Dice Tower Newsletter

board game

passport pegasus banIn a press release announced today, Passport Game Studios and Pegasus Spiele have formed a partnership and will immediately be releasing two new games – Hospital Rush, a light worker placement game, and Grog Island a pirate-themed dice/auction game.

hospital rush grog island

 

Press Release – For Immediate Release

Passport Game Studios Partners With German Publisher Pegasus Spiele

New Partnership Agreement Adds Two New Games To Passport’s Catalog

Auburn, Washington, May 13, 2015: Passport Game Studios has forged a new alliance with German publisher Pegasus Spiele (German Kennerspiel des Jahres winner 2014) and its editorial partner eggertspiele (German Spiel des Jahres winner 2014). The new partnership has hit the ground running, with Passport proudly publishing two of Pegasus Spiele’s and eggertspiele’s newest games, available as early as July 2015.

Hospital Rush, one of the new titles from the Passport/Pegasus partnership, is a light, funny worker placement game for 3-5 players. Players fight to become, for better or for worse, the next doctor at a bustling hospital by curing patients and outdoing their competitors…but before long, dirty tricks and backstabbing become the method of choice to claw their way to the top. Thanks to individual player abilities, every game plays out differently. May the best (or most devious) intern win!

Grog Island, the second of the new titles from the Passport/Pegasus partnership, answers every landlubber’s question: What exactly do pirates do when they retire? In this game, 2-4 players – ex-pirates, all! – invest their hard-plundered loot in bizarre businesses, such as peg-leg shops, carpentries for figureheads, workshops for voodoo dolls, or the infamous “Grog Hole” pub. Players are able to buy new real estate through clever auctions-by-dice, and are able to trade with the occasional merchant for parrots and treasure chests to keep things interesting.

Passport Game Studios has a history of successful cross-continental partnerships, partnering with French publisher Funforge, Italian publisher Stratelibri, and Polish publisher NSKN Games to bring internationally popular titles to English-speaking audiences around the world. Of this newest partnership, Passport’s Vice President of Operations Richard Dracass had this to say: “Passport Game Studios has been truly fortunate in the partnerships we’ve made over the past few years, and this partnership is no exception. We are absolutely thrilled to add our new partner Pegasus Spiele/eggertspiele to our ranks, and to add Grog Island and Hospital Rush to our catalog.”

Grog Island and Hospital Rush will begin making their way to retail stores in July through Passport’s standard distribution channels.

Passport Game Studios is an independent board game publisher based in the Pacific Northwest. Since the company’s founding in 2012, Passport has partnered with a selection of hand-picked companies to publish over 30 English-language titles for gamers in North America and beyond. The company’s mission: To provide the best tabletop games in the world, to the gamers who love to play them. For more about Passport Game Studios, visit http://www.PassportGameStudios.com.

Pegasus Spiele Verlags – und Medienvertriebsgesellschaft mbH, based in Friedberg, Germany, was established in 1993. Within the last decade, the German company has established itself as both a distributor throughout Europe and a publisher of successful board games. Several of Pegasus Spiele’s titles have garnered prestigious nominations and awards. This includes nominations for the Spiel des Jahres in 2009, 2010 and 2014, nominations for Kennerspiel des Jahres (expert game of the year) in 2011 and 2014, and awards for Deutscher Spielepreis (German Game Prize, Spiel des Jahres 2014, and Kennerspiel des Jahres 2012 and 2014. For more about Pegasus Spiele, visit www.pegasus.de/en/news

 

last spike

In The Last Spike, a new game from Tom Dalgliesh of Columbia Games, players cooperate to build a continuous railroad from St. Louis to Sacramento while competing to accumulate the most money from land speculation. The game is actually based on a game they published in Canada in 1975, with updates for faster and more skillful play.

The game is fast paced. You must act quickly to grab the best land, but you also need to give your competitors a helping hand now and then so the railway gets built where you want it to go.  Quick to learn, the game is great fun for both kids and adults.

last spike map

The game consists of the railway track and property deeds. Each player has railway tiles that correspond to a unique space on the map. Each turn, players must play a tile by paying its cost. There are nine towns on the map that the railway can pass through, each with five property deeds. When a player builds the first track on a route between two towns, he receives a free deed (the other deeds cost money). When two towns are connected by a railway, all property owners get paid. Once St. Louis and Sacramento are connected, the game ends and whoever has the most cash wins!

The game, scheduled to release in September 2015, will ship anywhere in the world, and it is EU friendly – there will be no extra customs charges for shipping in the EU.

If you’re interested in this fast-paced railway game, check out the Kickstarter for The Last Spike.

 

 

game of thrones card game stuffRecently we posted about how Fantasy Flight Games was releasing a second edition of their popular Game of Thrones LCG. Well, FFG digs a bit deeper into plots and what part they’ll play in the new release.

The plot that you select each round is critical for several reasons. It contributes several important numbers that determine income, initiative, and the power of your challenges, as well as offering a powerful effect that can give you a sudden advantage. The first number on the plot card is the gold value, which represents the gold dragons that swell your coffers for this round. For example, Wildfire Assault (Core Set, 26) has a gold value of four, as you can see below. If you choose Wildfire Assault as your plot card at the beginning of the round, you will collect four gold dragons that you can spend to play characters, locations, attachments, and events.

feast for crows

Most plot cards also feature an ability or tactic that shapes the coming round. With Wildfire Assault, you unleash a devastating storm of wildfire against every player. When this plot is revealed, each player must choose up to three characters that he controls. All characters not chosen are killed! If your opponent starts to marshal more characters than you can handle, you may launch a Wildfire Assault to restore some balance. Other plots offer different game-changing effects. For example, if you’re close to victory, you may play A Feast for Crows (Core Set, 2) in an attempt to clinch the victory.

To read more about plots as well as conspiracies, head over to FFG here to read the entire article.

 

MFG3509-c

Looking Games is bringing you a new gateway game for 2-5 players. In Isle of Sky: From Chieftan to King, the players are chieftains of 5 famous clans in Isle of Skye, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The players are trying to build their kingdoms and score as many points as possible.

In each turn, each player places two tiles in front of him and specifies a price for other players. The other players can choose whether or not to buy the tiles – if no one buys it, then the seller must pay the price and lose money. Players must use all their wagering and speculation skills to come out on top.

But in the end, it’s not the richest player who wins, but the player with the best kingdom, scored by the scoring cards. The game comes with 16 scoring cards, but only 4 are used in each game, so each game is different.

Isle of Sky plays in around 45 minutes, and it’s a gateway game for the whole family. The game is illustrated by Klemens Franz. The game will contain:

  • 1 game board
  • 16 Scoring cards
  • 72 landscape tiles
  • 1 cloth bag
  • 5 score markers (wood)
  • 5 bag markers
  • 5 player screens
  • 1 round marker (wood)
  • 1 start player marker
  • 80 coins

If you’re looking for a new gateway game with tile-laying, betting, and commodity speculation, then keep an eye out for Isle of Skye, coming out this summer!

If you own a smart phone, you are no doubt familiar with Zynga’s infamous Words with Friends. An almost exact copy of Scrabble, with some changes to point values of letters, Words with Friends became so popular it even spawned a board game to rival the very board game it originally ripped off.

Unknown to me until today, outside of the U.S.A. and Canada the Scrabble trademark is owned by Mattel. And Mattel has now attempted to enforce its trademarks against Zynga, taking the fight to the English Court System first to the High Courts and then to the Court of Appeals.

But strangely enough, NOT for Words with Friends. The straw that broke the toy company’s back in this case was Zynga’s release of Scramble with Friends. Zynga didn’t even rip off Scrabble in Scramble. In that game, they ripped off Boggle.

But Mattel actually holds a trademark (CTM) to not only Scrabble in England, but also the word Scramble as it applies to electronic games. And they petitioned the court over the similarity between the Scrabble and Scramble words, as well as a similarity present in the Scramble with Friends logo.

The High Court dismissed all of Mattel’s claims, after which Mattel went to Appeals for another go. Appeals instead found mostly in favor of Mattel. Scramble was indeed too similar to Scrabble, and while many generic uses of the term Scramble are all over the Internet the trademark is still valid on that too.

Will Zynga have to rebrand its game in the EU? There’s no word yet what the ruling will mean for the future. While the inability to trademark actual gameplay is just about an established legal fact, words and especially names will certainly get you into hot water. Going back to the example of Words with Friends, a visually and vocally dissimilar name attached to a clone of a game is obviously the winning combination.

 

 

Mensa Mind Games each year evaluates dozens of games to determine which should earn the honor of being a Mensa Select game, and they have finished evaluating this year’s batch and announced the winners.  The five games that earned this distinction are:

Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Bezier Games, Inc

Dragonwood – Gamewright

Lanterns: The Harvest Festival – Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games

Letter Tycoon – Ad Magic/Breaking Games

Trekking the National Parks – Bink Ink, LLC

That is a second win by Bezier Games after winning in 2013 with Suburbia and Gamewright adds another to it’s list of winners with this year being their eighth win.  The announcement as well as a link to previous winners can be read HERE.

As of this month (May) Cryptozoic is opting to stop sales of their trading cards and binders in their online store.  In a press release on May 4th they announced this change as a shift to drive more business to the retailers and distributors.  So while you won’t be able to buy directly from Cryptozoic anymore, you will be able to buy it from retailers, and since they no longer have to hold stock back for their own store, there will be more available to the retailers.  In short, you can only get Cryptozoic TCG products from retailers, and supporting retailers is always a good thing.

Read the full notice HERE, they have also included a link to help find retailers near you that carry Cryptozoic products.

strange remnants

Fantasy Flight Games has announced Strange Remnants, the next expansion for the lovecraftian game Eldritch Horror.  In this new expansion instead of fighting something from another dimension or something from the deep, you are fighting against Syzygy, the cosmic alignment of the planets that will spell certain doom for the world.  You will have to bolster the Earth’s defenses put in place by ancient civilizations at places like Stonehenge, or try to close the portals themselves before they can converge.

Strange Remnants enables you to explore the prehistoric Mayan temples of Chichen Itza, the winding Great Wall of China, fog-shrouded Stonehenge, and the stern Moai Statues of Easter Island. The new Mystic Ruins Encounter deck brings each of these four locations to life through encounters that might alter time and space for your benefit or curse you with debilitating Conditions. Beyond these four sites of arcane importance, your determined struggle against a new Ancient One will lead you to sites of arcane power throughout the world. New Location and research encounters connect you with ancient ruins and artifacts in places from Egypt and Argentina to San Francisco and Arkham.

strange remnants cards

You will have four new investigators to help you do this as well as a host of new items and allies along with new locations to explore.  Prepare to work hard because you are against the universe, and it’s not so forgiving.

Release is currently set for the third quarter of 2015 and you can head over to the FFG site HERE to read the news post which has several links to let you preview some of the new cards in the set.

bsieged

A cooperative castle defense board game with 70 miniatures, where mighty Heroes have to withstand the siege of an Abyssal horde!

CoolMiniOrNot is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss, a castle-defense game for 1-6 players where players work cooperatively to defend the Citadel of Modhelm from the Abyssal Hordes using their mighty heroes and castle defenses.

besieged board

In B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss, the Council has given the Messenger a quest: he must successfully escape the besieged citadel by slipping past the amassing enemies, after which he must find a very powerful artifact and return to the citadel with it to destroy the invading Abyssal Hordes.  The players control select heroes, tasked with ensuring that the Messenger escapes the Citadel safely and holding out on the castle walls until the Messenger returns.

In a game round, the heroes act first.  Each hero will have 3 actions he or she can take, including gaining resources, repairing buildings, fighting enemies, or using the catapult in the middle of the castle to fire on the invaders.  Then the Abyssal Hordes act, moving in to attack the citadel.  Monsters will move and attack differently based on 3 different zones positioned outside the city walls.

A copy of B-Sieged: Sons of the Abyss includes the following components:

  • 24 Standard Krohn miniatures
  • 8 Elite Krohn miniatures
  • 16 Standard Gargoh miniatures
  • 8 Elite Gargoh miniatures
  • 8 Mölen miniatures
  • 6 Hero miniatures
  • 202 cards
  • 115 tokens
  • 8 dice
  • 6 Hero dashboards
  • 6 colored Hero bases
  • 4 double-sided enemy boards
  • 1 citadel board with rotating catapult tile
  • 1 Seasons Sheet
  • 1 Cards Sheet
  • 1 Avatar of the Abyss token with plastic stand

This project will fund on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.

 

DSC_0158 (Med)

There’s a Kickstarter going on to raise money to fund a project to create some really exciting storage trays for dice and card games; specifically tailored towards the popular Dice Masters and Quarriors series. Zen Bins has already raised more than enough money to fund the project so there should be no worries as to it funding. For a very minimal cost, you can get in on the campaign and receive enough trays to hold a hundred dice and quite a few cards.

This core set comes to a Total of holding 100 collectible dice and approximately 160 unsleeved cards (80 Standard Card Game Size Sleeved).  The top layer serves as the lid but you can keep stacking and it turns into a bin as well. **This makes it so 2 sets (6 bins) will increase your storage capacity to hold 250 dice and 400 unsleeved (200 sleeved cards**

  • 3 Bins– 100 Dice + 160 Unsleeved Cards (80 Sleeved)
  • 6 Bins – 250 Dice + 400 Unsleeved Cards (200 Sleeved) 
  • 9 Bins – 400 Dice + 640 Unsleeved Cards (320 Sleeved)
  • 12 Bins – 550 Dice + 880 Unsleeved Cards (440 Sleeved)
  • 15 Bins – 700 Dice + 1120 Unsleeved Cards (560 Sleeved)
  • 18 Bins – 850 Dice + 1360 Unsleeved Cards (680 Sleeved)
  • 21 Bins – 1,000 Dice + 1600 Unsleeved Cards (800 Sleeved)

zen bins stackPictured above are personal pics taken illustrating the trays at work. What I find particularly exciting is how the trays hold sleeved cards and more than enough space to hold die to accommodate collecting enthusiasts who like to store multiple copies of their die sets. As many are aware, most DM sets allow for a maximum of 4-5 copies of a die per player per card. These trays hold are designed specifically with this in mind with plenty of room to grow. Not only that, but they’re stack-able and lock. The picture at the very top of the article shows a the stack I have displayed out above all locked tight. Having many kids in my family, this is a wonderful solution as they won’t easily tip or fall!

I strongly suggest visiting their Kickstarter campaign here. There’s quite a few stretch goals and some really cool designs to be released as part of the series in the future. You can’t go wrong, as the campaign has already funded. This clever and innovative storage solution for DM and Quarriors is going to satisfy your desires for tucking these games away!!