dungeon crawl

Arcane Wonders has announced 2 new games coming out this September, the tile laying game Architectura by designer Pavel Atamanchuk and the loot-and-scoot dungeon crawl Dragonscales by the eminent designer Richard Launius (Arkham Horror).

“Fight, steal, run, and maybe betray! Only one villain can emerge the victor!”

In DragonScales, 3-5 players each take on the role of fantasy villains looking to defeat the three headed dragon within his lair. Each villain comes with its own unique deck of action and action and tactic cards. The cunning scoundrels aim to loot and pillage the lair, collecting treasures and precious dragonscales, and most importantly escape alive. And if you can claim the three heads of the great dragon as trophies, all the better. DragonScales is no slouch with regard to components, coming with 5 player miniatures, 44 custom dice, 25 plastic dragonscales, 136 cards, 109 cubes, markers, screens and board. The game plays in 60 minutes, and inspected to hit stores September 18.

Architectura is a tile laying, city building game for 2-4 players which plays in a reasonable 30-45 minutes. Players take turns laying down tiles, creating a grid of buildings, each of which may enhance or destroy neighboring structures. Additionally, Cards can be rotated for actions and bonuses.
Architectura can also be played in an advanced mode, where each player has a unique deck of buildings to work with.

“Let’s say you’ve just built a magnificent temple. A vulgar market around the corner doesn’t belong there anymore and has to be shut down right away, but a park near the temple’s entrance will definitely be a good match and will even profit from the divine proximity.”

Look for Architectura at your FLGS on September 18, 2019.

Succubus Publishing has launched a new Kickstarter project offering entry and additional content for Middara, their massive 1-4 player fantasy dungeon crawl set in an alternate reality Earth.

The core game of Middara features an 80+ hour campaign where you can fully customize characters from the ground up using over 110 different abilities and over 160 different items. The box is packed with 44 miniatures and 36 double-sided map tiles. The narrative in Middara is driven by its 482 page adventure book that can be experienced in its spiral bound form or through an audio app. You can also play single scenarios separate from the main campaign in Crawl Mode.

Combat in Middara is dice-driven utilizing action points. The custom dice include numbers, which you will compare to your target’s defense, as well as symbols that trigger abilities. The different between your attack roll and your target’s defense equates directly to how much damage you do. Enemy cards lay out their abilities and individualized AI. For more on gameplay, check out the Dice Tower’s Testing Tuesday playthrough.

The new content available through the Kickstarter project consists of acts two and three continuing the story from the core game. Each additional act is a 40+ hour campaign adding around 40 new miniatures. They also include more map tiles, character abilities, gear, and Crawl Mode scenarios. If you are still looking for more, the project offers add-ons for new scenarios, alternate enemy cards, and additional miniatures. The project runs through 11:00 am EST on July 24th. The estimated delivery for wave 1 content is May 2020, and for wave 2 is December 2021. The original Kickstarter delivered three years after its estimated delivery, and you can read about that journey through the original project updates.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress by Games Workshop is an adventure board game that puts players in the heart of an unfolding mystery in the 41st Millennium. The game is a stand-alone sci-fi, dungeon crawl board game using the Warhammer Quest brand and format.

Players take on the role of a group of explorers delving into the labyrinthine halls of a vast and ancient space station. Everyone must work together, balancing strengths and skills to have any hope of survival.

To start, each player picks an explorer and starts on the adventure. Your characters will grow, develop and pick up new gear between runs, with each journey offering greater rewards – and greater dangers. With each expedition, you will discover powerful “archeotech” and learn more of the Blackstone Fortress’ closely guarded secrets, including, perhaps, the location of its greatest treasure.

Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress can be played solo, or with up to four friends, with the fifth player controlling the hostiles. It is a legacy game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe with a “pause game” mechanic. At the end of each expedition, the players return to the nearby port city of Precipice to rest, recuperate and trade their loot for resources that will aid in their next adventure.

Details & box contents

1-5 players
Ages 12+
120-180 minute play time

Like most good dungeon crawlers, there is a lot in the box:

• 44 brand-new, colored plastic Citadel Miniatures
• 16 page rules booklet
• 24 page background booklet
• 16 page combat booklet
• 24 page precipice booklet
• 16 page datasheet booklet for using all miniatures in games of Warhammer 40,000
• 40 board tiles
• 234 cards
• 70 counters and markers
• 28 dice

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of the Warhammer Quest series of games.

Catacombs is back again, this time bigger and better in almost every way. The positively excellent dungeon crawling dexterity game is now on Kickstarter, this time featuring a bigger box, new insert, updated rules, better border walls, and most important of all – double-sided cloth playmats! Now the game is more streamlined, sturdier, with an improved premium feel and more attractive look, and it will all fit on a standard Kallax shelf. There’s also a new Wydlands expansion to boot, along with all the old expansion content available as add-ons, which means if you’ve missed the train on this exemplary flicking game you’ve got the chance to dive into the action.

     “The surface of the playmats are a very fine cloth weave, which is smooth to the touch. This allows the wood discs to glide across with impressive precision, making every shot satisfyingly consistent. We removed the obstacle holes from the play surfaces, replacing them with obstacle icons, just like in Catacombs & Castles. This allows us to have different obstacle placements between the two sides. With no holes, you can even use your awesome new playmats with your other games!”

For those who already own the 3rd edition of Catacombs from previous campaigns, there’s an upgrade option on this campaign that offers all the new content descirbed above, including the bigger box and new expansion, so you won’t need to buy a whole new copy. As designer Aron West has said in commentary – this is the way Catacombs is meant to be played, as once you play on mats you won’t want to go back to the old boards. This is truly a one-of-a-kind game deserving of evergreen status in many collections, and this is just the kind of deluxe treatment it deserves. If you’re interested in learning more about this upgraded version of Catacombs 3rd edition, check out the Kickstarter campaign, which has successfully funded, for more information, visuals, FAQ, updates, and stretch goals!

Variety.com just announced the news that Mice & Mystics, a cooperative board game by published by Plaid Hat Games and designed by Jerry Hawthorne, is in negotiations with Dreamworks Annimation to become a full-length movie!!

“Alexandre Aja attached to direct and co-write the script with “Aquaman” scribe David Leslie Johnson. Vertigo Entertainment’s Roy Lee and Jon Berg are producing.”

Mice & Mystics is a beautiful dungeon-crawl game for both adults and families and sports several expansions. You can find out much more about the game over at the Dice Tower here (including reviews and features)

Dungeon crawls are usually more serious affairs and can get rather involved with games like Gloomhaven, Descent, and Massive Darkness.  But what if you just want to have a silly time dungeoning in a short time span?  Then Fungeon Party is here to save the day.

Fungeon Party is a light dexterity, party game that plays in only 3 minutes, and can support up to 4 people.  In the game you will pull 6 quest cards from a quest deck, and it’s these quests that you have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Each player will pick a class like barbarian, cleric, ranger, or others, with each class having their own special abilities to accomplish quests, and stats that can increase over time.  But two questions remain, what do you do on these quests and how does it play in only 3 minutes?  Well to answer the time question is simple, you get 30 seconds to complete each quest for a total time of 3 minutes.  As for what quests you will be doing, you will be doing things like stacking dice on your forehead, knocking down a meeple surrounded by dice, balancing a meeple on a stick, bouncing dice into the box, and more.  Manage to complete all six quests and you win!

Fungeon Party is a random and frantic game that while may not exactly scratch that dungeon crawling itch, it would definitely be a fun opening game before the heavy stuff.  Look for it in stores in June, but you can go and pre-order the game today.  Check out Wizkids’ webpage for more information.

Imperial Assault is not lacking content, but Star Wars is an ever-expanding property that allows for growth in equal measure among the products utilize it. Fans can soon expect Star Wars Rebels to soon join the party as a small box expansion and four ally/villain packs introduce the crew of the Ghost and their adversaries to the campaign or skirmish matches. The Tyrants of Lothal small box expansion includes new characters and enemies which bring stories from the Lothal sector to the table, while the Spectres, the mercenary Hondo, and Grand Admiral Thrawn himself are all available separately to aid in combat or participate in unique scenarios. As described on it’s product page:

“Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce Tyrants of Lothal, a new expansion for Imperial Assault, available for pre-order now from your local retailer! Tyrants of Lothal is not releasing alone either, so be sure to also pre-order the Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus Ally Pack, the Sabine Wren and Zeb Orrelios Ally Pack, the Thrawn Villain Pack, and the Hondo Ohnaka Villain Pack to upgrade your Imperial Assault experience!”

 

It’s very nice to see this show earn such an earnest inclusion to an already good game, and mechanically speaking there’s a lot to offer the competitive scene as well. Beyond the inclusion of powerful new characters, both allies and villains, there’s also more cards, abilities, and death troopers that will make skirmishes more interesting or the Imperial player more daunting, depending on the mode of play. Furthermore,since Rebels is canon and it has done a lot to bridge characters between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, there’s a lot of fun scenarios that could be made using other available characters, such as Darth Maul and Obi Wan for example, along with the Spectres. If you are interested in these expansions or future content for Imperial Assault, be sure to check out their product pages and the Fantasy Flight Games website for future announcements.

Isaac Childres and Cephalofair Games have announced that an expansion to Gloomhaven, named Gloomhaven: Forgotten Circles. Gloomhaven is the legacy card-driven dungeon crawl that hit the market like a nuclear bomb out of Kickstarter  in early 2017. The 22 pound monster has since dominated the Hotness and Best boardgame lists on BGG, and even managed to crack into the #1 spot in Tom Vasel’s top board games of all time. Forgotten Circles will be released through normal retail channels in time for Essen Spiel 2018 (October), and will contain 20 new scenarios that take place after the main story of Gloomhaven. Forgotten Circles will also include 7 new monster types with 3 bosses, 14 new items, and a new character class, the Aesther Diviner.

Mantic Games have provided more details about their sci-fi, dungeon crawler, Star Saga across a series of articles on their website. Star Saga is set in a futuristic world with space travel, high adventure, various alien races, and advanced technology. The game centers around Mercenaries who take on missions but are stymied by the Nexus Player (a Dungeon Master if you will). The game supports 1 to 5 players which can be played solo, competitively or cooperatively. Single games can take 30 minutes while campaigns last much longer.

“The Galactic Co-Prosperity Sphere is the most technologically advanced civilisation in the history of mankind. When a powerful corporation starts stealing secrets, a team of the galaxy’s deadliest mercenaries is hired to retrieve them. Their target: a network of laboratories hidden deep beneath the surface of the planet Eiras. The reward is high, but so is the risk! If the elite guards weren’t enough, our heroes will also have to deal with the monstrous creations of Eiras’ twisted master…”

 

The following Mercenaries were revealed as playable characters:

  • Captain Erika Dulinsky – Militaristic character who excels in tactics and leadership.
  • Combat Utility Roboy B07153 ‘Curby’ – Flexible robot which can be adapted to fill a specific role in the team.
  • Wrath – Roguelike, assassin with mental stability problems which are solved by the blade of his sword.
  • Francesco ‘The Devil’ Selvaggio – Close combat and demolitions expert.
  • Alyse – Thief who is able to drain the life force of her victims to heal herself and her comrades.
  • Ogan Helkarre – Engineer who is able to craft weapons.

The Artificial Nexus was designed for solo play and consists of a deck of cards which are played during the “bad guy’s” turn. Actions targeting characters, which would usually be resolved by the Nexus Player, is resolved using symbols on the card matching the state of certain characters. eg. The Mercenary furthest from the start point. Minion actions are also determined using a Minion Activation Table for each one which needs to be activated.

The Nexus Player has many tactics available to them in order to defeat the Mercenaries. Understanding the timing of the deck is crucial. They need to plan ahead so that they can bait their opponents into traps and position their minions in tactical places. Picking the right targets based on the mission objectives is also key to victory.

Should the Mercenaries survive their missions they are rewarded with experience points (XP) which allow them to level up their skills and attributes. Missions get harder as the campaign progresses so it’s important to gain as much XP as possible. Mercenaries will end up very differently from each other at the end of the campaign due to the wide range of skills available to them.

The Core Set will contain everything you need to play the game including pre-assembled, detailed miniatures and 3D scenery. Star Saga is currently available in retail stores.

Tis the season for giving with Hanukkah upon us and Christmas close behind, but not everyone is in the know on what board games are good for different people so CMON is stepping in by offering a gift giving guide.  While the list they offer is not exhaustive, it does touch on some key personality traits like people who are artsy, adventurous, a social butterfly, and even the know it all smarty pants.

For the artsy person in your life, CMON suggests either Reiner Knizia’s classic Modern Art, or their newly released game called Dream OnModern Art is an auction style game where each player will be putting a piece of art up for auction, hoping that other players will buy it from him.  If they buy it then he gets their money, but if no one buys it he can buy it from himself, but then he has to pay his money to the bank.  This continues until all paintings are sold, and in the end each painting is valued by how many of it sold and the richest player is the winner.  So while the game is a solid auction style game, the art of the cards is beautiful and feature a lot of classic and modern works, plus there is an included guide book in the instructions that talk about all the different works of art in the game.  Then there is the fact that since this is an art game, you can find different versions of the game form all over the world, featuring art from that region, making it something truly unique for a world art lover.  Dream On is a very different game but still taps into that creative side by being a group memory game with story telling and excellent art.  In the game you will play down a card, each of which have beautiful abstract art, while telling a story about it, then the next person will do the same, continuing until everyone has played down their cards.  Then it’s time to try and remember the dream by going around the table and saying what the next card that had been played is, so the more memorable a story you tell, the easier the memory part will be.  Based on how far you get will determine your score, so the game definitely caters to those more creative people.

For the adventuring type, CMON recommends two of their newer dungeon crawl style games with Massive Darkness and Gateway: Uprising.  Both games feature characters that you will be able to play through a campaign with, leveling up and gaining new abilities and gear as you go along.  You will be fighting all sorts of evil and monsters as you journey through the game to it’s conclusion.  The question is, what kind of adventure do you want to go on?  If you want to be lightbringers fighting against the oncoming darkness, pushing back against the great evil trying to overthrow the world, then pick up a copy of Massive Darkness.  Does fighting against an oppressive rule in your city that has outlawed magic in a bid to concentrate power into their own evil hands sound more like you?  Then Gateway: Uprising is the game you are looking for.

For the social butterfly we have some brand new party games you can get int he form of Sherlook and Raise Your GobletsSherlook is an interesting party game in that you are famous detectives trying to solve a case, but while you were away from the crime scene a rookie cop messed it all up.  Now it’s up to you and your fellow detectives to put things back where they were.  In the game there  will be two pictures, the original and what the room looks like now, and it’s a race to pick out all the differences between the two before everyone else.  Raise your Goblets is more of a social deduction, party game that resembles a popular scene from the movie Princess Bride.  In the game everyone is vying to become the next ruler, and is willing to eliminate all the competition to achieve their goal.  Each round someone will secretly give out drinks with some being poisoned, and others being just wine, and on your turn you either drink what is in front of you, or swap it with someone else.  Once everyone has either drunk or swapped, everyone drinks what is front of them and those who were poisoned are out.  Last one standing is the winner.

And finally, we come to the recommendations for the intellectual of your group, with a heavier game like Lorenzo Il Magnifico, or a tough cooperative game like The GrizzledLorenzo Il Magnifico is what come call a crunchy game, something will lots of choices but not enough actions to be able to do everything you want.  Plus there is a lot of things to juggle as you “gather resources, construct buildings, conquer territories, make powerful allies, and pay homage to the church” in a bid to become the most prestigious family.  The game is undoubtedly fun, but it’s going to give you a mental workout as you play this game.  The other game, The Grizzled, is difficult in a different way as playing the game is very simple, either play a card or withdraw from the round.  The thinking part of it comes with how far can you push your luck?  Who do I need to support to eliminate a troublesome negative effect?  How many cards do we need to play in order to reduce the deck while not failing the mission?  It’s all these questions and working with your friends to beat this game that makes it both tough and satisfying as you work towards victory.

You can read more about all of these games in CMON’s game guide article, and pick up any you might need at your friendly local game store.