board game

A tomb in Slovakia dating back 375 years was accidentally discovered while doing some construction work. Significant discoveries included a bed made from yew wood decorated with silver sheets, a desk, and a unique game which is over 1,600 years old. The game consists of chess-like squares with green and white playing pieces of different sizes.

Archaeologists believe the owner of the tomb, a German prince, was about 30 years old and stayed in the Mediterranean as a Roman soldier for some time.

The deputy director of the Archaeological Institute in Nitra, Karol Pieta, who lead the research on the tomb in Poprad was stumped:

“There were plenty of board games in ancient times with many variants, but reconstructing the playing technique is a very complicated process that only top experts can solve.”

They called in an expert from Switzerland, Ulrich Schädler, director of the Museum of Games, who travelled to Slovakia. Schädler believed a playing board of a similar type had not been found in Europe yet and was tasked with trying to solve the system of the ancient game. He hopes to complete this task by the end of 2018.

Schädler had this to say:

“The board game from the tomb of the German prince in Poprad is a great discovery and contribution to the history of games in Europe. It’s the best preserved ancient wooden board game that has been found to the north of the Mediterranean Sea. Together with Roman glass playing pieces it was apparently a prestigious object that documented contacts of the dead with the Roman world.”

After analysis they found that the ancient glass was from the east Mediterranean, probably Syria. The prince was strongly influenced by the developed ancient culture which was demonstrated by his favorite game being placed in his tomb.

Van Ryder Games have announced a new Graphic Novel Adventures brand label under which their graphic novel game books will be distributed. Makaka Editions in France have produced these books in the French language. Van Ryder Games have been granted the English distribution rights and will be translating, producing, and distributing the English versions in the USA and Canada. In these books the player is the hero where each book has a different theme and different game play. The production of the Van Ryder Games editions of these books will be funded via Kickstarter in March 2018.

The Big Score is a new board game Van Ryder Games will be releasing in 2018. It’s a competitive game for 1-6 players where each player is a crime boss in a fictional city. The game plays in 30-60 minutes depending on player count. Players get a crew together to pull off small heists around the city before going for a big heist at the Centennial City bank in a push-your-luck style of play where you could end up very rich or behind bars. The game also features a challenging solo-play mode designed by A.J. Porfirio (of Hostage Negotiator fame). They expect to fund the game via Kickstarter with a project launch date of February 20th, 2018.

Back in the days of WWII, Berlin had been famously split between east and west, and West Berlin was controlled by the allies, but completely locked in by the Soviets.  This meant that land delivery of food was impossible, and so Operation Candy Bomber was launched to supply the city with enough food to survive the winter.  In the game Operation Candy Bomber, you and your fellow players are working together to accomplish that very goal.

In this game the board will start out seeded with food, but every round you will flip over a card to indicate where food will be eaten.  Now it’s up to the players to take their limited actions in the best way possible to resupply the people with food and candy.  As typical with cooperative games there are lots of ways to lose, but only one way to win, and that’s to complete all your missions and keep everyone fed.  At the start of the game you will flip over a mission/quest card, this will tell you where you need to go in order to complete the mission and any other special rules.  Now it’s time to go and deliver food and candy to the hungry people, all while trying to complete the mission.  Every once in a while a card will come up that moves the storm track closer to winter, and when it hits you will be grounded because of the cold weather, ending the game.  If you take too long to deliver supplies to the people then they will start to go hungry, if they get too hungry they will starve, also ending the game.  But if you can keep everyone fed and complete all your missions, then you will win the game.  Think Pandemic but in reverse.

The game is included in the $49 pledge and also comes with a poster to display on your wall if you so desire, you can even pledge to get the 70th anniversary edition of the book, The Berlin Candy Bomber.  So if this family weight historical game sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

The X-Files was a long running sci-fi style TV show about Agents Mulder and Scully investigating outlandish claims that were classified as X-files.  In the show they often found the outlandish claims were in fact true, but when reporting to their superiors, Scully would take the side of science while Mulder would always tell the truth, no matter how crazy it was.

In the game X-Files: Conspiracy Theory – Everything is Connected, you will play as Mulder as you try to explain the crazy things to your superiors with the evidence you collected.  On a player’s turn they will pull a prompt card from the deck, and with that prompt and the different evidence cards in your hand, try to weave together a story that the rest of the players will believe.  The rest of the players will be playing their superiors and will vote, not according to if they believe the story or not, but according to how they think everyone else will vote.  That’s because “the only thing worse than being an outlier is being a nut-case like Fox Mulder“.

Look for this game to arrive on store shelves in the later half of March, and then ask yourself, do you believe?

“Red Falls. Darkrock. Two towns on opposite ends of the mesa. Two towns in the middle of God’s own nowhere. You step off of the train and feel yer boots hit the red dirt as you pound the dust from yer coat. You only have iron on yer hip and a few bucks to yer name. But that doesn’t mean folks should go underestimatin’ ya. The only question to answer now is how will you make them remember yer name?”

Kolossal Games has launched Western Legends, their debut game, on Kickstarter.  Western Legends is an open-world sandbox tabletop game for 2-6 players (90-120 minutes) set in the American Wild West.  It is the first game design for Hervé Lemaître with art from  Roland MacDonald (Stop Thief, Battle Line). In Western Legends, players can play as a number of historical figures including Annie Oakley, Bass Reeves, Crazy Horse, and Doc Holliday.

Western Legends includes 12 characters, over 200 cards, a general store to display the item cards, gold nuggets, cubes, dice, chips, miniatures  and player mats.  The core game also includes hand sculpted miniatures (6 characters, 6 bandits, and hopefully a sheriff if stretch goals are met) crafted by Pure Arts (Kemet, Inis).

A pledge of $60 will get you the core game and the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals).  $75 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), and The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion.  The top tier pledge at $84 will get you the core game, the Fistful of Extras Expansion (All Unlocked Stretch Goals), The Good the Bad & the Handsome Expansion, and a 52 card poker deck.  You can check out the Western Legends Kickstarter here.



BANANAGRAMS has launched it’s 2018 in school challenge this year for 4th thru 6th grades, and it’s even bigger than before.  The Bananagrams Challenge is a tournament held each year in schools across the country, and this year they will be even bigger with them giving out free tournament kits for 1,500 schools.  Each school that enters in the contest will get two free copies of the game Bananagrams, as well as additional resources and materials to be able to hold the competition, and even a medal for the winner.  Each school will then hold their own tournament in an elimination bracket to determine who the Top Banana is for that school.  From there the organizer will submit the winner’s name and story along with other stats from the tournament including longest word, number of people who entered, and room with the most banana decor.  Out of the winners of from each school, one will be chosen to receive $1,000 for their school, and additional prizes will be given for the longest word, best banana decor, and the highest school participation.

Now you might be asking, why is Banangrams doing this?  Well because it’s great advertising, but more importantly it’s to help make learning vocabulary and spelling skills fun, as students will readily bone up on new words in order to win.  So if you are a teacher or administrator of your school, head on over to the Challenge page in order to register and find out more information.  And even if you are past the initial 1,500 schools, you can still participate, but you will have to bring your own copies of the game to play.

Grey Fox Games have announced the forthcoming release of Multiuniversum. Players take on the role of scientists working on the super, secret lab: CERN. While experimenting with teletransportation to create a time machine the team instead comes across portals to new dimensions. The only trouble is that monsters from those alternate dimensions are invading your own dimension, so you’ll need to shut down the transformers and close the portals while gathering the research that will make you famous.

Fame is achieved through Discovery Points which are gained when players seal portals. A Bonus is also granted when sets of symbols on those portals are collected. The players have cards which grant the scientists different actions based on the character’s location in CERN. Scientist characters are represented by 18mm scientist meeples.

The game is designed by Manuel Correia (of hotly anticipated SUPERHOT Card Game fame) with illustration by Paweł Niziołek and Piotr Uzdowski. It will support 1-5 players, aged 12+, with play time between 20 and 40 mins and is expected to release March 2018.

WizKids forthcoming sci-fi game, Beyond the Edge, starts with players recruited to defeat space pirates who have blockaded the free planet of Orion, but it is beyond those pirates where this game becomes innovative.

Created by Ken Shannon, Beyond the Edge features the “Evolve/Beyond System” which allows players to keep everything they have obtained in each game for their next game. Each player’s character develops a unique story over the course of many games.  Fueling these rich stories, the game features unique storylines, including captains and characters the players can meet, written by RPG legends Richard Lee Byers and Ed Greenwood.

Adding further to the unique stories for each character, the game also features dynamic play experience in which the alliances the players make in each game changes their objectives, special abilities, and upgrades.

Beyond the Edge boasts an easy-to-learn game system with legacy type rules and story that develop over time, allowing new players to learn as they go.

Where this game really goes beyond the edge is the “Dry Dock System” which allows players to take their ship, captain, and missions to other players’ games.

For 2-4 players, ages 14 and up, the game takes approximately an hour to play.  The game contains 627 cards, 10 token sheets, 21 ship mats, a Threat board, a Faction alliance board, rulebook, 20 energy cubes, 4 dice, 2 sticker sheets, a cloth bag, and the “Dry Dock” envelopes to hold player materials between games.

Projected release date is April 2018!

EPIC is a two to four player card game by White Wizard games, makers of Star and Hero Realms, where you duke it out as gods to see who is the greatest.  This game brings back the play and feel of trading card style games that have been around for years, but without the costly need of buying randomly packaged booster packs.  EPIC comes ready to go out of the box, and only adds cards in an LCG style where each pack has the same cards as every other pack of the same name.  Previous packs have added new characters you can play as called Tyrants, or just added new cards to the game in Uprising.  Well now they are adding new characters to play as in the form of a Pantheon.  The first of the two packs features Furios, Father Nature and Maligus, the Dark One, each coming with 12 cards and 3 token cards in the pack so you can play as either deity. Furios is revered by all in the forest, except for Maligus that is, and he seeks to overthrow Furios.  But when Furios summons you to his defense, you obey.

The second features Helena, the Valiant and Zaltessa, the Huntress, each also with 12 cards and 3 token cards in the pack.  Zaltessa will hunt anything and everything under the sun, includes the other gods, but Helena has the bravery and courage to stand up and hunt Zaltessa instead.  Look for both of these packs to be on store shelves in January of 2018. You can click here for details on pre-ordering.

Victory Point Games is back on Kickstarter with a new war game from veteran designer Frank Chadwick called Thunder in the East.  This is going to be the first game in the European Theater of Operations series of war games from the designer.  This game will have in the box six different scenarios covering battles all across the front lines, as well as a full campaign game as well.  Each game in of itself will be 8 to 12 hours long with the ability to play either solo or against an opponent, or even in teams if you like.  What makes this game a little different from other war games is that Frank believes in clean, concrete gameplay that is rooted is sound historical research.  What that translates into is a game where you spend less time scouring the rule book and more time being immersed in the game you are playing.  But with a component count of over 1,000 chits and tokens, this is still very much a hex and counter style war game you know and love.

You can find out more about the game on the Kickstarter page, which includes a series of videos on the mechanics of the game.  The game will cost you $99 plus shipping, and it already includes some extra content from stretch goals, so back for your copy today.