Board game enthusiasts rejoice, for we will likely have a main stream television show all to our own. Producer/Director/Actor Travis Oates has been sneaking around behind the scenes for the past 9 months creating a television series called Above Board, targeted to hit one of the popular streaming services we all love so well. According to Travis (who, by the way, is one of the most fascinating people I have ever met), the show has elements of the popular car show Top Gear, combining real love of board games with comedic parody, and Daily Show type tongue-in-cheek interviews. Already included in the show are board game designers Jamey Stegmaier, Stefan Feld, and Dr. Reiner Knizia, companies like Broken Token, publishers Michael Coe of Gamelyn Games and Paul Saxberg from Roxely Game Laboratories. But wait, there’s more – celebrity guests, and a regular segment by our own Tom Vasel. Six episodes are under construction now, hopefully with many more planned. I was lucky enough to screen some clips, and found the humor witty and sarcastic without dumbing down the content. Keep an eye out for this exciting initial foray of our hobby into mainstream media.
Gamelyn Games, the undisputed master of all things Tiny and many things Epic, have started a new Kickstarter Campaign for Tiny Epic Tactics by designer Scott Almes (Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Tiny Epic Galaxies, Tiny Epic Everything). In Tactics, 1-4 players each control 4 heroes on a multilevel 3D world map comprised of a Map Scroll and 6 Map Boxes of varying sizes. A players’ team has 1 each of a Beast, a Wizard, a Fighter and a Rogue, all of which come from a pool of unique characters. Players get 3 actions on their turn, chosen from Melee, Ranged or Magic attacks, as well as Movement.
The combat has nice added details, such as high ground benefiting ranged attacks, the possibility of knock-back with melee attacks, and allowing attacked units to immediately counter-attack out of turn. The 3 actions in a turn can be split among 3 units, or given to only 2, with one of the 2 units receiving 2 actions. Be careful, because units which gain 2 actions will become weakened, and cannot act next round, nor counter-attack.
The board has multiple spaces which increase or decrease attack range, heal players of their ammo or health, give or remove defense, as well as portals which allow increased movement across the world. The goal is to reduce enemy players’ units to 0 health, allowing capture, as well as maintaining control of the 3 key positions on the board. At the end of the game, players gain points for their surviving units, captured opponent units, and control of key map points.
The game also contains rules for 2 vs. 2 team play, solo play and a 2 player cooperative mode. Solo and Coop play uses the inside of the Map Boxes for exploration and treasure collection. The Kickstarter Campaign for Tiny Epic Tactics continues through March 6, and the game is expected to deliver in November 2019.
First there were Kingdoms, then Defenders, Galaxies, Westerns, Quests and Zombies. Now Gamelyn Games and Scott Almes have started a Kickstarter Campaign for the next Epic game in their teeny tiny line, Tiny Epic Mechs. In Mechs, 2-4 players program actions, and fight in arena combat on a map made up of square zone cards. Each player has a deck of 8 action cards, out of which they program 4, using the leftover cards as covers to hide their plan. Each action, players must first move in the orthogonal direction in which their card is oriented, although special diagonal moves and jumping moves exist. They then may execute the action on the card. Actions include healing, and the collection of resources, either credits or energy, depending which is available on their map tile. Other actions spend resources, to place mines, build turrets, or buy more advanced weaponry. Initially players can only equip 2 weapons, but if they take the upgrade action they can flip their character to the “pilot” side, don a power suit, with increased health and equipment slots to match. To represent this, players actually place their meeple in a plastic mechanized power suit. In fact, if a player moves to the giant mech in the center of the board, they can wear the Mighty Mech Power Armor, for maximum health and weapons. However, only one player can be the Mighty Mech, and the lucky wearer cannot heal while wearing the suit.
All of this buying of guns and upgrading of suits begs the obvious – if you move onto a space with another player, combat ensues. In combat, players take turns doing damage to their opponent, depending on the weapon they are wielding, and gain one victory point per damage dealt. The opponent can counter with a “power attack” if their attack type (ranged, area or melee) matches the attack type of their opponent, in a rock-paper-scissors manner. This continues until one player retreats or is knocked out. Defeated players gain an “ad hoc mode” card for a turn, allowing them to pick any action card, and not just their programmed 4. Players score for zones they control every other round, and the game ends after 6 rounds.
Check out the Kickstarter page for pictures of the amazing meeples, mech suits and cards. Borrowing from Tiny Epic Quest, the game comes with tons of plastic weaponry which attaches to the meeples and the power suits. The Kickstarter Campaign for Tiny Epic Mechs continues through October 5, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2019.
Gamelyn Games brings us meeples in mech armor in Tiny Epic Mechs. In Tiny Epic Mechs, M.E.C.H.s stands for Mechanized Entertainment Combat Heroes. Players take on the roles of Mech pilots and compete in a free-for-all battle royale. Each round, players will program four actions for their power armor to execute that will allow them to move around the arena deploying obstacles, collecting resources, purchasing weapons, and powering up their armor. The real prize is the one Mech Suit with better armor and better weapons but is a big target for every other player. Combat is fast and furious and the more damage you do to an opponent, the more points you can score. Victory points are also scored for controlling areas on the board, owning the mech suit at the end of the round, and collecting weapons. The person with the most points at the end of the game is the victor.
Tiny Epic Mechs features ITEMeeples which fit inside the plastic modeled power armors and the Mech Suit. The game plays 2-4 players, aged 14+, in 30-60 minutes. Tiny Epic Mechs will be supported by a Kickstarter campaign set to begin on 13 September.
The base game supports 1-4 plays in various game modes such a solo, 2 vs 2, and free-for-all and includes 4 factions (Humans, Orcs, Elves, & Dwarves). If you add the Order & Chaos expansion it allows up to 6 players in 2 vs 2 vs 2, 3 vs 3, and free-for-all mode and adds 4 more factions (Undead, Lionkin, Lizardfold, & Goblins). The Pestilence expansion adds a 7th player and two more factions (Birdfolk & Merfolk).
There are also Mercenary mini expansions, which offer a wide range of heroes who can be recruited by any player without prerequisites, and a siege engines mini expansion which offers siege constructs. There is also a Printing Update Kit for those who own the first edition of the game and want to use the new expansion. If you don’t want to paint all those miniatures yourself, you can add an extra amount to your pledge to have them pre-painted.
A free app for Android and iOS is currently in development which will assist in playing the game and should be available for download in August, 2018.
The second printing of the base game requires a pledge of $84, or you can get the Pestilence expansion for $30 (both exclude shipping). There are also pledges to get add the various expansions as well as a range of add-ons. Visit the Kickstarter project page for more information. The project has already met it’s funding goal, will end on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, and estimated delivery is April 2019.
Gamelyn Games and designer Scott Almes have just launched a new kickstarter for the latest game in the Tiny Epic series: Tiny Epic Zombies. Featuring the ITEMeeples first introduced in Tiny Epic Quest, but this time wielding modern weapons like Katanas, Machetes, various guns, chainsaws, even a rocket launcher. The players can choose to play in one of 5 different game modes (Solo, Co-op, Competitive, Co-op v. Zombie player, and Competitive vs. Zombie player) in a race for players to complete 3 objectives to win the game, but while still keeping the hordes of zombies at bay.
With variable player powers (for both survivors and zombies), a variable setup, and fast, easy gameplay, the game is already funded and breaking through stretch goals. The game is on Kickstarter until February 9th, so check it out, if you dare to face the hordes.
Heroes of Land, Air & Sea is a 4X style board game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) for 1-6* players that plays in 2-3 hours (30m/player), and features 80 highly detailed miniatures and over 30 constructs! *Plays up to 6 players with the deluxe expansion. It is easy to learn, simple to play, and won’t take up your entire weekend.
The game promotes simple gameplay (players only take two actions per round) and bucket-loads of miniatures and cardboard constructs for the visual and tactile appeal. There are add-on options to have the miniatures pre-painted as well. The base game comes with four different factions, while the Deluxe Expansion for 6 players, Order and Chaos, adds four more.
Players will be vying for control over a fantasy realm by exploring an enormous board, building castles and towers to cement their influence and collect resources from the land, and of course, battling with the other factions through Tactics cards. Each X also comes with its own victory condition, meaning players may be able to choose their style of play, or at least the best way to race to victory.
The campaign is set to end Monday, June 5, 2017, and delivery is projected for March 2018. Much more information can be found on the Kickstarter page here.
Orcs, Humans, Dwarfs, and Elves are preparing for an upcoming war, but only one faction can emerge victorious – who will it be?
Scott Almes, the designer of the Tiny Epic series, presents a 4X style wargame for 2-4 players (5-6 with at least one Faction Pack addon) that takes 30 minutes per player to play. During the course of a round, players will be able to select two actions, some of which can be copied by others. Throughout the game, players will expand their territories, build or upgrade units and structures, and compete with other factions at land, air, and sea for valuable resources and exploration tokens. The inevitable combat is resolved in a luckless fashion: during a battle, players pick one Tactic Card from their deck (everyone starts with the same one) and add the value of that card to the strength of their army. There are 4 end-game conditions that correspond to each of the 4Xs, and when any of these are triggered, one more round will be played.
The base pledge for the game includes 80 miniatures (3 heroes, 5 warriors, and 12 peons for each of the four factions) and 32 cardboard constructs such as towers or aircrafts. Apart from an option to have the hero miniatures pre-painted, there are also faction addons available, each of them bringing two more factions into the game.
The release is anticipated in March 2018. If you are interested, you can learn more about the game on its Kickstarter campaign page.
I have to admit, I was late getting on the Tiny Epic bandwagon. Despite all the good press games like Tiny Epic Defenders and Tiny Epic Kingdoms were getting, I couldn’t get my head around Tiny and Epic being in the same sentence. You can’t fool me, Gamelyn Games! I buckled with Tiny Epic Galaxies, however, and loved the game and, thus, I’m a Tiny Epic fan for life (or until my wife takes away my credit card). Luckily, I won’t have to wait long for my next fix as Tiny Epic Western is set to hit retail in late October.
Tiny Epic Western is a worker placement game in which players can knock other players off occupied spaces via duels. It also uses a poker mechanism, but it’s only three cards per hand. No Aces & Eights here, folks. There’s also resource management and more, which seems a lot for such a small box. It appears to be, dare I say, tiny and epic.
Look for Tiny Epic Western to hit your friendly local game store on October 28 and retail for $25.
Gamelyn Games has announced the latest game in the Tiny Epic line, Tiny Epic Quest, designed by Scott Almes and illustrated by legendary artist Miguel Coimbra (7 Wonders, Smallworld). Tiny Epic Quest sends players into a sandbox adventure reminiscent of classic games like Final Fantasy and The Legend of Zelda. In the game, players will control a band of three elf heroes questing to save the world, and the sacred mushroom folk, from intruding goblins as the heroes travel across the realm.
The game is divided up into two phases: the Day and Night phases. During the Day, the heroes will obtain quests, learn spells, and find rare artifacts that will imbue the heroes with special abilities. During the night, players must “face the challenges of their quests, and decisions, by rolling dice, hoping for fortune, and knowing when to quit. Will you press on? Or is it time to save your progress and rest? Tomorrow is another day.”