Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn
The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia are 2 new decks which expand the game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from Plaid Hat Games. In Ashes, an expandable card game for 2-4 players, players take on the roles of Phoenixborn, who are demi-gods and protectors of their world. Unfortunately, the Phoenixborn are at war with one another and seek to bath in the ashes of their defeated foes in order to absorb their power and be the sole, remaining god with dominion over all the land. Ashes is designed by Isaac Vega and features amazing art by Thander Lin, David Richards, and Fernanda Suárez.
The Grave King deck includes the Phoenixborn, James Endersight, who uses divine and ceremonial magic to sacrifice and resurrect his armies in order to overwhelm his foes. The Protector of Argaia deck has Fiona Mercywind, a Phoenixborn of Birdsnest who uses Sympathy and Charm magic.
Ashes: The Ghost Guardian expansion deck is coming soon for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. This deck uses Sympathy and Illusion magic to summon ghostly creatures that manipulate the flow of battle. It also has a bunch of control options that allow players to gain a glimpse of the future so they can plan accordingly.
Meet Rimea Careworn – the Phoenixborn of Shadowreck – leader of the Ghost Guardian deck.
Rimea has the power to gaze into the future and even manipulate the outcomes to her desire! Her Visions ability allows you to look at the top three cards of a player’s draw pile and rearrange them. The best thing about this ability is that it doesn’t exhaust – you can always be assessing the future! If Rimea sees an outcome that she doesn’t want to contend with, she can cast aside that timeline by putting that card on the bottom of the deck.
Rimea also has one of the more unique Phoenixborn stat lines in Ashes. Her spellboard value is 5, which allows her plenty of options for tailoring her spellboard with a wide variety of summon books and utility ready spells. Rimea has 20 life to help her to survive late into the game, which is advantageous for strategies revolving around building up a robust spellboard to overtake their opponent! Her weak point is her battlefield value of 4 but fortunately, she has enlisted the help of a premier ally: the Ancestral Army!
The Ancestral Army is made up of the spirits of Rimea’s ancestors – an army of elite warriors. This card is one of the most reliable allies in the game, with a well-rounded stat line that can hold its own against other high-ranking opponents. The Dauntless ability allows the army to make quick work of a small unit and immediately ready for battle again. The Inviolable ability protects the army from incoming spells but also prevents you from augmenting the army yourself.
Watch The Dice Tower coverage of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.
Ashes: The Ghost Guardian expansion deck (as well as the other new deck – Ashes: The King of Titans) is available for pre-order from Plaid Hat Games now.
Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn released in 2015 and struck out to shake up the living card game scene by featuring a unique dice-based resource system. Since then, Ashes has proven the strength of it’s innovation by it’s following, and it’s still standing out among Plaid Hat’s other head-to-head titles such as Summoner Wars and Crystal Clans. Like those other games, a large part of deck structure comes from a leader card who sets a tone for the deck, and while Ashes has had 13 phoenixborn and accompanying units and spells added to the game, there is still plenty of room to grow. Plaid Hat Games has recently posted a sneak peak at the two newest phoenixborn to enter the War of Ashes:
“Plaid Hat Games is pleased to announce the upcoming releases of the Demons of Darmasand the Spirits of Memoria, two exciting new expansions for the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn card game! Both expansions provide two exciting new Phoenixborn to challenge your opponents, and each brings all-new cards to enrich and enlarge your deckbuilding options. The Demons of Darmas and the Spirits of Memoria will hit store shelves this August.”
The Demons of Darmas introduces Harold Westraven, an hunter who embodies victorian-era gothic horror – conjuring bats, wolves, and all the things that stalk the dark forests to break his opponent’s will, while marking targets for priority takedowns. The Spirits of Memoria adds cult-leader Sembali Grimtongue to your arsenal, who has adept control over the departed and will tax her adversaries conjurations for every unit that is removed from play. Both expansion will include more creatures and spells that will shake up the metagame and introduce interesting new combinations to this rock-solid card game. If you are interested in learning more about these expansions, and future Plaid Hat Games content, be sure to read the news post for all the details and check out their news section for future updates.
Even though the holidays will soon be upon us, companies are already preparing for the next year with some new games. First on that list is the next expansion for the Aeon’s End card game from Indie Boards and Cards. Aeon’s End is a card game in which each player has their own deck, specific to the breach mage they choose, and will have to work together with the other players to defeat the nemesis they have chosen. You will have to work well together as the nemesis has their own deck and will be fighting back, quite viciously, to defeat you before you can cast them out. The new expansion, called Aeon’s End: The Void, adds in two new nemeses and two new breach mages, as well as new gems, relics, spells, and minions. So if you enjoy the game, be sure to check out this expansion when it hits store shelves in January of 2018.
Next we have two expansion decks coming from Plaid Hat games for the Ashes, Rise of the Phoenixborn card game. The two new decks are The Goddess Ishra, and The Boy Among Wolves, each of which will require an Ashes base game in order to supply the needed dice. These two decks just expand even more the options of cards you have for the game and bring two new phoenixborn into the game. The Boy Among Wolves has the highest battlefield number in the game at 10, meaning he can have lots of units in play at once. This is especially important because his abilities and cards lead to summoning a large number of units in a very short amount of time. The Goddess Ishra is more about control, offering average stats but having a highly useful ability of being able to exhaust a unit when an attack is declared, either by your opponent or you. She also continues this sense of control with her cards that specialize in controlling the actions of your opponent, and even so far as to controlling some of your opponent’s units. Both of these decks will be hitting stores soon and you can find out more on the Goddess Ishra preview and the Boy Among Wolves preview on the Plaid Hat site.
Finally we have a new food truck themed game from Adam’s Apple Games, and that is Truck Off: The Food Truck Frenzy. This is a simultaneous action selection type game where you will be picking where you will park your truck, and then trying to sell food there. The game is played over five rounds and each round consists of picking where you park, and then picking your special action for the round. For each location you will then roll their specified die, from a d4 up to a d20, and the result will be equally split among the trucks that are present there, earning each truck owner money. At the end of five rounds the winner will be the one who managed to bring in the most money. So if this light food truck themed game sounds good to you, look for it on store shelves in January.
Plaid Hat Games has announced a new game set in the Raxxon Pharmaceuticals universe. Simply titled Raxxon, the newest game is a cooperative game where players seek to evacuate the healthy and quarantine or eliminate those infected at the start of the zombie apocalypse players have come to know through Dead of Winter.
Up until this point, Raxxon was only available by private invite from other who had already purchased the game. This “viratl marketing” technique was the talk of the community for weeks as people used social media to advertise their invites available or to ask if anyone had one available.
The game is designed by J. Arthur Ellis. Artwork is by Fernanda Suarez, the same artist that created the artwork for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.
Raxxon finds the players working cooperatively at the very start of the Zombie Outbreak, which has only recently gotten out of control:
For weeks, Raxxon Pharmaceuticals has been partnering with local teams across the globe to contain the recent viral outbreak.
Today, we regret to announce that despite Raxxon’s best efforts, the global infection rate has reached the tipping point. Many cities are unlikely to be salvaged, and citizens everywhere should evacuate to safer regions immediately.
As the global infection has begun to run rampant, Raxxon has moved on to Phase 2 — evacuate and exterminate. The difficult choices players make now will lay a path for humanity — “search desperately for those final healthy survivors as Raxxon’s power reaches its apex, or watch as the undead overrun your city.”
At the beginning of the game each player will need to choose one of six specialists who are working with Raxxon to evacuate healthy citizens and eliminate sick citizens.
Raxxon Cards will function similarly to Crossroads cards from Dead of Winter, featuring stories and paths related to the characters in play.
Players will face a grid of face down citizen cards. Gameplay takes place in rounds, with each round revealing a new grid of citizens from the citizen deck. Actions will allow the cards to flip, revealing the healthy and sick citizens, each triggering different effects when flipped. Character actions interact spatially with the grid affecting rows, columns and adjacent cards. Actions will also have stacking consequences that will resolve over future turns.
Once all players have passed in a round a new crowd of cards is created and the action continues. Only if all the healthy citizens are evacuated will the players win the game. If the infection deck runs out (a deck of only sick people) or Raxxen maxes out their power the players will lose and face a long, cold, Winter.
Releasing in October 2017
Raxxon will be available in October. With a suggested age range of 14+, you’ll need 1-4 evacuators who are willing to commit about an hour to saving humanity.
Additional Raxxon scenarios will be available at: myraxxon.com. Plaid Hat Games has already released the rules, how to play and more: rules video, rules pdf, and more.
Dead of Winter Crossover
Set in the Plaid Hat World, each of the Raxxon games will include 2 new, exclusive Dead of Winter characters. Meryl Wolfe and KD James will help you fight the outbreak in Raxxon and will carry over to join the colonies of Dead of Winter. Each copy of Raxxon comes with character cards, standees, and crossroads cards.
Plaid Hat Games has posted on their news forum some updates on the rules revision work and two new expansions for Isaac Vega‘s excellent card game, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.
Regarding the rules, Plaid Hat has been hard at work revising the rules set, especially the damage resolution process and the order of simultaneous effects. The new rules are in final updates and should be available before the War Within event series Spring 2017. Additionally, there have been some rumors about the second printing of the base game. Plaid Hat reassures fans that the second edition will be essentially the same with a few very minor changes. There are spelling and type changes for clarity, and the already established errata for the “Enchanted Violinist” will more clearly described on the card. Again, although some stores have listed this new printing as a “revised copy”, there is no need to buy the second printing if you already have the base game.
Finally, the next two expansions were introduced, Astrea, The Goddess of Ishra and Koji, The Boy Among Wolves.
“We lay down our worldly thirsts in pursuit of her enlightenment. We lay down our imperfect bodies to be reborn at her side. All praise be unto the Goddess of Ishra. Her enemies will kneel before her glory. We will peel back their veils. We will end their cycle of pain. All praise be unto Astrea.”
“Wild is the son the Spiral Jungle. Untrained, undisciplined, and ill-prepared for the trials that await him. Nevertheless, Koji Wolfcub walks boldly forward. His every step splits the earth beneath his feet. Out of the fissures grow the jungle’s verdant flora. Groping vines tear down the the gaudy edifices of man. Wild animals heed the boy’s call. The jungle rises up and joins the boy in his fight to restore the world.”
No release date for the expansions was listed, although Plaid Hat did say that it will be a while before another expansion is announced. Check the Plaid Hat announcement for details.
Plaid Hat Games has announced two new Deluxe Expansions, an organized Ashes Tournament and the next in the series of Ashes Organized Play products for the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.
The Law of Lions & The Song of Soaksend
The next two expansion decks for the Ashes series will be the Law of Lions and the Song of Soaksend.
The Law of Lions
She is the commander of the pride, the follower of the path, the righteous judge and the merciful servant. She emboldens the virtuous and strikes fear in the heart of the transgressor. She is Odette Diamondcrest. Her quill wrote Lordswall’s law. Her sword protected its gate. Her word sent forth its crusaders. She will see the world restored to divine order.
The Song of Soaksend
An ancient song binds its silvery strings to every living soul. Namine adds her voice to this unending melody. She plays the strings and subtly alters the song to her will. She changes the tempo from a calm wind to a crashing storm. She and the people of Soaksend know this song and live serenely within its melody. Woe unto those that cannot hear its beauty.
Both of these decks will be sold as deluxe box sets and will include 10 new dice in each box. Each box will have storage space for decks, 10 dice and game tokens.
The two Deluxe Expansions are slated for release in late spring / early summer 2017.
Organized Play Kit
To support “The Law of Lions” and “The Song of Soaksend” Plaid Hat Games has announced they will release the second Organized Play Kit at the same time as the two new factions release. The new kit will contain enough prize support and material for four tournaments of play.
The War Within Tournament
Together with parent company Asmodee, Plait Hat Games will be supporting a series of tournaments at local game stores billed as “The War Within.”
“The War Within”. Through a series of tournaments hosted by local game stores, players will have the opprotunity to determine the looks and abilities of an unnamed Phoenixborn. The “War Within” event is meant to represent her internal struggle, and how she wants to approach the war that she must soon be a part of.
The War Within Tournament will be available at participating game stores starting next month.
More Ashes Announcements Coming Soon
Plaid Hat Games has informed Ashes fans that they will be announcing additional decks in the coming weeks as well as information about a revised edition of the base game.
Two new ready-to-play Ashes decks for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn are available for pre-order from Plaid Hat Games. Each deck is available separately and is a mono deck using a single color of dice. These decks may be mixed with the base set and previous expansions for custom deck construction. Both expansions will be available at Gen Con on a limited basis, and are expected to have their regular release soon after. If you’re planning on picking this up at Gen Con, I’d make the Plaid Hat Games booth an early stop because this could sell out very quickly.
The Roaring Rose deck, with new Pheonixborn Leo Sunshadow contains 42 cards and requires 10 Charms (pink) dice to play. Leo’s special ability allows him to summon a Glow Finch as a side action. This gives the player a huge amount of strategic options for how to use his other units. His Unique card make your opponent choose between lose of life or lose of cards in hand and dice in action pool.
- 1 Leo Sunshadow – Phoenixborn
- 1 Glow Finch – Conjuration
- 5 Nightshade Swallow – Conjuration
- 5 Orchid Dove – Conjuration
- 3 Anguish – Action Spell
- 3 Change Psyche – Action Spell
- 3 Dispel – Action Spell
- 3 Mind Probe – Action Spell
- 3 Beast Tamer – Ally
- 3 Amplify – Alteration Spell
- 3 Remorse – Reaction Spell
- 3 Memory Theft – Ready Spell
- 3 Summon Nightshade Swallow – Ready Spell
- 3 Summon Orchid Dove – Ready Spell
The Duchess of Deception deck, with new Phoenixborn Victoria Glassfire contains 38 cards and requires 10 Illusion (purple) dice to play. Victoria’s special ability and unique card allows you to refresh already used dice, and choose the side of each dice when you do. This ability gives versatility to the player and lets them keep all their options open.
- 1 Victoria Glassfire – Phoenixborn
- 3 Shadow Hound – Conjuration
- 4 Shadow Spirit – Conjuration
- 3 Illusionary Cycle – Action Spell
- 3 Body Inversion – Ally
- 3 Flash Archer – Ally
- 3 Figures in the Fog – Reaction Spell
- 3 Particle Shield – Reaction Spell
- 3 Vanish – Reaction Spell
- 3 Secret Door – Ready Spell
- 3 Summon Shadow Hound – Ready Spell
- 3 Summon Shadow Spirit – Ready Spell
- 3 To Shadows – Ready Spell
For more information on Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, you can go to Plaid Hat Games site by clicking here.
The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category. And the nominees are:
BEST BOARD GAME COMPONENTS
BEST CO-OP GAMES
BEST FAMILY GAMES
BEST GAME ARTWORK
BEST GAME EXPANSIONS
BEST GAME FROM A NEW DESIGNER
BEST GAME OF THE YEAR
BEST GAME REPRINT
BEST GAME THEMING
BEST PARTY GAME
BEST SMALL PUBLISHER GAME
BEST STRATEGY GAME
BEST TWO PLAYER GAME
MOST INNOVATIVE GAME
Last year saw the first game being released by Studio Woe called Gruff, a tactical 2 to 4 player card game in a similar vein as Magic and Ashes, but unique with their theme and mechanics. Gruff was well received and so to continue the line Studio Woe has launched the campaign for a stand alone expansion, Clash of the Battle Goats. In Clash of the Battle Goats, you will receive more shepherds, more grizzly, mutated goats and a slew of new ability cards, enough for you to be able to play the game with two people right out of the box or mix with the original set to add more variety. The expansion is done in the same unique art style as before, even up to the box looking like the mouth of one of the mutated goats in the game.
On the campaign they do have links to reviews of Clash and Gruff from folks like Indie Cardboard and Geek & Sundry. You can head over to the campaign page to check it out and back for your own copy.
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