First in our lineup is the dungeon crawl game from Greenbrier Games called Folklore: The Affliction. This is an RPG style board game where you are playing characters trying to investigate and drive back the evil that is gripping the land. The game is themed around the horror genre so you will be fighting things like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and more. In an interesting twist for this game, if you are killed you will become a ghost yourself, being able to continue with the party and attack enemies from beyond the grave. The scale of the game is on two levels, with movement between locations being done on a map board with one pawn denoting the whole group. Then when you arrive at a location it will zoom in to all of your characters being on another board representing the location for you to explore and fight monsters on. The game comes packaged with a campaign broken up into smaller chapters that can be played in one sitting, allowing you to tailor the game length to your desires. Look for this horror dungeon crawl on store shelves next month.
Coming later this month is a new game from Breaking Games called Sparkle*Kitty, a quick card game that turns the helpless princess trope on it’s head. In the game you each play a different princess trying to escape from the “Cursed “No Cursing” tower“. Not much else has been released about the game other then it being released later this month, and that the art is fabulous. So keep an eye out for the game and hopefully it’s good.
Keeping with the light-hearted theme we have the next release from North Star Games, Happy Salmon Blue Fish. Those hoping for an expansion to this loud and crazy party game will be a bit disappointed, but if you wanted more players in a single game then look no further. Happy Salmon Blue Fish contains all the same cards and components as the original, only this time the player colors are different than those contained in the original green fish edition of the game. This makes it easy to ramp the player count all the way up to 12, making for a game that is even louder and crazier than before. So if you want to have more players, or just prefer the blue color, look for this edition on store shelves in September.
Wizkids has announced their latest game, and it is the generically named Empires, a new trading and negotiation type game. In Empires, 2 to 10 players will try to expand their kingdom across the land by acquiring support. To get support “by supplying your people with goods; goods are produced when your people work in your territories. Players can gain people, territories, goods, and supporters by winning wars. Wars will be won by the armies raised by paying gold. Gold can be earned by winning wars and by selling goods.” So as you can see there is a lot of shuffling around of resources, but you won’t always have all the resources you need, that’s where the trading comes in. You are allowed to trade anything and everything between players, goods, player powers, people, territories, whatever you have so that you can achieve your goal. So if this kind of game intrigues you, look for it on store shelves in October of this year.
Next we have something that is exciting for Tom Vasel, and that is the impending release of the next game in the Dice Tower Essentials line, Critical Mass. The game used to be known as Starborne, and is a two player card battle game with some deck building. Each player will pick their mech, and each mech comes with it’s own unique starting deck of cards. From there you will play cards against each other attacking, defending, and upgrading. Attacking and defending as self explanatory, and the upgrading action is what allows you to get more cards into your deck. However, as you play more cards you will start to run out, and you don’t get cards back until you do a reload action. As you take hits you will lose armor, lose too much armor and your core becomes vulnerable, allowing your opponent to stun you for a turn. The winner will be the one who destroys all the armor on their opponent’s mech first. Look for this game on the shelves of your FLGS in November.
Finally we have two new games coming from Ankama games later this year in Dino Party and Stellium. Dino Party is a party game at the end of the age of dinosaurs, where you and your friends are trying to grow your herd and get to the protected spaces. But with disasters happening all around you, will you be able to make it? This quick party game will be released next month.
Stellium is a new abstract game where you are creators of the universe in the midst of creating that universe. On a turn you will draw a colorful marble from a bag and place it on the board, aiming to arrange the marbles in specific ways to satisfy contracts. But since this is being done by everyone on the same board, you have to be careful not to setup your opponent to score instead of you. An additional layer of strategy is added with variable player powers, allowing you to place a marble and then manipulate them in different ways. Look for this game to be released in October of this year.
First up is a new release which teams up USAopoly and Steve Jackson Games, and that’s Munchkin X-Men. This continues to add to the plethora of re-skins for the Munchkin game, but if you are into X-men and don’t mind Munchkin, this might be a good buy. The will feature tons of iconic people and items from the X-men universe including Lady Deathstrike, Colossus, Wolverine, and Magneto’s Helmet. So grab your gear and ready those mutant powers, Munchkin X-Men is out on store shelves now!
Next was a tease from IDW Games at this year’s GAMA Trade Show called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Showdown. The theme seems normal enough as the turtles are running through the city sewers being chased be Bebop and Rocksteady and so they have to figure out how to fight them. The interesting part is that this is going to be done in the confines of a tile laying game. I will be interested to see how they plan to pull this off, but we won’t know more until later this year as IDW Games releases more information about it.
Then we have a new card game coming out of Greenbrier Games called Overseers. This is a drafting style game where you are collecting sets of cards in order to score the most point, pretty simple, but it does have some extra bits added on. First is that each player has a special power they can use that allow them to break the rules, like keeping two cards instead of one during a draft. Second is a voting system once everyone reveals their cards on who people think has the highest score. Whoever gets the most votes then has a choice, admit they have the highest score or deny it. If they admit it then they discard a card, if they deny they don’t have to discard anything. However, during scoring if they denied and do have the highest score, they lose two of their highest scoring cards. Most points at the end is the winner. Look for this game on store shelves in April.
Last is a slew of upcoming release from Flying Frog productions for both Last Night on Earth and Shadows of Brimstone. On the Shadows of Brimstone front they have tons coming with the Hellfire Succubi Mission Pack, the Feral Vampires Mission Pack, the Derelict Ship Expansion, and six new ally, enemy, and XXL enemy packs. Most of these were KS extras so it will be good for them to hit general distribution later in the year. Also they showed off posters for the upcoming 10th Anniversary Edition of the Last Night on Earth game, with no doubt all the bells and whistles you expect from such an edition. Keep looking here as we find out more information as the year goes on for these releases, and check out Flying Frog’s Facebook page for pictures and information.
Greenbrier Games announces Of Dreams and Shadows, a cooperative fantasy board game for 2-6 players. Set in a dark fantasy universe, the players pick champions to journey through underworld ruins and untamed forests, uncovering a collaborative story through difficult choices and tests. Decisions along the way drive the story and create a unique experience. Included are 30 different enemies, being orchestrated by one of 3 unique villains. Of Dreams and Shadows creates a tabletop RPG experience without the need for a DM. Of Dreams and Shadows debuted at Spiel Essen 2016, and is due to be available in in North America in 2017.
Two months ago we reported on the fact Greenbrier Games and Zephyr Workshop were teaming up to produce the board game AEGIS, and now it’s here. Well, now it’s on Kickstarter that is, ready for you to back for your own copy.
AEGIS is a robot battle arena type game with a couple twists, but boils down to you versus your opponent in a last man standing type match. You will pick your commander, who comes with his own special abilities, and then create your team of mecha. The are five different types that you can choose from, assault, evasive, guard, intel, and support. Each mecha has things they are good at and things they aren’t, so it’s up to you to balance out your team. Some of the interesting aspects of the game is that you have a shared energy pool for all of your mechs. This means you will have to manage those reserves to make sure you have the energy to do what needs to be done without leaving yourself open. And finally, what mecha board game would be complete without some Voltron like combining of mechs, creating even bigger stronger ones.
The game sounds great, art is solid, and anime references abound in this mecha battling game. Head on over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy today.
Zpocalypse 2: Defend the Burbs was successfully funded on Kickstarter just over a year ago, and we are finding out it will hit retail in spring of 2017. Zpocalypse 2 is a tower defense type board game where each person is controlling a group of survivors outfitted with weapons, food, and various items. Each day you will plan what your survivors will do such as foraging for food, upgrading the safe house, guarding the safe house or just resting. Once you assign your people then the day comes and it’s time to do what you set out to do while contending with limited food and radiation poisoning. Can you outfit your safe house to defend against hunger and zombies to survive in the Zpocalypse? Find out next year.
Green brier Games and Zephyr Workshop are teaming up to reprint the game A.E.G.I.S., a quick to learn and easy to play mecha battling game. This game takes the systems of the old style war games, even using the hex board typical of the genre, and streamlines the rules down to something quick and easy to play. They did this because the main focus of the game is the teams of mecha that you create. There are five different class of mecha, Assault, Evasive, Guard, Intel, and Support, with each type having different strengths and weaknesses. What is interesting is that the energy you have to activate and move your mecha is shared among the entire team, so going lone wolf with one will leave the rest vulnerable. Also because you can mix the types or form a team of just one type, there are tons of combinations and interactions that can be discovered. Add in the fact you can also combine certain mecha into Power Ranger/Voltron type super robots, and you have got my attention. But remember, in the end it’s the last one standing who wins.
The only downside I see to the game is the lack of mecha minis, but I am sure that can be fixed easy enough with an expansion pack. The original game was self-published by Zephyr Workshop in 2014, but they are partnering with Greenbrier Games for the reprint and will be utilizing Kickstarter to get the funding. So be on the look-out for the project’s launch later this year.
Bursting it’s way onto Kickstarter like one of the new breed of fast Zombies in many recent movies, Greenbrier Games presents Zpocalypse 2: The Burbs. Although not featuring a zombie Tom Hanks, this standalone co-operative game is for 2 to 5 players who control their own squad of survivors in a post-apocalyptic wasteland each with their own weapons, food and items. A sequel to the original Zpocalypse game, this time instead of trying to survive in a nuclear zombified wasteland you have survived the initial blasts of nukes and instead you have fled to the titular ‘burbs and there is now a larger emphasis on upgrading your base and allocating tasks to survivors. This can combine with the original game so that you can go back and forth between the urban wasteland and this new surburban biome to survive as long as possible. There are now many new scenarios which have been added to the rule book rather than as cards, the main one consisting of repairing your truck in order to visit other locations.
The game contains 46 miniatures (25-30mm) made from hard PVC plastics used in Greenbrier’s previous games such as Zpocalpyse Aftermath. Also included are the main 2 8×8″ safe house tiles as well as 12 4×4″ suburb tiles along with various decks of cards, the new planning board and redesigned squad boards.
The emphasis of the game is now focussed on tower defense, defending your base from the zombie horde. A new feature is the daily planning board that allows you to use your survivors as resources to allocate to your chosen task rather than there being set phases. Tasks can include scavenging, fortifying the base, guarding, patrolling and resting. Your squad can be split among these different tasks and you can even upgrade certain areas on the board such as increasing capacity in the medic station. These tasks are aided by skills such as mechanic, first aid and stealth. You also have a new safe house which consists of the two double sided 8×8″ tiles as well as a revamped scavenging system that works like a “choose your own adventure” book with possibilities to choose from depending on your skill levels, survivors and location. In order to defend your safehouse you will be able to craft fortifications, weapons and upgrade items. All of this will make your survivors tired however, and this is reflected in a new fatigued mechanic. Survivors who are fatigued can only perform a single action until they rest or eat food. The game also includes redesigned squad boards that allow you to keep track of your squads’ various items more easily.
Kickstarter rewards range from a copy of the game to having you and your friends likenesses featured on survivor cards. Will you be able to survive the Zpocalypse?
GreenBrier Games is showing off a number of upcoming releases and current Kickstarter Projects at GAMA Trade Show.
Heavy Steam is slated for an April release coming off of a Kickstarter last year where they raised $64,000. This great little Steam punk inspired title had a preview done by the Dice Tower’s Ryan Metzler (below) and you can see the pictures taken by the Dice Tower team at GTS as well. You can see information from the publisher on the game here.
Ninja Dice: Kage Master
This expansion to the title Ninja Dice is currently on Kickstarter and you can read our full write up on the campaign here.
We were able to get a look at what appears to be pretty darn close to final productions quality on this card driven miniatures game. This was on Kickstarter last year and should be available this summer.
Sacred 40 Mini’s
Finally they are putting a line of mini’s this summer in collaboration with Art Justice Games called Sacred 40. these are beautiful.
Greenbrier Games has launched their next Kickstarter “Ninja Dice: Kage Masters” designed by Rocco Privetera. This followup to the original Ninja Dice takes you from just being rival gangs of equally skilled ninja’s to possessing unique sets of skills that will set each player apart from their opponents.
A Kage (pronounced “COG-AY”, not “cage”!) is an elite ninja, the leader of his or her village, and master of the clan’s hidden techniques. Each kage has their own kage die and character card, complete with special abilities unique to that kage. The kage dice are a seamless addition to the original game rules, yet they add many layers of engaging fun to the gameplay!
This expansion should add a good bit of strategy in how you decide to roll your dice since you will have unique abilities which are constantly in play. This should add some spice to what is already a pretty fun game. The base game having received fairly positive reviews including Tom Vasel’s review here.
with a goal of $10,000 this project has already past that goal with $12k+ at the time of printing. This campaign has about 24 days left and a number of stretch goal to go through including some upgraded components and some exclusives this should be a good campaign to get behind if you like a nice light push your luck style dice game.
For all of the details and to pledge your support head over to the Kickstarter campaign page here.
I was able to get a great rundown of Hull Breach and the new sets, Loyalty and Vigilance & Corporate Wars, last week and talked with AJ Paratore of Greenbrier Games. Designed by Daniel Auxier, an active Army First Sergeant. The game draws on that actual combat veterean experience as well as Battlestar Galactica and Babylon 5. Players build fleet of ships and marines and work to destroy opponents stations. Sending fleets into battle, players roll dice to randomize combat. First ships fire at each other based on speed. After the ships fire, they thematically ram into each other and the boarding phase has marines on each ship fighting. The winner of the battle could set some charges and blow the ship or hijack it, adding it to the fleet.
Corporate Wars expand the world with these three mega corporations are in control. Loyalty and Vigilance incorporates new decks and factions with their propaganda. Not out yet, the third set, In Defiance of Dictators focuses on colonial factions banning together to survive.
The box set comes with three decks, dice, tokens, and a sixty page fiction supplement. Paratore stated that there are future plans for reinforcement packs, non-randomized booster packs.
…And of course, the other questions.
Joseph: Chips – Regular or Wavy? Paratore: Kettled.
Joseph: What’s your favorite movie? Paratore: The Crow
Joseph: What’s your favorite movie quote? Paratore: Karma’s justice without the satisfaction. -Sarno, The Way of the Gun
Joseph: And finally, how many fish can you name in thirty seconds? Paratore: Goldfish, Clownfish, Shark, Catfish, Cod, Bass, Eel, Blowfish