Dice Tower Newsletter

Asmodee

Conan the Barbarian, the Cimmerian, has seen a huge resurgence lately in both video and board gaming since the release of Conan Exiles and Conan respectively. The latter, having only been released a handful of months ago, now has a cool new expansion coming the second quarter of 2017. Nordheim will take players to the frozen north, where Aesir and Vanir hang out with giants who make a living being menacing and prone to smashing things. As described by Asmodee on their product page:

 “Through four scenarios deeply inspired by Robert E. Howard’s short story, The Frost-Giant’s Daughter, you and your friends will battle atop snowy, blood-drenched fields; cross swords with giants; and travel snow-covered forests in pursuit of the legendary Frost-Giant’s daughter.”

The expansion comes with 24 miniatures, a double sided-game board, a scenario book, and more cards, tiles, and tokens. A new dual-weilding hero is also included to partner with Conan as he charges headlong into more hordes and perils. All of that looks to be quality ice-ing on the cake for fans of the dauntless barbarian.  Plus, what game this year hasn’t been improved by the inclusion of vikings? Be sure to visit the product entries on Asmodee’s site for more information on this expansion and future Conan products.

Unlock, the card based room escape game released by Asmodee and Space Cowboys, is already getting accolades in the form of the Game of the Year award from International Games Festival.  This bodes well for the game, and with two introductory/demo scenarios already out for free, setting this game up to really take off.  The first three full scenarios of this now award winning game will be in stores soon!

Unlock! Wins Game of the Year As d’Or for 2017!

Brand-new, card-driven, escape room game from Space Cowboys picks up most prestigious award at the International Games Festival.

Paris, France

Unlock! Escape Adventures, the brand-new, card driven, escape room game from world renowned designer Cyril Demaegd was recently awarded“Game of the Year As d’Or for 2017” at the annual International Games Festival in Cannes, France.

Unlock! Escape Adventures is a new, card based game for two to six players from French studio Space Cowboys, where players find themselves in mysterious surroundings with minimal clues to help them escape! The free Unlock! Companion app (available to download from the App Storeor Google Play) is fully integrated into the game, keeping the pressure on with a countdown timer, providing valuable clues, and rewarding you for deciphering secret codes!

“All my thanks to the Festival des Jeux As d’Or jury for selecting Unlock! as their Game of the Show! We are extremely proud to have received this honour, which rewards the whole team for their hard work and dedication,” said Cyril Demaegd, Game Designer at Space Cowboys.  “Personally, I am a huge fan of escape room games involving thematic riddles and the pressure of the clock, and we’re thrilled that we were able to recreate the escape room experience in a cooperative card game.”

Eager fans keen to check out the award-winning Unlock! Escape Adventures can now download “The Elite,” a free demo scenario, that includes basic game rules and a brief tutorial, via www.spacecowboys.fr/unlock-demo.

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.

Asmodee has announced a new bluffing game titled “Oh Captain!“. Designed by Florian Sirieix and published by LudonauteOh Captain! is a game for 3 to 6 players, featuring a heavy dose of deception and treachery.

“The goal of Oh Captain! is to gather as much treasure as you can to sell to a group of Nomads who currently inhabit the island you’re stranded on. One player is designated as the Captain at the start of the game while the rest become explorers. Players then select an adventurer to represent them in the game, each with their own unique ability and a stockpile of gold coins. The Captain tries to collect as much valuable treasure from the adventurers as possible, while the explorers try and hide the best items for themselves.”

Oh Captain! is scheduled for release in Q2 2017.

Markorama Games, a game store located in Franklin, New Jersey, has sent out a letter to their customers and friends explaining that they unfortunately must close their store due to Asmodee‘s policy of not allowing brick and mortar stores to sell their products online.  In the letter they state:

“In January 2016, Asmodee changed their policies and forbid brick and mortar stores from selling online. We tried complying with this policy but within a few months got into a huge financial crisis and needed to do something or close the store. We decided to continue selling online for as long as we could and try to dig ourselves out of the financial hole we dug ourselves into. A few weeks ago, Asmodee discovered we were selling online and ordered us to cease and desist. We are currently complying with their policy, but as a result, we have no choice but to close the store.”

The full text of the letter is on Markorama’s Facebook page.

The Asmodee policy was described in an overview blog on BoardGameGeek (BGG).  There are also several active forum threads on the DiceTower forums on BGG discussing this policy in general (here and here).  Tom Vasel talked about it on DiceTower Podcast #440 at minute 55:40 where it was the question of the week which includes comments from several other reviewers.

Asmodee have announced Dice Forge, a scheduled Quarter 2, 2017 release. Designed by Régis Bonnessée (Lords of Xidit, Seasons), the game features a “dice-crafting” mechanism, where players will alter the faces of their dice throughout the game in order to increase their power and abilities:

“At the beginning of the game, your dice are weak, offering only small benefits. From these small beginnings, however, you’ll rise to greatness by physically altering the faces of your dice. The dice used in Dice Forge are specially crafted, allowing you to easily snap new faces onto your dice, replacing weaker faces. In fact, changing your dice is one of the fundamental actions that you can take on your turn.”

Dice Forge is intended for 2-4 players, with a playing time of 40 minutes.

The wave of reprints continues with the announcement that Asmodee will be reprinting the game Troyes and Ladies of Troyes. Troyes is a euro game on the heavier side and features an interesting mixing of worker placement and dice rolling to activate different actions.  At the start of a round you will take turns placing out workers onto the three main buildings of the game.  From where you place your people will determine what colored dice you will roll, and then from those dice results you will activate different actions in the city.  You will be doing different things like building the cathedral, combating events that come up, or activating various character cards on the board.  All of this is to grow the influence of your family because at the end of the game, the family with the most influence is the winner.

Ladies of Troyes expands the game to include women of the period and give you more options for actions you can do.  In total you will have 16 more actions that you can take that are outside the city, but access to those actions is only granted through your guards.  The expansion also adds in extra dice in the form of the head of your family, giving you an extra die to use that can’t be used by anyone else.  Look for Troyes and this expansion on store shelves in the coming weeks.

New content is coming soon to the TIME Stories game in the form of Expedition: Endurance, an adventure that sends you back to 1914 aboard the doomed ship Endurance.  The boat has been trapped in the ice now for a while, heat and food are running low and crew’s sanity is starting to slip away.  You have to be extra careful this time out because while you haven’t endured what they have, their loosening grip on their mind is affecting you as well.  There will be a fourth stat to keep track of this time, willpower, and the adventure will constantly test your will.  If you should fail that test enough you will go insane, drawing an insanity card with some very nasty and lingering effects.  Can you fix the temporal anomaly before you lose your mind?  This new expansion will be on shelves soon, and until then you can check out Asmodee’s preview of the expansion.

Asmodee starts off the new year with the acquisition of three new companies, this time it’s the European distribution companies Heidelberger, EDGE Entertainment, and Millennium.  These three companies handle board game distribution in Germany, Spain, and France so their acquisition will mean a bigger market share in each country for Asmodee.  Asmodee always had a close relationship with Heidelberger, and Fantasy Flight Games was partnered with EDGE so their acquisitions come as no surprise.  You can read the full press release below for more information, and then continue guessing as to what companies Asmodee will grab up next.

Asmodee acquires Heidelberger Spieleverlag, EDGE Entertainment and Millennium and strengthens its operations in France, Germany and Spain

Guyancourt (France); Essen (Germany); Walldürn (Germany); Toulouse (France); Sevilla (Spain) January 2nd — The Asmodee Group announced today its’ acquisition of Heidelberger Spieleverlag, EDGE Entertainment and Millennium, German, French and Spanish board game distributors and publishers.

Founded in 1991, Heidelberger Spieleverlag publishes and distributes board games with a unique link to the German hobby shops and has been a long-standing partner and distributor of the Asmodee Group studios Fantasy Flight Games and Plaid Hat Games.

The Asmodee Group is present in Germany since 2008 with a local distribution business unit. The synergy between Asmodee’s expertise in the broad market and Heidelberger’s historic link with the hobby shops will make of this new entity one of the leading actors of the German board game across all channels. This acquisition is the natural next step of a partnership initiated in 2015 when Asmodee and Heidelberger started distributing each other’s catalogue in their respective sales channels.

Founded in 1999, EDGE Entertainment is a board game publisher with presence in Sevilla (SP) and Toulouse (FR). Amongst other games, EDGE holds the rights to the Citadels game in French and Spanish and has been a long-standing partner of the Asmodee Group studio Fantasy Flight Games. EDGE will continue developing new games. Gilles Garnier, co- founder of EDGE Entertainment, is appointed head of EDGE.

Millennium is a Spanish board game distributor specialized in hobby games and retail channels. The Asmodee Group is present in Spain since 2008 with a local distribution business unit. The synergy between Asmodee’s expertise in the broad market and Millennium’s historic link with the hobby shops will make of this new entity one of the leading actors of the Spanish board game distribution across all channels. Jose Manuel Rey CEO of Millennium and co-founder of EDGE Entertainment is appointed head of Asmodee Iberica.

“We are delighted to integrate three great board game companies with the acquisition of Heidelberger, EDGE and Millennium. Throughout the past years they have demonstrated high skills in terms of game publishing and distribution that will now strengthen our position in France, Germany and Spain, that are key local markets.” said Stéphane Carville CEO of Asmodee Group.

“Joining forces with Asmodee, we are building a strong catalogue, an efficient offer of service and support for the broadest audience. We are very happy and are looking forward to the exchange of expertise and knowledge from both sides.”, said Petra Hofstetter, manager of Heidelberg Spieleverlag.

“In Spain Asmodee and Millennium are complementary both in terms of catalogue and access to retail channels. I am very proud to have the opportunity to lead this combined entity.”, said José Manuel Rey, CEO of Millennium.

“EDGE is a studio that has a natural place in the Asmodee Group. We have been long-time business partners of Asmodee studios like Fantasy Flight Games and will continue developing new games within the Group.”, said Gilles Garnier, co-founder of EDGE Entertainment.

We previously reported on Asmodee reprinting the game Watson & Holmes, and so to help build interest in the game Asmodee has released part of a new case on their website.  On the page you will find part of the case file as well as some of the locations you will find in the case, giving you a head start on solving the mystery.  Once the game Watson & Holmes has been published they will release the full files for this free bonus case for the game so you can print it up and add it to your game.  Will you be able to solve the mystery of Case X?

I will hand it to Asmodee, releasing additional content like this ahead of time is a solid way to get people interested in the game ahead of it’s release in 2017.