For those of you anxiously awaiting the second printing of Jonathan Ying’s Bargain Quest, you can now also look forward to a brand new expansion, too! This fun little game of adventure and capitalism will offer even more must have items for heroes to choose from.

In Bargain Quest, players take on the role of shopkeeper trying to attract adventuring heroes to their shop over their opponents.  Each player will secretly draft from a deck of items to place in their shop windows and then help equip their heroes for an upcoming ad  kkiventure. Players earn money to upgrade their shop and hire employees based on how their hero fares in battle.

The Black Market expansion will offer players more heroes, employees, and play modes.  A new shipment of items will also be available to entice heroes to battle the new monsters.

Gather up to eight of your friends to see who can run the most successful shop with the most gold and prestige.  Renegade Games will be releasing the Black Market expansion in May 2019. Don’t worry if you missed out on the Kickstarter for the base game. It will be available through Renegade Games once the Kickstarter fulfillment is completed.


Become the best merchant of the century and conquer the route to America in this amazing auction euro style card game.

Sevilla 1503 by Delirium Games is currently live on Kickstarter. With eye-catching art set in the Middle Ages, this euro-style game features auctions and hidden bids as you

enter the port of Seville, the most important European city of the XVI century, and recruit the best crew with the support of the nobility. Dominate the famous trade route to the Indies between America and the Old World.

Head to the Kickstarter page to learn more about Sevilla 1503.

Out this month is the card game version of the game Amun-Re from Super Meeple.

This Egyptian themed three-round card game has three auctions each round, other actions and then scoring. Players take turns bidding on Provinces by placing money cards next to province cards. Outbid players take back their cards and after three rounds of auctions, players make an offering of gold. The Nile will flood according to the sum of the offering, which will in turn determine how much money players will get from the fields on their provinces.

Players can spend money to build pyramids on their provinces, and score points for pyramids, amount of fields and for having ankhs (which can also be on the province cards.)

Second and third rounds play similarly, except the new provinces bury the old ones, except for the pyramids. Scoring happens at the end of each round and the player with the most points win.

Watch the Dice Tower’s review of the game here.

Following the passing of board game designer Allan Calhmer in 2013, a piece of board gaming history is up for auction right now as part of his estate sale. The first edition of the game Diplomacy was printed as a numbered print run of 500 copies, and the copy up for auction right now is number one of those first  500 editions. The auction ends April 2, 2017 at 9:05 PM EST.

The copy was found in a mailing box with a return address of “Diplomacy,” located in Boston, Mass. Postmarked July 21, 1959, the contents of the auction including, per the auction listing:

The game board
A box of wooden game pieces
3 Conference Maps

“Diplomacy – Rules of the Game” which is 6 stapled sheets (sheets 2 thru 5 are 2-sided).  The back side of sheet 5 is stamped “THIS IS SET NO. 1 OF THE FIRST EDITION, OF 500 SETS” (the number “1” is handwritten in ink pen).

Also in the box is a “Sylvania Signal” newsletter dated November 21, 1958 with an article about Mr. Calhamer and his new game.  This was no doubt put in the box many years ago and will be included.

Diplomacy is a legendary negotiation game with no elements of chance. Per the Avalon Hill game description:

At the turn of the 20th century, the seven Great European Powers engage in an intricate struggle for supremacy. Military forces invade and withdraw, shifting borders and altering empires with subtle maneuvers and daring gambits.

Form alliances and unhatch your traitorous plots as you negotiate and outwit—in a delicate balance of cooperation and competition—to gain dominance of the continent! In Diplomacy, your success hinges not on the luck of the dice, but your cunning and cleverness.

Top Game For Ruining Friendships
Diplomacy has made many Top Ten Lists on the Dice Tower including:

Top 100 Games 2015
Stress-Inducing Games
Political Games
Top Ten EPIC games
Top Ten Mean and Nasty Games
Best Political games
Best Convention Games
Games That Have Stood the Test of Time
Stress-Inducing Games
Mean and Nasty Games

Diplomacy is likely most famous for being one of the friendship killer board games. The game was Tom’s original number 1 pick as the top Mean and Nasty Game.

Google “top friendship destroying board games” and any thoughtful list usually results Diplomacy taking the top spot. Top Tenz list of Top Board Games (for Ruining Friendships) describes the game mechanics:

There’s zero random chance in Diplomacy, so if your friends decide you need to be eliminated there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. And while you hate them for it, you know you would have done the exact same thing to them. At that moment comes the realization that, deep down, you were never really friends at all.

Quinton Smith from Shut up and Sit Down’s list of The Top 5 Board Games That Really Will Ruin Friendships also gives Diplomacy the top rank and warns: “Buy Diplomacy at your own risk. I will absolutely not be held accountable.”

Ruined Friendships By the Numbers
Diplomacy has always been recommended as best with 7 players, that means a combination of 21 friends are usually playing the game. With 9,336 logged plays on boardgamegeek, that makes approximately 65,352 ruined friendships since 1959.

There’s no way of knowing how many friendships were ruined by the very first copy of Diplomacy, but this is your chance to both own a piece of board gaming history while at the same time clearing 6 contacts out of your phone.


The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund is one of the most beloved charity organizations in the hobby gaming community, with the commitment to provide financial assistance to members of the gaming community at large who have suffered personal hardship.  Each year, the JVMF holds a charity auction, which is held on and is anticipated heavily by the gaming community.  The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund is preparing to kick-off its annual auction for 2016, and hopes to exceed last year’s auction proceeds, in which $78,700 was raised in 2015.

The auction will officially begin at midnight on Sunday morning, 10/23/2016 on BGG and will run until November 14, 2016.  Be watching BGG and The Dice Tower on Sunday morning and show your support by participating in the auction.


Letiman Games would like to announce their latest Kickstarter project, Gadgeteers, a blind-bidding, variable powers strategy game in which players are competing to build the zaniest gadgets using the same tools.  Players will take on the role of inventors, and by bidding and on the same resources and equipment via bluffing and planning, will be working to construct the most valuable collection of gadgets.

gadeteers comp

Once a gadget has been constructed, players will be able to to use the gadget’s special powers to their advantage.  Once a player has built 4 gadgets, the game ends and the player with the most valuable collection of gadgets is the winner.

Gadgeteers is for 2-3 players ages 10 and up and plays in 20-30 minutes.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page.

ra banner

Reiner Knizia’s classic game Ra has now been released. New art and components described by Steve Kimball, head of Windrider Games, as deserving of a “premium touch” has set high expectations for the look and feel of this board game. He continues by adding “Just run your fingers over the board when you get it—especially the hieroglyphs” In addition to the premium components, Reiner has updated the rules organization to bring this reprint to life. Windrider Games is Asmodee‘s newest studio, and Ra will be their first title.

In Ra, players compete over three ages (each age called an epoch) to create the most successful society. Through auction style bidding and set collection, each player builds a balanced culture to avoid destructive disasters, and keep their civilization progressing through each age.

Whether you’re a fan of Ra, Reiner Knizia, or just the Ancient Egyptian theme, this is something you’ll want to check out later this year.

Read the full interview with Steve Kimball here. For the launch you can visit Asmodee’s site here.

genghis con

Genghis Con 2016 is right around the corner, being held from February 11-14, 2016, in Aurora, Colorado at the Radisson Southeast.

Genghis Con will feature many opportunities in gaming, such as:

  • Role-playing games (Savage Worlds, D&D, and Hero’s RPG)
  • Access to the Gen Con board game library, with over 700 games (Board Game Ribbon required to access)
  • Auction
  • Catan Regional Championship qualifier (winner will compete at Gen Con 2016)
  • Miniatures room run by Gamer’s Haven game store
  • Envoy Games regional championships in Diamonds, Game of 49, Spellcaster, Nevermore, Skull King, and Wizard
  • Artemis Bridge Simulator
  • Cosplay contest
  • Live-action role-playing
  • Dungeon Crawl of Awesome featuring an entire floor for a sic-fi dungeon crawl

Hotel rooms are available for $89/night with the group code “Gen Con”.  For more information, visit the convention’s web site at

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.

Status as of 10/22/2014

Status as of 10/22/2014

The moment is here, folks. The moment we have all been waiting for: The 2014 Jack Vasel Memorial Fund Auction is here! This is a great opportunity to give back to our small, but growing, community of board gamers. For those of you wondering what the fund is, and how it came about, here is a brief explanation:

One tragic event and two acts of generosity brought the BGG community together: the result was the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. In January 2011, Cate Pfeifer (Cate108) posted an auction for Tom Vasel and his family to help with the financial hardship related to the unfortunate loss of his son, Jack. The generosity of the BGG community was amazing. Tom was touched and wanted to pay the kindness forward so he created the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. He used some of the money that BGGers donated and spent to build this fund. The fund is a not-for-profit with a simple goal: raising and distributing funds to help gamers in their hour of need.

I took part in the auction last year for the first time and I can say it was the easiest and most friendly experience anyone could wish for. Everyone involved was extremely kind and helpful, which was good as I was nervous going into it. Now you too can take part in this outstanding auction put on by amazing folks just like you and I!

The auction has been steadily increasing their funds raised each year and reached a total of $60,918 in 2013! And I know this year will be even better. So it’s up to us to spread the word and get as many people involved as we can in order to reach and exceed $100,000 raised. I know we can do it!

Click on here and start placing your bids!

The auction takes place between October 21st and November 14th.