Action Phase Games

Aeon’s End, the cooperative deck-building game, is getting the digital format treatment.  Handelabra Games is working with Action Phase Games and Indie Boards and Cards to adapt Aeon’s End to Window, macOS and Linux.  Handelabra has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking funding to create the digital adaptation.

The digital version of Aeon’s End will be distributed via Steam.  The Kickstarter features several reward tiers, ranging from a copy of the game to additional content like soundtracks and alpha or beta access to the game.  The campaign page includes a link to a brief playable demo of an early alpha version of the game.

Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits is a new card game by Action Phase Games designed for 2 players. The original game upon which it’s based, Kodama: The Tree Spirits, played 2-5 players. Players are caretakers of a forest, which is quickly growing, where they cultivate trees with the right mix of flowers, insects, and branch arrangements to make their Kodama as happy as possible. (Kodama are spirits, from Japanese folklore, which inhabit trees.)

“Kodama Duo is a card placement game for 2 players that plays in 30 minutes. Players will turn over one Decree card per season to set the unique conditions. During the Growing Phase, players take turns revealing branch cards and splitting them into two piles until each player has added four branch cards to their tree. In the Kodama phase, players will each choose one of their Kodama to score and live in their tree. The game lasts 3 seasons (12 turns) and whoever cares for their Kodama best will be remembered for generations!” [source]

How does Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits differ from it’s sister game? There’s a twist to how the splitter and chooser select cards using an “I split you choose” mechanism instead of choosing from a communal face-up display. The 2 player version introduces spirit tokens, which are placed on a player’s tree, and add unique scoring opportunities when combined with the cards. Kodama: The Tree Spirits is expanded to six players when combined with Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits, and adds new rules to allow for simultaneous play to reduce downtime.

Kodama Duo was designed by Daniel Solis, the same designer of Kodama: The Tree Spirits, with art by Kwanchai Moriya. You can do the “Inner Spirit” pledge to get the base game for $19 (including shipping in the US, excluding shipping elsewhere). It’s already surpassed it’s funding goal with the project deadline set for Friday, June 1st, 2018. Estimated project delivery is October 2018. Visit the project’s Kickstarter page for more information.

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)

Aeon’s End, from Action Phase Games, found fast popularity in 2016 as an excellent co-op deck-building game. Now it has a standalone expansion on the way which has surpassed it’s funding on Kickstarter. War Eternal adds a variety of similar, but different, content including new mages, new nemeses, and a bunch of cards. There’s also a healthy amount of extra content available, including a small expansion, The Void, an accessory pack, and an upgrade pack for the original game. As described via the campaign page:

 “Featuring a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack and deck management rules that require careful planning, War Eternal can be played alone or combined with other Aeon’s End content for a game experience like no other. “

Like all deck-building games, Aeon’s End will not shy away from more cards to keep the game fresh, but the dynamic use of nemeses and their respective cards means that any additional content will have inherently more mileage than typical expansions within the genre. Fans of the game have a lot of incentive to back the project now, given the very welcome accessory pack and the upgrade kit. Even if you don’t own the original game, the standalone nature of War Eternal gives an easy and attractive entry point for anyone interested in a new and well-received cooperative experience. For more information, visit the campaign page and keep tabs on the ever growing list of unlocked stretch goals and updates.

Action Phase Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Beeeees, a new real time dice rolling and placement game for 2-5 players. In Beeeees, players have 5 dice with a few custom sides, and a stack of hexagonal flower tiles showing dice values. In a manner similar to Fuse, players need to roll and place their dice on the flowers in real time. However, as in Between Two Cities, players can play on their own stack , or on the opponents’ stacks to their right or left. If a flower is completed, the tile is flipped to the honeycomb side, and goes to the player who placed the majority of the dice, expanding their ever growing honeycomb. Other players who also had dice on a completed flower receive eraser-type bee tokens good for victory points. There is a color matching element to honeycomb tile placement, and special helper bee and killer bee dice facings allow players to use wild dice and steal flowers respectively.

The Kickstarter campaign for Beeeees continues through March 23, and is expected to deliver in August 2017.

indie action

Today Indie Boards and Cards, publisher of Coup and the Flash Point series, will be merging with Action Phase Games, best know for the Heroes Wanted series.  Both companies will now be publishing under the Indie Boards and Cards name, but you will still see games like Heroes Wanted and other select games with the Action Phase Games name.  Mergers and shifts in the industry like this are normal as the industry grows and expands and so we hope this new arrangement will result in even more excellent games.  You can read the full press release below.

PRESS RELEASE

Today, Indie Boards and Cards, a California based publisher of board games and Indiana based Action Phase Games proudly announce the pending merger of the two companies and key personnel into a single games publishing behemoth.

Going forward, the teams will work together on releasing new games mostly under the Indie Boards and Cards imprint. The Action Phase Games brand will continue as the imprint for the successful Heroes Wanted line of games and other select projects. As both companies use PSI (Publisher Services International) to handle Hobby and Mass-Market distributor relationships, there will be no changes to the retailer terms and conditions for either product line as a result of this merger.

“Having experienced tremendous growth over the past seven years, Indie Boards and Cards was at a critical point,” said Travis Worthington, CEO of Indie Boards and Cards. “I just couldn’t keep up with our existing business and continue to grow the company without bringing on a very talented group of game designers and developers. Travis R. Chance and Nick Little are excellent additions, with a proven track record of making great games and providing great convention coverage and customer support.  Together we are going to be unstoppable!”

“I am very excited to be working within Indie Boards and Cards,” said Travis R. Chance, Director of Product Development & Marketing at Indie Boards and Cards. “We now have access to financial resources and market reach that we never had before and are looking to expand the number and quality of games we release each year. Ever since the news of merger discussions started to spread, we’ve been seeing a lot more game designs from both established and first time game designers.”

“There are a lot of games and design concepts that have been sitting on the back burner at both Indie Boards and Cards and Action Phase Games that we’ll be able to work on now that I am able to focus on board game development full time,” said Nick Little, Director of Product Development & Manufacturing at Indie Boards and Cards. “I also look forward to working the convention circuit with Travis & Travis to find the gaming world’s next big blockbuster hit.”

Indie Boards and Cards will continue to operate out of Oakland, California and have a regional office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indie Boards and cards will have a major presence at the Origins, GenCon and Essen conventions later this year.

About Indie Boards and Cards

Indie Boards and Cards started in 2009 with the hand-made release of 100 copies of Triumvirate. Over the years, we have had the good fortune to work with many great game designers, illustrators, graphic designers, manufacturers, foreign publishers and thousands of retailers to expand beyond our humble beginnings.  By focusing on the simple motto of “Making games that people enjoy playing,” Indie Boards and Cards has become a multi-million dollar business with over one million games sold.  Indie Boards and Cards best known titles include The Resistance, Coup and Flash Point Fire Rescue.

aeons end

Action Phase Games has submitted Aeon’s End onto Kickstarter for funding. Aeon’s End is a cooperative deckbuilding game set in a post-apocalyptic universe.

“The survivors of a long-ago invasion have taken refuge in the forgotten underground city of Gravehold. There, the desperate remnants of society have learned that the energy of the very breaches the beings use to attack them can be repurposed through various gems. These gems transform the malign energies within into beneficial spells and weapons to aid their last line of defense: the breach mages.

Aeon’s End is a cooperative game that explores the deckbuilding genre with a number of innovative mechanisms, including a variable turn order system that simulates the chaos of an attack, and deck management rules that invite careful planning of every discarded card. Players will struggle to defend Gravehold from The Nameless and their hordes using unique abilities, powerful spells, and, most importantly of all, their collective wits.”

aeons end box

APG has already reached their $30,000 goal with still 29 days remaining. The estimated delivery date of the game is November 2016.

You can back Aeon’s End for $48 or for $65 to get the Depths expansion added on. Check out their fundraising page HERE.

retreat to dark

The foul forces of Darkmoor have amassed their legions to strike at the Capital City. Despite their well-laid machinations, something awaits them within the city walls: the realm’s legendary heroes have gathered to council the king. Failing to siege the city, each dark lord’s minions must now retreat to Darkmoor, lest they be captured—or worse.

Retreat to Darkmoor! is the fourth Small Box/Big Fun game and seventh project from Action Phase Games, and is designed by Isaac Shalev and Matt Loomis.  The designers’ goal is for the game to be accessible to gamers of all ages and levels of experience, while offering an incredible amount of depth and replay value.

retreat comp

The official summarized description of the game is given on the Kickstarter page:

In Retreat to Darkmoor!, 2-4 players assume the roles of dark overlords of the realm, each commanding an identical deck of minions. Your goal: to successfully evade the legendary heroes and take refuge in the various locations of Darkmoor. Each minion that manages to escape will count toward control of a location, but beware of your so-called collaborators, as each overlord also scores points for eliminating rival minions!

A copy of the game includes:

  • 8 Legendary Hero Cards
  • 72 Monster Cards (18 for each player color)
  • 20 Victory Point Tokens
  • 10 Peril Tokens
  • 6 Double-Sided Location Cards
  • Rulebook

The $24 pledge level also includes the Legendary Expansion, including 3 additional Hero Cards, 12 additional Monster Cards, and 1 additional Location Card.

Retreat to Darkmoor! is a game for 2-4 players and plays in 30-45 minutes.  For more information on the game and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

ninja camp

Ninja Camp, a new small-boxed fun and fast playing game from Action Phase Games, those that brought you Heroes Wanted, has only 7 days left on Kickstarter. The game has already raised nearly 250% of its funding goal with many stretch goals released. The game is designed by Adam E. Daulton and plays 2-4 people. It’s a tactical card game that plays in just about 30 minutes and the KS release will come with an expansion in the box.

Ninja Camp pits animal martial artist clans against one another in a training exercise where the best clan will become the personal ninja apprentices of Sensei Saru. Each player starts with two cards, each representing a ninja skill, with the rest of the deck making up the game board. By using the cards in their hand, players navigate the board, adding new skills to their hand as they do—and leaving fewer movement options for their fellow campers. Each player also has a unique ninja ability that he can use once per game to try to turn the game in his favor. A game that sets up and plays in thirty minutes or less, Ninja Camp is sure to provide hours of fun for families and future ninjas!

ninja camp comp

 

I had the chance to watch Travis Chance (Action Phase) demoing the game at Gen Con and have to admit, the artwork is fantastic and game play real fun. At the low price point offered on KS, supporting this campaign, for me (being a father with tons of board-gaming kids), was a no-brainer! You can click here to learn more as well as fund the campaign!