Portal Games has announced a plethora of new games and expansions for 2018. As it is apparently 2018 in Poland (I did not fact check this, it might still be 2017) many of the mini-expansions announced are available now.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Now available in both Europe and North America, Portal Games describes First Martians as the most anticipated game in Portal Games history. Strong pre-orders make it hard to argue that fact. Based on the adventure gaming engine from Robinson Crusoe, digital apps do a lot of the heavy lifting in First Martians. Portal Games announced new content almost exclusively driven by the app for 2018:
- First Martians rules Almanac in PDF form
- 7th stand-alone Removal mission release
- Community created content delivered via app
- New app features
- Tutorial mission
Portal Games also plans to release a new Epidemia mission as well as an in-store event kit.
First Martians is getting a new mini-expansion, in this case a set of extra ROI tiles. This mini-expansion is available now.
Robinson Crusoe gets a pair (and a half) of big announcements. The first is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a companion app! The game isn’t getting any easier, but it is getting additional content as the app will add new events and new adventures to the game. Portal Games also describes the app as allowing players “to choose a theme for each scenario.”
The second big announcement is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a second big expansion. Similar in size to the Voyage of the Beagle expansion from 2013, the Lost City of Z expansion will also follow a single explorer. Players will follow Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett on his expedition through the Amazon in search for the Lost City of Z. Lost City of Z will add Horror and Sanity into the game, add new characters, beast and a mystery deck. The game adds 5 new missions for an epic campaign.
To tide you over until the app and expansion come out Portal has released another mini expansion – Herb Garden and Pen cards. This expansion is available now.
It’s never too early for new content. Alien Artifacts was just released this week, and already Portal Games has accounted a forthcoming expansion. The Alien Artifacts: Discovery expansion moves the storyline of the game forward and introduces Alien Resources to the game. The small (but not mini) expansion adds a total of 50 new cards to the core game.
Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire is the third Empire Pack of Imperial Settlers. Empire Pack’s don’t add new factions to the game, but always add new mechanics and an expanding selection of cards to integrate into the core game. Portal describes the new expansion as adding new cards and increasing the replayability of the game.
Imperial Settlers is getting a Diplomacy mini-expansion which is available now. The new expansion adds two double-sided tiles that add new rules for player interaction through diplomatic mean. The double sided tiles are Declaration of War & Mobilization and Golden Route & Confiscation.
Neuroshima Hex will also be getting an expansion in 2018. The Iron Gang Hexpuzzle Pack is an expansion for the Neuroshima Hex! 3.o base game that will introduce puzzles on the hex board that will need to be solved. The expansion will be playable both solo and competitively with other players. The expansion will include a bonus army tile for the Iron Gang Army Pack.
Monolith Arena – A Fantasy Battleground Boardgame
Speaking of Neuroshima Hex… Portal Games is also introducing new games in 2018! Michal Oracz, creator of Neuroshima HEX, has created a fantasy battleground boardgames. Wage war against your opponents on a familiar hex board. Five factions will each have unique abilities and unites, along with literal monoliths looming large over the battlefield.
Monolith Arena has an estimated playtime of 30-45 minute for 2-4 players aged 10 and up.
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
But wait! There’s more! Przemyslaw Rymer and Igancy Trzewiczek have designed a board game that tells actual stories. A modern crime boardgame, Detective will focus on stories inspired by true events. Sleuths will have a variety of modern tools at their disposal including checking the internet, investigating clues and pouring over the facts. A variety of high quality components will be introduced over 5 unique scenarios. Detective plays out over 90 minutes for 1-4 intrepid investigators aged 14 and up.
It’s shaping up to be a big 2018 for Portal Games!
2017 has been a fantastic year for Renegade Games who have published many exciting new titles this year, such as Ex Libris, Flip Ships, and Sentient. On top of that, though, they have also published the excellent worker placement game, Raiders of the North Sea, bringing it to larger distribution from independent publisher and developer Garphill Games. Bringing one of the more unique and high-quality Kickstarter successes to their repertoire is certainly a boon for new players and fans, but Renegade Games is not done surprising us yet. They have just announced that the two expansions for Raiders, Hall of Heroes and Fields of Fame, will be released later this year as well. As described in their press release:
“Renegade Game Studios is pleased to announce two expansions for the acclaimed Raiders of the North Sea from Garphill Games. These two expansions add new options and challenges for players as they test their raiding skills in the Kennerspiel des Jahres nominated Raiders of the Noth Sea. Both expansions require Raiders of the North Sea to play and are expected to release Q4 2017.”
While both expansions will be following on the heels of their Kickstarter counterparts, the fact that they will be just as available as the base game is welcome news for such an excellent worker-placement experience. Hall of Heroes adds more ways to get resources as well as quests which can be completed to facilitate other point-scoring goals. Fields of Fame adds a fame track to the game which rewards players for particularly strong crews as well as enemy Jarls mixed in to the foreign settlements which when raided forces players to choose to defeat them for points or flee in shame. If you’re interested in these expansions, please check out the following links including the Garphill Games site, the Kickstarter pages, and the Renegade Games website for more information.
The 7th Continent has returned to Kickstarter along with a big box expansion, and has broken the $1,000,000 mark in just over 5 hours. This is especially fast consider the game is listed as having a play time of 1,000+ minutes for 1-4 players aged 12+. The project took just minutes to fund, and by the end of the first afternoon has already unlocked 10 stretch goals.
Artist/Designer Ludovic Roudy and designer Bruno Sautter continue to publish as Serious Poulp and will likely spend all their waking hours designing detailed cards for tiny explorers to wander through.
The original 7th Continent Kickstarter successfully funded in September 2015 with an estimated ship date of October 2016, though that was almost a year late with an actual shipping date closer to September 2017. Shipping dates for the reprint of the game are an optimistic March 2018 for the base game and October 2018 for the new expansion.
The latest kickstarter provides an opportunity for board gamers to pick up a copy of the game, currently at the top of the hotness list on Boardgamegeek, which isn’t currently available in retail distribution. The kickstarter also introduces a big box expansion for explorers both new and old.
What Goes Up, Must Come Down
The What Goes Up, Must Come Down expansion available in this kickstarter introduces two new curses and a whole new way to explore the 7th continent:
The curse, “A Prison of Clouds”, will send you on a whirling adventure OVER the 7th Continent!
Aboard your hot air balloon, you’ll soar over the continent thanks to an innovative wind management system, which will lead you to new, unexplored tracts of land…
You can land at any time by taking the Terrain card with the same number as your current Sky card, allowing you to continue exploring on foot. When you wish to take off again, simply make your way back to the card where you landed and your aerial adventure continues.
Take care though, as each trip will tax you. Hunger, confinement and violent winds will test your nerves.
Make short trips and improve your piloting abilities if you want to stand a chance of lifting the curse that keeps you trapped in this hopeless land.
While the curse “A Prison of Clouds” takes you high above the continent “The Veins of the Earth” will take you deep below in a subcontinental delve.
The new expansion comes in a box equal in size to the original box. The new box is large enough to store all the cards, including expansions, even when sleeved. It also includes:
- 3 Storage trays
- 250+ cards
- 1 Hot Air Balloon miniature (+ alternative cardboard standee)
- 1 Barge miniature (+ alternative cardboard standee)
- 7 new Dividers
- 1 rule sheet
A copy of the base game is required for this expansion.
The 7th Continent
The 7th Continent base game is a cooperative game for 1-4 players, with heroes exploring and surviving on the continent recently discovered off Antarctica.
It’s the early 20th century. You have decided to sail back to the newly discovered seventh continent to attempt to lift the terrible curse that has struck you since your return from the previous expedition.
A massive box of cards provides a continent to explore and expand one card at a time, as well as a seemingly endless series of event cards which will help unfold the story during your exploration. It would be nearly impossible to finish this 1000+ minute game in one session, so developers have created their own video game style save system.
Unlike other board games, The 7th Continent will take you through many, MANY hours of adventure as you explore the continent to lift your curse… or die trying! To make this manageable, the game includes a simple yet effective save system that allows you to quickly interrupt the game at any time and have it ready for your next session, just like in a video game.
The original kickstarter had 12,103 backers provide €1,224,220 to bring this project to life.
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.
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