Dice Tower Newsletter

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Erik Winkelman has started a Kickstarter campaign for his newest board game, 21 Days, a cooperative dice game about surviving on a raft awaiting rescue. In 21 days, 1-4 players must hold together a makeshift raft composed of 6 cardboard planks, while placing dice on board locations in order to perform actions.

A logbook dictates the events over the 3 weeks, building a story and driving required actions. Survivors are represented by stacks of 2 dice on the raft. Events can cause planks to come loose from the raft, and survivors may become lost, but these events can be mitigated by accumulating hope. To win, at least one survivor must live by the end of 21 days.

The Kickstarter Campaign for 21 Days will continue through July 24, and is expected to ship by November, 2017.

Themeborne has started a Kickstarter Campaign for Escape the Dark Castle, a cooperative tabletop dice and card game for 1-4 players. Escape the Dark Castle has fantastic black and white art reminiscent of the old school fantasy art of the 80’s, best represented by the drawings in the original Dungeons and Dragons books. In Escape the Dark Castle, players choose characters, each with a custom set of dice, with faces representing might, cunning and wisdom. As a team, the players turn over Chapter Cards, showing combinations of dice faces that must be rolled and overcome. The players then contribute from their dice pool, matching the specific challenge symbols. Any dice not removed from the Chapter Cards by players then get an opportunity to attack back. Escape the Dark Castle is easy to learn, the Chapter Cards give endless variety, and a game can be played in 30 minutes.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Escape the Dark Castle continues through June 30, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

Hot on the heels of the announcement for the Tomb of Annihilation setting for Dungeons and Dragons, Wizkids have announced a new game and expansion.  The new game was the rumored Adventure System game from before, and now we know it’s Dungeons & Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation Adventure System Board Game.  This game will be released later this summer and will feature cooperative campaign play like in the previous games and will focus itself on the new setting.  The biggest change though has nothing to do with gameplay though, but the minis, and that is the addition of a deluxe version of the game.  So like with the Assault of the Giants game, you can purchase a standard game with unpainted minis, or the deluxe game for fully painted minis.  Either way I am looking forward to this new game in the Adventure System line.

The expansion that was announced is the next set for the Dice Masters game, Dungeons & Dragons Dice Masters: Tomb of Annihilation.  This will expand the Dungeons and Dragons section of the game will more heroes, monsters, gear, and spells from the new setting.  Best of all there is also a new basic action card you can get that will change gameplay significantly.  You can look for this set to release this fall, and you can head over to the Wizkids site to read more about everything being released.

As convention season is in full swing, new game announcements are going to be coming fast, so lets get to it.  First up is a new expansion to add to the innovative card crafting game, Mystic Vale, called Mystic Vale: Mana Storm.  This expansion continues the trend of adding more of what you want, more cards, leaders, and advancements, while still adding something new to the game.  This time around it’s leaders that can be upgraded, giving them more powerful abilities, and amulet tokens which are just like mana tokens except that have unique powers associated with them.  So if you enjoy Mystic Vale, I am sure this expansion will just make the game that much better.  Look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next is a monster pack for the second edition of King of Tokyo featuring King Kong.  While this isn’t as exciting, except for the fact you can have a three way monkey showdown now, what is also coming in the box is a new way to win the game.  What way is that you ask?  Well, I don’t know, but we will all find out when this pack hits stores in October of this year.

Next we have the big box expansion for Legends of Andor that finishes out the epic story, Legends of Andor: The Last Hope.  Krahder has ended his raid, and in the process has kidnapped many of the citizens of Andor, so it is up the heroes to rescue them.  They will venture beyond the Gray Mountains to fight the hordes of skeleton warriors with Krahder leading them.  Eventually you will work your way to Krahder himself to defeat him once and for all, bringing the overarching story of Legends of Andor to it’s conclusion.  While the German version of the game has been released, the English version of the game will be released in October of this year.

After that is the latest set in the BattleCon series and that is BattleCon: Trials of Indines from Level 99 Games.  This set brings an additional 10 fighters into the game with more new combos, moves, and strategies to give you greater variety in your BattleCon games.  This game was previously Kickstarted back in October of last year, and so this year will see it’s fulfillment to backers, and retail release.  No firm date yet is given but they do expect the game to ship this year to both backers and retailers, so look forward to it.

Finally we have an expansion to the popular tile based Cthulhu war game, Shadows over Nomandie, called Desert Wrath.  In this set it takes you out of the typical theaters of war for the time and sends you to Egypt.  There you will “follow the adventures of the Section M and accompany Captain Harris Badger and the Corporal Akhee Singh in their fight against the Black Sun in search of the legendary city of Irem“.  This expansion includes the new Section M faction as well as the typical new units, spells, heroes, etc. that you come to expect in a big box expansion.  So if you enjoy the game, and don’t mind the change of scenery, then this expansion will just bring more variety and replayability to the game.  Check your local game store in late July for this expansion.

It’s that time again, time to spotlight some fun Kickstarters that have been going on.

First up is something that fits more as a display piece than as a functional board game accessory, even though it CAN be used, called The Tablebreaker.  The Tablebreaker is a 4.5″ diameter d20 die made out of solid aluminum and weighing about 5 lbs.  They call this The Tablebreaker because a normal die will be about 1/100 of a pound, and bigger metal dice can run into the 1 lb range.  I own one of those bigger dice, and having something that weighs five times as much makes me fear for my table if I roll it.  I don’t think my table would break, but it would certainly be permanently marked from the Tablebreaker.  So if you are looking for a giant metal die to either use or display, or just want to see videos of tables being destroyed by a die, check out the Kickstarter today.

Next up is a worker placement style game with some bag building mixed in called Groves.  In Groves you are trying to restore the now formless and forgotten kingdom of Idyllon.  To do that you will be building out your grove with all sorts of different trees and using the different spirits to activate those trees or the Tree of Idyll.  What workers you get is based on what is in your bag, and each turn you will draw three of those workers to use for the worker placement.  Any spirits used on your grove, be they from you or someone else, will go back in your bag.  But, any spirits used on the Tree of Idyll are discarded, serving as a way to get unwanted spirits out of your bag.  From there it’s just a matter of building your bag right and getting your engine revved up to score dominion points, which are the points you need to win.  So if you are interested in this tree themed fantasy game from Letiman Games, check out their Kickstarter page.

After that is a game from Breaking Games with some beautiful art and interesting mechanics, and that is Rise of Tribes.  The art for the game is very well done, and the leaders they depict on the player boards look simply amazing and evoke the tribal feel of the game.  The game itself is a dice based area control and civilization game where symbol combinations don’t determine your available actions, but they do have the chance to enhance them.  How this works is that on your turn you roll two dice, and then put each die on an action space were other dice are already there.  The oldest die comes off that space and you perform the action, but if the symbols on the dice there match the action, then you get to do bonus actions as well.  This would allow you to do more than just the basic two actions on your turn if you use your dice smartly.  You then use these actions to explore new areas, put pieces on the board, and grow your civilization to be the best there is.  So if this sounds interesting then check out the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have another entry into the tricking taking plus something else category with Radiant by Tin Shoe Games.  Trick taking games plus something else category right now is being occupied by games like Honshu and Trick of the Rails, and this game takes that hybrid idea and runs with it.  In Radiant you will draft your hand of cards from a public display, meaning you will know what your opponents are taking and vice versa.  From there you will have the opportunity to score sets that you have created in your hand, but be careful, you have to reveal those sets to everyone to score it.  From there you starting battling across the board, and battles are decided by a trick taking round with the area you are fighting in determining the trump suit.  In the end you get points for areas controlled and the sets you reveal in each round, most points is the winner.  So if you are interested in this kind of hybrid area control/tricking taking game, check out their Kickstarter campaign.

While a certain project just launched by CMON will be getting most of the attention, we still want to highlight some other good ones that might be worth backing.

First up is the reprint and re-theming by Indie Boards & Cards of the popular flip and write game, Avenue, now called Kokoro: Avenue of the Kodama.  How to play the game remains largely unchanged, where you flip a card to see what kind of road you can draw, and then drawings it on your personal map.  Some of the changes being made to the game are the inclusion of double sided dry erase boards, meaning you no longer have to worry about running out of maps.  Also being included are components for a 7th player of the game and decree cards which offer more variability when you play the game.  Overall if you like this kind of game, or just missed out on Avenue the first time around, check out this Kickstarter today.

Next we have an expansion for the cowboy saloon building game called Saloon Tycoon: The Ranch Expansion from Van Ryder Games.  Saloon Tycoon is all about building up your own saloon to be the best in the west, but others want to achieve that goal as well.  You will take turns adding to your saloon, trying to satisfy you secret goals as well as public ones.  Attracting citizens will help you out, but be careful of the outlaws, they just want to make trouble.  The Ranch Expansion adds more tiles for you to build, cows and horses to wrangle, more characters, and four different mini expansion that are Kickstarter exclusive.  You will also be able to add on the base game and the Boomtown expansion to expand your game even further.  So if this sounds interesting to you, check out the Kickstarter.

Following that we have a new party game being done by Grail games called Hang 12.  Hang 12 is a personal trivia type game where the active player will pick a beach to surf, and that beach determine what kind of trivia question they have to answer.  Some of the question are “I have seen all the Star Wars movies”, or “I have eaten caviar before” and so on.  The active player secretly answers either true or false and then everyone else guesses to see what the right answer was.  If you are right you get to take the next level of point card, if you are wrong then you lose your current point card and start over.  What makes the scoring interesting is that it’s a bit of push your luck because as you get more answers right in a row, you point card increases faster and faster, but get a question wrong and you lose it.  Alternatively, if you don’t want to risk the points you play the surf card to ride the wave in and bank the points, moving closer to the 24 point victory.  If this surf themed party game sound like something you want to try, check out the Kickstarter now.

After that we have a new cooperative game being designed by Chris Batarlis and Steve Avery called Metal Dawn.  The game essentially has you playing out the Terminator movie before the robots have fully taken over, where you play agents fighting back against the machines.  The game plays out like an area control game where you have to deploy your characters to different zones in Washington DC before they get overrun.  You will have to find gear and gain intel to use against the constant onslaught of robots in order to turn the tide and secure the zones.  Then you will have to use some of that intel on DOMINUS, the satellite that took over all the robotic enemies and started the rebellion.  Once you bring him down to Earth he turns into a massive robot menace that once you defeat that, will finally end the robot uprising.   Hopefully your skills are up to par and you have good teamwork, because DOMINUS will not go easy on you.  Check out the Kickstarter today, and if you upgrade to the deluxe edition you also get rules to play the game competitively as well.

Last, and by certainly no means least, we have the expansion to the popular character creation game, Roll Player: Monsters and Minions by Thunderworks Games.  Roll Player has you rolling dice to give your character stats, learn skills, gain traits, and equip them with the best armor and weapons you can manage. Roll Player: Monsters and Minions expands on that by adding more of what you want, more classes, more races, and more market items, including a brand new item type, scrolls.  But what makes this expansion great is that now you take this character you crafted, and put them up against monsters like bugbears, goblins, vampires, and dragons.  Hopefully the character you created is up the snuff or he may be taken out.  You can check out the Kickstarter here, which is well past funded and blown through many stretch goals.

Here we are again, time to highlight a couple of Kickstarters we found this week.

First on the list is a game from The Creativity Hub called Untold: Adventures Await.  This is an RPG, story telling hybrid game that puts to use the many different sets of Rory Story Cubes that have been released to date.  It’s described as throwing yourself into your favorite TV series, but instead of just watching you are now creating the story that unfolds.  This is especially true because several dice sets have been released that are based on popular television IPs like Batman, Scooby Doo, and Doctor Who.  Whichever set of Rory Story Cubes you use will give you the framework to your story, and the game will guide you through the rest from the danger appearing to the final showdown.  Play will take about 60 minutes and you can reuse your created characters in later games, akin to continuing your TV series.  So if this sounds interesting to you, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Next is a game getting an art overhaul and deluxified courtesy of TMG called The Flow of History.  This is a bidding/auction style card game where you are trying to build the best civilization out of them all.  In the game you will be buying and playing cards from 5 different ages, with each card having it’s own special ability.  Some cards give you icons, others give you resources based on those icons, and so on.  The game ends when the card “The Future” shows up in the market or is acquired directly, at that point you count up culture icons, each being worth a point, and any end game scoring bonuses to determine the winner.  What makes this version deluxe compared to the retail is the larger box, molded plastic tray, folding market board, and metal resource tokens.  So if a card based civilization game interests you, or you want a deluxe version of the game, check out the Kickstarter page.

Finally we have Archmage Origins, the latest card game from SolarFlare Games.  In the game you are battling your follow mages in an effort to collect the strongest army and be crowned the archmage of the realm.  To do that you will use a similar board setup and play style to that of a popular two player game, Targi.  In the game you will set out a 4×4 grid of face down monster cards, each having different strengths and abilities.  On your turn you can peak at a card to see what monster is there, next you have the option to swap it with another card, and then you play one of your mage cards around the edge of the board.  After everyone’s mage cards have been played, all the cards flip over and each monster card is resolved, totaling the value of mage cards in the column and row it occupies.  Whoever has the higher value gets to add the card to their army, and once all the cards have been given out, the highest valued army wins.  With some good looking art, simple and quick gameplay, this light filler game is worth a look.  Check out their Kickstarter page today, which also includes a tease to the next game in the same universe.

IELLO has posted a second trailer video for its upcoming arena combat board game, Arena For The Gods, designed by Maxime Rambourg (The Big Book Of Madness). This video highlights some of the mechanisms and components of this upcoming cousin to King of Tokyo and Ultimate Warriorz. In Arena For The Gods, 2-6 players bid with health tokens to buy cards representing equipment, spells, mounts and general tools of destruction. Players then have 2 rolls of the custom dice in order to move about the arena, fight,  and activate their cards, dealing death and destruction to the other combatants. The last warrior left standing is the victor.

Arena For The Gods is due for pre-release at Origins Game Fair in June 2017, then in stores on June 28. The newest trailer video can be seen here.

Diceborn Heroes is a new Kickstarter project in which 1-4 players can bring a party of heroes into either a single encounter or a string of battles in a campaign. In Diceborn Heroes, players create a party from a roster of 19 different classes (more coming through Stretch Goals) and pit them against a string of monsters under a boss in the style of a classic JRPG.

Players roll dice to activate abilities on their characters, and similarly the monsters draw numbers from the Attack Deck to attack. The Attack Deck acts as a clever timer to the game: when monsters attack, Attack Deck cards are drawn out, and when monsters are killed, Attack Deck cards are returned to the deck. Town actions between rounds, such as healing and leveling up, also remove Attack cards from the deck. If the Attack Deck runs out, the characters start taking damage each round.

The Kickstarter campaign for Diceborn Heroes continues through May 30, and the game is expected to deliver in December 2017.