Merlin’s Beast Hunt tournament comes alive through WizKids with players acting as competing mages, rolling their share of 80 dice to hold semi-transparent cards that represent fences of bamboo, lightning, thorns and water that they will use to capture magical creatures like unicorns and centaurs. The winner scores the most points through fences and creatures.
The game is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up with a play time of 45 minutes. It comes with 80 Custom dice, 18 Beasts with bases, 35 Tokens, 64 Clear fence cards and the game board.
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.
Schmidt Spiele has announced the first expansion for their Kennerspiel Award winning board game, The Quacks of Quedlinburg, called Die Kräuterhexen (The Herb Witches). Quacks blew up the board game world when it hit in 2018, not only for being a simple yet engaging push your luck bag builder, but because it was super-designer Wolfgang Warsch‘s THIRD nomination for Spiel that year, joining The Mind and Ganz Schön Clever. In Quacks, players pull ingredient tokens from a bag and add them to their cauldron, knowing that too many cherry bombs will make the cauldron explode. When a player stops, they earn points and money to buy new ingredients. Kräuterhexen adds a much requested fifth player to the game, as well as higher value pumpkins, new ingredients such as the variable value “fool’s herb”, and the ability to request help from the witches. Players are given 3 Witch’s Pennies, which are worth points at the end of the game, but can be spent to get special powers, such as the ability to drink a potion after blowing up the cauldron, or reducing the drop advance price to a single ruby. Look for Die Kräuterhexen later this year, and for more information and images check out Schmidt Spiele’s webpage here. No information is currently available for the English version, expected to come at a later date from North Star Games.
Also from Schmidt Spiele and the ludological deity Wolfgang Warsch is the just announced title Die Tavernen im Tiefen Thal (The Taverns in Deep Valley). This dice game takes place in the deep valley, where players need to attract new wealthy patrons, hopefully gaining enough money to expand, and go for the big fish – the nobles. Is it better to focus on a nice tavern, or to keep the beer flowing to keep the regulars happy? And which expansions are the best to build first? Players need to choose the correct dice, and develop their personal deck of cards. Five included modules allow each player to set their own difficulty. Given Mr. Warsch’s track record, Tavern should be an interesting game.
Capstone Games is ready to ring in the new year with two new games coming in January.
Magnastorm is a 2-4 player tactical board game that uses a sci-fi theme and resource management to help players on their way to victory by creating suitable mining areas on the planet. Players perform actions, buy influence, manage their resources and keep an eye on their opponents to time their moves perfectly to achieve victory. At the end of the game, players receive a card that can be beneficial in future games, changing up the replayability. It is for ages 12 and up and has a 70-100 minute play time.
Fuji is a cooperative dice game in which players roll simultaneously and secretly behind screens, much like in Roll for the Galaxy. Players must use their dice and terrain cards to move to a safe village and escape the lava of Fuji. But you can only move if you match the requirement on the terrain card better than your opponent. It is a 30-60 minute play time for ages 10 and up.
Ancient Terrible Things makes a return to Kickstarter running as a 10 day campaign in celebration of their 10 year anniversary. Ancient Terrible Things is designed by Simon McGregor with art by Rob van Zyl who are part of the Pleasant Company Games design studio based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ancient Terrible Things is a pulp, horror, adventure game for 2-4 players who are intrepid adventurers exploring a dark jungle. Each turn players travel to a Fateful Location, then face an Ominous Encounter, and attempt to unlock its Ancient Secrets through a combination of dice, tokens, and cards. For more information on how the game plays you can check Tom’s Review and see why he included it in his Top Ten Cthulhu Games.
The campaign does not have any stretch goals but there are multiple pledge levels depending on how much of the game you want to buy into. Both the Madness of McGuffin (the latest expansion) & The Lost Charter (an expansion which was previously out of print) are available as separate pledges or you can buy everything which exists for the game. If you’re a solo player, then The Lost Charter expansion will be of special interest as it includes solo rules for the game.
All pledge levels have limited quantities so be sure to act quickly if you’re on the fence about backing the project. The Ancient Terrible Things Kickstarter project will run until Tuesday, October 23rd 2018 and the estimated delivery of pledges ranges from December of 2018 until February of 2019 depending on which items you order. The project goal was fairly low, but they’ve already surpassed it by a wide margin.
This year, WizKids have switched the Dice Masters release model from that of blind booster pack purchases to a defined set in the form of expansion packs or campaign boxes. Recently their first campaign box, Avengers Infinity Dice Masters, was released (and you can get more information on it in Tom’s review of the game). However, it sorely lacked many of the beloved mutant superheroes so X-Men Forever Dice Masters seeks to rectify that situation and is packed full of characters from the X-Men, Brotherhood, Hellfire Club, and other beloved mutant teams.
Dice Masters was originally designed by Eric M. Lang and Mike Elliot and is a 2-player dice game where players pit teams of heroes and villains against each other in dice battle. The set will contain more than a dozen characters and their dice and is intended for players aged 14+. Games last roughly 30 minutes.
Expect the X-Men Forever Dice Masters Campaign Box to be released on November 1st, 2018.
Two new Phoenixborn are being added to the War of Ashes. King of Titans adds the warrior Xander Heartsblood with his army of Shamans, Archasaurs and Shining Hydras. Drawing on the natural magic of Vallen to unleash his fury on his enemies. The Ghost Guardian brings Rimea Careworn with her mystical knowledge of the spirit realm and her ability to summon an army of Ancestral Spirits. These two expansions offer the new capability of turning your allies into dominating mounted warriors. These two new expansions will be available in October and you can learn more about them here.
“The game uses the Furious Action Dice which show various faces: a Kick, a Punch, two Moves, a Chi and a Claw. Players frantically roll four dice to get different combos to move around the board, attack enemies, and complete exciting objectives. The game features a unique mechanic, if you roll Claws on the dice, you move around the Dial of Destiny triggering enemies to spawn and attack!” [source]
Players need to face the different challenges such as Ox Grunts, Wolf Slashers & Spearmen, and the Wolf Boss. Finally, they will face Tai Lung himself.
The base game will cost about $33 (excluding shipping) while a collector’s edition will set you back $80, which includes the Masters miniatures and player boards and additional stretch goals. The Kickstarter campaign ends Sunday, July 15th, 2018, with delivery estimated to be March 2019.
Txarli Factory, a miniatures and game company based in Pamplano, Spain, has launched a new game on Kickstarter called Rising for the Throne. The card and dice game is fantasy-based with dragons, gryphons, and knights depicted, to name just a few. There is an overall Norse mythology-vibe to the cards and they have a watercolor look to them while also coming off as gritty and grounded.
Most of the information about gameplay can be found in the link to the manual while the video gives some insight into the theme and story.
In this land, the six great clans are relentlessly recruiting new warriors for their battles—Choose your clan, collect resources, recruit new troops, and get the victory. Only one clan can win and sit on the great throne of the kingdom.
The collector’s edition comes with chunky, nicely sculpted figureheads for each of the six clans. Check out the video and images of Rising for the Throne over on Kickstarter.
Renegade Game Studios will be releasing a new dexterity game in September that is all about cats and explosives… but has nothing to do with that other game about explosive felines. A new addition to the collection of pet-themed games by artist and designer Aza Chen, Fireworks! pits one cute little Anime-style cat against another in an effort to create the best pyrotechnic display. To create the display, you ‘launch’ a die into the game box full of tiles using a cute decorative dice cup. The die (hopefully) flips over several tiles and the pips on the die tell you how many of the revealed tiles you can take to place on your player mat. End game points are awarded based upon the number and completeness of the bursts that you have placed.
Fireworks! plays 2-4 players in about 20 minutes and is recommended for ages six and up. Fireworks! will retail for around $25 U.S and will be available starting in September, but the studio is taking pre-orders now for pickup at Essen.