dungeon crawl

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.

Things got super busy in my neck of the woods and so last week got lost in the shuffle, but luckily for us most KS campaigns last a month, so I can pick up right where I left off and show you all some quality Kickstarters to check out.  First up is is a new game in a previously established universe, and that is Chronicles of Frost from NSKN Games, a deck building game set in the Mistfall universe.  In this adventure each hero player will have an exploration quest and a search quest that they will have to accomplish in order to win the game.  Playing the game is similar to other deck builders with some differences, mainly the exertion system that NSKN has come up with.  What this does is that every card available has a normal ability and an exertion add on, meaning that if you perform the action and then spend the skills or health to exert yourself, you increase the effectiveness of that card quite a bit.  But there is a limit to how much you can exert yourself, so you have to use it carefully as you go along.  When you use cards they will give you better equipment, movement/exploration points to explore the board, attack power, and resolve, the currency in the game.  Build up your hero and take on the monsters roaming the land to complete your quests and win.  For more info you can check out the Kickstarter campaign to be able to back for your own copy.

Up next is a campaign aimed mostly at the ladies in the gaming world, and that is board game jewelry called Tabletop Talismans.  This campaign is offering people the opportunity to get necklaces, bracelets, key chains, and even earrings featuring the quintessential board game piece, the meeple.  This meeple is a shiny aluminum version so that it is durable, light weight, and shines nicely in the light, and is being offered in several different colors.  So if you want to get some meeple themed jewelry, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next on the list is a sequel/expansion to the game Best Treehouse Ever, and that is Best Treehouse Ever: Forest of Fun.  This expansion takes the original games and brings it into the forest, and with it some new mechanisms to help spice up the gameplay.  At it’s heart this is a drafting game where you are drafting different rooms to place in your treehouse to score the most points each round.  With the game being moved to the forest you now have additional bits like unique player powers based on where you are in the forest, animal cards that score based on room placement, and brand new room cards for a fresh game.  Of course this can be mixed with the original game, and there are even included rules to play the game with 8 people, so if you enjoyed the first game, this will just give you more of what you love.  To get this game you will have to hurry, the campaign ends on the 9th so check it out!

 

After that we have the digital game of the article, and that is One Deck Dungeon Digital from Handelabra Games.  This campaign was originally a stretch goal from the One Deck Dungeon Forest of Shadows Kickstarter, but they didn’t make it during that campaign so the digital adaptation was put on hold.  However, with Asmadi partnering with Handelabra Games, the possibility of a digital version of the game has been revived and launched on Kickstarter.  So in this campaign you will be getting the game One Deck Dungeon in digital format through steam.  This means that now where ever you have a computer with steam on it, you can pull out this highly rated solo game and delve through the dungeon.  The game includes everything from the base game, an excellent layout with all needed information easily accessible, a campaign mode, and animations and graphics to elevate the game from it’s physical counterpart.  So if you are looking for a nice digital version of the game, check out this Kickstarter today.

Next up is a game from Ankama Games, makers of the highly regarded Krosmaster Arena, where you are trying to scare students out of their wits.  Monster Slaughter is a game where you take command of different groups of monsters like vampires, werewolves, zombies,  or golem to scare some students.  On your turn you will take actions by rolling dice, and based on the number of successes you get will determine if the action succeeds, how much damage you do, or how many cards you can draw.  This is a competitive game where each player has a specific order in which they want to eliminate the students in, and so you will be playing cards to help yourself, but also help the students if they are getting picked on too soon for you.  Everything about the game is quick and light and in the end, whoever matched the elimination order the best will be the winner.  So if this monster movie type game is your speed, check out the Kickstarter page.

And finally we have the reprint of the list, and that’s the Folklore: The Affliction second printing.  Folklore: The Affliction is the horror themed RPG board game which aimed to turn a typical pencil and paper RPG into a self contained game.  In this game you are fighting the evil that has come upon the land, wolves, ghosts, vampires, and the undead.  Like an RPG you will be traveling around the world using a map of the land, and as you reach places in the world you will be able to zoom down onto adventure maps which are a couple tiles in size to explore that area.  You will play over a series of chapters to make up an entire campaign, and each of those chapters are playable within about an hour, allowing you to still play and progress the story even if you don’t have a lot of time.  So if you missed out on the first campaign, or if you heard great things and want to get into it now, check out the Kickstarter page today.

Dice Hate Me Games have launched their latest Kickstarter, which continues the story of Ichabod Crane’s disappearance and the aftermath of that event.  The Legends of Sleepy Hollow has you playing four different character from Tarry Town, the undertaker Jeremiah Pincke, the Revolutionary War veteran Matthias Geroux, the minister Elijah Kappel, and the tanner Emily Van Winkle.  At the start of the game Ichabod Crane has already disappeared, and from that event dark things are starting to happen, signaling the possibility of something even more sinister.  Its up to you and your companions to get to the bottom of what is happening, and prevent it from coming to fruition.

Legends of Sleepy Hollow is a cooperative campaign game for up to four players.  The whole story of the game will be revealed over the course of 8 adventures, each one revealing more and more of what is happening in a style similar to legacy games.  On a given turn you will perform one action, both moving and doing that action like attacking enemies, interacting with the environment, resting, or using a special ability.  After each character gets a turn the game gets a turn to move it’s minions and try to attack you.  If a monster gets any hits on you it starts generating fear, and fear is not the best thing to be gathering.  The fear discs will go into your action pool, and they can be used to activate standard actions, but only a certain few special abilities, meaning more restricted options.  If you get too much fear you and your companions lose, as your mind has broken and have gone running from the area.  You can also lose in other ways, like running out of enemies to spawn, or being incapacitated by losing your last health.  Winning is much more difficult, and unfortunately changes from map to map, so you need to be smart, flexible, and keep your fear under control in order to secure victory.

One thing I do want to mention about the game is that the art is excellent, and evokes the kind of old school horror feel that you would expect from a game like this.  Components for the game are great as well, with good looking minis with dials to allow for easy reference on player’s remaining health.  But the coolest component to me is the box, it is extra sturdy and features a flip up lid, something you rarely see in games these days.  So if any of this sounds interesting to you, go check out the Kickstarter page today.