John D. Clair

AEG announces Ecos: First Continent, a world building game designed by John D. Clair (Mystic Vale) and art provided by Sabrina Miramon (Photosynthesis, Quadropolis) and Matt Paquette (Mystic Vale, Thunderstone Quest).  The world in Ecos is built by laying tiles that represent desert, water, and grassland. Each player will have a tableau of cards that will allow the placement of additional tiles, terrain features such as mountains and forests, or animals to populate the world. Activating the cards requires certain elements to be present in the world. Each round one player will reveal Element tokens from the Element Bag, giving all players the opportunity to complete a card from their tableau and shape the continent to their own purpose. Elements that cannot be used can be converted into Energy cubes or additional cards in hand or added to your tableau, to give you greater options as the game evolves. Game play in Ecos is simultaneous, and all players have access to the elements as they are drawn to activate their cards and build the world.  Every game card is different so the world will be built differently each play.  Many cards will score players victory points, sometimes based on the features in or adjacent to a habitat.  The first player to score 80 points wins the game. Learn more about the game here.

Ecos: First Continent plays 2 to 6 players, ages 14+, in 45-75 minutes.  Contents include 6 Dial tokens, 75 Map Tiles, 15 Mountain Tokens, 25 Forest Tokens, 66 Energy Cubes and storage container, 6 Scoring Cubes, 1 Scoreboard, 105 Game Cards, 102 Animal tokens and 2 storage containers, 40 Element stones, 1 Element bag, and Rulebook.  Look for Ecos: First Continent at your friendly local game store in October 2019.

Space Base is a critically acclaimed engine building, dice-economics game from designer John D. Clair and publisher AEG, which took the clever “roll dice – earn money – buy cards” pattern from Machi Koro (2012), and others, and brought it to the next level. The first expansion for Space Base, The Emergence of Shy Pluto, was only released last week, and already a second expansion and storage kit has been announced. Space Base: Command Station, coming later this year, will expand the maximum player count from it original 5 up to 7. The expansion, which comes in a box to hold everything, will include 2 more boards, all necessary starting cards and cubes. Command Station will also include 14 “pre-deployed” ship cards to help balance the larger player counts. Look for Space Base: Command Station at your FLGS this August.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has recently announced the first expansion to Space Base, the popular 2018 dice rolling, card drafting game from designer John D. Clair (Mystic Vale). In Space Base, 2-5 players roll dice, gain resources off of the numbers rolled, then use the resources to buy new cards. All cards go on a cleverly designed player board, taking up the numbers 1 through 12. As players collect new cards, they can gain further resources on other players’ die rolls. This mechanism of income generation off of dice rolls has been used effectively in Machi Koro (2012) and Valeria: Card Kingdoms (2016), but many feel that Space Base has just done it perfectly. The first expansion, The Emergence of Shy Pluto is teased as a “Saga Extension”, and promises to add story elements to the admittedly somewhat themeless game. Pluto includes a series of story based scenarios, which trickle new cards and elements into Space Base “via a narrative structure”. Once all of the stories are added, they become a permanent part of the game for further replays.

Look for Space Base: The Emergence of Shy Pluto in March 2019.

Sleeving cards has been a part of hobby gaming for years, yet John D. Clair turned the idea into a game mechanism and has been running with it brilliantly. Starting with Mystic Vale, the act of creating cards wrought several interesting ways to effect decisions in the long term. Continued with Custom Heroes, we saw how simple choices by one player change the ongoing experience of the game for everyone involved. Ever since the release of the first card-crafting game, Edge of Darkness had been advertised as the next step coming sometime in the future and it prevailed in the minds of fans captivated with the thought of something more. Now it is here, seeking funding on Kickstarter and described as follows:

     “Edge of Darkness combines Card Crafting, Worker Placement, shared deck-building, and a whole new Threat Challenge system in a medium-weight euro-style boardgame of 60 to 120 minutes for 2 to 4 players. […] Each Guild vies with the others to become the leaders of the Aegis in a desperate struggle against great evil. But the Guilds must also work together because the dangers facing the city can harm them all.”

Edge of Darkness is an incredible offering deserving of its exposure with the nearly-bulging seams of its imposing box. The idea of it just being another spiritual successor to Mystic Vale is frankly laughable, because the game has so much more than just card crafting. The cards being double-sided representing your efforts in the city and also the threats against it, the attention-grabbing threat tower, the unique back and forth between guilds competing over locations…all come together to form something that probably couldn’t exist outside the power of Kickstarter. So if you’re interested in this ambitious new game from AEG, be sure to check out the Kickstarter for more information, gameplay, and updates.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) continue their excellence into 2018 with some great games on the horizon.

Space Base is designed by John D. Clair (known for Mystic Vale, Custom Heroes, and Edge of Darkness) and has players assume the roles of Commodores in a space fleet. The order and types of cards a player buys for their space base has an impact on the economic engine which they build in order to become Admiral. Establish colonies in a sector, spread your cargo carriers, and expand your mining network to build your income and influence. The game will support 2 – 5 players and plays between 30 – 75 minutes depending on the number of players.

Details on Istanbul: The Dice Game are a bit thin but with a game designed by Rüdiger Dorn and art by Andreas Resch we can only expect great things. It will be a standalone dice game in which 2 – 4 players collect rubies in Istanbul’s bustling bazaar. Through clever use of the dice, players can make money and goods then exchange them for rubies to become the ultimate trader. Expect playtime of 20 – 40 minutes for ages 8+.

Joe Price and JT Smith expand on their hit game in 2018. In The Captain is Dead: Lockdown (Episode 2 in the AEG series, originally Episode 3 when released on Game Crafter) the Captain is still dead and the crew find themselves imprisoned on their own ship. Hostile aliens have taken control of the ship and the players must remain hidden and work together to regain control of the ship. You will need The Captain is Dead base game in order to play this expansion. The game supports 1 – 7 players, aged 12+, and plays between 90 – 120 mins depending on the number of players.

Downfall is the latest game being published by Tasty Minstrel Games as well as the latest in their line of Deluxified games.  Downfall is a 4X game where you are trying to survive in the post apocalyptic wasteland that is the year 2213 where nearly all of the planet’s population has died.  You will have to gather resources, build bunkers and airships, combat other factions, and explore the wasteland in order to survive.  Actions in this game will be done through card drafting and each card has a major action and a minor action, with major actions being things like gather, build, command, research, and war.

Gather and build are pretty self explanatory, command is how you will get your people around the board, research improves your major actions with technology cards, and war initiates battles between groups.  You will be doing these actions, taking over parts of the board, gathering resources for building or feeding your people, and trying to keep the radiation at bay in order to score points.  Each round has you drawing event cards with differing effects, and from time to time you will draw winter cards which will have negative effects as well as move the game timer along.  Once the timer reaches the end you will total up your points and to see who is the winner.

As per the other deluxified Kickstarters you have two options, the retail version or the deluxified version.  In the deluxified version you get things like wooden bits instead of punchboards, minis for the your leaders and airships, metal radiation tokens, and bigger hexes to make things easier to move around.  The long and short of it is you will be getting a blinged out game for an increased price.  You can check out more information, and back for one of the two versions, on the Kickstarter page.