Dice Tower Newsletter

board game

valiant deck

At just this past GenCon, Catalyst Games in conjunction with VALIANT released their first joint board game, Valiant Universe the Deck Building Game.  This game will introduce players to the Valiant universe as they take the role of the heroes trying to secure a base called “The Facility”.  This base contains enough power to change the world, or destroy it, and so rival factions are trying to take over and each player is leading a faction with their hero.  You will move around the facility, acquire new cards to bolster your deck, attack your opponents, and try to be the last one standing to attain victory.

valiant figure

Some of the interesting mechanisms of the game come from using a 5×5 grid of cards as the board.  Each spot you go to will have different effects, but also which cards you can acquire is based around your locations, dubbed your ‘Zone of Influence’.  So if a good card comes up there might be a clash as heroes try to maneuver into position to be able to acquire it for themselves.  Another aspect of the game is that the facility is able to be damaged as well, and after enough damage some of the sectors shut down, making cards in that area unavailable.

The game was officially released at GenCon but is in the process of fulfilling pre-orders so look for it to arrive on store shelves soon.  For more information you can read the full press release below.

The Valiant Universe enters its first-ever deck building game with an interactive story line, collectible figurines, and more! 

Debuting this week at Gen Con 2016, Valiant Entertainment is proud to announce the release of VALIANT UNIVERSE: THE DECK BUILDING GAME – the latest tabletop game created in collaboration with Catalyst Game Labs! Following the success of the critically lauded VALIANT UNIVERSE RPG, Catalyst Game Labs and Valiant are taking their partnership to new heights with the next astonishing game featuring your favorite superheroes! Command the Valiant Universe like never before with the first series of highly detailed figurines from the Valiant Universe, including X-O MANOWAR, FAITH, LIVEWIRE, BLOODSHOT, and NINJAK, and immerse yourself in strategic deck building gameplay that includes over 200 unique playing cards!

Deep beneath Alcatraz prison lies a top secret base operated by the paramilitary contractor known as Project Rising Spirit. Known only as “the Facility,” P.R.S.’s secret bunker is armed with enough power to change the world—or destroy it. When word of the subterranean facility leaks, the Valiant Universe’s most powerful groups, including The Harbinger Foundation, G.A.T.E., and the Harbinger Renegades, race to acquire the deadly possessions and put the fate of the world in their hands! With a cataclysmic confrontation imminent, take control with your warring team and claim P.R.S.’s base for yourself! As the Valiant Universe’s greatest heroes fight at your command, move your superhero miniatures through an interactive facility grid to acquire cards for an unbeatable deck and attack your opponents in a world-shaking battle for supremacy!

“We’re incredibly excited to have gamers and fans take control of the critically acclaimed characters of the Valiant Universe,” said Russell A. Brown, Valiant’s President of Consumer Products, Promotions, and Ad Sales. “We’re incredibly happy to be continuing our partnership with Catalyst Game Labs, and to be creating another immersive gaming experience with exciting features, innovative gameplay mechanics, and finely sculpted figurines that are collectibles in their own right. The level of quality that Catalyst has put into this game is astounding, and ensures that fans new and old will get a superb gaming experience set in the Valiant Universe.”

As your favorite heroes and villains assemble for an unprecedented battle royale, determine the very fate of the Valiant Universe with a jam-packed gaming experience exploding with the following items:

  • Five highly detailed superhero miniatures, including X-O Manowar, Faith, Bloodshot, Livewire, and Ninjak!
  • 5 Zone of Influence cards
  • 5 Organization cards
  • 25 Basic cards
  • 25 Shutdown cards
  • 15 Power cards
  • 175 Sector cards
  • 1 Facility Durability Tracker
  • 1 six-sided die
  • 1 sheet of cardboard counters

X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Faith! The entire Valiant Universe is yours to direct in a table-shattering game that will leave you reeling for hours! Available online and in hobby shops everywhere this September for $59.95, assemble your deck, control your heroes, and enter the fight of your life with VALIANT UNIVERSE: THE DECK BUILDING GAME, the latest astonishing tabletop game from Catalyst Game Labs and Valiant Entertainment!

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About Valiant  Entertainment:
Valiant Entertainment is a leading character-based entertainment company that owns the largest independent superhero universe in comics. With more than 81 million issues sold and a library of over 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong, and many more, Valiant is one of the most successful publishers in the history of the comic book medium. Today, the company’s characters continue to be forged in publishing, licensing, film, video games, and beyond. Valiant consistently produces some of the most critically acclaimed comics in the industry and has received numerous industry awards and accolades, including a Diamond Gem Award for Comic Book Publisher of the Year. In 2015, Valiant announced a multi-picture deal to bring Bloodshot and Harbinger to the big screen as feature films. Visit them online at ValiantUniverse.com.

About Catalyst Game Labs:
Catalyst Game Labs is dedicated to producing high quality games and fiction that mesh sophisticated game mechanics with dynamic universes-all presented in a form that allows beginning players and long-time veterans to easily jump into our games and fiction readers to enjoy our stories even if they don’t know the games.

Catalyst Game Labs is an imprint of InMediaRes Productions, LLC, which specializes in electronic publishing of professional fiction. This allows Catalyst to participate in a synergy that melds printed gaming material and fiction with all the benefits of electronic interfaces and online communities, creating a whole-package experience for any type of player or reader. Find Catalyst Game Labs online at www.catalystgamelabs.com.

war co

War Co. is a sci-fi expandable card game that plays 2 to 6 people in about 60 minutes.  In this game it is all about scarcity and managing what little resources you have to use from turn to turn.  In the game you will start with a deck of 50 cards, and it’s these cards that are your life.  In order to win you have to be the last one standing by forcing all your opponents to discard cards until they don’t have anymore.  This will mainly be achieved through attacking, if you attack their cards and destroy one, they discard another card, but attack them directly and they lose three.  There are also ways to defend yourself and your cards as well as lay traps in order to surprise your opponent.  But you also have to make sure you have the energy for all this, as you only get 10 energy to pass around to your forces on your turn, forcing you to pick and choose.  Then there is the fact you can only play 5 cards in a turn and you have to discard a card every turn, symbolizing the continuing decline in available resources.  So make your move or end up fading out.

The game was Kickstarted once before and garnered a lot of feedback and has come back to launch again with an improved game.  Initially there will be 6 different decks available to purchase, each with their own unique style of play from the hard hitting bruisers to the tricky conspirators.  You can head over to the campaign page to check it out and back for some or all of the decks available.

hounded

Atlas Games will be releasing a new two-player asymmetric game next month that brings fox hunting into the board game realm, Hounded.  In the game a player will either be the cunning fox, trying to elude capture, or the determined hunter, trying to hunt down the fox.  In the game each player will be moving their pawns and turning over tiles as they do, sometimes triggering effects and sometimes not.  Now while the fox character is alone, the hunter has a team of hounds to help him hunt the fox.  All the hunter has to do to win is either corner the fox with his dogs, or force the fox to end his turn next to the hunter himself.  For the fox to win he has to essentially run out the clock, this is done by either finding the three time piece tiles, or flipping over 43 out of the 49 tiles.  Once time runs out the hunter has to retire for the day and the fox escapes!

Art for the game has an origami feel to it with lots of sharp edges and points, an art style which is also shown on the tiles as well.  The game itself seems very portable and will come in a tin that I imagine will be around Roll for It Deluxe size.   Look for this on store shelves next month.

aegis

Green brier Games and Zephyr Workshop are teaming up to reprint the game A.E.G.I.S., a quick to learn and easy to play mecha battling game.  This game takes the systems of the old style war games, even using the hex board typical of the genre, and streamlines the rules down to something quick and easy to play.  They did this because the main focus of the game is the teams of mecha that you create.  There are five different class of mecha, Assault, Evasive, Guard, Intel, and Support, with each type having different strengths and weaknesses.  What is interesting is that the energy you have to activate and move your mecha is shared among the entire team, so going lone wolf with one will leave the rest vulnerable.  Also because you can mix the types or form a team of just one type, there are tons of combinations and interactions that can be discovered.  Add in the fact you can also combine certain mecha into Power Ranger/Voltron type super robots, and you have got my attention.  But remember, in the end it’s the last one standing who wins.

The only downside I see to the game is the lack of mecha minis, but I am sure that can be fixed easy enough with an expansion pack.  The original game was self-published by Zephyr Workshop in 2014, but they are partnering with Greenbrier Games for the reprint and will be utilizing Kickstarter to get the funding.  So be on the look-out for the project’s launch later this year.

You can read the announcement here.

batman roges

Previously we reported on how Cryptozoic is releasing a meeples line based on superheroes and other IPs, and this is another addition to that line.  Just announced was the next collectors tin to be released of the mighty meeples line, and that is the Batman Rogues Gallery.  This Batman shaped tin will contain the 7 most iconic Batman villains; The Joker, Harley Quinn, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Two-Face, and the Penguin.  The release of this set is still quite a ways off with a February 2017 release, but you will be able to find these characters in the booster packs being released next month.  So you might get lucky and get a full villain set before the release of the tin.

akua board

If you look up the definition of a micro game, I think Akua would be pictured right next to it.  Quick playing? Check.  Small footprint? Check. Minimal components? Check.  But the one thing they don’t skimp on in this game is the depth of strategy, which is surprising for a game of 30-45 minutes, having only a board and 4 dry erase markers.

In Akua you are tribal explorers, going out and exploring the islands, communing with the various akua, gathering mana stones, and creating leylines.  All of these actions are done directly on the board provided, when you explore you place a dot on one of the corners of an island.  If you manage to fully explore an island, that is all corners are filled in, then the island is scored and how many dots of your color on that island will get you points.  Communing with the akua allows you to gather mana stones which grant special abilities, and activate the akua’s abilities giving you the option to take other actions for free.  Creating leylines net you immediate points, but to draw them they have to start and end at your color, so try not to let other players explore between you.  There are additional rules for being able to get more bonus abilities and ways to get bonus point but as you can see, just with a board and 4 markers you are getting a real strategy type game.  The player with the most points at the end is the winner.

The campaign for this game is going real quick, and as of this writing there is little time left.  You can head over to the campaign page to pledge for your own copy, and at $10 you are getting a great deal for this game.

scythe

Scythe, the hit from Stonemaier Games, is going to be hitting stores very soon.  Scythe is a 4x style game set in the alternate history of the 1920s, where the first world way has just ended and countries have heavily armored mechs.  The facility that produced these marvels, The Factory, has closed it’s doors, and so now five different factions are vying for control.  Players take on the roles of these different factions and try to claim The Factory and the surrounding area to help win them the game.

Scythe enjoyed great success during it’s Kickstarter and has received critical acclaim from reviewers and gamers that have received copies.  Look forward to getting your own copy when they hit store shelves in October.

Another thing to look forward to is the first expansion for the game in the form of Scythe: Invaders from Afar.  This expands the available factions from 5 to 7, giving you more variety for those who play the game often.  Look for this bit of gold to hit store shelves in December of this year.

legendary inventorys card

Asmodee continues to roll out new games, and their latest, Legendary Inventors, has a bit of a worker placement flair to it.  Legendary Inventors is all about building the latest and greatest inventions utilizing the talent of famous inventors from throughout time.  On your turn you will either work an inventor, or refresh your inventors.  Working an inventor means placing your piece on the likes of Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, or Sir Isaac Newton.  Doing this generates different kinds of knowledge which are used like resources in order to complete inventions.  Each turn you can place out more tokens, but at some point you will have to collect them all back up, which is the refresh action.  Plus with some of the larger projects you will need to work with the other players to complete them, and in the end share the reward.  At the end whoever got the most points (inventions are worth points) will be crowned the greatest inventor.  Look for this game from Asmodee in quarter 4 of this year, and you can head over to their website to read more about it.

one night ultimate alien

Social deduction games have become a staple of many game gatherings, and Bezier Games has been contributing their fair share to the genre.  The One Night Ultimate series of games, including One Night Ultimate Werewolf (which has sold over 100,000 copies) and One Night Ultimate Vampire (earning $378,000 on Kickstarter) have been top sellers worldwide.

Now, Bezier Games would like to announce a new addition to the series in the form of One Night Ultimate Alien, which will offer not only a strong alien vs. villagers theme, but will also introduce the Dynamic Rules system.  The following is an excerpt from the official press release for One Night Ultimate Alien:

In One Night Ultimate Alien, players are assigned a role, perform actions secretly during a “night” phase, and then have just a few minutes to discuss among themselves who the alien invaders are. All players vote, and the role of the player with the most votes is revealed. If it is an Alien, the Villager team wins. If it isn’t, the Alien team wins. The game takes less than 10 minutes to play, but is so addicting players may find themselves playing game after game for hours on end.

While previous One Night games took advantage of the free One Night app to guide players through night time actions, Alien relies on the app to ensure that each game has a unique set of rules for each role. These Dynamic Rules have never been used in a traditional board game before, and they breathe a gust of fresh air into the social deduction genre.

Bezier Games, Inc. creates board and card games for the whole family, including Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Suburbia, and the original Ultimate Werewolf.  For more information, visit the Bezier Games website.

7 wonders duel pantheon

7 Wonder: Duel, the highly acclaimed two player version of the classic card drafting game 7 Wonders, is getting an expansion called 7 Wonders: Pantheon.  7 Wonders: Pantheon will work similar to the leaders expansion for the original game in that it allows you to specialize a bit with gods giving you extra abilities.  At the start you first have to gain favor and offering tokens to offer up to the specific gods to be able to draw their favor and thus their abilities.  The abilities range from Isis’ ability to build wonders with discarded cards, to Enki which gives you an extra progress token, to Minerva who won’t allow you to lose via a military victory.  These new abilities will create interesting new interactions between cards and gods, plus the set also includes temples.  The temples are a replacement for the guild cards and if you happen to have the god of that temple on your side, you can build it for free.

Look for this expansion to hit stores in the 4th quarter of this year, and you can head over to the Asmodee site to read more on the expansion.