there if you buy an advanced artifact.

Fourth are new dangerous encounters, so instead of just the same endless stream of bandits, you now have all sorts of new foes to fight, with also differing rewards for when you defeat them.

And finally, due to the stretch goal being reached, a co-op mode will be added to the game, allowing you to play cooperatively with your friends through any of the game modes.  This to me is awesome because playing this game you often forgot it was competitive, and so now with this you can play it cooperatively against the final bosses.

So if you love Near and Far, or if you missed some of the extra goodies from the Above and Below or Near and Far Kickstarters, check out this campaign today!

Meeplesource has started their third Kickstarter Campaign, offering a gorgeous collection of printed wooden upgrades to many popular and new board games. Highlighting the offerings are large 32mm custom meeples for the highly anticipated upcoming legacy city building game Charterstone. Ink and Remover tokens for the upcoming Hardback are present. The classics are supported with custom bits for Carcassonne and its many expansions, as well as new printed meeples for Catan. Red Raven Games are being well represented in this Kickstarter with upgrade kits for Islebound,  Above and Below, and the upcoming Empires of the Void II, each keeping Ryan Laukat’s unique art style. New Colt Express and Camel Up wooden bits are also being offered.

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign here, which will continue through June 1. The items are expected to deliver October 2017.

RVM012If you don’t know the name Ryan Laukat, you should. Not only does Ryan design some incredible games (Eight Minute Empire: Legends, The Ancient World, and Above and Below to name but a few), but he’s also the illustrator and does all the artwork for his games. On top of that, he also runs Red Raven Games and publishes all of his own titles. He’s basically the Leonardo da Vinci of the board game world.

Late last year Red Raven ran a Kickstarter for a new title called Islebound. It’s already been delivered to backers (I’m staring at my, sadly, unplayed copy right now), but we have word that it’s hitting the streets this August.

“In Islebound, you take command of a ship and crew. You sail to island towns, collecting resources, hiring crew, and commissioning buildings for your capital city. Each building has a unique ability, and your combination of buildings can greatly enhance your strength as a trader, builder, or invader. You also recruit pirates and sea monsters to conquer towns, which, once conquered, allow you to complete the town action for free, and charge a fee to opponents if they want to use it. Alternatively, you can complete events that give influence, which can be used to befriend towns.

There are many routes to success. Will you be a ruthless conqueror, careful diplomat, or shrewd merchant in your race to the top?”

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In other Red Raven news, the sequel to last year’s fantastic storytelling game, Above and Below has just landed on Kickstarter. The sequel is titled Near and Far and puts players in the roles of Indiana Jones-types, traipsing around the world on 11 different maps while searching for treasure. Like its forebear, it will come with a book of stories from which you’ll read, making each game a new adventure.

Explore a massive world through a book of maps!   

  • Search for a lost city in a strange and wonderful world of ruins
  • Manage and recruit adventurers, each with a unique identity
  • Read from a book of stories, building an amazing and memorable tale each time you play!
  • Choose your path in connected quest lines
  • Includes a gorgeous atlas of 11 maps to play on!
  • Buy skills for your character over a ten-map campaign
  • 2-4 players, 90 minutes

In Near and Far you and up to 3 friends each choose a character and set out on a journey, recruiting adventurers, managing resources, and completing quests in an effort to become the most storied traveler. “

The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, but if you’re thinking of waiting for Near and Far to come to retail instead of backing the Kickstarter, you should know that the Limited Deluxe Edition is only available through the Kickstarter campaign.

The Kickstarter has 24 days remaining, with an estimated delivery date of May 2017.

watch it played rodney

Rodney Smith, widely considered the nicest guy in board games has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support Watch It played for another year. Watch It Played is a YouTube channel that’s main focus is to teach viewers how to play games, and does it well. The channel also releases a significant number of game play videos in which viewers are asked to participate by helping make decisions for the players between episodes.

Here, Rodney explains why he’s asking for support:

“I have had the privilege of working on Watch It Played full time because of the support of my family, sponsors and viewers like yourself. The money I make from the show is how I contribute financially to my family, which allows me to keep creating videos.

If you have enjoyed some of the videos we create, please consider making a donation and claiming a perk!”

This year if the campaign is successful, extra funds will be used to:

  • Organize a live-streamed day of game playing
  • Support Pep MacDonald’s ongoing contributions to the Channel
  • Update the set and acquire better equipment

As with any crowdfunding campaign, Rodney is offering Perks to those who support Watch It Played. These perks include game promo’s such as a playable Rodney character for Dead of Winter by Plaid Hat Games; FLGS location card for 51st State from Portal Games; a Scythe encounter card from Jamey Stegmaier; Above and Below Building from Ryan Laukat, and a limited quantity of last year’s Promo’s. Also, as my favorite available perk, you could be listed as a Producer at the end of Watch It Played videos, and get early access to game play content.

This is Rodney’s only fundraiser for the year, so if you’re looking to offer your support, check out the IndieGoGo Campaign now.

dtawards

The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:

BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS

BEST CO-OP GAMES

BEST FAMILY GAMES

BEST GAME ARTWORK

BEST GAME EXPANSIONS

BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER

BEST GAME OF THE YEAR

BEST GAME REPRINT

BEST GAME THEMING

BEST PARTY GAME

BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME

BEST STRATEGY GAME

BEST TWO PLAYER GAME

MOST INNOVATIVE GAME

near and far

Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games announces a sequel to the story-driven “civ-building”, or actually town-building, game, Above and Below entitled Near and Far.  In Near and Far, up to four friends are searching for the Last Ruin, which purportedly contains a legendary artifact that grants their greatest heart’s desire.  In the game, players will be recruiting adventurers, hunting for treasure, and competing to be the most “storied traveler”.  Players will need to manage their food and equipment to survive the long journey, and sometimes special encounters will befall a player, in which another player will then read from the Book of Encounters.  Players will read over ten game sessions to reach the end of the story.

A Kickstarter project to fund this new game is expected later in 2016.  For more information on the game, visit Red Raven Games’ website or the game’s page on BoardGameGeek.com.

islebound

Fresh off the heels of completing shipping for his previous Kickstarter game, Above and Below, Red Raven Games has launched their next game on Kickstarter, Islebound.  This game is set in the same universe as the Above and Below game so you will see overlap in the form of similar races of people as you explore, but instead of going underground you are going out into the open seas to explore.  From the campaign page, in Islebound you will:

Take command of a ship and crew. You sail to island towns, collecting resources, hiring crew, and commissioning buildings for your capital city. Each building has a unique ability, and your combination of buildings can greatly enhance your strength as a trader, builder, or invader. You also recruit pirates and sea monsters to conquer towns, which, once conquered, allow you to complete the town action for free, and charge a fee to opponents if they want to use it. Alternatively, you can complete events that give influence, which can be used to befriend towns.

Will you be a ruthless conqueror, careful diplomat, or shrewd merchant?  The player with the most the most wealth and most-impressive capital city will win the game!

islebound comp

Art is the usual Ryan Lauket style and so looks amazing and he has yet to flop on his designs so expectations will be high for this one.  As of this writing the campaign is well on it’s way to be fully funded before the first day is done and he has several stretch goals planned already to upgrade game components.  Pledging is easy for this campaign as there is only one pledge level and no add-ons.  The campaign ends November 23rd so head on over to the Kickstarter page to check it out and pledge for your own copy.

 

Mirror Box Games brought along their long awaited game Chaosmos. Chaosmos showed up at GenCon 2013, successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014, and should be delivering soon. It is a hidden information strategy game where cards are held in players hands as well as envelopes that can be accessed by landing on planets. Players will be looking for the Ovoid and trying to retain it till the last turn of the game.

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Chaosmos should provide unique game play and is described by the publisher below:

The universe is about to collapse, and your final hope lies in an ancient mysterious artifact, the Ovoid. Whoever controls this “cosmic egg” can shape the birthing of the next universe according to their own agenda. Players are secret agents from a handful of surviving worlds, zipping from planet to planet in special “amnion suits” that allow for interstellar travel, space combat and planetary landings.

Each planet has its own envelope of cards. When you arrive on a planet, you decide which cards you want to take and which to leave behind. Knowledgeis the most powerful resource in the game, and being able to predict the cards your opponents possess at any given time is a powerful advantage as you build up a handful of weapons, tactical gear, vaults and traps, as well as cards that counter your opponents’ cards. The best players will keep their hand fluid, constantly changing tactics while they search from world to world for the Ovoid or find a safe place to stash it.

Balance your hand of cards, spend your turn actions wisely, and cleverly use your special alien powers to stay one step ahead of your opponents. When the Chaos Clock reaches zero, only the player who possesses the Ovoid will become master of the new universe.

 

Cheapass Games showcased Stuff and Nonsense in which you and your friends tell the tales of your great adventures while actually all you did was hide around London collecting antiques. But watch out, Professor Elemental is trying to catch you to show you are a fraud.

Stuff and Nonsense is an adventure game with no real adventuring. You and your friends are globetrotting explorers. Or so you claim. Actually, you are all liars and cowards, and despite your assertions to the contrary, you’ve never left London.

Lord of the Fries Superdeluxe Edition also by Cheapass Games and currently on Kickstarter made an appearance as well.

You’re a Zombie working in a fast food joint, and you must build combo meals from a hand of random ingredients. That’s the story in Lord of the Fries, one of Cheapass Games’ most beloved games.

 

If you like Arthurian lore and cooperative games then be on the lookout for Albion’s Legacy by Lynnvander Productions. Albion’s Legacy is a successful Kickstarter project that should be releasing soon. With a central board of Castle Camelot, modular hex tiles to explore, colorful character standees, custom dice, and more Albion’s Legacy is sure to bring out your inner knight.

Albion’s Legacy is a cooperative adventure board game for 1-4 players in the CORE box and up to 6 players in the DELUXE and EXCLUSIVE boxes. The game allows players to participate as one of their favourite Arthurian characters ranging from the legendary wizard Merlin, the famous Lady of the Lake, the brave Sir Lancelot, and the great King Arthur himself. These heroes will champion all that is good in 90 minutes as the players travel across the realm of Albion and face dangerous roaming threats, mythical beasts and deadly encounters.

Collect lore-enriched relics, artifacts, weapons and special awards under a heated deadline while solving some of the most famous historical and mythical chronicles of the Arthurian legend.

 

Artana has a Kickstarter project running for Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents. Designed by Dirk Knemeyer and wonderfully illustrated by Heiko Günther and Jessica Riola Tesla vs. Edison tries to be historically accurate and includes many of the famous people from the time period it is set in.

Tesla vs. Edison is a light-to-medium weight strategy game for 2-5 players. You are an investor who teams up and creates a company with one of the exciting, visionary inventors leading the nascent electric light and power industry of 1880s and 1890s America.

Your inventor, along with other famous people of the period that you hire as employees in your company, work together to claim electric projects across the United States, advance your company’s technology, engage in propaganda wars with the other companies, and buy and sell stock from your and your competitors companies.

Tesla vs. Edison plays quickly and provides interesting decisions while telling the exciting story of the birth of electricity.

Artana is  new publisher and successor to Conquistador Games, Inc. which had some successful Kickstarters itself.

 

Above and Below is a new 2-4 player storytelling game by Red Raven Games and is now on Kickstarter. Designed and beautifully illustrated by Ryan Laukat who brought us other great games like The Ancient World, City of Iron, and Eight Minute Empire: Legends.

Description from the publisher:

Above and Below is a mashup of town-building and storytelling where you and up to three friends compete to build the best village above and below ground. In the game, you send your villagers to perform jobs like exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses. Each villager has unique skills and abilities, and you must decide how to best use them. You have your own personal village board, and you slide the villagers on this board to various areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Will you send Hanna along on the expedition to the cave? Or should she instead spend her time teaching important skills to one of the young villagers?

 

Explore a massive cavern and build your new village above and below ground in this storytelling/town-building mashup board game.

Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games brings a new board game to Kickstarter that combines city-building elements, worker-placement mechanisms and storytelling into one game: Above and Below.  In this game, players take on the role of a village leader trying to grow a new town after the previous village was destroyed by barbarians.  Interestingly, a network or caverns lies beneath the site for the new village, and players will become engaged in the storytelling aspect of the game as they explore it.  Players will send their villagers to work on varied tasks such as exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses.  When exploring the caverns, players will be reading from a book of paragraphs as the story unfolds, creating a new story every time you play.

A standard version of the game is available through this Kickstarter as well as an Expanded Edition, which will include all stretch goals and will only be available through the Kickstarter and select conventions.  Above and Below is for 2-4 players.

To find out more about this project, visit its Kickstarter page here.