Dice Tower Newsletter

Asmodee

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.

Looks like the current fad among board game themes is the Room Escape Game with many version popping up everywhere from Kickstarter to even mass market shelves.  So not to miss out on the trend Asmodee is coming out with their own room escape games called Unlock, with each box of Unlock containing three room escape games of a different theme but similar mechanics.  In each scenario box is simply a deck of 60 numbered cards and a few cards labeled as the start cards.  In the game you will read and flip over the start card which will give you other numbers in the deck to pull out indicating the things you find around the room.  Items you find will be either blue or red, and you can combine blue and red items together to try and unlock chests, solve puzzles, and find new items to use in your escape.  Finding out if they actually go together is simple, add the numbers on the card together, and if that card number exists, then that combination works and you get the new card.  While this is all happening you will have a phone app running that will act as a timer, provide hints, and also check your final answer with the appropriate time penalties for wrong guesses.  Manage to finish the scenario in under 60 minutes and you win!

As a fan of room escape games and the upcoming Kickstarter game 7th Continent, which also has a system of finding different numbered cards through other card combinations, I am all about this game.  The first box of Unlock will contain three scenarios, The Formula, Squeek and Sausage, and The Island of Doctor Goorse, and will be on store shelves in the second quarter of 2017.  You can check out the preview on Asmodee’s site, which also includes a link to a demo scenario where you can try out the game system before its released.

Asmodee is announcing an army expansion for Kharnage due out early 2017 called Dark Rampage.  Kharnage is a fast fun fighting card game, set in a medieval world in which you are the warchief of the mighty humans, dwarves, the amazing horde of goblins, or the ferocious orcs. Your goal in Kharnage is to take control of a hill that is the envy of all races.

Dark Rampage, an Army expansion for Kharnage, brings a necromantic flair to your bloodthirsty battles.  Now, you can bring the Undead to your battles with all the unit cards and strategy cards that you need to add a new faction to your games. Even more, you’ll be able to add a 5th player to your carnage-filled battlegrounds.  Each game plays in 20-30 minutes for players ages 7 and up.

The new edition of Citadels has officially hit stores, and so to help spread the word Asmodee decided to interview the three brains behind it’s reprint, Bruno Faidutti, Steve Kimball, and Alex Ortloff.  The questions mostly pertain to the new edition of Citadels and it’s design, favorite characters, and the quintessential question of theme first or mechanics.  Another interesting note is that this the first full game co-designed by Alex, and so they talk briefly about how he felt working with designing veterans like Bruno and Steve.  To read the full interview check out the Asmodee website, and then you can grab a copy of the new edition of the game at your friendly local game store.

Just so people don’t email me, there is a reason for my spelling the title that way I did, and that’s because of the new game coming from Asmodee in the first quarter of 2017.  That game is called Kharnage, and is a card game not about winning a war, but just causing as much chaos and carnage in the battles each round.  There are four factions you can choose from, Dwarves, Orcs, Goblins, and Humans, each with their own particular play style and abilities.  After initial setup of your armies you will draw a hand of cards and from that hand pick out a strategy card which will indicate your reinforcements, initiative order, and how many attacks you can make at range and melee.  Once everyone has picked their strategy card, you will flip the cards and execute them in order from highest to lowest initiative number.  You will bring out the number of units indicated and then start making your attacks.  Each unit you kill gains you a skull token that is worth a point, and if you manage to wipe out an entire army you get a Kharnage token that is worth bonus points at the end.  Play goes around like this for four rounds and whoever has the most points at the end of the war is the winner.

Kharnage has some good looking art and the mechanics are easy while still having some good strategy to them.  Add in the fact that each side plays differently and you have a solid little card game on your hands.  You can see more on Asmodee’s website, and look forward to it’s release early next year.

kushite-witch-hunter

Conan is out, and so the steady march of expansions continues as Asmodee releases everything that was unlocked during the Kickstarter campaign.  This time around it’s an extra dice pack and the Kushite Witch Hunters, deadly warriors and spell casters for the overlord to employ in his armies.  The Witch Hunters are dangerous because not only do they have solid dice for their attacks, they also have the precision strike ability meaning they get to ignore armor.  But Afari is the most dangerous of the group because when you attack him in melee, he gets to strike back at your for free.

Look for these extra warriors and dice to join your army in the first quarter of 2017, and you can read more about them in the preview on the Asmodee website.

braintopia

Brain teasers are fun to do when you have some time, in fact Think Fun has a line of brain teaser packs you can buy and go through one by one to challenge your mind.  To hone in on that market Asmodee is looking to release a game that is all about quickly solving these brain teaser like puzzles, Braintopia.  In Braintopia you will flip over a card and on it will be a challenge of some sort like find the missing piece, which two symbols match, find the color word that matches it’s color and so on.  Be the first to figure out the puzzle and cover the card with your hand, announce the solution and then check to see if you are right.  Correct answers will allow you to keep the card, incorrect answers discards the card from the game and prevents you from participating in the next challenge.  When you claim a card you can choose to place it in front of you, and then when you win a matching card you get a brain piece, four brain pieces and you win!

braintopia-cards

One more interesting wrinkle to the game are the tactile challenges, when one of these comes up the last person to win a card gets to challenge it by themselves.  They will randomly select a card from the separate tactile deck and with their eyes closed, try to feel out what is on the textured card.  Get it right and you get the card, if not then the card goes away like normal.

You can test your mental power with this game early next year, and you can take a sneak peek at the game on Asmodee’s website.