exploration

Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new age: a new age of Twilight.  Twilight Imperium, that is, in the form of a fourth edition of the epic 4x space strategy game that has been loved and celebrated in the gaming industry for many years.  This new edition celebrates 20 years of this epic space opera board game of expansion, diplomacy, and war to control the galaxy, best explained in this excerpt from the official release:

For twenty years, the custom space operas created by Twilight Imperium have thrilled gamers like nothing else. Now, Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition builds on the grand space opera found in previous editions while streamlining rules and putting player interaction center stage…Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition aims to be the most complete version of the game ever printed. Seventeen playable races are included in the game, offering a wide variety of starting faction options. Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition brings a galactic space opera to your table, and no two games will ever be the same.

This new version of the game will include 350 plastic units, 51 system tiles, 561 command and control tokens, 80 action cards, 50 agenda cards, 40 objective cards, 59 planet cards, 184 technology and technology upgrade cards, 41 promissory note cards, and much more.

TI veterans will likely be asking (as I did!) what the main differences are between TI3 and TI4.  Some of the main changes include a stunning new graphic design and layout, but with the same great and familiar artwork flavor.  Additionally, changes will be seen in game mechanisms such as Trade, Technology, PDS Units, Space Docks, Politics, and the Imperial Strategy Card, to name a few.  FFG has anticipated the question of specific changes to the game in their product description, which can be read here.

The game is scheduled for release in the fourth quarter of 2017.  To read the entire article that announces the new version of the game, click here.

 

Z-Man games has just announced they will be releasing Gaia Project, the spiritual successor to the wildly successful Terra Mystica. Gaia Project will be released later in 2017 and will be available for gamers to see at GenCon 2017.

The galaxy lies in the distance, full of planets full of resources waiting to be claimed by spacefarers. Your people have finally developed enough technology to head out into the cosmos and reach for the stars. Similar to Terra Mystica, Gaia Project once again invites up to four players to forge galactic empires of their own.

Fourteen unique factions will come in the game with each player taking one faction to claim planets, increase production and develop technology to colonize planets before your rivals. Grow your empire and you’ll unlock abilities and new technologies to dominate the galaxy.

Creating New Galaxies and Federations

Featuring a modular board, players will be able to create a new galaxy for exploring every time they play. Once the galaxy is constructed players need to immediately start producing the resources necessary for exploration. Only through successful good production will you have the resources necessary to power your way through the galaxy. As your tiny empire grows you can upgrade existing resources like mines, invest in your research engine, or develop your own federation to help keep your planets aligned.

Even if you manage to claim a planet before your rivals, you will still have to deal with the unforgiving environments on these new planets. Choose what planets to make habitable wisely or you’ll waste the scarce resources you’ve collected.

Starting on the Cutting Edge

You’re not starting from scratch in this game. When the game begins all fourteen factions have already developed the technology to travel between planets. You’ve also mastered the ability to terraform planets, altering the environments enough to create the conditions necessary to sustain your specific faction.

Even with this amazing technology your faction can develop further. Something you’ll need to do faster than your opponents. Investing in research will be critical, whether it be something that can boost your economy, your scientific output or your terraforming ability. Creating Quantum Intelligence Cubes will help you extend your reach beyond the planets merely adjacent to your position. With Navigation Research you can increase your range to reach distant planets that appear as mere specks.

Gaia Projects

Among the many worlds you will encounter are the Transdim Planets. These purple planets contain critical resources, but unlike other planets they cannot be built directly upon. To claim these planets you must initiate a Gaia Project. An investment in a Gaia Project grants you Gaiaformers. These powerful machines can be placed on Transdim planets to begin resource extraction.

A successful Gaia Project allows you to claim a planet that would not be suited your faction without having to go through the costly terraforming process.

A Legacy of Success

Gaia Project builds of the legacy of Terra Mystica, currently ranked as the 6th greatest game on Boardgamegeek and the 5th greatest strategy game. Terra Mystica also allows up to 4 players to represent one of 14 different factions as they terraform landscapes in competition with other factions. Terra Mystica was a big winner when it was released in 2012 and through the 2013 awards season. A selection of awards include:

The Dice Tower Top Ten Lists still include Terra Mystica on a frequent basis, including these appearances:

  • The 2017 Top Ten from 5 Years Ago list had Eric placing the game at #2 and The People ranking the game #2.
  • The 2015 list of the 100 greatest games had Tom listing the game at 39, Eric listing the game at #19 and The People ranking the game at 15.
  • Eric ranks the game as the 7th best Long Game.

Originally published by Placentia Games and Post Scriptum and funded on Kickstarter, Kepler 3042 has now been picked up by Renegade Games Studios and looking at an Essen release this year. This new version will maintain all of the original game’s rules with only a few clarifications added, but will feature all new artwork by Kwanchai Moriya (who recently produced the captivating art for Flip Ships). Up to 4 pioneers will compete against one another, exploring, colonizing, and developing their way to victory. As further explained in Renegade Games’ press release:

 “You must carefully manage your resources as you colonize, exploit, and terraform the planets of the Milky Way, developing critical technologies along the way. Each round, you choose which action to perform and which bonuses to activate to further your goals. The nation with the most victory points at the end will be remembered by history as the greatest explorers in the galaxy!”

With Renegade Games producing quality light and medium weight games over the past few years, this step into a heavier 4X style game is a nice addition to their repertoire and the new art is a definite improvement. The advantage for them is that the game is already pretty well tested and positively reviewed, now with just enough polish to make the game really attractive to those that missed out on the original printing.  If you are interested in learning more about Kepler 3042, feel free to check out the previous edition’s campaign page and visit Renegade Games Studios’ website for more information on the new edition.

embers of the forsaken board

Far Off Games is currently running a Kickstarter project to fund the first expansion for their 2014 “sandbox-style” science-fiction game, Xia: Legends of a Drift System.  The base game won multiple awards in 2014 including several Golden Geek awards, Dice Tower awards, and was a Meeples’ Choice nominee.  In this new expansion, entitled Xia: Embers of a Forsaken Star, the universe of Xia expands with pre-painted miniatures, new sectors and new missions in this 1-5 player sandbox-style space adventure.

Some of the features of this new expansion include:

  • a new Event deck featuring an even more dynamic and changing universe
  • a new Cargo Pod and Armor Plating outfits
  • dangerous comets and Ice Asteroids
  • new sector types
  • a complete solo campaign with unique goals, objectives and progression
  • new beautifully sculpted and pre-painted starships
  • all new mission types
  • gravitational anomalies and black holes
  • manage your trade routes with the Economy Board

This project has already met its goal and will fund on June 21, 2016.  For more information and to support this project, visit the Kickstarter page.

costa rica

Mayfair announces Costa Rica, a game designed by Brett Gilbert and Matthew Dustan in which players will be exploring and recording the wildlife in a rainforest paradise.  Players will be revealing rainforest tiles, and then deciding whether to take their data back or to press on to gather more at the risk of another explorer taking credit for the discoveries.  Mosquitos stand in your way as players race to catalog as many rainforest animals as possible.

Costa Rica is a press-your-luck and exploration game for 2-5 players ages 8 and up and plays in 30-45 minutes.  The game has a scheduled street date of July 2016.  For more information visit the Mayfair Games website.

ascendency

Boldly go where no one has gone before. In Star Trek™: Ascendancy, you control the great civilizations of the Galaxy, striking out from your home worlds to expand your influence and grow your civilization.  Will you journey for peace and exploration or will you travel the path of conquest and exploitation?  Command starships, establish space lanes, construct starbases, and bring other systems under your banner. With more than 200 plastic miniatures and 30 star systems representing some of the Star Trek™ Galaxy’s most notable planets and locations, Star Trek™: Ascendancy puts the fate of the Galaxy in your hands.

ascendency pieces

Gale Force Nine proudly announces the upcoming summer release of Star Trek: Ascendancy, a “strategy board game of exploration, expansion and conflict between the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Star Empire.”  The game draws its thematic material from the vast 50-year history of Star Trek, and will featured a modular board to explore that will provide the game with a great deal of variability.

The game is set to release this summer, with two expansion sets, Cardassian Union and Ferengi Alliance, planned for later this year.  Gale Force Nine will be releasing informative articles on the game over the coming weeks.  For more information about the game, visit its page on Gale Force Nine’s website.

fates fortune

Everything Epic Games is returning to Kickstarter to bring you the 2nd printing of their recently released thematic cooperative game Secrets of the Lost Tomb, as well as Fate’s Fortune, the newest expansion for the game.

Secrets of the Lost Tomb is a Cooperative, story-driven tile placement game, that plays in about 60 minutes, for 1-6 adventurers who have embarked upon a perilous expedition to uncover the ancient secrets of the Tomb. Each game is built around a different scenario with its own unique boss monster, such as the Pharaoh with the Blue Eyes, the Immortal Rhaz Azul or the Elder Forces of Hera’Thulhu. Over the course of the game, you and your fellow expedition members will explore ancient sites around the world, from the crypts of the Mayans to the ruins of Greece and the beautiful temples of the Orient; fight monstrous beasts; gather powerful relics and above all prepare yourselves to ward off the inevitable awakening of the Primordial Evil.

fate cards

The Fate’s Fortune expansion introduces the eponymous Fate cards which will send each character on their own secret quest that will allow them to level up during the game (and will also unleash new furies from within the tomb). Using these secret Fate cards, players can also now choose to include the possibility of a Traitor in the game, rather than playing purely cooperatively. The expansion will also add new characters, new scenarios and new monsters to this already jam-packed game.

So dust off your fedora and discover the full campaign here!

asmodee

Asmodee Editions has four new upcoming games to announce, including three from Matagot.

Cardline: Dinosaurs

Compatible with the Cardline Animals series, Dinosaurs features a whole new set of 110 cards to test your knowledge of these behemoths as you attempt to rid your hand of cards.  As you play cards, you must correctly answer questions themed around dinosaurs and prehistoric animals.

A copy of the game includes:

  • 110 Unique cards
  • 1 Rule book
  • 1 Tin

Cardline: Dinosaurs is for 2-8 players ages 7 and up and plays in 15 minutes.  For more information on this game, visit the game’s page here.

Barony

On the outskirts of the Empire, the tension is palatable: in the race for power, your struggles take on more and more challenging proportions.

Designed by Marc André (Splendor), and illustrated by Ismaël Pommaz (Archipelago), Barony is a game in which players assume the role of one of four barons who, with their armies of knights, must colonize the most rich and fertile lands and defend them against the opposing barons.  Each player strives to climb the stairs of power with the ultimate goal of becoming the new king.

The game is played by first randomly creating the board for varied play each time.  Each turn, players will only choose one action from six possible actions, allowing for fast game play.  These six actions are Train, Move, Rally, Build Village, New City, and Gain Title.  Players will train knights, capture territories, and build upon various types of terrain that affect the types of resources gained.  As players trade off different resources, they will gain titles, and the first player to attain the title of Duke triggers the end of the game.  The player with the most points at the end of the game become king and is crowned the winner.

The game contains:

  • 36 Territory tiles
  • 1 Scoreboard
  • 80 Resource tokens
  • 1 First Player token
  • 112 Wooden Pawns:
    • 28 knights
    • 20 cities
    • 8 strongholds
    • 56 villages
  • 1 Score counter
  • 1 Player Reference sheet and rules

Barony is for 2-4 players ages 14 and up and plays in 45 minutes.  The game is scheduled to be available to the public in May of 2015.  For more information, visit the Barony game page on Matagot’s website, or the game’s page on Board Game Geek.

Metal Adventures

Become a Space Pirate and attain Honor, Glory, and Wealth by exploring the Universe in a quest for victory.  Metal Adventures is a game of exploration, challenges, alliances, and epic battles in this sci-fi card and dice game.

The game box contains:

  • 1 Game board
  • 6 Astrolabes
  • 132 Cards
    • -6 Players ships
    • -34 Near space
    • -34 Deep space
    • -18 Trophies
    • -24 Improvement
    • -16 Help
  • 50 Galactic credits
  • 8 Dice
  • 1 Rule booklet

Metal Adventures is for 3-6 players ages 14 and up and has a play time of 45-60 minutes.  For more information, see the game’s page here.

Ultimate Warriorz

The Tribal Rumble is about to begin, and only the strongest warrior will be named chief of the legendary End of the World Island: the Ultimate Warrior!

Players will each select a unique warrior and then, either individually or in teams, will duke it out in an arena using a hand of action cards.  Using four characteristics of melee attack, ranged attack, speed, and initiative, players will select their action cards in secret and then reveal their moves based on initiative.  Dice affect the outcome of various attacks, and different attacks have different strengths and weaknesses.  Magical items also play a role in helping players achieve victory in the arena.

The game box includes:

  • 8 Ultimate Warriorz characters
  • 8 Warriorz sheets
  • 64 Action cards
  • 74 Life points/Popularity points tokens
  • 1 Skull token for Baobab
  • 2 Electroshock tokens for Burdock
  • 8 Lucky Charm tokens
  • 4 Wall pieces with columns
  • 1 Rounds trail
  • 1 Rounds counter
  • 6 Dice
  • 1 Rule book

Ultimate Warriorz is a for 2-8 players ages 8 and up and plays in 30 minutes.  For more information, visit the game’s page here.