area control

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


cafe international

The Café International: All are welcome here!  This statement almost brings to one’s imagination a coffee house where everybody knows your name.  Or is that a different place?  Either way, Café International is a game in which players are trying to accommodate as many international guests as possible into the cafe.  These guests all enjoy sitting together and getting to know one another over a glass of wine, a cup of coffee or a slice of pie, and do so together at tables or individually at the bar.

In the game, players will bring as many people into the cafe as possible, seating them at tables or the bar in clever ways.  As they do so, they will be scoring each round via black (1 point), red (5 points), and blue (10 points) chips, and may lose points when seating customers at the bar or having unseated guests at the end of the game.

Café International is a game designed by Rudi Hoffmann for 2-4 players ages 13 and up, and plays in 30-60 minutes.  The game is scheduled for release in August of 2015.

town center

Last year a deceptively simple and quick 3d city building game came to Kickstarter and found great success. Designed by Alban Viard and called Town Center  it has players building and develop their cities using cubes of different different colors to represent different types of modules that can stack on top of one another according to building rules. It garnered a lot of praise and eventually added some expansions. Now it is back on Kickstarter for two new expansions one called Beaune and one called Turku.

town center bits

Beaune has players building on a map with a walled city surrounded by vineyards. Elevator cubes (black cubes) must be built in the center. The Turku has two seasons a summer and a winter. During the summer the river that flows through the center of the city divides the two halves but during the winter the river is frozen so the two parts are considered one.

I haven not had the chance to play Town Center yet but I have heard good things about it and it is in my must try list. If you interested in the game the base game as well as other expansions can be included.

Town Center: Beaune/Turku can be found on Kickstarter here.


builders of blankenburg

The Builders of Blankenburg by designer and project creator Peter Schultz is now on Kickstarter. In the game 2-5 players will compete to build up the town of Blankenburg attracting citizens for a steady stream of income and earning prestige with the count.

 The year is 1123. A new count has arrived to oversee the surrounding countryside. As word spreads, people have begun to flock to the settlement. The time is right for Blankenburg to expand into a flourishing town.

In the Builders of Blankenburg, you are one of many people working to build up the town and earn prestige in the eyes of the count. Prestige is earned by building structures throughout the town, but to do so you’ll need enough silver to purchase the proper resources with which to build. Pay attention to the citizens of the growing town. If you build what they’re looking for, you’ll have a steady stream of income. Builders of Blankenburg introduces the novel citizen track, an ever increasing populace who seek different places to live and work, while also serving to determine the length of the game. But beware, new events and visitors each turn can disrupt your best laid plans. Make your imprint on Blankenburg to become its most prestigious builder and earn the key to the town!

Each turn of the game will have four different phases:

  • Bidding: Players will bid on available resources.
  • Building: Use your resources to build structures.
  • Income: All Citizens will pay to stay somewhere, if you have a structure that is in demand you will be sure of a steady source of income. An event will happen in this phase as well that could off players an opportunity or could cost the player money and possibly prestige.
  • Market: Players will have an opportunity to purchase limited resources at fixed prices as well as plans that are used to build new structures.

builders contents

Players will start the game with a character card that gives them a unique advantage and the game ends when the town is fully built or new citizens that arrive have no place to stay.

The game has some great art by Liz Stephanoff and is worth checking out so if you enjoy building and/or auction games I would head over to check out the Kickstarter project for Builders of Blankenburg you can even make an appearance in the game at the right pledge level.

mission red planet new

As you may have heard, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) is releasing a revised version of Mission: Red Planet, which was originally published by Asmodee in 2005.

The first edition of Mission: Red Planet was a near flop. Neither the French version or the US version sold well, but after a couple of years it was being called a classic on BoardGameGeek, the board gamers’ website.

At the 2013 Essen fair (a game trade fair held in Germany), Bruno Faidutti was talking to John Grams from Fantasy Flight games, who asked about interest in a new edition. Grams hadn’t played the game, but US resellers had asked about it, and the Brunos were excited to jump on the opportunity.

mission red planet proto

With the new Mission: Red Planet, the basic system and theme of the game stayed the same. It’s still a steampunk themed sci-fi game about colonizing Mars, with a character/action card system mechanic. The one important new feature is the addition of Phobos, the moon where paratroopers can be airdropped anywhere on Mars. During the designing process, the Brunos and Steve Kimball from FFG went over every detail of the game to make the game as good as it could be. The game now plays up to 6 instead of 3-5, and it also has a two player variant designed by Bruno Cathala.

Bruno Faidutti leaves us with his one regret – he dislikes the game’s name. He would prefer a simpler name like Red Planet or Mars, but since Mission: Red Planet is already well known by its original name, it’s too late to change it now.

To read more of Bruno Faidutti’s thoughts, check out his blog here.

tigris pieces

Tigris & Euphrates offers you the chance to make your name great.  Monuments, civilization buildings, and wonders may stand as proof of your greatness as a leader– but they do not guarantee victory.

Fantasy Flight Games has released another preview article for its upcoming re-release of the classic board game Tigris & Euphrates.  In this preview, the advanced gameplay for this edition is introduced, which will include a second game board (on the reverse side of the original) and the ability to build monuments, four new civilization buildings, and wonders.

tigris map

Monuments allow a player to flip farms, temples, settlements, or market tiles over and place a two-color monument atop them, with one color matching the tiles used to build it.  An adjacent leader of the same color next to the monument will receive a victory point every turn.  Monuments cannot be destroyed, but they can be taken over.

Advanced civilization buildings can be built as well: a red library, black palace, green market hall, and blue granary.  These buildings can be built atop a horizonal or vertical line of three or more tiles of the same color, and award the leader of that kingdom 2 points instead of one for each tile of that color placed.  These buildings can be destroyed in the process of creating a monument or wonder.

Finally, a wonder can be built atop a cross of five tiles of the same color and cannot be destroyed. It grants a king in the same kingdom one victory point of any color, effectively strengthening your weaker spheres as long as you control the wonder.  Other players will undoubtedly strive to take control of your wonder, so you must be prepared to defend it well once built.

This new edition of Tigris & Euphrates is scheduled for release during the second quarter of 2015.  For more information on this article and the game in general, visit the preview article here.


Arcane Wonders has announced Royals a new game from designer Peter Hawes, who also designed Francis Drake and Triassic Terror, will be coming to the Dice Tower Essentials line. Games in the Dice Tower Essentials line are games that Tom Vassal believes are essential to any gamer’s collection as he has thoroughly enjoyed playing them and believes others will too.

Royals is simple to teach area control game that has players taking actions as noble houses in 17th century Europe. Game play is similar to Ticket to Ride where players will attempt to collect sets of same colored cards but instead of claiming routes they are attempting to gain influence over different nobles. At the end of each of the three rounds players will score based on their influence on the board.

In Royals, players take on the roles of great noble houses of the 17th century, fighting for supremacy in Europe.  By collecting country cards, players will influence Royal members across the Spanish, English, German and French countrysides. Influence can be contested though with the right intrigue cards and players will be in constant contest to maintain their influence in each region. The game takes place over three periods with scoring in between rounds and a final scoring period at the end, determined by who held the most influence with each Royal member.

The full article can be found here and you can find more information about Royals, including Tom’s video review, here on or here on BGG.

Royals is sure to be a hit so stay tuned for more information about this ‘essential’ game.

At the GAMA Trade Show Iello has announced a slew of new games, some reprints and some expansions so lets get to the announcements.  First on the list is a game called Big Book of Madness, it’s a fantasy cooperative deck building game where the players are magic students who must act as a team to turn all the pages of the book, and then shut the book by defeating all the monsters they just freed.  Plays 2-5 in 60-90 minutes.

Next is a pattern recognition game called Maitre Renard (french for Master Fox) where players are flipping over cards to see what they need to collect, then putting on their fox blindfold they feel around in the box for the pieces they need to collect.  Is this the first step towards the making Lice Shower?  Only time will tell.  Plays 2-4 in around 30 minutes.

In Sapiens you are the leader of a tribe trying to guide your clan through the valley, making sure everyone is fed and has enough shelter to keep them safe.  This is done through tile placement with domino like tiles.  Plays 2-4 in around 45 minutes.

Next is the game Sabordage, which looks to be a ship building type pirate game where players will be assembling their ships and then attempt to blow each other up.

The next is a reprint from Iello and that is the game Mexica.  Mexica is an area control type game which has you dividing up the land, placing buildings, and constructing canals.  Points are earned through having area majorities and the most points in the end wins.  Plays 2-4 in around 90 minutes.

A very interesting action game that was announced is called Pingo Pingo, which will appeal to people with a fondness for Nerf as it comes with a gun that shoots suction cup darts and several targets to be set up around the room.  It also includes a soundtrack that gives you 15 minutes to get as much loot as you can.  Plays 2-5 in a guaranteed 15 minutes.


They even showed off a diagram of how the game is oriented for gameplay.

Announced also were three expansions for Heroes of Normandie which promises to bring more units, vehicles, accessories, terrain, and templates based on more historic battles.  Expected release is in the summer of 2015.

Another reprint getting the Iello treatment is Dungeon Fighter with an expected release of April 9th.  This will be the third edition of the game which has players cooperatively exploring a three-tier dungeon and fighting anything that might get in your way.  But it’s not as easy as it seems when you are having to roll dice from under your leg or with your eyes closed.  Plays 1-6 in about 45 minutes.