Plaid Hat Games has announced Battlelands, a fast and furious card game for 3-5 players designed by Jerry Hawthorne (Mice & Mystics) and Andrea Mezzotero (Crystal Clans). In Battlelands, players send fighters to seize key locations, collect resources, or recruit more fighters. There are five factions to play – Junkers, Scaled Ones, Bighted, Hoodies, and the Nocturne – each with their own special abilities. The player who secures enough resources is the winner. Like Mice and Mystics, Battlelands features factions made up of mice, rats, lizards and moles, but the game is set in a modern world in which the human beings have vanished. This will be the same world used in another game by Jerry Hawthorn coming out later this year, Aftermath. Little is known about Aftermath at this time other than it will be an Adventure Book game like Mice and Mystics but set in a modern post-human world.
Look for Battlelands
at your friendly local game store in July, 2019.
In The Grimm Masquerade players have been invited by The Beast to his castle for a Masquerade. When they enter, they are magically transformed into the identity of another character from The Grimm Forest attending the party. Players need to use strategy and deduction to survive the night.
The goal of the game is to either collect 3 artifacts which are favorable to the character without being given 2 artifacts which are unfavorable, or be the only character left at the Masquerade. On each turn, each player will draw 2 artifacts, keep one for themselves, then give the other to another player. For example, if a player has the visage of Snow White but is actually the Evil Queen, they will try to collect mirrors. However, keeping mirror cards instead of passing them on could clearly indicate to other players the true identity of the player and they could be ousted (much to the delight of The Beast who enjoys this activity). Turning in 2 artifacts also activates special actions which provide great benefits in the game.
Players ousted early take on the role of a Ghost who gets to guess which character will win the magical Masquerade and will win alongside them if guessed correctly. The Ghost is also able to hand out artifacts to try and sway the results in their favor.
Fantasy Flight Games have announced a 160-card expansion for Star Wars: Destiny, the 2-player, collectible card game. In the game, players field a team of characters who each have unique abilities on their cards and an assortment of dice. The team is also supplemented by a constructed 30-card deck which has events, upgrades, and support characters. Players engage in combat by alternating actions such as activating dice, playing cards, attacking enemies, or claiming the battlefield.
“Even in the darkest of times, the spark of hope can be found in the Star Wars galaxy, lit by those who dream of a better life. In the era of the Clone Wars, Jedi like Obi-Wan Kenobi fought against the darkness of the Separatist army. Later, charismatic leaders like Jyn Erso and Luke Skywalker led a tiny band of Rebels against a Galactic Empire, and when the First Order rose to power, the Resistance stood up as the spark of hope that would burn it down.”[source]
The Star Wars: Destiny – Spark of Hope expansion continues themes introduced in the Convergence expansion, with an emphasis on sub types, downgrades, and new plots which affect deck construction. There are Red villain cards (such as Grand Admiral Thrawn) which deplete an opponent’s hand of cards, a new set of moves, new bounty hunters for Yellow villains, and masteries for Blue heroes (including Rey, and Kylo Ren). New, diceless characters (such as the Ewoks) are also introduced in this set.
Way back in 2005, Rob Heinsoo designed Three-Dragon Ante, a game for 2-6 players, based on the games of chance played by characters in the world of Dungeons & Dragons. He later updated the design in the form of Three-Dragon Ante: Emperor’s Gambit which had updated art and game play. In July of 2019, WizKids will release Three-Dragon Ante: Legendary Edition which updates the design even further and gives the game another graphical overhaul.
In Three-Dragon Ante, players ante gold as the stakes and compete to play the strongest flight of three cards each hand. While the strongest flight wins the stakes, playing weaker cards triggers their powers to potentially setup a win for the next hand. The game is designed for players aged 14+ and plays in about 30 mins.
The Legendary Edition includes new Legendary Dragons, Mortals, Gold and Platinum Pieces, and Ability Disks that allow the game to be included in the Dungeons & Dragons table top games.
“Every year on the summer solstice, the Fae arrive in the kingdom to take part in the festivities of the holiday. While the citizens celebrate the warmth and light of the season, a dark cloud of uncertainty creates a heavy tension within the palace. With the struggle for the throne still raging on, how much influence will the Fairy people have over who takes the crown?”[source]
Heart of Crown: Fairy Garden is a standalone expansion for Heart of Crown that was previously only available in Japanese from Japanime Games. The expansion will now be available in English and contains all the cards from the base game required to play on its own, as well as many new cards to expand the experience. This set may be integrated with the cards of the base game and with other Heart of Crown expansions.
In Heart of Crown, a deck-building card game, players are trying to get their anime princess crowned ahead of the competition by acquiring Succession Points that represent the support of loyal subjects and influential figures in the empire. Once a player achieves 20 points, they’re able to declare a Coronation. This expansion introduces 30 new card types into the market, new artwork, and new abilities from the fairy realm.
Heart of Crown: Fairy Garden will release early May of 2019.
Fans of small-box trick-taking game, The Fox in the Forest, who want to play with more than 2 players will be interested in Time Chase, which supports 3-6 players and plays in about 30 mins. Players have unlocked the secret to time travel but some of their less upstanding colleagues want to use the invention to travel back in time to take credit for the invention for themselves. Interesting mechanisms such as travelling back in time to previous tricks (called events) to change their outcome is possible. The first player to control three events in the timeline wins. Time Chase is designed by Jonathan Woodward with art by Allen Panakal.
In Artsee, players are curators at an art gallery which is expanding its collection. Each player has a gallery with four wings which need to have new exhibits added that provide experiences to match visitors’ expectations. Players seek to gain prestige which earns them the right to display prominent works and draw in more visitors. The curator with the most prestigious gallery wins. The game relies on card drafting and set collection mechanisms and is designed by J. Alex Kevern (known for Sentient and Passing Through Petra) with art by Janos Orban.
Both games are expected to release in August of 2019.
Stronghold Games have announced a new game designed by Uwe Rosenberg (known for Agricola) called Second Chance. Players fill in a garden, represented by a 9×9 grid on a sheet of paper, based on the shaped flower tiles which players draw as a group. While players initially start with a unique tile, the rest of the game has players drawing two tiles then filling in one of the commonly drawn tiles on their sheets. If players cannot fit the tile on their sheet, they’re eliminated from play. The last person standing is the winner. Second Chance supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in 10-15 mins. Art for the game is by Max Prentis (also known for Boldest).
In Subtext, players try to communicate with one another by drawing hints about the word on their card. At the start of the round, the dealer looks at the word on their card, adds it to the cards to be dealt to players, shuffles, then hands out the cards. The dealer then draws the picture matching the word and tries to get their “partner” to guess the word from the picture without the other players getting it right. Points for the dealer and partner are scored only if they’re the only ones to guess the word and recognize each other as a team. Other players score points for incorrect guesses. It’s designed by Wolfgang Warsch (known for The Mind, and The Quacks of Quedlinburg), with art by Studio Muti. Subtext is for 4-8 players, aged 10+, and plays in 20-40 mins.
Daily Magic Games are running a Kickstarter to expand Valeria: Card Kingdoms, and add a completely standalone dice game. Valeria: Card Kingdoms is designed by Isaias Vallejo, with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (a.k.a. The Mico), and is a tableau-building building game for 1-5 players. Players compete to earn the most Victory Points by recruiting citizens, buying domains to expand the kingdom, and vanquishing monsters who lay siege to the land.
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimsons Seas is a full expansion for the base game and adds maps to far-off lands beyond the borders of Valeria which allow players to import goods to increase victory points. There are also options to purchase Tomes of great power to augment resource production, or rescue captured Nobles, or plunder wealth from a cursed isle. Sea monsters impede travels and sow chaos across Valeria. The expansion adds new icons, tokens, card types, and mechanisms, in addition to adding new cards for all existing card types with a nautical theme.
Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Ward Towers is an expansion pack for the base game and lets players contribute towards building a Ward Tower which, when added to a row of monsters, reduces their cost to be slayed.
Corsairs of Valeria is a new, standalone dice game where 2-5 players are Corsairs who have set out to win a challenge to become the new Commodore. Players will sail the Valerian Isles to gather enough treasure to fill six treasure chests in order to meet the challenge. Players roll dice to determine available actions which allow them to earn silver, re-roll their dice, fire cannons to attack opponents or merchant ships, or move their ships forward. Curses can also be rolled which removes silver coins because they’re lost to Skull Island.
If you’re a fan of narrative driven games, historical themes, deck-building, punchy two-player experiences, or all of the above, you will be interested in Undaunted: Normandy coming this August from Osprey Games. It comes with some whopping credits behind it, designed by both David Thompson and Trevor Benjamin (both of whom created the recently popular War Chest) with art by Roland MacDonald (whose brilliant, sharp illustrations are featured in Western Legends and Stop Thief!). This campaign-style game follows the history of the US 30th Infantry Division, where one player operates a deck representing those US troops as they drive into occupied France, while the other player controls the German opposition. Both participants must manage troops, reinforcements, and casualties as they simulate this titanic point in WWII history through tactical choices and card play.
“Undaunted: Normandy is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. Use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. Strong leadership can turn the tide of battle in your favour, but reckless decisions could prove catastrophic, as every casualty you take removes a card from your deck.”
While there are no shortage of war games that are capable of providing a tension-filled window into the Invasion of Normandy, this is no-doubt a much faster, more personal approach. Where there is a lack of miniatures, there’s an excellent use of Roland McDonald’s work that provides fresh, evocative faces of the stakes both players know. It may not have an expansive spatial element to it, but the struggles your deck will go through should more than impress. If you’re interested in learning more about Undaunted: Normandy, check out Osprey Games’ website/blog for further reading and announcements.
Not to miss out on the blossoming digital games market like many of it’s kin, the award-winning Evolution from North Star Games is available now on Steam, iOS, and Android. This new desktop and mobile version boasts new artwork, animated cards and environments, a campaign mode with many A.I bosses, and all the same great gameplay that put Evolution on the map. Cross-platform multiplayer means you’ll be able to play anyone, anywhere, from any preferred device. After 4 years of development, North Star Digital Studios is confident they have made the experience as streamlined as possible so that online matches are ten minutes or less.
“Within moments of playing their first game, even new players will understand why the Evolution board game became an award-winning franchise with more than 1.6 million players around the world. Anyone can jump right into the diverse ecosystem on PC, Mac, iOS or Android.”
That’s not all though, as North Star Games is celebrating that launch in the best way manageable – by giving away 10 free copies of the physical edition of Evolution every day for 100 days since it’s launch. All you have to do to enter is play an online match each day to be eligible. It’s well worth it to not only support the game and it’s fresh online community, but to also snag some free games for you or your loved ones. If you’re interested in learning more about Evolution: The Video Game, or other North Star Games Products, be sure to visit the appropriateappstores or their website for photos, gameplay videos, and future updates.