Dice Tower Newsletter

board game

Board games apps continue to flow as they are a great way to play some of our favorite board games where ever we want, like Tsuro and Cottage Garden.  The Tsuro update is something that just recently launched on the iOS platform as the latest iOS update included tech to be able to utilize augmented reality.  Augmented reality is basically where you can look on your phone for a view of what is front of you, overlaid with information, objects, or other things digitally.  What this means is that now you can “play” Tsuro on your real life table via your iPhone.  Is this really necessary?  No, but it is a cool next step for technology to be able to now see the digital board game on the table in front of you, although still on your screen.  You can download the update now on the App Store.

The second announcement is that another of Uwe Rosenburg’s polyomino games was released today, Cottage Garden.  The app was designed by the company DigiDiced, known for faithfully and effectively translating other games of his to the digital space.  Of course it comes with a list of great features including:

• 2-4 players locally, online or even cross-platform
• Family friendly – non violent theme
• Worldwide ranked multiplayer and casual play with your friends
• fast real time games or asynchronous games with 24 hour time limit per turn
• Easy interactive tutorial to learn the game from scratch
• Analyze your best games or learn tricks from the best with playback
• 3 different computer opponents

You can find out more about the app on their website.

Released today with Cottage Garden was Smash Up, by Nomad Games Ltd (II) and published by Asmodee Digital. It’s features are:

– Online Cross-platform multiplayer: 2 to 4 players
– Play with 4 players or solo against the AI
– 9 faction decks, including the base game set and more: Zombies, Aliens, Dinosaurs, Ninjas, Pirates, Robots, Tricksters, Wizards & Geeks
– Random or manual faction selection
– Fully automated scoring
– Tutorial system plus ‘Step Through’ and ‘Review’ modes to help players learn
– Leader boards & Achievements
– Contains 16 Base cards to compete over
– Languages available: English, French, German

While the 7th Continent Kickstarter is the big thing right now, hauling in multiple millions of dollars, there are still others that are worth consideration.  First up is the second printing of a excellent cooperative minis game, and that is Fireteam Zero.  Fireteam Zero is a cooperative game where you are a squad of military fighters, heading out to combat the occult as they try to overrun the world.  On your turn you can perform two actions from the choices of move and attack.  Moving is simply in that everyone has a speed of two, attacking is where you have to start playing cards.  And it’s these cards that are one of the neat aspects of this game because each card has two uses, a reaction or tactic effect, and an attack.  Tactic effects are game altering, but also leave you at a disadvantage so you have to use them wisely, reaction effects allow you to bolster allies or yourself when certain things happen.  However, the main use for the cards are attacks, and you can play cards in sets to be able to roll move dice when in melee, shooting, or lobbing grenades.  You will roll custom dice with different numbers of each symbol in order to see how much damage you inflict.  Fight off the monsters and accomplish your objective to be able to move on, and hopefully take out the boss.  So if you are looking for an excellent cooperative “dungeon” crawl type game, check out the Kickstarter today.

I have to be honest, what caught my eye on this Kickstarter was the cheese minis that they are offering, they just look awesome!  Ratland is an interesting game where you are trying to grow your pack or rats to be the largest, but be careful, that is a lot of mouths to feed.  On your turn you will be allocating all your rates to different spots to either game more cheese, attack other players to take their cheese, or to spawn more rats.  Each area you can gather from will have different amounts of cheese based on the card drawn at the start of the round.  Also it will be the person who sent the fewest rats that will draw first, but you only draw as much cheese as rats you sent, so there a bit of a balancing game there.  At the end of every round though you will have to feed your rats, and any rats that can’t eat will starve and count as negative points against you at the end.  Most rats at the end is the winner.  So if cheese minis, or this game sound interesting, check out the Kickstarter.

Next is an interesting card game called End of the Trail, where it’s all about trying to stake your claim on the biggest pile of gold.  In this game the cards are used in three different ways, first as money for the bidding round.  In this round sets of cards will be available to be bid on, and the money you have to use for that is on the cards in your hand, discarding the amount that you pay for the auction.  Next they are used for the prospecting phase where depending on which card you play will determine what tiles you can look at to see what value they are.  You can claim that tile, or, waiting and see if you can find something better, but be careful, if you find something worse you bust and have to claim that lower valued tile.  And finally, the cards are also used to form a poker hand at the end of the game.  In each round of the game you will be setting aside cards to form this final hand, and if you have the best hand then you get to make one more claim before final scoring begins.  Have the highest value of gold in your clutches and you win.  So if you like games with multi-use cards and don’t mind a little memory to go with it, check out this Kickstarter.

After that we have the latest in a growing line of movie to board game conversions, and that is T2029: Terminator 2 the Board Game.  This is an officially licensed game so it has the same look as the classic action movie with the tanks, attack ships, and of course, the T-800s and T-1000.  In this game you are protecting John Connor as he makes his way to Skynet to hack in and shut it down for good.  Along the way you will have to fight back against oncoming robots attacks, protect John Connor, and keep the T-1000 from infiltrating your ranks.  On your turn you will be rolling dice and assigning those dice onto your board to perform actions like getting more soldiers, attacking bots on the board, and manipulating the cards controlling the game.  These card decks are going to be your main headache as they will dictate where Skynet focuses it’s attention as well as show you what John Connor is up against.  If you are able to keep him alive, get him to Skynet, roll and the right hacking combination, AND reprogram the T-800, then you will finally claim victory.  But it is also just as easy to lose to the robotic onslaught, so work together and roll well.  For more information and to back the gamine, check out the Kickstarter.

Last and certainly not least, we have the campaign for the 2nd Edition of Tiny Epic Defenders along with an expansion, The Dark War.  The second edition of the Tiny Epic Defenders does little to change the rules, but what it does do is upgrade the components.  After the success and great popularity for the IteMeeples that were created for Tiny Epic Quest, they are bringing them into this game.  So now when you get your artifact card, you will be able to take the corresponding artifact piece and attach it to your meeple, on the front or the back.  So now you will see the epic items on the board instead of just sitting in front of you on the card.  But this upgrade is not all that is new, there is an expansion being offered called The Dark War.  This expansion adds more of what you want in the form of new heroes, artifacts, epic foes, and dire enemies.  In addition to that extra content, the expansion will add new features in the form of a campaign mode with enemy generals, skills that the heroes can learn, and even advanced regions and caravans.  So if you want to expand and upgrade you Tiny Epic Defenders game, check out the Kickstarter today!

Arcane Tinmen, the company behind the high quality Dragon Shield line of card sleeves, has decided to take that expertise and apply it to board games.  They have now launched this new line along with a website dedicated to just these sleeves.  The sleeve sizes cover a wide range of board games from 7 Wonders, to Heroquest, to Descent 2.0, and more.  They even come in a non-glare format so you don’t have to worry anymore about glare making cards hard to read, and you can even use the sleeve box as a card box for storage.  Overall if they maintain the quality of the Dragon Shield sleeves in these, they will be some very nice quality.  You can find out more on the Board Games Sleeves website, and you can check the list here for a large sampling of games the sleeves work for.

WizKids has two interesting new games coming to shelves in February 2018.

Dark.Net is a card game set in the techno future in which 4 mega-corporations battle for dominance. Players each take control of one corporation, collecting information by intercepting transmissions. Players then use fences to buy and sell information, boosting their abilities. Reputation can be gained by gaining credits, hiring informants, extending a players network or making contact. Information on Dark.Net is limited, but click here for distributor information about this upcoming game.

Image from BGG.com

Kung-Fu Zoo is a dexterity dice flicking game in which 2-4 players take on the roles of the Elephant, Zebra, Cheetah or Gorilla. Each role has its own dice and abilities. Players take to battle on a vacuum form arena board, with each player trying to knock the opponents’ animals into cages or onto their backs.

Mad Moves is a crazy dancing party game on Kickstarter from designer Ashley Mady (Kick Ash Mady!) In Mad Moves, players are assigned a dance style and a category from a spinner. The category specifies an action, animal or person that you need to convey while doing the assigned dance. For instance, can you get people to guess that you are a T-Rex doing that limbo? Or a Ninja doing the twist? If no one can guess what you are acting out, you get a tomato card thrown at you, which cancels out category cards. Cards can force players to Dance Battle against an opponent, or strike a pose in a Freeze Dance. The Kickstarter offers a second “Midnight” spinner, with dances such as shimmy, belly dance and booty dance. There is even an optional buy for a mega sized edition, with a giant standing spinner.

The Kickstarter for Mad Moves continues through November 2, with delivery expected in June 2018.

Druid City Games and James Hudson (Barnyard Roundup / Grimm Forest)has started a new Kickstarter campaign for Guardian’s Call, a card based bluffing and deduction game for 2-5 players. In Guardian’s Call, players try and collect the right resources and save the most villagers in order to be names the Guardian of the Realm. Game play involves card collection from the open market and bluffing, in a manner similar to Sheriff of Nottingham.

Players take turns offering sets of identical cards to their opponents; they can lie about what the cards are, but they must not lie about the number of cards. If they are caught in the lie, the opponent gets the cards, otherwise the player may keep them. Curse cards must be bluffed when offered, and if the bluff is successful, the opponent ends up with the curse. If a player loses an offer, they gain coins which can be used to directly take cards, or to dispel curses. Players can play as one of 5 different guardians, each with special abilities. Timing cards in the market trigger events – The Council card starts quest scoring, and a War card signals the last round of the game.

The Kickstarter campaign for Guardian’s Call continues through October 13, and is expected to deliver in July 2018.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Specter Ops: Broken Covenant, a stand-alone expansion from Emerson Matsuuchi for his 2015 hit Specter Ops. In Broken Covenant, one player again takes on the role of a lone A.R.K. agent, secretly moving within the jungles of South America, trying to retrieve 3 mission targets while being pursued by genetically modified hunters from Raxxon. Broken Covenant uses very similar mechanisms to Specter Ops, with one player marking their movements on a pad representing the board, on which the hunters search for their prey, but features new equipment, hunters, game board and agents.

You can read the full press release about Specter Ops: Broken Covenant on Plaid Hat’s website here.

Ticket to Ride: First Journey (U.S. and Europe) is a new member of Days of Wonder’s flagship game family, aimed at younger children and junior gamers.  While physical versions of First Journey have been available since last year, the game is now available on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.  The digital adaptation supports both U.S. and Europe maps through Pass-and-Play and solo games against the AI.  Read the full press release from the publisher with links to available downloads here.

My wallet keeps taking a beating, but luckily I have a budget and a wife so I won’t spend too much, but lets take a look at some projects that might be worth your money.  First on that list are some giant dice in the form of 55mm spin down dice being brought to you by Todd Brammer, the maker of d20 earrings.  Both dice look great with the color options being molten gold or silver, and that is pretty much it.  You can get one for $8 or both for $15, just a no frills Kickstarter to get you some giant spin down dice.  So check out the Kickstarter page if you are interested.

Next we have another webcomic turned game and that is Heart and Brain the Party Game.  This is a card, party game which is a melting pot of different challenges that you will have to face in order to get the tokens you need to win.  On your turn you will draw from one of two piles, the heart deck or the brain deck.  The heart deck has mainly goofy challenges grouped into dares, double dares where you perform it with someone else, voting about different situations, or challenges which involve things like beating you in a mini game or making you laugh.  The brain deck is more about the mind with things like challenges on naming things, contests like who can name more famous comics, and true/false votes where you reveal something about yourself that is either true or false and everyone has to guess.  There are also cards to play a game similar to Cards Against Humanity where you are trying to play your best phrases to match a prompt that was drawn.  Overall if you like the humor and antics of the Heart and Brain comic, this kind of game will be right up your alley.  Check out the Kicktstarter today.

After that is a new worker placement game with dice called Dice Hospital.  In this game you are running a hospital, trying to cure patients to earn points.  At the start of the round there will be a pool of dice rolled and those will be distributed into ambulances, thus making up the patients you will draft for that round.  They are ordered in these ambulances by worst to best so while if you take the worst batch, you will get first pick on upgrades, while if you pick the best you will be picking upgrades last.  Once these dice are in your hospital you will pick out an upgrade which could be better rooms to add to your hospital, or new employees which give you special abilities.  Once you have picked an upgrade it’s time to treat your patients, with the pip value on the dice indicated how healthy your patient is (6 means ready to discharge, 1 means almost dead).  You will place out your nurses on different rooms to be able to treat your patients, and as you discharge them you will get points for how many you can discharge in a round.  At the end whoever has the most points is the winner.  The base game looks great, and the deluxe game upgrades with both a dice tower and 3D ambulance to hold dice, looks even better.  Check out the Kickstarter for more information and to pledge.

Next is a campaign to get some excellent minis for the Starfinder RPG being put out by Paizo.  The campaign is pretty simple in that there are two levels to pledge for, each getting you the same basic miniature package along with slots for you to customize your pledge.  Each pledge gets you figures for the legacy heroes like Seelah the paladin, Candy and Cola, and more generic sculpts like an elf operative, gnome mystic, or halfling pilot.  The slots in each pledge will allow you to pick from a lineup of seven enemy encounter packs, 25 different heroes, two fleets, and six different big enemies, allowing for lots of pledge customization.  Overall if you are wanting a good set of minis for Starfinder at about $3 a mini, you can’t go wrong with the ones in this Kickstarter campaign.

Up next we have an “anime” turned board game from Rooster Teeth called RWBY: Combat ReadyRWBY: Combat Ready is a battling game where you will be taking on the roles of Ruby, Weiss, Blake, and Yang as you fight against the villain Roman and his minions.  This is a fully cooperative game and will be taking place in two areas, the sideline and center stage.  The player on center stage is battling the main villain of the scenario by playing cards and inflicting as much damage as possible.  The players on teh sidelines can use their cards to aid the player on center stage, or take care of the minions or other bad events happened all around them.  All of these will be played out using the cards you have, by playing the cards against the enemies you are facing.  You will then flip over both your card and the villain card and whoever is faster gets to deal damage.  If you are able to string consecutive hits together you can build up battle fury, making you faster and giving you access to an ultimate attack.  In the end if you eliminate the villain you win, but like most coop games, there are lots of ways to lose.  So if this RWBY inspired game likes interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter page.

And last, but certainly not least, we have Steamforged Games latest creation, Resident Evil 2 the Board Game.  This brings the iconic survival-horror genre video game to the tabletop, putting you and your follow players up against all the horrors and monstrosities that have been created by the Umbrella Corporation.  This game is a dungeon crawl game where you are venturing out into the streets of Raccoon City in a bid to escape the horror all around you.  This game brings a resource management aspect to the dungeon crawl genre as the Resident Evil games were known for giving you just barely enough to survive, so you can’t be frivolous with your bullets or medicinal herbs.  Plus there is a tension deck, telling you about strange sounds and figures that you see as you go down the streets and alleys.  Can you afford to explore that room?  Will you have enough bullets if the giant monster shows up?  You will have to keep answering that question as you play the game.  If this sounds like something you might be interested in, check out the Kickstarter page.

Marshall Britt and Yanaguana Games has started a Kickstarter for the guitar chord themed board game, Re-Chord. In Re-Chord, 2-4 players take turns placing colored picks, either drawn from a public pile or randomly from a bag, on frets on the neoprene board. Picks come in 5 colors, allowing the player 5 different special abilities to manipulate the picks on the board. A sixth wild (kudos for calling them “Wylde” picks) can be any color. Players are trying to match fret positions and colors of picks to those on chord cards (pretty good representations of actual guitar chords) in their hand. Additionally, each player has a secret guitar style, giving bonuses for a certain color of pick. Once one fret has six picks, the entire fretboard is scored.

The Kickstarter for Re-Chord continues through October 27, and the game is expected to deliver in May 2018.