area control


Minion Games has started their latest Kickstarter project, Saga of the Northmen.

Designed by Scott Leibbrandt and tested at Protospiel, Saga of the Northmen is for 2 to 4 players ages 13 and up and plays in 30 to 40 minutes.  It is a light war game set in the Dark Ages where you are the chieftain of a clan of Vikings allying and battling other clans for control of the 7 kingdoms of Europe.

A great introductory game to the area control mechanic, Saga of the Northmen is played over a series of rounds in which each player will draft influence cards which will be used to garner influence throughout the 7 kingdoms as well as populate the neutral regions with the very plunder (VPs) you will need to collect in order to win the game.  Each chieftain will also have a hidden trade route objective(s) that if completed will increase their wealth at the end of the game.

So, go forth, spread your influence, plunder the land’s riches, hire heroes to help you battle for control of contested neutral regions, establish trade routes, and conquer as many of the 7 kingdoms of Europe as you can on your way to victory in Saga of the Northmen!

To learn more or pledge today for as low as $39, <click here>.

Fans of the area control game Cyclades can start their trip planning now as the new small-box expansion, Cyclades: Monuments is being released this holiday season.

Designed by the prolific Bruno Cathala and Ludovic Maublanc, the award-winning Cyclades had players racing to build two cities in the Cyclades group of islands whilst vying for the favour of the gods. This new expansion throws in ten monument miniatures and their associated monument cards. Constructing these monuments will grant the player an advantage that can give them the edge over their opponents!

The Cyclades: Monuments expansion is compatible with all previously released expansions for Cyclades. For additional information, visit Asmodee’s website.


Portal Games has opened up pre-orders for their latest game, Cry Havoc.  Cry Havoc is

an intense area control game with four unique factions and 48 detailed miniatures. As with all our games the factions in Cry Havoc are unique and offer players different strategies and options to earn victory points. Additionally, Cry Havoc introduces a unique battle resolution system called the Battle Objectives Resolution. Every battle is different as the players must decide how to spread their forces among the three Battle Objectives: Region Control, Capture Prisoners, and Attrition.

Pre-ordering is open now on the Portal site, and unlike the 51st State Master Set pre-order there are no Kickstarter like stretch goals, but you do get free shipping and a set of promo objective cards.  You can read the press release below for more info on the game and look forward to it’s release at GenCon.

Portal Games opens pre-orders for Cry Havoc

An intense strategy game from designes Grant Rodiek, Michał Walczack and Michal

Gliwice, Poland – June 8, 2016. Today, Portal Games opens pre-orders for the summer release, Cry Havoc, from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Walczak and Michal Oracz. Cry Havoc is an asymmetric, card driven, area control game for 2 to 4 players. Each player controls one of 4 factions battling for resources on a planet full of riches. As the game develops, the players will customize their factions deck of cards, build powerful structures, and leverage their faction’s unique skills to emerge victorious.

Cry Havoc is an intense area control game with four unique factions and 48 detailed miniatures. As with all our games the factions in Cry Havoc are unique and offer players different strategies and options to earn victory points. Additionally, Cry Havoc introduces a unique battle resolution system called the Battle Objectives Resolution. Every battle is different as the players must decide how to spread their forces among the three Battle Objectives: Region Control, Capture Prisoners, and Attrition.

Pre-orders are now open for a limited time for fans who wish to receive the game early. Shipping options include free pick-up at Gen Con 2016, free shipping for US and Canadian customers, and reduced shipping worldwide. Customers who pre-order will also receive a set of 8 promotional Objective cards to enhance the game.

Cry Havoc is for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 or older and takes approximately 60-120 minutes to play. The game includes 84 cards, 1 game board, 1 battle board, 4 faction boards, 48 miniatures, over 170 cardboard tokens, 30 plastic crystals, and 1 rulebook. Cry Havoc will be released at Gen Con 2016 in August and will be available worldwide shortly after. For more information, you can visit the Cry Havoc page on our website at

About Portal Games

Portal Games is a publisher of award-winning games such as Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, Tides of Time, Legacy, and Neuroshima Hex. Founded in Poland in 1999, Portal Games has developed into one of the most renowned European game publishers and design teams. Their commitment is to produce only the highest quality Board Games That Tell Stories.


Some images have emerged of the latest DnD game from Wizards of the Coast and Gale Force Nine, and it’s shaping up to be an area control type game instead of the previous adventure style games that have come out.  From the description, each player will be taking control of a Drow house and you will be vying for control of the different areas and regions in the Underdark and whoever controls the most at the end wins.

You will do this through playing cards and building your deck by recruiting newer and more powerful cards from the central market.  It looks to be an interesting game designed by Peter Lee, Rodney Thompson, and Andrew Veen, with a player count of two to four and play time of about an hour.  Look for it’s release in May of this year and you can look at the Merchoid pre-order page to see all the pictures, description and to pre-order.

portal con

Well, it’s more like two new games and a reprint.  First is the reprint of 51st State in 51st State: Master Set, in this complete set you will get 88 cards from the base game and 50 cards from each of the two expansions, which is great considering the expansions have been out of print.  The game has also been re-balanced for a more cohesive experience no matter which expansion  you use and had a bit of an art upgrade.  Pre-orders for the set start today on the Portal Games site with an expected release date in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Next is a new game called Cry Havoc, from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak, which is a card driven, area control, war game.  There are 4 different factions you can play with varying abilities and units and play takes around 90 minutes, plus the game comes with 54 custom miniatures and over 100 unique cards so it should be a good looking war game.  The release date is set for Gen Con 2016 with a worldwide distribution date in the 3rd quarter.

Last new game is First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, from designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, which is a bit of a sci-fi version of Robinson Crusoe.  Like Robinson Crusoe you will be trying to survive in the harsh martian landscape but you will have an integrated app to help maintain the immersion and challenge throughout the game.  There is also a campaign mode that builds on each game as you go along as well as a sandbox mode where you try to survive as long as possible.  The game will be released at Essen Spiel 2016 and then world wide distribution will start in the 4th quarter.

Following is the full press release from Portal Games.

Portal Games announces three new titles for 2016

During a keynote speech at PortalCon 7 on Janyary 23rd, CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek

Gliwice, Poland – January 25, 2016. This past weekend, CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek announced three new titles coming from Portal Games in 2016: 51st State: Master Set, Cry Havoc, and First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet. It was also hinted that there will be a fourth title announced at GAMA trade show in March.

51st State: Master Set marks the rebirth of the 51st State line. This set includes 88 cards from the base game, and 50 cards each from both the New Era and Winter expansions. The whole set has been re-balanced to offer a cohesive experience no matter which expansion you choose to use. With all new layout, and some new artwork, 51st State Master Set is sure to please.

Cry Havoc, from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak is a card-driven, area control, wargame set in a brutal sci-fi world that plays in 90 minutes or less. As with the majority of our games, the players will be in command of one of 4 unique factions with varying abilities and units. The game will include 54 custom miniatures, a large format board, and over 100 unique cards, all with stunning new artwork.

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, from designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, uses the core mechanics of the award-winning Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and places the players on the inhospitable Martian surface. The immersion experience is further enhanced with an integrated App that will maintain the balance and challenge throughout. Players have the option of taking on a custom Campaign Mode, where each successive game builds on the last, or even an Open World mode where they are free to roam about the Martian surface and explore for as long as they can

“We are very excited about our 2016 line up. With four amazing games and dozens of expansions for games released in previous years, we have no doubt that this year will be the best in the history of the company. With new edition of award winning 51st State, reveals three new titles for Portal Games in 2016. with big strategy game called Cry Havoc, and with revolutionary First Martians, we cannot wait for upcoming months,” said CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek.

The 51st State: Master Set will be released first, in the 2nd quarter. Pre-orders will begin Monday, January 24th, with many surprises in store for fans during the pre-order period. Cry Havoc is scheduled to release at Gen Con and enter worldwide distribution in the 3rd quarter. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet will be released at Essen Spiel and will enter worldwide distribution also in the 4th quarter. For more information about these games, you can visit our website at

About Portal Games

Portal Games is a publisher of award-winning games such as Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, Tides of Time, Legacy, and Neuroshima Hex. Founded in Poland in 1999, Portal Games has developed into one of the most renowned European game publishers and design teams. Their commitment is to produce only the highest quality Board Games That Tell Stories.

worlds fair

In 1893 in Chicago, a 600 acre beaux arts miniature city stood for six months and attracted over 27 million visitors, there to see some of the greatest attractions in the world- for the first ferris wheel, the first commercial movie theater, and industrial and scientific exhibitions from 46 nations all premiered at the Chicago World’s Fair. This extraordinary setting is remembered with striking visuals and a blend of area-control and card-drafting mechanics in a new game from publisher Foxtrot Games and designer J. Alex Kevern, dubbed simply World’s Fair 1893.

worlds fair board

The World’s Fair of 1893 in Chicago was a spectacular international exhibition that showcased many great achievements in science, technology, culture, and entertainment. Acting as organizers of the fair, players use their influence and supporters to secure the grand exhibits that will be put on display.

On your turn, you send a supporter to one of the fives areas and collect all the cards next to it. Choose carefully to collect the cards you need and also beat out your opponents for control in the various areas:

  • The main exhibit cards could earn you the most points, but only if you have the supporters you need in the matching area to get the exhibits approved into the fair.
  • Favors from the influential figure cards will increase your supporters in the areas and help you approve the exhibits you’ve already collected.
  • The Midway ticket cards for the fun and profitable attractions score you a small number of points and move the game forward.

The Kickstarter campaign page allows backers to vote on what exhibit cards will be included in the box and also features a downloadable print & play file so you can try it out before backing. The project will fund on 10/28.

rome rise to power comp

Rome: Rise to Power, an upcoming board game by Golden Egg Games debuting at Essen, is now live on Kickstarter. In this game, 2-4 players take on the role of rising noble families trying to gain influence and control over Rome. The mechanics include dice placement and special action cards where you can build your own unique deck. If you back the Kickstarter, you can choose for an early pick up at Essen this year when the game debuts, but the projected release to the US market is Q1 2016.

Check out the Kickstarter here. For the beta version of the rules, see here. The press release is below.

In the late Roman Republic, four noble families try to assume power over the strongest nation in the old world. Players gain popularity by affecting the four influential areas of everyday Roman:

Expand the Roman sovereignty through military campaigns

Exploit riches and supply the Forum’s Markets

Exhibit your power by offering the best shows in the Games

Extend your political influence by giving away exclusive privileges to the decadent senators of the republic.

Rome: Rise to Power lasts five rounds of play, with each round being divided into four phases:

● Roll Power Dice and determine turn order

● Placement of Power Dice

● Resolution of Power Dice

● Scoring and clean up

After five rounds, players tally their points. The player with the most points wins the game and is declared the first of the Imperator.

Rise to Power ™ System

At GEG, we have designed an innovative dice placement system that enhances player decisions while reducing the luck factor. The system uses a combination of special action cards that break the rules of play. By changing these cards to build your unique deck, you will create a personalized gaming experience that will ever evolve with you and your gaming group.

saga northmen

Scott Liebbrandt, designer of Colonialism, has just launched a Kickstarter Campaign for his new release, Saga of the Northmen. Publisher Minion Games describes it this way on the campaign homepage:

“Glory awaits intrepid adventurers of all ages in the Saga of the Northmen, a Dark Ages wargame of shifting alliances and area control. Through deft use of influence cards, you do battle with other chieftains to gain control of the 7 major kingdoms of Europe. Forge alliances and then move your armies and fleets to plunder while completing secret objectives unknown to others. Earn the most points from plunder and completed objectives to be crowned Supreme Chieftain!”

saga northmen comp

Supporting 2-4 players with an estimated game time of 40 minutes, the light design employs area control and direct conflict. It features a beautiful map of a fairly general overview of early medieval Europe and what appears in the videos to be rather nice component quality, but not much art variety in its cards. Of course, you get to play as competing Viking Jarls, so a lot can be forgiven.

The campaign will conclude on October 12 at 11:00 PM EDT and is estimated for delivery in March, 2016.

campaign trail

Cosmic Wombat Games, a production company dedicated to realizing the tabletop visions of new board game designers, is proud to present their newest game on kickstarter. Campaign Trail is a card driven area control game of political maneuvers and electioneering for 2-6 players and plays in about 120 minutes. Each player is a candidate running for the Presidency of the United States moving around the country to gain the most votes in different states. They must choose wisely which cards to play – with each card providing a choice between 4 different actions, out of 6 possible actions in the game – carefully balance their fundraising activities with their campaign events and advertising budgets. Each candidate will also have their own unique capabilities to aid them in winning the hearts and minds of the American people. Campaign Trail is set to hit Kickstarter on September 16th!

For more information, read the full press release below and be sure to check out the kickstarter campaign here.

“Never have I played a game that offered so much different strategy and methods of play in such a simple to learn game.” ~ Levi Bushue, Living the Nerd Life



As mud-slinging political campaigns once again clamor for our attention, the new strategy board game, Campaign Trail, is launching its own campaign on Kickstarter, Sep 16 – Oct 9. After 4 years of touring the country’s gaming conventions, holding photo ops with hardworking gamers everywhere, and collecting rave reviews, Campaign Trail is asking for your campaign contributions to raise funds for its first production run. Developed by Cosmic Wombat Games, Campaign Trail is a 2-6 player strategy game in which players are candidates competing to become the next President of the United States.

Whether playing in teams with your running mate, or one-on-one, it’s up to you to sway the voting public in your favor using cards to advertise, campaign, host events, raise funds, register voters, travel, and debate the important issues facing the nation. The candidate that best manages their resources and connects with the public on key issues will win the presidency! Carefully designed to avoid creating real controversy around the table, Campaign Trail provides an entertaining experience that a wide range of play-testers have thoroughly enjoyed – political junkies or not. For only a little bit more, there are opportunities to influence game content by endorsing a card or even creating a character. Additionally, there is a backer challenge for a Kickstarter exclusive gift.The confetti is flying, the champagne is flowing, and you have just accepted your party’s nomination for President. Now it’s time to hit the Campaign Trail! How will you chart your path to victory?

tasty minstrel banner

Tasty Minstrel games have just released their latest newsletter detailing their plans in the run up to GenCon.

scoville labs

First up is the first expansion to their hot game Scoville – Scoville: Labs coming to kickstarter from August 11-20th.  The expansion will come in the smaller box size like Harbour with minimal components but a maximum amount of depth being added to the game.  Each player gets their own new 3×3 lab board that you can plant peppers on which no-one else can use.  It comes with additional wooden peppers, new recipe cards and pepper multiplier tokens.  You can sign up for text message notifications for Scoville: Labs here

TMG are also present at GenCon and are offering a text messaging service with last minute news and events here

cthulhu realms

They are also pleased to announce that Cthulhu Realms is waiting for them at GenCon but stock of these few pre-release copies is expected to sell fast.  It’s a family friendly Cthulhu game with funny artwork capturing the spirit of the mythos but in a funny way and is described as a child of Star Realms.

flip city

Flip City should be on retailers shelves soon.  This unique deck builder works without a hand and cards played directly from the top of the deck.  You play one at a time and can then buy a new card with any money you may have earned from those played cards.  You could end up playing bad cards as well as good but don’t play too many unhappy ones or your turn will end.

steam works

Steam Works is on pre order and is a steampunk themed worker placement game where you build machines using clockwork, steam or electricity.  You can get text notifications about when the game is available for pre order here

gold west

Gold West a resource management and area control game about building mining empires while you compete over the precious metals is nearing pre order.  Resources are managed using a mancala style supply track.  You can register for text updates about the pre-order here