Brass

“Struggle of Empires is set in the eighteenth century: an age of discovery and sail, a period of colonization and the beginnings of industrialization, and also a time of almost constant warfare in Europe and its far-flung colonies.”

Struggle of Empires (2004) is a highly regarded strategic wargame by master designer Martin Wallace (Brass, Railroad Tycoon, London) originally published by Warfrog/Treefrog Games. This classic game combined colonization-era war and area control with a simple ruleset, culminating in a satisfying heavy experience for the 2-7 players involved. Now, Eagle-Gryphon Games has a Kickstarter Campaign to bring their deluxe edition mastery to this masterpiece, much as they did for previous big box classics Vinhos and Empires: Age of Discovery.

Struggle of Empires contains several unique mechanisms which has kept this game consistently on people’s top lists for the past 15 years. The game takes place over 3 wars, each lasting 5-6 rounds, wherein players compete for control of Europe and the burgeoning colonies. An auction phase exists before each war which forces players into unlikely alliances, making it impossible to fight certain opponents. A large and varied tile set awards special abilities and bonuses. Additionally, the dice based battle system uses the differences in pairs of thrown dice to add power, a relatively unused but interesting mechanic.

The Deluxe Kickstarter edition of Struggle has new variations from Martin Wallace, and new art from João Tereso, the artist behind the beautiful Railways of Portugal (2019). The original rulebook, which was a bit confusing, has been completely redone including multiple game play examples. A myriad of beautiful wooden components fill the box, including over 150 units and over 200 wooden control and alliance markers. The game also contains a large and re-imagined game board, over 50 thick cardboard action tiles, cloth bags, dice, and a wooden gavel for the auction. The Kickstarter Campaign for Struggle of Empires continues through August 30, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2020.

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

Roxley Game Laboratory has given Martin Wallace’s Brass (2007) a beautiful makeover and is offering this popular gem, now known as Brass: Lancashire, along with a new sequel, Brass: Birmingham, on Kickstarter. Brass is well known as one of the best economic strategy games, consistently ranking in the top 25 games on Boardgamegeek. This new edition sports fantastic new artwork, high quality components, and new improved rules for lower player counts. The sequel, Brass: Birmingham, takes place during the Canal Era, has a dynamic board setup, new industries, actions and mechanics.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Brass continues through May 11, and is expected to deliver in January 2018.

brass

Roxley Games, the publishers of popular games such as Steampunk Rally and Super Motherload, have announced a new agreement with veteran board game designer Martin Wallace for the right to reprint his classic economic game Brass. While the details of the agreement have not yet been finalized, the new version of the game is intended to launch on Kickstarter sometime in quarter 2 or 3 of 2016 and will include new artwork, deluxe component upgrades and a completely new map, developed in cooperation with Wallace. The new map will be set in the Birmingham area and feature new industries such as breweries as well as some new rules and mechanisms.

After the Kickstarter is fulfilled, the game will also be made available in stores, including all the new game content, but without the deluxe component upgrades.

Read the full announcement here.

brass

An announcement was made by Ralph Anderson, on BoardGameGeek forums, stating that the dispute over Brass rights (between designer Martin Wallace and publishing company Eagle Gryphon Games) is over and that Wallace now owns rights for said game.

The dispute largely became public after Wallace posted, on his Treefrog Games website, the matter of the dispute over who held rights. After “too many to count” threads on BGG initiated by users and even the parties involved, came to light the dispute seemed to be centered around the belief that Wallace believed said rights had been transferred back to him due to breach of contract issues while EGG believed no breach had been made and they were legal owners of the Brass rights. Each side was quite vocal in their views.

Those that are fans of the game will be happy to know that Brass was recently released on iOS and is available for download and play here.

Originally published in 1973 and designed by Pat Reid, the man who lived through the events of the game, and writer Brian Degas, the writer who made a TV series about Pat, Escape from Colditz is a roll and move style game with some card drafting where you are either a prisoner trying to escape, or a guard trying to keep them in.  Escape from Colditz  is often touted as the greatest board game in British history and so when Osprey Games had the opportunity to publish it, they jumped at the chance.  Now, 75 years after the events of the game, Osprey is going to release the 75th anniversary edition with a whole new look illustrated by Peter Dennis, who illustrated Brass and A Few Acres of Snow, and additional wooden bits that are replicas of artifacts from Brian’s collection about Pat.  The planned release date is October 2016 so we have a ways to go, hopefully they will let us in on the process as they go along.  For now, here is the press release from Osprey Games.

Osprey To Publish Escape from Colditz 75th Anniversary Edition

Coming in October 2016, Osprey Games will be releasing the 75th Anniversary Edition of Escape From Colditz! Designed by Pat Reid, a British officer who escaped from the Colditz prisoner-of-war camp during World War II, and Brian Degas, writer of the iconic TV series based on Pat’s escape, it is often named as one of the greatest board games in British history.

This edition, published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of Pat Reid’s escape, will feature completely new artwork painted by fan-favourite historical artist, Peter Dennis. Along with a complete set of wooden pieces, the box will include replicas of prisoner-of-war artefacts from Mr. Degas’ extensive collection!

Duncan Molloy, Osprey Games Developer, said:
One of my main goals since joining Osprey Games was to bring this game back into print. It’s not just an iconic piece of game design, but an important touchstone in the history of British games and toys. I’ve been working closely with the original designer, Brian Degas, to ensure that this is the definitive edition of the game.

Philip Smith, Osprey Games Manager, added:
Osprey Publishing has been creating highly illustrated military history books for four decades. The chance to bring all of that expertise to bear on one of the best-loved and most-respected military-themed board games is too good an opportunity to miss.

Escape from Colditz, 75th Anniversary Edition will be published October 2016 and

Treefrog_uwaeop

As of August 25th, Treefrog Games made an announcement on their website that they will cease their publishing of games.  But don’t fret if you like their style games, they fully intend to continue designing games but they will be using other companies to have them published.  The reasons for this change are many, but the main one they give is the cost of operating the company from New Zealand.   This means that their newest game, A Handful of Stars, will be the last game published under the Treefrog name and will hopefully be released in the first half of 2016.  Also, a new kickstarter edition of Brass will be published, but not by Treefrog, so they are in negotiations currently to see who we be publishing it.