kickstarter

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced they will be starting a Kickstarter Campaign soon for a premium reprint of the popular deck building game Valley of the Kings (2014) by designer Tom Cleaver. This Premium Edition will include not only the original game, but also the subsequent Valley of the Kings: Afterlife and Valley of the Kings: Last Rites. Although Valley of the Kings was an early deck builder, using tried and true mechanics of buying new cards from a marketplace, using the buy power of other cards in hand, it introduced some novel ideas into the genre. The only cards to score points in Valley are those purposely culled from one’s deck into a special “entomb” pile, removing the card from play. The timing of when to use a card for its action, or when to use it for cash value to buy new cards, or when to give up the card for points, kept the game fresh and interesting. This new collection not only contains all 3 games, but also includes new graphics, new Pharaoh cards with unique abilities, and enough tarot sized sleeves to protect all the cards (over 300). The Kickstarter for the Valley of the Kings Premium Edition is scheduled to begin on April 2, 2019, and continue for 2 weeks.

Exodus: Proxima Centauri (2012) is a well loved 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) space empire building game for 2-6 players by designers Agnieszka Kopera and Andrei Novac, as well as a recipient of a Dice Tower Seal of Excellence. NSKN Games has just launched a massive reboot of this classic game along with its two expansions, Event Horizon and Edge of Extinction, on Kickstarter. The new Exodus Chronicles, designed by Rainer Ahlfors and Andrei Novac scratches all the right itches, with 6 different player factions, a robust tech tree system, 45 custom dice, 350 wooden cubes, 280 acrylic gems, 33 large sector tiles, hundreds of tokens and cards, and over 130 detailed ship miniatures. Exodus uses a lead-follow action system, minimizing downtime, while still competing with other well known space opera 4X games such as Twilight Imperium or Eclipse, often in a shorter time frame. This time tested game system keeps improving with each iteration, and Exodus: Chronicles is no exception, keeping the game tight, modern and involving. The Kickstarter for Exodus Chronicles continues through April 12, and the game is expected to ship to backers in April 2020. For more information, check out the live Dice Tower playthrough of Exodus Chronicles here.

Syther Gaming has announced a Kickstarter Campaign for OverBattle: The All War, an absolutely massive wargame-style area control board game where 2-4 players do 4X style battle for domination of the galaxy. In OverBattle, players take control of one of the 4 unique races, spend points to deploy troops and do battle over the planets and moons of the broken Unity. OverBattle comes with a metric tonne of miniatures, dice, crystals, and units (1000+), large modular game mats, and an involving scenario driven cohesive story arc. One of the more interesting parts of the game is the 3D CASy (Combat Assist System) for multi-level resolution of battles. The Kickstarter for OverBattle: The All War continues through April 20, and the game is expected to deliver in July 2019.

Daily Magic Games are running a Kickstarter to expand Valeria: Card Kingdoms, and add a completely standalone dice game. Valeria: Card Kingdoms is designed by Isaias Vallejo, with art by Mihajlo Dimitrievski (a.k.a. The Mico), and is a tableau-building building game for 1-5 players. Players compete to earn the most Victory Points by recruiting citizens, buying domains to expand the kingdom, and vanquishing monsters who lay siege to the land.

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimsons Seas is a full expansion for the base game and adds maps to far-off lands beyond the borders of Valeria which allow players to import goods to increase victory points. There are also options to purchase Tomes of great power to augment resource production, or rescue captured Nobles, or plunder wealth from a cursed isle. Sea monsters impede travels and sow chaos across Valeria. The expansion adds new icons, tokens, card types, and mechanisms, in addition to adding new cards for all existing card types with a nautical theme.

Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Ward Towers is an expansion pack for the base game and lets players contribute towards building a Ward Tower which, when added to a row of monsters, reduces their cost to be slayed.

Corsairs of Valeria is a new, standalone dice game where 2-5 players are Corsairs who have set out to win a challenge to become the new Commodore. Players will sail the Valerian Isles to gather enough treasure to fill six treasure chests in order to meet the challenge. Players roll dice to determine available actions which allow them to earn silver, re-roll their dice, fire cannons to attack opponents or merchant ships, or move their ships forward. Curses can also be rolled which removes silver coins because they’re lost to Skull Island.

The Kickstarter project for Valeria: Card Kingdoms – Crimson Seas is close to ending on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019, with around 1700 backers allowing it to reach 3x its funding. Estimated project delivery is November of 2019.

This past weekend, Root by Leder Games took home the Tabletop Game of the Year award at SXSW, and it now sits among the company of previous winners such as Gloomhaven and Arkham Horror: The Card Game. SXSW (South By Southwest) is a large festival in Austin, Texas that, each year, brings together and celebrates multiple creative industries, from gaming to music to film. That’s partly what makes this award so nice: it’s in recognition of a game by a conference that’s not strictly gaming-centric and is undoubtedly awarding Root for all of it’s artistic merits. While I can go on-and-on about how amazing artist Kyle Ferrin’s work is, the illustrations in the game weren’t the only thing being recognized fully at SXSW, and that’s definitely something worth praising.

“Patrick and I were in attendance and it was our honor to accept the award on behalf of the entire staff at Leder Games. Needless to say, this award would have been impossible without the support of our backers. We are incredibly grateful for your continued support.” – designer of Root, Cole Wehrle

Not long after this announcement came the next biggest news for Leder Games – the expansion currently on Kickstarter broke 1 million U.S. dollars in funding, easily dwarfing the money raised by the base game in late 2017. It’s a major feat, demonstrative of the love, care, and hard work that went into making it and it’s ripple effect across the gaming communities. That much recognition is bound to be overwhelming, but it is well deserved – congratulations, everyone! If you’re interested in learning more about this award-winning game and it’s expansion, be sure to check out it’s campaign page for the full rules, print-and-play, FAQs, and updates.

At the recent GAMA trade show, I had the great pleasure of sitting down with “Az” Drummond, the Communications and Community Manager for Mythic Games. Az is an incredibly charismatic sort, and the love of Mythic’s games just screams from his very pores, making conversation easy. The next time I am in Ireland, this is a man I need to visit.

The first game we discussed was Solomon Kane, by designer Jake Thornton, successfully Kickstarted in July 2018. Solomon Kane is a story driven game, starring the well known character from Robert E. Howard‘s short stories, a 16th century puritan looking to vanquish evil. Players each take control of one aspect of Kane, playing either his Courage, Temperance, Justice or Prudence, influencing Solomon as he makes choices in his adventures. Games are organized into scenario “Chapters”, 8-10 of which comprise a story arc, known as an Act. The game includes an immense 35 Acts in 14 Adventures. The word count alone on Solomon Kane exceeds 250,000, which comprises the original short stories and new material, including settings in the United States. The game will be a powerhouse of miniatures, with 107 unique sculpts in the 178 miniatures included in the game. The titular Kane alone will have multiple unique figures showing his various trials and tribulations as he progresses through the stories. Mythic Games holds regular “What’s Up Wednesdays” to publicly discuss their games in development, and Solomon Kane in particular has benefited from these. Az states that when Kane delivers it will be easily twice as deep and rich as it was in the Kickstarter, with more stories, more content and more options.

The next game we discussed was the Kickstarter powerhouse Time of Legends: Joan of Arc, which earned almost $2.2 million, and funded in 3 minutes. Kickstarter backers will be excited to hear that wave 1 is shipping this May, with wave 2 following later in the summer. Joan is a story intense game, with multiple scenarios that use strong narrative to emphasize the RPG elements of this miniatures heavy game. Mythic had samples of the miniatures available to see, and before people ask – the dragon was breathtaking. This particular sculpt went through 6 versions before the final was selected, a massively detailed beast with a 54mm wingspan. The scale is so impressive, one can place a standard human mini fully within the dragon’s mouth, and yes, I did just that. Joan is also playable in a skirmish mode, with 2 players selecting armies by point value in order to play a more traditional miniatures game.

Joan of Arc will be also be having a retail release in November. This core set is for 2 players, includes 5 scenarios newly made for retail, and a hand picked 73 miniatures. Az was sure to emphasize that Kickstarter exclusives will remain just that – exclusive, and that Kickstarter backers are guaranteed to receive their games before retail.

The newest game from Mythic shown at GAMA was Super Fantasy Brawl, by designer Jochen Eisenhuth. The rumor is that Jochen presented his game to Mythic in such a complete state that very little had to be refined, other than the final art, and Mythic signed him on the spot. Super Fantasy Brawl (SFB) is a card based miniatures arena combat game, with more than a dozen champions coming in the core game. Players pick 3 champions and shuffle their specific card decks together, creating a team to fight in the arena. Obstacles and arena elements can influence battle, such as pillars of magic which add abilities. SFB uses a beautiful cartoon fantasy style of art, made popular by games such as World of Warcraft. The included characters span all genres of fantasy, and include pirates, samurai, trolls, vampires, werewolves, and more. I even saw an early sketch of an Aztec warrior wielding a blow gun astride a raptor mount, and it looked fantastic. The plan is to bring Super Fantasy Brawl to Kickstarter this summer, followed by retail release, then monthly champion packs starting Q1 2020, each with one miniature and its own deck of 6 cards. For more details, check out Mythic Games’ website on Brawl here.

The award winning tile laying game Glen More by Matthias Cramer has been a classic since its release in 2010. In Glen More, players move their worker around a rondel, picking a tile to place in their growing village. Any tile can be picked from the rondel, although it is always to player in the back who gets the next turn, so farther away tiles mean a longer time until a player’s next turn. When placing a tile, all surrounding tiles activate, generating resources. Finally, a robust market system ties the game together. Unfortunately, Glen More has been difficult to obtain in recent years due to its age and lack of reprints.

Luckily for all of us, Funtails Games has announced a Kickstarter campaign for Glen More II: Chronicles, a labor of love from Cramer and his team, 3 years in development. Matthias Cramer was determined to keep what was great about the original, while adding enough to keep the game current, so the rondel, the tile placement, and the market have stayed. New additions include Person tiles, which befriend you to the neighboring clans, adding extra abilities, and Overbuild tiles which can be placed over existing locations. Finally, the namesake Chronicles are a set of 8 expansions, all fully mix- and match-able, adding almost limitless replayability. The Kickstarter for Glen More II: Chronicles continues through April 11, and the game is expected to deliver in October 2019.

Root, the critically claimed asymmetric forest critter game from Leder Games and designer Cole Wehrle has a new expansion on Kickstarter. The Underworld Expansion, by designer Patrick Leder, introduces two new critters to the wood, the Crows and the Moles. The Corvid Conspiracy of Crows slowly takes over other players’ decks of cards by adding agents to their hands. As each agent comes to fruition and advances the Corvid agenda, the Conspiracy must move to a new secret hideout in the wood. The Great Duchy of Moles travels underground, building tunnels and taking over clearings in the wood. The Underworld Expansion also includes new Mountain and Lake Maps, and a new Exiles & Partisans deck of cards to replace the original deck with special powers. Also available are resin clearing markers, new meeples in the vagabond pack, and all of the previous expansions and extra. The Kickstarter for the Underground Expansion continues through April 2, and is expected to ship in December 2019.

I had the great pleasure to sit down and speak with Mike Selinker, the developer of such board game classics as Betrayal at House on the Hill, Pathfinder the Adventure Card Game, and my personal favorite, Gloria Mundi. Interestingly, Mike noted that he declined to be involved in the creation of Betrayal at Baldur’s Gate, so that he could play the game without knowing the outcome of all the stories, a luxury he never had with House on the Hill. However board games are just the tip of the iceberg, as Mike is equally known for his work in puzzles, having contributed extensively to Games Magazine and international puzzle competitions.

In 2013, Mike and his company Lone Shark Games Kickstarted Maze of Games, a massive puzzle book in novel form that was in development for 18 years. Maze of Games followed the story of Colleen and Samuel Quaice, siblings in 1897 trapped within a series of deadly puzzles by a skeletal entity called the Gatekeeper. Just to make things worse, these puzzles are presented out of order, so putting the evolving story of the children in order is an essential part of the grand overlying solution. A successful Kickstarter for the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton followed in 2014. 5+ years have passed, and it appeared the book had still not been fully solved, so the team at Lone Shark started preparing a Kickstarter to publish an official solution guide. With only weeks to go until the KS was due to launch, a surprise email revealed that a team of 13 people had finally found the answer. Lone Shark quickly reformatted the Kickstarter, excited that the puzzle was still inspiring people so many years later.

The Maze of Games Omnibus has just launched on Kickstarter and includes not only the original Maze of Games novel, but also The Keymaster’s Tome, a solution guide handwritten by the protagonists, audiobook versions of the Theseus Guide to the Final Maze, and a full radio drama The Gatekeeper’s Variety Hour, both with the voice talent of Wil Wheaton. Finally, the team included a special escape room announcement. Mike and the team at Lone Shark have often envisioned a real world version of the Maze of Games, and such a thing has come to reality thanks to Epic Team Adventures in Seattle.

The Kickstarter for Maze of Games Omnibus continues through April 3, and the books are scheduled to be released in June 2019. For more details on the books, the audiobooks, and the escape room, check the Kickstarter page here.

Eagle Games are Kickstarting a deluxe edition of Age of Steam, which is artistically recreated by Ian O’Toole. In Age of Steam, 2-6 players are U.S. railroad pioneers who build track to transform the American economy. Players are challenged to finance their rail network and locomotives, while calculating which routes will give the best returns on their costs. All the while, aggressive creditors will push to be paid while your competition tries to grab the best shipments.

The fundamental game rules remain unchanged. The base game includes 3 double-sided game boards of the Rust Belt, Western U.S., Southern U.S., Germany, Barbados, and St. Lucia. New maps of France and Poland have already been unlocked through Kickstarter stretch goals, with Hungary and Finland as additional stretch goals still waiting to be unlocked. Poker chips have replaced the paper money, and track ownership disks replace the original plastic trains (though wooden varieties are available as an upgrade). The box has also been upgraded to effectively store and provide easy access to the components.

The Age of Steam Kickstarter project has already met 4x its funding goal, with over 1700 backers. The funding deadline is Friday, March 22nd, 2019, with project delivery expected in October of 2019.