First in our lineup is the dungeon crawl game from Greenbrier Games called Folklore: The Affliction. This is an RPG style board game where you are playing characters trying to investigate and drive back the evil that is gripping the land. The game is themed around the horror genre so you will be fighting things like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more. In an interesting twist for this game, if you are killed you will become a ghost yourself, being able to continue with the party and attack enemies from beyond the grave. The scale of the game is on two levels, with movement between locations being done on a map board with one pawn denoting the whole group. Then when you arrive at a location it will zoom in to all of your characters being on another board representing the location for you to explore and fight monsters on. The game comes packaged with a campaign broken up into smaller chapters that can be played in one sitting, allowing you to tailor the game length to your desires. Look for this horror dungeon crawl on store shelves next month.
Coming later this month is a new game from Breaking Games called Sparkle*Kitty, a quick card game that turns the helpless princess trope on it’s head. In the game you each play a different princess trying to escape from the “Cursed “No Cursing” tower“. Not much else has been released about the game other then it being released later this month, and that the art is fabulous. So keep an eye out for the game and hopefully it’s good.
Keeping with the light-hearted theme we have the next release from North Star Games, Happy Salmon Blue Fish. Those hoping for an expansion to this loud and crazy party game will be a bit disappointed, but if you wanted more players in a single game then look no further. Happy Salmon Blue Fish contains all the same cards and components as the original, only this time the player colors are different than those contained in the original green fish edition of the game. This makes it easy to ramp the player count all the way up to 12, making for a game that is even louder and crazier than before. So if you want to have more players, or just prefer the blue color, look for this edition on store shelves in September.
Wizkids has announced their latest game, and it is the generically named Empires, a new trading and negotiation type game. In Empires, 2 to 10 players will try to expand their kingdom across the land by acquiring support. To get support “by supplying your people with goods; goods are produced when your people work in your territories. Players can gain people, territories, goods, and supporters by winning wars. Wars will be won by the armies raised by paying gold. Gold can be earned by winning wars and by selling goods.” So as you can see there is a lot of shuffling around of resources, but you won’t always have all the resources you need, that’s where the trading comes in. You are allowed to trade anything and everything between players, goods, player powers, people, territories, whatever you have so that you can achieve your goal. So if this kind of game intrigues you, look for it on store shelves in October of this year.
Next we have something that is exciting for Tom Vasel, and that is the impending release of the next game in the Dice Tower Essentials line, Critical Mass. The game used to be known as Starborne, and is a two player card battle game with some deck building. Each player will pick their mech, and each mech comes with it’s own unique starting deck of cards. From there you will play cards against each other attacking, defending, and upgrading. Attacking and defending as self explanatory, and the upgrading action is what allows you to get more cards into your deck. However, as you play more cards you will start to run out, and you don’t get cards back until you do a reload action. As you take hits you will lose armor, lose too much armor and your core becomes vulnerable, allowing your opponent to stun you for a turn. The winner will be the one who destroys all the armor on their opponent’s mech first. Look for this game on the shelves of your FLGS in November.
Finally we have two new games coming from Ankama games later this year in Dino Party and Stellium. Dino Party is a party game at the end of the age of dinosaurs, where you and your friends are trying to grow your herd and get to the protected spaces. But with disasters happening all around you, will you be able to make it? This quick party game will be released next month.
Stellium is a new abstract game where you are creators of the universe in the midst of creating that universe. On a turn you will draw a colorful marble from a bag and place it on the board, aiming to arrange the marbles in specific ways to satisfy contracts. But since this is being done by everyone on the same board, you have to be careful not to setup your opponent to score instead of you. An additional layer of strategy is added with variable player powers, allowing you to place a marble and then manipulate them in different ways. Look for this game to be released in October of this year.
Arcane Wonders and Mesa Board Games are bringing the newest Dice Tower Essentials game, Viral, to stores in August 2017. In Viral, 2-5 players play viruses attempting to take over organs in an infected patient. Players have to be careful, though, since if too many viruses invade an organ, a CRISIS occurs and the host immune system will almost certainly come to wipe out the infection. Mutation cards allow players to modify their virus, changing its behavior and therefore your strategy. Virus is a new take on Area Control designed by Antonio Sousa Lara (City of Spies: Estoril 1942) and and Gil d’Orey (Panamax), with delightful whimsical artwork by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (Raiders of the North Sea, City of Spies: Estoril 1942), and plays in 60-90 minutes.
Look for Viral in Stores in August, and you can read more on the Arcade Wonders Website here.
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)
2017 is still going strong with board game releases, and we have two more exciting entries to be excited about. First and foremost is a new expansion for Onitama from Arcane Wonders. Sensei’s Path releases this May and simply adds 16 cards to Onitama, which has been confirmed to fit in the original box unsleeved. Onitama is an excellent absract strategy game for two players where each game is ran by a subset of cards. More cards is a great thing, as it shakes up the meta for the game and adds more replayability.
The second piece of release news we have to share is a unique new game coming in Q2 from Iello – Arena: For the Gods! Details have been surprisingly scant about this title for a few months now, so I had to dig up this thread from BGG where an Iello representative dished out an intriguing explanation of the game:
“…It’s a tactical brawling game using dice, with a clever preliminary phase where you bid with your character’s HP to get the best gears (Weapon, Armor, Mount & Spell). During the fight, your 4 pieces of equipment will be activated with 7 dice, and will allow powerful combos (providing you made the right choices during the first step of the game). […]The game has a LOT of replayability, as there are more Equipment cards in the box than needed to play, and the board’s setting (size, columns, traps, healing fountains…) is modulable.”
All good stuff to look forward to! I for one will be very interested to see the reviews we push out for both of them as the year moves along. We’ll have to wait and see, especially for Arena and if it’s interesting combination of bidding and dice-chucking will be as fun as it sounds. Be sure to check out Arcane Wonders and Iello’s websites and products pages for more information and specific release dates as those details develop.
Arcane Wonders has partnered with MESAboardgames to release an English language version of VIRAL. Designed by António Sousa Lara and Gil d’Orey, VIRAL is a 2-5 player area-control game where players compete to infect and control organs in a human body. As Bryan Pope, President of Arcane Wonders said:
“When Tom brought us VIRAL to play, we fell in love with it immediately! It has a fresh, original and clever theme; a territorial control game set inside the human body! The game play is simple and streamlined, yet it has lots of great tactical decisions and difficult choices. The game has a lot of flavor and personality, with great player interaction. My favorite part is the mutation cards; They allow you to mutate your viruses, changing how they behave, and develop your strategy.”
Each player is a deadly virus. The object is to mutate and take over the host’s organs. Other player’s viruses are sure to get in the way, and if too many viruses are present in an organ a Crisis occurs and the Immune System will wipe out your infection!
VIRAL will be first shown at Gen Con
in 2017 at Arcane Wonders’ Booth. It is planned for an August 2017 release.
Arcane Wonders has announced the release of a new set of promotional items that will be available exclusively to brick and mortar retail stores. A box of 12 unique promotional items along with instructions will be available for use at in-store events.
The Arcane Wonders Retail Support Kit will include promos for Mage Wars Academy as well as four games from the Dice Towers Essentials line: Speechless, Royals, Onitama and Sheriff of Nottingham. The Dice Tower Essentials line of games are those that Tom Vasel the gaming godfather himself, believes are essential for any gamer’s collection.
The promotional kit, which will certainly help convince Sheriffs everywhere that there’s nothing in the bag but chickens, will only be available while supplies last and only is available to brick and mortar stores.
Arcane Wonders has just announced they will be publishing the game Spoils of War, a design of Bryan Pope and Jason Medina about bluffing your way to the biggest pile of loot. The game will play like a variation of Liar’s Dice where all players will roll a set of dice, and then start placing bets. With each winning hand you will grow your stash of loot, and once everything has been divided up, whoever has the most will be the winner.
Attendees of BGG.CON will have a leg up on the rest of us for this game as it was debuted at the convention, the rest of us will have to wait for it’s release in April of 2017. For more information you can read the full press release below.
SPOILS OF WAR coming in April!
ARCANE WONDERS TO RELEASE SPOILS OF WAR
Sachse, TX (Nov. 15th, 2016) – Arcane Wonders® is proud to announce Spoils of War designed by Bryan Pope and Jason Medina. An exciting dice game of bidding, bluffing, and betting, Spoils of War provides non-stop gameplay that will test the wits of casual and strategic players alike!
The raid is over, and the victorious Vikings gather in the chieftain’s tent to divide the Spoils of War! Piled high on a massive oak table are the best treasures taken during the raid; gleaming gems, shiny swords, fine armor, and magical artifacts! Once strong allies, the Vikings are taken by greed, and soon a heated debate ensues –who will get what spoils? Fists pound the table, insults are made, and tempers rise! Let the Spoils of War begin!
Spoils of War is a fast-paced and exciting game of bidding and wagering for 3-5 players. Each round, players roll their dice, and then cleverly bluff and bet to outwit their fellow Vikings. The winners of each round get to claim fantastic treasures to add to their collection! With lots of twists and surprises, no one knows who will win until the last treasure is claimed and the spoils are counted!
“While designing and developing Spoils of War, the underlying goal was to make a game of high social interaction that we love to play.” says Arcane Wonders President and lead designer of Spoils of War, Bryan Pope. “We’ve been working on this game for a long time, and are confident that Spoils of War captures the fun and excitement our fans crave!”
Attendees of BGG Con this week will have the first public opportunity to play Spoils of War at Arcane Wonder’s booth and during several sneak-peek events have been scheduled. Look Spoils of War to hit shelves in April 2017. Gameplay is 60 minutes for 3-5 players ages 14+.
CoolMiniOrNot has acquired the rights to publish Sheriff of Nottingham, the first game in the Dice Tower Essentials line, worldwide. In a short press release CMON expressed it’s pleasure to be able to work with Arcane Wonders to be able to bring this game into more and more markets around the world. You can read the full press release below.
Today, March 7 2016, CMON Limited announced it has acquired the critically acclaimed Sheriff of Nottingham from Brazilian publisher Galapagos Jogos. “CMON is excited to welcome such an esteemed title to our growing library and will continue to offer the game to fans worldwide,” says Chern Ann Ng, CEO of CMON.
In Sheriff of Nottingham, players attempt to gain the most wealth by selling goods both legal and illegal at the market. Each round, one player becomes the Sheriff, policing the market by stopping any contraband from being sold or accepting bribes to line his own pockets. Sheriff of Nottingham is part of the Dice Tower Essentials line of games.
CMON is pleased to work with Arcane Wonders, who will be responsible for publishing the English edition of Sheriff of Nottingham worldwide. “Arcane Wonders is excited to be working with CoolMiniOrNot,” says Bryan Pope, CEO of Arcane Wonders. “This new relationship will provide even better support of the game and fans will see some great expansions in the future.”
Sheriff of Nottingham has appeared in multiple languages, including German, Italian, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Czech. CMON will continue to work with existing worldwide partners to ensure there will be no interruption in the supply of the game. For inquiries regarding a foreign language edition of Sheriff of Nottingham, please contact Carol Negrão at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CMON looks forward to the future of Sheriff of Nottingham and its continued presence on tables for years to come.
About CMON Limited
CMON is an international publisher of boardgames, tabletop games and apps. Beginning from small hobbyist roots, CMON has grown into a multinational group that publishes several award winning games, including Zombicide, Arcadia Quest and Blood Rage.
About Arcane Wonders
Arcane Wonders is a game publisher dedicated to producing a few great games each year. Each game is carefully selected, given lavish attention to detail and art, and made with the highest quality. We’re building an amazing brand, one great game at a time!
Take charades and add in a scoring system like Dixit and you would have Speechless, a new party game for the Dice Tower Essentials line.
In Speechless the active player will draw a card and that card will be one of three colors, green for easy, yellow for medium, and red for hard. On that card will be two words. An example green card might be binoculars and gloves. You will then have 90 seconds to act out each word for the other players can guess. All the other players will have white boards to write their answers on, and at the end of the 90 seconds whoever has the right answer will score some points. If you write a wrong answer, and other players write the same wrong answer, then you still score some points.
Overall this seems like a fun party game and I can definitely see this as a great addition to the line, you can find out more on the Arcane Wonders site.
Straight from the GTS Distribution Trade Show in Atlanta 2015 we have some excellent news to share with you all:
Arcane Wonders, makers of the Dice Tower Essentials line, have announced that a Sheriff of Nottingham expansion is under development and is being designed by our Capo, Tom Vasel, and fellow designers Steve Avery and Zee Garcia.
Now that AEG has finished their trio of vehicle games, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, they now turn their attention to expanding the three games. Interestingly they are opting to release a single expansion that will contain modules to expand the three different games instead of three different expansions so look forward to this.
Marvel Legendary is the deck building game that keeps on going and there is no plan to stop now with the announcement of Legendary Captain America. Expect to see this small box expansion from Upper Deck in 2016.
Have you been itching to get some Cthulhu in your war game? Well you won’t have to wait much longer as Shadows over Normandie from Iello is set to release on November 12th.
Fluxx, the game with more variations than Love Letter, has just passed the 2 million Fluxx games sold mark, so toss Andy Looney and the folks at Looney Labs a congratulations for reaching this amazing milestone.
Hot on the heels of the release of T.I.M.E. Stories, the folks over at Space Cowboys have stated they intend to provide a new scenario for the game every quarter, making sure you don’t get bored of playing the same scenario over and over.
That’s it for now, but loads more news will be coming as the show goes on so keep watching here or the Dice Tower twitter feed.
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