Calliope Games are releasing a number of games from some very accomplished designers through the 2nd quarter of 2019.
“Ahoy, captain. Set sail for fun, adventure, and riches! Your savvy crew does your bidding, stacking your hold with the most profitable crates. Will you choose glittering treasure, colossal cannons, or perhaps some risky—but lucrative—contraband? Outwit and outbid all others to earn the biggest bounty…but above all, keep everything ShipShape!” [source]
ShipShape is a new game by the legendary designer, Rob Daviau (known for Betrayal at House on the Hill, and Pandemic Legacy), which has each player controlling a ship over the course of 3 voyages. During the voyages (rounds), players bid using numbered crew cards to claim unique crate tiles off the central stack. They then fill their holds with gold, cannons, and contraband, and cover up what they don’t want. At the end of each voyage, coins are scored when players compare what’s visible in their holds against each other. The player with the most scored coins at the end of the game wins. ShipShape caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 20-50 mins.
Everyone Loves a Parade
“Everyone loves a parade! It’s a beautiful day, and your hometown is excited to watch all the fun, pageantry, and spectacle of the event! But first, the floats that will thrill the crowd must be built…and the one who crafts the most exciting floats will become the Grand Marshall!” [source]
In Everyone Loves a Parade, designed by the seasoned designer Mike Mulvihil (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana), players act as float designers. They select colorful decoration cards (flowers, balloons, and flags) to add to their floats and win over the crowd. The crowd is represented by dice showing colors and items they wish to see. Decoration cards allow immediate actions which allows players to move or re-roll crowd dice. Players reveal their secret order cards at the end of each round, which allows them to perform one last action, then enter their completed float into the parade in front of a crowd. Players gain points for giving the crowd what they want, and the player with the highest score after 3 rounds wins and becomes the Grand Marshal. Everyone Loves a Parade caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in approximately 20-50 mins.
“Direct a vast network of spies all around the world! As the head of a clandestine spy agency, gather intelligence files that have been strategically divided, and use them to maneuver your agents across the globe and accomplish daring missions. Along the way, uncover secret directives and powerful spy gadgets to give your agency the advantage over your rivals. The mission awaits, spymaster!” [source]
Players are in control of intelligence agencies and manipulate their spies all over the world in SpyMaster, designed by Seth Johnson (known for HeroClix, and Golem Arcana). A spymaster deals intelligence cards into stacks of files then, in clockwise order, lets players choose a stock from them using the I-split-you-choose mechanism. The intelligence cards players gather allows them to move agents into position to control areas which meet mission requirements, then claim mission cards. After 5 rounds, the player with the highest value of accomplished missions, along with any bonuses from intelligence cards remaining, wins. SpyMaster caters for 2-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30-60 mins.
Senators, by Indie Boards & Cards (originally released in 2017 by La Mame Games), is an adversarial, bidding game where players are leaders of one of the factions in the city of Rome. It’s designed by Haig Tahta, and Rikki Tahta (known for Coup), with art by Andrew Higgins (also known for Coup), and Pascal Quidault (known for Splendor, and Time Stories).
In the late Republican period of Rome, players compete for power in the Senate. They increase their wealth by buying up resources, then use their position to sell them to the state for profits. Players use the cash to “buy” more Senators (thereby controlling more votes in the Senate), support wars, and defend against aggressive bids. Since Rome is constantly in conflict, the Senate will choose to centralize power and appoint a single leader who will be appointed as Caesar. The game lasts a variable number of turns and ends when the 4th war is revealed. The winner is the player who has the faction with the most control over the Senate at that point.
Senators can be played by 3-5 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45-60 mins. It’s expected to release towards the end of March 2019.
Flotsam Fight, by Oink Games, has players taking the role of explorers who are trying to survive their ship sinking after a massive storm hits them. The explorers try to save the treasure they amassed before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean, by loading it onto a lifeboat.
Players are dealt treasure cards which each have a value and the number of lifeboats they can occupy. Treasure can only be loaded onto the lifeboat if its value is higher than existing treasure in the boat. The player who can load all their treasure into the lifeboats wins the game.
Flotsam Fight is designed by Tomoyuki Maruta, is for 3-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30 mins. You can watch The Dice Tower’s own Zee Garcia’s review for more information. It’s expected release date is February 20th, 2019.
In Mage Wars Academy, published by Arcane Wonders, 2-4 players are mages who have completed their studies and will battle mages from rival schools in head-to-head combat. In the latest expansion, a new student has enrolled at the academy who wields the power of legions of the undead as the Necromancer. He can summon skeletons, mummies, and other foul spells which can rend souls from the weak.
The expansion comes with 72 spell cards, game markers, and rules, and all cards are compatible with the Mage Wars Academy and Mage Wars Arena games.
Mage Wars Academy: The Necromancer will release in April of 2019.
Pocket Box Games, as they sound, are games designed for and packaged in small plastic boxes that are easily transported so you can bring them with you anywhere. How big are the boxes? They measure a mere 4.25 inches in one direction, 7.25 inches in the other, and only 2 inches thick. This puts it in the same size class as the Tiny Epic series of games, meaning they will be highly portable and you could easily bring several of them without much effort. But enough about the box, what about the games?
The games they are packaging in these boxes are what really bring back the 80’s as they are reprinting classic SJG titles for these boxes. The initial titles (not including stretch goals) are Illuminati, Ogre, GEV, Battlesuit, Car Wars, Truck Stop, and Crash City. Also since they are wanting to really relive the time, they are making minimal to no additions or changes to these games so they will play like they did back in the day, although with a “2019 Reproduction” stamp on components so you can tell editions apart. However, they did depart from the original in one way, and that’s the price. Each pocket box game will cost you $20 plus shipping, with discounts for buying in sets of 4. Also available are just empty pocket boxes themselves, that way if you have the original but the box is beat up and busted, you can just get the new and improved box at $10 per pair of boxes.
So if you are looking for some gold from Steve Jackson Games’ past in a brand new box, check out the Kickstarter page today!
Osprey Games is publishing Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game, a two-player co-operative card game set during the events of Kingdom of Ash, the epic climax to Sarah J. Maas’ bestselling seven-book Throne of Glass series.
Two players must work together to delve into the memories of the young queen, Aelin Galathynius, as she faces one of the toughest challenges of her life. Imprisoned and tortured, Aelin must ignite the embers of her memory and face her inner demons before she is overwhelmed. With each victory the players achieve, the story unfolds and the difficulty increases.
Speaking about the project, author Sarah J. Maas said, “I am so excited to see the Throne of Glass series brought to life in an all-new medium! Coralie Jubénot’s art for the game is beyond incredible, and I can’t wait to sit down and play!”
The game design is by Kuro, a Japanese game designer, known for The Ravens of Thri Sahashri, The Terrifying Girl Disorder and Seventh Hero with stunning, newly-commissioned artwork from Coralie Jubénot.
Sarah J. Maas is a #1 New York Times and internationally bestselling author.
Embers of Memory: A Throne of Glass Game is planned to release in October.
Now on Kickstarter is a new, updated edition of Tom Lehmann’s The City, in English for the first time.
This 2-5 player simultaneous play game plays in 20-30 minutes as players act as rival builders competing to build the best city made up of homes, airports, malls, etc. and score the most victory points. A new card, The Factory, adds a new strategy, and 5 new cards have been added, as well as victory point tokens for better scoring.
Exclusively for Kickstarter, backers will also receive a free bonus expansion not in the retail version, that adds 33 more cards and expands the game to 6 players.
You can find out more about the Kickstarter here
Stone Blade Entertainment and UltraPRO have teamed up again to produce another game designed by Justin Gary: RingMaster: Welcome to the Big Top. The trio have worked together on the hugely popular Ascension: The Deckbuilding Game and Shards of Infinity.
In RingMaster, players compete to build the most successful circus by playing cards from their hands to gather the biggest stars and dazzling attractions to attract the largest audience. Players can also play cards to sabotage an opponent’s circus. The Big Top deserves big cards – premium, thick, Tarot-sized cards illustrated by Rod Mendez.
RingMaster: Welcome to the Big Top plays 2-4 players, ages 13+, in about 10 minutes. Contents include 34 Tarot -sized cards, a large carrying pouch, and rule sheet. RingMaster is available for preorder now, or look for the game at your friendly local game store in April 2019
Coming in February from Grey Fox Games is Bushido, a two-player head-to-head game that uses both cards and dice. Players will pick a weapon and train before heading to the dojo for an all-stakes battle. The game uses attack, evade and life dice as well as technique and weapon cards to simulate the duel. It is for ages 10 and up and has a play time of 30 minutes.
An expansion is also slated that will add rage dice to the mix, and also includes 23 new technique cards and 8 weapons cards.
WizKids has announced Kibble Scuffle, a cat themed card game for 2 to 4 players. In Kibble Scuffle, each player receives a deck of cards comprised of different types of cats (think tom cat or fat cat, not calico or Siamese). On their turn, a player will play one of the cat cards from their hand to one of three food bowl locations on the table. Each cat type has a different attribute which manipulates how the card interacts with other cards, location around food bowls or how much food they receive when it is time to eat. At any point there are five or more cats at a given food bowl, the placement of cats is paused and the food at that bowl is distributed to cats based on turn order and attributes of the cats at the given location. Food cubes placed in the bowl location during the game are drawn from the box and vary in point value based on color.
There are also some items cards in each player’s deck which can be used as one-time effects. The game’s rule book also lists a few gameplay variants. No specific release date for Kibble Scuffle was given, only that it is “coming soon.” You can learn more about the game on the publisher’s product page, or read the announcement here.
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