engine building

Renegade Games is bringing Circadians: First Light to retail in September, and you can pre-order your copy now. Circadians is a sci-fi strategic dice-placement, resource management and engine building game for 1-4 players. It was designed by S J Macdonald, a co-designer of Architechts of the West Kingdom, and successfully kickstarted in January 2019 by Shem Phillips (Garphill Games), the other co-designer of Architechts.

In the game, players are leading research teams with variable powers on the planet Ryh, collecting samples while negotiating favor with the three local clans. The game has a vibrant color palette and distinctive artwork by Sam Phillips.

The only difference between the Kickstarter version and the retail version of the game is the former includes the small Allies Expansion pack with four additional player factions, which will be getting a limited retail release. Both versions feature linen finish, black core cards, premium wooden tokens, thicker box, translucent dice, plastic molded insert, and a solo mode. If you missed the Circadians: First Light Kickstarter, now is your chance to snag a copy.

Breaking Games has brought a new worker placement fantasy game, Dwellings of Eldervale, designed by Luke Laurie to Kickstarter! This 1-5 player game will have you each controlling a unique faction including Air, Earth, Water, Fire, Light, Darkness, Order, and Chaos. The game combines worker placement with tableau/engine building mechanisms as each player summons special units, dwell in Eldervale to gain points as well as combat advantages, battle other players or even monsters with dice driven combat that can be mitigated, play magic cards, and advance your elemental power.

The standard box includes 8 sets of player wooden components, 8 player boards but 11 factions, 8 monster cards, 49 magic cards, 8 jumbo starter cards, 72 adventure cards, 24 elemental hexes with unique artwork on every tile as well as 7 ruin hexes, 100 treasure tokens, 54 dice, 9 glass orbs, cardboard resources, and a board of elements. The game also comes with storage trays.

To find out more, visit their Kickstarter campaign here.

Now on Kickstarter is Mechanica, a unique engine building strategy board game.  In Mechanica, players operate a factory to produce robots, basic robots at first but eventually upgrading to the deluxe robots as they improve their factories.  Players can purchase factory improvements to produce better robots faster and ship more robots at a time to earn greater income to continue upgrading their factories. Players may also build specialize robot on a blueprint to add to the total value of their factory.

The factory floor player board starts out as a simple conveyor belt system.  Each factory improvement is a puzzle piece that fits neatly onto the factory floor and interlocks with the factory and other pieces, creating a unique engine of robot production.  Another unique feature of the game is the rotating shop board where the various improvements are available for purchase. New improvements are more expensive, but as shop rotates, the improvements become cheaper until the improvement hits the end of the shop line and become recycled (removed from play).  The game comes in a ready-to-play tray that enables players to begin playing the game almost immediately upon opening the box, reducing set-up time and facilitating easy and organized storage of game components.

While the artwork is not finalized, a trio of new artists have created a delightful 1950’s retro future look to the game.

Mechanica plays 1-4 players, ages 12+, in about 60 minutes. Contents include 34 factory boards, 54 improvement pieces, 72 tidybot figures (24 of three different colors), 15 blueprint cards, 1 ARMAND-O card, 90 money tokens, 4 vault cards, 4 reminder cards, instruction book, single player chip, a rotating shop board, and a play-in-the-box tray. To learn more, check out the Kickstarter campaign which runs thru 3 March.  Mechanica is expected to be delivered in November this year.

Bézier Games was excited to announce a collectors’s edition of their popular tile-laying game Suburbia will be released this fall. Players can expect the same fun hex-shaped tiles in a larger size with new three-dimension art. There’s also a giant tile tower which the company used images of to tease the game last week.

Suburbia Collector’s Edition will come with ALL previously released expansions, as well as a brand new expansion called Nightlife. In this newest expansion players will utilize buildings and locations that are more active at night.

To keep everything neat and organized, the game will also game with custom Game Trayz for easy set up and storage.

Keep an eye on Kickstarter later this month. Bézier Games plans to initially launch this game on crowd-funding platform January 14th, with retail copies expected to be available this fall.

Grey Fox Games brings more goodness from Midgard. Set in the same universe as Champions of Midgard, currently sitting at #103 on Board Game Geek, Reavers of Midgard places players once again as leaders of a Viking clan in search for glory.  While, at first, this new game features some similar mechanics as its sister game – dice rolling combat, worker placement, and set collection – these mechanics are used differently along side a card drafting mechanism to build engines toward victory. One of the differences in Reavers of Midgard is the single worker each player may place that activates an action all the other players get to take, but the closer the other players are to the acting player, the more beneficial the action. Reavers are a new addition to the Midgard universe, and they are represented by beautifully illustrated cards that players can recruit.  Each Reaver immediately provides the recruiting player dice to add to their player board (which is depicted as a Viking Longship). Additionally, each Reaver can be used in one of three ways – Rally, which adds more dice to your player board; Lead, which activates abilities printed on the player board that aligns with the card’s faction symbols; and Specialize, which triggers special actions on the player board anytime a corresponding action is played by any player. Every decision has an effect on other players. The rest of the game features all the things that Vikings do: conduct raids, pillage farms, conquer territories, battle sea serpents, and fulfill prophecies – all to bring glory to the clan. The player with the most glory at the end of six rounds is the winner.

Reavers of Midgard plays 2-4 players in about 90 minutes.  For Kickstarter backers, most of the components will be upgraded to wooden tokens. The final design of the tokens for the retail version does not appear to have been completed as of this report.  The Kickstarter campaign runs through 20 November with an estimated delivery in June 2019.  Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

PAX Unplugged is in the rear view mirror now and that pretty much marks the end of the major convention season, so lets see what we can get this week on Kickstarter to boost our spirits.  First up is the next game from Piecekeeper Games and that is Gearworks, a card based puzzle game for up to four players.  In the game you will be laying out cards onto a grid in order to gain parts and build contraptions which are worth points at the end of the game.  The grid you are placing cards in have some rules though, you can only have one color per column, and the numbers have to be in ascending order going down the row.  There are also some rules on gaining sparks based on the card you place, and these sparks give you special abilities like placing over cards or playing a second card.  After you play you will rotate gears to indicate where you placed cards, and then acquire parts based on gear orientation across the board.  And it’s these parts that build the contraptions, which at the end of the game are worth points and will win you the game.  While this sounds complicated, if you have played Sudoku before you will find the rules similar and easy to pick up.  So if you are looking for a puzzly card game requiring a bit of mental umph, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is the latest in the long line of storage solutions for board games, and that is the Boxthrone.  What sets this system apart from others it two fold, first is it’s all metal construction, making it tough and durable.  The second is that the system is meant to house a single game on each shelf by making shelf height highly adjustable so you can fit one game in each slot, helping reduce box damage from too many other games being stacked on top.  It also includes a fair bit of customization in that you can mix and match how you set up the shelves to be able to fit however many, and however oddly shaped, games you want.  They even have the option of adding clear acrylic shelves if you want to display miniatures or other items along with your game.  Thus if you are looking for something more than just another Kallax, check out this Kickstarter today.

From the makers who brought you Dragoon we have another game from the folks at Lay Waste Games, a social deduction game based on time travel called Human Era.  In the game humans have finally discovered time travel, and like usual someone uses time travel to screw everything up, now it’s up to you and your friends to fix it.  There are three teams you might play as, the humans who are trying to fix history, the robots who want the chaos so they come to power, or the cyborgs who play for both teams essentially.  After everyone is dealt their identity cards the captain will then roll the die to see what era you will be traveling to.  Once there they will pick a team of players for everyone to vote on as the ones who try to repair time.  If the vote succeeds then the players will pass cards to the captain, if the vote fails then a random card is placed.  Based on what cards are showing on the board at the end of the round will determine the score.  You will do this rolling, voting, card placing process for ten rounds, and at the end of the 10th round the final score determines who wins.  For the humans to win the score has to be 4-6, for the cyborgs to win the score has to be 3-5 (which means they can win WITH the humans), and for the robots to win the score has to be 2 or lower.  There are other rules that go along with the game, but suffice to say, if you are intrigued by social deduction games, check out this Kickstarter project.

And finally we have a new engine building card game similar to Chain Reaction called Space Race – Interkosmos.  This game is all about the space race, and so each player is playing a different country trying to make their way into the cosmos and explore it.  How you will do this is through blind bidding and engine building with your cards, and cards you acquire from the main row.  In each round there will be a display of cards up for auction, you will bid on these cards using control cards, each with a type and value associated with them.  Win or lose that is the only time you get to use the cards to choose wisely.  Once winner are determined then the cards are added to their tableau in front of them, and this is where the engine building happens.  On each cards are four different lines, that as you put cards next to each other will form a string of actions that happen whenever you activate that line.  This is the second part of the control cards you use because after bidding, you then use the card to activate a line on your cards to take those actions and hopefully explore space and get more cards.  In the end, whoever has the best space agency and has explored the most impressive stellar objects will be the winner.  There is much more to the game including a campaign mode, so if the games sounds interesting, be sure to check out the Kickstarter page.

Final Frontier Games would like to announce Rise to Nobility, “a 1-5 player worker placement game set in a beautiful fantasy world.”  Rise to Nobility is a dice-based worker placement game set in The Five Realms, the same fantasy world as Cavern Tavern.  The game features a strongly thematic engine-building mechanic and many paths to victory.

The following quote from the game’s Kickstarter page describes the basic mechanics of the game and what makes it unique:

“At the beginning of each round, every player rolls 5 dice that represent their available actions in the game. The locations in the city have requirements for certain dice values…The challenging thing is that the total value of dice each player can use during the round is determined by their reputation in the city. Players start with 9 reputation and can increase or decrease their reputation by taking certain actions in the city. With numerous options for spending their dice, players will need to carefully plan their strategy and prioritize their actions.

Each player takes on the role of a landowner with a unique ability. Your goal is to rise from anonymity to the rank of lord. At the end of 10 rounds, the player with the most victory points takes over the head seat at the Stone Council and wins the game.”

Rise to Nobility is for 2-5 players ages 13 and up and plays in 25 minutes/player.  For more information, visit the game’s Kickstarter page.

 

fifth element

Quintessential: The Fifth Element (quin•tes•sen•tial/ kwintə’ senCHəl/) 1. The fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies 2. The essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form

In the ancient Greek world, the material world was comprised of four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water.  Aristotle spoke of a fifth element, also known as the quintessential, called Aether.

fifth element bidding

In the game of Quintessential: The Fifth Element, players are working with the four basic elements to create the fifth element and ultimately the Philosopher’s Stone.  They accomplish this using their lab workers and element dice to build element pools through worker placement, engine building, and bidding mechanisms.  The element dice consist of six types: earth (green), air (yellow), fire (red), water (blue), an anti-element, or wild (black), and the fifth element itself (white).

The game includes the following components:

  • 1 Box
  • 80 Six Sided Die – Each die represents an element. These are also used as a bidding tool in parts of the game (see The Rules)
  • 10 Yellow = Air
  • 10 Green = Earth
  • 10 Red = Fire
  • 10 Blue = Water
  • 25 White = 5th Element
  • 15 Black = Anti-Element
  • 51 Cards – 31 Formula cards, 7 Claimable cards, 10 Personal Multi-Forge and Dismiss cards, 3 Biddable cards
  • 25 Tokens to represent laboratory assistants in a players color 5 Red 5 Green 5 Yellow 5 Blue 5 Black
  • 1 Starting Player Token

Quintessential is for 2-5 players and plays in 45 minutes.  The primary funding goal for this Kickstarter project is $27,000, and approximately $5,000 has been raised currently.  For more information or to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page here.