The universe of Small World by Days of Wonder is expanding again. In the latest expansion by original Small World designer Philippe Keyaerts and T. Alex Davis 3-6 players will take flight to inhabit islands in the sky. This expansion is scheduled for a release at Esenin October, followed by a December release in North America
Seven new races and powers will be available in the new expansion. New races as well as all previously released races will now have the opportunity to fight to control additional territories in the sky.
It was a lovely spring morning; Giants were getting new tattoos and the rest of the Small World inhabitants were preparing for another day of conquest. An eerie silence settled on the lands as a huge shadow glided over forest and mountain. Had the Wizards accidentally given their flocks of sheep flight again ?
All eyes turned to the horizon as an archipelago of Sky Islands floated over Small World… and realization dawned at the same time as the sun. New lands meant new riches! Within a few hours, the most enterprising races were swarming up a Giant Magical Beanstalk and a Stairway to Heaven on their way to wealth. The battle for the Sky Islands had just begun…
Featuring a double sided board, players will choose to add two or three islands in the sky with the new board as well as utilizing the original board which will be set for one fewer player (example – the original board would be set for 3 players if playing a four player game).
Access points via beanstalk and stairway are created between the Sky Islands and the regular board in different regions. A race standing on one of the access points can attempt to move into a sky island space with a matching symbol. Control all the regions on a Sky Island and gain an additional coin at the end of your turn.
The full ruleset is already available for download.
Box contents will include:
- double-sided game board
- 7 Fantasy Race banners
- 94 Matching Race tokens
- 4 Lost Tribe tokens
- 5 Zeppelin/Burning Region tokens
- 5 Trade Pact tokens
- 3 transformed Drakon tokens
- 2 Lightning Bolt tokens
- 2 Cannon tokens
- 2 Access point to Sky Islands tokens
- 1 “END” token
- 1 Summary Sheet
- rules booklet
A storage tray is included in the expansion to hold new races, powers and tokens.
Award Winning Franchise
While only 8 years old, the game already has 16 expansions, which makes sense given the popularity and critical success of the game. The original Small World game won many awards when released in 2009 including:
Small World has shown up on many Dice Tower Top 10 lists, including:
Ticket to Ride Designer Alan Moon appeared at the Dice Tower Live Show at GenCon 2017 to announce that the next Ticket to Ride Map Collection Volume 6 will explore France and the Old West.
Dive into thriving French culture during impressionism and the Industrial Revolution; street cafes, “Starry Night”, Paris Boulevards, and Notre-Dame. The French railroad system is a blank canvas just waiting for your masterful strokes. However, before you can start claiming routes, you’ll need to lay the track! Watch for your opponents, though, because they might claim the route you just spent so much time building…
Ticket to Ride France takes players back to the era of impressionism and the Industrial Revolution. On this map no path is certain, as before claiming a route you first need to built the tracks and choose the colors that will be needed to actually claim the route with your trains. This mechanic is completely new to the Ticket to Ride franchise.
Ticket to Ride France follows the traditional choice of draw train cards, draw route cards or claim a route. In this expansion when a player draws train cards they also choose a route of track bed to add to the board. The board includes endless options for routes, but placing track bed for future routes will cut off many other route options other players may have wanted to lay beds for and the laid piece will also determine the color of the train cards that will be required for the route.
The flip-side of the map crosses the ocean to take players to the Old West for a map that holds up to 6 players. Each player will claim a home city their network will start from. The first route you claim must extend out from your starting city. All subsequent routes must also connect back to your home city or cities you have already built connections to. There will be no more reverse route building — you can never claim routes that aren’t already connected to your network.
Once a route card is completed a player can take one of the three city tokens they start with players can play two additional cards to claim the city.
After a player claims a route, they may place one of their city markers in either of the cities in the just completed route by playing a pair of cards of the same color (Locomotives can be used to replace one or both of these cards). Each city can only have one City Marker so two players cannot both con- trol the same city. Players will need to choose routes carefully, as every time a route is claimed that leads to a city controlled by one of their opponents the opponent will be the one to score the points.
What’s in the Box?
Volume 6 box contents include:
- Maps of France and the Old West
- 64 Track Pieces
- A new set of trains
- 18 Cities
- Alvin the Alien Marker
- Tickets & Rules for each Map
Rules are available now for both the France and Old West maps. The expansion will be available at Essen in late October and in early November in North America.
Released in 2004, Ticket to Ride is one of the biggest selling modern board game, and one with a rich legacy as an award winner. A select list of awards includes:
The original game continues to make regular appearances on the Dice Tower Top 10 Lists:
- Eric placed the game at number 2 on the list of Games Every Player Should Own
- Both Eric and Tom placed the game at number 2 on the Best Games of 2004
- Tom placed the game at number 14 and Eric placed the game at number 49 on the Top 100 Games in 2015
Since 2015 a big box expansion has come out for Dominion every year and it appears that 2017 will be no different as Dominion: Nocturne has been announced with an anticipated October 2017 release date. Designer Donald X Vaccarino, artist Garret DeChellis and Rio Grande Games have begun exploring the darker side of the Dominion universe for the 11th expansion:
You’ve always been a night person; lately you’ve even considered becoming a vampire. There are a lot of advantages: you don’t age; you don’t have to see yourself in mirrors anymore; if someone asks you to do something, you can just turn into a bat, and then say, sorry, I’m a bat. There are probably some downsides though. You always think of the statue in the town square, that came to life, and now works as the tavern barmaid. The pedestal came to life too, so she has to hop around. The village blacksmith turns into a wolf whenever there’s a full moon; when there’s a crescent moon, he turns into a chihuahua. That’s how this stuff goes sometimes. Still, when you breathe in the night air, you feel ready for anything.
The next expansion is a big box expansion and includes:
- 500 cards
- 33 new Kingdom Cards
- Night cards, which are played after the Buy phase
- Heirlooms that replace starting Coppers
- Fate and Doom cards that give out Boons and Hexes
The game is also listed as including a variety of additional cards that “other cards can provide.”
The game is currently scheduled for a mid-October release date.
The Last Expansion… Again
Dominion: Guilds was the 8th expansion, released in 2013, and was the final planned expansion at the time according to designer Vaccarino. Two years later the Dominion machine started working again with yearly expansions. Since then we have seen big box expansions Dominion: Adventures in 2015 and Dominion: Empires in 2016. New editions of the base game and Dominion: Intrigue were also released in 2016 alongside upgrade packs for the first edition of Dominion and the first edition of Dominion: Intrigue. Dominion: Nocturne will be the third box expansion for Dominion since the final planned expansion was released 4 years ago.
Award Winning Franchise
It’s not surprising that the world of Dominion continues to expand. The original Dominion spent 2008-2010 cleaning up major awards:
Though only Dominion: Prosperity has actually won the Golden Geek award for best board game expansion, all but one of the other 10 expansions have been nominated for the award. Safe betting odds in Las Vegas at this point are favorable at this point.
Dominion continues to make regular appearances on The Dice Tower’s Top Ten lists including:
Plaid Hat Games has posted on their news forum some updates on the rules revision work and two new expansions for Isaac Vega‘s excellent card game, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.
Regarding the rules, Plaid Hat has been hard at work revising the rules set, especially the damage resolution process and the order of simultaneous effects. The new rules are in final updates and should be available before the War Within event series Spring 2017. Additionally, there have been some rumors about the second printing of the base game. Plaid Hat reassures fans that the second edition will be essentially the same with a few very minor changes. There are spelling and type changes for clarity, and the already established errata for the “Enchanted Violinist” will more clearly described on the card. Again, although some stores have listed this new printing as a “revised copy”, there is no need to buy the second printing if you already have the base game.
Finally, the next two expansions were introduced, Astrea, The Goddess of Ishra and Koji, The Boy Among Wolves.
“We lay down our worldly thirsts in pursuit of her enlightenment. We lay down our imperfect bodies to be reborn at her side. All praise be unto the Goddess of Ishra. Her enemies will kneel before her glory. We will peel back their veils. We will end their cycle of pain. All praise be unto Astrea.”
“Wild is the son the Spiral Jungle. Untrained, undisciplined, and ill-prepared for the trials that await him. Nevertheless, Koji Wolfcub walks boldly forward. His every step splits the earth beneath his feet. Out of the fissures grow the jungle’s verdant flora. Groping vines tear down the the gaudy edifices of man. Wild animals heed the boy’s call. The jungle rises up and joins the boy in his fight to restore the world.”
No release date for the expansions was listed, although Plaid Hat did say that it will be a while before another expansion is announced. Check the Plaid Hat announcement for details.
Grey Fox Games has started a Kickstarter for two expansions to Champions of Midgard, the popular dice management viking board game. The Dark Mountains adds a much requested 5th player to the game, as well as a new archer dice type, new adventures and new monsters. Dark Mountains also comes with a new character, a dark mountains board, and an expanded market board.
The second expansion, Valhalla, adds new leader dice, leader abilities and a new resource to manage. Valhalla also comes with its own board, a new character, epic monsters and more. There is even an option for a new box to hold the base game and both expansions comfortably. As is par with Kickstarters these days, stretch goals and Add-Ons abound.
Champions of Midgard: The Expansions is on Kickstarter until March 14, and is expected to deliver in June 2017. You can check out the campaign here.
New dangers are coming to Terrinoth with two new expansions coming for Runebound (Third Edition) in the third quarter of 2016. Fall of the Dark Star and The Mountains Rise continue on the theme set by the last two expansions of being a wave in two parts – one a Scenario Pack and the other an Adventure Pack, both offering new powers and new dangers to your journeys.
Fall of the Dark Star is a new Scenario Pack that introduces an entirely new scenario along with thirty new adventure cards and a new ten-card story deck that correspond to the new scenario. The Mountains Rise, on the other hand, is an Adventure Pack that can be added to any scenario with new adventure cards, assets, and skills. Each expansion also includes new combat tokens and a new hero, giving you new ways to experience Terrinoth every time you play!
The Fantasy Flight expansion-churning machine is well oiled and running smoothly, offering even more cards, characters, bells and whistles, and the themes they play upon are sure to please fans. The Dark Star runs on a theme of prophetic doom and corruption, and mechanically introduces risk vs reward in the form of corruption cards. The Mountains Rise cater to those that love untamed wilderness and barbarians, featuring skills, events, and quests relating to survival in harsh lands and against strange beasts and savage invaders. For those wanting to raise the stakes of their Runebound adventures, be sure to check these expansions out this fall!
Japanime Games announced via press release that the English edition of Heart of Crown, a hotly anticipated deck building game, will be coming to retail in 2016 and anticipates even greater things for the series. Having concluded a very successful Kickstarter campaign, the publisher hopes to release the game at retail in September after the initial shipments due to Kickstarter backers. Not to rest on their laurels, Japanime Games is very excited to share news about expansions, a PC release, and a special event at Gen Con this year.
Japanime Games is also producing the first two expansions in the series, Far East Territory and Northern Enchantress, as well as the Heart of Crown PC Game. Late backers can contact Japanime Games to pledge at http://www.japanimegames.com/hoc-list.html. Japanime Games is celebrating the release of Heart of Crown at Gen Con in Indianapolis, IN during their company Princess Party at The Rock Bottom Brewery August 5th.
Heart of Crown has a lot to offer fans of deck building games or Japenese Pop-culture. The artwork is unique and lively, and leaves room for surreal locations and people without looking too “toony”. The game itself, and it’s mechanisms, offer unique twists that distinguish it from it’s closest comparisons in the same genre – from both Dominion and Tanto Cuore. It’s achiles heel has always been it’s incredibly limited audience due to lack of localization, but hopefully it’s fans, both old and forthcoming, will benefit from it’s English release and proper Gen Con exposure.
Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games has released a newsletter full of news for 2016, beginning with the announcement that he plans to leave his regular full-time job to give 100% of his attention to Stronghold Games. He hopes to make this move before the end of the year.
Following this is the announcement that Stronghold Games’ Pocket Line (including Diamonds) will be expanding to include Bear Valley (Carl Chudyk) and Stellar Conflict, a fast-paced space combat game with real-time elements set in the Among the Stars Universe.
Stronghold also announces further summer 2016 releases to include their first pirate-themed game, Piratoons, City of Spies: Estoril 1942, and The Pursuit of Happiness. Additionally, Stronghold discusses their podcast, Board Games Insider, co-hosted by Stephen Buonocore and Ignacy Trzewiczek, and the progress made in 23 episodes so far.
For more details on this year’s upcoming titles, visit the Stronghold Games website here.
Catacombs has seen a long and worthwhile campaign for a new third edition this year, and I was one of the many backers proud to make it happen. Now available at retail, the award-winning dexterity game has certainly garnered many fans and accolades while being the only stand-alone game in Elzra’s repertoire. So imagine my surprise when, in a recent update, Aron West of Elzra Games teased at future projects within the Catacombs universe. Incredibly curious, I reached out to the game designer for more information, and I am delighted to type that he graciously responded.
M: Catacombs has seen excellent success with it’s latest Kickstarter campaign. Will Elzra be returning to Kickstarter for it’s future releases in the Catacombs line?
A: We expect to, yes.
M: The teaser image in the latest update looks like an expansion, similar to Cavern of Soloth. Are all 3 products in the pipeline strictly expansions to the base game?
A: No, the first game is a card game set in the Catacombs world, designed by one of the co-designers of the original edition of Catacombs, Ryan Amos, and myself. The second is a new standalone, competitive game that uses our Dexterity Game System that is the foundation of Catacombs. And the third is an expansion to the current cooperative Catacombs game (Wyverns of Wylemuir).
M: The newest edition of Catacombs is really chock full of content. What kind of additions can fans expect in future Catacombs products?
A: New character classes (the wyverns, for example), new game boards with different obstacle types, possibly expanding the RPG / story telling element in the game. We feel there are lots of possibilities.
Color me excited! More components, options, and storytelling elements – News of new Catacombs content is fantastic enough, but a card game and a competitive dexterity game? Certainly good things to look forward to, especially when you consider the care and attention to design exemplified in the newest edition of their flagship game. There’s some big shoes to fill in for the new ventures, but knowing the heart and the community at the wheel, I believe we will be impressed.
Thanks so much to Aron West for taking the time to answer and share with all of us the exciting future of Catacombs. I for one am glad to report that we have even more adventures to look forward to.
Titans, & Witches, & Bears! OH MY!
Last week at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Fireside Games proudly announced three product releases for 2015: Castle Panic: The Dark Titan, Bears!: Trail Mix’d and The Village Crone.
Castle Panic: The Dark Titan
Castle Panic, a tower-defense cooperative board game in which players strive to defend their castle against an onslaught of monsters, will be receiving its second full expansion, The Dark Titan. This expansion will add new monsters, new cards, and new support tokens, as well as Agranok, the Dark Titan who has escaped exile and returned to exact his revenge on your Castle. The Dark Titan requires the Castle Panic core game to play, is fully compatible with the game’s first expansion, The Wizard’s Tower, and is scheduled for release on April 1, 2015.
Click here for the full story and further links on this new expansion.
Bears!: Trail Mix’d
Fireside Games’ dice roller, Bears!, is a fast-paced game in which players pair dice to avoid bears that are attacking their camp. The game will now receive an expansion, Trail Mix’d, which will give players 6 new rules for the original game, as well as a die that is rolled before each round, changing up the rules that affect pairing and scoring for even more versatility and unexpected results.
Bears! is a game for 2 or more players ages 7 and up, and plays in 20 minutes. Bears!: Trail Mix’d will be available in June of 2015.
The Village Crone
Finally, Fireside Games announces a brand new game, The Village Crone, where each player takes on the role of a witch in the medieval village of Wickersby. Each player will vie for the venerable title of the Village Crone using worker placement and resource management to gather ingredients and cast spells on the villagers. Players will achieve goals and score victory points by making the villagers fall in love, turning them into frogs, or teleporting them. The game will also feature a solo play option.
The Village Crone is for 1-6 players ages 13 and up and plays in about 90 minutes. It is scheduled for release in the fall of 2015.
For more information on any or all of these three new releases, visit the Fireside Games website to read the official announcement and visit the game pages.
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