2019 marks the 15th season for The Dice Tower and it’s network of gaming reviews, news, and convention coverage. The Dice Tower has grown each year to bring more content at increasing quality, but only due to the generosity of you – all of our viewers and readers! It is because of you that we are able to do what we love and give as much as we can back to the community. So it is once again time that we humbly ask for your support with the 2019 fundraising campaign.
Like the previous campaigns, this fundraiser is full of incentives ranging from gaming gear, exclusive Dice Tower products, and promos. There are decals, pins, coasters, tokens, card sleeves, component storage bins, games bags, dice pouches, and of course, dice towers. Returning in the fundraiser are dice, including a metal pair, with the Dice Tower logo. Promos for some of the hottest games of 2017 including Champions of Midgard: Valhalla, Bunny Kingdom, Onitama, Time of Legends:Joan of Arc, Fireball Island, Alien Artifacts, Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig, Flamme Rouge, Spyfall, Suburbia, Roll Player, and so much more!
Video credits, custom voicemails, and even a custom video just for you are a couple of the unique perks to pledge. There is even an opportunity to share a meal with the Dice Tower crew at one of the conventions or to come spend a day of gaming at with the Dice Tower crew at Mac & Cheese, a gaming cafe.
There is always the option to donate however much you want regardless of perks, as any and all support is greatly appreciated. If you’ve ever benefited from a review, preview, top 10 list, news article, or convention coverage, please consider supporting this Kickstarter campaign. On behalf of all of us in the Dice Tower Network, we value your many years of viewership and patronage, and we hope to continue serving you great content in the years to come. Thank you!
For those of you anxiously awaiting the second printing of Jonathan Ying’s Bargain Quest, you can now also look forward to a brand new expansion, too! This fun little game of adventure and capitalism will offer even more must have items for heroes to choose from.
In Bargain Quest, players take on the role of shopkeeper trying to attract adventuring heroes to their shop over their opponents. Each player will secretly draft from a deck of items to place in their shop windows and then help equip their heroes for an upcoming ad kkiventure. Players earn money to upgrade their shop and hire employees based on how their hero fares in battle.
The Black Market expansion will offer players more heroes, employees, and play modes. A new shipment of items will also be available to entice heroes to battle the new monsters.
Gather up to eight of your friends to see who can run the most successful shop with the most gold and prestige. Renegade Games will be releasing the Black Market expansion in May 2019. Don’t worry if you missed out on the Kickstarter for the base game. It will be available through Renegade Games once the Kickstarter fulfillment is completed.
The newest game from Quined Games and designers Paulo Soledade and Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro, two men behind Nippon, Madeira, and Panamax, is now on Kickstarter. La Stanza is a tactical area movement game where 2-to-4 players move about a 16th century mansion collecting and enlisting the help of characters in order to specialize in a few key tracks of influence for points. The theme is a bit odd to say the least, because the characters are paintings, but then you can hire…the paintings, and you’re hiring them to do better at religion, or politics, or…sailing, all without leaving this house. However, theme aside, this is really close to (but not quite) a rondel game like Antike or Trajan, and that is awesome!
“A 16th century mansion is the setting for this game, you’ll acquire paintings of well-known individuals, like William Shakespeare or Michelangelo. Each of these paintings will give you a special action in one of five rooms. You need to have these paintings in your personal supply to perform the corresponding action.”
It’s hard to get that impression about this game at first, because this area movement mechanism is layered beneath an attractive classical look. Yet it’s there and very well implemented, as you will have to manage where you go to pick up resources (characters) to strengthen specific actions they’re tied to within other rooms (areas of influence), and you can only move clockwise 1-to-4 spaces each turn. Oh, and money and space are tight, so you’ll have to be very careful what you pick up and where you land, and you’ll need to specialize in only a few areas to do well while your opponents do the same. What’s more is that Quined Games has definitely given this game a look worthy of a deluxe edition with metal coins and custom wooden pieces, and that’s precisely what is available only during this Kickstarter campaign. If you’d like to find out more about La Stanza, be sure to check out the campaign page for the full rules, updates, and community feedback.
Galactic Raptor Games has just launched their new game, Animal Kingdoms, on Kickstarter. In Animal Kingdom, players are house leaders seeking to gain control of the five animal kingdoms by placing more animals under their control in a kingdom than any other player. Animals are represented by numbered cards in eight beautiful suits. However, each kingdom has decrees that determine how players may place animals in the kingdom. The game is played over the course of three ages, providing several opportunities to establish control over a kingdom. Later victories are worth more, but earlier victories provide an advantage in controlling the kingdom if they claim the capitol city and thus a permanent seat on the council for the kingdom. Points are earned for second and third place control in the kingdom, and points are also earned for being the first to withdraw from an age. The player with the most influence points at the end of the third age is the winner. The game includes several variable elements to ensure that it lays differently every time. The kingdom decrees are randomly selected from a pool of 30 different decrees each game. Additionally, the point values of a kingdom are also randomly selected for each age every game.
Animal Kingdom plays 1-5 players, ages 8+, in about 45 minutes. Contents include 64 noble beast cards, 30 decree cards, 15 first place tokens, 4 first to withdraw tokens, 90 influence cubes, game board, scoreboard, 5 player scoring markers, and rulebook. A deluxe option available on Kickstarter only upgrades the influence cubes to custom wooden animal meeples and includes 64 custom printed card sleeves. The Kickstarter campaign was funded on the first day and runs through 1 February with an expected delivery of November 2019.
Shoot Again Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for their new action selection, area control game Born to Serve, by designers Nick and Diane Sauer, including beautiful comic book style art by Ryan Browne. In Born to Serve, 2-5 players take on the role of out-of-work superheroes, forced to compete for tips in a restaurant. Players take turns placing their service markers at tables to compete for tips, or on employees to gain special favors from the staff. At the end of the round, the player with the most service markers at each table earns that table’s tip, while other players earn a fraction as much. Winners, however, lose their service markers, making future rounds more difficult. New customers fill finished tables each round, and after all customers have been served, the most tips wins the game. The game comes with 10 different superheroes, each with 2 special powers usable once per round. The Kickstarter Campaign for Born to Serve continues through January 31, and the game is expected to deliver in August 2019.
Bézier Games was excited to announce a collectors’s edition of their popular tile-laying game Suburbia will be released this fall. Players can expect the same fun hex-shaped tiles in a larger size with new three-dimension art. There’s also a giant tile tower which the company used images of to tease the game last week.
Suburbia Collector’s Edition will come with ALL previously released expansions, as well as a brand new expansion called Nightlife. In this newest expansion players will utilize buildings and locations that are more active at night.
To keep everything neat and organized, the game will also game with custom Game Trayz for easy set up and storage.
Keep an eye on Kickstarter later this month. Bézier Games plans to initially launch this game on crowd-funding platform January 14th, with retail copies expected to be available this fall.
Dicetopia, a quick strategy game for 2-4 players, was Kickstarted in January of 2018. In it, players try their luck in the city of Dicetopia by sending agents to take over neighborhoods, snatch loot, perform actions and carry out missions. After 6 rounds, the player to score the highest points based on the neighborhoods they dominate, the die resources they have, and their secret missions, is the winner.
Dicetopia: Roll with the Punches is an expansion for Dicetopia which is currently on Kickstarter. Its designed by the core game designer, Tobias Hall, with art by Anthony Cournoyer, and published by All Or None Games. It introduces a new wasteland area with toxic dice, blood dome challenges, turn order manipulation, extra protection and full support for 5 players. Five new factions, 20 missions, and 5 scenarios are also added.
The Kickstarter campaign currently has pledge levels for those interested in only the Dicetopia: Roll with the Punches expansion, or only the Core Game, or both. The project has already hit almost twice its funding goal with over 400 backers. The campaign is set to end on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019. Estimated delivery for the project is August of 2019.
Greenbrier Games has announced they are about to release their successful 2017 Kickstarter project, the adventure game Champions of Hara, to retail. Champions of Hara, by designers Walter Barber, Ian VanNest, and Andrew Zimmermann, is an adventure game in the world of HARA, deep under the roots of the tree of life. In the center of Hara is the Dojo, surrounded by 6 fantastical worlds, filled with dangers and monsters. Champions of Hara can either be played competitively as a skirmish battle game, or cooperatively in a grand quest to close wild rifts and rid the land of the corrupted, former heroes. Players choose from one of 6 characters, each with their own cards, play style, and resource system. For instance, Leaf the living tree, collects momentum to power up future attacks, while Kaoru the outcast warrior uses Grit as his resource. The cooperative game contains 18 possible scenarios, 3 per player and one single player story. Players gain levels as they traverse the land, unlocking new abilities and finding new powerful items. The core game comes with one Booklet, 138 Hexagon cards, 3 Large Cards, 162 Standard Cards, 20 Cubes, 2 Dice, 9 Miniatures, 4 Player Boards, 56 Tokens, a Day Tracker, and 7 Hex Flower World Tiles. Look for Champions of Hara in stores in January 2019. For more information, check out Greenbrier Games’ website here.
Dexterity games always catch my eye, and especially any that do something new. The beauty of dexterity games, and by extension the board gaming hobby as a whole, is it’s still a relatively dense yet not-fully-explored design space, meaning there’s a lot of room for innovation. That’s why Kickstarter projects like Stonehenge and the Sun warrant our attention, because it engages hand-eye coordination on multiple levels due to it’s unique use of gravity. This, my friends, is a competitive game for 2-4 players where not only will you be stacking blocks to increase tension and difficulty, you’ll be forced to swing a literal metal wrecking ball across the table trying not to bash anything over, for the person who knocked over the fewest pieces will be the winner.
“”Stonehenge and the Sun” is a game where you can enjoy the physical presence of gravity. The defining feature of the game “a metal ball hanging from the ceiling” is a characteristic that is unprecedented in the tabletop game world. To bring this game concept into realization is the goal of our campaign.”
The “wrecking ball” descriptor I used above is an easy way to illustrate how the game plays, but it actually does a disservice to the visual appeal of the game. The name of the game, Stonehenge and the Sun, plays homage to the way the stones at the world wonder were built up and collapsed over thousands of years, with the metal ball careening across the table a visual representation of the sun passing in the sky. It’s creates a really cool, deeply thematic, unique and pleasing table presence, it’s beyond easy to learn and plays very quickly, but what else would you expect from the people that brought us Tokyo Highway (which Tom recently reviewed). If you’re interested in learning more about Stonehenge and the Sun, check out Itten’s Kickstarter page for videos, rules, FAQs, and community updates!
War for Chicken Island is a new dice and card driven, area control, and take-that Kickstarter project from designer Ivan Escalante (Necronomicorp) and Draco Studios. 2-4 players each take turns helping to set up Chicken Island, a land of limited space, tight resources, and too many chickens, then each receives a brave chicken leader, a hand of cards, some starting resources, and 5 custom dice. On their turn, after gaining cards and rolling dice, players can build war machines for their army, travel across the land, and wage feathered war. The dice can add actions, regain resources, recover lost chickens or gain bonuses. In battle, defense and offense are compared, cards are played to add to the numbers, and the losing side takes a humiliation token from the winner. Players who manage to humiliate the most enemies emerge victorious. War for Chicken Island comes either with standees, or with a separate box of delightful chicken miniatures, including their nightmare inducing war machines. The Kickstarter Campaign for War for Chicken Island will continue through December 28, and the game is expected to deliver in October 2019.
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