Dice Tower Newsletter

card game

In the competitive card game sphere there are two styles of play that reward skill and deck construction more than just having the best cards, draft play and sealed play.  These types of matches have been going on for a long time with Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic, and EPIC the Card Game, so having a collectible style game without it just feels incomplete.  Well now Star Wars Destiny will get that format now with the latest announced set, Rivals, which includes 20 cards that straddle the line between good and evil.

With this set and a handful of booster packs, you will be able play in either style format and be able to construct some solid decks of cards and dice.  Some of the set’s highlights include Anakin Skywalker, Conflicted Apprentice, whose ability differs based on if you discard a hero or villain card, and  Ketsu Onyo, Black Sun Operative, who allows you to save a weapon before it gets discarded.  These and many other cards will not only allow you to play in these new styles, but will bolster your decks in regular play as well.  Look for Rivals to hit shelves in 2018, and you can read more about it on the FFG website.

Like with any good living card game, you need to keep bringing out more content in order to keep things fresh and in the case of Legend of the 5 Rings, keep the story moving forward.  So it comes as no surprise that Fantasy Flight Games has announced the Imperial Cycle for the Legends of the 5 Rings LCG, but with a major difference.

That difference is that the six new packs will be released over the span of six weeks, instead of six months like normal.  At the same time the narrative of the L5R story is going to be expanded over those same six weeks, following the events in Rokugan in almost real time if you get the packs as they release.  This will shake things up and change the landscape of the card game in a matter of days instead of weeks.  At the end, there will be lots of new cards for each of the factions, and of note is that there will be cards specific to the role you choose, whether you are a Seeker or a Keeper.  You can preview some of the cards and read more about this event on the FFG website, and look for the packs to start appearing on store shelves in early November.

All three of these games have had many expansions already put out for them, so publishers figured that some more would be just what people want.  First on the list is the Omens of the Pharaoh expansion for the dice game Elder Sign.  What is interesting about this expansion is that it started as an expansion for the digital game only, but proved popular enough to be brought to the physical game as well.  This new expansion will be a new adventure deck to the game of all new horrors you have to face, this time against an Egyptian back drop.  One thing that does work in your favor is that this expansion will bring artifacts into the game, giving you a leg up by being able to re-roll dice without spending clues.  You can read more about the expansion on the FFG website, and look for this release on store shelves in the first quarter of 2018.

Next are two more characters to add to the already long list of characters trying to drink each other under the table at the Red Dragon InnAllies: Adonis vs. The Lich King brings the hunky bard and the undead fiend into the game.  Adonis will be another character you can play as, with several musical instruments at your disposal to either lull your opponents to sleep, or bash them over the head.  Either way you can carry a tune and looking to take everyone else down.  The Lich King is a new boss, and by far the most defensive boss, that you and all your friends can “fight” against.  He brings a lot of magical prowess to the table so you will have to dodge his spells and strike when the time is right to keep him from drinking you all under the table.  Look for this expansion to hit shelves in January of 2018.

And finally, we have some upcoming releases for the Hero Realms deck building game.  First of those is a new campaign box called The Ruin of Thandar, which turns this competitive game into a cooperative adventure style deck building game.  You will be working together with your friends to defeat these new evils, acquiring experience points and better cards as you go along until you can defeat the final boss.  Look for this in the last quarter of this year.

The other two expansion are boss decks which add new characters that you can play as to the game.  One is the Dragon Boss Deck and the other is the Lich Boss deck, each giving you a full starting deck for the respective bosses, allowing you to play as them instead of a hero.  Look for both of these to hit stores in the fourth quarter of this year.

Arcadia Studio has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Animagicians, a fantasy card game of bluffing and wizardry for 1-6 players. Players take on the roles of Dark Seekers, each with their own special abilities, trying to cage the souls of attacking monsters within the enchanted manor. Each round monsters appear in the manor, each one targeted to a specific player. The Dark Seekers then place elemental spells face down in front of them, knowing that each monster requires a specific combination of elements to be defeated. In turn order, players reveal their spells, and pick which monsters on the table they attack. If monsters are defeated, the player(s) divide up the souls, knowing that remainders will be lost, making it a real possibility that players will gain no souls. Undefeated monsters will attack their targeted players. The winner is the first player to reach 10 souls, or the player to defeat the master of the manor, the lich. Animagicians comes with 10 characters, 42 spell cards, 38 monsters, mission cards for cooperative and solo play, relic cards and cardboard tokens to track souls and health. The game is language independent, and comes with rules for Solo, Cooperative and All-vs-All play.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Animagicians continues through October 22, and is expected to ship in April 2018.

Here we are with another week of Kickstarters of a wide array from an election game, to a detective game, to a war game, so lets get started.  Up first, we have a card game based on an app called Cahoots, and being published by Mayday Games.  The game Cahoots is a normal trick taking game, but with a bit of a twist in that there are no follow rules and you score is based on which suit won the trick, not who won the trick.  But the question is, which suits will score for you?  That is determined by a card you receive at the start of the game and will have three of the six suits on them, and it’s these suits that will score for you.  However, you won’t be the only one scoring with those suits, so over the game you will be partnering with different people in order to score the suits on your card.  So each round you will play out a total of two cards, and whatever suit had the highest total value will be the winner and be scored that round.  After that you will choose some cards to keep, and some cards to remove from the game, shrinking the available card pool.  Once all the cards are out of the game, whoever has the most points is the winner.  So if this new take on trick taking sounds interesting to you, or you are a fan of the app, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is our war game entry, coming straight to you from the prolific war game creator DVG, this time as an air dog-fighting card game called Down in Flames: Locked On.  In this game you will be flying one, two, or three of dozens of different aircraft of the recent age like the F-15C Eagle or the Sea Harrier FRS1.  You will be taking these into battle trying to shoot down the opposing player’s planes through clever use of your missiles.  At the heart of this game are the action cards, each with multiple uses from special abilities, to maneuvering, to attacking, and even countering your enemy’s attack.  When you attack you will play your card, if your opponent counters with a card you then have the opportunity to counter that card, continuing like this until the final card is played.  If you managed to play the final card your attack succeeds, if your opponent, then the attack is canceled.  When an attack is successful you will then draw cards based on what you fired to then carry out another attack sequence with those cards.  If you succeed there, you have destroyed the enemy craft, and if they are all destroyed you win the game!  So if a fast playing, dog-fighting style card game with a healthy dose of real life accuracy is your kind of thing, then check out this Kickstarter today.

Next we have a new detective game from Van Ryder Games called Detective: City of Angels.  This game I think is best described as Clue on steroids, with the main difference is that this game is more complex and is done as a one versus all style game.  One person is The Chisel, whose sole job is to lead the detectives astray and keep the case from ever being solved.  The detectives will be moving around the board, investigating locations and questioning suspects.  But here is where it gets tricky, The Chisel will be choosing the responses that he gives from those being question, and he can even outright lie to you.  However, if you challenge him on his bluff you can get the truth, revealing much needed information to solve your case, but challenge on a truth and he gets leverage over you to use against you later.  You can also bribe a snitch to be able to listen in on this info so even if you aren’t there, you can get some critical info to help you solve your case.  Strong arm some suspects, get to the truth, and solve the case before the trail goes cold and you can win the game.  You can find out more on the Kickstarter page.

After that is the unusual game of the article, and that is Electioneer, the Hong Kong election board game from Nightdreamer.  This game aims to do with the Hong Kong election system what Die Macher did for the German election system, and that is create a great game out of it.  This is an area control and resource management type game where you will be going around the various towns and cities trying to secure the most votes.  One way to get votes is through strategy cards, which show a number of territories that have some connection to them, like hitting the 12 different districts that are home to higher education institutions to get the college vote.  You will also get votes for holding the most influence in different zones on the board, as well as for holding the second most influence.  Basically there are a lot of ways to get votes, and this game shows it’s designer’s researching ability because all of these ways to get votes are methods used in actual Hong Kong elections.  Will you be able to manage your money well and get enough votes to be elected?  Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

And last but not least, we have a reprint and revamp of a previously Kickstarted game, and that is Endure the Stars from Grimlord Games.  This 1.5 version will not only allow new players to be able to acquire this game and it’s many extras, but also improve the game for those who already own it.  Endure the Stars itself is a survival horror type game where you are passengers on a colonization ship a year into it’s long journey.  However, unauthorized experiments have been conducted to try and engineer a new life-form to explore new planets, but those experiments were discovered and the lifeforms got out, killing everyone in their path.  Now people are living in small groups scavenging to survive, and it’s up to your group to try and root out these creatures before they kill you all.  Fight back with all sorts of different weapons and ammo, and try to maintain your sanity as you play through the campaign to defeat this evil.  So if a sci-fi dungeon crawl game sounds interesting, or if you own the first edition, check out the Kickstarter page today.

FFG continues to expand and support Star Wars Destiny by announcing a new set, simply called Legacies.  The name suits this set well as the majority of the new characters and items you will be getting have a foot firmly planted in the Star Wars movies of the past.  The two starter sets available will be Boba Fett with a veteran Stormtrooper, and Luke Skywalker with the heroic smuggler Han Solo.  These starters are pretty standard and include enough in the box to field an army with just what is there, but what is really interesting is all the new mechanics that this set will be adding to the game.

First on that list is indirect damage, this type of damage is usually coming in higher numbers than other types of damage, but because it is indirect, the player receiving the damage chooses where it goes.  So while you can dish out more damage than ever, it’s not going to be hitting what you want.  Another new mechanic are Power Actions, these are powerful actions you can take, but come with the limitation of only being usable once per turn.  So Wedge Antilles’ ability to flip a ship die to whatever side you want can devastating at the right time, just know you won’t be using it more than once a round.  And finally we have a new card type called plot cards, this are cards costing only a couple points, helping up bump that 27 or 29 point army up to a full 30.  These plot cards give you an extra leg up by giving you extra starting resources are forcing other players to discard cards.  Overall if you are a fan of Star Wars Destiny, this set will open up all sorts of new possibilities.  You can find out more on Fantasy Flight’s website, and then patiently wait for it’s release.

What began as one family’s ambition to create a board game suitable and variable to the tastes of children and adults is now funded on Kickstarter. Goatfish is a card game that has three modes of play for different experience levels of players and features art and mechanics that are fun for all ages. Designed by a father and daughter team, the game’s core mechanism is based on Go Fish, with custom artwork drawn by the daughter which the father brought to life. Advanced modes add action cards and unique scoring rules so that even a whole group of only adults can find relaxing, strategic fun in the card game. As described via the Kickstarter campaign page:

 “We thought it would be fun to create a new game that was easy for casual gamers or younger players to learn but had more options for player interaction and deeper strategy to keep more sophisticated players engaged. Lillian and I designed Goatfish to be the next step up from entry-level or classic card games with a familiar mechanic to hook players of all skill levels.”

The campaign page features a full current version of the rules, reviews from prominent critics, and videos to help potential backers decide if Goatfish is a good fit for their family.There’s even a playmat available as an addon to give the game a lasting appeal and a nicer experience on the table. If not considering the novelty of the artwork and the clean design, the game is great  example of the good a father and child can create together. If you’re interested in Goatfish, please visit their campaign page for more information.

While the 7th Continent Kickstarter is the big thing right now, hauling in multiple millions of dollars, there are still others that are worth consideration.  First up is the second printing of a excellent cooperative minis game, and that is Fireteam Zero.  Fireteam Zero is a cooperative game where you are a squad of military fighters, heading out to combat the occult as they try to overrun the world.  On your turn you can perform two actions from the choices of move and attack.  Moving is simply in that everyone has a speed of two, attacking is where you have to start playing cards.  And it’s these cards that are one of the neat aspects of this game because each card has two uses, a reaction or tactic effect, and an attack.  Tactic effects are game altering, but also leave you at a disadvantage so you have to use them wisely, reaction effects allow you to bolster allies or yourself when certain things happen.  However, the main use for the cards are attacks, and you can play cards in sets to be able to roll move dice when in melee, shooting, or lobbing grenades.  You will roll custom dice with different numbers of each symbol in order to see how much damage you inflict.  Fight off the monsters and accomplish your objective to be able to move on, and hopefully take out the boss.  So if you are looking for an excellent cooperative “dungeon” crawl type game, check out the Kickstarter today.

I have to be honest, what caught my eye on this Kickstarter was the cheese minis that they are offering, they just look awesome!  Ratland is an interesting game where you are trying to grow your pack or rats to be the largest, but be careful, that is a lot of mouths to feed.  On your turn you will be allocating all your rates to different spots to either game more cheese, attack other players to take their cheese, or to spawn more rats.  Each area you can gather from will have different amounts of cheese based on the card drawn at the start of the round.  Also it will be the person who sent the fewest rats that will draw first, but you only draw as much cheese as rats you sent, so there a bit of a balancing game there.  At the end of every round though you will have to feed your rats, and any rats that can’t eat will starve and count as negative points against you at the end.  Most rats at the end is the winner.  So if cheese minis, or this game sound interesting, check out the Kickstarter.

Next is an interesting card game called End of the Trail, where it’s all about trying to stake your claim on the biggest pile of gold.  In this game the cards are used in three different ways, first as money for the bidding round.  In this round sets of cards will be available to be bid on, and the money you have to use for that is on the cards in your hand, discarding the amount that you pay for the auction.  Next they are used for the prospecting phase where depending on which card you play will determine what tiles you can look at to see what value they are.  You can claim that tile, or, waiting and see if you can find something better, but be careful, if you find something worse you bust and have to claim that lower valued tile.  And finally, the cards are also used to form a poker hand at the end of the game.  In each round of the game you will be setting aside cards to form this final hand, and if you have the best hand then you get to make one more claim before final scoring begins.  Have the highest value of gold in your clutches and you win.  So if you like games with multi-use cards and don’t mind a little memory to go with it, check out this Kickstarter.

After that we have the latest in a growing line of movie to board game conversions, and that is T2029: Terminator 2 the Board Game.  This is an officially licensed game so it has the same look as the classic action movie with the tanks, attack ships, and of course, the T-800s and T-1000.  In this game you are protecting John Connor as he makes his way to Skynet to hack in and shut it down for good.  Along the way you will have to fight back against oncoming robots attacks, protect John Connor, and keep the T-1000 from infiltrating your ranks.  On your turn you will be rolling dice and assigning those dice onto your board to perform actions like getting more soldiers, attacking bots on the board, and manipulating the cards controlling the game.  These card decks are going to be your main headache as they will dictate where Skynet focuses it’s attention as well as show you what John Connor is up against.  If you are able to keep him alive, get him to Skynet, roll and the right hacking combination, AND reprogram the T-800, then you will finally claim victory.  But it is also just as easy to lose to the robotic onslaught, so work together and roll well.  For more information and to back the gamine, check out the Kickstarter.

Last and certainly not least, we have the campaign for the 2nd Edition of Tiny Epic Defenders along with an expansion, The Dark War.  The second edition of the Tiny Epic Defenders does little to change the rules, but what it does do is upgrade the components.  After the success and great popularity for the IteMeeples that were created for Tiny Epic Quest, they are bringing them into this game.  So now when you get your artifact card, you will be able to take the corresponding artifact piece and attach it to your meeple, on the front or the back.  So now you will see the epic items on the board instead of just sitting in front of you on the card.  But this upgrade is not all that is new, there is an expansion being offered called The Dark War.  This expansion adds more of what you want in the form of new heroes, artifacts, epic foes, and dire enemies.  In addition to that extra content, the expansion will add new features in the form of a campaign mode with enemy generals, skills that the heroes can learn, and even advanced regions and caravans.  So if you want to expand and upgrade you Tiny Epic Defenders game, check out the Kickstarter today!

Renegade Game Studios and Oni Press are teaming up to bring the world  The Tea Dragon Society to gaming. The Tea Dragon Society is a webcomic and upcoming graphic novel by author Katie O’Neill (Princess Princess Ever After) tells the story of Greta, the blacksmiths daughter, who enters the enchanting world of Tea Dragons. The Tea Dragon Society Card Game is being designed by Steve Ellis (Dicey Goblins, Railways of the World: Card Game) and Tyler Tinsley (Dicey Goblins).

The Tea Dragon Society Card Game is Due to hit stores in Spring of 2018. You can read the full press release from Renegade here.

Druid City Games and James Hudson (Barnyard Roundup / Grimm Forest)has started a new Kickstarter campaign for Guardian’s Call, a card based bluffing and deduction game for 2-5 players. In Guardian’s Call, players try and collect the right resources and save the most villagers in order to be names the Guardian of the Realm. Game play involves card collection from the open market and bluffing, in a manner similar to Sheriff of Nottingham.

Players take turns offering sets of identical cards to their opponents; they can lie about what the cards are, but they must not lie about the number of cards. If they are caught in the lie, the opponent gets the cards, otherwise the player may keep them. Curse cards must be bluffed when offered, and if the bluff is successful, the opponent ends up with the curse. If a player loses an offer, they gain coins which can be used to directly take cards, or to dispel curses. Players can play as one of 5 different guardians, each with special abilities. Timing cards in the market trigger events – The Council card starts quest scoring, and a War card signals the last round of the game.

The Kickstarter campaign for Guardian’s Call continues through October 13, and is expected to deliver in July 2018.