Economic Game

Nauvoo Games has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for Illicit Investments, the latest expansion for Stockpile, a popular economic game designed by Brett Sobol and Seth Van Orden which received the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence.

The Illicit Investments expansion adds a new phase to the beginning of the game in which players draft a starting hand of Investment Strategy Cards. During each Action Phase, players then have the opportunity to play one Investment Strategy Card to help “control the chaos of the stock market” by providing a wide range of unique actions.

The expansion also includes a new First Player Card variant in which players can bid for turn order, a new Investor Card, and some upgraded component upgrades such as wooden stock tickers and a 2P reference sheet.

The campaign also has the option for an all-in Epic Edition, which includes the base game plus expansions and promos in one single box, as well as a Cosmic Tier which includes both the Illicit Investments and Continuing Corruption expansions along with 2 promo packs.

According to Nauvoo games, they do not plan to re-print the game any time soon following this Kickstarter campaign, which you can find here.

Stronghold Games has begun taking pre-orders on more than a handful of games due out in the next couple of months.

Two of the new games available for pre-order now, AuZtralia and Terraforming Mars: Colonies, were reported in Dice Tower News recently. Bryan Drake also sat down with AuZtralia’s designer, Martin Wallace, to learn more about the game. Stronghold Games has proudly added AuZtralia to its Great Designer Series. Terraforming Mars: Colonies is the fourth expansion to the hugely popular, Terraforming Mars. Only 500 copies of Terraforming Mars: Colonies will be available for pre-order, so act fast.

Also available for pre-order are two Friedmann Friese games, Fortune and Fool!

Fool! is a card-shedding and trick-taking game where player attempt to get rid of their cards without playing the lowest card.  The player who plays the lowest card has to sit out the next trick, losing the opportunity to get rid of a card. Players score negative points for cards left in their hand, and positive points if they got rid of all the cards in their hand, unless they play the lowest card in the last hand which earns them nothing. Fool! plays 4-8 players, ages 8+, in about 15 minutes.

Fortune is the forth game in the Fast Forward Series and uses the Fable Game system.  These games do not require an understanding of the rules beforehand.  Instead, the cards are pre-sorted and the rules of the game are explained on the cards as they are played. In Fortune, the player with the highest score wins the game, but gaining the highest numbers may not be enough. The trick is to get the right bonuses for the big payoff. Fortune plays 3-5 players, ages 10+, in about 15 minutes.

Calimala was originally published last year Blackfire Entertainment in both German and English editions, but it may have been difficult to find here in North America.  Stronghold is republishing the English only edition this year. In Calimala, players are members of the guild of cloth finishers and merchants in Republic of Florence during the Late Middle Ages.  Players assign their employees to produce and trade cloth and gain prestige by delivering their good, contributing to the construction of buildings, and sponsoring artwork.  The player with the most prestige at the end of the game wins. Calimala plays 3-5 players in 45-75 minutes.

Lastly, Stronghold Games is republished Kanban: Automotive Revolution as a Limited Edition Kanban: Driver’s Edition. Stronghold has also included Kanban, designed by renowned designer Vital Lacerda of Vinhos, The Gallerist, and Lisboa fame, in their Great Designer Series.  In Kanban, players are managers in an automotive factory seeking to impress the factory manager by establishing the most efficient assembly line.  With each promotions come more capabilities to be more efficient. The players with the higher productivity points, demonstrating the most effective use of workhours, at the end of the game is the winner. Kanban plays 2-4 players, ages 12+, in 90-120 minutes. Stronghold does not plan to reprint this game again in the future!

 

Mars is hot… literally. Most of the time, except for when it is really cold.  But it is also hot as a theme in boardgaming right now, and Terraforming Mars is the leading the pack. Since its release in 2016, it launched straight to the top of the BoardGameGeek rankings and has stayed there, currently sitting in the #4 position amongst all other games.  With that popularity comes expansions, and a move out and away from the surface of Mars.  Terraforming Mars: The Colonies will be the fourth explansion for the game and will expand out into the rest of the solar system to put space stations in the void and on the moons of other planets. It follows the other Terraforming Mars games and will play with 1-5 players in 2 hours. It is currently scheduled to release 2018-10-15 with no word on if or when pre-orders will be available.

 

Railroad and resource barons are not strange themes for board gaming, but making an elegant and clean introductory economic engine dominated by anthropomorphic animal businesspersons is one way to make it all more appealing. Raccoon Tycoon, from Forbidden Games, is just that and it’s up for funding right now on Kickstarter. Anywhere from 2 to 5 players try to speculate the value of commodities and luxury goods, auction off railroad shares, and purchase buildings in an effort to be Top Dog.  The game has adequate depth for seasoned gamers while being streamlined enough to be a good introductory title to the genre, and it plays in about 90 minutes.

“In Raccoon Tycoon, players try to produce the most valuable commodities in an ever changing marketplace. They then use those commodities to build towns, or sell them at the best price to secure great profits that can be used to win auctions for the all-important railroads. The profits may also be used to buy powerful buildings that give the players power-ups or bonuses in production. Owning the best towns and railroads determines victory.”

Beyond being a game from veteran designer Glenn Drover, the artwork by Annie Stegg Gerard is downright adorable and hallmarks a solid and satisfying package. The campaign also includes some wonderful stretch-goals to shoot for, including premium currency-quality bills and bigger, better everything. The Dice Tower’s own Mark Streed recorded a Paid Preview of the game for those that want a quick view of how it plays. If you are interested in learning more about Raccoon Tycoon, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for a draft of the rules, more preview videos, play-throughs, community feedback, and updates.

Here we go, the ramp up to GenCon is beginning and we are seeing some bigger Kickstarters start to launch, here are some of the notable ones.

First is the 10th anniversary edition of the game Container, now in jumbo size.  Container is an interesting game in that you are playing all aspects of the production, delivery, and acquisition of products on a small island.  Each round you will decide which goods to produce, then which goods of your opponents you will ship.  When you pick goods you will have to pay for them, and the price will be set by that opponent.  After the goods make it out to the island you then bid for ships to be able to collect the goods, and then turn those goods into points at the end of the game.  This new edition will feature the same gameplay, with the addition of the Investment Bank, but with upsized, deluxe components.  The most notable being the large 7″ long plastic ships with containers that fit onto them like actual container ships.  So if you enjoy the game, but want something bigger and nicer, check out the Kickstarter page today.

Next up we have a meta game, something you play while playing other games, simply called Gameception.  What this card game does is add another layer to your game night with an additional game you play across the entire night.  Everyone starts with two cards and each card has some action you might find happening at a game night; like a pet interferes with the game, someone tells another player what to do, or someone is on their device.  If the action on your card happens, reveal it, score that card, and then draw a new one.  At the end of the night, the winner is the one who scored the most cards.  If this games sounds familiar then you are right, a similar type of game can be found called Pretense, but the larger variety of cards and fun stick figure artwork makes this game worthy of a look.  Check out the Kickstarter page for more info.

After that is the final expansion to the Heroes Wanted game called Elements of Danger.  As you think from the name of the expansion, this one adds Heroes with element based powers to the game.  This expansion also adds just lots of new content to the game in new action cards, epic actions, new heroes, and new villains.  Overall it adds just more of what you want in this game giving it more variety and increases the amazing number of hero combinations even higher.  So if you want to get this last expansion, or to jump in and get the complete game and all expansion, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next, from A-Games is Sakura, a beautiful looking trick taking card game with some twists.  On a turn you will be playing two cards, one to each pile in the middle of the table.  You will either play a card of a different value but same color, direction the values must go is determined by the yin-yang symbol, or the same value of a different color.  This sounds simple but sometimes not always possible, that is where you will use the coins you have to hire workers to manipulate the cards values or position to allow for you to play your cards.  If you can’t play on a stack you take those cards and get coins equal to the number of coin cards, but gain points equal to the number of shuriken.  Least number of points will be the winner.  Check out the Kickstarter page to pledge for your copy.

Last we have another expansion for the Flash Point Fire Rescue game and that is Tragic Events.  This is a simple expansion that adds three new characters, Strategist, Suppression Specialist, and Fire Prevention Specialist, and two deck of cards.  These decks, Fire and Event, are the crux of the expansion as they take the place of the hot spot aspect in the advanced game, giving you a more unique experience when playing that way.  The Fire deck creates more chaos as the fire spreads in random ways, and the Event deck ramps of the difficulty by changing the state of the board, forcing you to adapt.  There are also stretch goals being achieved that add in the hard to come by additional POI tokens, as well as event cards to utilize them in new ways.  So if you want to expand your Flash Point collection even more, head on over to the Kickstarter page today.

Convention season is coming and so of course the game announcements are going to start ramping up.  We have five new announcements in this article to go through so lets get cracking.

First is the latest from Wizkids and that is DiceBot MegaFun, a real time dice game of robot combat.  In the game you will be rolling dice to try and scavenge weapons from the junkyard to outfit your robot with.  Then, once you have the weapons you desire you will start attacking your opponents, hoping they don’t have a defense for the weapon you choose.  Manage you get through their defenses and you will damage then, cause enough damage and they will be eliminated!  Last one standing is the winner.  Look for this to be released in June.

Next is a new game from Osprey Games called Star Cartel, which as you can guess from the title is a game all about trading goods in space.  In the game you are trying to make your goods worth the most, but in order for the value of goods to go up you have to trade them to the Cartel.  But you can’t score what you don’t have so you have to be careful how much you let go.  You will also be able to upgrade your ship to better protect your investments and hope you have the most valuable stash by the end of the game.  Look for this on store shelves in July of this year.

Ultra Pro is continuing to ramp up it’s game offerings with a new abstract strategy game called Zircles.  This game has a bit of a Blokus feel to it in that you have triangle pieces of differing arrangements and sizes.  On your turn you place down a piece trying to complete the circles at the corners of the triangles.  As you complete circles you will get points, and once someone has played all their pieces, any you have left will count against you.  Whoever has the highest score at the end is the winner.  Zircles will be released in July of this year.

Lastly we have two releases coming from Rio Grande Games, first is an expansion to the time travel game Temporum called Temporum: Alternate Realities.  What the expansion does is double the amount of cards in the box, giving you 48 new places to time travel to and 60 more player cards that you can use.  It also comes with all the needed chits for the new zones, but overall just gives you more variety and options in playing the game.  Look for this to arrive in June of this year.

And finally, we have the last game we will talk about, Bohnanza: The Duel, bringing the classic bean growing card game into the two player realm.  The game remains mostly the same except now instead of trading for beans, you gift them to your opponent, hopefully to their detriment.  But since it’s a gift you can reject it, but rejecting it means you have to offer your own gift in return.  Other new additions include bonus cards that give you gold when you complete them, and the ability to plant different beans in the same field.  So if you are a fan of the original but wish it was two players, this will definitely fill that need.  Look for this at your local store in May of this year.

The highly rated, economic game Concordia is getting a few more maps added to it’s lineup.  The new maps are Gallia, which covers the areas of modern UK and a chunk of mainland Europe, and Corsica, a small island off the coast of Italy.  While these new maps provide some fresh terrain for you to build your empire on, they do come with some changes that will mix things up.  On the Gallia map you will start with only your land colonist, meaning that you will have to build into the harbor cities before you can venture out on the water.  Meanwhile Corsica is a very tight map meant for only 2 to 3 players, increasing the level of competition at those lower player numbers.  Both of these will be packaged in one unit and will be going on sale in the next couple weeks.

Kickstarted not too long ago, Game Salute will be releasing it’s latest game in the Key line, Key to the City: London.  This game plays much like the other highly popular game in the key series, Keyflower, where workers are used both to bid for tiles, but also to activate them.  Gameplay is not much different in Key London, but there are some additional options such as connecting tiles with different colored routes and being able to upgrade some tiles a third time.  Then there is the setting, gone is the generic farm setting, now you are building and bidding for iconic London buildings like the Westminster Abbey, the Royal Opera House, St. Paul’s Cathedral and more.  Look for this game to hit store shelves later this month.

The second game they are releasing is called Planetarium, and is another Kickstarter game, but this time you are helping to create an entire solar system.  In the game you will be moving elements around the board, and whenever one collides with your planet you get to acquire it for use later.  Once you have the right elements you can play evolution cards to change and modify your planet in order to play final evolution cards which will represent it’s final form, and give you lots of points.  Have the most points at the end of the game and you win.  Look for this game on store shelves at the end of March.

One of Uwe Rosenburg’s classic games is finally coming back into print courtesy of Lookout Games and Mayfair, and that game is Le Havre.  The game itself plays very simply in that on your turn you have two actions you can take, grab a stack of goods being offered, or activate one of the many buildings on the board.  The buildings will allow you to sell goods, upgrade goods, and even use the money you gained to build new buildings or ships.  After seven turns the round is over, your cattle and grain will increase based on how much you have, and then you have to feed your people.  After a set number of rounds the game is over and you get one final action to maximize your money, and whoever has the most is the winner.

This game is highly rated on BGG and has also been long out of print, with copies on the second hand market getting as high as $160.  Luckily with this reprint the price to acquire this game will come down to something more reasonable, so look for it on store shelves in the new year.

Race for the Galaxy is a very popular economic style card game that has several expansions to it as well as many fans, so a new game in the same universe will have a leg up on other games.  That new game is Jump Drive, a re-implementation of the older game The City, with a theme switch to put it firmly into the Race universe.  The game will have a San Juan type economy where anything you want to build will have to be paid for in cards.  Some cards will enable you to be more efficient with building, others will get you points, while others will get you special abilities.  Rio Grande Games has said that the cards and interactions will be similar to the larger Race card game so that you can use Jump Drive as a launching point into the bigger game.  So be on the lookout for this game when it hit’s store shelves in January of 2017.