Dice Tower Newsletter

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Steve Jackson Games has announced Munchkin Spell Skool, a new munchkin game with art by Katie Cook (Munchkin Puppies, Munchkin Kittens) coming to Walgreens. In Munchkin Spell Skool, 3-4 players take on the familiar wizards-in-a-school trope, joining the Chess Club, Potion Club, or Forbidden Magic Club, or using their starter wand to fight off baddies such as Rap Scallions or Moldy Mort. This new Munchkin Game even made it into Forbes magazine, featuring the trend of board games expanding into new stores.

You can read the Munchkin Spell Skool press release from Steve Jackson Games here.

IDW Games has secured the rights to publish board games based on the popular Nickelodeon show The Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender. The first game under the new agreement will be The Legend of Korra: Pro-bending Arena, designed by Sen-Foong Lim (Belfort, Akrotiri) and Jessey Wright (Pocket Adventure). Pro-bending Arena will try to encapsulate the pro-bending sport found in season one of the television show, focusing on the rivalry between the Future Industry Fire Ferrets and the White Falls Wolfbats. Two players will each choose a team, draft cards and construct elemental tokens around the board to overwhelm their opponent.

The Legend of Korra: Pro-bending Arena is due to hit Kickstarter Summer 2017.

Iello has announced a new card game called Sentai Cats, and they are doing little to hide where they got their inspiration from.  In Sentai Cats you are a team of cats who have been living a good life, but then Mecha Dog attacks and threatens to destroy the catnip factory.  But the cats will have none of that, so they start training to be able to transform into Sentai Cats!  Be the first to train your cats into powerful warriors for good, and you will be the winner.  Not much else has been said about the game, but I am sure we will find out more as it’s September release date draws closer.

 

Themeborne has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Escape the Dark Castle, a cooperative tabletop dice and card game for 1-4 players. Escape the Dark Castle has fantastic black and white art reminiscent of the old school fantasy art of the 80’s, best represented by the drawings in the original Dungeons and Dragons books. In Escape the Dark Castle, players choose characters, each with a custom set of dice, with faces representing might, cunning and wisdom. As a team, the players turn over Chapter Cards, showing combinations of dice faces that must be rolled and overcome. The players then contribute from their dice pool, matching the specific challenge symbols. Any dice not removed from the Chapter Cards by players then get an opportunity to attack back. Escape the Dark Castle is easy to learn, the Chapter Cards give endless variety, and a game can be played in 30 minutes.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Escape the Dark Castle continues through June 30, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

Gen Con is fast approaching and so new game announcements are going to be ramping up, and here we have three games coming from dV Giochi.  The first is BANG! Armed and Dangerous, an expansion to the card game that will bring some fresh new mechanics into the game to make it even more interesting.  In this expansion you will get the usual extra characters, but also now there are Dangerous cards with special abilities on them.  These Dangerous cards have to be loaded ahead of time before being used so you will know it’s coming, but the question will be can you stop it?  Find out at Gen Con.

Next up is another set being added to the Dark Tales line, this time adding on the fairy tale of The Little Mermaid.  Dark Tales: The Little Mermaid will add more cards to the game, giving you more opportunities to combo them together and score big points.  But in addition to that, they are also adding a Sea Pact deck that contains 20 cards giving you new ways to score points.  So if you want to add even more variety to you Dark Tales games, look for this expansion at Gen Con.

Finally dV Giochi will be debuting two games in their pocket room escape series, Deckscape, with Deckscape: Test Time and Deckscape: The Fate of London.  Both will feature you solving riddles and puzzles in a deck of cards as you try to solve the final riddle and escape.  In Test Time you have been selected by Dr. Thyme to help him with his inventions, but only if you can pass the test by escaping from his laboratory.  The Fate of London has you working as an investigator, trying to find all the bombs hidden in London before they go off and cause all sorts of chaos.  Give both of these games a try at Gen Con, and you can read below the press release from dV Giochi on all these games.

PRESS RELEASE

New releases at Gen Con 2017

 dV Giochi will once again exhibit at this year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis—the biggest U.S. boardgame fair! The dV Giochi booth is number 2843, in the Exhibit Hall.

During the show, dV Giochi will premiere two games from the Deckscape series, the deduction card game 3 Secrets, a new expansion for the world-famous card game BANG!—Armed and Dangerous—and an expansion for the Dark Tales card game—The Little Mermaid.

BANG! Armed & Dangerous

This upcoming new expansion for the BANG! card game holds many surprises, deadly weapons, powerful gear, and lethal ammo: the new Dangerous cards. It also features 8 new skillful Gunslingers.

During the game, you can add Load tokens to your Dangerous cards and your character, which you can use to activate your Dangerous cards, use the abilities of some characters, or to upgrade the effects of some brown-bordered cards! To reload a Dangerous card, you have to play a blue-bordered card or discard a card from your hand at the end of your turn. Then it will be ready to unleash on your rivals! 

  • Game idea: Emiliano Sciarra
  • No. of players: 4-7
  • Ages: 8-99
  • Artwork: Stefano Landini
  • Language: Italian and English

DARK TALES – The Little Mermaid

The Dark Tales card game series keeps growing! This time, players will be immersed in the ocean depths, experiencing the adventures of The Little Mermaid.

From the old Sea King to the graceful Prince, from the loving sisters to the perfidious Sea Witch: in the world of Dark Tales, new characters appear to create new and unexpected combinations!

This expansion includes a deck of 20 Sea Witch Pacts. Pact cards offer a new way to score Victory Points, draw cards, or gain other benefits, but each one comes at a price!

You will also find two new setting cards which can be used with any Dark Tales game to make each play different and engaging.

  • Game idea: Pierluca Zizzi
  • No. of players: 2-4
  • Ages: 14-99
  • Artwork: Dany Orizio
  • Language: English

DECKSCAPE Test Time

DECKSCAPE The Fate of London

Deckscape is a series of cooperative games inspired by real Escape Rooms, where a group of people are “trapped” inside a room full of puzzles and odd items.

The first title in the game series is Deckscape: Test Time: You have been selected by Doctor Thyme. If you are able to pass his exam and exit his Laboratory, you’ll get a unique chance to help him on his newest and greatest invention!

This game will be available in the U.S. for the first time at Gen Con.

The brand-new title in this “pocket escape room” series is Deckscape: The fate of London: A terrible threat hangs over London, and the Crown of England needs your help! Your mission is to find four devices hidden in secret locations and defuse them before midnight. A single mistake and the situation could degenerate quickly…

Deckscape: The Fate of London will make its international debut at Gen Con.

  • Game idea: Martino Chiacchiera and Silvano Sorrentino
  • No. of players: 1-6
  • Ages: 12-99
  • Artwork: Alberto Bontempi
  • Language: English

3 Secrets

3 Secrets is the new cooperative card game for aspiring detectives. The goal of the game is to unravel the three secrets of an unresolved case before time runs out.

One of the players takes on the role of an informant who knows the truth about the case: they know which secrets need to be discovered, and try their best to help the others guess them correctly. But the clock is ticking and clues are scarce. You must question the informant to gather useful information and find the solutions. If you grope around in the dark, the informant can reveal an important clue but this will cost you precious time! Use your best observing eye, lateral thinking, and deduction skills to unravel all the mysteries of the ambiguous characters that populate this game.

3 Secrets comes with a free app available for download at the Apple AppStore and on Google Play.

This game will be offered for the first time in the U.S. at Gen Con.

 About dV Giochi

The Italian company, founded in 2001, is fully committed to publishing and distributing board games and card games worldwide. Its games, with the dV Giochi brand, have won great acclaim in Italy and abroad: the most famous dV Giochi card game, BANG! is considered an “evergreen” in the game market.

Kickstarter just launched a new way to find projects they like with the ‘Kickstarter Gold’ label, so lets get to some projects that may not be gold, but are at least silver.

First up is a board game based in the popular 7th Sea RPG setting and that is War of the Cross. War of the Cross is a “dudes on a map” type game similar to Risk, but plays very differently in that negotiation and alliances are key parts of the game.  Each round has five steps to it beginning with negotiation, then orders, alliances, movement and battle, and finally spoils.  Negotiation is where everyone at the tables negotiates and discusses the moves they will make on the board, this includes forming alliances verbally for that turn.  From that phase you then place your orders secretly under your units and pick who you will ally with that round.  If you both pick each other then you ally, fighting together as well as making it impossible to attack each other for that round.  The fighting is deterministic with the army committing the most supplies being the winner.  Winning the fights get you territories, points, and more supplies to use in later fights or to bid on story cards that give you special powers.  First player to 25 points is the winner.  So if this style of game sounds interesting, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Next we have a cooperative miniatures game called Human Interface – Be a Better Human.  This is both a stand alone game and an expansion to a previously Kickstarted game called Human Interface – Nakamura Tower.  This new game maintains the cyberpunk setting and has you trying to escape form a black site prison that you were all thrown into.  You will have to work together and fight both on the physical and the virtual fronts as you try to overcome the defenses and modified cyber soldiers blocking your way.  Through the use of adrenaline cards to perform spectacular feats, and ‘Can Do’ cards to resolve battles, Be a Better Human is shaping up to be an interesting game.  If you like this kind of cooperative style dungeon crawl game, check out the Kickstarter campaign today.  And you can even back for an additional expansion module called Blood on the Floor for more characters, monsters, and tiles.

Looking for a light-hearted 4x game that is all about rabbits, well then Rabbit Island might be what you are looking for.  The game plays out in three phases which have you exploring and laying out new tiles, building to convert camps into towns and cities, and finally scoring for what you conquered.  The exploring part of the game is typical tile laying, but the tiles are uniquely shaped which allow for easy recognition of where you can place them, as the sides of the tile have to fit together path to path.  Building has you playing cards to move and spending carrot tokens to build towns and cities.  Did you run out of carrot tokens?  Then stop by event spaces or carrot patches to refill on those all important tokens.  In the conquer phase you will earn points for the towns you built and at the end you earn bonus points for the most carrots and the biggest harvest field.  So if you are in the mood for this kind of 4x experience, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Up next is not a game, but a book about gaming called GameTek: The Book.  Listeners of The Dice Tower will no doubt recognize that the book is named after the segment put out by friend of the Dice Tower, Geoff Engelstein.  This book compiles ten years of the GameTek segments into one single place, updating and illustrating them, creating a bit of a board game reference book on the math and science of gaming.  The book will be broken up into seven sections; Game Theory, Math, Psychology, Science, Game Mechanics, Psychology Games, and History, with essays and examples of each.  So if you want to support an exceptional member of the board gaming community, or if you can’t get enough of the math and science of board games, check out the Kickstarter today!

Last for have a project that has been certified as Kickstarter Gold, and that is Rival Realms, a two player variation on the deck building game Fantastiqa.  The art of the game carries over with very whimsical and magical depictions of things, but the game itself is now very different.  Gone is the focus on deck building and now the focus is squarely on the exploration aspect the bigger game offered.  On your turn you can use cards to either discover new areas, or to explore an area on the board already.  But exploring comes with a drawback because you have to discard cards into your opponents discard in order to do so, giving them access to cards they may not have had before.  There are also quests that you are working towards and the first person to achieve the quest gets to take the card, the second person to achieve it gets nothing.  Play keeps going until all the quests have been claimed, and then whoever has the most points is the winner.  Check out the Kickstarter page if this sounds like a good two-player game for you.

Magic the Gathering is going to be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary next year and so there are lots of new things coming down the pipe in celebration.  To kick it off they have their Community Mananger Nate Price interview several folks about the upcoming Hour of Devastation and Ixalan sets that will be releasing in July and September respectively.  Also being announced are:

To read the full announcement you can head over to the Magic the Gathering site to help stoke that hype train for all these upcoming releases.

As convention season is in full swing, new game announcements are going to be coming fast, so lets get to it.  First up is a new expansion to add to the innovative card crafting game, Mystic Vale, called Mystic Vale: Mana Storm.  This expansion continues the trend of adding more of what you want, more cards, leaders, and advancements, while still adding something new to the game.  This time around it’s leaders that can be upgraded, giving them more powerful abilities, and amulet tokens which are just like mana tokens except that have unique powers associated with them.  So if you enjoy Mystic Vale, I am sure this expansion will just make the game that much better.  Look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next is a monster pack for the second edition of King of Tokyo featuring King Kong.  While this isn’t as exciting, except for the fact you can have a three way monkey showdown now, what is also coming in the box is a new way to win the game.  What way is that you ask?  Well, I don’t know, but we will all find out when this pack hits stores in October of this year.

Next we have the big box expansion for Legends of Andor that finishes out the epic story, Legends of Andor: The Last Hope.  Krahder has ended his raid, and in the process has kidnapped many of the citizens of Andor, so it is up the heroes to rescue them.  They will venture beyond the Gray Mountains to fight the hordes of skeleton warriors with Krahder leading them.  Eventually you will work your way to Krahder himself to defeat him once and for all, bringing the overarching story of Legends of Andor to it’s conclusion.  While the German version of the game has been released, the English version of the game will be released in October of this year.

After that is the latest set in the BattleCon series and that is BattleCon: Trials of Indines from Level 99 Games.  This set brings an additional 10 fighters into the game with more new combos, moves, and strategies to give you greater variety in your BattleCon games.  This game was previously Kickstarted back in October of last year, and so this year will see it’s fulfillment to backers, and retail release.  No firm date yet is given but they do expect the game to ship this year to both backers and retailers, so look forward to it.

Finally we have an expansion to the popular tile based Cthulhu war game, Shadows over Nomandie, called Desert Wrath.  In this set it takes you out of the typical theaters of war for the time and sends you to Egypt.  There you will “follow the adventures of the Section M and accompany Captain Harris Badger and the Corporal Akhee Singh in their fight against the Black Sun in search of the legendary city of Irem“.  This expansion includes the new Section M faction as well as the typical new units, spells, heroes, etc. that you come to expect in a big box expansion.  So if you enjoy the game, and don’t mind the change of scenery, then this expansion will just bring more variety and replayability to the game.  Check your local game store in late July for this expansion.

That isn’t a typo in the title, Z-Man Games has announced a new game called Junggle, with two G’s, designed by Bruno Faidutti and Anja Wrede.  This game promises to give you five games in one using just a deck of cards and a single card showing the hierarchy of all the animals.  With these two components they have come up with different styled games, like a push your luck game called King of the Jungle.  In this variation you have cards out on the table face down, and one by one you will look at face down cards on your turn.  What you are doing is trying to figure out what animal will be left that is highest up in the hierarchy.  This is hard to figure out because animals are scared away by the things directly above them on the hierarchy, so those top animals may be scared off and left with someone near the middle of the ladder.  Either way if you manage to figure it out first, you win.

Another variation is a bluffing style game called Jungle Party.  In this version of the game you have two face-up cards, constituting your party, and two cards in your hand.  On your turn you draw a card and then pass one of your three hand cards to another player face down.  They then have to decide to keep it or give it back to you, and whichever choice is made, the recipient has to flip the card and add it to their party.  Like before if the animal is directly above them in the hierarchy they will be scared off or scare off other members of your party.  First person to collect five of the same animal at the end of their turn is the winner.

So that is two out of the five possible variations, and more will be revealed on the Z-Man Games website as the release date gets closer.

Asmodee has posted detailed information about Cities of Splendor, the long awaited first expansion to their 2014 mega-hit and multiple award winner, Splendor. Designer Marc Andre and Space Cowboys are back at it in Cities of Splendor, which actually includes 4 mini-expansions: The Cities, The Trading Posts, The Orient and The Strongholds.

  • The Cities replaces Nobles Tiles with double-sided City Tiles, which functionally act the same, but unlike the Nobles players must claim a City Tile in order to win the game.
  • The Trading Post adds some engine building to Splendor by adding the Route to the Orient board. On this board, players can claim achievements, gaining special abilities such as additional Prestige Points, or the ability to claim more gems.
  • The Orient adds 30 new Developments Cards, which add unique new powers. These new Orient cards sit alongside the normal Development Cards, giving tons of new options.
  • Finally, The Strongholds adds a new mechanism to Splendor increasing player interaction. Players now have plastic Stronghold Towers which reserve a Development Card for their own exclusive purchase. When a player claims a Development Card, they may also either place a Stronghold, or remove an opponents’ Stronghold. Additionally, if all 3 of your Strongholds sit on the same card, you may claim it by right of conquest!

Cities of Splendor will be released at GenCon 2017, and will be in stores the same week (August 17-20). You can read Asmodee‘s press release here.