Fernanda Suarez

The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia are 2 new decks which expand the game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from Plaid Hat Games. In Ashes, an expandable card game for 2-4 players, players take on the roles of Phoenixborn, who are demi-gods and protectors of their world. Unfortunately, the Phoenixborn are at war with one another and seek to bath in the ashes of their defeated foes in order to absorb their power and be the sole, remaining god with dominion over all the land. Ashes is designed by Isaac Vega and features amazing art by Thander LinDavid Richards, and Fernanda Suárez.

The Grave King deck includes the Phoenixborn, James Endersight, who uses divine and ceremonial magic to sacrifice and resurrect his armies in order to overwhelm his foes. The Protector of Argaia deck has Fiona Mercywind, a Phoenixborn of Birdsnest who uses Sympathy and Charm magic.

Plaid Hat Games has announced a new game set in the Raxxon Pharmaceuticals universe. Simply titled Raxxon, the newest game is a cooperative game where players seek to evacuate the healthy and quarantine or eliminate those infected at the start of the zombie apocalypse players have come to know through Dead of Winter.

Up until this point, Raxxon was only available by private invite from other who had already purchased the game. This “viratl marketing” technique was the talk of the community for weeks as people used social media to advertise their invites available or to ask if anyone had one available.

The game is designed by J. Arthur Ellis. Artwork is by Fernanda Suarez, the same artist that created the artwork for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.

Raxxon finds the players working cooperatively at the very start of the Zombie Outbreak, which has only recently gotten out of control:

For weeks, Raxxon Pharmaceuticals has been partnering with local teams across the globe to contain the recent viral outbreak.

Today, we regret to announce that despite Raxxon’s best efforts, the global infection rate has reached the tipping point. Many cities are unlikely to be salvaged, and citizens everywhere should evacuate to safer regions immediately.

As the global infection has begun to run rampant, Raxxon has moved on to Phase 2 — evacuate and exterminate. The difficult choices players make now will lay a path for humanity — “search desperately for those final healthy survivors as Raxxon’s power reaches its apex, or watch as the undead overrun your city.”


At the beginning of the game each player will need to choose one of six specialists who are working with Raxxon to evacuate healthy citizens and eliminate sick citizens.

Raxxon Cards will function similarly to Crossroads cards from Dead of Winter, featuring stories and paths related to the characters in play.

Players will face a grid of face down citizen cards. Gameplay takes place in rounds, with each round revealing a new grid of citizens from the citizen deck. Actions will allow the cards to flip, revealing the healthy and sick citizens, each triggering different effects when flipped. Character actions interact spatially with the grid affecting rows, columns and adjacent cards. Actions will also have stacking consequences that will resolve over future turns.

Once all players have passed in a round a new crowd of cards is created and the action continues. Only if all the healthy citizens are evacuated will the players win the game. If the infection deck runs out (a deck of only sick people) or Raxxen maxes out their power the players will lose and face a long, cold, Winter.

Releasing in October 2017

Raxxon will be available in October. With a suggested age range of 14+, you’ll need 1-4 evacuators who are willing to commit about an hour to saving humanity.

Additional Raxxon scenarios will be available at: myraxxon.com. Plaid Hat Games has already released the rules, how to play and more: rules video, rules pdf, and more.

Dead of Winter Crossover

Set in the Plaid Hat World, each of the Raxxon games will include 2 new, exclusive Dead of Winter characters. Meryl Wolfe and KD James will help you fight the outbreak in Raxxon and will carry over to join the colonies of Dead of Winter. Each copy of Raxxon comes with character cards, standees, and crossroads cards.

Plaid Hat Games has announced two new Deluxe Expansions, an organized Ashes Tournament and the next in the series of Ashes Organized Play products for the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.

The Law of Lions & The Song of Soaksend

The next two expansion decks for the Ashes series will be the Law of Lions and the Song of Soaksend.

The Law of Lions

She is the commander of the pride, the follower of the  path, the righteous judge and the merciful servant. She  emboldens the virtuous and strikes fear in the heart of the  transgressor. She is Odette Diamondcrest. Her quill  wrote  Lordswall’s law. Her sword protected its gate. Her word  sent forth its crusaders. She will see the world  restored to  divine order.

The Song of Soaksend

An ancient song binds its silvery strings to every living  soul.  Namine adds her voice to this unending melody.  She  plays the strings and subtly alters the song to her  will. She  changes the tempo from a calm wind to a  crashing storm.  She and the people of Soaksend know  this song and live  serenely within its melody. Woe unto those that cannot  hear its beauty.

Both of these decks will be sold as deluxe box sets and will include 10 new dice in each box. Each box will have storage space for decks, 10 dice and game tokens.

The two Deluxe Expansions are slated for release in late spring / early summer 2017.

Organized Play Kit

To support “The Law of Lions” and “The Song of Soaksend” Plaid Hat Games has announced they will release the second Organized Play Kit at the same time as the two new factions release. The new kit will contain enough prize support and material for four tournaments of play.

The War Within Tournament

Together with parent company Asmodee, Plait Hat Games will be supporting a series of tournaments at local game stores billed as “The War Within.”

“The War Within”. Through a series of tournaments hosted by local game stores, players will have the opprotunity to determine the looks and abilities of an unnamed Phoenixborn. The “War Within” event is meant to represent her internal struggle, and how she wants to approach the war that she must soon be a part of.

The War Within Tournament will be available at participating game stores starting next month.

More Ashes Announcements Coming Soon

Plaid Hat Games has informed Ashes fans that they will be announcing additional decks in the coming weeks as well as information about a revised edition of the base game.


The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher



Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game



Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork


Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game



Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games


The Dice Tower Awards are only a couple months away in July at Dice Tower Con, so to ramp up to that day we are releasing the nominees for each award category.  And the nominees are:















rise of phoenix ash

Another Plaid Hat Games article for their upcoming game Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is out, this one showing us the various Dice Powers that can be found in the game. Each player will get 10 dice in their dice pool and these dice each can be used for a unique power (if their power side is showing) instead of being used to bring out powerful spells and creatures.

There are four types of dice in Ashes Natural, Charm, Ceremonial, and Illusion each one of which have 3 different symbols on them including one power symbol. This power symbol can be used to activate the corresponding Dice power.

You can read the article on Plaid Hat Games website here. While you’re there check out the other articles on Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn if you haven’t already. They cover a lot of information about this game from designer Isaac Vega.

Ashes looks like it will be an amazing game and one that I am highly looking forward to. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing artwork in the game by Fernanda Suarez and David Richards. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn which will be making an appearance at your FLGS/OLGS soon.


Plaid Hat Games has come out with another great article on their upcoming game Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn this time introducing us to the card types that will be found in the game. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is an expandable card game that will have 2-4 players battling it out with back and forth action. Featuring short player turns and the ability to react and adjust as the round progress Ashes is coming soon to an FLGS near you.


Ashes has 6 different card types that players will be able to choose from to build/draft their decks (if you choose not to use the pre-built decks) each of which offer their own unique advantages. The types available are:

  • Ready Spells – placed on your spellboard and have a constant or activated effect that can be activated multiple times per game.
  • Action Spells – played during your turn for a one time effect that trigger immediately but are discarded after use.
  • Reaction Spells – cards that are played after a specific event and can be played outside your turn for immediate action against your opponents, to defend yourself, or set yourself up for a strong combo on your next turn.
  • Alteration Spells – spells that are played onto units to alter their status or add/remove an ability. Many of these have the ability to be added back into your hand for a cost.
  • Ally Cards – units that can attack your opponents, typically more powerful than conjured units and can come straight out of your hand.
  • Conjuration Cards – similar to ally units in that they are used to attack your foes. They differ in that they are not in your draw pile and require another card to be summoned however they are also not removed from the game when they are destroyed and could potentially be summoned again.

The article contains more information on each of these types so if you are interested you should head over to Plaid Hat Games website here.

shadow counter

I have to be honest and say the more information that comes out about this game the more excited I get about it not to mention the fact that with each article comes more examples of the art found in the game by artists Fernanda Suarez and David Richards which is pretty mind blowing. It looks like designer Isaac Vega has outdone himself again with this one and I can’t wait for it to come out. The variety in card types and the way they play certainly look like it will make Ashes really exciting to play not to mention adding an incredible amount of variety to your and your opponents decks. It certainly looks like PHG has another hit on their hands with this one.


ashes banner

I’ll come right out and say it I am a big fan of publisher Plaid Hat Games (PHG) and am very excited about their upcoming release Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn by designer Issac Vega. The illustration by artist Fernanda Suarez is some of the best I’ve seen in the board game world, coupled with the fact that players will have dice and cards in a back and forth battle that will allow players to react to each others actions not to mention the fact that players will get to choose their starting hand! I’m not sure there is anything quite like it on the market yet.

phoenix prepare

But that brings up the question: How does it all work? We’ll we’re in luck because PHG is known for posting ‘preview articles’ on their website giving those of us anxiously awaiting their releases some insight into just what our hard earned money will be getting us. The first of their articles on Ashes is all about understanding the phases of play for this unique game. Going over the three phases of play: Prepare, Player Turns, and Recovery the article will give you the details on what happens in this quick to play game.

So if you’re interested head over to PHG’s website and read all about how to play Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn! And don’t forget to be on the look out for Ashes at your favorite FLGS/OLGS.


Big announcement from Plaid Hat Games today, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn will be going up for pre-order on April 9th. Plaid Hat Games is the publisher that brought us exciting titles like Summoner Wars, Mice and Mystics, and last year’s huge hit Dead of Winter. They look like they may have another hit on their hands with Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn designed by Isaac Vega who also designed BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia and was a co-designer of Dead of Winter.

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is an expandable card game that will allow 2-4 players to take the role of one of the Phoenixborn, powerful demi-gods and magic wielders. Players will battle it out in a back and forth battle summoning terrifying creatures and loyal allies to become the last one standing. Player turns will be short and quick and will leave them with the chance to adjust as the round progresses. Players will be able to carefully choose their targets and easily react to their opponents actions. This should provide a unique game play experience with constant back and forth action. If that doesn’t sound exciting enough you can also say goodbye to mulligans because Ashes will allow players to choose their starting hand of 5 cards! Personally I don’t know of another game like this that gives you the choice of what cards to start with. This alone has my interest in the game at the maximum level.

ashes cards

Ashes will not be limited to just cards though, players will also have a dice pool that will give them the resources needed to fuel their magic and summon creatures as well as provide interesting powers on their own. Plus the dice pool should provide enough resources to start casting powerful spells immediately. Combined with the ability to choose your starting hand Ashes should deliver the all the thrills and excitement of a magic duel right from the start, no build up time needed.

If all that doesn’t have you ready to throw your money at the screen (don’t bother I tried it and it doesn’t work) then maybe this will help. There are three ways you can play Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn:

  • Choose a pre-built deck – Ashes will come with 6 pre-built decks and assigned dice, just jump right in and start playing.
  • Build a deck – choose from over 247 cards and 40 dice. Your build options will be nearly limitless.
  • Draft a deck – the drafting rules promise to allow players to build fun and interesting decks quickly.

You would think all that would be enough and Plaid Hat Games would stop there. But in their typical fashion they left nothing to be desired and had illustrator Fernanda Suarez create some absolutely stunning artwork for the game. Fernanda did a terrific job on last year’s Dead of Winter but she really outdid herself on Ashes. The box alone could be framed and the artwork on the cards is some of the best I’ve seen. She is truly making her name known in the board game world.

So if you, like me, think that a magic dueling card game with dice that has you immediately casting powerful spells while providing three ways to play, quick paced act/react turns, a truly innovative mechanic that has you choosing your starting hand, and mind-blowingly gorgeous  artwork sounds like your kind of game then keep an eye on your FLGS/OLGS and be ready to pre-order Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn. You’ll just have to get in line behind me.