ian o’toole

In Pipeline, players start an oil company business and focus on building an efficient pipeline network for their refineries. It’s designed by Ryan Courtney, with artwork by the incredible Ian O’Toole (known for Nemo’s War, and Vinhos). Pipeline is published by Capstone Games, and is intended for 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in about 120 mins.

“The refinement of oil has long been part of the government-controlled energy sector. Amassed with an incredibly complex and inefficient system of refineries, the government has felt the severe pressures of worldwide demand and the ever-increasing global standards for refinement. Unable to keep up with demand, the government has only one option: privatizing the oil industry.” [source]

While constructing their pipeline, players focus on hiring experts that provide valuable benefits over their competitors. They also manage the logistics of purchasing and selling refined oil in various markets. A carefully crafted, interweaving pipeline network is the key to end game victory.

Expect Pipeline to release in August of 2019.

Eagle-Gryphon Games has launched a new Railways of the World (ROTW) expansion – Railways of Portugal – on Kickstarter. Designed by Vital Lacerda, with cover art by Ian O’Toole, this expansion is for 2-4 players and uses the same rules as other games in the ROTW series with a few important exceptions.

What’s new and different?

Although the base rules and mechanics are the same as previous ROTW titles, a few distinct changes have been made:

• Access productive islands via Maritime Connections
• Black cities can only be added at the start of the Industrial Age and via Urbanization
• Close cities on a tight map that demands careful and tough decisions, leading to significant player interaction
• Major Lines that require intermediate connections
• New Operations cards and concepts are included
• Goal Cards replace Baron Cards

What’s in the box?

• A 375 x 617mm game board
• Goal Cards (10)
• Operations Cards (34)
• Player-aid Sheets (4)
• Rulesheet

Kickstarter backers will receive a free 3-card promo pack.

Note: The Railways of the World base game or Railways of Nippon standalone base game are required to play the Railways of Portugal expansion.

The Kickstarter campaign has already reached its funding goal and will be running until January 21, 2019, 4:00 AM CET.

Watch some Dice Tower coverage of the Railways of the World series.

Osprey Games has announced Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell: A Board Game of English Magick, based on the popular novel by Susanna Clarke and subsequent television series. The board game, designed by Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello (War of the Ring) with illustration by Ian O’Toole, pits 2-4 players in a battle to be the most celebrated magician of their age. Speaking about the project, Francesco said “working with Duncan Molloy and the team at Osprey has been a fantastic experience. In their hands, our design was not simply transformed from a rough prototype to a beautiful, polished product, but it has been tweaked and improved in so many subtle ways that we cannot wait to get our hands on it. Real magic!”

Not a lot of further details are out on this new game, but initial images look fantastic. Look for Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell in June of 2019.

Queen Games has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for all their Essen releases.  The Kickstarter campaign supports Bastille, Skylands, and Franchise.  Like all their Kickstarter campaigns, “Queenies”, or expansion modules, are included with each game, and the pledge levels include the option to support one, all, or any combination of the games.

Skylands is a tile laying game where the players build the Skylands kingdom, a kingdom composed of mystical floating islands. On each turn, a player will select one of four actions: Explore, Harvest, Build, or Collect Energy.  Reminiscent of Puerto Rico,  all the players get to take the action, but the player who selected the action gets an advantage.  Players build the kingdom on their tableau, placing forests, mountains, crystals, and cities. Harvesting resources allow for the creation of more islands, power cities, and build special buildings.  The game continues until a player has completely field his or her tableau or until all the tiles have been placed.  The player with the most victory points at the end of the game wins.

Skylands plays 2-4 players, ages 8+ in about 30 minutes.  Contents include 4 action boards, 4 double-sided player boards, 1 supply board, 4 starting islands, 4 wooden player tokens, 4 player markers, 88 island tokens, 32 special island tiles, 60 wooden inhabitants, 1 scoring pad, and 24 victory point markers.  The Kickstarter campaign supporters will also receive 5 Queenie expansions for the game.

In Franchise, players are business owners in the 1960’s expanding their business by establishing franchises across America. While each new franchise adds wealth to the business, it costs money to establish a new franchise, and not all franchise locations are equal.  The cost to add a franchise varies from location to location and the revenue earned, likewise, varies from location to location. Meanwhile, competitors cut into the revenue available from a location when they move into the same city.  Designed by Christwart Conrad, Franchise is a revised edition of his earlier game Medieval Merchant, with updated artwork by Ian O’Toole, whose artwork has been featured in The Gallerist, Lisboa, and Vinhos Deluxe Edition.

Franchise plays 2-5 players, ages 14+, in about 90 minutes. Contents include one gameboard, 5 player boards, 10 income charts, 25 city tiles, 10 region tiles, 20 bonus tiles, 55 dollar cards, 200 wooden franchises, 6 expansion markers, and 5 influence markers. The Kickstarter campaign supporters will also receive 3 Queenie expansions for the game.

Bastille is a bidding game where players are leaders of revolutionary factions in France seeking to strengthen their faction before the revolution begins.  Each player has three influence tokens which they can place in one of seven buildings around Paris. Each building provides a different benefit ranging from money, recruits, allies, missions, or other means to advance closer to the revolution and increase influence.  The player with the most influence in a location receives the benefit of that location. Victory points are earned each round based on the random mission requirements for the revolution.  After eight rounds, the revolution begins and the player with the most victory points is the winner and leader of the Revolution!

Bastille plays 3-4 plays, ages 12+, in about an hour.  Content breakout has not been provided yet, but stay tuned to the Kickstarter campaign for updates. The Kickstarter campaign supporters will also receive 3 Queenie expansions for the game.

The Kickstarter campaign for all three games runs through September 14 with an expected delivery in November 2018. Check out the Kickstarter campaign to learn more.

 

Chaosium, the long time forerunner of the Cthulhu RPG world, has announced a new Kickstarter project, the card game Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection. Chaosium, famous for the Call of Cthulhu RPG, had been out of the board and card game world for quite a while until last year’s release of Reiner Knizia‘s Khan of Khans. Now the studio has returned to the Lovecraftian world with the push-your-luck card game Miskatonic University, also designed by the master, Dr. Reiner Knizia, with Graphic design by Ian O’Toole and art by Victor Leza and Goomi. In Miskatonic University, 2-5 players take turns drawing cards from the library, trying to collect sets of 3 differing Sigil and Grimoire cards. However, if the player draws a duplicate card, they and their students will be expelled from the library, losing their progress that round. Players can use one of their 7 defense cards to mitigate expulsion in different ways, and graduate students can be collected to recharge used defense cards. If players opt to leave the library voluntarily, they earn points for collected sets. The game lasts five terrifying rounds, and the most points from collected lore and saved sanity wins.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Miskatonic University: The Restricted Collection will continue through May 8, and the game is expected to deliver in November 2018.

Eagle-Gryphon Games have launched The Scarlet Pimpernel: Signature Edition on Kickstarter. You play as members in the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel in France helping Sir Percy Blakeney rescue the innocent from the guillotine. While there are 7 missions to complete, none are as important as rescuing the young Dauphin, heir to the French throne, and escaping with him to Vienna.

The year is 1973.

France cowers under the Reign of Terror and not even the innocent are safe from the Committee of Public Safety and their precious guillotine.

In the midst of all this turmoil, one man uses courage and cunning to fight the brutality … [source]

The Scarlet Pimpernel supports 2-6 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. In the game players reveal mission cards which show the next location the Scarlet Pimpernel must visit. The mission cards will also show the required number of supporters and resources needed for a successful rescue. As League members, the players must help the Scarlet Pimpernel carry out these missions by placing cubes from their supply in various spots on the game board to score points. Influence over sections of the Mission Planning Area can earn Special Favor Tiles that provide access to elaborate new actions. These aren’t permanent and can be stolen away by other players. Although players work together thematically to accomplish missions, only the player with the highest score will become the Scarlet Pimpernel’s trusted adviser.

The Scarlet Pimpernel is designed by Brian Kelley and illustrated by Ian O’Toole (The Gallerist, Lisboa, Nemo’s War). It’s currently up on Kickstarter and has already raised 224% of its funding goal with 486 backers. A pledge of $55 (excluding shipping) will secure you a copy of the base game and funding ends on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018.

Grail Games have announced a few games they’ll be publishing by prolific designer, Dr. Reiner Knizia.

Yellow & Yangtze

Yellow & Yangtze, the sister game to Tigris & Euphrates, will be released in 2018. The game is set in the Qin Dynasty (part of modern day China) along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. It sees the rival states of Qin, Chu, Qi, Yan Han, Whei, and Zhao battling for supremacy in 221 BC and is beautifully illustrated by Vincent Dutrait. Yellow & Yangtze supports 2-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90 mins. The designer has improved and tweaked the game play of Tigris & Euphrates so that while Yellow & Yangtze will have a similar feel it will be its own “beast”.

Game play details according to the publisher:

In Yellow & Yangtze, players build civilizations through tile placement. Players are given five different leaders: a Governor, Soldier, Farmer, Trader, and Artisan. The leaders are used to collect victory points in these same categories. However, your score at the end of the game is the number of points in your weakest category. Conflicts arise when civilizations connect on the board. To succeed, players’ civilizations must survive these conflicts, calm peasant revolts, and grow secure enough to build prestigious pagodas. [source]

Criss Cross

Coming in Q1 of 2018 is Criss Cross, a roll-and-write game illustrated by Heiko Günther. This is a custom dice game played over 12 rounds where 2 dice are rolled, and players write the symbols in adjacent squares on their scoring sheet. Groups of symbols in columns and rows score points. While all players share the dice symbols the placement of these will vary across players. Criss Cross supports 1-6 players, aged 8+, and plays in roughly 10 mins.

Stephenson’s Rocket

In Stephenson’s Rocket, players take on the role of rail barons in 1830s England. They can invest in railway lines, transport passengers, build up local industries, and compete for the honor of becoming the most prestigious rail baron. Illustrations are by Ian O’Toole.

On September 15, 1830, the age of the railroad began with the opening of the first line between Liverpool and Manchester. The locomotive that ruled those rails was George Stephenson’s Rocket. With a top speed of 45km/h (28mph) Rocket, was the most advanced engine of the day, and its arrival marked the beginning of the modern railway. [source]

Stephenson’s Rocket supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays between 60 and 90 mins.

King’s Road

In King’s Road, players are nobles attempting to gain power and influence in the king’s provinces. As the king travels along the road in his provinces, he will allow the most influential noble in each region to govern in his stead. Over time the most favored noble will win the game.

King’s Road is an area-majority game. Each player has identical decks of eleven cards. On a turn, players simultaneously select the three cards they will play, and in what order. To win, players not only have to influence the king as he traverses the land, but attempt to read the minds of their opponents.

King’s Road re-implements the game Imperium, previously only available within game compendiums. [source]

This game is also illustrated by the great, Vincent Dutrait and supports 2-5 players, aged 10+. Game play length is around 30 mins. King’s Road is currently available at retailers.

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road

Unlike the prior games in this list, this one is not designed by Dr. Knizia but by Gerhard Hecht with art by Franz Vohwinkel. The core mechanism will be “open deck-building” with players trading spices along the Silk Road from Asia to Europe. The game supports 2-4 players, aged 12+, and plays in roughly 45 mins.

According to the publisher, the game plays as follows:

In the beginning, each caravan consists of three cards that are spread out vertically so that the top part of each card is visible; each card stands for a caravan member with different abilities.

On his turn, a player performs only one action, choosing one of the cards on top of the three caravans and executing one action shown on that card. Then the card is put at the back of its caravan. To use the same caravan member again, a player must first use all the other cards on top of that caravan row. [source]

Kashgar: Merchants of the Spice Road will release in Q2 of 2018.

‘Nemo’s War by designer Chris Taylor is getting a mini-expansion and a new printing of the Second Edition via Kickstarter. The original printing was extremely successful and is almost sold out almost everywhere, driving up demand (and prices!) on the secondary market. Victory Point Games has added an expansion for both new Little Nemo’s and those who already have the game.

A sign of the popularity of the game, the kickstarter was fully funded in just four hours with over 3,000 backers now having pledged over $100,000 of the $30,000 campaign goal. The campaign ends December 21st 2017 at 7pm MST with an estimated shipping date of December 2018. Simplifying pledge levels, the Nemo’s War expansion pack is available for $5, and the base game with the expansion pack is available for a pledge of $59.

Expansion

The Nautilus Upgrades Expansion Pack is a small expansion of  simply 12 new Nautilus Upgrade cards. The cards include the Clockwork Cipher, the Adventurer’s League, Nemo’s Manifesto, Prize Crew Quarters, and 8 more.

Nemo’s War

The base Nemo’s War game is a solo board game filled with both undersea exploration and combat. Set in 1870 players will enter the world of Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas. Playing as Captain Nemo himself, players will dive through the oceans in the electric powered Nautilus submarine, traveling the world seeking both knowledge and vengeance.

The newest printing of the Second Edition of the game is described as featuring enhanced production quality, and features of the art and graphics of Ian O’Toole throughout the game.

Prospective backers can read the rulebook here (link) and watch a video introduction to the game here (link).

What’s in the Box?

The Nautilus Upgrades Expansion Pack features:

  • 12 New Nautilus Upgrade cards (linen-finish)
  • 1 Rules booklet

The Nemo’s War Base Game box includes:

  • 1 Game box
  • 1 Rulebook (available for download here)
  • 1 Epilogues booklet
  • 1 17” x 33” game board
  • 62 Adventure cards
  • 10 Nautilus Upgrade cards
  • 6 Character Resource tiles, 2 Motive tiles, and 1 Captain tile
  • 220 tokens and markers (ships, gemstones, etc.)
  • 12 Uprising cubes (10 black wood, 2 silver)
  • 5 dice (3 white and 2 black)
  • 1 Nautilus miniature
  • 9 co-op game Officer cards

Victory Point Games

Based in a Southern California, Victory Point Games is a small format publisher printing batches of strategy, card, family and casual board games. Primarily a historical war game publisher, Victory Point Games has expanded and released popular titles including Darkest Night, Infection: Humanities Last Gasp, The Lost Cause and more.

nemos war comp

Literature fans, solo-gamers, and combinations of the two should take notice.  Nemo’s War: Second Edition is on Kickstarter, and has already more than doubled its goal with twenty-five days left.  Nemo’s War is a theme-dripping solo adventure game based on Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  This 2nd edition completely overhauls the 2009 title and features new artwork from Ian O’Toole (The Gallerist).
Nemo’s War
 places you in the titular role of the captain of the Nautilus, an electric-powered submarine.  You pilot your vessel around the board battling ships and sea-beasts and attempting to accomplish an array of objectives you choose at the outset of your adventure.  Victory conditions and difficulty are variable, making Nemo’s War a replayable  solo experience.  The game was designed by Chris Taylor (Astra Titanus) and will be published by Victory Point games.  For all the details, sail over to the Kickstarter page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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stockpile

 

There’s only 6 days left to get in on Stockpile, a strategy game that pits auction mechanics with player interaction. Its from designers Brett Sobol and Seth Van Ordon and features the sensational art of Jacqui Davis and Ian O’Toole.

In Stockpile, players act as stock market investors at the end of the 20th century hoping to strike it rich, and the investor with the most money at the end of the game is the winner. Stockpile was built around the idea of imperfect knowledge. No investor knows everything about the stock market, but everyone does know something. This philosophy manifests in Stockpile in two unique ways – insider information and the stockpile.

stockmarket inside

 

To find out more about the project, as well as support it, you can check out the Kickstarter page here.