New releases continue to be announced, and this time around we have a game that everyone is looking forward to. That game is the latest in the legacy style games, Charterstone, from Stonemaier Games and set for release in September of this year. Charterstone aims to take the legacy system and use it as a way to fashion a truly unique game that once you are done can be played over and over. Another interesting aspect to this game is that there is no rulebook, you just start playing the game and it will teach you the rules as you go along. I am very much looking forward to this game, although with tempered enthusiasm after Seafall failed to live up to expectations.
Next is the reprint and update to 5th edition of Alien Frontiers, the dice worker placement game that put Kickstarter on the board game map. Not much was said about what has changed, but I imagine little errors and updates were made to create this new edition. Also being released will be the Factions expansion as well as all 7 of the mini expansions for the game. Look for all of these on store shelves at the end of the year in December.
Another new release to retail is the notoriously difficult video game become board game, Dark Souls. Currently it’s only the base game getting a release date right now but if you missed the Kickstarter, you will be able to start your Dark Souls collection in April. I have no doubt that as time goes on, all the expansions sets and such that were unlocked in the Kickstarter will hit retail so we will have to be patient for those.
Next is a much needed reprint, and that is the second edition of Amun-Re, a classic game from well known board game designer, Reiner Knizia. Tasty Minstrel Games will be publishing this edition and will feature updated art and tweaks/revisions to rules and board from the first edition. Look for this game to hit store shelves in March, so brush up on those pyramid building skills in the mean time.
Then we have another Kickstarter game hitting retail and that is the wonderfully blue (color not mood) game called Lisboa. In Lisboa you are the nobles of the city trying to rebuild after getting hit by multiple disasters at once, effectively leveling the city. You will be building buildings, restarting commerce, and influencing others to re-open the new Lisboa. Look for this game from Eagle – Gryphon Games on store shelves later this year in June.
After that we have a new expansion for the Tasty Minstrel game Flip City, called Flip City: Wildness. This expansion takes you out of the city into the great outdoors, where you can further develop your city and offer your residents a way to get away from it all. This expansion come with 78 new cards, enough that you can play with this expansion by itself, or combine it with the standard game for even more variety. Look for this on store shelves in March of this year.
And finally, we have a new entry from IDW in the 8-bit inspired Random Encounter series of games called Random Encounter: Seas of the Sea Chicken. The game is billed as “part poker, part tactical combat” and features all new cards and even some new mechanics compared to the previous game. However, even with these new changes, the game is still fully compatible with the first game so you will be able to play with one or both of them at the same time. Look for this game on store shelves in May.
[UPDATE: Lisboa was listed as releasing this month when actual date is in June]
The latest game from Matt Leacock, Chariot Race, is up on Kickstarter now to fund an English edition of the game. Previously we reported on the impending release of the game from Pegasus Spiele, but that was only the German/English edition for the European market. Now the English only version, being published through Eagle Gryphon Games, is on Kickstarter. This is essentially a pre-order campaign so know that there won’t be any stretch goals, but there is the opportunity to add additional games from the Eagle Gryphon library after the campaign.
For more information on the game you can look at our previous article, or you can check out the campaign page and pledge for your copy while you are at it.
Eagle-Gryphon games is continuing to expand it’s small games line, called the EGG Series, with two card games, Sluff Off and Harald. Sluff Off is a reprint of the old game Zing!, a trick taking game that has bidding on how many tricks you will take. In a game of Sluff Off there are five colored suits with cards 1-15 in each, blue suit is always trump, and a round begins with everyone bidding on how many and what color tricks they will win. You then play a normal trick taking game but for each trick you win that you didn’t bid for, you take a -3 point chip. Any tricks you bid for but never won will be -2 points at the end as well, meaning there will be a lot of negative scores. There is also an included variant where someone is a “Sluffer” and is just trying to ruin other people’s plans because each negative chip others get, they get a positive one. Highest score at the end is the winner.
Harald is another card game but instead of trick taking it’s set collection and influence, where you are trying to have the most cards of those represented in the council. Each turn in the game will involve playing a card to the council, playing a card to your village, and then drawing back up. At the end of the round you will score points for each card in your village that matches a card in the council, and the number of points scored per card is based on how many of it is in the council. An example would be if you have 2 wolf scouts in your village, and 3 are on the council, you would score 6 points, 3 for each wolf scout in your village. There are also bonus points to be had on each character if they score, so you have to keep that in mind when you play. As usual, highest score at the end wins.
Both games are simple enough and feature nice art with Sluff Off being fun and quirky, while Harald goes with anthropomorphized animals for it’s cards. The cost of entry is low at only $19 to get both games so if either of these sound interesting then head on over to the Kickstarter page before it ends on July 19th.
From Eagle-Gryphon Games comes a cooperative game where you are trying to escape from an ever changing maze of a prison! The Daedalus Sentence : Escape from Space Prison plays in 60 to 90 minutes and is for 1 to 4 players and features 7 difficulty levels.
The unique feature of this game is that the prison the players are attempting to escape from has a changeable layout – the concentric circular tracks rotate.
Players have limited actions as well as their own special abilities and must explore & overcome guards, as well as change the layout in order to escape each ring – but they have to be careful not to inadvertently doom their teammates.
Additionally there is a One-vs-All scenario that pits up to 4 players against a Prison Commander player as well as an optional app to assist with various aspects of the game.
The Kickstarter runs until April 6th and a pledge of $95+Shipping will get you a copy of the game when it releases around October 2016.
Each year at SaltCon, in Layton-Utah, the winners of the Ion awards are announced. The Ion awards are given out to unpublished game prototypes that show excellence in game design. 49 entries were whittled down to just four in each category – light games and strategy games.
The award in the strategy category was given to Brian Kelley for his game Scarlet Pimpernel. In the light games category it was given to Adam Wyse for his game Cypher (not to be confused with the game already released by AEG). Both winners are in talks with publishers so they won’t be unpublished prototypes for much longer.
Congratulations to both of them and you can read the full press release below as well as see who the judges were for the awards this year.
For Immediate Release, 2016
The 2016 Ion Award Competition was held at the SaltCON board game convention on March 3, 4, and 5 in Layton Utah. The award is for unpublished board game prototypes that show excellence in game design. We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s awards:
Best Strategy Game was awarded to Scarlet Pimpernel designed by Brian Kelley.
Best Light Game was awarded to Cypher designed by Adam Wyse.
It was announced that both finalists were in talks with publishers. For the last 6 years, the Ion Award winners have received publishing contracts. There were 49 total entries in the competition. Four finalists competed in the Light Game category and four in the Strategy Game category at SaltCON.
We would like to thank our finalist judges:
In the Strategy category we would like to thank Jason Grantz of Eagle-Gryphon Games, Andy Van Zandt of Tasty Minstrel Games, and Ryan Laukat of Red Raven Games.
In the Light Games category we would like to thank Daniel Peterson of Mayday Games, Patrick Nickell of Crash Games, Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games, and Tim Fowers of Tim Fowers Games.
Thank you to all the entrants, and to the community for supporting the Ion Award! We are proud of the efforts of the designers and wish them the best of success in the future. The Ion Award is a game design award for unpublished games and their designers. It is held annually, with the final judging taking place at SaltCON. SaltCON is the premier board game convention in Utah, featuring the Ion Award Game Design Competition, as well as board game tournaments, demos, exhibitors, and open gaming. SaltCON 2017 will be March 2-4, 2017.
Past Ion Award winners can be found found by following this link.
What’s a pharaoh to do when he is fed up with how his kids are running the kingdom? Alter the lines of succession and give it to one of his pets of course! In Heir to the Pharaoh you are either playing the cat god Bast or the dog god Anubis and are vying for the favor of Pharaoh so that he will leave the entire kingdom in your paws. The game plays out in two phases, the first is the bidding phase where you bid for favor of each of the seven gods including Pharaoh. But you shouldn’t just bid high on everything because ever card you use for bidding, goes to the opposing player so your high card to win this round becomes their high card to use next round. Once all the gods have been bid on it’s time to move on to the next phase which is to execute the actions of the gods you won. These actions could be building monuments, getting animal magic cards, moving the sun, or scoring points in various ways. Once all actions have been taken you start a new round back at phase one again, but this time you have some animal magic cards that you can use to affect the bidding. This will keep going until the sun has made it’s way around the board once, then extra points for cards and monuments are added and the next ruler of the kingdom is found.
The game sounds interesting and the art by Brian Kohrman is very nice. The game design itself was done by Alf Seegert who is known for Fantastiqa and The Road to Canterbury so there is a good pedigree behind it. The campaign is a short one having just launched on the 29th but ending on March 17th, so pledge soon if you want in on the game. So head over to the campaign page to pledge, and then ask yourself, are you a dog god or a cat god?
On January 29, 2016, Eagle-Gryphon Games is releasing Vital Lacerda’s classic game of winemaking in a deluxe version, known as Vinhos Special Vintage. This new edition will be bringing new game play and a lot of extras to this very popular and extremely strategic board game. The official press release follows:
Vinhos (Portuguese for ‘wines’) Special Edition is a trading and economic game about wine making. Players are Portuguese wine makers developing their vineyards and producing fine wines to achieve maximum profit.
“Designing a new version of my first game ended up being a very enjoyable and completely different process,” says Vital Lacerda. “After all, I had a game with more than 5 years of play testing by thousands of players around the world. I knew I had to make modifications to the rules and board complexity while at the same time I had to deliver the same deep and complex game players have known.”
This new edition features completely new artwork from Ian O’Toole, an improved set of rules, and an additional, simplified version of the game. To support this second game, Vinhos will feature a double-sided board so both versions – the simplified and the original – can be played. This version also brings new additions: 30 new actions and scoring tiles, a greater number of cellars, wineries and oenologists (wine experts), a new region to play, plus the Advertisers expansion and the Madeira Island expansion. Special vineyards and wineries plus a 5th property round out the Deluxe additions to the game.
Vinhos Special Vintage will be released on Kickstarter January 29th, with a 3rd Quarter delivery date for the US and most of the world. For more information and to support this project, visit its Kickstarter page here.
An announcement was made by Ralph Anderson, on BoardGameGeek forums, stating that the dispute over Brass rights (between designer Martin Wallace and publishing company Eagle Gryphon Games) is over and that Wallace now owns rights for said game.
The dispute largely became public after Wallace posted, on his Treefrog Games website, the matter of the dispute over who held rights. After “too many to count” threads on BGG initiated by users and even the parties involved, came to light the dispute seemed to be centered around the belief that Wallace believed said rights had been transferred back to him due to breach of contract issues while EGG believed no breach had been made and they were legal owners of the Brass rights. Each side was quite vocal in their views.
Those that are fans of the game will be happy to know that Brass was recently released on iOS and is available for download and play here.