alan r moon

The next big title from Stronghold Games has a deluxe edition now on Kickstarter! From designers Bobby West and Alan R. Moon, the esteemed creator of Ticket to Ride, comes Aftershock – a competitive area control game for 3-to-5 players. The story goes that the San Francisco Bay area has been rocked with earthquakes so you are trying rebuild infrastructure and repopulate the city in relative safety in spite of the destruction. What comes from this is a drafting and hidden action selection game mixed with a little bit of route building to create something that may sound familiar, but is all-together different than anything on the market today.

     “In Aftershock, players will spend money to acquire planning cards, which are used to increase population, build bridges, and determine where aftershocks occur. Spend money wisely to acquire aftershocks that will allow you to move people into and out of the demolished areas. Planning and careful negotiation are essential in order to maintain your population and score your best-planned cities and bridges.”

There’s a bit of mind-gaming to this one that makes it really click. While the actions you can take are public and bought from one another (drafted in a way that may remind of Isle of Skye), the targets of those actions are hidden and victim to turn order, which will lead to a lot of twisted thinking as you try to anticipate where your opponents will go so you can take advantage of their situation. You can see that Alan Moon touch to the game in the drafting and route connections, but can see that this collaborative effort has brought about something much more intriguing than his older network-building fare. This Kickstarter campaign is also an excellent opportunity to get the deluxe version of this game for the same price as the standard retail version post-release, so if you’re interested in this one be sure to check out their page now to see a full rules breakdown, Previews, FAQs, and take advantage of this deluxe offer.

Days of Wonder has just announced a new entry in the younger kid focused Ticket to Ride series, and that’s Ticket to Ride: First Journey.  This may seem like I am repeating old news, but in fact there is a new version of the game with the exact same name, but instead of the USA you are traveling around Europe.  Like the original it will feature a simplified board along with large landmarks to mark each of the cities, making destination finding easier.  The train cards will feature all new whimsical illustrations as well as similar bonus point possibilities.  So if you enjoyed the first entry with your kids, then you might want to pick up this new edition as well.

There is one catch though, this version is meant for the European market, so readers in Europe can find it on store shelves come March/April.  But I have no doubt it will eventually make it to the American shores, hopefully with an updated name.  You can read more about this new edition on the Days of Wonder website.

 

sDTAwards

The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher

stockpile

Stockpile

Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork

ashes

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game

codenames

Codenames

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

great lakes

Days of Wonder today announced the latest addition to their Ticket to Ride line. Rails & Sails is a stand-alone Ticket to Ride game featuring not only trains, like previous editions, but now also features ships!

The double sided game board features a world map on one side, and the Great Lakes on the other. Both maps feature a new type of route on which only ships may travel. Shipping routes are built on just like you would build train routes in previous iterations, however you have to use the new, coloured ship cards rather than the regular train cards.

At the start of the game players receive their routes and then decide what proportion of ships and trains they start the game with. They can exchange later in the game if they find they need more of another type, but there will be a points penalty for that.

Another new feature is the ability to build a harbour. These are tricky to build, requiring both 2 special train and 2 special ship cards of the same colour but they give great benefits with bonuses for how many routes you have entering each harbour.

The game is expected to be released around August, and you can read the full press release here