Dice Tower Newsletter

board games

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) announced a new game, Cutthroat Kingdoms by designer Bryan Merlonghi. Players will take the role of a leading lord or lady in the six Houses of the Kingdom of Aurum. Utilizing political intrigue, powerful armies, and strategic alliances, Cutthroat Kingdoms is a competitive game of negotiation and dealmaking with a medieval fantasy theme.

The throne to the Kingdom of Aurum lies unclaimed.

As memory of the slain king Ratimir Dravanof passes, the six great houses vie for control of the land in a neverending dispute of title, territory and birthright.

Now, embroiled in conflict, the lords and ladies lock eyes on the crown, as they fight to contend with the remnants of the Dravanof legacy: the great plague that has now turned upon the people, to ravage the countryside, exacting its cruel revenge.

This is the innovative new social game of contract, duplicity, arranged marriages and tainted food. Every group will create their own rules for how to play and every game will be different. Will yours be high on subterfuge, backstabbing and betrayal, or conducted on a higher plane of rock-solid agreements and unbreakable oaths?

The game supports 3 – 6 players, with a playing time of 90 – 150 minutes. For more information, visit the AEG Cutthroat Kingdoms page, where you can download the rulebook and see images of some of the cards.


The 2017 Spiel des Jahres award nominees have been announced. The “Game of the Year 2017” will be selected on July 17, 2017 in Berlin. There were several other games that made it to the jury’s “recommendation” list and they can be viewed on the official announcement here.

Game of the Year 2017 (Spiel des Jahres)

Kingdomino by Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Pegasus Spiele
Prestigious tile laying for 2 to 4 crowned terrain planners
Magic Maze by Kasper Lapp
Publisher: Sit Down !, Distribution: Pegasus Spiele
Cooperative shopping house break for 1 to 8 hectic heroes
Race to El Dorado of Reiner Knizia
Publisher: Ravensburger
Deck building in the jungle for 2 to 4 fast treasure hunters
Children’s Game of the Year 2017 (Kinderspiel des Jahres)
Captain Silver  by Wolfgang Dirscherl & Manfred Reindl
Publisher: Queen Games
Fast-paced treasure hunting for 2 to 4 sensitive pirates from 6 years
ICECOOL  by Brian Gomez
Publishing house: Amigo Interlaced snips for 2 to 4 ice-cold schoolchildren from 6 years
The Mysterious Forest  of Carlo A. Rossi
Publisher: Iello, Vertrieb. Yikes! & Friends
Adventurous journey for 2 to 4 clever scouts from 6 years
Connoisseur-Enthusiast Game of the Year 2017 (Kennerspiel des Jahres)
Exit – The Game * by Inka Brand and Markus Brand
Publisher: Kosmos
Congenial Knobeleien for 1 to 6 (our recommendation: 1 to 4) creative cryptologists
* “The Abandoned Hut”, “The Secret Laboratory”, “The Grave Chamber of Pharaoh”
Raider of the North Sea by Shem Phillips
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Plentiful plundering for 2 to 4 walkers-worshiping Vikings

Image from the English 2nd Printing

Terraforming Mars by Jacob Fryxelius
Publisher: Schwerkraft-Verlag
Planetary project development for 1 to 5 climate changing corporate boards

Jellybean Shirts has started a Kickstarter Campaign for some great board game related T-Shirts, with three shirts in the initial offering. Shirt: The Game has a collage of many board game related icons, which you can challenge your game geeks to identify. The Settlers Of Cat shows that all too familiar image of a cat sitting in the box lid for CATan during play. Finally, The Meeple’s Republic has a great soviet themed “Sieze the Means of Placement” meeple design. Several add-ons and stretch goals are available, including an option to custom insert your own pet into the Settlers of Cat T-Shirt.

The Kickstarter for Jellybean Shirts continues through June 2, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

Rule & Make has just signed a global distribution partnership with Passport Game Studios. This means that games from this excellent Australian game company will be making it to your FLGS more easily thanks to Passport. Rule & Make made a name for themselves with the burger building card game Burger Up, and the successful Kickstarters Skyward: The Airborne City and Smiths of Winterforge. Skyward will be the first game distributed under the Passport Games agreement. The new agreement takes effect at GenCon50, in August 2017. You can read the press releases from Passport and Rule & Make here and here, respectively.

Munchkin: Rick and Morty is coming soon from Steve Jackson Games. This standalone version of Munchkin has all the great art and humor you expect from the hit animated show. Munchkin: Rick and Morty is due out at the end of the year.

The Kickstarter project Bitten is coming to retail from Play Grim Games. Dubbed a survival game for 2-4 players, players in Bitten have 5 minutes to gather enough supply cards to leave the group, or else discover which among you has been bitten. Bitten is due to be released July 2017.

Dark Moon: Shadow Corporation is coming from Stronghold Games. The first expansion for Dark Moon (2011), Shadow Corporation adds new characters, actions and events. There are also new ways the game can end, and two optional modules to add to the paranoia. Dark Moon: Shadow Corporation is due out at the end of 2017.

A new expansion to Galaxy Defenders (2014) is coming from Ares Games – Galaxy Defenders: Final Countdown. Three new agents are added to the game, with new classes, powers and items. Scandium, the guerilla warrior ignores class restrictions. Additionally, Scandium has such a hatred towards alien robots that she gains bonuses. Xeno-Warrior is an alien, but is driven by the thrill of the fight. Xeno-Warrior gets to pick a target race at the start of the mission. Finally, Vanadium the bounty hunter has a growing fury that increases his damage with bladed weapons. Galaxy Defenders: Final Countdown is due out August 2017.

Klondike Rush is coming from Ryan Laukat and Red Raven Games. Described as a bidding/stock game set during the gold rush, 2-5 players build mines along routes, and can gain a big bonus if they kill the wild monster scaring off the miners. Klondike Rush is due out at the end of 2017.

Stronghold Games is bringing the first expansion to City of Spies: Estoril 1942. City of Spies: Double Agent brings new spies with new abilities which can infiltrate Estoril or the new map of Lisbon. Double Agent allows for a 5th player, contains 7 new characters, a new nationality, a new mission card, and of course the new ability to be a double agent. City of Spies: Double Agent is due out at the end of 2017.

Time to announce this week’s winner of a $10.00 gift certificate good for purchases made at Cool Stuff Inc!! Congratulations to Mitchell C! Prior to sending posting this article an email was sent to Mitchell explaining how to redeem his certificate.

Every week we draw a random subscriber to win a $10 gift certificate from CSI. It’s easy to subscribe, simply fill out the short form on the right-hand side of this site.

Dice Tower News would really like to thank Cool Stuff for supplying the certificates. If you want the lowest prices in board games, visit Cool Stuff here!

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has just announced a player survey, open to the public, in which you could win Mystic Vale Promo cards! Mystic Vale (2016) was AEG’s smash “card building” hit, in which players use clear cards and sleeves to create their own cards in a deck-building environment. AEG is interested in what the community thinks about Mystic Vale and Kickstarter campaigns. By answering a few simple questions (it took me only about 5 minutes) every participant will receive “three enhancements, the Sunshard Glebe, one for each of three card slots”. AEG will be mailing out the Promo Kit towards the end of 2017.

For more information about the AEG Mystic Vale Survey, click here.

Simurgh: Call of the Dragonlord is the first expansion for NSKN’s 2015 worker placement game Simurgh. Call of the Dragonlord is a premium modular expansion which includes a second board, two new types of vassals – wizards and rogues, and 8 new modules for the base game. The new Wizard can be added to a players workforce, moving on 3 different tracks, which generate more power points and resources. The expansion also includes Leadership Tiles, which add action spaces allowing for the movement of multiple vassals. Simurgh: Call of the Dragonlord has a street date of May 15, 2017.

Mistfall: Sand & Snow is an expansion to the popular dungeon crawls Mistfall (2015) and/or Mistfall: Heart of the Mists (2016). Sand & Snow adds more gear, weapons, companions and enemies to the world of Mistfall with 110 new cards. Sand & Snow also adds Events to the game, a double sided card type similar to encounters, which add challenge but can help the players win the day. New Lieutenant enemies earn players immediate rewards, and the expansion includes Lieutenant versions of most of the original enemies. Mistfall: Sand & Snow is due to be released May 31, 2017.

Shadowscape is a 1-4 player competitive/cooperative game in the Mistfall Universe where players explore a randomly generated dungeon, and manage a tableau of skills and Hand of Fate cards. Players need to complete a set number of Nightfather’s Whispers to win, either alone or as a team. Players use double sided action cards to move, explore and fight, using Hand of Fate cards to boost nearly any action. The monsters run on an automated  A.I. system, adding variety to the game. Shadowscape is due out in July 2017.

The Heroes of Mistfall Miniatures Pack, previously available through the Kickstarter, includes 13 unpainted miniatures for the Mistfall Universe line of games, and has a general release date of June 14, 2017.


Ticket to Ride players are about to have a new entry point into the classic train network building universe with Ticket to Ride: Germany. This time potential railroad tycoons will use an illustrated map of late 19th century Germany to lay the foundation for their tiny plastic train empires. European customers and conductors can pick the game up in June, while North Americans can catch the caboose in August at Gencon.

Players can collect valuable Passenger Meeples from cities around the board to score points. This mechanic was also seen in the Märklin Edition of the game. In addition players will want to connect destination cities on both short and long routes to gain victory points.

Unlike the past few expansions, this game will be a complete entry point into the Ticket to Ride line, with everything needed for 2-5 players to play inside the box. Contents include:

  • A map of Germany
  • 225 colored Train Cars
  • 110 Train Car Cards
  • 89 Destination Tickets Cards
  • 60 Passenger Meeples
  • 1 Cloth Bag
  • 5 Scoring Markers
  • 1 Rules Booklet
  • A special Globetrotter Bonus Card.

The Popularity of Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride has been the entry point for many gamers. Just a few of the Dice Tower Top 10 lists that include Ticket to Ride include:

The original Ticket to Ride has actually been included in over 30 of the Dice Tower Top Ten lists. With such strong pedigree and a history of popular expansions, Ticket to Ride: Germany is likely to make a splash when it enters the market later this year.

Geek & Sundry have just partnered with Campaign Coins to create a series of gaming metal coins based on the popular TableTop board game show. King of the Castle Games Company signed a licensing agreement with Geek & Sundry to release the coins. Now Tom can finally replace all the paper money he loathes with some quality metal coins!

Mark Morrison of Campaign Coins discussed the coins as being the next level of components for the celebrities that frequent Will Wheaton’s TableTop show:

On TableTop, Wil and his friends show what is so wonderful about board gaming: getting together and having fun. Adding metal coins to the mix adds an extra level of immersion. It’s the way they clink!

Wil Wheaton offered plenty of praise for the design that designer Daniel Solis came up with for the coins:

Daniel is such a wonderful designer, and Campaign Coins are so beautifully crafted. I’m just thrilled to have them coming together to make something special for TableTop fans.

Daniel Solis designed the coins, so they can almost be guaranteed to have long-lasting appeal. Solis and his wife are the founders of the Thousand-Year Game Design Challenge. The challenge was a $1,000 competition to create a game that could be enjoyed for the next 1,000 years, encouraging designers to think about eh sustainability and universality of games, designing for longevity. Solis has done graphic design and layout for a variety of both board and role playing games.

The final designs Solis created for the coins are very much in keeping with his preference for classic design, featuring timeless motifs, styles and shapes intended to be suitable for any board game regardless of the genre. The coins are clearly marked in dominations with a different size for each demonization, and are produced in a flat design for easy stacking.

Imprinted with standard tabletop game images, the dominations of the antique finished coins are marked and minted as:

  • copper 1 coin with imprinted with a meeple
  • silver 5 coin imprinted with a hand of cards
  • bronze 20 coin imprinted with a D20
  • gold 100 coin imprinted with a table and board game

The back side of each coin includes the TableTop logo.

The coins are available now. Keep an eye out on the current season of TableTop, with new episodes being released now through June 7 2017, for coins to make possible appearances.