hand management

smash-up-steam-banner

Continuing with the trend of more and more board games becoming digitized, the latest offering to be released on Steam is AEG‘s Smash Up designed by Paul Peterson.

Smash Up is a card game that takes a deck of 20 cards of a faction, and combines them with another deck of 20 cards of another faction.  Each faction has a special ability associated with it, so the combinations when mixing various factions is almost endless.  These cards are shuffled to make your deck, and you use that deck to attempt to Smash a base.  Points are awarded for the first, second, and third most power on that base.

Smash Up on Steam is currently in what Steam calls an ‘Early Access Game’.  This grants you early access to the full game in its current state allowing you to play as is, with more content added as the developer completes it.  If you buy into the game during Early Access, you’ll receive a discount as well as access to additional content as it’s completed.

A link to what the developers of the game have to say can be found here.

More info on Smash Up the board game can be found here and here.

Just as Essen was getting underway, Portal games gets the convention started by announcing four new games that will be made available in 2017.  Three of these are expansions to existing games and the fourth is a new card game.

scavengers

The First up is the expansion to the 51st State: Master set entitled 51st State: Scavengers from Ignacy Trzewiczek.  51st State: Scavengers is based on a previous 51st State expansion called Ruins.  This re-do brings back favorite cards from Ruins in addition to introducing new locations and a brand new mechanism to the game.  With Scavengers, you’ll have the ability to search the discards and retrieve those valuable cards for use within your State.

Are you willing to scavenge to have the best state?

aftermath

The second up is an expansion to one of the hottest games of 2016…Cry Havoc entitled Cry Havoc: Aftermath.  Cry Havoc: Aftermath expands upon the base game, adding 5 new skills and 3 new structures to each faction.  In addition to the skills and structures, there is a new game mode that allows for a full 5 round game.  This game mode introduces new scoring abilities when an event token is passed instead of its removal, further increasing your options for scoring victory points.

Will your faction be the one left standing in the wake of the aftermath?

undead

The third expansion is for the all new Stronghold Second Edition entitled Stronghold: Undead by Ignacy TrzewiczekStronghold: Undead is a re-balancing release of the original Undead expansion to be compatible with Stronghold Second Edition.  This expansion introduces new rules for terror, casting spells, and gathering mana.  New buildings and abilities for the Defender to help ward off the Attacker on a new map with new routes.

Can you hold back the undead, or will your Stronghold fall?

 

Last but not least is a new game from Marcin Ropka and Viola Kijowska entitled Alien Artifacts.  Alien Artifacts is a 4x style of card game, where you take on the role of an interplanetary corporation exploring uncharted space in hopes to gain knowledge and power.  Alien Artifacts boasts a true 4x experience in under 1 hour!

Does your corporation have what it takes to explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate the other corporations?

alien-art

Portal Games has stated that these new titles will follow Portal’s first release of 2017 entitled First MartiansAlien Artifacts will be released at Gen Con 2017. Price and contents will be announced at a later date as well as the details for all other titles.

For more information, you can visit Portal’s website here.

GuildMasters_artYou might remember Mirror Box Games from their first release, last year’s Chaosmos. Not content with being a one-hit wonder, they’re back at the grindstone crafting a new title which is coming soon to Kickstarter. It’s called Guild Masters and we can expect that Kickstarter campaign to launch sometime this fall.

Guild Masters posits players as guild masters vying for control of the just announced Royal Guild. The game will use hand management and set collection to accrue reputation, with the most reputable getting the Royal Guild appointment and winning the game.

Guild Masters is for 2-5 players with a play time of around 90 minutes. We’ll let you know when the Kickstarter goes live.

mephisto

Portal Games has announced an August release for two new armies in the extremely popular board game universe of Neuroshima Hex 3.0 designed by Michał Oracz!

The first is Mephisto designed by Michał Herda & Michał Oracz.  Now I know what you’re thinking…Is Portal Games bringing in a particularly nasty Marvel Villain to rain down hell in Neuroshima Hex?!?!  No, not this time.  Mephisto is quite simply, a half-worm, half-steel maggot born of radioactive bomb craters that will give players a shortcut and resources but quite possibly at the cost of their life.  Make good use of the new implants and modules to bring the awesome power of this monster down on your enemies!

dancer

The second is Dancer designed by Rustan Håkansson.  A beautiful lady twirling upon her toes across the board as…wait, that doesn’t sound right at all.  Oh no, “Dancer” is in fact a code name for a predictably sinister genetic experiment that was damaged during the Moloch attack on Omega.  Now the 3 raving-mad, hive-mind subjects of this military-experiment-gone-wrong have escaped and together they are a lethal combination of healing, free attacks, and massive damage.  But enemies take heed!  If you can find a way to kill one of them…Dancer will fall.

To learn more, visit the Portal Games page by clicking <here>.

On Monday, July 18th, Stronghold Games will be releasing two new games for pre-order:

terraforming mars

Terraforming Mars, designed by Jacob Fryxelius, plays 1 to 4 players, ages 12 and up, and takes about 90 minutes.  Set in the 25th century, Terraforming Mars is a resource and hand management powerhouse where the players take on the role of large corporations tasked with the goal of making the planet of Mars a habitable environment for Earth’s ever-growing population.  If you can succeed in raising the sub-zero temperatures, adding oxygen to the atmosphere, and melting those ice caps to let the water flow, then maybe you can succeed at Terraforming Mars!

dragon flagon

Home after a hard day’s work terraforming a distant planet, why not try to have a drink at The Dragon & Flagon?  Stronghold’s newest game by the designers Engelstein, The Dragon & Flagon, is a chaotic brawl of a game where 2 to 8 players, ages 10 and up, have approximately 1 hour to try and win the last Flagon of The Dragon!  You and your fantastical friends will have to avoid flying mugs, chairs, magic, and each other in your attempt to build a reputation that guarantees you get the last sip of, The Dragon!

Did your rowdy night at The Dragon & Flagon cause you to miss the latest news on the progress in Terraforming Mars?  Fear not, tune in to the Board Games Insider Podcast where they will be broadcasting from Mars (Just go with it…) this summer!  Stephen Buonocore, president of Stronghold  Games, and Ignacy Trzewiczek, president of Portal Games, are both bringing great new games based on the Red Planet to the hobby this year.  Terraforming Mars and First Martians are sure to be out of this world hits!  If you have questions for these two giants in the field, Stephen and Ignacy invite you to submit them <here>.  They also have their very own guild over at BGG and would love it if you’d come help them reach their goal of 500 members by clicking <here>.  And of course, if you’d like to hear more of their outstanding and unique podcast, click <here> and enjoy!.

If you don’t want to wait for GenCon 2016 to secure your copies of Terraforming Mars and/or The Dragon & Flagon, click <here> to pre-order today!

boardsides

Z-Man Games has previously announced the upcoming release of another game set in the Merchants & Marauders universe, Merchants & Marauders: Broadsides.  This new stand-alone game carries the same high-adventure theme set in the Caribbean during the age of piracy,but is far removed from the pick-up-and-deliver adventure that was its predecessor.  Merchants & Marauders: Broadsides brings ship-to-ship combat in the form of a hand-management and worker placement card game, and players will be playing combos of cards such as pairs, straights, and flushes to fire the various weapons their ship is equipped with.

Image from BGG

Image from BGG

Z-man has released an article that outlines these weapons and details their strengths, weaknesses, and basic strategies of use.  In summary, here are the the three types of weapons your ship can equip:

  • The 18-Pounder: a balanced, all-purpose cannon that can deal damage via a wide range of effectiveness
  • The Long Nine:  a focused and powerful weapon that is difficult to aim, but when it hits it deals damage of the greatest severity
  • The Carronade: a lower-powered weapon that is easy to hit with but deals damage at a lower level

Players will need to load these weapons with a variety of shot types, including Solid Shots (for damaging planks), Chain Shots (for crushing enemy sails), and Canister Shot (for devastating enemy crew).

Merchants & Marauders: Broadsides is set for a fall 2016 release.  For more information on how these weapons affect game play, check out the article in full on Z-Man’s website.

awful fantasy

Awful Fantasy, a social media parody of fantasy and sci-fi, is coming out with its first tabletop game, Awful Fantasy: The Card Game. The game comes from the designers of Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game, and features the humor of Awful Fantasy. In this storytelling game, players will be collecting cards in order to complete their own awful fantasy tale. The game will launch on Kickstarter on May 3rd. For more information, see the full press release:

Awful Fantasy—the satirical social media source for all things awful in fantasy and sci-fi—is proud to announce the upcoming release of its first official tabletop game, Awful Fantasy: The Card Game! Watch for the upcoming Kickstarter campaign launching on May 3rd.

About the game:
Based on the the unique and absurd humor of Justin and Mitchell Lucas and with gameplay designed by Adam and Brady Sadler (Warhammer Quest: The Adventure Card Game), Awful Fantasy: The Card Game is a casual card game for 2 – 6 aspiring awful authors. Each player takes on the role of a ridiculous author equipped with a hand of awful cards, which are used to either draw fantasy cards or thwart your rival authors.

The goal of the game is to collect a series of fantasy cards to complete your own tale of awful fantasy. Each story must contain at least 3 fantasy cards, including a plot, a protagonist, and an antagonist. The combinations of these cards are diverse, and each play provides a new opportunity for you to tell a tale more awful than your last.

The Lucas twins and Sadler twins have a long creative history that began in their high school days. This is their first collaboration in the gaming world, but hopefully far from their last.

Number of players: 2 – 6
Time required: 20 – 45 min
Recommended ages: 13+
Awful Fantasy website: awfulfantasy.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AwfulFantasy
Twitter: http://twitter.com/awfulfantasy

oblivaeon

Five years after its first appearance, the smash hit superhero card game Sentinels of the Multiverse is officially coming to a close. The story of the Freedom Five and their legendary allies and enemies has so far wound its way through 6 major expansion sets and a myriad of single deck expansions, each building up the vibrant world of the game, but GTG has been very open about the fact that that story wouldn’t last forever. Now the end is officially nigh.

According to the official announcement on the Greater Than website, Sentinels’ final expansion, Oblivaeon, is the planned culmination of everything that has come before it – those inclined may find clues about the finale hidden throughout the previous expansions – and it will bring together all the different storylines of the Multiverse.

To bring all of this to life, Sentinels is returning to its Kickstarter roots one last time. The official campaign will launch Tuesday, February 9th and, as is only appropriate for the franchise’s swan song, it will also include special anniversary content such as a new printing of all the character promos that have ever been released for the game (with all new art!) and the SotM Ultimate Collector’s Case, which will hold your entire Sentinels collection in one purposely designed box.

Keep your eyes peeled for the campaign, and if you’d like to know more, check out the full GTG announcement here.

brass

Roxley Games, the publishers of popular games such as Steampunk Rally and Super Motherload, have announced a new agreement with veteran board game designer Martin Wallace for the right to reprint his classic economic game Brass. While the details of the agreement have not yet been finalized, the new version of the game is intended to launch on Kickstarter sometime in quarter 2 or 3 of 2016 and will include new artwork, deluxe component upgrades and a completely new map, developed in cooperation with Wallace. The new map will be set in the Birmingham area and feature new industries such as breweries as well as some new rules and mechanisms.

After the Kickstarter is fulfilled, the game will also be made available in stores, including all the new game content, but without the deluxe component upgrades.

Read the full announcement here.

sandcastles

YAY Games, the makers of last year’s hit Kickstarter Frankenstein’s Bodies, have successfully completed production of their latest project and are ready to set it loose upon the world. Debuting this week at the Essen Spiel game fair in Germany, Sandcastles is a card/tile placement game for 3-7 players, with rules variants included for 2 player or solo gaming. Each player must use the cards available to the them to build the best Sandcastle they can before the tide rolls in – but be careful: the other players will do their best to steal bits away from your sandcastle or even siphon off your bonus points!

Sandcastles plays in about 30-40 minutes and is designed by Andrew Harman. For more detail, read the full press release below:

“Bringing out the naughty child in you!”

Media release (Oct 3rd, 2015)
Embargo – Immediate
Sandcastles set for International launch

Gamers sometimes complain about games having the same old themes (don’t mention Zombies) or that a theme has just been plastered onto a game. These are not statements that could be laid at the feet of up and coming British board game publisher YAY Games.

Following on from the cult success of Frankenstein’s Bodies, a highly thematic game about building your very own “creature” out of spare body parts, YAY are set for the international launch of Sandcastles.

“We are hoping that folks at Essen really take our latest brain child into their hearts. In Sandcastles you are on a beach trying to build the best sandcastle you can before the big wave comes crashing in.” Says Andrew Harman YAY Games chief creative.

He goes on to warn in a tongue in cheek way. “Don’t get too comfortable playing in the sand though because the other players could be planning on using crabs, seagulls of their own buckets to kick over your glorious creation and steal your sandy glory!”

Sandcastles is a very portable tile placement game for 1 to 7 players and lasts around 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a game to take on holiday to play with your family, look no further

YAY Games are getting a reputation for producing games with interesting themes that are easy to learn and pack in a lot of interaction. They can be found at booth 2E-121 at Essen.

You can also keep up to date with this fresh and exciting company on Facebook here or Twitter here.