Bluffing

Chiyo’s Secret is an upcoming game from designer J.B. Howell and published by WizKids. Checking a distributor’s page and its BGG listing have given me some reasons for excitement for Chiyo’s Secret. What peeked my interest in this hidden role game is that its BGG summation brought out feelings of recent classic games like Coup and Love Letter:

“You are a noble ally of the daimyo, perhaps with a secret agenda of your own… Chiyo’s Secret has four teams: Loyal Allies, who seek to capture Chiyo and Fusanobu and send them to be executed for their crimes; Usurpers, who seek to lure Fusanobu and the Daimyo into a trap and seize power for themselves; Betrayers, who seek to betray the Daimyo and present Chiyo and Fusanobu to the Shogun instead; and the lone Motonaka who seeks to protect his parents, hiding them until the Shogun arrives.”

If this intrigues you as well you can already learn the backstory and how to play this 5-8 player, 45-60 minute game as the final rules are already posted and show off the art and components as well.

J.B. Howell may not be a famous board game designer yet, but 2019 may change that, with two other WizKids games scheduled to release, as well as at least three from other publishers. One of which, Reavers of Midgard by Grey Fox Games, the newest game in their Champions of Midgard universe, may be cause for some series fans to check out Chiyo’s Secret to examine Howell’s design skills. I am equally interested in another 2019 release of Howell’s called Papillon, which combines butterflies and flowers in a game of set collection, tile placement, and area control/area influence into a unique looking package.

Gamers  will starter to gather information and seek out others to complete their objectives in January 2019 when Chiyo’s Secret is scheduled to release.

Z-Man Games is bringing out a new edition of yet another classic game.

Clans, the 2003 Spiel de Jahres nominated game, has been reimagined into a “mystical Celtic setting.” The new version will be called Fae.

Fae will keep the same simple mechanics from the original game but will have “art and production quality up to modern standards.”

In this 2-4 player game, players will be moving druids around the board, forming them into larger groups that will then move together themselves. If this results in an area with druids being surrounded by empty spaces, that space will score based on the type of area and the color of druids in the group.

The trick is that what color the players are is kept secret until the end of the game, adding a bit of bluffing to the area scoring aspect.

Keep an eye on the Z-Man Games web site for more information, and be on the lookout for Fae to be released later in 2018. It is available for pre-order.

“RISE UP! My fellow animals, against those that would exploit us!”

ARGH! (Animals Revolt aGainst Humans) is a brand new 2 to 4 player bluffing and set-collection card game published by Dude Games from designer Romaric Galonnier.

In ARGH! players take the role of rival animal operatives fighting to stop the evil human scientists from experimenting on any more innocent animals. Ratchet, the leader of ARGH! has charged you with destroying the lab once and for all. Unfortunately, he has also charged other animals with the same task and there is not enough glory for all! Act quickly, find allies where you can and anything you can do to hinder your rival freedom fighters couldn’t hurt either…right?

On your turn you will draw a card from one of three decks (Garden, House and Laboratory), look at it in secret and decide to keep it face up or give it to another player face down. Without knowing what the card is, that player then chooses to keep it face down or return it to you face up. Play continues in this way until one of the three decks is empty or any player has two face-up bomb cards.

A player with two bomb cards is declared the winner but if a deck runs out first, each player reveals all their face down cards. If nobody has two or more bombs, the value of their cards will determine each player’s final score. Check out the official rule book for a complete rule explanation.

“Join me and together we shall annihilate this place, the symbol of our oppression!” – Ratchet, leader of Animals Revolt aGainst Humans.

ARGH! is the latest offering from designer Romaric Galonnierc, also known for games such as Yesss! and Casting.

ARGH! plays in 5 – 15 minutes and set for release in January 2018!

Do you like party games, ninjas, and bluffing? A unique new competitive game from Pure Fun Games has all this and more and is now on Kickstarter. Shadow Strike Melee brings the same unique mechanic from Hanabi and turns it into an interesting game of brawling and intrigue.  Up to 9 players will hold their hands away from them while trying to pick the highest cards each round in order to wound their opponents while avoiding being wounded themselves. Being wounded isn’t the end of the world, however, as each wound taken allows you to flip a card towards you giving you both insight and a tool to fight back, but take three wounds and you’re out. As described on the campaign page:

 “Take the role of a ninja student during his final trial: An all-out battle with his classmates! Facing other young students, you are cocky and less aware of your own abilities. Players simulate this by facing their cards outward, so only their opponents can see them. This forces players to strategize and bluff in unique and entertaining ways.”

As a big fan of Hanabi, this mechanic of holding your hand away from you has always been a pleasure and something that instantly hooks players the moment they learn it. If that kind of fun can be had from a game about preparing fireworks, an all-out Ninja brawl is sure to work just as well if not in a more easily palatable way. What further distinguishes Shadow Strike Melee from the award winning cooperative game is it’s item cards, which allow you to steal advantages at opportune times. If you’re interested in Shadow Strike Melee, please visit their Kickstarter campaign page where you can find more information, including fully available rulebook and more.

Z-Man Games has announced plans to distribute Michael Schacht’s new game Smile. A card game for three to five players, Smile has players working in an environment where all sorts of critters have escaped their enclosures. Players will use lightening bugs as bait (critters love lightning bugs, obviously) to catch more lost critters than their opponents, while being careful to avoid capturing wild critters which will give players negative points.
The light is falling and time is growing short. There’s no telling what sorts of trouble your critters will get into if you don’t find them soon. Gather your lightning bugs and round up the best critters in Smile, arriving soon!
Game play unfolds over ten rounds. In each round players will unveil a number of critter cards equal to the number of players. Players then choose, in order, to stay in the round by placing a single firefly on the lowest value creature or to drop out of the round. When dropping out players take the least valuable critter still available, though gaining the many fireflies possibly now associated with that card. Deception and push your luck elements are in play as each firefly committed brings you closer to a valuable critter while at the same time depleting your store of lightning bugs. Drop out early and stock up on bugs for future rounds and make a dramatic comeback or take an early lead!
Additional rules add to the challenge. If you end up with two critters of the same color in the top-left corner you remove both from the game. This can come in handy for getting rid of negative point critters, or perhaps you can force an opponent to lose two valuable cards?
Michael Schacht is also the designer of Coloretto, Hansa, Aquaretto, Mondo, Mogul and many other games. His game Zooloretto won him the 2007 Spiel des Jahres award.

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.

gcg_outlawed_3dbox Games with a Western theme seem to be making a comeback. Maybe it’s the fact that an Old West themed title won the SdJ last year (Colt Express) or maybe it’s just the fact that the theme is a ton of fun. The latest to jump on the stagecoach is from Green Couch Games and is called OutLawed! (Complete with an internal capital letter and an attached exclamation point. My inner editor is cringing.)

OutLawed! (see…it’s annoying isn’t it?) is a social game who’s core mechanic seems to be bluffing. Each player has a hand of eleven identical outlaws and each plays one facedown to the table and then you can say whatever you want about the character you played, true or not. Sounds a bit like Libertalia mixed with Sheriff of Nottingham and that’s a good thing.

OutLawed! (no, that’s not the end of a sentence) is designed by Ryan Cowler who previously designed another Green Couch title (with the same grammatical atrocities) JurrasAttack! (and that is the end of a sentence)

OutLawed! (now I’m doing it on purpose) is for 2-4 players and will be hitting Kickstarter next week, September 14. It should be coming to retail early next year.

gadgeteers

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.

waka tanka

Cool Mini Or Not would like to announce the release of Waka Tanka, a bluffing card game by Bruno Faidutti.  In the game, players take o the role of Native American shamans working to prove their worth to the tribe–and sometimes, that means covering your mistakes and hoping no one will notice.  The following excerpt from the official press release sets the stage for the game:

During the Summer Solstice, the Sioux Tribes would send their most promising young wizards to the Great Shaman.

Each young apprentice had to try to become one with nature and ask Waka Tanka to make one of the Totemic animals of their tribe appear.

Those whose spell had no effect would lose their authority forever. That’s why some apprentices began masking their misfortune with any possible trick. But the other apprentices are watching…

More information about the game and its gameplay summary can be seen on BoardGameGeek’s page for this game.  Wake Tanka’s street date is May 20th, 2016.  For more information about the game and its release, visit Cool Mini Or Not’s website.

waka tanka
Cool Mini or Not has announced that it will once again partner with Sweet Games to publish the English version of Waka Tanka in America. Waka Tanka is a light bluffing card game designed by Bruno Faidutti (Citadels, Mission: Red Planet). In the game, players are Native American shamans who try to conjure spirits by playing incantation cards face down. Other players can call their bluff and catch them in their lies.
If you’re interested in this light bluffing game with great art (the game is illustrated by David Cochard (Dungeon Lords, Dungeon Petz), one of my favorite board game artists), read the full press release below:

December 3, 2015 – CMON Inc. has announced today that it will be publishing the English version of Sweet Games’ Waka Tanka in America. Designed by legendary game designer Bruno Faidutti, Waka Tanka has players taking on the role of would-be Sioux shamans as they try to win the favor of the titular Waka Tanka, the great spirit of every living thing. Players will need to bluff and deceive other players to win. Illustrated by David Cochard, Waka Tanka promises to bring the same beauty in art and mechanics as CMON Inc. and Sweet Games’ previous title The Grizzled.

A preview of Waka Tanka will be shown in Cannes at the end of February 2016 with a simultaneous international release following shortly after.

CMON Inc. is a publisher of premium quality board and table tops games. Their previously published titles Include Zombicide, Arcadia Quest, Rum and Bones,Xenoshyft: Onslaught and more.

Sweet Games is a French game publisher of modern board and card games. Their previous partnership with CMON Inc. brought the highly praised game The Grizzled to America.