Isaac Vega

The day has come, the final two decks have been released for the popular living card game Ashes: Rise of the PhoenixbornThe Grave King and The Protector of Argaia join the ranks of the other deck archetypes. With these last two marks the end of the series as we know it, as these Phoenixborn complete the remaining combinations of dice among the six schools of magic within the game. The story has finished, the game has been rounded out, and the end of the era is here, but Plaid Hat is very proud of this long-running LCG and has a proper send-off in mind. Along with these last two decks is the announcement of a reprint of the base game and one final tournament to rule them all.

“To celebrate all that Ashes has given our studio and fans, we’ve organized to have one last no-holds-barred tournament here in Dallas, Texas. In association with Common Ground Games, we are pleased to announce that the Ashes Complete Your Collection Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 22nd from 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. There will be participation prizes including one limited edition neoprene playmat for each participant, as well as several all-new alt-art Phoenixborn cards. The winner will receive one playmat for each of the original seven Phoenixborn as well as an Ashes poster signed by designer Isaac Vega himself.”

To participant in this tournament, there is a survey you must complete which is a fine investment for the chance to be a part of the history of this game. Collectors of this series can finally complete their collections by buying these decks right now through Plaid Hat’s website or by waiting a few days to pick them up from their favorite retailer. It may be a bittersweet end to the series for some, but it an ideal one that Plaid Hat has prepared for knowing this is the best time to do it. If you are interested in learning more, check out the release on Plaid Hat’s website for details about these new decks, the tournament, and future related announcements.

The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia are 2 new decks which expand the game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from Plaid Hat Games. In Ashes, an expandable card game for 2-4 players, players take on the roles of Phoenixborn, who are demi-gods and protectors of their world. Unfortunately, the Phoenixborn are at war with one another and seek to bath in the ashes of their defeated foes in order to absorb their power and be the sole, remaining god with dominion over all the land. Ashes is designed by Isaac Vega and features amazing art by Thander LinDavid Richards, and Fernanda Suárez.

The Grave King deck includes the Phoenixborn, James Endersight, who uses divine and ceremonial magic to sacrifice and resurrect his armies in order to overwhelm his foes. The Protector of Argaia deck has Fiona Mercywind, a Phoenixborn of Birdsnest who uses Sympathy and Charm magic.

Plaid Hat Games have announced that they’re accepting pre-orders for Starship Samurai, their anticipated new game from designer Isaac Vega (known for Dead of Winter and Ashes) with art by Gunship Revolution. Starship Samurai is a 2-4 player game where you lead your clan to victory by securing your claim to the emperor’s throne. Games last about 60-90 mins and is aimed at players aged 14+.

“The heavens erupt in the skies above the streets of Byakko City. Points of light flash briefly as the warp drives of carrier ships blink into existence. The Nova Clan’s forces are caught off-guard as a swarm of Void fighters launch to overtake the bustling capital city. The airspace siege cannons of the Void carrier hammer away at Nova Clan’s defenses, and a shadow falls over the city. Masumune has arrived. The gargantuan samurai mech cuts through the enemy forces with ease, obliterating the few remaining Nova Clan ships as they attempt to warp away to a neighboring system. Byakko City belongs to the Void Clan… for now.” [source]

As the leader of your clan you command massive fleets and powerful mechs which you use to seize key locations and battle other clans. You can also spend political and resource points to manipulate the lesser clans as an alternative path to victory. Each lesser clan you win over strengthens your clan’s supremacy. There are 8 highly detailed Samurai Mech figures which have unique abilities. There are also 8 detailed fighter miniatures and one carrier miniature in the players Clan colors.

If you pre-order the game, either through your local retailer or using the Plaid Hat Games website, you will get fully colored acrylic tokens for each Clan which are used to track the positions on the Alliance Board as well as each player’s Honor Total.

The release date has yet to be announced. Check out the Plaid Hat Games news article for more information.

“We’re not the only humans left in this town anymore.” Your Dead of Winter colony is about to get neighbors courtesy of the new Warring Colonies expansion from Plaid Hat Games.

The new expansion features a pile of new content that can expand your existing Dead of Winter or Long Night game including:

  • 15 new survivors
  • 50 new crossroads cards
  • 43 new items
  • 11 new crisis cards

We were suspicious when they arrived across town and set up camp, but we tried to live in peace. No more. They’ve taken too much from us. Too much that we can’t get back. It’s time for revenge. It’s time for war.

Most of the new content will support a new team variant for the game in which two warring colonies will compete for the same limited resources and power. The new variant will combine both the Dead of Winter base set and the Dead of Winter: The Long Night games. As the two colonies battle against each other they will use a new fighting system. Battle might not always be in the best interest of the colonies however, as joint-colony crisis cards force colonies to cooperate and some also force some level of coercion every round.

Not playing with even players? The new odd-man-out Lone Wolf variant adds chaotic balance as the lone wolf pursues their own secret goals in a den by themselves and carrying out missions that will affect both of the other colonies.

The content for the new variants includes:

  • 7 new main objectives
  • 2 combat dice
  • Battle tactics cards
  • Bullet Tokens
  • A combat track

The expansion is designed by Colby Dauch and Timothy Meyer for the game which was originally designed by Isaac Vega and Jon Gilmour.

Dead of Winter Warring Colonies can be used to expand either a Dead of Winter base set or Dead of Winter: The Long Night. Both Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game and Dead of Winter: The Long Night will be required to play the warring colonies variant and the lone wolf module.

Dead of Winter was produced as the first Crossroads game from Plaid Hat Games. The game made all three lists in the Dice Tower Best of 2014 List, peaking at number 1 for the People’s Choice list while also being included on Tom and Eric’s lists. In the 2014 Dice Tower awards the game earned Best Game of the Year, Best Co-op Game and Best Game Theming. Dead of Winter earned the title awards for both Most Innovative Design and Most Thematic Game in the 2014 Golden Geek Awards. The title earned an As d’Or Game of the Year nomination, an Origins Award for Best Board Game nomination among many other nominations in 2014.

Plaid Hat Games has posted on their news forum some updates on the rules revision work and two new expansions for Isaac Vega‘s excellent card game, Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.

Regarding the rules, Plaid Hat has been hard at work revising the rules set, especially the damage resolution process and the order of simultaneous effects. The new rules are in final updates and should be available before the War Within event series Spring 2017. Additionally, there have been some rumors about the second printing of the base game. Plaid Hat reassures fans that the second edition will be essentially the same with a few very minor changes. There are spelling and type changes for clarity, and the already established errata for the “Enchanted Violinist” will more clearly described on the card. Again, although some stores have listed this new printing as a “revised copy”, there is no need to buy the second printing if you already have the base game.

Finally, the next two expansions were introduced, Astrea, The Goddess of Ishra and Koji, The Boy Among Wolves.

“We lay down our worldly thirsts in pursuit of her enlightenment. We lay down our imperfect bodies to be reborn at her side. All praise be unto the Goddess of Ishra. Her enemies will kneel before her glory. We will peel back their veils. We will end their cycle of pain. All praise be unto Astrea.”

“Wild is the son the Spiral Jungle. Untrained, undisciplined, and ill-prepared for the trials that await him. Nevertheless, Koji Wolfcub walks boldly forward. His every step splits the earth beneath his feet. Out of the fissures grow the jungle’s verdant flora. Groping vines tear down the the gaudy edifices of man. Wild animals heed the boy’s call. The jungle rises up and joins the boy in his fight to restore the world.”

No release date for the expansions was listed, although Plaid Hat did say that it will be a while before another expansion is announced. Check the Plaid Hat announcement for details.

Plaid Hat Games has announced two new Deluxe Expansions, an organized Ashes Tournament and the next in the series of Ashes Organized Play products for the Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.

The Law of Lions & The Song of Soaksend

The next two expansion decks for the Ashes series will be the Law of Lions and the Song of Soaksend.

The Law of Lions

She is the commander of the pride, the follower of the  path, the righteous judge and the merciful servant. She  emboldens the virtuous and strikes fear in the heart of the  transgressor. She is Odette Diamondcrest. Her quill  wrote  Lordswall’s law. Her sword protected its gate. Her word  sent forth its crusaders. She will see the world  restored to  divine order.

The Song of Soaksend

An ancient song binds its silvery strings to every living  soul.  Namine adds her voice to this unending melody.  She  plays the strings and subtly alters the song to her  will. She  changes the tempo from a calm wind to a  crashing storm.  She and the people of Soaksend know  this song and live  serenely within its melody. Woe unto those that cannot  hear its beauty.

Both of these decks will be sold as deluxe box sets and will include 10 new dice in each box. Each box will have storage space for decks, 10 dice and game tokens.

The two Deluxe Expansions are slated for release in late spring / early summer 2017.

Organized Play Kit

To support “The Law of Lions” and “The Song of Soaksend” Plaid Hat Games has announced they will release the second Organized Play Kit at the same time as the two new factions release. The new kit will contain enough prize support and material for four tournaments of play.

The War Within Tournament

Together with parent company Asmodee, Plait Hat Games will be supporting a series of tournaments at local game stores billed as “The War Within.”

“The War Within”. Through a series of tournaments hosted by local game stores, players will have the opprotunity to determine the looks and abilities of an unnamed Phoenixborn. The “War Within” event is meant to represent her internal struggle, and how she wants to approach the war that she must soon be a part of.

The War Within Tournament will be available at participating game stores starting next month.

More Ashes Announcements Coming Soon

Plaid Hat Games has informed Ashes fans that they will be announcing additional decks in the coming weeks as well as information about a revised edition of the base game.


The 2015 Dice Tower Awards winners were announced at Dice Tower Con last night. The Dice Tower Awards nominees were announced earlier this year. Nominees are determined by a panel of roughly 100 people. A list is comprised and people can vote on up to their top 3 choices in any category. Based upon a weighting system determined by a person’s knowledge of any specific category, a list of the top 5 comprises the nominees with top vote getting the winner’s award (Best Game of the Year gets 10 nominees). This year was composed of a very impressive list of games which only goes to show how the board game industry keeps improving year after year. A huge congratulations to all the nominees and winners! For a list of all the nominees you can visit the official Dice Tower Awards page here.

Best Small Publisher



Designers: Brett Sobol, Seth Van Orden
Publisher: Nauvoo Games

Best Party Game



Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Game Artwork


Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn

Artists: David Richards, Fernanda Suarez
Designer: Isaac Vega
Publisher: Plaid Hat Games

Best Board Game Components

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game from a New Designer

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Two-Player Game

7wonders duel

7 Wonders: Duel

Designers: Antoine Bauza, Bruno Cathala
Publisher: Repos Production

Most Innovative Game

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Cooperative Game

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

Best Game Theming

time stories

T.I.M.E. Stories

Designers: Peggy Chassenet, Manuel Rozoy
Publisher: Asmodee

Best Game Expansion

ticket to ride penn

Ticket to Ride Map Collection: Volume 5 – United Kingdom & Pennsylvania

Designer: Alan R. Moon
Publisher: Days of Wonder

Best Game Reprint

through the ages

Through the Ages: A New Story of Civilization

Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Family Game



Designer: Vlaada Chvátil
Publisher: Czech Games Edition

Best Strategy Game

blood rage

Blood Rage

Designer: Eric M Lang
Publisher: Cool Mini or Not

Best Game of the Year

pandemic legacy

Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Designers: Rob Daviau, Matt Leacock
Publisher: Z-Man Games

ashes expansion

Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn, from designer Isaac Vega (Dead of Winter, BioShock Infinite: The Siege of Columbia) and Plaid Hat Games, was one of the hits of Gen Con.  Since then, the question has lingered: “What’s next?”  That question was answered today when Isaac unloaded tons of new info on a grateful community.

To start with, in April, PHG will release two new expansions for Ashes, featuring two brand new Phoenixborn each with their own pre-made deck, much like those found in the base game.  These decks will be built around one type of magic, termed “mono magic” in the article.

“The Frostdale Giants” will be a mono natural magic deck, and “The Children of Blackcloud” will be a mono ceremonial magic deck. Pre-orders will go up in early February here in the [Plaid Hat Games webstore] along with the PHG webstore exclusive Phoenixborn Lulu Firststone, who will just her own unique card rather than a full deck.”

ashes expansion cards

These two new decks will be translated into French, German, Italian, and Polish with more to come.  The expansion schedule will continue with two more Phoenixborn, plus decks, released at Gen Con 2016 and a new box set in November that will include four new Phoenixborn and two new types of dice.

PHG also talked about upcoming plans for Ashes Organized Play including kits with alternate art cards and playmats.  These kits will be available in April, but they are quick to remind readers that they can start running Ashes tournaments at their FLGS right now to help build interest.

There’s a lot more info in this update, including an expansion launch party, partnered with Team Covenant, and community connections, so be sure to jump over to the announcement on their website for all the details we can’t fit here.

rise of phoenix ash

Another Plaid Hat Games article for their upcoming game Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is out, this one showing us the various Dice Powers that can be found in the game. Each player will get 10 dice in their dice pool and these dice each can be used for a unique power (if their power side is showing) instead of being used to bring out powerful spells and creatures.

There are four types of dice in Ashes Natural, Charm, Ceremonial, and Illusion each one of which have 3 different symbols on them including one power symbol. This power symbol can be used to activate the corresponding Dice power.

You can read the article on Plaid Hat Games website here. While you’re there check out the other articles on Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn if you haven’t already. They cover a lot of information about this game from designer Isaac Vega.

Ashes looks like it will be an amazing game and one that I am highly looking forward to. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing artwork in the game by Fernanda Suarez and David Richards. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn which will be making an appearance at your FLGS/OLGS soon.


Plaid Hat Games has come out with another great article on their upcoming game Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn this time introducing us to the card types that will be found in the game. Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn is an expandable card game that will have 2-4 players battling it out with back and forth action. Featuring short player turns and the ability to react and adjust as the round progress Ashes is coming soon to an FLGS near you.


Ashes has 6 different card types that players will be able to choose from to build/draft their decks (if you choose not to use the pre-built decks) each of which offer their own unique advantages. The types available are:

  • Ready Spells – placed on your spellboard and have a constant or activated effect that can be activated multiple times per game.
  • Action Spells – played during your turn for a one time effect that trigger immediately but are discarded after use.
  • Reaction Spells – cards that are played after a specific event and can be played outside your turn for immediate action against your opponents, to defend yourself, or set yourself up for a strong combo on your next turn.
  • Alteration Spells – spells that are played onto units to alter their status or add/remove an ability. Many of these have the ability to be added back into your hand for a cost.
  • Ally Cards – units that can attack your opponents, typically more powerful than conjured units and can come straight out of your hand.
  • Conjuration Cards – similar to ally units in that they are used to attack your foes. They differ in that they are not in your draw pile and require another card to be summoned however they are also not removed from the game when they are destroyed and could potentially be summoned again.

The article contains more information on each of these types so if you are interested you should head over to Plaid Hat Games website here.

shadow counter

I have to be honest and say the more information that comes out about this game the more excited I get about it not to mention the fact that with each article comes more examples of the art found in the game by artists Fernanda Suarez and David Richards which is pretty mind blowing. It looks like designer Isaac Vega has outdone himself again with this one and I can’t wait for it to come out. The variety in card types and the way they play certainly look like it will make Ashes really exciting to play not to mention adding an incredible amount of variety to your and your opponents decks. It certainly looks like PHG has another hit on their hands with this one.