Interested in an easy to pick up and equally easy to teach game with multiple modes of play and a unique, new theme? Dance Card!, designed by Michael Melkonian and now on Kickstarter, might be just the ticket – a dancing game for 1-to-4 players where timing, positioning, and collecting your nerves will be the key to success, just like real dancing! Whether playing solo, competitively, or cooperatively, all players will try to dance well with their partners around the dance floor of Sackson High through the tension of die rolls. Your friends, your placement, and some smooth moves can help mitigate these rolls and lead to victory.
“You get to play as one of 32 unique students at the Sackson High homecoming dance, and you’ll need to dance with all three of your partners to win the game. Whether you’re an experienced gamer, or brand new to the hobby, Dance Card! offers tactical fun the whole family can enjoy.”
Don’t be fooled by the high school aesthetic and colorful art, there’s a lot of refinement here that makes it more than just a modern, original theme that’s new gamer friendly. It’s deceptively simple, and that’s the point – it’s the draw of the theme and the ease of play that will bring it and your family & friends to the table and surprise everyone with variety and depth. The speed of play, combined with the wide assortment of characters and modes, means there’s a lot of replay value and a reason to explore it game-after-game. A highlight of this golden era of board gaming is that recent designs have grown past tired themes of the previous decade and leveraged accessibility to bring fun and depth to a wider audience, and Dance Card! is a prime and excellent example of this. If you’re interested in learning more about Dance Card!, please check out it’s Kickstarter campaign page for multiple previews, full rules, FAQs, community feedback, and more!
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.
Grey Fox Games brings more goodness from Midgard. Set in the same universe as Champions of Midgard, currently sitting at #103 on Board Game Geek, Reavers of Midgard places players once again as leaders of a Viking clan in search for glory. While, at first, this new game features some similar mechanics as its sister game – dice rolling combat, worker placement, and set collection – these mechanics are used differently along side a card drafting mechanism to build engines toward victory. One of the differences in Reavers of Midgard is the single worker each player may place that activates an action all the other players get to take, but the closer the other players are to the acting player, the more beneficial the action. Reavers are a new addition to the Midgard universe, and they are represented by beautifully illustrated cards that players can recruit. Each Reaver immediately provides the recruiting player dice to add to their player board (which is depicted as a Viking Longship). Additionally, each Reaver can be used in one of three ways – Rally, which adds more dice to your player board; Lead, which activates abilities printed on the player board that aligns with the card’s faction symbols; and Specialize, which triggers special actions on the player board anytime a corresponding action is played by any player. Every decision has an effect on other players. The rest of the game features all the things that Vikings do: conduct raids, pillage farms, conquer territories, battle sea serpents, and fulfill prophecies – all to bring glory to the clan. The player with the most glory at the end of six rounds is the winner.
Reavers of Midgard plays 2-4 players in about 90 minutes. For Kickstarter backers, most of the components will be upgraded to wooden tokens. The final design of the tokens for the retail version does not appear to have been completed as of this report. The Kickstarter campaign runs through 20 November with an estimated delivery in June 2019. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.
In Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef, players are citizens of an island realm, gathering in the City of Naviri, competing to earn the title of Tidal Blade, an elite guardian of the Islands. The tournament takes place over the course of five days. During the day, contestants spend energy to take actions that allow them to gather resources, travel to locations to earn bonuses, and compete in challenges. During the night, contestants defend the city against a monster invasion, then upgrade their characters and prepare for the next day of contests.
Players will play one of four unique characters, each with their own special powers. Each player also has a dice pool, and the dice can be upgraded to more powerful and consistent results depending one which power they want to focus on. Dice are rolled and spent to complete challenges and defeat monsters. Some monsters will require the efforts of all players to defeat.
At the end of five days, the player with the most points is the winner, but this will not be the last you hear of these heroes because they will also be featured in the second part of this game world: Tidal Blades: The Rise of the Unfolders, that will shortly follow the release of this game.
Tidal Blades: Heroes of the Reef plays 1-4 (solo mode recently added), ages 14+ in 60-90 minutes. Contents include 4 player boards, 5 standees, 32 character cards, 16 energy discs, 54 custom dice, 3 danger dice, 40 fruit tokens, 40 shell tokens, 21 stunt cards, 5 location boards, 24 market cards, 54 challenge cards, a boat token, a round tracker, a first player token, 6 monster cards, a monster die, and 64 hit tokens. The Kickstarter campaign offers a Deluxe Edition which includes a custom dice tray arena, highly details character miniatures, and more. The Kickstarter campaign runs through 9 November with an expected deliver in October 2019. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.
There’s still a large market for civilization-building games, as there’s a large breadth of separation between the 8+ hour civ games people commonly remember and the more “reserved” tabletop equivalents. In my experience, some of the more pleasant versions have been lighter, dice-driven affairs such as Roll Through the Ages or Nations: the Dice Game, but I understand those are an extreme compromise from the combative, strategic, map-oriented games that many prefer. Those that do, but still want something quicker, may be interested in Infinities: Defiance of Fate, already funded on Kickstarter as of writing this. It is described as a “4x-lite” game, which has strong tableau and area control mechanics mixed with dice-directed action allocation that plays at a decent clip and can be played in story and skirmish modes. As described on the campaign page:
“The multiverse is an impossibly vast existence, accounting for every possible outcome of every possible point of divergence. In Infinities: Defiance of Fate you are the leader of a sci-fi or fantasy faction seeking to assemble an army, shape the very worlds you walk on, and fulfill or redefine your destiny. Experience a combination of accessible, tactical gameplay and rich, flexible storytelling as you forge your own timelines.”
The allusions to time and fate are not just buzzwords for this game, they’re mechanically literal. Timing is everything in this game, with every player choosing actions one at a time and cards to carry over from round-to-round to strategically place themselves in spots that may benefit them in the long-run. Fate, of course, manifests itself in the dice as per usual, but there’s a fair amount of manipulation and you don’t have to remain seated with what the dice decide for you. With easy to learn yet hard to master rules and simple combat, it all comes together as a pretty sharp, brisk package for those looking for lighter 4x fare. If you’re interested in learning more about Infinities: Defiance of Fate, be sure to check out their Kickstarter page for a full rules breakdown, updates, and community feedback.
These dwarves are leaving their hammers behind and picking up swords (and beer) in this tactical board game of drunken brawling.
Dwarves with Swords takes you below ground, where you play as these under-mountain dwellers fighting each other for the best beer brewing locations.
A game of Dwarves with Swords starts before the dice even hit the table. Using the four Dwarf classes – The Broadsword, The Brewmaster, The Magesword and The Longsword, players create two groups of nine Dwarves each. Each class has its own specific strengths and weakness so it is important to build groups that work well for your play style. Formation is also important. Most of the Action Cards used during (drunken) combat requires that the dwarves be in certain formations. Remember, your dwarves don’t move once the brawl begins!
Once you’ve decided on the formation of your Groups, build your Army in the Player Grids. Let the brawl begin!
“Each player gets to use one Attack Action, one Defense Action and one Move Action per round. Those Action Cards determine how you crush your enemies, chase down any stragglers (bravely) running away and protect yourself against attacks from your foes.”
Combat is a dice-chucking affair. Take the number of dice listed by the stat on the Action Card you played, roll them and finally, line them up and compare them, lowest to highest, to your enemy. The high roll in each pair wins! Count your success and deal damage based on the Action Card you played.
As you might have heard from your Dwarven friends, beer is power! Dwarves use beer in battle to increase their Drunkenness (of course)! Each point of Drunkenness increases the group’s combat stats but, on the other hand, decreases its Speed. However, be a responsible drinker! If a group reaches a Drunkenness level equal to or greater than it’s Memory, the group Blacks Out and is removed from the board.
Dwarves with Swords started as a simple idea between two board-game-loving brothers during their college days. One of the brothers, Earle, revisited the idea in 2017 and now the game has been play tested by over 100 people. Although it has been through many iterations, it remains true to its core: a silly rhyming name and many dwarves clashing on a battlefield.
Dwarves with Swords is for 2-4 (or even 6) players ages 14 and up. It has a 30-minute per person playtime. The game is on Kickstarter until September 18th. If funded, further stretch goals include miniatures and scenario/objective tiles. Expected delivery is April 2019.
The Dice Dungeon is a two player game that takes approximately 20 minutes to play. In the game, each player sits across from each other with a 3D “Dungeon Waffle” in between. Each player’s goal is to be the first to build a path from one end of the dungeon to the other and have the means to make it through with the right equipment and end with more experience points than their opponent. Alternating turns, each player will draw and roll one die from the dice bag. If you roll a map face, you’ll add it to the Dungeon Waffle, choosing which map side faces you and which faces your opponent, as well as the orientation. Spells and equipment can be kept in front of you. Spells will let you manipulate dice already in the dungeon while equipment will give you the means to make it through locked doors and enemies at the end. Wish rings allow you to choose any face on that die to use and Wondrous Items allow you to exchange it with one of your opponents spells or items, or can be saved for bonus experience points at the end of the game. The game ends when either player declares that they have completed a path through the dungeon and have the necessary equipment to successful traverse that path or when either player is unable to draw a die from the dungeon bag. The player with the most experience points wins.
The campaign includes stretch goals that will offer a three player Triple Waffle and a four player Waffle Cross. For more information, you can check out the campaign here.
The zombie plague is not limited to just humans and orcs. All manner of creatures are succumbing to the vile disease and launching an assault against the living. The rats that form into undead swarms are bad enough. Then there’s the ghostly Spectral Walkers that are only damaged by magic. But when there’s a zombie dragon to deal with, that’s a whole other category of terror! To take that out, the survivors are gonna need a bigger crossbow.
In Lucidity, players are dreamers who have entered the dream world populated by Nightmares. Players roll dice to the steal power of dreams, but each roll of the dice also risks corruption of the Nightmares. Too much corruption turns a player into a Nightmare who hunts down the other dreams and become the most powerful nightmare. At the end of the night only one Dreamer or Nightmare is left standing. Lucidity is a press-your-luck dice game to gain the enough power to escape the dream world or dominate it as a Nightmare.
Lucidity plays one to four players, ages 14 and up, in about 20-30 minutes. Contents include 80 dice (20 in 4 different colors), black bag, 4 Dreamer Cards, 5 Nightmare Cards, 4 Turn Summary Cards, 4 Glass Sleep Markers, and rulebook.
You and up to 5 friends each take on the role of a Reckoner, the only ones brave enough to stand up to the evil epics and save humanity from their tyranny. Over the course of the game players will roll dice and take actions, combining their Reckoner’s various skills and abilities to try and defeat several epics before a final showdown with villainous Steelheart.
If the players succeed in defeating him, humanity is saved but should too many civilians perish before then their cause is lost. For a simple game play overview head over to the review by Board Game Corner or for an in-depth rule breakdown you can checkout the official rule book PDF.
The campaign offers four different pledge levels and while most of the content should be available at retail, the highest pledge level offers several Kickstarter exclusive including metal and painted miniatures.
Your mission is simple, but not easy. Take down Steelheart and his Epics and SAVE THE CITY!