Asymmetric Games

Root, the critically claimed asymmetric forest critter game from Leder Games and designer Cole Wehrle has a new expansion on Kickstarter. The Underworld Expansion, by designer Patrick Leder, introduces two new critters to the wood, the Crows and the Moles. The Corvid Conspiracy of Crows slowly takes over other players’ decks of cards by adding agents to their hands. As each agent comes to fruition and advances the Corvid agenda, the Conspiracy must move to a new secret hideout in the wood. The Great Duchy of Moles travels underground, building tunnels and taking over clearings in the wood. The Underworld Expansion also includes new Mountain and Lake Maps, and a new Exiles & Partisans deck of cards to replace the original deck with special powers. Also available are resin clearing markers, new meeples in the vagabond pack, and all of the previous expansions and extra. The Kickstarter for the Underground Expansion continues through April 2, and is expected to ship in December 2019.

Petersen Games and designer Sandy Petersen (Cthulhu Wars) have a new asymmetric 4X space game on Kickstarter, Hyperspace. Hyperspace is designed to be a fast moving (1-2 hours), 2-4 player space epic with little downtime, selling itself as having no upkeep phase, keeping everything continuous actions until the end of the game. Players have 3 actions on their turn, choosing from move, build, battle, produce and research. The base game comes with 4 very unique aliens, each with its own weakness, bonus super ability, super tech, super unit, and a victory ability just for that species. The board is comprised of hex tiles, each of which is unique. All of the mechanisms are simple, elegant versions what you expect in a space game. The outposts, which produce resources, have slots to place cardboard tokens, denoting which resource they produce – Metal, Atomics, Organic, or Hyper. Battles are swift and decisive – ships attack with a specific die type (d6, d8, d10), and defend with a single value. Of note is that attackers decide who they are shooting, picking from any of the defenders units. Movement uses an action, but a single action can move ships as far as you like through player owned territory, as long as you have the Atomics to fuel it. Like most Petersen games, the components are a thing of beauty – Hyperspace comes with 100+ gorgeous plastic miniatures, 42 planets, 122 cards, and more than 300 cardboard tokens, rings and dice. 22 more expansion species are available as extra buys, making the variability and replayability extraordinary. The Kickstarter Campaign for Hyperspace continues through February 21, and the game is expected to ship in August 2020.

After the success of Vast: The Crystal Caverns, Leder Games still felt like they had more ideas they wanted to explore using Vast’s mechanisms and so Vast: The Mysterious Manor was born. It’s designed by Patrick Leder, with art by Kyle Ferrin (known for Root, and Vast: The Crystal Caverns), and caters for 1-5 players, aged 13+, with a play time of roughly 60-120 minutes.

“Leder Games presents its newest asymmetric adventure game, Vast: The Mysterious Manor. The Mysterious Manor takes you and your friends on an adventure in a haunted house. Here there are few heroes. Instead, each player takes on a unique role, with dramatically different abilities and goals. Play as the pious Paladin, the murderous Skeletons, the dreaded Spider, the bewitching Enchanter, or the Manor itself. With dozens of player configurations, a modular board, and scenarios allowing players to integrate content from Vast: The Crystal Caverns, the Mysterious Manor offers new and old players alike with fresh new adventures in the world of Vast!” [source]

The Paladin‘s goal is to slay the unholy spider as an act of redemption to please his forsaken gods. He can explore the mansion, fight poltergeists, and pursue the unholy spider.

The Skeletons‘ goal is to defeat the sanctimonious Paladin who has invaded their home. They’re made up of Stabby (who attacks in darkness), Slashy (who can attack when others cannot), Screamy (helps others get in position), Shooty (attacks from a distance), and Casty (hinders the Paladin with spells).

The Spider wishes to escape the Manor and rebuild its strength after having broken out of their prison. It can transform into the form of a Caster (can tend to eggs and strike from afar), Spiderlings (spins webs in the Mansion), and a Giant Spider (hunts enemies).

The Manor itself is awaken by the Spider’s intrusion and it must rush to seal its walls and contain the magic inside before being destroyed. It can confuse the players by moving corridors, haunt them with a Wraith, and clear passages so that it can perform sealing rituals.

Finally, The Enchanter wants to beguile others by tempting them into passageways laid with their traps, or charm the weak to empower or limit them, or beguile them to claim their minds forever.

The base game and included expansion requires a pledge of $75 (excluding shipping). The project has already blown it’s funding goal out of the water and will run on Kickstarter until Tuesday, June 26th 2018. It’s estimated delivery is March 2019.

54 AD – Rome stands at the height of its power with majestic buildings, robust infrastructure, and the world’s mightiest army. Rome’s Legions have vanquished her foes, and the Empire stands secure…or does it? Agrippina the Younger’s deadly intrigues ensured Nero’s rise to power, but can Nero hold the Empire together? Oppressed people all over the Empire yearn for their freedom. In particular, the Jews hunger for their independence and the chance to cleanse their homeland. Outside the Empire, a Coalition of Germanic Tribes, Goths, and Parthians will suffer no more Roman expansion. Sensing an opportunity, they begin to push back against Rome. Meanwhile, small groups of Christians are challenging all kinds of religious and cultural norms.

This is the setting of the latest game being published by Chara Games, Soul of the Empire, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.  This game is going to be the heaviest game in their library and promises a deep strategic experience as you take on the role of one of four factions during the pinnacle of the Roman empire.  Each faction is different from the other, with different player powers, different strengths and weaknesses, and each with their own special way to win the game beyond the standard.  The standard way to win the game is to claim seven objectives, and even these objectives are different depending on which faction you are playing, and are usually pushing you towards your own special victory condition.

Play itself is interesting in that you will roll dice Yahtzee style and from those dice form sets or runs in order to activate your abilities.  This abilities include spawning units, moving units, purchasing power cards, claiming objectives, and fighting other players on the board.  Fighting in this game is deterministic with the number of units on the battlefield being your strength, augmented by cards you can play from your hand.  Using this system means that you don’ know 100% what you will be facing, but also allows players who are looking at a certain defeat to get some benefit out of the battle through card play.  The final piece that sets all the factions apart are their unique power cards, these are cards that they can purchase each round and give you distinct advantages to completing your objectives.  So plan well, pick your battles wisely, and accomplish your goal to claim the soul of the empire.

If you are a fan of Chara Games or these types of strategy games, check out the Kickstarter for more information.  A base pledge of $50 plus shipping will get you the game, and additional levels allow you to get full size art prints of the factions, or get multiple copies of the game at a discount.

Donning the Purple, published by Tompet Games, is a new euro-style asymmetric game based on the Roman Empire in the year 193 AD, and it is now on Kickstarter.

The previous emperor has been killed by his Praetorian guard, and powerful families are vying for control of the Empire, trying to install their own family member as Emperor. If you succeed, everybody else will be trying to bring you down, so your reign may be short-lived.

“Donning the Purple is an asymmetrical king of the hill game with a bit of worker placement. Each player leads a powerful family in ancient Rome, trying to get the most victory points during 4 rounds. If your family member becomes the emperor and manages to hold the position he can earn lots of points. However he will also become the target of the other players, as they will try to dethrone him and become the new emperor themselves.”


Designed by Petter Schanke Olsen with artwork by Daniel Hasenbos and Joeri Lefevre, Donning the Purple is played over a series of four rounds. Each round symbolizes one year, and players will face off not only against each other, but also enemies from outside the Empire who are invading and trying to take it down. If all of the enemy tiles are out or if enemies control all the regional capitals at the end of a round, then nobody wins the game.

Otherwise, players are trying to earn victory points through their various actions. The player who is Emperor has a few unique actions, and also gets one extra action each turn. Event cards are drawn and can be played to either keep yourself in power as Emperor or to help bring the Emperor down if you’re on the outside.

The map is divided into four regions of six provinces each, and it’s lavishly illustrated by Daniel Hasenbos.

Donning the Purple is a three-player game with both a two-player and single-player variant as well.

The game will fund on March 22, 2018 and it is already close to its funding goal.

Check out the Kickstarter for more information.


Kolossal Games has announced a new asymmetrical deck-building game with Terrors of London.

London in the late 1800s is a city with a wide variety of inhabitants. While the upper class lives in their high society areas, a hidden war is taking place in the slums as four factions try to assume control.

“In Terrors of London, four factions – the Undead, the Mortals, the Spirits, and the Beasts – battle to take over as the ruling cabal. The Overlords – Azazael, Methuselah, Cain, and Fenris – bring Influence cards to the starting deck, as well as provide a unique ability for players to use.”

This deck-building game will have players recruiting monsters, buying relics, and otherwise trying to strengthen their deck as they attempt to reduce the life points of all competitors to zero. Players can form big combos with their recruited monsters, using their relics to help do massive damage and eventually win the game.

Each player has an Overlord which has a special power that will help guide purchases as player attempt to join combinations together using the “Hoard indicators” which will, if done correctly allow for massive damage each turn.

There has been no indication of a release date, but keep an eye on Kolossal Games for more information on Terrors of London as it develops.


CMoN has announced they will be publishing Victorian Masterminds from acclaimed designers Eric M. Lang and Antoine Bauza in 2018. Originally announced by Space Cowboys in 2016 (french video here, english here), Victorian Masterminds has 2-4 players take on the roles of evil geniuses in the 19th century, wreaking havoc on an unprotected London after the disappearance of the protector Sherlock Holmes. Players need to send their henchmen into the city, completing missions, destroying buildings, and collecting pieces to build their ultimate evil contraption. When a player has finished their contraption, or the Secret Service can control this villainy, the game ends, with victory going to the player with the most points. Victorian Masterminds features highly asymmetric characters with unique abilities and contraptions. Gameplay involves placing tiles representing individual agents (Henchmen, Machine, Saboteur, Pilot or Number 2) face down on locations within the city. When a location gets 3 tiles, they are immediately revealed and executed in order.

Read the full press release on the CMoN website here.