AEG announces Ecos: First Continent, a world building game designed by John D. Clair (Mystic Vale) and art provided by Sabrina Miramon (Photosynthesis, Quadropolis) and Matt Paquette (Mystic Vale, Thunderstone Quest). The world in Ecos is built by laying tiles that represent desert, water, and grassland. Each player will have a tableau of cards that will allow the placement of additional tiles, terrain features such as mountains and forests, or animals to populate the world. Activating the cards requires certain elements to be present in the world. Each round one player will reveal Element tokens from the Element Bag, giving all players the opportunity to complete a card from their tableau and shape the continent to their own purpose. Elements that cannot be used can be converted into Energy cubes or additional cards in hand or added to your tableau, to give you greater options as the game evolves. Game play in Ecos is simultaneous, and all players have access to the elements as they are drawn to activate their cards and build the world. Every game card is different so the world will be built differently each play. Many cards will score players victory points, sometimes based on the features in or adjacent to a habitat. The first player to score 80 points wins the game. Learn more about the game here.
Ecos: First Continent plays 2 to 6 players, ages 14+, in 45-75 minutes. Contents include 6 Dial tokens, 75 Map Tiles, 15 Mountain Tokens, 25 Forest Tokens, 66 Energy Cubes and storage container, 6 Scoring Cubes, 1 Scoreboard, 105 Game Cards, 102 Animal tokens and 2 storage containers, 40 Element stones, 1 Element bag, and Rulebook. Look for Ecos: First Continent at your friendly local game store in October 2019.
Space Base is a critically acclaimed engine building, dice-economics game from designer John D. Clair and publisher AEG, which took the clever “roll dice – earn money – buy cards” pattern from Machi Koro (2012), and others, and brought it to the next level. The first expansion for Space Base, The Emergence of Shy Pluto, was only released last week, and already a second expansion and storage kit has been announced. Space Base: Command Station, coming later this year, will expand the maximum player count from it original 5 up to 7. The expansion, which comes in a box to hold everything, will include 2 more boards, all necessary starting cards and cubes. Command Station will also include 14 “pre-deployed” ship cards to help balance the larger player counts. Look for Space Base: Command Station at your FLGS this August.
Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced they will be starting a Kickstarter Campaign soon for a premium reprint of the popular deck building game Valley of the Kings (2014) by designer Tom Cleaver. This Premium Edition will include not only the original game, but also the subsequent Valley of the Kings: Afterlife and Valley of the Kings: Last Rites. Although Valley of the Kings was an early deck builder, using tried and true mechanics of buying new cards from a marketplace, using the buy power of other cards in hand, it introduced some novel ideas into the genre. The only cards to score points in Valley are those purposely culled from one’s deck into a special “entomb” pile, removing the card from play. The timing of when to use a card for its action, or when to use it for cash value to buy new cards, or when to give up the card for points, kept the game fresh and interesting. This new collection not only contains all 3 games, but also includes new graphics, new Pharaoh cards with unique abilities, and enough tarot sized sleeves to protect all the cards (over 300). The Kickstarter for the Valley of the Kings Premium Edition is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2019, and continue for 2 weeks.
Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced that they are bringing the 2018 EmperorS4 house-building card game, Walking in Burano, to western shores. In Walking in Burano, by designer Wei-Min Ling (Shadows in Kyoto, Hanamikoji), 1-4 players take turns buying cards from a center 3×3 grid. Cards show the bottom floor, upper floor or roof of a stereotypical Burano house, bedecked in pastel colors. Players can take 1, 2 or 3 cards, but all need to come from the same column, and need to be either the bottom or top set of cards – no taking only from the middle. Players then earn 1 gold for each card not taken. The cards can then be used to build new houses of a single color in their tableau by paying gold. Once a house is complete, it is visited by either a tourist, who scores extra points for small details on the house, such as awnings, cats or plants, or by an inhabitant of Burano, who scores points for sets of building types. The first player to 5 completed buildings ends the game. Look for Walking in Burano at your FLGS in Q4 2019.
Each new Quest Expansion consists of a selection of dungeon tiles and monster cards that create an engaging storyline. Each one also includes rules for selecting Village and Dungeon cards to create a variety of Adventures. After players have mastered each Quest they can use random setups of Quest cards to create new Dungeons and Villages.
Each box contains dungeon tiles, dividers, randomizers and 243 cards. Cards include six heroes, six monsters, 12 support items, treasures and three versions of the Guardian, each of slightly different difficulty. Each of the different Adventures within the Quest Expansions has a scaling challenge.
Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has recently announced the first expansion to Space Base, the popular 2018 dice rolling, card drafting game from designer John D. Clair (Mystic Vale). In Space Base, 2-5 players roll dice, gain resources off of the numbers rolled, then use the resources to buy new cards. All cards go on a cleverly designed player board, taking up the numbers 1 through 12. As players collect new cards, they can gain further resources on other players’ die rolls. This mechanism of income generation off of dice rolls has been used effectively in Machi Koro (2012) and Valeria: Card Kingdoms (2016), but many feel that Space Base has just done it perfectly. The first expansion, The Emergence of Shy Pluto is teased as a “Saga Extension”, and promises to add story elements to the admittedly somewhat themeless game. Pluto includes a series of story based scenarios, which trickle new cards and elements into Space Base “via a narrative structure”. Once all of the stories are added, they become a permanent part of the game for further replays.
“You are the mayor of a tiny town in the forest in which the smaller creatures of the woods have created a civilization hidden away from predators. This new land is small and the resources are scarce, so you take what you can get and never say no to building materials. Cleverly plan and construct a thriving town, and don’t let it fill up with wasted resources! Whoever builds the most prosperous tiny town wins!”[source]
Each player is given a 4×4 grid, which represents their town, on which they place resource cubes in specific layouts to construct buildings. Players take turns as the “Master Builder” who determines which resource will be produced and given to each player. At the start of the game, each player is also given a Monument card which allows them to build a unique building with a powerful effect. The game ends when all players can no longer place resources or construct buildings. Squares without buildings deduct points while buildings score victory points in unique ways. The player with the most victory points wins.
There are also Solo and Town Hall variants for the game. In both variants, players take turns as the “Mayor” who draws a Resource card from a Resource deck instead of using the “Master Builder”. All players then gain the resource as shown by the card.
Tiny Towns is expected to release in April of 2019. See the AEG website for more information.
Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced Scorpius Freighter, an interesting hand management, rondel driven, space game from designers Matthew Dunstan (Elysium, Pioneer Days) and David Short (Automobiles). 2-4 players each select one of 7 factions, taking the 4 crew members specific to that faction, each with unique abilities. Each turn, players “assign” 1-2 of their crew member cards, tucking them underneath their player board. They then move one of the 3 motherships on the board in its dedicated orbit/rondel, a number of spaces equal to the number of assigned crew cards. The final landing space of the mothership determines the player’s action for the turn. However, unassigned crew still in hand give that action better, more powerful options, necessitating a balance between assigned and unassigned crew cards. If a player only has 1 unassigned crew card left, all crew are refreshed, otherwise assigned crew remain assigned for the next turn. Possible actions include upgrading crew, upgrading your ship, using your ships abilities, expanding storage space, picking up cargo, selling cargo on the side, or fulfilling government contracts. When a mothership makes a full orbit around its rondel, it confiscates cargo from the freighters, and the number of confiscated cargo cubes in motherships determines the end of the game. The player with the most victory points emerges victorious. Scorpius Freighter features beautiful artwork by Víctor Pérez Corbella (Champions of Midgard), Jay Epperson, and Matt Paquette (Mystic Vale), as well as multitudes of cards, tiles and pieces. For more details, including the full instructions, check out AEG’s website here. Scorpius Freighter will have a pre-release at Essen Spiel 2018, October 25-28.
Fans of deck-building and dungeon-delving will be delighted to hear that Alderac Entertainment Group will be launching the second Kickstarter for their celebrated game, Thunderstone Quest, on July 17th at 9:00 am PST. Pursuing their goal of transitioning to traditional brick and mortar stores, TQ will also be making its way into retail outlets in the fourth quarter of 2018.
New to this Kickstarter will be:
Both solo and co-op rules (which will also be available on print-and-play)
A 6th quest
An add-on for more than 4 players
A new (second) storage solution, as the old Champion box, massive as it was, “is effectively full if you sleeve and have Epic”.
Backers can purchase everything offered the first time around. The base game or the Champion level rewards (identical to the 1st Kickstarter) will both be available, or they can back for the new content only. Those who backed the Adventurer level the first time can get an add-on pack, giving them the content from the Champion level. The Champion level will feature the same 5 quests as before and Kickstarter will be the only place that someone can obtain the 2nd quest, Total Eclipse of the Sun. The retail version will not contain this quest.
The solo and co-op rules system will be bundled together with the 6th quest, What Lies Beneath, as a single add-on. Solo and c0-op will both use the same set of cards as the base game. The new solo and co-op rules will also be available in print-and-play, so it will be interesting to see what extras this add-on will have.
Regarding the new solo and co-op system, AEG stated,
The Thunderstone community also strongly communicated that they wanted a Solo & Co-Op experience for the game. Our design team has been working on a game experience that is way beyond just a simple set of rules and represents an entirely new way to experience Thunderstone. We think it is AWESOME!
Delivery for all backer levels is scheduled for “no later than April 2019“.
Timelines for retail releases:
Core starter set, which, along with basic components, will contain Quest 1, Mirror in the Dark and Quest 3, Rise From the Mire
Quest 4, At the Foundations of the World
Quest 5, Ripples in Time
Second Half of 2019:
Quest 6, What Lies Beneath
Lastly, retailers joining the Kick It Here program can back the Champion Reward and the Solo/Co-op system with Quest 6 and have it before the regular retail release.
To see reviews and a playthrough of TQ, click here. For more TQ information and updates prior to the Kickstarter, click here.
“At AEG Mara will have responsibility for managing the company’s sales & marketing efforts including managing our relationships with wholesale and retail accounts, overseeing the creation of advertising, promotions, and support programs for our game lines, improving our communication with players, retailers, wholesalers, licensors, licensees and members of the press including a wide variety of influencers, reporters and editors.”-Alderac Entertainment Group
AEG is excited to have Mara join their team as she brings fresh ideas, more diversity, and a track record of success.