Ignacy Trzewiczek

Stronghold Undead 2nd Edition from Portal Games and Stronghold Games, designed by Ignacy Trzewiczek, is a stand-alone game based on the expansion that came out in 2010, but now has new artwork, new components, and a new streamlined rulebook!

This 2-player game has 1 side playing as the Undead army lead by Necromancer attempting to siege a Stronghold played by the opposing side protecting a powerful artifact. If the Undead army manages to break through and enter the Stronghold within 8 turns, that player wins the game! However, if the Stronghold can withstand the Undead army’s wrath, then the power of Necromancer fades away leaving nothing but dust.

Stronghold Undead will hit Kickstarter November 14 and will be available for retail in 2020. For more information, check out Portal Games’ website here.

The newest game from Portal Games, designer Joanna Kijanka and master imperialist Ignacy Trzewiczek is the brilliant Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North. The original Imperial Settlers has long been a staple of a well-rounded board game collection, marrying hand management, resource collection and engine building. But we forget that Imperial Settlers is part of a knotted bizarre lineage of games, getting better with each iteration. The original 51st State (2010) introduced this world of ephemeral resources, which disappear each round, necessitating efficient resource use and collection. 51st State inspired Imperial Settlers (2014), the poster child game for the genre. Imperial Settlers has collected many expansions over the years (Aztecs, Atlanteans, Amazons, and a few things not beginning with ‘A’), but it also inspired a new game, 51st State: Master Set (2016). I know it’s confusing, but the lineage thus far is 51st State begot Imperial Settlers, which begot 51st State.  And now, the newest game in the Iggy T genealogy is of course… Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North.

Empires of the North not only made resources store between rounds, but added some very clever worker placement and action selection mechanisms to the glorious foundation built by Imperial Settlers. The game comes with 6 very different factions/tribes which all play in clever ways. Some tribes are best at sailing the seas, pillaging and conquering the islands. Some are best as homebodies, collecting resources and living off of the interest. Others just beg to work with the other players, living off of trade.

No sooner had this gem of a game been released, than Portal announced the first expansion, Japanese Islands, of which Ignacy himself claims “The Japanese faction connects the world of Empires of the North and the base Imperial Settlers.” Portal promises two new tribes for the base game, along with new islands to explore. Imperial Settlers: Empires of the North is in limited pre-release now, with copies on sale at GenCon, and full release is dated for August 22. The new Japanese Islands expansion is due to be revealed at Essen Spiel 2019 this October.

After nearly a decade, Portal games has launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring back Prêt-à-Porter by Ignacy Trzewiczek, an economic euro game set in the fashion industry which received the Dice Tower Seal of Excellence. This edition features some rules, design, and component updates, as well as artwork by Kwanchai Moriya (Dinosaur Island, Cryptid, and Kodama: The Tree Spirits).

Prêt-à-Porter is a worker placement game in which players use three player pawns to perform actions, including signing new Contracts, building new Buildings, hiring new Employees, buying fabric and materials, and arranging finances at the bank. Ultimately, however, the game revolves around international fashion shows. During Show rounds, players present their Collections in hopes of gaining awards in four different feature categories.

Some rules changes in this edition include an advanced player order variant, longer-lasting contract cards, a refreshed victory point system, the threat of bankruptcy, and starting design cards for variable setup. Component updates include a larger board, bigger tokens, custom wooden pieces in place of wooden cubes, and wooden rather than cardboard tokens for the round tracker and upkeep costs.

For more information, you can find the official Kickstarter campaign page here.

Portal Games,  Ignacy Trzewiczek‘s Polish gaming paradise, has announced a slew of new expansions for 2019 at the Essen Spiel currently going on in Germany.

51st State: Allies is the second expansion for the popular Imperial Settlers variant game 51st State (2010). In Allies, new mechanisms are introduced to ally the factions together, gaining unique bonuses and features. Additionally, this expansion adds 3 new factions to the game – The Steel Police, Uranopolis, and Sharrash! Play to unite the varied factions in the Wasteland, or take control as a lone wolf, the choice is yours.

Breakthrough is the second expansion for Alien Artifacts, the 4x card game released last year. Breakthrough includes “new threats uncovered in the famous Discovery, and new challenges for the space faring factions”. This expansion includes 20 new technology cards, 10 new ship cards, and 10 new planet cards, from the expand category. “Humanity solved the mystery behind the alien technology, and is ready to seize its powers!”

Fans of the award winning 2012 game Robinson Crusoe (#40 on BGG) may need to sit and take a deep breath. Mystery Tales, the second expansion for this thematic cooperative survival game, is coming in 2019. Mystery Tales includes a campaign game, The Lost City of Z, as well as a slew of components which can be added to the base game. This expansion includes 10 new characters, and 300 new cards, including new beasts, a new event deck, new mystery cards and new adventure decks. The game also introduces a new mechanism of SANITY, which can push any game of Robinson Crusoe into the realm of gothic horror. Also included are 5 new scenarios in the campaign, as well as 2 new general scenarios.

Stronghold: Undead is the stand-alone expansion to the acclaimed 2 player game Stronghold (2009), and just like the original, this expansion is getting the second edition treatment. Once again the Stronghold is under seige, with one player attacking and the other trying to survive the onslaught. This time though, the deadly Necromancer throws his unflinching forces against the walls, and each player has 8 turns to break through, or to repel the invaders.

L.A. Crimes is the first expansion to the new hotness, Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game. In Detective, players use a unique combination of web pages, internet searches, information cards and props to solve an intricately crafted detailed story of crime and greed. The expansion has 3 new cases taking place in sunny California, in the crime riddled Los Angeles of the 1980s. The expansion includes 2 new mechanisms – observation and stakeouts.

Finally Portal Games is prepping a magical Lootbox, with 6 unique mystery promos. Pre-orders for the Loot Box start on November 1. For more information on this, and all the announcements, check out Portal Games’ press release here.

Portal Games will be releasing Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game on August 2nd at Gen Con 2018. However, if you can’t wait that long or don’t think you’ll be able to pickup a copy wading through a sea of gamers you can pre-order the game directly from Portal Games and have it shipped directly from Poland to receive it in July.

“Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is a fully co-operative, immersive, detective experience. This is a game of wits and deduction, a full game night experience – a single game session can last up to 3 or more hours. It is also rules-light, meaning, that the most powerful tool at your disposal is your team, your imagination, and your own mind.” [source]

In this story-driven game, designed by Przemysław RymerIgnacy Trzewiczek, and Jakub Łapot for 1-5 players, the group plays as Antares National Investigation Agency members. Together, you tackle five different cases and solve them in order. The detectives need to use an online database which they access at a website provided by Portal Games. Each case affects the next and together they form a campaign that puts your detective skills to the test. At the end of each case there’s the option to “save the game” so that you can continue play at your next session. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game plays in about 2-3 hours and is aimed at players aged 16+.

Those who pre-order the game (of which there are only 1000 pre-order copies) will receive bonus content which will be revealed over 4 weeks. Currently, an additional case, investigator, and consultant have been revealed.

Portal Games have announced many new releases for 2018 at their games convention, Portalcon.

Monolith Arena

This is a new fantasy, battleground, board game designed by Michał Oracz, creator of Neuroshima Hex! Monolith Arena gets its namesake from the Monolith which serves as each player’s headquarters. There are various factions, which all have unique abilities and units, and the faction headquarters also has unique abilities. Each player seeds their Monolith with three tokens which activate when the opponent damages the Monolith and the player exposes the top token. Each time the Monolith is damaged the next token is revealed. The game plays over a hex-based board, supports 2-4 players aged 10+, and plays in roughly 30-40 mins.

Monolith Arena is expected to release at Essen Spiel 2018.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game

Don your fedoras and your raincoats, and cue the moody lighting as you take the role of a detective! No, wait, don’t do that because it’s not the 1920’s anymore. In Detective: A Modern Crime Game the players are placed in a modern setting with access to 21st century tools to solve the case. The game is a story-driven, cooperative game which includes 5 scenarios that can be played as a complete campaign. Each case is represented by 35 cards.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game has 1-5 players taking the role of investigators for the government agency, ANTERES, who have access to an online database to aid in their investigations. The database has information about suspects, witnesses, and documentation from arrests and trials. Players also have access to the investigation manual and can even use real world resources such as Wikipedia, Google Maps, and other available resources.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game is designed by Przemysław Rymer and Ignacy Trzewiczek and is expected to release at GenCon 2018.

Imperial Settlers: Amazons

The all-female, warrior tribe of the Amazons will be featured in the third expansion for Imperial Settlers. The Amazons use elements of the deck-building mechanism to modify the deck during play by discarding reconstructed faction cards from their deck. They also get bonuses for building their cheap faction cards which allows them victory through conquest or construction bonuses.

Imperial Settlers: Amazons supports 1-4 players, aged 10+, and is expected to release during the second half of 2018.

Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire

The third Empire Pack for Imperial Settlers includes fifty new cards to allow players to expand their base factions and conquer faction cards of their opponents. Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire adds borders which are placed between each pair of players.

The game will be part of an early launch kit to be released May 2nd, 2018 but will see official release on May 16th, 2018.

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales

This expansion adds a new campaign titled The Lost City of Z, where you follow great explorer, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett as he tries to find the enigmatic city. It also includes a full set of rules and components that can be played with the base game of Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales introduces new characters, beasts, and Mystery deck cards and adds a new mechanism of Horror and Sanity with dangerous and Cthulhu-like stories.

The expansion support 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90-180 mins.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery

Humanity has discovered something by accident. It is a mysterious resource, hidden deep under the surface of a distant planet. The race for wealth and new opportunities begins.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery is an expansion to the popular Alien Artifacts, 4x card game. It adds a new type of card, Alien Resources, and new types of ships and planets. A total of 50 cards is added and helps move the storyline forward of the base game.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery is designed by Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska, supports 1-4 players aged 10+, and plays in 45-90 mins. The game will be part of an early launch kit on March 7th, 2018 and will see full release on March 21st, 2018.

Portal Games is planning for a busy start to the year with a pile of expansions and retail launch kits ready for players. Alien Artifacts, Robinson Crusoe, and Imperial Settlers will all have new content being released in the first quarter of 2018. Portal Games had already announced a slew of new expansions for 2018, but now players are getting release dates and details of additional in store event kit surprises.

Imperial Settlers

Imperial Settlers by designer Ignacy Trzewiczek and artist Tomasz Jedruszek will receive an expansion deck of cards, We Didn’t Start the Fire, on May 16, 2018. The new empire pack introduces the concept of conquest to Imperial Settlers. Contesting introduces borders to Imperial Settlers. When a player completes a conquest they move the border between empires and can take the left-most faction from their neighboring empire and built it into their own empire. The empire pack will include 50 new cards and support all previous factions.

Portal Games is also planning for the release of a retail support kit for Imperial Settlers prior to the launch of We Didn’t Start the Fire. Releasing on February 2nd, 2018, the In-Store Event Kit will help retailers planning for local tournaments. The retail support kit will include three cards for each of the original 4 base factions that feature a panoramic layout. The three cards in each faction can be placed side by side for a seamless and massive view of the world of Settlers. The kit will also include an Imperial Settlers playing mat (23″ x 13″) to be used as a prize in local tournaments. Winner of the 2014 Golden Geek for best solo game and now almost four years old, Imperial Settlers continues to build a fanbase of players.

Alien Artifacts
Alien Artifacts: Discovery will be released March 21st, 2018 as the first expansion to Alien Artifacts by designers Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska. The first expansion begins to move along the storyline of the Alien Artifacts universe.
By accident, humanity discovers a mysterious resource hidden under the thick crest of one of the planets. The race for the wealth and new possibilities begins!
The expansion introduces the Alien Resource card which will allow players to harvest additional resources from planets and gain new abilities. The Discovery expansion will add 50 new cards to the game, including planets, technologies, ships, Alien Artifacts, and Alien Resources.
An Early Launch Kit will release on March 3, 2018 for brick and mortar stores. Participating stores will receive 10 copies of the expansion, 10 promo materials, and an Alien Artifacts poster. Most importantly, participating retailers will receive the expansion a full two weeks before the official release date.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe will see the The Lost City of Z big box expansion in 2018, but prior to that players will have the chance to travel through time with Robinson Crusoe though an In-Store Event Kit on March 21st, 2018. The In-Store Event Kit will allow players to take part in a new time travel themed scenario. The kit will include:
  • a new scenario about time travel
  • 8 unique player characters
  • four sets of custom wooden pieces representing the food resource
  • one poster
Released in 2013, Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island won the Golden Geek Best Thematic Game award, the Gra Roku Advanced Game of the Year and the Swiss Gamers Award.
The game has also appeared on a number of Dice Tower Top 10 lists including:

Dice Tower Con has just launched it’s brand new website for the sixth year of the convention.  The new website offers loads more information and links to help you know what to expect from the convention and how to take full advantage of it.  You will see info like both Eric Lang and Ignacy Trzewiczek being special guests of honor at this year’s convention, an event schedule for the convention, and even a list of the games in the library.  Also as the time for the convention draws closer you will start to see links appear for things like the flea market and the math trade that happens each year at the convention.  Needless to say, the new site is a nice upgrade over the previous site so be sure to take a look, and if you hurry you might be able to get a ticket to the convention if you don’t already have one as there are still a few left.

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.

first-martians

First Martians, the big sequel game to the popular co-op game Robinson Crusoe, is landing on store shelves in 2017.  First Martians is a cooperative game where you and your follow space travelers are working to survive the harsh martian landscape.  While you won’t have to fight off bears and other wildlife, you will need to establish yourself a base as well as find a way to get food and water.  There will also be the inclusion of a campaign mode where what you accomplish in one game will have effects on later games, almost like a legacy system but without the permanent changes.  There will also be the standard game mode for playing one at a time, as well as a open world mode where you explore as much of Mars as you can before you aren’t able to survive anymore.

Personally I am very excited for this game and look forward to it’s release!