Dice Tower Newsletter

board game

last friday

Hidden movement games are not exactly common, however, there have been some notable users of that mechanic including Specter Ops, Fury of Dracula, and Scotland Yard.  Ares Games partnered with Pendragon Games hoping to add to that illustrious list their new game, Last Friday.  Last Friday is a hidden movement game that brings to life the old “slasher” type horror movies, which can be easily seen with the box and title being a play off of the Friday the 13th movies.  In this game, for 2 to 6 players, one person is the “slasher” and the rest are campers. The game plays out over four chapters where the slasher, who remains hidden, will try to kill the campers while the campers try to band together and fight back before they are all killed.

While I haven’t played many hidden movement games, “slasher” flicks were always something I liked and bringing the two together seems like a great idea.  You can read more on the Horror Fix site and look forward to the release of the game in August of 2016.

xwing open series

IMAGINE: You strap yourself into the cockpit of your X-wing. As you turn to exit the hangar bay, klaxons blare and a series of red and blue lights pulse their warnings. “Imperial fighters in sector 48!” Your heart is racing. Then you get the signal from the flight crew. You hit the thruster, and you’re chasing your wingmates through the clouds and into the starry darkness of space. For one second, it’s the way you always felt flying should be. But then you see the activity on your scanners. And then the ships—hundreds of them, maybe even thousands. You open fire. Your squadmates open fire. The enemy opens fire. And everything erupts into streaks of light and explosions…

This spring, Fantasy Flight Games is bringing the biggest and most exciting X-Wing event ever, the X-Wing System Open Series.  From March 31st through June 5th, the X-Wing System Open Series will be held in eight different events, each held in one of eight different nations around the world.  These events are open to anyone, and each of the eight events will yield one “ace”, each of whom will win transportation, hotel accommodation, and entry to the eight-player Coruscant Invitational taking place within the sold-out 2016 Star Wars Celebration in London, England.

For more information on this series of events, visit the FFG website here.

golem arcan

Golem Arcana is a fantasy tabletop miniatures game that uses an app to do most of the book-keeping and battle calculations as well as assist in generating scenarios.  So inevitably, from day one, people were wondering what would happen if support for the app stopped. Would the game still be playable?  Would all that money spent on figures be a waste?  Well now we get to find out.

Harebrained Schemes has announced that Durani: Champions of the Western Wind expansion will be the last expansion produced for Golem Arcana.  This also means that, as the expansion runs it’s course, they will cease support for the app and, thus, if it becomes incompatible with later devices, there will be no updates to fix that.  They tried to help keep that from happening by having the last version of the app cover the broadest possible spectrum of devices it can, but obsolescence is inevitable.  The reasoning behind this move has mainly been financial, they did something completely new and ground breaking, and they invested heavily in it, but the game just did not bear the fruit they needed to be able to continue production.  You can read the full article on ICv2 here and hopefully some intrepid owners of the game will make a conversion kit to remove the dependence of the game on digital devices.

Tasty Minstrel Games would like to announce that their new dice-drafting/stealing game, Thief’s Market, is now on Kickstarter.

Gameplay in Thief’s Market occurs over a series of rounds in which players will split the loot from a “hard day’s work” and then spend it on useful items, finery, and henchmen.  These purchased items will grant the ability to manipulate your take further as you go to market.  Using the items you purchase, you can take actions such as flipping dice to the desired side, make extra purchases, re-roll dice, gain points, reduce the cost of purchases at the market, and create effects when you purchase certain cards.

A copy of Thief’s Market contains the following:

  • 13 Custom Dice
  • 41 High Quality Game Cards
  • Start Player Marker
  • Player Reference Cards
  • Coin Tokens
  • Infamy Tokens
  • Rulebook

The project has met multiple stretch goals currently, and aims to add metal coins to the game when a certain pledge level is reached.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

Those who have played Terra and Fauna will recognize this game as another in the line, this time with a specific focus on things in America.  In America you have three different types of answers for each question card, there are questions that have a number answer, ones with a year answer, and ones with a state answer.  As before you will have cubes to make guesses as to what you think the answer is and you get points for being right and fewer points for being close, and now also options for points on no one getting it right or getting even close.  But be careful with your choices because you only have a set number of cubes, and cubes on wrong answers get temporarily taken out of the game.  At the end the person with the most points wins and claims the title of America Know-It-All!  Well, maybe they don’t get that title, but they do win.  Below is a list from Ted Alspach on changes between America and Terra/Fauna and look forward to it’s release at GenCon in August of 2016.


This is an evolution of the Fauna/Terra system, designed to make it more accessible and fun than its more serious lineage. If you’re familiar with Terra, here are some of the key differences in gameplay:

1) Only two “bars” instead of three. The Length/distance bar has been removed.
2) Bars have been changed to be inclusive of the number on the square (for instance, placing on the “100” square is the only correct square for answers ranging from 100 to 149.9999).
3) No ocean/non-USA locations
4) Each “region” is exactly one US state.
5) New “No Exact” and “No Exact or Adjacent” squares for the two bars and the “states” section: Players get 3 points if there are no cubes on the correct answer (“No Exact”) and/or 7 points if there are no cubes on the correct or adjacent answers (“No Exact or Adjacent”).
Here is an example of one of the America cards:
Key changes:
1) The three categories on the card correspond to the year/state/number bar/region/bar on the board on EVERY card.
2) There are 5 major categories of cards: Entertainment/History/Food/Products/Sports, indicated by the color of the ribbon on the top of the card.
3) The “start player” chooses the card on either end of the box (*all* cards from the game are in the box), but is the last in turn order to place a cube.
4) Factoids are present for all three questions
5) The topic and picture are for all three questions; the state isn’t tied as closely to the topic as it was in Terra.
6) There’s a shaded version of the USA behind the state question that indicates if it is east or west of the Mississippi River.
7) All year, state, and number answers are singular. There are no ranges so there is always ONE correct answer.
A few other minor changes:
1) Players receive 6 cubes instead of 5.
2) Players always play six cards, regardless of player count.
3) The “back” of the board has states without labels, for a bit of an extra challenge.
4) Cubes that the player has at the end of the game are worth 1 point each (this helps to prevent ties, and discourages players playing all of their cubes on the last turn).

portal con

Well, it’s more like two new games and a reprint.  First is the reprint of 51st State in 51st State: Master Set, in this complete set you will get 88 cards from the base game and 50 cards from each of the two expansions, which is great considering the expansions have been out of print.  The game has also been re-balanced for a more cohesive experience no matter which expansion  you use and had a bit of an art upgrade.  Pre-orders for the set start today on the Portal Games site with an expected release date in the 2nd quarter of 2016.

Next is a new game called Cry Havoc, from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak, which is a card driven, area control, war game.  There are 4 different factions you can play with varying abilities and units and play takes around 90 minutes, plus the game comes with 54 custom miniatures and over 100 unique cards so it should be a good looking war game.  The release date is set for Gen Con 2016 with a worldwide distribution date in the 3rd quarter.

Last new game is First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, from designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, which is a bit of a sci-fi version of Robinson Crusoe.  Like Robinson Crusoe you will be trying to survive in the harsh martian landscape but you will have an integrated app to help maintain the immersion and challenge throughout the game.  There is also a campaign mode that builds on each game as you go along as well as a sandbox mode where you try to survive as long as possible.  The game will be released at Essen Spiel 2016 and then world wide distribution will start in the 4th quarter.

Following is the full press release from Portal Games.

Portal Games announces three new titles for 2016

During a keynote speech at PortalCon 7 on Janyary 23rd, CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek

Gliwice, Poland – January 25, 2016. This past weekend, CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek announced three new titles coming from Portal Games in 2016: 51st State: Master Set, Cry Havoc, and First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet. It was also hinted that there will be a fourth title announced at GAMA trade show in March.

51st State: Master Set marks the rebirth of the 51st State line. This set includes 88 cards from the base game, and 50 cards each from both the New Era and Winter expansions. The whole set has been re-balanced to offer a cohesive experience no matter which expansion you choose to use. With all new layout, and some new artwork, 51st State Master Set is sure to please.

Cry Havoc, from designers Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, and Michał Walczak is a card-driven, area control, wargame set in a brutal sci-fi world that plays in 90 minutes or less. As with the majority of our games, the players will be in command of one of 4 unique factions with varying abilities and units. The game will include 54 custom miniatures, a large format board, and over 100 unique cards, all with stunning new artwork.

First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet, from designer Ignacy Trzewiczek, uses the core mechanics of the award-winning Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island and places the players on the inhospitable Martian surface. The immersion experience is further enhanced with an integrated App that will maintain the balance and challenge throughout. Players have the option of taking on a custom Campaign Mode, where each successive game builds on the last, or even an Open World mode where they are free to roam about the Martian surface and explore for as long as they can

“We are very excited about our 2016 line up. With four amazing games and dozens of expansions for games released in previous years, we have no doubt that this year will be the best in the history of the company. With new edition of award winning 51st State, reveals three new titles for Portal Games in 2016. with big strategy game called Cry Havoc, and with revolutionary First Martians, we cannot wait for upcoming months,” said CEO Ignacy Trzewiczek.

The 51st State: Master Set will be released first, in the 2nd quarter. Pre-orders will begin Monday, January 24th, with many surprises in store for fans during the pre-order period. Cry Havoc is scheduled to release at Gen Con and enter worldwide distribution in the 3rd quarter. First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet will be released at Essen Spiel and will enter worldwide distribution also in the 4th quarter. For more information about these games, you can visit our website at http://portalgames.pl

About Portal Games

Portal Games is a publisher of award-winning games such as Imperial Settlers, Stronghold, Tides of Time, Legacy, and Neuroshima Hex. Founded in Poland in 1999, Portal Games has developed into one of the most renowned European game publishers and design teams. Their commitment is to produce only the highest quality Board Games That Tell Stories.

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 www.genghiscondenver.com.

orphans ashes

You know how it is.  You are on a stroll with your best frienemy when oops!  An orphanage is on fire.  You being you, you rush in.  This is your moment to shine!

Blind Ferret Entertainment announces its latest addition to its tabletop gaming line, Orphans and Ashes.  One player will take on the role of Cale’Anon, elf hero, who must race against the fire to find orphans and carry them to safety.  A second player will take on the role of the undead warlock Richard, who is fueling his dark magic with the innocent children and it is up to Cale’Anon to foil his plans.

This humorous game feature game mechanisms such as pick-up-and-deliver, push-your-luck, and dexterity elements.  With over 100 plastic, interactive components, Cale’s player must find a way for his future to physically hold on to orphan figures as he carries them to safety.  Cale can hold on to six orphan figures fairly easily, eight with some challenge, and more if the player uses some ingenuity.  If orphans fall off of Cale’s mighty shoulders, however, they are lost forever!

The game will be available for purchase on February 1st, 2016.  For more information, contact the company at costello@blindferret.com.

candyman banner

The Packy Company, a new face to the Game Crafter community, has released their first game, The Candy Man.  The Candy Man is for ages 5 and up and is a symbol matching game about making the best candy for Belvedere Kettlebottom.  To play you will build a recipe deck and an ingredient deck and then put out face up 5 recipe cards from the recipe deck and then give each player 5 ingredient cards.  On your turn you will draw a card, which can be two from the ingredient deck or the top from the ingredient discard, and then play out as many cards as you like to one recipe card.  If you complete the recipe you will score the card and place it in front of you, in the basic game you just need to get 10 recipes completed to win, in the standard you will need to score 100 points.

candyman tokens

While the game sounds very simple, that’s because it is and that is what it is meant to be so that young children can play it.  However, with the option to draw from the discard and the variant to play according to score instead of cards gives the game a little more depth so that it won’t bore older players.  So if you want a game for your young ones head on over to Game Crafter to order your copy.


Airfix has been a mainstay in the plastic modeling community for many years, and one aspect of their catalog is the 1/72 scale model soldiers.  For a long time they have just been fun toys to play with or for use in some kind of display, now you can play an entire war game with them.  Modiphius Entertainment has announced they are taking pre-orders for their eagerly anticipated Airfix Battles Introductory Set.  This aims to take all of the existing Airfix models for WWII and incorporate them into a war game that plays between 30 and 60 minutes.  The game will come with cards for all the different vehicles and soldiers so you can build your army how you like as well as instructions for setting up various scenarios in WWII and the maps to go with them.  Playing the game is easy as it uses a card system similar to Memoir ’44 where you play cards to order troop movements and attacks.

Look for this to come to stores in May, but if you pre-order ahead of time you will get a bonus reinforcement pack worth $14 for free.  You can head over to Modiphius’ site to order the set.