Kwanchai Moriya

Deep Water Games announces 7 Summits, a game where players are world class mountain climbers attempting to climb the tallest peaks in each of the seven continents.  Players will draft dice to upgrade their equipment, improve their skills, or continue to climb as they race against each other and the weather. Reaching the summit of a mountain score points, but there is always another mountain to conquer.  When the final weather card is drawn, the game ends and whoever has the most points wins.

7 Summits is designed by Daryl Andrews and Adrian Adamescu, who worked together on Sagrada, and is illustrated by Kwanchai Moriya (Dinosaur Island, Cryptid, Catacombs).

7 Summits plays 2-5 players, ages 8+, in about 35 minutes. The game will be released in 2020.  Learn more at Deep Water Games.

Tasty Minstrel Games has announced an absolute metric tonne of games slated for release in the following months: some new, some reprints, and some just plain interesting. So without further ado, here is the list…

“Planet Earth is overpopulated, but recent technological developments open new possibilities – whole cities hovering high in the skies.”

Dilluvia Project, a game declared “awesome” by our own Jason Levine, is a heavy euro game from designer Alexandre Garcia, originally published by Spielworxx in 2015. Dilluvia is a glorious amalgamation of mechanisms, all coming together into a resource collection, cube management, area control festival where 2-4 players try to best manage a utopian flying city. Players jockey for position around a 4×4 grid of tiles, trying to secure the best resources by pointing to rows and columns. Cube collection leads to control of prime real estate in the city, in which buildings can be placed for points. Even the score mechanisms are unique, with “prestige points” giving the player more opportunity to earn true victory points in this deliciously crunchy mechanism salad. Look for Dilluvia Project to be reprinted this August.

“The journey out west was daunting and fraught with peril, but you made it!”

Old West Empresario from designer Stan Kordonskiy (Dice Hospital) is a tile drafting and placement game for 2-4 players. Tiles can give the player actions each turn, or can score points at the end of the game. Like other tile placement games, everyone is trying to create a prosperous town, where neighboring buildings feed off of each other, generating more points. Look for Old West Empresario to hit stores at the end of August.

Homesteaders is a fast auction game from designer Alex Rockwell, which has garnered understandable love since its release in 2009. TMG has announced a new 10th anniversary edition of this classic, including a new expansion, New Beginnings. In Homesteaders, 2-4 players auction for buildings to place in their burgeoning western frontier town, managing precious resources (9 different types!). Buildings give the player new abilities, income, and point generation, however some buildings require workers to fully function. After 10 rounds, the player with the most points is declared victor, and gets to name their city. The new Homesteaders comes with metal coins and victory point tokens, 53 building tiles, 30 auction tiles, 25 worker meeples, 74 wooden resources, and even a metal start player token.

The new expansion adds a 5th player, more buildings, auctions and components. Look for Homesteaders 10th Anniversary and the New Beginnings expansion in late September.

“Cats all over the world look forward to the Festival!”

Festival of a Thousand Cats from designer Fukutarou is a trick taking card game originally from Japan, which is sought after but difficult to obtain in the west. Tasty Minstrel has gotten the rights to reprint this quirky game, and it should hit western shores in late September. Cards have ranging number values, come in 4 different suits/seasons, and can score positive or negative points. 2 cards to be fought over are placed in the center of the play area, and these cards may have crows (negative points), fish, or milké (an intoxicating mixture of catnip and milk). Be careful – winning too much milké makes the cats sick and both fish and milké points are lost. Players each play one card from their hand, but cannot play the same suits as the scoring cards, unless there is no other option. After all players put in a card, the highest card played wins the higher of the 2 scoring cards, and the lowest wins the lower of the scoring cards. Add to this formula a varying distribution of numbers in each suit, and you end up with a very quirky, interesting take on trick taking.

“Stake your claim, build a mining empire, and keep one step ahead of the competition!”

Rolled West from designer Daniel Newman is the new inevitable roll-and-write version of TMG’s popular Gold West (2015) from J. Alex Kevern. In Rolled West, 2-4 players roll dice to collect resources, in order to make settlements and score majorities for the various terrain types. Players can bank resources on opponent’s turns, fulfill contracts, make sales, or invest in futures. The game comes with 4 custom dice, 4 dry erase player boards, a dry erase score board, and markers.

“Deep beneath the surface of the earth lie gems, artifacts, and other valuable things.”

Big Dig by Shaun Graham and Scott Huntington is a similar 2-4 player flip-and-write, dry erase game, where players flip over cards that dictate what shape of grid squares to cross off (dig) on their board. Digging out areas must proceed from the top or from already cleared areas, and certain areas cannot be excavated, except maybe by blowing them up! Players try to achieve the 3 random goals set on cards, and the first to do so wins. Lots of goals and double sided player boards lend variety to this new roll and write. Look for both Rolled West and Big Dig to come to stores in October 2019.

“Your prehistoric clan needs a little guidance. Hunt, gather, figure out new techniques for doing things and make a little art along the way!”

Dawn of Mankind is coming from designer Marco Pranzo (Historia) and acclaimed artist Kwanchai Moriya. Not a lot of details are known about this title, except that players create the journey of their tribe, involving generations of families. Other players may inadvertently help you along if they proceed along the same story path. At the end of the game, the “story” left by your family translates into points. Dawn of Mankind is due to hit stores in Q4 2019.

IDW Games has announced Tonari, a new 2-4 player tile collection game from master designers Bruno Faidutti (Diamont, Mission: Red Planet) and Alex Randolph (Inkognito, Twixt), featuring delightful art from Kwanchai Moriya. In Tonari, a hex board is randomly filled with gorgeous acrylic tiles, and a fishing boat is placed in the middle. Players take turns moving the boat, collecting tiles as they go. The tiles may be sets of fish or shellfish which can grant or remove points. Additionally, skill tiles can be collected, giving bonus abilities, manipulating tiles on the board, or changing tiles in a players pile. The unique “hook” in this game is that a players’ final score is the sum total of their own score and that of their neighbor to the left. Look for Tonari at your FLGS in August 2019.

Floodgate Games, the makers of Sagrada, have announced Bosk – A game of majestic trees and falling leaves.

In Bosk, players control a species of tree and compete to control areas of the park by letting their trees’ leaves blow and land in different spaces. The game is played over four rounds – spring, summer, autumn and winter.

In spring, you plant your trees and in Summer, visitors travel the trails where you planted trees and reward players based on tree placement. However, keep in mind that where you plant your trees in the spring also affects your long-term plans. In autumn, the game picks up the pace. By manipulating the wind direction and deciding how many leaves fall from each tree, players try to maximize their control of the board. In winter, the leaves are used to score points based on the area controlled.

Each player also controls one cute-as-heck squirrel meeple. No one can mess with your squirrel!

Bosk is designed by Daryl Andrews & Erica Bouyouris. Illustrations are by Kwanchai Moriya. The game is for 2-4 players aged 13+ and plays in 30-45 minutes.

Pre-orders of Bosk commence April 22 and retail release is in July 2019.

Portal Games recently hosted PortalCon 11 in Gliwice, Poland, where they celebrated 20 years of the Board Games that tell stories. At the celebration, owner and Portal head honcho Ignacy Trzewiczek announced several new games and expansions coming from this amazing company in 2019. There are a ton of new announcements, all of which can be read in the press release from Portal, or seen live in the Keynote Address given at PortalCon.

Several new games set in the Imperial Settlers (BGG #145) universe were announced. First on the list is Empires of the North, a standalone card game designed by Ignacy, featuring Scotsman, Inuit and Vikings. Each faction comes with 2 unique card decks allowing a variety of game play styles. 2-4 players can each try to lead their faction to victory by dominating the opposition, developing their economy or defending their land. Also from the big man is Imperial Settlers Roll and Write. Just as the name implies, this new roll and write game takes place in the empire building world of Imperial Settlers, and focuses heavily on engine building, with each big move giving bonuses towards the next. The game includes two modes, one a traditional 2-4 player competitive point scoring challenge, while the second is a new adventure mode. This single player game comes with a pad of 48 unique challenge sheets to complete, each with its own starting points and goals. And just to round out the Imperial Settlers fervor, Portal Games has announced the Imperial Settlers Big Box, a 5 year anniversary of this award winning game, complete with all of the factions and expansions. The Big Box will be exclusively available direct from Portal Games, and includes a plastic insert to hold everything, new commemorative anniversary cards, as well as oft requested single piece faction boards for the Amazons, Aztecs and Atlanteans.

Also coming from the President of Polish Play is a reprint of Prêt-à-Porter, the 2-4 player surprisingly brutal fashion industry board game. Players take turns hiring new employees, gaining managers, designers and models, all in an effort to destroy the competition. This third edition is coming to Kickstarter in 2019, and features new art from acclaimed illustrator Kwanchai Moriya (Dinosaur Island, Catacombs).

Portal also announced new armies for their arena combat board games Neuroshima Hex and Monolith Arena, both from designer Michał Oracz. The Sand Runners are the latest army to dominate the world of Neuroshima Hex, and are a “specialized army of veteran warriors who clashed with the Moloch in the early days of the war”. The Sand Runners feature a double sided HQ tile for versatility, and come with a new Sand Storm tile type. The new army for Monolith Arena are the Academics, focusing on runes, upgrades, and the ability to dramatically weaken their enemy – in fact, their banner directly slows enemy tiles. The Academics armies are few in number, but devastating in ability.

One of the biggest hits Portal and Ignacy had in the past year was the web-integrated Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game, and the first campaign expansion, Detective: L.A. Crimes, is coming soon. Detective is one of the most engrossing, slowly enfolding, experiential crime story games made, and L.A. Crimes promises to bring more real life sleuthing, this time in the drug infused world of 1980’s Los Angeles. L.A. Crimes is due to be in stores March 2019, with the new mechanics of Stakeouts and Observation, 5 new characters, and 3 new cases. Also announced was Detective: Alexa Edition, wherein players can complete the 6th case in Detective, all narrated and run by the Amazon Alexa. Portal games has stated the Alexa edition is “part of an effort to bring board games to new players”, making the experience akin to an interactive radio drama. Finally, the world of Detective will be expanded even further by the Detective Signature Series. Portal Games has invited celebrated designers to use the framework of the Detective board game to create their own narratives. The first two master designers picked to frolic in the gritty world of suburban crime are Rob Daviau (Pandemic: Legacy, Betrayal at House on the Hill) and Mike Selinker (Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Lords of Vegas, Betrayal at House on the Hill), both masters of story telling in their own rights.

Fresh off the reprint of Endeavor: Age of Sail, Burn Island Games has announced their second game, In the Hall of the Mountain King.  In this game for 2 to 5 players, you will be playing mountain Trolls trying to rebuild your kingdom.  It looks like each player will start at a different location on the board and build tunnels via polyomino tiles.  Burnt Island is touting a “cascading production system’ for the game.

“A major aspect of the game is the Cascading Production; you begin with a line of four Trolls, and every Troll shows the combination of resources (gold, stone, iron, marble, carts, runes, and hammers) that it produces. When a new Troll is hired, place it above two other Trolls, forming a “pyramid”. The new Troll activates, gaining its resources, and any Trolls beneath it ALSO activate, gaining any resources that they have room to carry.”

According to the game’s page on the publishers website, In the Hall of the Mountain King will be coming to Kickstarter on February 5, 2019.

Pandasaurus Games has announced they will be bringing the 2015 Spiel des Jahres nominated card game, The Game, to Target stores in August.  This will be an exclusive version for Target and will feature new box and card art from acclaimed illustrator Kwanchai Moriya.

You can learn more about this variant of The Game and see some of the new artwork on the Pandasaurus website and Facebook post.

Renowned artist Kwanchai Moriya (known for Catacombs and Dinosaur Island) has teamed up with designer Conor McGoey (known for Summit: The Board Game) to produce the goriest, trick-taking, card game of Gladiatorial Combat to hit Kickstarter. Gorus Maximus is produced by Inside Up Games, the game plays for 20-45 minutes and supports 2-8 players, aged 13+.

Players create a deck specific to the number of players then each player is dealt 10 cards to form their Troupe. The first card of the round sets the Preferred School, while the first card of the bout sets the Initiating School. Going clockwise, each player contributes 1 gladiator to the bout following the Initiating School, or a gladiator matching the rank of the last gladiator player which changes trump immediately. The strongest Preferred Gladiator wins, otherwise the strongest Initiating Gladiator wins. The winner of the bout leads the next bout setting the Initiating School, while the Preferred School continues between bouts. Cards won contribute to the Crowd Favor which is calculated after 10 bouts of play, with the winner receiving 1 Crowd Support. The first player to reach 3 Crowd Support wins.

There are also 2-player and team-play variants of the game.

Gorus Maximus requires a base pledge of $15 (excluding shipping) for the game but you can opt for a premium edition for $20. The Kickstarter campaign is running until Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 with expected delivery in October 2018.

Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits is a new card game by Action Phase Games designed for 2 players. The original game upon which it’s based, Kodama: The Tree Spirits, played 2-5 players. Players are caretakers of a forest, which is quickly growing, where they cultivate trees with the right mix of flowers, insects, and branch arrangements to make their Kodama as happy as possible. (Kodama are spirits, from Japanese folklore, which inhabit trees.)

“Kodama Duo is a card placement game for 2 players that plays in 30 minutes. Players will turn over one Decree card per season to set the unique conditions. During the Growing Phase, players take turns revealing branch cards and splitting them into two piles until each player has added four branch cards to their tree. In the Kodama phase, players will each choose one of their Kodama to score and live in their tree. The game lasts 3 seasons (12 turns) and whoever cares for their Kodama best will be remembered for generations!” [source]

How does Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits differ from it’s sister game? There’s a twist to how the splitter and chooser select cards using an “I split you choose” mechanism instead of choosing from a communal face-up display. The 2 player version introduces spirit tokens, which are placed on a player’s tree, and add unique scoring opportunities when combined with the cards. Kodama: The Tree Spirits is expanded to six players when combined with Kodama Duo: Kindred Spirits, and adds new rules to allow for simultaneous play to reduce downtime.

Kodama Duo was designed by Daniel Solis, the same designer of Kodama: The Tree Spirits, with art by Kwanchai Moriya. You can do the “Inner Spirit” pledge to get the base game for $19 (including shipping in the US, excluding shipping elsewhere). It’s already surpassed it’s funding goal with the project deadline set for Friday, June 1st, 2018. Estimated project delivery is October 2018. Visit the project’s Kickstarter page for more information.

Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 is a new board game from designer Brett Myers (known for co-designing The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game). It features stunning art from Luis Francisco, and Kwanchai Moriya with an Impressionistic art style which evokes the feeling of posters from the early 1900s. The game plays in roughly 45 mins for players aged 13+.

“Dual Powers: Revolution 1917 is an area control strategy game for 1-2 players. Each player directs the forces of the conservative Provisional Government or the socialist activists of the Petrograd Soviet in a struggle for power and influence that will shape Russia’s future and either launch or suppress the impending civil war.” [source]

There’s currently a print and play version available for download on the Kickstarter page and a free version of the game to try on Tabletopia which you can try out before pledging. You can get the game for a pledge of $32 (excluding shipping) on the Kickstarter project page where its reached a third of it’s funding goal with 18 days to go. The project ends on Tuesday, May 8th 2018.