Endeavor

It’s that time of year again – the time for the Dice Tower and it’s contributors to vote for the games worthy of an award among a variety of categories, not the least of which is the best game of year. These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2018.  You can see previous winners, along with this year’s nominees, on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.

Best Family Game of the year

Fireball Island
Gizmos
Reef
Space Base
My Little Scythe

Best Artwork

Everdell
Root
Grimm Forest
Cerebria
Rising Sun

Most Innovative

Chronicles of Crime
Nyctophobia
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
KeyForge
The Mind

Best Reprint

Fireball Island
Brass Lancashire
Endeavor: Age of Sail
High Society
The Estates

Best Strategy

Root
Teotihuacan
Brass Birmingham
Coimbra
Underwater Cities

Best Production

Rising Sun
Fireball Island
Everdell
Brass Birmingham
Grimm Forest

Best Expansion

Scythe: Rise of Fenris
Terraforming Mars: Prelude
Roll Player: Monsters and Minions
Great Western Trail: Rails to the North
Root: The Riverfolk

Best Game from a Small Publisher

Root – Leder Games
Chronicle of Crime – Lucky Duck Games
Underwater Cities – Delicious Games
Vindication – Orange Nebula LLC
Obsession – Kayenta Game

Best Cooperative Game of the year

Chronicles of Crime
Just One
The Mind
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables

Best Two-Player

KeyForge
War Chest
Duelosaur Island
Haven
Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Best New Designer

Wolfgang Warsch (Quacks of Quedlinberg, The Mind, & Ganz Schon Clever)
David Cicurel (Chronicles of Crime)
Catherine Stippell (Nyctophobia)
Ivan Lashin (Smartphone Inc.)
Tim Eisner (Grimm Forest)

Best Party Game

Just One
Decrypto
The Mind
Drop it
Trapwords

Best Theming

Western Legends
Root
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
Stuffed Fables
Chronicles of Crime

Game of the Year

Root
Teotihuacan
Chronicles of Crime
Underwater Cities
Brass Birmingham
Western Legends
Rising Sun
Architects of the West Kingdoms
Everdell
The Mind

Endeavor is a euro-style game that came out in 2009, and while you may not hear about it talked much, it is a solidly rated game with some good mechanics.  So in order to bring the game back into print for more to enjoy it, Burnt Island Games and Grand Gamers Guild have teamed up to reprint the game.  They have gone through and done the usual updating with better art and revised rules, but they have also gone the extra mile to include extras.  Some of those extras include a second side to the board for a different player count, variable setups with new buildings, a new exploits mechanic, and more.  Another aspect that was updated was how slavery was depicted in the original game, and while it is still present in this edition, they made it more risky.  This was done with the possibility of slavery being abolished during the game, effectively ruining any strategy that uses it too heavily.

Having played the original I wouldn’t mind getting this game to see if the new changes improve an already great game.  Watch for the Kickstarter to launch in January of 2018, and see it premiere in print at Essen next year.  You can read the press release below for more information.

 

Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild Reissue Endeavor

Burnt Island Games & Grand Gamers Guild join forces in a bold new Endeavor designed and updated by Carl de Visser & Jarratt Gray

Toronto, Ontario, Canada & Grand Rapids, MI, USA—Today, Burnt Island Games and Grand Gamers Guild announce a co-publication updating the 2009 Endeavor.

Endeavor was originally published in the United States in 2009 by Z-Man Games. The game currently sits at #172 on BGG. This edition will hold true to its Euro-style gameplay, and introduces a number of new features:

Double-sided board to accommodate different player counts

Variable starting set ups with new Buildings

 Exploits to enhance the mechanisms and story of the different regions

Updated visuals by the original Artist and Graphic Designer: Josh Cappel

In Endeavor, players strive to earn glory for their empires. Sailing out from Europe and the Mediterranean, players will establish shipping routes and occupy cities the world over. As they do so, players will leverage their growing Industry, Culture, Finance, and Influence, building their engine and extending their reach into the far flung regions of the world.

One of the most controversial aspects of Endeavor that has been a topic of much discussion is the Slavery aspect of the game. Historically empires capitalized on the backs of indigenous peoples, and this Edition will not shy away from this reality. Employing Slavery is gut wrenching, but can often be a winning strategy. Empires who rely on this unsavory means of prosperity might find themselves in ruins if the tide turns and Slavery is abolished.

Endeavor is for 2-5 players, ages 13+, and plays in approximately 90 minutes. It will be hitting Kickstarter in January 2018, with fulfillment in late summer/early fall, and have a convention premiere at Essen 2018. For more information visit the Endeavor website: endeavorgame.com or e-mail to info@burntislandgames.com or team@grandgamersguild.com.

Much more information coming soon!

About Burnt Island Games

Burnt Island Games makes games that are innovative, thought provoking, and beautiful. Their games are engaging in play and aesthetic. Burnt Island the sibling company of Kids Table Board Gaming (Foodfighters, Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants, and Haunt the House).

 

About Grand Gamers Guild

Grand Gamers Guild is the publisher of both Unreal Estate and Stroop, as well as the upcoming Pocket Ops. While they began with smaller titles, the Guild is excited to add Endeavor to the roster of bigger boxes to their production line.

Burnt Island Games, Kids Table Board Gaming, Foodfighters, Problem Picnic: Attack of the Ants, Haunt the House, Grand Gamers Guild, Unreal Estate, Stroop, and Pocket Ops are all trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

Picture of Snakes & Lattes in Canada

Picture of Snakes & Lattes in Canada

There’s something about the board game hobby that solicits compulsive acquisition. Many of us are able to tame those impulses through sheer force of will or financial necessity, but for the rest, learning about, commenting on, obsessing over, and ultimately acquiring board games is more than just a hobby.

Small World caught my eye

Small World caught my eye

Falling Through the Ice

My introduction to board games happened only a few years ago. I was already interested in roleplaying and comic books, and was a regular at The Source Comics & Games in Roseville, MN (highly recommended if you find yourself in the Twin Cities). Despite the floor space that board games occupied in that amazing store, I hardly noticed as I perused comic book back issues and the latest Pathfinder sourcebooks. I remember at one point Small World caught my eye for its whimsical fantasy art, but one look at the price tag and I was right back to the comic book bargain bin. I was sure those big pricey boxes just weren’t for me.

Like so many before me, it took just one great board game experience to open the floodgates. One of my good friends, someone I met though comic books and roleplaying incidentally, invited me over for an evening of board games. We played Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights, and I was utterly mesmerized by the clever designs and interesting decisions. It’s funny that neither of these games are really my cup of tea today, but at the time, I was truly spellbound.

Shortly thereafter, I moved away from Minnesota and found myself in a new city: Portland, OR. For some strange, wonderful reason, that evening of deckbuilding and storytelling stayed with me. Wanting to meet fellow geeks like me, I signed up for a local board gaming meet-up group and quickly got deeper and deeper into the hobby. Hours perusing BoardGameGeek lead to me to discover The Dice Tower and it’s wonderful network. I watched countless reviews and top 10 lists, obsessively consumed podcasts and articles, and began filling online retailer shopping carts with a dazzling array of games (Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights among them).

Paralyzed by the Cold

I definitely overextended myself in those early days. My collection grew more quickly than my discipline to make informed decisions about what sorts of games I really liked. It was all about theme then, and plastic bits. Some of those early purchases are still in my collection today, but the vast majority never even got a chance at my gaming table.

On top of pining after new games, I had discovered a hard truth: there were some really good games that came out long before I had even a passing interest in the hobby, and that some of those games were *gasp* sold out! Never to be reprinted again. I was devastated; my compulsive need to acquire could not abide something so tempting being so desperately out of reach. Game like Merchant of Venus and Fury of Dracula were the sort of theme-rich experiences I craved, but even on the secondary market, they were just too difficult or costly to attain.

My list of grail games grew long and longer: Endeavor, Age of Discovery III, Fief, Starcraft, War of the Ring: The Collector’s Edition, Kremlin, Dune, Glory to Rome: Black Box edition, and so many others. Occasionally I would get lucky and find one of these enigmatic lost treasures through a geeklist auction or a local seller, but more often than not, I was left to dream and lament my limited funds.

Fury of Dracula is being reprinted by FFG

Fury of Dracula is being reprinted by FFG

Swimming for the Surface

At the height of my frustration, I remember an episode The Dice Tower podcast in which Tom Vasel emphatically encouraged the board game community to be patient when it comes to difficult-to-find games. Whether they were out-of-print, temporarily sold out, awaiting domestic distribution, or missed Kickstarters, there were mountains of other available board games that deserved our attention. He was completely right, of course, and the last several months have really proven him out. For example:

It’s incredible how much previous editions of some of these games commanded on the secondary market, only to be replaced with, in many cases, superior versions. As Tom implied in that wise podcast segment: patience is a virtue.

Breathing the Air

Patience is exactly what helped me overcome my compulsive acquisition. I began making more considerate decisions about the games I order, and awaiting sales so that I could pay less even if that meant trying out the new hotness a few months later. I parted with a lot of the games in my collection that just weren’t good fits for myself or my game group (again, Dominion and Tales of the Arabian Nights among them), and began removing games from the grail list knowing that the cream of that crop would see life again in one form or another.

It’s not that I did something other gamers didn’t. In fact the bell curve of my board gaming addiction is very reminiscent of the stories I hear from my fellow game group collectors. They ramped up quickly only to learn that quality meant more than quantity, and that being part of this hobby isn’t a competition. I still get excited and place the occasional preorder, but I’ve gotten much closer to finding a balance and if you think you compulsive acquisition is out of control, you can too.