Area Control Game
Shoot Again Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for their new action selection, area control game Born to Serve, by designers Nick and Diane Sauer, including beautiful comic book style art by Ryan Browne. In Born to Serve, 2-5 players take on the role of out-of-work superheroes, forced to compete for tips in a restaurant. Players take turns placing their service markers at tables to compete for tips, or on employees to gain special favors from the staff. At the end of the round, the player with the most service markers at each table earns that table’s tip, while other players earn a fraction as much. Winners, however, lose their service markers, making future rounds more difficult. New customers fill finished tables each round, and after all customers have been served, the most tips wins the game. The game comes with 10 different superheroes, each with 2 special powers usable once per round. The Kickstarter Campaign for Born to Serve continues through January 31, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2019.
Earlier this year Kolossal Games successfully funded a new edition of the John Clowdus game, Omen: A Reign of War. Now, Kolossal Games and designer John Clowdus are teaming up once again to bring Mezo to Kickstarter.
Mezo is a big box game which taps into Mayan mythology. It’s an area control game featuring asymmetric player powers, which gives each player a variety of ways to manipulate and benefit from conflicts. Oh, and it has miniatures!
“The first big box game from Small Box Games designer John Clowdus (Omen, Hemloch, Neolithic), Mezo redefines area control and conflict-driven game play. The game features massive god miniatures, each with vastly asymmetrical strategies, as well as numerous ways for players to achieve victory: most strength in the conflict, most shamans in the conflict, and most warriors in the conflict.”
The Kickstarter for Mezo has three pledge tiers. The base game of Mezo (2-4 players), starting at $80, includes miniatures, a game board, tarot size cards, and a host of other tokens and components. Other pledge tiers provide components for a fifth player, as well as, more game content, including additional god characters and their associated miniatures.
You can see a live play through of Mezo here, featuring Tom, Sam and Zee. Also, Tom had an opportunity to interview John Clowdus and Travis Chance from Kolossal Games about Mezo, which you can see here.
Renegade Game Studios has started laying the groundwork for another big GenCon with plans to release Gunkimono by Jeffrey D. Allers with art by George Sellas. Gunkimono has already received a Seal of Excellence from The Dice Tower!
Gunkimono is a tactical tile-laying and area control game set in feudal Japan where players will be challenged to optimize their troop deployment in order to gain the most ground while increasing military strength. The game is designed for 2-5 players aged 10+ and will play in 45-60 minutes.
In war-torn feudal Japan, the soldiers are restless. The endless battles, betrayals, and broken promises have the soldiers questioning where their loyalties lie. Meanwhile, the daimyo are strategizing, marshaling their troops, and erecting strongholds to bolster the strength of their armies, all in pursuit of honor and ultimate victory.
In the game each player will take on the roles of a daimyo. Players will then plot military movement across the countryside. Players will develop new squads of troops to build up victory points but must balance this with the need to forego expansion in order to build up their stronghold instead.
The game will be released at GenCon 2018, taking place August 2-5th 2018.
What’s in the Box?
Included in the game will be:
- 1 Game Board
- 25 Small Army Tiles (1 troop each) – infantry, samurai, cavalry, spearman, archer
- 60 Large Army Tiles (2 troops each)
- 15 War Banner Tiles – dragon, crane, lotus
- 10 Strongholds
- 5 Daimyo Figures
- 5 Daimyo Tiles
- 25 Honor Markers
- 1 Start Player Sword
- 1 End-of-Game Tile
- 1 Cover Tile
- 1 Rulebook
Isles of Terror is a new story driven strategy game currently being funded on Kickstarter by Voodoo Games. In Isles of Terror, 1-4 players either competitively or cooperatively each take control of a faction, with unique strategy cards, comprised of a ship, captains, camps, and soldiers, working to explore and take over spaces on the isle towards a specific goal. The game is driven by a unique player board which limits the actions available to the player. Players get three action tokens, which are placed on a connected grid. Action token spaces connect to three different actions the player can choose from, but if the connecting line shows a resource, the player must pay to complete that action. By this mechanism, some actions can be done only once, some multiple times, or some may become locked out. Game play takes place season by season in an overarching story line, several of which can be connected into a campaign. Each season starts with an event, and continues through the players’ three actions. Check out the Kickstarter page for pictures, rules and tutorial videos.
The Kickstarter Campaign includes options for the Core Game, expanded Conqueror’s Edition with 92 miniatures, optional expansions and extra factions. The Campaign continues through February 20, and is expected to deliver in November 2018.
Another week, another round of Kickstarters as things start to ramp up for PAX Unplugged this weekend. First on the list is the second game from Mathew Sisson and company, makers of the card game Spaceteam, this time all about surviving on an uncharted island instead of a falling apart spaceship. The game is called Ravine, and in the game you will crash land on an island, with each person starting out at different levels of being hurt, and from there it’s up to you to survive. You will risk your health to forage for food and supplies, then use those supplies to build helpful items like spears, shelter, baskets, or fires in order to survive. Come night time you will flip over a card that will try to hurt you in some way, but comes with a way to avoid it if you have the right cards. If you and all your companions are able to survive through all the night cards, you will be rescued and win the game! If you like this kind of cooperative survival game, and found the Spaceteam card game enjoyable, check out the Kickstarter today.
Next is the latest in the line of Wallet Games from Button Shy Games, and that is HeroTec, In Vino Morte, and Kintsugi. To start this trio we have the drafting game HeroTec, where you want to outfit your hero with the best gear possible to impress everyone. You will do this by drafting cards into your stockpile, and then from your stockpile you will use them as resources in order to build the gadgets for you hero. Once you have fully outfitted your hero you will compare with everyone else and the most stars will be the winner. Kintsugi is a tile laying game where you will be taking cards and overlaying them, keeping in mind placement rules, in order to score the lowest score. You and your opponent will be alternating placing cards on the board, trying to make your secret color dominant, but without letting your opponent know which one it is. If you get figured out the your opponent gets to reduce their score, if you are able to keep it hidden, then their score will go up, lowest score is the winner. And finally, In Vino Morte is a very light social deduction game where you are trying to be the last one standing at the party. Each round a new bartender will be chosen and they will pass out the drinks, with at least one of them being poisoned. On your turn you can either drink what is in front of you or trade, after everyone has a turn and it gets back to the bartender then everyone else drinks. People who are poisoned are out and the rest stay in for another round. So if any of these games sound interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page to back for one, some, or all of these games.
Next up is a game called Mountaineers, which takes the 3D aspect to a whole other level. In this game your goal is to complete climbing routes in a ticket to ride type fashion by hiking around the ground and climbing the massive mountain in front of you. And when I say mountain, I mean a three sided spire of a mountain that you will be placing your pawn on as you climb up it. Each round different events will be happening that give you supplies, the main currency of the game, and alter the game conditions in either good or bad ways. Then each player will get the chance to use the supplies they have to buy upgrades, move around the board, or mess with their fellow players in a bid to gain the most climbing points. Rounds will continue and players will keep climbing until they have run out the event deck, at that point routes are scored and whoever has the most points is the winner. Thus if you like mountain games, or are just a fan of 3D games with an impressive table presence, check out the Kickstarter page.
After that we have a new cooperative deck building game called Direwild, a first design by Vas Obeyesekere. In this game you Animists, mages who summon animals to aid them, and are trying to stop the evil Karn, a member of your own order that turned evil. During the game, which is a mix of dungeon crawl and deck building, the minions of Karn will move around the board, trying to take you out and keep you from stopping him. On your turn you will do typical deck building actions of drawing cards, playing cards, and buying upgraded cards. After that then you use the cards you just played to summon an animal to move around the board and fight the evil monsters. Cards will often have a basic animal on them for you to choose from, but they also have text that is upside down, and so if you rotate the card, it then becomes an add-on to an already summoned animal. This way you can turn a smaller animal into something formidable to fight along side you. If you and your friends are able to defeat the minions, find and defeat Karn, you will be the winner of Direwild. To find out more about this game check out the Kickstarter page.
Finally we have the freshest Kickstarter on the list, and that is the second Kickstarter for Ogre miniatures from Steve Jackson Games. This campaign offers a whole new set of miniatures for the latest edition of Ogre, and all the models being offered are not the same as the ones in the first set. Backing this set means you will be able to upgrade a good variety of units in the game from cardboard chits, to full blown minis. Included in this set are: 1 Paneuropean Fencer with extra Fencer-B turret, 6 Superheavy Tanks, 4 Mobile Howitzers, 6 GEV-PCs with 3 infantry each (infantry are compatible with those from Set 1), 12 Light Tanks, and 12 Light GEVs. So if you want more minis for this classic game, check out the Kickstarter now.
Here we are with another week of Kickstarters of a wide array from an election game, to a detective game, to a war game, so lets get started. Up first, we have a card game based on an app called Cahoots, and being published by Mayday Games. The game Cahoots is a normal trick taking game, but with a bit of a twist in that there are no follow rules and you score is based on which suit won the trick, not who won the trick. But the question is, which suits will score for you? That is determined by a card you receive at the start of the game and will have three of the six suits on them, and it’s these suits that will score for you. However, you won’t be the only one scoring with those suits, so over the game you will be partnering with different people in order to score the suits on your card. So each round you will play out a total of two cards, and whatever suit had the highest total value will be the winner and be scored that round. After that you will choose some cards to keep, and some cards to remove from the game, shrinking the available card pool. Once all the cards are out of the game, whoever has the most points is the winner. So if this new take on trick taking sounds interesting to you, or you are a fan of the app, check out the Kickstarter page.
Next is our war game entry, coming straight to you from the prolific war game creator DVG, this time as an air dog-fighting card game called Down in Flames: Locked On. In this game you will be flying one, two, or three of dozens of different aircraft of the recent age like the F-15C Eagle or the Sea Harrier FRS1. You will be taking these into battle trying to shoot down the opposing player’s planes through clever use of your missiles. At the heart of this game are the action cards, each with multiple uses from special abilities, to maneuvering, to attacking, and even countering your enemy’s attack. When you attack you will play your card, if your opponent counters with a card you then have the opportunity to counter that card, continuing like this until the final card is played. If you managed to play the final card your attack succeeds, if your opponent, then the attack is canceled. When an attack is successful you will then draw cards based on what you fired to then carry out another attack sequence with those cards. If you succeed there, you have destroyed the enemy craft, and if they are all destroyed you win the game! So if a fast playing, dog-fighting style card game with a healthy dose of real life accuracy is your kind of thing, then check out this Kickstarter today.
Next we have a new detective game from Van Ryder Games called Detective: City of Angels. This game I think is best described as Clue on steroids, with the main difference is that this game is more complex and is done as a one versus all style game. One person is The Chisel, whose sole job is to lead the detectives astray and keep the case from ever being solved. The detectives will be moving around the board, investigating locations and questioning suspects. But here is where it gets tricky, The Chisel will be choosing the responses that he gives from those being question, and he can even outright lie to you. However, if you challenge him on his bluff you can get the truth, revealing much needed information to solve your case, but challenge on a truth and he gets leverage over you to use against you later. You can also bribe a snitch to be able to listen in on this info so even if you aren’t there, you can get some critical info to help you solve your case. Strong arm some suspects, get to the truth, and solve the case before the trail goes cold and you can win the game. You can find out more on the Kickstarter page.
After that is the unusual game of the article, and that is Electioneer, the Hong Kong election board game from Nightdreamer. This game aims to do with the Hong Kong election system what Die Macher did for the German election system, and that is create a great game out of it. This is an area control and resource management type game where you will be going around the various towns and cities trying to secure the most votes. One way to get votes is through strategy cards, which show a number of territories that have some connection to them, like hitting the 12 different districts that are home to higher education institutions to get the college vote. You will also get votes for holding the most influence in different zones on the board, as well as for holding the second most influence. Basically there are a lot of ways to get votes, and this game shows it’s designer’s researching ability because all of these ways to get votes are methods used in actual Hong Kong elections. Will you be able to manage your money well and get enough votes to be elected? Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.
And last but not least, we have a reprint and revamp of a previously Kickstarted game, and that is Endure the Stars from Grimlord Games. This 1.5 version will not only allow new players to be able to acquire this game and it’s many extras, but also improve the game for those who already own it. Endure the Stars itself is a survival horror type game where you are passengers on a colonization ship a year into it’s long journey. However, unauthorized experiments have been conducted to try and engineer a new life-form to explore new planets, but those experiments were discovered and the lifeforms got out, killing everyone in their path. Now people are living in small groups scavenging to survive, and it’s up to your group to try and root out these creatures before they kill you all. Fight back with all sorts of different weapons and ammo, and try to maintain your sanity as you play through the campaign to defeat this evil. So if a sci-fi dungeon crawl game sounds interesting, or if you own the first edition, check out the Kickstarter page today.
Another week, another batch of Kickstarters worth a second look.
First up is a game designed specifically for the visually impaired in mind, and that is Megateh. This Japanese designed game is essentially a tactile version of the classic game Quarto, where you need to get 4 in a row of all the same shape, all the same height, or in a descending height. Players are blindfolded when playing the game so you will have to feel for the pieces, which consist of solid disks and discs with a hole in the middle, in order to place them. But you also have to feel for where to place them, figuring out where the other pieces have been placed already and trying to set yourself up to win, while not setting up your opponent to win. First person to get four in a row as described above wins! There are several pledge levels to get different versions of the game that range from a mini ceramic $18 model, up to a fully customized $88 wood model. So if this kind of game interests you, or want to support games designed for visually impaired players, then check out the Kickstarter page.
Next is the latest game from the Nickelodeon and IDW Games partnership, and that is Legend of Korra: Pro Bending Arena. This is a two player arena game where each player controls a pro bending team like the Fire Ferrets, White Falls Wolfbats, or the Red Sands Rabaroos. Each team has their own unique set of minis, team ability, and technique cards that will be used in the game. But before you start the game you have the option of creating your custom strategy deck, which is the deck of technique cards you will be pulling from during the game to play against your opponents. However, the deck doesn’t have to be static, as during the game you will have the ability to purchase more technique cards from your supply with chi that you have built up. Your players also will come equipped with trick card that give them powerful special abilities, but some of which cause you to roll the referee die, risking the possibility of your team member being ejected from the game. In the end it’s last man standing as you fight to knock the opposing team out of the ring, whoever is left is the winner. So if this sounds like an interesting game to you, check out the Kickstarter page.
After that is another arena combat game called Zero Gravity, that utilizes a unique gimmick in it’s gameplay. On it’s surface, Zero Gravity looks to be your normal arena battle game with each player controlling a team of combatants. You are racing to get thirty points which is done through taking out your opponents troops, capturing objectives, or completing achievements. First person to 30 points will be the winner. Now as for what makes this game unique, that comes in the board that you play on, a 3D board which has playing surfaces on every interior surface. Also each miniature comes equipped with a magnet, allowing them to stick to the walls and ceiling, bringing a typically 2D game into the 3rd dimension. This mean that sight and range lines are no longer just drawn on the board, now you will be drawing them in the area to see if your troop on the floor can hit the troop on the wall. Overall it looks to be an interesting game, and if you find it interesting to then head on over to the Kickstarter page.
For this project we have the ubiquitous Cards Against Humanity clone, but this time done by well known game company Steve Jackson Games. Conspiracy Theory is you typical draw a black card to get your prompt, and play white cards to complete the phrase in the most hilarious way possible. One major difference is that this game is all about conspiracy theories, like the title suggests, and so the cards being played are well withing the PG-13 realm. So if you are looking for a party, card game that isn’t so offensive, and has the typical Steve Jackson flair, check out it’s Kickstarter page.
Next is another party game called News@11, where you try to come up with the best news segment that you can. During the game you will have a producer, a lead anchor, and news anchors. The lead anchor will be the one who hands out the segment cards, telling you what kind of news report you will be giving. The different options include things like sports, weather, health & beauty, traffic and more. Each news anchor will have three of these segment cards for their morning, afternoon, and evening news segments. To populate these segments you will draw cue cards that have you fill in a word mad lib style, and you will use one cue for your morning segment, then add a second for afternoon, and finally a third for the evening. It’s these crazy combinations of words and segments that will generate a lot of the laughter in the game, and the best news caster will be selected as the winner. As for the producer, they will be handing out producer cards that keep things moving, but can also cause some chaos. So if you are looking for a new party game with a news feel to it, check out the Kickstarter page.
Following that we have another board game based on a television IP, and that is Warehouse 13 the Board Game. In Warehouse 13 the game you are playing as agents to either help or hurt the warehouse and to collect the artifacts that have been scattered around the world. In there game you will have several agents and one traitor, with the agents working to capture three artifacts, and the traitor working to have three artifacts lost, and then win the finale. Gameplay is a mix of dice and card play with dice being rolled to set the difficulty of retrieving the artifact, or used to pass attribute tests that have been placed on different locations. The cards are what you will be playing to acquire clues and eventually acquire the artifact. However, the traitor has many ways to affect these endeavors, and if any of several conditions are met, then the artifact is lost to the Adversary and they move one step closer to winning. Each game is called an episode and if the villains get three artifacts, the finale happens where has the agents trying to foil his final plan before he wins. Each character is pulled straight from the show and each has their own special abilities that can be used once an episode or season, or is always available. So if you enjoy these puzzle type games with a traitor, or are looking for a Warehouse 13 themed game, check out this Kickstarter.
And finally we have the latest from Mindclash Games, makers of Anachrony and Trickerion, a new area control style game called Cerebria. In Cerebria you are playing the role of either Bliss or Gloom, trying to spread your influence to all the denizens of the town. You will does this through various area control aspects such as allies in different locations, a scoring tower in the middle of the board, and your allies presence. After you pick a side you will play the game by carrying out actions on your spirit board. You have many actions to choose from and you will be playing cards from your hand as well to move around the board, affect emotions on the board, put out new emotions, and other actions. As you do these things you will begin to use up resources from different spheres on the board, when one is empty there is a scoring round where you check to see if you achieved varying aspirations. Achieving these aspirations gets you pieces of a tower placed in the center, of which their height and facing affect different actions on the board. At the end, whoever has more of their color in the tower at the end is the winner of the game. This is just a brief overview and there is much more to the game, so if you want to find out more then head on over to the Kickstarter page.
On the cusp of Cry Havoc’s 1 year anniversary, Portal Games have announced Cry Havoc Aftermath‘s release date, and that is the Essen fair later this year. Also, in addition to announcing the date of its release, Portal Games has also given us more info on what you can expect from this new expansion. Below is from the email announcement they sent:
New addition: Universal Structures
Aftermath expansion includes new universal structures, such as victory points generating Propaganda Center, crystal placing Geological Scanning Center and card drawing AI Servers, which will give you universal bonuses and advantages.
New addition: Faction Structures
Your army never was more powerful, more determined and closer to ultimate victory. These new Faction Structures include units transporting Choppa (which allows you to Get to da choppa!) for the Human Army, prisoner exploiting Psycho-Chamber (which will let you get psyched) for the Machine Army, crystals turbo harvesting Turbo Harvester for Pilgrim Army and movement slowing Swamp Fields for Trog Army.
New addition – 4 Leader Boards
Four great leaders for your armies, such as Human Col. E Rose, Machine Omega Brain T-14, Pilgrim Mystic or Trog Ashlas Chief who will not only increase number of your tactical options, but will prove quite useful at managing your skills and structures.
New addition: Scoring Events
Additional ways to score points with new scoring events cards, such as Probe Reports and Training Alarm!
So if you are a fan of Cry Havoc and want more, look for this at the Essen fair, and if you aren’t there, look for it on store shelves soon after.
Another week, and another round of Kickstarters to deliver a pounding to your wallet.
First up is an expansion to an award winning game, and that is Beasts of Balance Battles. Beasts of Balance is a hybrid game where you stack geometrically shaped animals on a platform, and those animals then appear in an app you run to play the game. Throughout the game you will moving, combining, and stacking animals in an effort to have the highest score in the app by the end of the game. This is because while you may just stack animals in real life, in the app each action has differing effects, making this dexterity game much more interesting. What Battles adds to the game is cards that have effects that attack and remove your opponents animals. There are also a volcano to contend with now and divine guardians that give you special abilities during the game. So if you want to expand your Beast of Balance game, or jump into the game now, check out the Kickstarter.
Next up is a new tile placement and area control type game called Overworld. This game aims to capitalize on the nostalgia of Super Nintendo era RPG games, evident in their choice of box design and the similarity of game pieces to quintessential RPG characters. In this game you are slowing building out the map, and whenever you completely surround an empty square, that becomes a dungeon. Who controls the dungeon is determined by who holds a majority in all orthogonal directions. At the end of the game you will trace a route through all your dungeons and however many spaces it takes will be your final score, and most points is the winner. One other things to mention about this project is the puzzle lock system they came up with for the tiles, essentially making it so that if the pieces fit together, it’s a legal placement of the tile, a nice innovation to help simplify the game. So if you are interested, head on over to the Kickstarter page to check out this 16-bit themed game.
After that we have a family weight game called Pepper and Carrot, the Potion Contest. Pepper and Carrot is a tile manipulation game in that each turn you will be using action cards on the table or in your hand to manipulate tiles on your board. What you are trying to do with those tiles is get the right ingredients connected together to form one of the three recipes on the main board. Be the first to complete all three recipes and you are the winner. There are also additional game modes including solo mode and Chaosah mode, where one player plays as an old witch needing only to complete one recipe, but they are at a disadvantage to the other players. Art is excellent and very light, making this a great looking game. Check out the Kickstarter today.
Next we have the latest game from Victory Point Games, a deck builder with a board type game called Renegade. This is a cooperative game where you are playing hackers, fighting against the tyranny of the SMCs (super massive computers) that have brought the world to the brink. You will use cards to generate resources on the board, and with those resources you can perform various actions to combat the SMCs. As you generate resources, if you have three of the same kind in a spot you can convert it into an installation, allowing you access to more and stronger abilities. As with other deck builders there will be a hackers deck that allows you to buy upgraded cards with better resources and abilities. Can you stop the machines? Check out the Kickstarter page for more information and to pledge.
Now we get to the smallest of the Kickstarter offerings I will be talking about, and that is Twin Stars by Button Shy Games, part of their Wallet Series of game. These are a pack of solo game scenarios featuring the same game system, which utilizes four dice, some tokens, and three cards. The path to victory in each game is very different, but the core of the game is dice rolling to get combinations of symbols to activate abilities. The choices in the game come from deciding which dice to re-roll, can you accept a bad symbol combination resulting in a penalty, and how will you assign the dice to get the best effect possible. Some of the scenarios have been released in other Kickstarters like the Rule the World and Escape the Brig, but here you will be able to get everything in one spot, including some unreleased scenarios. Add in potential stretch goals and you could have lots of solo gaming for not much money. Check out the Kickstarter page, and you can pledge for just the cards, supplying your own tokens and dice, or go deluxe and get everything you need to play in one package.
Finally we come to the last project I will mention, and that is an expansion to Explorers of the North Sea called Rocks of Ruin. Explorers of the North Sea is a viking exploration game where you are sailing around in your longships, raiding towns, picking up livestock, deliver the livestock, and building outposts. There are lots of ways to score points in the game and it came with 48 tiles giving it a play time of about an hour. Rocks of Ruin adds new things to the game in the form of a 5th player, 24 more tiles that increase the map size by 50%, more buildings, fortresses, and shipwrecks that you can salvage. So if you like Explorers of the North Sea, this expansion will just give you more of what you love, with the option of adding another friend to the game. Also being included in this Kickstarter is a mini expansion for Runesaga, adding a fifth player to that along with three runestones and three inscription tiles. So if you are interested in these expansions, head on over to he Kickstarter page.
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.
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