Era of Tribes is a civilization themed, strategy game for 2-4 players (aged 14+), based around an asymmetric worker placement mechanism. The game is set in Europe during the Neolithic period up to the High Middle Ages. The goal of the game is for players to acquire Influence Points (IP) by growing their civilizations, expanding, discovering, developing, and interacting with other civilizations. It’s designed by first time game designer, Arne Lorenz, with art by Marc Exner, and is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
The game begins where humanity is a handful of tribes led by chieftains. Players start by picking from 10 tribes, each with their own starting positions and unique special abilities, including The Britons, The Carthaginians, The Germanics, The Gauls, The Greeks, The Iberians, The Norsemen, The Egyptians, The Romans, and The Slavs. For example, The Britons excel at fishing and have unshakable morale, while The Greeks improve technology more easily and excel at naval expansions. Play takes place over a large board which contains the map where exploration, combat encounters, improvements, and morale is kept track of. Players also have a Tribal Action Board which displays the tribe’s available actions. Each turn, players can choose one of 7 actions – Expansion, Trade, Taxes, Diplomacy, Improvement, Bread & Circuses, or Revolution. There is also a Battle Board where combat takes place using uniquely faced dice.
Solitaire play is mentioned as part of the project and the game comes with a tremendous number of cards, tokens, resources, coins and cubes. The Era of Tribes Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal, with over 700 backers, and will end on Monday, June 3rd, 2019. The estimated delivery for the project is October of 2019.
Chaos Gates are also added, and can only be controlled by the insane Daemon Sultan faction, which can displace and destroy ordinary gates. Unlike the other factions, the Daemon Sultan start with no units on the board, but quickly grow to compensate for this slower start. Their Spellbooks are also one-use per full Action Phase, like the core game’s Thousand Forms Spellbook. This expansion also includes the Elder Shoggoth, who is able to evolve any unit into any other unit, up to and including Great Old Ones.
Players explore Yarnham, represented by tiles which form the board, and encounter threats as they make their way through the sprawling town. A card-driven combat system is used to defeat the Beast Plague across a campaign to discover the source of evil which besets Yarnham. There are 4 different campaigns, each with 3 chapters that have unique content and varying enemy behavior. Bloodborne: The Board Game features many detailed models, with more being unlocked as the campaign stretch goals are achieved.
The Kickstarter campaign for Bloodborne: The Board Game has already reached 10x its goal with over 20,000 backers, with almost all of the stretch goals already unlocked. The campaign will run until May 14th, 2019, with the estimated delivery happening in May of 2020.
On Mars is the latest game from designer, Vital Lacerda, with art by Ian O’Toole (who both worked on Lisboa and Vinhos). Players are chief astronauts for one of a number of enterprises who want to be a pioneer in the development of the biggest, most advanced colony on Mars. The game supports 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in 90-150 mins.
“Following the success of unmanned rover missions, the United Nations established the Department of Operations and Mars Exploration (D.O.M.E.). The first settlers arrived on Mars in the year 2037 and in the decades after establishment Mars Base Camp, private exploration companies began work on the creation of a self-sustaining colony.”[source]
The goal of the game is to contribute the most Opportunity Points (OP) to the development of the first, self-sustaining colony on Mars that is independent of any terrestrial organization. This is achieved by completing missions. After a total of three missions have been completed by a player, the game ends, and points are tallied to determine the overall winner. At first, players will be dependent on supplies from Earth and so will often travel between the Mars Space Station and the planet’s surface. Over time, activities will shift to constructing mines, power generators, water extractors, greenhouses, oxygen factories, and shelters as the colony expands. Managing the supply of water, air, power, and food will be vital to survival.
The On Mars Kickstarter campaign, run by publisher, Eagle-Gryphon Games, has already achieved 6x its funding goal with over 6700 backers, and the campaign will end on Friday, May 3rd, 2019. There is only a single pledge level to obtain the entire game which includes all stretch goals. Estimated delivery is expected in October of 2019.
“Welcome to Kingdom Rush, where you and your allies must work together to fend off the furious onslaught of the mysterious Time Mage! Command Heroes and build Towers to defend the realm by placing damage tiles to attack your enemies and deploying soldiers to hold back the ever-advancing horde. Be careful, though! The Time Mage’s portals are wreaking havoc, causing all of the Towers to warp in and out of existence! Will you play your Towers to defend the Kingdom, or will you pass them to your compatriots so that the Towers can be upgraded? The decision is yours!”[source]
To win each game, players need to close all of the Time Mage’s portals while in combat with waves of their minions. Each player controls a hero who has asymmetric abilities. The heroes have different basic attacks, damage types, and special abilities that are acquired during a scenario. Players can choose between a ranger, a mage, a fire elemental, and a hammer-wielding brute. In the campaign, the Time Mage needs to be stopped before he achieves world domination. Campaign scenarios increase in difficulty as progress is made by adding new types of enemies and bosses. Estimated play time is 45-90 mins.
The Kingdom Rush: Rift in Time Kickstarter project has a Knight Pledge which includes the core game but the King Pledge includes the Deluxe Edition. The campaign has already handily surpassed its funding goal with over 3600 backers and the campaign is set to end on Thursday, May 2nd, 2019. Estimated delivery for this project is in April of 2020.
Tramways is an innovative pickup-and-deliver game mixed with route building and is designed by Alban Viard (known for Card City XL). Art is by Todd Sanders (known for Pulp Detective), and Sampo Sikiö (known for Eclipse). Players lead a team of engineers to build the most efficient rail network in Small City. Games last about 30 minutes per player and caters for 2-5 players.
The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions release moves the setting from Small City to Mars and the Moon. Each planet is its own expansion. The “Moon” expansion adds a wraparound board construction mechanism and adds a night and day cycle which affect the actions that can be performed. In the “Mars” expansion, Martians are a new type of passenger to be transported who are trickier to move around than the average passenger.
Contrary to the name of the expansion, the aim of the game is to finish with the most Happiness points. These are earned by moving passengers, building new railways, and constructing new buildings. The more efficient players become the greater the stress level increases which is tracked in the game and negatively impacts the Happiness points.
The Tramways: Dystopian Expansions Kickstarter project has already raised 3x its required funding with over 400 backers. Project funding is set to end on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019, with expected delivery taking place in October of 2019.
“You have traveled the dangerous byways of Kremel, and finally walk past the gates of the town at twilight. Once eager to see so many people bustling in the streets, you have grown jaded and keep an eye out for pickpockets. Beneath the buildings, stone and wood edifices, you notice the layers of dust and grime, and a deepening of the shadows. A shopkeeper waves in recognition as you walk through the town, and looks to you in hopes of news from the outside world. But you have a darker destination in mind, and no time to spare. You nod back, and take to the rooftops, and later descend to the sewers, where you hope to find the missing piece that will take you to the one place that will doom or save this land…the Dark Spire.” [source]
The expansion adds 6 new characters to choose from including the Magi, the Druidess, the Warlord, the Viper Maiden, the Gentleman, and the Huntress. Six new stories have been added which are set in the land of Kremel. The Afflictions, puppet masters of evil befalling the region, are set against the players as they try to take over the land. These include the Master Efreet, Djinn, Naga, and Satyr. Advanced combat, Road Events and Off Road Events, as well as maps of Kremel filled with unearthly monsters are all included in the expansion.
Standees are included in the base Kickstarter pledge but miniatures are added at higher pledge levels. A Create Crate is also available as a Kickstarter Bonus which allows players to store all the miniatures produced for the game thus far. The Folklore: The Affliction – Fall of the Spire campaign has already reached 10x its funding goal with over 2500 backers. Funding will end on Thursday, April 18th, 2019 with project delivery expected in December of 2020.
Players are crime bosses who recruit a mob of agents (responsible for creating demand), racketeers (who extort payment), and others to build up their reputation selling illegal goods. Agents act by taking favors which they expect repaid in the future. To prevent their rivals from getting ahead, players sow chaos so that their rivals’ network of agents are less effective. Winners and losers are determined by a supply/demand mechanism represented by four regions on the board. At the end of the game, the agents expect payment and negatively impact the total score if not paid.
The game features fantastic artwork and comes with wooden, plastic, or clay Meeples depending on the pledge level selected. The Plunderbund Kickstarter project has over 250 backers and is at over 85% of its funding goal. The funding deadline is Saturday, April 20th, 2019, and the project has an estimated delivery date of February (for the wooden Meeple version) and March 2020 (for the plastic or clay Meeple versions).
“Russia: 1787. Empress Catherine the Great is taking a surprise trip down the Dnieper River to survey her new kingdom. This will take her directly past your old, unremarkable village. You don’t have the time or money to make your village impressive, but with a few pieces of timber and some strategically placed facades you could certainly make your village seem impressive.”[source]
In Potemkin Empire, 3-5 players try to impress Empress Catherine the Great by convincing her that their village is the most prosperous in the land. Players draft and assign interior cards to their buildings then decide which to make real or fake. Each building added has a unique ability and will earn points whether their interiors are real or not. However, players need to watch out for spies who can expose the fake buildings. Potemkin Empire is designed by Jonathan Woodard, with art by Constan Lerois, is aimed at players aged 14+, and plays in around 45 mins.
Potemkin Empire, by Indie Boards & Cards, is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. It’s currently at 25% of the funding goal with over 120 backers. The funding deadline is Thursday, April 11th, 2019 and the estimated project delivery is September of 2019.
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.