Action Selection

Pandasaurus Games dropped some news today about two new things happening for 2019.  First of that is a new hire in the form of Jon Gilmour who will be the head of Game Development for any games being designed within Pandasaurus.  Given that Jon Gilmour was one of the designers behind two of their big hits, Wasteland Express Delivery Service and Dinosaur Island, you can expect any new games coming from Pandasaurus to be that much more polished.  Speaking of new games, that brings us to the next announcement from Pandasaurus Games.

Coming in June 2019 will be a new game called Dead Man’s Cabal, all about resurrecting yourself a group of friends so that you can throw a party and have actual guests.  You see, you are playing as a Necromancer at the top of his game, and having mastered all 9 dimensions of space time there is nothing that is out of reach for you.  Nothing, except maybe making some friends as this pursuit has deemed you creepy to everyone, everywhere.  But who needs them, you can resurrect yourself a group a friends and throw an awesome party, that will show them!

Dead Man’s Cabal is an action selection game where you will choose two actions each round, one that you will perform privately by yourself, and one you perform with the whole group.  This adds an extra level of strategy to the game because not only do you need to accomplish your goals, you don’t want to be helping others accomplish theirs.  You will be using these actions to collect resources in the form of bones and crystal skulls, and then using those to bring back some fun people to party with.  Whoever throws the best party will win, although it’s not mentioned how that will be determined.  One aspect of the game that people will enjoy is that all the bones and skulls in the game will be 3D pieces and so it will help level up the experience.

Be on the lookout for more information as it comes out, but you won’t see it on store shelves for several more months until at least June of 2019.

BD Games, also known as Beautiful Disaster Games, has launched an exclusive Kickstarter campaign for their new game, Crisis at Steamfall.  This is the second collaboration between designer Tom Stasiak and artist Bartosz Pławecki.

Beautifully illustrated, Crisis at Steamfall is a mixture of steampunk and alien sci-fi. The hallmark of this game is its variability, ensuring that each game is a new experience for players.

In Crisis at Steamfall, each player assumes the role of a character with a unique set of abilities that are enabled by character moods, a mechanic that changes over the course of the game and changes the special abilities.  Character actions are managed by an action selection mechanism that also allows players to customize the types of actions available with a selection. Each player will start with a few pieced of equipment, which can be later improved or modified with upgrades found or built with resources in workshops.

Steamfall is randomly generated city of up to nine large city map tiles and a selection of 25 random secret locations to explore.  The variable city design will help keep the exploration of the city fresh each game.

Crisis at Steamfall has two playing modes: competitive and cooperative.

In the competitive game, players explore the city in search of technology, and artifacts to crack an alien cypher.  Along the way, players earn renown for their interactions, discoveries, and achievements.  The player who cracks the alien cypher will earn three renown, and the player with the most renown at the end of the game is the winner.

In the cooperative game, the players band together to defeat invading army of mechanized civilians. The invasion can be stopped by the destructions of four pylons located in the ancient districts of the city, but the players need to protect the serenity cube in the city center at the same time all while reacting to events that may unfold in the city complicating its defense.

Crisis at Steamfall plays 1 to 4 players in about 30 minutes per player. Contents include 9 large map tiles, 90 large CCG size cards, 120 mini euro size cards, 50 wooden cubes, 4 big wooden alien pylon cylinders, 4 wooden character mood trackers, 36 small resource tokens, 14 civilian tokens, 8 stamina tokens, 7 renown tokens, 4 cipher tablet tokens, and 6 ruin tokens.

For more details, check out the Kickstarter campaign which runs until June 6, 2018 with an expected delivery of October 2018.

If you missed the Kickstarter for Wendake last summer, you are in luck because it will now be available this fall.

Wendake, designed by Danilo Sabia and illustrated by Alan D’Amico and Paolo Vallerga, is an action selection, area control, and resource management game.  Set in the Great Lakes Region during the Seven Years War between the French and the English (1756-1763), the war is but one obstacle to the Native American tribes of the Huron Nation striving for prosperity. In Wendake, players are chiefs of a Native American tribe managing all of the most important aspects of tribal life. Each tribe has their own special abilities their chiefs can use throughout the game.

The core of the game is the action selection mechanism.  Actions are taken on a grid of tiles where players activate a row, column, or diagonal, taking all the actions in that line.  Afterward, those action tiles are flipped over to reveal new actions to choose from.  The available actions are constantly cycling, and over the course of the game new actions to add to the grid become available allowing better choices.   Tribal prosperity is scored on the economic, military, ritual, and mask tracks that are paired.  Players only score on the lowest of each paired track, so a balanced approach is necessary for victory.  The player with the highest total score is the winner.

Wendake plays 1-4 players, ages 14+, in 1-2 hours, and it is available for pre-order now.  Pre-orders from Renegade Game Studios can be picked up at Gen Con, August 2-5th, 2018, while pre-orders from your Friendly Local Game Store will be available this fall.

Moa, a successful Kickstarter Project from APE Games and Martin Wallace (A Study In Emerald, Steam, Brass), is a territory control card game in which players control tribes of New Zealand birds. Each player holds a hand of 9 cards dictating their actions, and players can play as many cards on their turn as they like, but these 9 cards must last for 7 rounds. Additionally, each round only two territories on the board can be manipulated. Players score points for area control, but can also sell their territories to the invading mammals when they lose control. Each tribe of birds has unique abilities; The Eagles are fearsome warriors, the Kiwis respected and honored by their tribe, the Moreporks are mysterious mystics, and the Pukeko can spread far and wide. The Moa, as the leader, has all these abilities and tries to hold the tribes together. Moa features gorgeous art from Vincent Joubert (Via Nebula), and plays 3-5 players at 20 minutes per player.

 

Magic Circle Games is releasing its first game through Kickstarter, and it has players brewing potions!  Cauldron: Bubble and Boil involves 2-4 players growing and collecting ingredients to satisfy their potion recipes in order to fulfill them by game’s end.  Being competent witches and warlocks, players can also steal ingredients from their neighbors, but will suffer corruption for doing so.  From the publisher’s description:

During the game, you will be:

  • recording potion recipes (saving them for until the end of the game) that you will brew for Victory Points.
  • growing the potion’s ingredients in one of your two gardens.
  • picking some ingredients each turn until the garden is completely empty (harvesting), placing those ingredients in your cauldron. collecting a Crone Token (worth 3 Victory Points) each time you empty one of your gardens.
  • casting spells (called hexes) in order to expedite your harvesting, “borrowing” (read: stealing) ingredients from other players’ gardens or even randomly taking ingredients from another player’s cauldron. Often the cost of casting a hex is CORRUPTION! Corruption makes it harder to brew during the potion brewing phase.

Arguably the best part of the game?  It comes with tiny cauldrons to really put you in the Potions Class mood.  Find out more information from the Kickstarter here.  The campaign is set to end on August 25, 2017, and delivery is scheduled for January 2018.

 

Design/artist/publisher Ryan Laukat is going back to his roots.  His company, Red Raven Games, will be releasing a brand new standalone board game set in the universe of the studio’s first release, Empires of the Void.  Empires of the Void II is a 4x game set hundreds of years after the events of the first game and apparently requires no familiarity or prior experience with the first title.

By the time Captian Markan realized Earth was losing the war against the Znu, it was too late. Earth’s shield fell and the Znu scorched the surface to an irradiated wasteland. In desperation and for the survival of the species, she sent Earth’s massive worldship on a decade-long journey to uncharted space. Their destination was the fringes of the galaxy, where there was a chance to gain a foothold and grow in strength again, and perhaps find new allies for the fight against the Znu and Decima empires. Learning of this plan, the great empires sent their own worldships, following Earth to the edge, determined to stake their own claim and win the war for the fringe.

In Empires of the Void II, players take on the roles of explorers, warriors, diplomats, and architects to increase the influence of their struggling civilizations through the main action selection mechanism.  However, the game also features the ability for players to follow the main action of another, or pass and take a different associated action, keeping everyone engaged on every player’s turn.  A modular board, tile laying and exploration, and player interaction also contribute to the game’s replayability.  Empires of the Void II is for 2-5 players, ages 13 and older, and takes about 30 minutes per player.  For more information, check out the Kickstarter campaign here.

In the words of the visionary Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except more Munchkin content from Steve Jackson Games,” or something like that.  Steve Jackson Games has announced a new expansion to their crossover title, Munchkin Pathfinder, coming in June 2017, adding the Gunslinger class and a new faction, Razmiran Vision.  These additions also work with the Munchkin Pathfinder Guest Artist Edition.  See the publisher’s page here.  From the description:

The Gunslinger class specializes in firearms (always the best specialty for a fantasy character), and the Razmiran Vision faction lets players benefit from backstabbing.  It’s a 112-card expansion that draws on the rich Pathfinder lore.

With the beginning of summer, Steve Jackson Games will also be releasing Ghosts Love Candy, a card game in which players use teams of ghosts to possess trick-or-treaters on Halloween night and eat all of their candy, which may just realize the deep-seated desires of many.  See more of the game, including some of card art, here.  The game does come with a warning, though:

The player whose ghosts earn them the most candy points after 8 rounds wins. But be careful! When a Trick-or-Treater eats too much candy they get sick and become your burden if you were the one to push them past their candy limit.  The game is over when there is no more candy left to hand out, which is 8 rounds with 2-4 players and 6 rounds with 5-6.

Look for these new releases from Steve Jackson Games this summer.

 

 

Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves are preparing for an upcoming war, but only one faction can emerge victorious – who will it be?

Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, presents a 4X style wargame for 2-4 players (5-6 with at least one Faction Pack addon) that takes 30 minutes per player to play. During the course of a round, players will be able to select two actions, some of which can be copied by others. Throughout the game, players will expand their territories, build or upgrade units and structures, and compete with other factions at land, air, and sea for valuable resources and exploration tokens. The inevitable combat is resolved in a luckless fashion: during a battle, players pick one Tactic Card from their deck (everyone starts with the same one) and add the value of that card to the strength of their army. There are 4 end-game conditions that correspond to each of the 4Xs, and when any of these are triggered, one more round will be played.

The base pledge for the game includes 80 miniatures (3 heroes, 5 warriors, and 12 peons for each of the four factions) and 32 cardboard constructs such as towers or aircrafts. Apart from an option to have the hero miniatures pre-painted, there are also faction addons available, each of them bringing two more factions into the game.

The release is anticipated in March 2018. If you are interested, you can learn more about the game on its Kickstarter campaign page.

Cool Mini or Not (CMON) announces the release of a new competitive action selection game in Kingz, published by CMON and Ankama from designer Antonin Boccara.

Players enter a battle arena by simultaneously selecting and revealing action cards from their hands to have their chosen (and originally named with dry erase marker!) animals spar for the vacant seat on the jungle throne.  Anticipating, countering, and defending against other players by playing the right card is key, but players may nevertheless find themselves pinned to the ground on the precipice of defeat.  That player’s chances are not all lost, however, as the pinned player can try to strike a deal with the attacker to let them take another shot at the crown.  The most reputation points at the end of seven rounds will name a new king.  Click here for more information on Kingz from Game Trade Magazine and here for more information directly from CMON.  Kingz was released on January 20, 2017.

 

Releasing this year from Greater Than Games (Fabled Nexus), Spirit Island pits players against careless colonists to protect the namesake island from destruction.  Each player takes on the role of an elemental Spirit with powers that can be used to force back the invaders, but only by working cooperatively with the other Spirits and increasing your strength.  The Spirits can play power cards that grant bonuses when matched to a Spirit’s elemental affinity and grow their presence over the areas of the island.  They can also work their magics through the native island inhabitants, helping them fight back the outsiders.  The game pits players against different colonists, each time with a different challenge level.  Spirit Island plays 1-4 and is set to release in June 2017.  For more information, visit the publisher’s site here.