GAMA 2015

The Dice Tower podcast in which Tom Vasel emphatically encouraged the board game community to be patient when it comes to difficult-to-find games

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Straight from the GTS Distribution Trade Show in Atlanta 2015 we have some excellent news to share with you all:

Arcane Wonders, makers of the Dice Tower Essentials line, have announced that a Sheriff of Nottingham expansion is under development and is being designed by our Capo, Tom Vasel, and fellow designers Steve Avery and Zee Garcia.

Now that AEG has finished their trio of vehicle games, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, they now turn their attention to expanding the three games.  Interestingly they are opting to release a single expansion that will contain modules to expand the three different games instead of three different expansions so look forward to this.

Marvel Legendary is the deck building game that keeps on going and there is no plan to stop now with the announcement of Legendary Captain America.  Expect to see this small box expansion from Upper Deck in 2016.

Have you been itching to get some Cthulhu in your war game?  Well you won’t have to wait much longer as Shadows over Normandie from Iello is set to release on November 12th.

Fluxx, the game with more variations than Love Letter, has just passed the 2 million Fluxx games sold mark, so toss Andy Looney and the folks at Looney Labs a congratulations for reaching this amazing milestone.

Hot on the heels of the release of T.I.M.E. Stories, the folks over at Space Cowboys have stated they intend to provide a new scenario for the game every quarter, making sure you don’t get bored of playing the same scenario over and over.

That’s it for now, but loads more news will be coming as the show goes on so keep watching here or the Dice Tower twitter feed.

Cryptozoic has published a recap of their experiences at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas this past week, with product updates and upcoming releases.

First of all, the DC Deck-Building Game will be receiving a few new additions, including:

  • Teen Titans, a new stand-alone game for the series
  • a few more variations to the previously-announced JSA pack, such as the Crossover Packs for Arrow, Legion of Super-Heroes, and Watchmen
  • DC Deck-Building Game Playmats featuring the box art from Heroes Unite and Forever Evil

Card Wars will also be seeing a few more expansions, including the Ice King vs Marceline and Lemongrab vs. Gunter decks.

Another announcement Cryptozoic made at the show was that they would be partnering with Looney Labs to create a Batman edition of the game Fluxx this year.

The staff of Cryptozoic thanks everyone who attend GAMA 2015 and stopped by to visit their booth.  They were excited to be able to share and demo their games with so many and consider this year’s show to be a big success, with hit upcoming games such as Spyfall and Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Rumble at Castle Tentakill receiving a lot of play time in their booth.

To see more about Cryptozoic’s time at the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, follow this link.

Mirror Box Games brought along their long awaited game Chaosmos. Chaosmos showed up at GenCon 2013, successfully funded on Kickstarter in 2014, and should be delivering soon. It is a hidden information strategy game where cards are held in players hands as well as envelopes that can be accessed by landing on planets. Players will be looking for the Ovoid and trying to retain it till the last turn of the game.

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Chaosmos should provide unique game play and is described by the publisher below:

The universe is about to collapse, and your final hope lies in an ancient mysterious artifact, the Ovoid. Whoever controls this “cosmic egg” can shape the birthing of the next universe according to their own agenda. Players are secret agents from a handful of surviving worlds, zipping from planet to planet in special “amnion suits” that allow for interstellar travel, space combat and planetary landings.

Each planet has its own envelope of cards. When you arrive on a planet, you decide which cards you want to take and which to leave behind. Knowledgeis the most powerful resource in the game, and being able to predict the cards your opponents possess at any given time is a powerful advantage as you build up a handful of weapons, tactical gear, vaults and traps, as well as cards that counter your opponents’ cards. The best players will keep their hand fluid, constantly changing tactics while they search from world to world for the Ovoid or find a safe place to stash it.

Balance your hand of cards, spend your turn actions wisely, and cleverly use your special alien powers to stay one step ahead of your opponents. When the Chaos Clock reaches zero, only the player who possesses the Ovoid will become master of the new universe.

 

Cheapass Games showcased Stuff and Nonsense in which you and your friends tell the tales of your great adventures while actually all you did was hide around London collecting antiques. But watch out, Professor Elemental is trying to catch you to show you are a fraud.

Stuff and Nonsense is an adventure game with no real adventuring. You and your friends are globetrotting explorers. Or so you claim. Actually, you are all liars and cowards, and despite your assertions to the contrary, you’ve never left London.

Lord of the Fries Superdeluxe Edition also by Cheapass Games and currently on Kickstarter made an appearance as well.

You’re a Zombie working in a fast food joint, and you must build combo meals from a hand of random ingredients. That’s the story in Lord of the Fries, one of Cheapass Games’ most beloved games.

 

If you like Arthurian lore and cooperative games then be on the lookout for Albion’s Legacy by Lynnvander Productions. Albion’s Legacy is a successful Kickstarter project that should be releasing soon. With a central board of Castle Camelot, modular hex tiles to explore, colorful character standees, custom dice, and more Albion’s Legacy is sure to bring out your inner knight.

Albion’s Legacy is a cooperative adventure board game for 1-4 players in the CORE box and up to 6 players in the DELUXE and EXCLUSIVE boxes. The game allows players to participate as one of their favourite Arthurian characters ranging from the legendary wizard Merlin, the famous Lady of the Lake, the brave Sir Lancelot, and the great King Arthur himself. These heroes will champion all that is good in 90 minutes as the players travel across the realm of Albion and face dangerous roaming threats, mythical beasts and deadly encounters.

Collect lore-enriched relics, artifacts, weapons and special awards under a heated deadline while solving some of the most famous historical and mythical chronicles of the Arthurian legend.

 

Artana has a Kickstarter project running for Tesla vs. Edison: War of Currents. Designed by Dirk Knemeyer and wonderfully illustrated by Heiko Günther and Jessica Riola Tesla vs. Edison tries to be historically accurate and includes many of the famous people from the time period it is set in.

Tesla vs. Edison is a light-to-medium weight strategy game for 2-5 players. You are an investor who teams up and creates a company with one of the exciting, visionary inventors leading the nascent electric light and power industry of 1880s and 1890s America.

Your inventor, along with other famous people of the period that you hire as employees in your company, work together to claim electric projects across the United States, advance your company’s technology, engage in propaganda wars with the other companies, and buy and sell stock from your and your competitors companies.

Tesla vs. Edison plays quickly and provides interesting decisions while telling the exciting story of the birth of electricity.

Artana is  new publisher and successor to Conquistador Games, Inc. which had some successful Kickstarters itself.

 

Above and Below is a new 2-4 player storytelling game by Red Raven Games and is now on Kickstarter. Designed and beautifully illustrated by Ryan Laukat who brought us other great games like The Ancient World, City of Iron, and Eight Minute Empire: Legends.

Description from the publisher:

Above and Below is a mashup of town-building and storytelling where you and up to three friends compete to build the best village above and below ground. In the game, you send your villagers to perform jobs like exploring the cave, harvesting resources, and constructing houses. Each villager has unique skills and abilities, and you must decide how to best use them. You have your own personal village board, and you slide the villagers on this board to various areas to indicate that they’ve been given jobs to do. Will you send Hanna along on the expedition to the cave? Or should she instead spend her time teaching important skills to one of the young villagers?

 

Dice Tower News has been very busy handling all the new information from Las Vegas for the past several days and this first day of Spring is no exception.

USAopoly

The Walking Dead version of Bang! The Dice Game is coming! This reskin is based off the comic… Wait let me back up. The original Bang! card game came out over ten years ago and became popular due the hidden roles component and fun, accessible play. In 2014 a dice version with the same hidden role component but now with a Yatzee-esque push your luck component came out called Bang! The Dice Game. Next with the popularity of the comic series and TV show of same name, Bang!: The Walking Dead arose. Can you guess the natural progression? That’s right, enter The Walking Dead version of the dice version!

Too many reskins? Gone the way of the Love Letter? Not in my estimation. Any version that may bring a non-gamer into the gamer world is aces in my book. On top of that, I’m really interested in what some of the die faces will be when taken from the Western theme to now zombie apocalypse. Gatling gun for chainsaw? Dynamite for um dynamite? We (and the zombies) shall see.

Cryptozoic

Portal is a video game phenomenon. I cannot claim full knowledge of this phenomenon but my son sure can. From what I can tell, you walk around, solve puzzles employing technology lying around a testing facility, and are pleasantly threatened by a computer voice that used to be your mom, or something. What I gleam is that it is a smart, well designed pair of video games with a huge fan base. To get a sense of the dry wit of the video games, the title of the board game is Portal: Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game. And there is indeed cake. Color me very interested in this, I think it will be smart, fun and humorous just like its video game parent. Expect to see this coming at you Q3 of 2015.

IDW

I am going to directly quote Tom’s tweet for this one:

IDW announces they have the Godfather license. At least three games coming with that license, including a large “dudes on a map” type.

A mafia Risk? You talkin’ to me? I mean, now you are talking to me. According to Nicole Bunge’s ICv2 article :

The first game will be a deductive party card game, similar to Werewolf or Mafia, due in August.

The second game will be the area control game that Tom mentioned and there are few details to find about the third planned game. Who can refuse?

Level 99

Level 99 confirmed a Black Box edition of the game Noir is due in April or May 2015. Noir was originally part of the “Minigame Library” Kickstarter back in 2012. This card game is a light deduction game that had 4 modes to play for 2-4 players. With this new deluxe Black Box, you will get all the original box had but now there will be 6 modes of play total and some modes will now accommodate up to 9 players. One of these new modes sounds like a “one vs. many” version. A full content list per the publisher follows:

50 Suspect Cards
50 Innocent Cards
24-page rulebook
35 Role Cards
Various tokens for different play modes

So much gaming goodness new from Las Vegas!

If you are wondering what the booth of Plaid Hat Games, publisher of hit games like Dead of Winter, and Specter Ops, looks like, look no further.

In this first picture we can spot their highly anticipated SeaFall Legacy game. The game is based on the popular Legacy campaign game mode by Rob Daviau, which he first introduced in the popular game Risk Legacy. We can also spot the upcoming expansion for Mice and Mystics on left. What do you think that iPad screen is about? Perhaps a game that utilizes an app?

Next we have Zee Garcia chatting with Isaacs from Plaid Hat Games with the expansion for Mice and Mystics in the center. Look for this video interview soon.

 

Mage Wars is a huge hit for Arcane Wonders and designer Bryan Pope. Released in 2012 the game helped put the company on the map and solidified its position as a premier head-to-head skirmish card game pitting magic user vs magic user. Think of it as a card driven system (like Magic: the Gathering) that is played on a tactical board adding a huge spatial component. As apposed to Magic: the Gathering there are no sets and releases to collect, only the core game and several expansions adding new magic user types, all with no redundancy of cards. The core has not changed very much between reprintings, just rulebook spiffings and a couple of card erratas, but the fourth reprint will have one huge nomenclature change. To differentiate from a new upcoming play style Mage Wars core, which is Mage Wars as we currently know it, will now be know as Mage Wars: Arena. According to the Mage Wars website preview, this reprint will include:

  • 2 New Spellbook designs
  • New Arena Board design
  • Alternate Art for Bear Strength, Dispel, Dissolve, Minor Heal and Rhino Hide
  • New Artwork for Battle Fury, Force Push, Hand of Bim Shalla, Teleport, and Temple of Light
  • Plus, 14 additional spell cards have been added to make spellbook building easier, including Dispel, Dissolve, Force Push and others.

If you already own Mage Wars and have no need for the redundant components (Action Markers, spell books, extra cards for multiple deck builds, etc) then beyond the smaller box and new board, there will not be much need for you to pick this up. If you are brand new to the game or want an easy way to pick up the extra cards and components, this new reprint is the way to go.

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Why make the distinction of Arena title? Well because there will be a new way to play Mage Wars. One of the gripes of the core game is its steep learning curve and long playing times. Enter: Mage Wars: Academy. Think of this new system as a better way to get new players into the world of Mage Wars and also a way for veterans for fans of Arena to grab even more options for their combatants in the core game. As Arcane Wonders puts it, Academy:

will be a 2 player starter set that comes with 2 Mages, 2 Spellbooks and a new gameplay design that is completely “board-less” offering players more portability and faster gameplay (Games average 20-30 minutes) all for roughly half the price of the current Core Set!

Expect the Arena core reprint in April 2015 and the new Academy products around Q3 but one can hope for a Gen Con sneak peak!

For more information for both Mage Wars product lines, visit the Arcane Wonders website.

P.S. There will also be Mage Wars: Arena Battlegrounds expansion that will feature a Domination mode, but that is for a different place and different time my friend!

Blue Panther Games, LLC teased two new products at the 2015 GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Flat Dice and Dead Things.

Blue Panther Games will be releasing “Flat Dice” at local game stores on Free RPG Day, Saturday, June 20, 2015.

Blue Panther Games also announced their upcoming game Dead Things.

Yes, we have finally joined the zombie game club with our upcoming title – Dead Things – a cooperative escape from the zombies game.

Follow Blue Panther Games on Facebook for more details on these announcements.

Tabletop roleplaying games your thing? How about card games based on a popular RPG? Well Paizo has you covered.

At GAMA Trade Show Paizo, the company responsible for the popular fantasy RPG Pathfinder, revealed more of its plans for its Pathfinder Battles miniatures lines. According to Paizo:

The world of Pathfinder comes to life on your tabletop with Pathfinder Battles, an ongoing line of prepainted plastic miniatures produced in cooperation with WizKids, Inc. Drawn from the award-winning illustrations of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and produced with the highest-quality standards in the miniature business, Pathfinder Battles fantasy miniatures set a new standard for hassle-free tabletop gaming!

With the most recent release named Iconic Heroes this partnership is not only putting out new sculpts of some of the most familiar faces from their Pathfinder universe for use in the RPG, they are also including exclusive “Boon” cards to be used with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game (PACG) series. The first set includes six miniatures (with the same amount of cards for PACG) and is available now. Sets #2 and #3 of the Iconic Heroes series are due in April 2015.

Speaking of Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Paizo announced the third core set at GAMA. This set is titled Wrath of the Righteous and will include:

  • More than 500 cards featuring a new set of boons for your characters to collect, and never before seen monsters and barriers of a decidedly abyssal nature.

  • 7 character classes, including the all-new arcanist, cavalier, inquisitor, and summoner.

  • The Worldwound Incursion Adventure Deck, a 110-card deck that begins the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path.

  • A complete set of 6 polyhedral dice, including the first d20 in the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

You hear that, the series noted for not including the fabled d20 has brought one in! If the trend of the past two releases hold true, expect to see a Gen Con 2015 release for this product.

To read more about the Pathfinder Battles: Iconic Heroes sets look here. To read more about the third core set for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game look here.

Good job Paizo for bridging that small gap between the RPGer and the boardgamer!

Up and coming publisher Mr. B Games has announced 3 new titles in various stages of development at GAMA 2015.

Clockwork Kingdom

Worker placement, with a steampunk twist! In Clockwork Kingdom, players take on the roles of rival claimants to a vacant throne. Each turn, you place your steam-powered workers to gain various benefits, all while trying to build game-changing contraptions and wage war on 4 separate battlefields.

After an extremely successful Kickstarter, Mr. B Games found itself in the enviable position of shipping this game to backers 2 months early. For non-backers some copies will be available almost immediately, and by April the publisher predicts the game should be appearing at game stores everywhere.

For more info on Clockwork Kingdom, check out the Boardgamegeek page or see Mr. B Game’s preview video from GEN CON 1014.

Realm of Heroes

Another fight for power, this time in a more traditional Western fantasy environment. In Realm of Heroes, not only do players scheme against each other but also have to navigate a constantly changing board. Acquiring pieces with varying powers, players will compete in a “minimal luck” environment to take out their rivals while also trying to support their heroes and keep plague from spreading through the land.

Coming off a successful Kickstarter, Realm of Heroes should be available to the broader gaming public almost immediately. More info can be found at the boardgamegeek page here. You can also see a combined preview for both Clockwork Kingdom and Realm of Heroes from Origins 2014 right here.

Posthuman

Lastly on Mr. B Games’s plate is Posthuman. Described as a “post-apocalyptic survival game,” the story pits players as the last human survivors in a nightmare world. What led the Earth to such a sorry state? Humanity’s own search for omnipotence, combined with the creation of a new life form bent on becoming our genetic successors.

Players take the role of humans attempting to reach an isolated safe house. Through 10 different randomly generated zones, the humans will face unknown obstacles, post human mutants, other NPC humans and of course the most dangerous of all…their fellow players. Victory can be won by reaching the safe house, or by giving in to the rising mutant tide and throwing the game for the enemy.

Mr. B Games is in the process of creating a Kickstarter campaign to fund Posthuman. While you wait, take a look at the boardgamegeek page. If you have some extra time, take a look at the very brief teaser video here.

Upper Deck came prepared to GAMA 2015 with a host of hot upcoming games, all coming out some time this summer.

Predator Encounters

Stalking hot on the heels of their Legendary Alien Encounters game, Upper Deck has announced a stand-alone Legendary Predator game. Designed by Ben Cichoski and Danny Mandel, Predator Encounters will be a cooperative game pitting players against a common threat. The big twist for this release, however, is that players can choose  to represent the tasty humans or instead pilot a Predator force intent on seeking the glory of the hunt. Representatives for Upper Deck were quick to note the game is 100% compatible with the Alien Encounters game, allowing a dream scenario of Predator on Alien combat if both sets are combined. Similar to how Alien Encounters combined story lines from both Alien and Aliens, Predator Encounters will bring adventures in two flavors, jungle or urban.

Secret Wars

Upper Deck hasn’t forgotten the comic fans. In addition to the Predator game, this summer will also see an expansion for the Marvel Legendary game focusing on Secret Wars. Not the 80’s series most of us are familiar with, but a brand new Marvel storyline. This Set will be able to combine with all other Legendary Heroes games, allowing players a full palette of super hero match ups.

Bring Out Yer Dead
Back in November 2014 there was a little Kickstarter for a game called Bring Out Yer Dead. The game raised some money, then suddenly it was cancelled. Rumors swirled of it being picked up by a publisher and today we know the publisher’s name — Upper Deck. Bring Out Yer Dead will be the first game in Upper Deck’s lineup to use original IP (no movie license here) and the game looks to be a much more Euro-style game than anything Upper Deck has launched before.
VS. System
CCG fans should be familiar with the 2004 Upper Deck release of the VS. System. Centering around super heroes, the collectible game was extremely popular, yet was unable to keep momentum in the very competitive CCG market. Now Upper Deck is resurrecting the game for a major re-release at this year’s GEN CON. Instead of a CCG, VS. will release in a single box similar to Legendary. The Box will contain approx. 350-400 cards with 4 teams included in the first release. And to kick the game off right, GEN CON will also see a massive tourney to introduce the game, ensuring demand for cards will be high.