Dice Tower Newsletter

Days of Wonder

Board Game Geek has reported that Asmodee has acquired the worldwide publishing, commercial and brand rights to the popular game Spot It!  They have been releasing the game under it’s original name Dobble since 2010 and will now have worldwide ownership of the game. With their prior acquisition of Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight Games Asmodee is certainly making a large presence in the board game community. You can read the full article on BoardGameGeek.com here.

Days of Wonder has announced that the Designer Edition of their hit game Small World will be available in limited amounts to everyone on June 9th. Small World is an area control game that takes fantasy races mixes them with unique special powers in a way that you are never guaranteed the same power with a specific race each time. Players try to control as many territories on a small map with their race/power combo until they decide to send their race into decline and start again with a new combination. You can only have one active race and one in decline on the board at a time and you will score points for every area you control at the end of your turn. It’s quite fun to play and one of the rare games that is easy to introduce to new gamers as well as providing enough strategy and depth for gamers to enjoy.

Small World Designer Edition was an add on in a Kickstarter for the digital edition of Small World. It takes the already high quality components that Days of Wonder is known for and brings them to a level that very few games achieve.

The Small World Designer Edition includes deluxe wooden tokens covering all races from the base game and the Cursed!,Grand Dames, Be Not Afraid and Royal Bonus expansions, plus Race banners and Special Powers banners that are all heat-printed on wood. The victory points are custom metal coins that vary in shape and size depending on their value, and are stored in little leather purses to hide your fortune from your opponents. The Designer Edition also includes three super-sized boards for 2-3, 4-5 and 6 players, as well as numerous custom finely-sculpted resin figures for game elements such as the Dragon, Heroes, Pots of Gold, Fireballs, Catapult, etc. Last but not least, it also includes the famous “Pocket Encyclopedia” of Small World from the Kickstarter Campaign.

The components all come in a beautiful wooden box and in total is said to weigh approx. 50 lbs. Tom Vasal has a video review here where you can see the game in all it’s glory. Honestly even if you have no interest in attempting to purchase a copy it’s worth watching the video just to see the final product.

Speaking of attempting to purchase the game will in a very limited release and Days of Wonder recommends if you are interested in buying a copy you should place an order as soon as possible after it goes on sale.

On June 9, 2015, on 3 pm GMT(8 am PDT) we will open the orders for the Designer Edition of Small World. We anticipate a high amount of orders, and we must remind you that our stocks are limited. So, make sure to place your order as soon as possible on June 9! Please also note that the offer is limited to one copy per person; you cannot order several copies of the Designer Edition.

If you want a copy of the game and you don’t manage to grab a one of the limited Designer Editions or don’t want to pay the hefty (but very fair) price you should head over to your favorite FLGS/OLGS and get yourself a copy of Small World.

ve day

With the passing of the 70th anniversary of VE Day May 8th Days of Wonder is releasing 4 new scenarios to let you play out some of the final epic push by the allies from the east and west to subdue the German Wehrmarcht.  These include “Hatten & Rittershofen”, “Reichswald & Nutterden”, “Hitdorf”, and “Seelow Heights”.

These battles while at the end of the war were still bitterly fought for your not truly out til your out.  These scenarios will be available to download from DoW’s website, through their store (free plus S&H), and at conventions.

Download here Order here

Publishers description below

On May 8, 1945, after 6 years of war, the German Wehrmacht surrendered to the Allies in Berlin. War in Europe was finally over. 1945, however, saw the final throes of a powerful military; as the American and British forces pushed forward on the western front, Soviet forces advanced tirelessly from the east, closing in on Berlin. Struggling to defend their homeland, German soldiers proved to be fierce warriors, even when outnumbered or encircled. The war would not end as easily as expected.

Now, 70 years after the end of the war in Europe, Richard Borg & the Days of Wonder Team are happy to offer you four new scenarios to commemorate the last battles of 1945. Relieve the men of the 79th US Infantry trapped in the two encircled towns of Hatten & Rittershof; take command of the 44th British Brigade and its flamethrower tanks during Operation Veritable; cross the Rhine with the men of the “All American” 82nd Airborne; or gather your friends to assault – or defend – the infamous Seelow Heights, last line of defense before Berlin, in a massive Overlord battle.

queens necklace

CoolMiniOrNot and Spaghetti Western have announced they are teaming up to reprint Queen’s Necklace from designers Bruno Cathala and Bruno Faidutti. Queen’s Necklace, inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s novel of the same name, was originally printed by Days of Wonder in 2003 and combines set collection, bluffing, and wagering.

Queen’s Necklace is a game of gem-selling, influence, and intrigue at the Court. Two to four players compete in the role of Royal Jeweler to sell rare jewels to the Queen and her court.

Jeweler’s loupe in hand, you must decide how best to spend your hard-earned ducats: on the acquisition of beautiful gems (diamonds, emeralds, and rubies); or to buy the favors of the various court followers. After three years of craftsmanship, the jeweler who sells the most precious gems and builds the largest fortune will receive the coveted title of King’s Jeweler and a place at the Court!

The reprint will include new art by Denis Zilber and an updated rule book combining all the changes and revisions for the game as well as clarifications that currently exist only in digital FAQs. It is expected to be out in September 2015.

Spaghetti Western and CoolMiniOrNot have teamed up in the past to bring us great games like Arcadia Quest, Kaosball, and Dogs of War so it’s a good bet that this will be an exceptional reprint of an already great game. Be sure to look for it at your FLGS/OLGS.

artisans

Days of Wonder announced an upcoming expansion to the hit game Five Tribes coming to GenCon this summer! From designer Bruno Cathala, artwork by Clément Masson, and titled ‘The Artisans of Naqala‘ the expansion will bring Artisans to the game who will help players craft magical and precious items. Some of these items will unlock special powers and others will provide Victory points.

They say that in the very heart of the mountains of the Sultanate of Naqala, there lives a Tribe that rarely appears in the bazaars and markets in town.

They call themselves the Artisans, and work day and night crafting precious items, inlaid with rare gems.

Some travellers claim that the Artisans are able to craft unique artifacts, filled with magic and mystery…

artisans cards

The Artisans will be represented by purple meeples and the expansion will also feature new Djinns and new tiles: Workshops (where Artisans Craft their items), Specialized Markets (where players can buy specific merchandise), an impassable Chasm, and Mountain markers. The entire contents of the expansion will be:

  • 6 Tiles (3 Workshops, 2 Specialized Markets, & 1 Chasm)
  • 15 Wooden Meeples
  • 4 Tents
  • 18 Item Markers
  • 6 Mountains
  • 4 Djinn cards (2 new, 2 revised)
  • 1 New Scoring Pad
  • 4 Summary Sheets
  • 1 Rule Booklet

 

Five Tribes was a big hit at GenCon last year, is nominated for a 2014 Dice Tower Award, and won the Golden Geek award for Best Strategy Game 2014. With the original designer and artist back for this expansion it’s a pretty good bet that this will make an already great game even better.

You can see the full press release here. If you’re lucky enough to attend GenCon check it out and as always keep an eye on your FLGS/OLGS for the expansion to become available.

Asmodee Editions based out of France will become the US distributor for german publisher Queen Games.  Asmodee has been a major distributor of US companies games in Europe and is currently the distributor for Queen Games Germany.  It should not be too much of a surprise that they are taking on the mantel of US distributor for Queen.

Queen has been in the US market since 2010 and had an exclusive distribution agreement with ACD distributors which will end on April 1st of this year.  At that time all distribution will be going through Asmodee.  Queen seems to have to have trouble settling on a distributor that they are pleased with.  After distributing the game themselves via multiple US distribution channels they went exclusive with ACD about the time that many larger companies started inking exclusives with the likes of ACD and Diamond/Alliance.

Hopefully this will be a positive change for Queen Games.  While it might not be an acquisition of the publisher by Asmodee this will have the two companies working together more closely and one could look into this as them testing the waters for how well they can work together.  Asmodee acquired one of their exclusive distribution parters Days of Wonder last year and it is not unreasonable to suggest that may happen again at some point in the not too distant future.

From the standpoint of the end consumer it is unlikely that you will see much of a change as a result of this deal.  This should however hopefully free up some resources on the part of queen to focus on wht they do best which is making award winning games.  If this story changes we will be sure to let you know.

asmodee ystari pearl rachete

Asmodee has bought two more companies.  On the heels of a 2014 which saw them buying Days of Wonder and Fantasy Flight Games they have purchased Ystari and Pearl Games. This is revealed as basically an aside at the end of a press release on their internal publishing house brand Marabunta.  They seem to be slowly but surely consolidating a lot of companies within the industry into them.

Those that have paid attention to the way Asmodee seems to operate will note that they basically seem to be happy buying brands and letting them operate as normal and basically just consolidating distribution and marketing activities.  This will likely be looked at by some people as a negative thing.  But in reality some of the companies in this industry will grow larger over time and others will disappear as time goes on.

Like many of Asmodee’s other acquisitions this seems to be an example where they were tired of being simply a distributor for both of these companies in foreign markets and decided it would be worthwhile to just bring them within the organization formally.  Asmodee as a company tends to be good at utilizing synergies like that without necessarily losing the heart of the acquired company.

 

If Asmodee confirms this I will update this post to reflect their response.

for more information you can catch Gus and Co’s story where they discovered this information here.(in french)

the escapist banner

Popular video game review site, The Escapist, is running a series of features in preparation for its annual The Escapist Awards. They have nominees in a myriad of categories ranging from games to movies to comics and more.

The most important awards are, of course, Best Board Game and Best Card Game of 2014. There are four nominees in the board game category and three for card games. Let’s dig in.

Board Games

Evolution by Dominic Crapuchettes and North Star Games

“Evolution charmed us and made us wish we could play game after game to explore all the combinations.”

five tribes board

Five Tribes by Bruno Cathala and Days of Wonder

“Days of Wonder don’t often create a game for ‘Hardcore Gamers’ in the tabletop sector, those seekers of games about points, scoring points, and nothing but the points, but when they do you should sit up and take notice.”

Shadowrun: Crossfire by Mike Elliott and Catalyst Game Labs

“Where Crossfire really excels is that it’s a consistently challenging experience in a world of milquetoast cooperative games.”

kings forge

King’s Forge by Nick Sibicky and Clever Mojo Games

“You get to roll giant double fistfuls of dice, and who doesn’t like that?”

Card Games

Warhammer 40,000: Conquest Core Set by Eric M. Lang and Fantasy Flight Games

“Conquest is a delightful game that balances quicker victory now against the possibility that you’ll deny your opponent victory in the future.”

doomtown premium

Doomtown: Reloaded Core Set by Mark Wootton and AEG

“It’s a harrowing experience that begs players to push their luck, attempt interesting plays, coming back to the game again and again.”

Magic: The Gathering Commander 2014 by Richard Garfield and Wizards of the Coast

“With five great decks, each really playable right out of the box and definitely including an obvious upgrade path for the deckbuilding-curious, this is a product you and a few friends can have a great time with even if you’re not Magic experts.”

Winners haven’t been announced yet, but given the interesting variety on these lists, we’ll be keeping an eye on The Escapist Awards throughout the end of the year. Head over to The Escapist to read more on their board game and card game nominees.

Don’t forget to check out Dice Tower’s reviews to learn more about these contenders.

Evolution, Game Boy Geek Preview
Five Tribes, Miami Dice Episode 147
Shadowrun: Crossfire Review
King’s Forge, Miami Dice Episode 145
Warhammer 40,0000 Conquest, Miami Dice Episode 146
Doomtown: Reloaded Review

trictrac

French gaming blog and community site, Tric Trac, posted its Tric Trac d’or 2014 awards naming the top three games of the year based on user submitted votes and Tric Trac’s own panel of judges.

five tribes board

Taking first place honors, and the Gold medal, was none other than Bruno Cathala’s Five Tribes, Days of Wonder’s first foray into heavy strategy. This unique Mancala-style game set in ancient Arabian mythology was the runaway winner from the start.

“At the opening of the vote, the game started to reap the points, escaping after a few hours.”

Second place was more hotly contested, but it was Cédrick Chaboussit’s Lewis & Clark that took Silver. This worker placement game set in pioneer-era America has players reliving Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition to the Pacific coast.

splendor pieces

The Bronze medal went to Marc Andre’s Splendor. Noted for its high component quality, this light set collection game has players collecting combinations of gems to attract patrons and score victory points.

“With 1,210 voters, we can say the thing is the opinion of many players who surf Tric Trac and the current trend of European games.”

Check out Tric Trac’s full announcement to see an analysis of the voting process and which games just missed the winners’ podium. The article is in French, but can easily be translated through a number of online resources (e.g., Chrome’s built-in translator).

For more information on this year’s winner, click the links below for Dice Tower’s reviews.

Five Tribes Miami Dice
Lewis & Clark Review
Splendor Review

days of wonder

Days of Wonder was proud to announce its winner of the Ticket to Ride World Championships today.  This announcement was however scarred by the fact that the initial champion was caught cheating.  As a result they have had to award the championship to  Kenneth Heilfron (USA).  Fortunately for all involved the cheating was observed and brought to light very quickly before official announcements went out.  This championship had been broadcast over the internet and numerous fans watching in addition to competitors there in person pointed out the issues to DoW.

This news is very unfortunate.  That being said in the end the caliber of our community truly shined.  That we had fans who cared enough to actually watch this championship live and were able to call out someone for cheating speaks well to this community.

Days of Wonder’s official press release below

Representing the USA, Kenneth Heilfron is officially declared the 2014 Ticket to Ride World Champion as the previously announced champion, Erwin Pauelsen has resigned his title.

After more that 25,000 contestants played around the world, Days of Wonder gathered the 28 National Champions in Issy-les-Moulineaux near Paris, France for the final stage of the Ticket to Ride World Championship tournament. After 3 qualifying rounds, the top 8 then played a succession of head to head games for quarter, semi and then championship games. Erwin Pauelsen appeared to have won the final match and was awarded the Golden Train Trophy.

However, quickly after the event ended, contestants and Ticket to Ride fans from around the world (who were able to follow the tournament live on the internet) voiced concerns about possible irregularities during the final game.

Days of Wonder closely examined the final matches and unfortunately found evidence of cheating during the 2nd game of the final. Mr Pauelsen has admitted to his dishonesty and agreed to hand back his title and trophy.

In accordance with the Official Rules of the 2014 Ticket to Ride Championship, the final ranking is now as follows:

  • 2014 Ticket to Ride Champion: Kenneth Heilfron (USA)
  • 2nd Place: Michel Hautecœur (Belgium)
  • 3rd Place: Piotr Hrachun (Russia)

While it is unfortunate that the Championship was marred by cheating, Kenneth is a true champion and Days of Wonder congratulates him on winning the title.

The board game world, specifically the Ticket to Ride community, has always been one filled with friendly and fair competitors. It saddens us that this dishonest behavior occurred, especially given all the time and energy put into the Championship – not only by the company, but by the hundreds of volunteers who helped run Ticket to Ride events worldwide. Days of Wonder is thankful to those who have helped to uncover and resolve this situation in the most honorable way possible.