board games

Congratulations to Raymond C, this week’s winner of a $10.00 gift certificate to Cool Stuff Inc. Just prior to posting this announcement, instructions were emailed on how to claim his certificate.

Thank you to everyone that’s subscribed to our news (each week we’ll award a $10 CSI gift certificate to a random subscriber)! We hope that you’re enjoying the content provided and that it’s been informative.

We’d also like to express our gratitude towards Cool Stuff Inc for providing the gift certificates! We’ve given away hundreds of dollars so far! You can visit Cool Stuff’s web site here.

Yedo (2012) by designers Thomas Vande Ginste and Wolf Plancke is a classic game of missions, politics and subterfuge. In Yedo, 1-5 players bid for useful advantages, place disciples on action spaces within the board while trying to avoid the watch, and fulfill missions by collecting sets of assets. Consistently ranked in the top 500 games on BGG, this long out-of print gem is one many consider a spiritual successor to the likes of Lords of Waterdeep.

NSKN (Board & Dice) has announced a Kickstarter campaign for a new Deluxe Master Edition of Yedo, with upgraded components, new art, and a bigger organized box. This new edition comes with game board, 5 new player boards, hundreds of gorgeous cards with new art, and over 80 custom wooden bits and bobs. The box also is filled with almost 200 cardboard tokens. The new Yedo includes options to lengthen or shorten the game, and the Missions, Actions and Events now come in themed set for more game variety. Finally, new Specialist and Teahouse Modules change some of the core rules.

“Originally published in 2012, Yedo has earned its rightful place in the hearts and on the tables of strategy and thematic gamers around the world. With already a great game on our hands, we decided to update the components to modern standards, add extra polish based on seven years of community feedback and complete the game with extra content straight from the original designers.”

The Kickstarter Campaign for Yedo Deluxe Master Set is scheduled to continue through September 20, and the game should arrive on doorsteps in August 2020. NSKN has stated there are no plans to bring this new edition to retail after the Kickstarter fulfills.

Philosophia: Dare to be Wise is a new self-published game on Kickstarter from designers Joseph N Adams and Madeleine Cole. In Philosophia, 1-6 players take on the roles of famous Greek philosophers, trying to achieve monumental landmarks in debate and rhetoric across the whole of Greece before time runs out. Victory is achieved by amassing 3 labyrinth tokens, which can be accumulated one at a time by completing tasks, or all 3 can be awarded by finishing a player’s secret goal card.

Players can move to any marked location on the map of Greece, and take one of several actions. Players can tutor at a location to collect money, or place a follower (wooden block) at their location. Sophists can be hired for money, in order to convert other players’ followers to your own color. Schools can be built by spending 2 money, or tokens on the locations themselves can be gathered to place on a players board. At a Temple location, 4 money can purchase a study token, used to unlock one of your philosopher’s 3 locked Wisdom Cards. At Oracle locations, special ability cards can be collected, which can grant boons or obstruct your opponents.  

The Acropolis is a special location on the board, offering a further 4 actions. Players collect Sophistry and Syllogism cards by observing debaters, and these cards can be used in the second Acropolis action, to fuel public debate, an interesting card-on-card battle system. Players can progress the timeline at the Acropolis, hastening the end of the game, and finally players can initiate auctions for Athena Tokens, very powerful reward items.

Players earn Labyrinth Tokens by placing all of their followers, founding all of their schools, getting the correct Oracle tokens, unlocking all of their Wisdom Cards, traveling to and collecting each color of Location token, or winning 3 public debates. Once a player has 3 Labyrinth Tokens, they can participate in the final public debate card play to declare themselves victor. Of course, each player has a secret Olympic Card, which grants all 3 Labyrinth Tokens in one fell swoop if completed.

Philosophia is a beautiful, thematic game involving all the intricities that embodied active philosophy in ancient Greece, adding an educational element to varied game mechanics. The Kickstarter Project for Philosophia: Dare to be Wise is scheduled to continue through October 10, and the game should ship to backers by June 2020. For more information, check out the website for Philosophia here.

Congratulations to Christopher P, this week’s winner of a $10.00 gift certificate to Cool Stuff Inc. Just prior to posting this announcement, instructions were emailed on how to claim his certificate.

Thank you to everyone that’s subscribed to our news (each week we’ll award a $10 CSI gift certificate to a random subscriber)! We hope that you’re enjoying the content provided and that it’s been informative.

We’d also like to express our gratitude towards Cool Stuff Inc for providing the gift certificates! We’ve given away hundreds of dollars so far! You can visit Cool Stuff’s web site here.

The Dice Tower is pleased to welcome Sharon Madden as Director of Dice Tower East. Sharon brings a wealth of experience in event planning and administration to this position and is excited to tie-in this event with her love of board games. She has been playing board games actively for the past 20 years, with games ranging from heavy Euros to party games. In addition to board-gaming, Sharon enjoys cooking, reading, yoga, and traveling. She also speaks German and Czech.

Tom Vasel, President of the Dice Tower, says “I’m thrilled to have Sharon and her team on board.  They are already working hard to put together a fantastic event next July, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!”

“At the turn of the 16th Century, King Manuel I commissioned Portugal’s greatest artisans to construct grandiose buildings. After completing the Palaces of Evora and Sintra, the king sought to build a summer pavilion to honor the most famous members of the royal family. This construction was intended for the most talented artisans — whose skills meet the splendor that the royal family deserves. Sadly, King Manuel I died before construction ever began.”

Azul by Michael Kiesling, artist Chris Quilliams, and Next Move Games is one of those games that was recognized as an elegant classic the moment it was released in 2017. The game combined intimately attractive, bakelite style (ie. candy-like) tiles with intuitive, simple gameplay into a package that gamers and non-gamers alike were simply drawn towards. In Azul, players take turns collecting colored tiles from communal piles (factories), however one must pick up all of a single color tile, placing the remainder in a leftover central pile. All collected tiles must be placed on the player board, and extraneous, unused tiles count as negative points. The ever-growing central pile can likewise be mined for tiles in the same manner in future turns.

A sequel, Azul: Stained Glass of Sintra, was released in 2018. Sintra took this basic framework and added variable player boards, a new mechanism for placing tiles on the boards, and in general more variability. In short, the new game was significantly different, but still felt like “Azul”, and gamers snatched it up in waves. The gorgeous clear square tiles (Jolly Ranchers, as opposed to Starburst) certainly did not hurt the appeal.

Now Next Move Games has announced a third game in the series, Azul: Summer Pavillion. In this edition, the tiles are elongated diamonds, and fit on the player board in 7 circular rosettes – Six in the six tile colors, and one composed of one of each color. Tile selection retains the old Azul feel, with players selecting all of one color from a pool of tiles on a single factory card. However, in each of the 10 rounds, one of the tile colors is considered wild. The wild color cannot be specifically picked, but if any are on the selected factory, these are also collected with the picked color. The tile placement in Summer Pavillion has taken an interesting new tact – players do not immediately place their collected tiles on their board, instead collecting them in a personal supply. Each turn players can place one of their tiles on their board by paying a certain number of same-colored tiles from this supply. The cost depends on which slot in the rosette is being filled, ranging from 1-6.

Azul: Summer Pavillion will debut as Essen Spiel this October, and pre-orders are scheduled to hit gamers’ laps in December 2019. For more details, check out Next Move’s website here.

Abyss was an instant board game hit on its release in 2014. Combining unbelievable art from Xavier Collette with the sublime gameplay from master designers Bruno Cathala and Charles Chevallier, Abyss managed to transport players into a fantastical and political underwater world. The gameplay in Abyss is a wonderful collection of push-your-luck card collection, resource management of stunning pearls, and card set creation, all simple in their own right but interwoven into a magnificent strategic board game still loved to this day (currently #338 on BGG). The first expansion to Abyss, Kraken, was released in 2015 to critical acclaim, adding the two edged sword of dark pearls. Now, Studio Bombyx has given Abyss fans two new toys to drool over – the second expansion Abyss:Leviathan, and the new card game Conspiracy: Abyss Universe, both coming to western shores this November.

Leviathan replaces the accumulating threat track from the original card game with a border board filled with tremendous monsters. While pulling cards during exploration, if a monster is drawn, the player now has an opportunity to fight a Leviathan on the board. Certain Lords and Allies can give benefit to killing these monsters, and the player with the most kills will earn an extra 5 points at the end of the game.

Conspiracy: Abyss Universe is a card game in the Abyss Universe, sharing similar gameplay and more of that delicious Xavier Collette art. 2-4 Players use Abyss-like cards to create a reverse pyramid, starting with a row of five cards and working down to one. Two matching keys or 3 total keys on cards allow the player to take Location Cards, which add abilities and points. Pearls have their role in this game as well, and the player with the majority of pearls on cards immediately takes the Pearl Majority Card. The game ends when a player has completed their pyramid; groups of connected cards of the same color score points equal to the highest scoring card in the group. The Pearl Majority Card adds 5 points, and the player with the largest colored group scores an additional 3. Highest score claims rightful rule of the depths. For more details, check out Bombyx’s webpage here.

“You’ve come to make your fortune on Cooper Island, whose untouched peninsulas stretch out like long arms into the wild Atlantic. With two ships and a few workers, each of you has landed on a separate peninsula, which you hope to explore, cultivate, and settle. But who will do this best? And how? Will you expand your land quickly, or will you instead spend your efforts cultivating it, making it more and more valuable and productive?”

Frosted Games along with Capstone Games have announced Cooper Island, a new complex strategy game from the brilliant mind of Andreas “ode.” Odendahl (La Granja). In Cooper Island, 2-4 players compete as explorers to colonize their island off the Atlantic peninsula. Players have 2 ships and a worker, and place landscape tiles over their island, gaining resources. Resources can be used to build structures with special abilities. Certain areas on the island are inaccessible and need to be cleared to gain access. Supply ships can come in from the Old World, helping the colonization.

As you can see, Cooper Island is a complex set of mechanical interlocking gears, melding together into a satisfying heavy euro game. The point scoring and tracking is yet another unique element to this game; each player marks their points by moving a small ship around the perimeter of their island. However, this ship can discover new lands, granting benefits to the player. After 5 rounds, the player with the most victory points is declared… well, the victor.

Cooper Island will debut at Essen Spiel 2019 late this October. For more information, check out Capstone Games‘ and Frosted Games’ official websites.

“A regal asymmetric party game for 3-6 players with bluffs and betrayals… Reigns: The Council is […] about a monarch seeking harmony in their realm, and their advisors vying to influence them for their own goals.”

Master board game designers Bruno Faidutti (Citadels) and Hervé Marly (Skull) have a new Kickstarter project, the most regal social party game, Reigns: the Council. Reigns is based on the popular same-named app from Studio Nerial. In Reigns, one player takes on the role of the monarch, humbly trying to balance the kingdom on 4 pillars: Church, People, Army and Wealth, all quantitated on the game board from 1-4. The remaining players are the (mistakenly) trusted advisors, but each one has a secret agenda with regards to these 4 pillars. Advisors each take a hand of proposal cards, ideas which will change the pillars depending if the proposal is accepted or rejected by the monarch. Players use the thematic icons on the proposal to tell stories and pitch ideas. The back of the proposal card tells the monarch which pillars will be affected by the proposal, and maybe if the effect is great, but not really if the effect is good or bad. It is up to the advisor to spin a yarn (ie. lie) so well that the King/Queen cannot help but accept.

After the 4 proposals are described, the monarch will pick one and the 4 pillars are shifted up and down according to both the rejected cards and the accepted proposal. If a pillar bumps off of the end of a track, the ruler is killed and a new monarch is established, with new advisors and new secret goals. Monarchs gain points for number of accepted proposals, while advisors gain points for having their story accepted and for meeting their secret goals.

Reigns: the Council is a fun, story-telling social party game for 3-6 players. The Kickstarter project continues through October 1, and the game is scheduled to release in May 2020. For more information, check out Nerial’s webpage here.

Some of you may have been familiar with Game Start and their recent Kickstarter for Fantasy World Creator, a complete environment to enhance your fantasy role-playing experience. Fantasy World Creator was comprised of 140 tiles and hundreds of character, status, and monster tokens for use with role-playing. With over 1,600 backers it massively over-passed it’s 8k Euro goal raking in over 136k Euro.

Fantasy World Creator

Fantasy World Creator was a unique system that allowed one to enhance their Dungeons & Dragons / Pathfinder / Insert Fantasy RPG Title experience by allowing for so many different combinations of maps along with creature and character tokens to help in mapping out dungeons as well as helping with the tracking of combat. Well, Game Start has done it again are proud to announce the launch of their Kickstarter for Future World Creator. Future World Creator will up the ante in all that it will provide for your Space/Sci-Fi RPG needs.

Future World will provide tiles for four different environments including an alien planet, post-apocalyptic, spaceship, and city. There will be over 50 re-writable interlocking tiles with over 20 different building tiles as well.

There will be 330 different character pawns with 4 different colored stands to use. There will be hundreds of status tokens AND 16 different ship tokens….and lots, lots more.

Ok, so this looks great, right? But how does it tie to the board game world? Well, Game Start has announced that they have concluded a collaboration agreement with Jon Gilmour (Dead of winter series, Dinosaur Island series and Wasteland.

“We offered our products to him and he found them very versatile to write a set of rules. He will collaborate with us creating a “rogue experience” game using the contents of the Core box and the expansion of Future World Creator. He was looking for a product that would allow him to brush up one of his very first successes, “Pocket dungeon” and to evolve it. He found this opportunity in our “World Creator” series. The set of rules will be associated only to Future World for now and presented during the campaign as a paid addon.”

So head over to Kickstarter and get in on this now to enhance your RPG experience. And anyone that pledges during the first 48H will be able to obtain this cool mini. Be sure to also check out the app that can be viewed here.