Dice Tower Newsletter

board game


Mistfall was a successful Kickstarter last year which aimed to bring an RPG adventure into a card game, much how Paizo brought the Pathfinder RPG into a card game.  In Mistfall you pick a hero, who comes with starting equipment and skills, and then take him on a quest of your choosing, battling monsters, upgrading your gear, and leveling up as you go along.

Mistfall: Heart of the Mists aims to essentially give you a base set again, but with all completely new heroes, monsters, quests, and gear, allowing you to either start with this set or mix it with your base set for nearly double the amount of variety.  The expansion will be Kickstarted like the base but no solid date has been given, however, they say soon so keep an eye out for the announcement.  You can read about the expansion and look at some of the new art and components on the NSKN site.

villains vacation

Epic Resort was successfully Kickstarted in 2014 and is a game all about attracting as many vacationing heroes and tourists that you can, while keeping the pesky monsters at bay.  Now an expansion is on Kickstarter called Epic Resort: Villain’s Vacation, which adds lots of new material as well as the ability to attract vacationing villains, because even a necromancer needs a beach vacation day.  Villain’s Vacation features new workers for you to hire, some of which have a rather villainous ability, new ways to score points like with the ghost hunter or dragon keeper, as well as new ominous attractions to bring in those vacationing villains.  The villains themselves keep with their non-vacationing demeanor as some like the vampire lord will hurt nearby heroes, or the necromancer will raise the dead and create tourists in empty locations.  Even with these new villains there are also new tourists to be attracted to the resort, but also now there is the dreaded Kraken that can pop up at the docks and cause all sorts of havoc.

villians vacation

Epic Resort: Villain’s Vacation is not a stand alone expansion so you will need to have a copy of Epic Resort, so if this sounds interesting you can head over to the campaign page to check out the game and pledge for a copy of the expansion or for the expansion and base game.

mr jack

Mr. Jack is a deduction game for two people with one person being an investigator and the other being the infamous Jack the Ripper.  At the start of the game the Jack the Ripper player will determine which character on the board he is disguised as and it is this character that he has to get off the board to represent his escaping.  However, there are a total of 8 people on the board which helps to hide who Jack is, but also helps the investigator by informing him when Jack is visible or not.  Each round both players will alternate moving characters on the board and using special powers, then the Jack player will reveal if he is visible or not.  If he is visible that means he is either next to someone or in the light, if he is not visible then he is alone and in the dark.  This continues for eight rounds so it is the investigator’s job to eliminate as many suspects as possible and make an accusation before Jack escapes, but if he accuses the wrong person then Jack escapes while you put an innocent man behind bars.

mr jack cards

Mr. Jack was released originally in 2006 by Hurrican and so Asmodee has acquired the rights to reprint it, but they have also gone the extra mile to update the art and tweak the board layout a bit to make it a true revised edition.  You can read more about it and see the new art on the Asmodee site, and while no official release date is given yet they do say it will be on store shelves soon.


NSKN Games has announced the creation of a new games studio concentrating on publishing small, portable games for both families and gamers.

Strawberry Studio is founded by Agnieszka Kopera, Andrei Novac and Blaxej Kubacki of NSKN Games along with Rainer Ahlfors.

3 wishes

Their first title will be ‘3 Wishes’ which is scheduled to be released this summer in cooperation with Passport Game Studios. This game will be for 3-5 players aged 8 and above and will play in 3-5 minutes. Gameplay is based on wit and speed where you are trying to outsmart your friends with risk management and bluffing!

For more information please see the Strawberry Studio website here.


In Vivarium it’s survival of the fittest as you play out the game with between 2-5 species (players) to see who can adapt the best and come out on top.  Vivarium is a deck building game with some of area control added in where everyone starts with the same deck of fear and instinct cards, and as you go through the game you will get better cards to up your fitness level to help you survive.  The cards can be population cards, (which relate to increasing the number of animals you have on the board) aggression cards, (which work to disrupt your opponents) ingenuity cards (which relate to destroying cards to thin out your deck) and territory cards (which deal with moving your animals).  As you acquire and use these cards to expand your influence on the board and control areas, like the all important oasis, you will be able to improve your fitness even more.  Event cards will change up the circumstances each round and battle cards help you to claim and defend your territories.  Whoever is the fittest species at the end of spring in the 4th year is the winner.

vivarium comp

By the sound of it you might think this game is trying to be like Evolution, but other than a similar theme of adapting your species, the two are very different games.  Vivarium sports some excellent art and with the board aspect in play there is more to do than just augment your species.  The combination of deck building and board worked well for Trains: Rising Sun and I think Vivarium will be able to do the same, head on over to the campaign page to check it out and pledge for your own copy.

terra nova games logo

Terra Nova Games has just announced their next game, Trick of the Rails, which will be designed by Hisashi Hayashi who is known for games like Trains, Sail to India, Lost Legacy, Rolling Japan, and String Railway.  Trick of the Rails will be a mashup of 18XX style portfolio management and trick taking and will be played in alternating rounds of stock and operations.  In the stock round players will play the trick taking part and play down stock cards and the ones that you obtain become shares in that company.  Then in the operations round those shares allow you to build out the route network of that company, thus making it more valuable.  But you have to be careful, while the shares are worth money the trains cost money, so building out your routes carelessly could cost you more than you make.  At the end of the game the winner is simply a matter of finding out who has the most value in their portfolio.

The game will be launched on Kickstarter in the near future, although no hard date is given, and if you are attending any of the following events you can see the folks at Terra Nova Games for a demo.

  • ACD Games Day
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Origins Game Fair
  • Gen Con
  • BGG.Con

See below for the full press release.

Terra Nova Games Announces “TRICK OF THE RAILS” by Hisashi Hayashi

Denver, CO – April 26, 2016

Terra Nova Games is proud to announce their fourth game release, Trick of the Rails, designed by Hisashi Hayashi. Trick of the Rails, based on the rise of the American railway period, is a unique card game combining 18XX-like portfolio management and trick-taking. Some of Hisashi’s other notable designs are Trains, Sail to India, Lost Legacy, Rolling Japan, and String Railway.

In Trick of the Rails, players collect stock certificates and make the companies more valuable by laying the rail network. The game alternates between stock rounds and operating rounds. In stock rounds, the cards played become shares for the players. In operating rounds, the cards played become track for the companies. The companies get trains, which determine how many track cards they can count for their profit (the trains have costs as well, which may lead to companies not making any profit at all) and in the end, players simply count the value of their shares and highest value wins.

Terra Nova Games is extremely excited to work with Okazu and Japon Brand, and they plan to overhaul the art and graphic design when they bring the English version of this license to the American market.

Trick of the Rails will be launching on Kickstarter soon and will be available for demonstration at these upcoming events:

  • ACD Games Day
  • Denver Comic Con
  • Origins Game Fair
  • Gen Con
  • BGG.Con

About Terra Nova Games:

Based in Austin, TX and Denver, CO, Terra Nova Games is a boardgame design and publishing company that was established in February of 2013 as an outlet to share their passion for the hobby with others. Terra Nova Games strives to bring people together in person, to use games as a means of socializing and strategizing around a table of friends. They’ve had three successful Kickstarter campaigns for their previous releases, “Far Space Foundry”, “Ophir”, and “Guile”.

Justin Schaffer, President

lowery agency

The Lowry Agency is looking to bring board games more into the main stream and so has signed Cheapass Games to bring the game Pairs into their market and Smirk and Dagger Games to bring their whole catalog.  The Lowry Agency itself has had over two decades of running PR and marketing for musicians, actors, athletes, speakers, voice over artists, and more, but only in the last three years have they been working to market board games.  At the outset they tried to create a set of board game awards to help with exposure through something called Club Fantasci, but looking at the website right now shows that has fallen to the wayside.  But with these fresh acquisitions they are looking to launch a new push to bring board games into the main stream because as they have said,

Board games have moved way beyond Monopoly, and the public needs to know that.

I wish them good luck and hopefully their can help change that perception of board games for the better.  You can read the press releases about the Cheapass Games partnership here and the Smirk and Dagger partnership here.

aether captains 2

This is the second campaign for the Aether Captains game and this time around they easily hit their goal on the first day and are on their way to unlocking some nice extras.

Aether Captains is a steampunk one vs many game where one player takes on the role of the Arkady Navy to defend their homeland and the remaining players take on the roles of pirating war captains.  The Navy player gets control of the very imposing ships HMS Dominion or Dauntless , both represented by custom dice, and work to maintain order by destroying the war captains as they come out onto the board.  Since the government is helping the Navy player there is not much need for resources, but they will need to defend the cities on the board or liberate them if they have been taken over. They can also recruit new crew to help make their job easier but essentially they are on a seek and destroy mission against the pirates.  The war captains have a little more variety in their objectives because they are randomized on cards at the beginning, they could be things like occupy a city, attack other players, or some other variation making their end goal hard to tell at the beginning.  But since the war captains are pirates, they will have to pillage the towns in order to have the resources to go up against the the much bigger Navy ships.  Whoever achieves their goals first is the winner of the game.

aether captains 2 comp

The game looks great with custom dice representing all the ships on the player boards while on the main board they are designated with minis.  Also available in the campaign are two expansions for the game adding either more content for the Navy or more content for the war captains.  Either way if this campaign sounds interesting head on over to the Kickstarter page to pledge for your own copy.

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.

barnes-noble-logo 150

As was previously reported, Barnes and Noble started to expand their participation in the board gaming world by hosting game days in March, and now they are planning to go even deeper by hosting events on International Tabletop Day.  All stores will be participating in this so if your Barnes and Noble has a game section, good money says they will be participating.  The events will start at 4pm on April 30th and will focus on five specific games, Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, Superfight, Machi Koro, and Qwirkle, with promos of those games being the prize for winning.  From the sound of the press release that you can read below, this is the first step in Barnes and Noble taking up a role similar to an FLGS to help bring more people into the hobby and offer a great place to gather and play games.

Barnes & Noble Hosts Tabletop Gaming Meet Up at Stores Nationwide on April 30

Barnes & Noble Responds to Customer Demand and Brings an Authentic Gaming Experience to All Stores

Featured Games to Include Popular Selections Qwirkle, Munchkin, Machi Koro, Superfight and Ticket to Ride

New York, NY – April 21, 2016– Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the nation’s largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products, today announced that it will be hosting a Tabletop Gaming Meet Up at all stores nationwide on Saturday, April 30, starting at 4 p.m.. Last month, Barnes & Noble hosted weekly “game gatherings” at select stores across the country. As a result of the huge success of the program, the company is expanding that gaming experience to customers at all of its 640 stores across the country.

“Seeing our customers respond so positively to the game gatherings we hosted at select stores was not only rewarding, but it crystalized what we believed all along: customers in local communities are looking for an alternative evening out. For so many, Barnes & Noble is already a place to meet up, socialize and spend quality time together. Our Tabletop Gaming Meet Up is designed to do all that and more,” said Kathleen Campisano, Vice President, Toys & Games at Barnes & Noble. “We will feature a unique array of games that celebrate collaboration, encourage strategic thinking and even provide a little healthy competition.”

Customers are encouraged to visit their local store and participate in Barnes & Noble’s first-ever Tabletop Gaming Meet Up, whether they are looking for an alternative to a typical evening out, an activity for the whole family to enjoy, or simply the opportunity to meet new people in a fun way.

“The tabletop gaming industry has always had a wide appeal to Americans as a fun, engaging pastime, but we see Barnes & Noble’s entry into events and gatherings as a game changer,” said Andrew Lupp of the gaming industry organization, PSI. “Few retailers can offer a store environment that’s already tailor-made for gaming. Barnes & Noble has always had a fantastically curated selection of games. Now they’re creating the social experience and building new communities to bring these games to many more gamers around the country.”

Featured games will represent a leading assortment from Barnes & Noble’s vast selection, including:

  • Machi Koro– The Japanese card game that is sweeping the world. A fast-paced, light-hearted game for up to three players, with the goal of building the city of Machi Koro (in less than 30 minutes!).
  • Superfight- A hilarious card game based on fights between characters with superpowers and super problems. Players create fighters from these cards, then argue with one another over who would win in a fight!
  • Ticket to Ride- A cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn. Additional points come to those who can fulfill their destination tickets by connecting two distant cities, and to the player who builds the longest continuous railway.
  • Munchkin- The mega-hit card game about dungeon adventure, with no role-playing. Players can compete to kill monsters and grab magic items.
  • Qwirkle- A game that is as simple as matching colors and shapes, but also requires tactical maneuvers and well-planned strategy. Players can earn points by building rows and columns of blocks that share a common shape or color.

Participants will have the chance to play against each other to win prizes, including a Machi Koro Diamine Promo Card Pack, a Qwirkle Brainteaser Book, Superfight Promo Card Sets, and more. Customers should contact their local store to find out the full list of prizes available.

Each game will be available to play starting at 4:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to take fun photos of themselves while gaming and upload to their social media channels using the special hashtag, #BNGameNight. For more information on the event, customers can visit the Barnes & Noble Blog.