Colt Express


The Dice Tower released their 2014 Gaming Award nominee list. Here’s the official press release:

April 21, 2014

The Dice Tower Network is proud to announce the nominees for the best games of 2014. A jury of more than fiftyy Dice Tower staff, prominent bloggers and reviewers went through all the games released in English in 2014, and chose the five best in each category – with ten games nominated for best game of the year.

The winners of each category will be announced on June 26th, at the Dice Tower Convention in Orlando, Florida. Congratulations to all the publishers and designers who were nominated, and we hope that gamers will have a list of truly excellent games to seek out and play.

See the complete listing with pictures at

Best Reprint

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Doomtown, Reloaded – AEG, Dave Williams & Mark Wootton

* Medina – Stronghold Games, Stefan Dorra

* San Juan, 2nd Editions – Ravensburger, Andreas Seyfarth

* Ticket to Ride, 10th Edition – Days of Wonder, Alan R. Moon

Best Party Game

* Ca$h ‘n Guns, 2nd Edition – Asmodee/Repos, Ludovic Maublanc

* Clusterfight – Game Salute, Sam Liberty & Kevin Spak

* Good Cop, Bad Cop – Overworld Games, Brian Henk, Clayton Skancke

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

* Strike a Pose – R&R Games, Sébastien Decad

Best Artwork

* Abyss – Asmodee, Xavier Collette

* Alchemists – CGE, David Cochard

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Lucas Graciano, Jon Hodgson, Fabio Maiorana, Francesco Mattioli, Ben Wootten

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games, Henning Ludvigsen

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games – Thomasz Jedruszek

Best Components

* Arcadia Quest – Cool Mini or Not, Eric Lang, Fred Parret, Theiago Aranha, Guilherme Goulart

* Colt Express – Asmodee / Ludonaut, Christophe Raimbault

* Star Wars: Imperial Assualt – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Two-player Game

* Battle of the Five Armies – Ares Games, Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Warhammer 40K: Conquest – Fantasy Flight Games, Eric Lang, Nate French, Brad Andres

Best Cooperative Game

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

* Pandemic: the Cure – Z-man Games, Matt Leacock

* Shadows of Brimstone – Flying Frog, Jason C. Hill

* Witness – Ystari Games, Dominique Bodin

Best Strategy Game

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Panamax – Stronghold Games, Gil d’Orey, Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, Paulo Soledade

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Expansion

* 7 Wonders: Babel – Repos Productions, Antoine Bauza

* Cyclades: Titans – Matagot, Bruno Cathala, Ludovic Maublanc

* Mice & Mystics: Downwood Tales – Plaid Hat Games, Jerry Hawthorne

* Terra Mystica: Fire & Ice – Z-man Games, Jens Drögemüller, Helge Ostertag

* Tuscany: Expand the World of Viticulture – Stonemaier Games, Alan Stone, Jamey Stegmaier, Morten Monrad Pedersen

Best New Designer

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Heroes of Normandie – IELLO Games, Yann and Klem

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Best Family Game

* Camel Up – Z-man Games – Steffen Bogen

* Diamonds – Stronghold Games – Mike Fitzgerald

* King of New York – IELLO – Richard Garfield

* Splendor – Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Game from Small Publisher

* Medieval Academy – Blue Cocker Games, Nicolas Poncin

* Paperback – self-published, Tim Fowers

* Run, Fight, or Die! – 8th Summit and Grey Fox Games, Richard Launius

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller

Most Innovative Game

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Golem Arcana – Harebrained Schemes, Jordan Weissman, Seth Johnson, Michael Mulvihill, Brian Poel

* Tragedy Looper – Z-man Games, BakaFire

* Spyfall – Hobbyworld – Alexandr Ushan

Best Theming

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Castles of Mad King Ludwig – Bezier Games, Ted Alspach

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Legendary Encounters: an Alien Deck Building Game – Upper Deck, Danny Mandel, Ben Cichoski

Game of the Year

* Alchemists – CGE, Matús Kotry

* Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games, Isaac Vega, Jonathan Gilmore

* Dice Masters – Wizkids, Eric Lang, Mike Elliott

* Five Tribes – Days of Wonder, Bruno Cathala

* Imperial Settlers – Portal Games, Ignacy Trzewiczek

* Kanban: Automotive Revolution – Stronghold Games, Vital Lacerda

* Splendor – Asmodee / Space Cowboys – Marc André

* Star Realms – White Wizard Games, Robert Dougherty, Darwin Kastle

* Star Wars: Imperial Assault – Fantasy Flight Games – Corey Konieczka, Jonathan Ying, Justin Kemppainen

* Xia: Legends of a Drift System – Far Off Games, Cody Miller



Colt Express a game released in November of last year received, on March 3rd, 2015, the  As d’Or – Jeu de L’année 2015. This is the French award for the most prestigious game.  The As d’Or – Jeu de L’année was established in 2005 and it’s mission is to draw attention to great game design and show the games as a true cultural asset. Past recipients of this award have been games like Ticket To Ride (2004), Dixit (2009), and Concept (2014).


On the November 11/19/2014 posting of Bruno Faidutti’s personal blog, Bruno discusses the plethora of games that are being released in recent days, specifically at Essen this year.  With the constant flood of new releases, one would guess that a few gems would rise to the top above endless seas of chaff.  On the contrary, the bar for quality has been raised considerably.  “The overall quality of games, not only in production but also in design, seems to be paradoxically increasing with quantity – and it’s making their job quite tough for seasoned game designers like me,” Faidutti states.  “Many of the so-called groundbreaking games published ten or twenty years ago, some of which have become regular sellers, would pale in comparison to more recent stuff if they were published today – they just still have the good old charm of forerunners.”

Faidutti proceeds to then introduce a dozen (actually, 15) games that he has been enjoying most recently, listed in order from the lightest to heaviest in weight:

1.  Seventh Hero (Kuro, IELLO/AEG)

2.  8 the Liar (Odd Hackwelder, Swan Panasia Co., Ltd.)

3.  Dragon Run (Bruno Cathala, Blue Orange)
dragon run

4.  Tales & Games: The Hare the Tortoise (Gun-Hee Kim, IELLO)

5.  Wakanda (Charles Chevalier, Blue Orange)

6.  Colt Express (Christophe Raimbault, Ludonaute, Asmodee)

7.  Ivor the Engine (Tony Boydell, Surprised Stare Games, Ltd.)

8.  Black Fleet (Sebastian Bleasdale, Space Cowboys, Asmodee)

9.  Cash ‘n Guns (Ludovic Maublanc, Repos Production)

10.  Sheriff of Nottingham (Andre Zatz and Sergio Halaban, Arcane Wonders)

11.  Manifest (Amanda Milne and Julia Schiller, SchilMil Games, Ltd.)

12.  Sons of Anarchy (Aaron Dill, John Kovaleski and Sean Sweigart, Gale Force Nine)

13.  Five Tribes (Bruno Cathala, Days of Wonder)

14.  El Gaucho (Arve D. Fuhler, Argentum Verlag)

15. Lords of Xidit (Regis Bonnessee, Libellud)

As I read the article, the games that most intrigued me were Colt Express and its 3D cardboard train, The Hare and the Tortoise (looks like oodles of fun for my kids), and Black Fleet.  What sold me on Black Fleet was not only the big map, neat miniatures and pirate theme, but specifically Bruno’s comment, “I would have loved such a game when I was ten, and I still quite like it at fifty.”

What’s not love about a game like that?

Check out Bruno Faidutti’s blog HERE.

Asmodee has announced some game releases for us. enjoy.

There are 2 games listed in under the family game banner:

Colt Express

colt express

It is 1899 and the Union Pacific Express is headed to the Nice Valley Coal Company to deliver their payroll and 47 passengers. Suddenly the train is attacked by thievin’ bandits! Will the outlaws keep their cool or will Marshal Samuel Ford save the day and prevent the robbery? Players will plan ahead and play cards to steal the most loot, shoot their opponents, move around the train and elude Marshal Ford. Will you be the richest bandit in the outlaw gang?

2-6 players, ages 10+, 40 min play length.
Due out end of November 2014.



So the legends of Brittan claim that a cauldron full of gold appears at the foot of each rainbow, and that tribes of Korrigans (similar to leprechauns) are competing to be the first to find it. Each player controls a tribe of Korrigans, scouring fields to pick up four-leaf clovers. Clovers either give Korrigan gold coins or attract companions (hares, squirrels, birds, mice, frogs, and moles) that will help their Korrigan friends move from field to field in different ways.

2-5 players, ages 8+, 30-45 min play length.
Due out mid December 2014.

There are 3 games listed under core games:



As the leader of an ancient civilization, explore unknown lands in order to develop your empire. Found new cities and construct buildings in order to exploit natural resources, establish trade routes. Set out to conquer barbarian villages, or increase your scientific knowledge. Don’t forget to maintain good standing with the gods! Pay tribute by making offerings to them and by building fabulous temples. A game of the same vein as Cyclades, with a strong atmosphere which will transport you through the ancient times. Between battles and magic, be the finest of all the strategists!

2-5 players, ages 12+, 60-90 min play length.
Due out January 2015.

Sun Tzu

sun tzu

During the troubled time of Springs and Autumns in China, the Kingdom of Wu was opposed to the far more powerful Kingdom of Chu. Facing King Shao, Sun Tzu, strategist of Wu, led a war of attrition. In 506 BC, he openly provoked the army of Chu. During the first skirmishes he faked a retreat, inciting his adversary’s troops into following him in a dispersed formation. Chu’s troops, now divided and surprised, were crushed one after the other. Sun Tzu entered legend. It’s your turn to prove your sense of cunning and strategy in this new deluxe edition. The simple and subtle rules of the board game Sun Tzu encourage bluff, audacity and strikes of brilliance. Will you know how to establish your domination over the different kingdoms of the Antic China.

2 players, ages 9+, 30 min play length
Due out end of November 2014.

Claustrophobia Furor Sanguinis Expansion


This Claustrophobia expansion offers you a new creature which will allow you to discover and play many new scenarios. In each of them, one player will take on the role of Kartikeya, a monstrous squamata opposed to both human and demonic forces. Claustrophobia: Furor Sanguinis is an expansion for Claustrophobia that introduces 6 new scenarios in a player controls the squamata warrior Kartikeya. Components include one painted miniature, three new room tiles, a squamata board, one sheet of tokens, and five squamata dice as well as six new scenarios.

2 players, ages 14+, 45 min play length.
Due out mid November 2014.

Under the advanced category there 2 games:

7 Wonders Babel Expansion


All civilizations have their eyes turned towards the horizon as the prestigious Tower of Babel is erected slowly toward heaven. Each player can decide whether or not to bring assistance to this emergent civilization by participating in the construction of the tower and its surrounding monuments.

2-7 players, ages 13+, 45 min play length.
Due out Mid November 2014.



The Koryŏ dynasty is now defunct, replaced by the Chosŏn dynasty founded by General Yi. Unfortunately, soon after its founding, intriguers nicknamed the “Watchers“, appeared all over the realm of Chosŏn. And ever since, feud and disorder has sprouted everywhere. But this time, instead of the usual political contests and sneaky manipulations, armed warfare has become the rule. The influence of the “Watchers“ on some families has grown very strong and some whisper they have such extraordinary powers as allowing them to travel through time.

2-4 players, ages 14+, 10-20 min play length.
Due out end of November 2014.


Asmodee has announced their October and November game releases.  Many of these games were made available or announced at Gen Con and/or Origins.  But are only hitting the retail channel now.  Read the press release below.



Internal unrest brews among the court of the Abyss. The warlike Crabs bring chaos against the wise mages of the Jellyfish while the merchant Shellfish wage trade wars against the insidious Squid politicians. Can you recruit the allies you need to master the lords of the Abyss? Venture to Abyss, where players must battle monsters, recruit allies, and sway the great lords of the deep. The right hand of ally cards will let you control the lords who will help you seize the kingdoms of the Abyss. Be careful of your foes, though, because treachery abounds in the lands under the sea!

Abyss is a game of development, combination and collection in which players try to take control of strategic locations in an underwater city. To achieve this, players must develop on three levels: first by collecting allies, then using them to recruit Lords of the Abyss, who will then grant access to different parts of the city. Players acquire cards through a draft of sorts, and the Lords of the Abyss acquired on those cards grant special powers to the cardholder but once you use the cards to acquire a location, that power is shut off, so players need to time their land grabs well in order to put themselves in the best position for when the game ends.

  • 2-4 players
  • ages 14+

dixit daydreams

Dixit: Daydreams

In Dixit, each round one player takes on the role of Storyteller, choosing one card from his hand, then telling a story, singing a ditty, or otherwise doing something that in his opinion is associated with the played card. Each other player then chooses one card in her own hand and gives it to the Storyteller in secret. These cards are shuffled and revealed, then players vote on which card was played by the Storyteller. If either no one or everyone votes for the Storyteller, then he receives no points; if he received some votes but not all of the votes, he scores based on the number of votes received. Each player who submitted a correct vote or who received a vote on her card submission also scores. After a certain number of rounds, the player with the most points wins.

Dixit: Daydreams is an expansion for Dixit that contains 84 new cards beautifully illustrated by Frank Dion.

  • 3-6 players
  • Ages 8+
  • 30 minute play time

timeline americana

Timeline: Americana and American History


From the first Stetson hat to the unveiling of the first iPad, America’s history and its popular culture have gone hand in hand. See if you can remember when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth, or when Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. American popular history was never so much fun!

Timeline: Americana takes the players through a historical tour of the popular history of the country. Each player has a hand of cards, and they take turns placing those cards correctly into the growing timeline. Guess correctly to get rid of all of your cards and win the game!

2-8 Players
Ages 8+
15 minute play time


  • 110 double-sided cards
  • Rulebook

American History

Which happened first, the Salem Witch Trials or the foundation of Harvard College? Was Watergate before Woodstock? Sure, it’s easy to know whether the discovery of America came before the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, but how well can you remember everything that happened in between?

In Timeline: America History, players have hands of cards and take turns attempting to place the cards correctly into the growing timeline. Easy at first, but rapidly growing more difficult, Timeline: America  History will test your knowledge and help you learn the history of the nation.

2-8 Players
Ages 8+
15 minute play time


  • 110 double-sided cards
  • Rulebook

lords of xidit

Lords of Xidit

The Black Southern Host has arisen, corrupting the hearts of the indigenous creatures. Afflicted by a mysterious sickness, they are attacking human cities. The last remaining hope for restoring peace to Xidit lies with the Kingdom’s noble heirs, the Idrakys. As one of them, you must roam the Kingdom recruiting brave soldiers and reclaiming threatened cities. Your bravery will not go unrewarded: accumulate wealth, send bards to sing your praises, and build Sorcerers’ Guilds!

Lords of Xidit features simultaneous programming and an elimination-based scoring system that leaves no room for complacency! In more detail, at the end of the game players compare their influence in one category and the player with the least influence is eliminated and his pieces removed from the board; players then compare influence in another category, with a player again being removed. The order of elimination is randomly determined at the start of play, forcing you to thinking in different ways each game.

Prepare to ride out, Idrakys, and forge your legend!

  • 3-5 Players
    Ages 14+
    90 Minute Play Time


  • 75 figurines
  • 75 guild stories
  • 60 sovereigns
  • 100 bard tokens



The mythical realm of Hyperborea was ruled by an ancient civilization that used magical crystals as their main source of energy. With time, the Hyperboreans became greedy, and their search for power in the deep made the crystals unstable, causing earthquakes, mutations, droughts and floods. Hyperboreans just dug deeper, and only a few wise mages, foreseeing the inevitable, built an unbreakable magical barrier. When the unharnessed magical energy was unleashed from the deep, the Hyperborean civilization was destroyed in a single day, only the magical barrier preventing the disappearance of life from the whole land.

Over centuries, six rival realms were born from the ashes of the Hyperborean civilization: the militarist Red Duchy; the Emerald Kingdom and its death-delivering archers; the Purple Matriarchy fanatically worshipping the goddess of life; the skilled diplomats and merchants of the Golden Barony; the Coral Throne with its efficiently organized society and finally the secluded and enigmatic Celestial Reign.

The fragile peace between the different realms was not intended to last. One day, the magical barrier suddenly collapsed. A whole new land stood in front of the six kingdoms, still haunted by the old Hyperboreans turned into harmless but ominous ghosts, full of ruins to discover and cities to explore. Each realm is now sending its best warriors and explorers to Hyperborea in order to achieve dominance over their rivals, but which will prevail? Brutal strength or deep understanding of science? The discovery of valuable artifacts in the lost ruins or the retaking of long, lost cities? Only you, as the leader of one of the factions, can lead your people to the ultimate dominance over Hyperborea!

Set in a mythical land of the same name, Hyperborea is a light civilization game for 2 to 6 players that takes 20-25 minutes per player. The game begins at the time when the magic barrier protecting access to the mythical continent of Hyperborea suddenly falls.

Each player takes the role of the leader of a small kingdom situated just outside the now open to be conquered and explored land. Her kingdom has limited knowledge of housing, trade, movement, warfare, research, and growth, but new and exciting powers are hidden in Hyperborea. During the game, this kingdom will grow in numbers and raise armies, extend its territory, explore and conquer, learn new technologies, etc…

The game’s main mechanism, which can be described as “bag-building”, involves you building a pool of “civilicubes”. Each cube represents specializations for your kingdom: war, trade, movement, building, knowledge, growth. Grey cubes represent corruption and waste, and players will acquire them by developing new technologies. Power corrupts by its own definition, and the more complex a society becomes, the more waste it generates. Each turn, players draw three random cubes from their bags, then use them to activate knowledge (technologies) they own. But be careful, with great power also comes great responsibility.

2-6 players
Ages 14+
20 minute play time


  • 1 Market board
  • 4 indicator tokens
  • 4 Dice
  • 60 Bank Investment tokens
  • 39 erasable company tiles
  • 7 erasable “x 2 income” company tiles
  • Roughly 200 bills
  • 1 Timer
  • 5 erasable markers
  • 1 rule booklet

colt express

Colt Express

On the 11th of July, 1899 at 10 a.m., the Union Pacific Express has left Folsom, New Mexico, with forty-seven passengers on board. After a few minutes, gunfire and hurrying footsteps on the roof can be heard. Heavily armed bandits have come to rob honest citizens of their wallets and jewels. Will they succeed in stealing the suitcase holding the Nice Valley Coal Company’s weekly pay, despite it having been placed under the supervision of Marshal Samuel Ford? Will these bandits hinder one another more than the Marshal since only the richest one of them can come out on top?

In Colt Express, you play a bandit robbing a train at the same time as other bandits, and your goal is to become the richest outlaw of the Old West. The game consists of five rounds, and each round has two phases:

Phase 1: Schemin’- Each player plays 2-5 action cards on a common pile, with the cards being face up or face down depending on the type of the round. Instead of playing a card, a player can draw three cards from her deck.

Phase 2: Stealin’- The action cards are carried out in the order they were played, with a player’s best laid plans possibly not panning out due to mistakes and oversights!

The game takes place in a 3D train in which the bandits can move from one car to another, run on the roof, punch the other bandits, shoot them, rob the passengers, or draw the Marshal out of position. The train has as many cars as the number of players, and each car is seeded with gems, bags of loot or suitcases at the start of play. Players will plan ahead and play cards to steal the most loot, shoot their opponents, move around the train and elude Marshal Ford. Will you be the richest bandit in the outlaw gang?

  • 2-6 players
    Ages 10+
    40 minute play time


  • 6 Train Cars
  • 1 Locomotive
  • 10 terrain elements
  • Assorted Loot tokens
  • 17 Round Cards
  • 1 Marshal pawn
  • 13 Neutral Bullet cards
  • 6 Character cards
  • 6 Bandit pawns
  • 60 Action cards
  • 36 Bullet cards