Dice Tower Newsletter

board games

Heaven and Ale from Michael Kiesling and Andreas Schmidt is a new 2-4 player game which takes place in a monastery, pitting players in fierce competition to see who can brew the best beer. Players need to keep their cloister garden fertile and well manned, in order to collect enough resources to fill their barrels.

Michael Kiesling has also teamed up with his long time partner Wolfgang Kramer to bring Reworld, a card and tile game set in a terraforming future. 2-4 Players claim tiles from the board, and the values of neighboring claimed tiles allow the play of specific numbered cards from their hand. Players score fir picking up terrabots, developing their cities, deploying satellites, and for meeting goals set at the start of the game. Rounds end once all players have emptied their hands of cards, and a game lasts five rounds.

Look for both these games from Eggertspiele in October 2017.

Renegade Game Studios had previously announced that they would be the English language printer for the Spiel des Jahres nominee Raiders of the North Sea from Garphill Games. In a new press release, Renegade has stated that they will expand this partnership to include all the games of the North Sea Trilogy, including the campaign expansion.

Raiders of the North Sea is a unique worker placement game, in which players gain an action for placing their meeple, but also gain a second action by picking up a new meeple. The meeples on the board come in three colors, and the spaces on the board are color limited. Add a great viking theme of building armies, collecting crew and pillaging outposts, and you have an excellent game, worth of the Spiel nomination.

Shipwrights of the North Sea is a card game where 2-5 players collect artisans and resources, racing to be the first to construct their viking long ships. Various nefarious characters can be recruited to help the player succeed or hinder their competition.

Explorers of the North Sea is a tile laying, pick up and deliver game for 1-4. Players sail their vikings in plastic boats from island to island, picking up livestock, raiding villages and constructing outposts. Points are awarded for sets of collected items, and for completing islands by playing tiles.

The North Sea Rune Saga is an expansion which ties all three games into one large campaign for those brave enough to live the full viking life.

All of the North Sea Games are designed by Shem Phillips, and include gorgeous artwork by Mihajlo Dimitrievski. Look for the trilogy of games from Renegade in Q4 2017. You can read the full press release on Renegade Games’ website here.

 

Ticket to Ride Designer Alan Moon appeared at the Dice Tower Live Show at GenCon 2017 to announce that the next Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 6 will explore France and the Old West.

Dive into thriving French culture during impressionism and the Industrial Revolution; street cafes, “Starry Night”, Paris Boulevards, and Notre-Dame. The French railroad system is a blank canvas just waiting for your masterful strokes. However, before you can start claiming routes, you’ll need to lay the track! Watch for your opponents, though, because they might claim the route you just spent so much time building… 

France

Ticket to Ride France takes players back to the era of impressionism and the Industrial Revolution. On this map no path is certain, as before claiming a route you first need to built the tracks and choose the colors that will be needed to actually claim the route with your trains. This mechanic is completely new to the Ticket to Ride franchise.

Ticket to Ride France follows the traditional choice of draw train cards, draw route cards or claim a route. In this expansion when a player draws train cards they also choose a route of track bed to add to the board. The board includes endless options for routes, but placing track bed for future routes will cut off many other route options other players may have wanted to lay beds for and the laid piece will also determine the color of the train cards that will be required for the route.

 

Old West

The flip-side of the map crosses the ocean to take players to the Old West for a map that holds up to 6 players. Each player will claim a home city their network will start from. The first route you claim must extend out from your starting city. All subsequent routes must also connect back to your home city or cities you have already built connections to. There will be no more reverse route building — you can never claim routes that aren’t already connected to your network.

Once a route card is completed a player can take one of the three city tokens they start with players can play two additional cards to claim the city.

After a player claims a route, they may place one of their city markers in either of the cities in the just completed route by playing a pair of cards of the same color (Locomotives can be used to replace one or both of these cards). Each city can only have one City Marker so two players cannot both con- trol the same city. Players will need to choose routes carefully, as every time a route is claimed that leads to a city controlled by one of their opponents the opponent will be the one to score the points.

What’s in the Box?

Volume 6 box contents include:

  • Maps of France and the Old West
  • 64 Track Pieces
  • A new set of trains
  • 18 Cities
  • Alvin the Alien Marker
  • Tickets & Rules for each Map

Rules are available now for both the France and Old West maps. The expansion will be available at Essen in late October and in early November in North America.

The Ticket to Ride Legacy
Released in 2004, Ticket to Ride is one of the biggest selling modern board game, and one with a rich legacy as an award winner. A select list of awards includes:

Blue Orange Games has two great new games coming in August 2017.

Following in the spirit of their Spiel winning Kingdomino, Fantastic Park by designer Brett J. Gilbert (Elysium) has 2-5 players using domino style tiles with one animal on each side to build a park. Whatever animals are left on your last remaining tile in hand are the animal types that score. Animals score according to the largest connected group of that type. If a player has a domino with matching ends in hand at game end, that animal type scores twice.

Photosynthesis has been getting a lot of buzz lately, and rightly so. Almost an abstract game, Photosynthesis has 2-4 players growing trees on a large hex grid board. Each turn, the sun moves around the periphery of the board, and trees will gather sun energy from that direction. Remember that larger trees will shade smaller trees, preventing the collection of energy. After collecting energy, players spend the sun to grow trees, plant new seeds, or complete the life cycle by removing large trees for points. The game lasts for 3 or 4 full revolutions of the sun around the board. Photosynthesis is a strategic balance of resource collection and spending, with gorgeous components and art by Sabrina Miramon (Quadropolis).

Through the Desert is a classic Reiner Knizia abstract game that has gotten some great reviews and sits at #15 for abstract games.  The game is exceedingly simple to play, on your turn you place two camels of any color you like.  When you place camels you have to match their color to ones already on the board, placing them adjacent to each other.  One restriction is that you can’t place ANY camels adjacent to your opponent’s camels, meaning you can cut off sections of the board with clever placement.

What you are trying to do with these camels is either connect or encircle the watering holes or oasis on the board.  Watering holes are worth 1 to 3 points and oasis are worth 5 points.  You also get bonus points for if you fully enclose an area by how big that area is.  Most points at the end is the winner.

Since this is a reprint of an older game, and part of Z-Man’s Euro Classics line, the art and components have been updated to match modern published games.  They did the usual revising of the rules to eliminate ambiguities, and even created a second side to the board for an additional way to play by adding in the Niger river.  Needless to say, if you like the original or like abstract games, give this one a look when it hits store shelves later this year.  For more info you can head on over to Z-Man’s website.

Ares Games has announced an expansion to their 2016 camp-horror-movie board game, Last Friday. Last Friday – Return to Camp Apache will add support for up to 7 players, with two controlling the evil Demon and the Maniac. The expansion will also sport a new board, 5 new characters including 2 special characters, the Marshall and the Witch, 2 new chapters, new clues and equipment. The original Last Friday chapters can also be played with the new goodies in a “Survival Horror” game mode which introduces some real time constraints.  Read more details in the Ares Games press release here.

Cool Mini or Not has announced Sherlook, a board game interpretation of the “difference between the pictures” puzzles from children’s magazines. In Sherlook, two nearly identical crime scene pictures are placed out, and players need to guess how many differences there are between the photos. When only one player is left, they only have 3 more seconds to make a guess. The game continues over 10 rounds, in which crime scene photos can be arranged in very different ways, adding to the difficulty.  Sherlook comes with “40 nearly identical crime scene photos”, stumps 2-6 players in about 20 minutes, and should be available now. You can read more about the game in the CMoN press release here.

Z-Man Games has announced the 2017 Carcassonne Big Box, which contains the original 2001 Spiel Winner, along with 11 of the most essential expansions. This compilation, actually the 6th big box for Carcassonne, contains the first two expansions, Inns & Cathedrals and Traders & Builders, considered indispensable. Also in the box are the mini-expansions Flying Machines, Messengers, Ferries, Gold Mines, Robbers, Mage & Witch, Abbot, River and Crop Circles. If this classic of modern board gaming has managed to escape your collection so far, this Big Box collection should be a must buy. You can read more details on the Z-Man website here.

Z-Man Games has released details about the upcoming game Majesty: For the Realm, a medieval themed card game by Marc André (Splendor) with art from Anne Heidsieck (Meeple War). In Majesty, 2-4 players play medieval rulers, using loyal subjects to produce goods, such as grain. Goods can then can be processed in different ways; grain can be sent to the Mill for flour, or the Brewer to make beer. Z-Man will be updating their website weekly with more information on the upcoming village builder.

You can read Z-Man’s press release here. Majesty: For the Realm is due to be released at Essen SPIEL 2017 in October.

Grail Games has just announced that they will be releasing an English language version of the popular 2013 Kosmos game Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road by Gerhard Hecht. Kashgar is a 2-4 player open deck building game, where players keep three stacks of cards (caravans), the top card of which is available to play. Each turn, players can activate the top card of a single caravan then move the card to the back of the stack. Actions include gaining new cards either blind from the deck or from the discards, and gaining or exchanging various resources. Resources include 5 types of spices and mules, which players use to fulfill contract cards in order to gain points.

Expect Kashgar in early 2018, and you can read Grail Games’ announcement here.

Stronghold Games has announced details on the Fast Forward™ Series which uses the new Fable Game™ system first introduced by Friedemann Friese in Fabled Fruit.

Fabled Fruit was the first in the series, and Stronghold has announced that Fortress will be the second game using the Fable system.

A great Fortress looms in the distance… and it must be yours! Accept the challenge against all others to conquer the Fortress! FORTRESS is a game about risk taking, out-witting and bluffing your friends to become the dominate ruler of the kingdom, and second in our Fast Forward™ Series .

No rulebook reading is necessary in the second game in the series. Put 2-4 gamers around a table and discover constantly changing rules while playing the game. Similar to Fabled Fruit a pre-sorted deck of cards slowly introduces new rules to the games. Through 12 games of Fortress gamers can explore the entire set of rules. Each game takes approximately 15 minutes. Once complete it can be reset to be played once again by the same group or a new set of gamers.

Fabled Fruit was the first of the Fable games, now referred to as the Fast Forward Series. In the series a game starts in an initial and very simple set of cards and rules but as you play through the game system both the mechanisms and gameplay evolve.

Playing through the game multiple times each play changes the game slightly. Unlike Legacy games the game is never permanently altered. At any point you may easily reset a Fable game from the beginning either after playing through the entire set of cards or at any point partway through the game.

Awards

Fabled Fruit, the first in the series, was shortlisted on for a variety of awards:

  • 2017 Spiel des Jahres Recommended List
  • 2016 Golden Geek Most Innovative Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Family Game Nominee
  • 2016 Golden Geek Best Card Game Nominee

Do you like clear water beaches, pools, diving, rock climbing, shows…? Ok, do you like board games? Well, the Dice Tower Cruise is for YOU! Last year was a blast! This year is geared to be even more fun with a second port stop planned. Like last year we will be stopping in Cozumel but this year we’ll be adding in a stop at Costa Maya!

The Dice Tower Cruise adds quite a few amenities not found on your run-of-the mill cruise. There are quite a few shows to check out, including game shows and the Dice Tower Live show. There’s a game room with a HUGE selection of all the newest games. The Dice Tower crew will be mingling around with plenty of opportunity to meet Tom, Eric, Sam, and Zee. We’ll be sailing in December and tickets are bound to go fast (we sold out last year). You can find out more information here.