Level 99 Games

Politics, espionage, bribery and magic. Sound fun?

From Level 99 Games, Argent the Consortium releases its second edition along with two new expansions later this month.

In Argent, players are candidates to be the most influential mage at a university and are trying to get the board’s votes through magic and some back-biting political means.

In the second edition, the rule book has been updated for clarity and layouts have been given extra visual cues and reminders. Miniatures have been changed to use a base-and-ring system for player control.

There are also two new expansions for the game: Argent: Mancers of the University and Argent: Festival of Masks. Mancers adds a new magical department to the unversity and six modules that can be used in the game, as well as extra miniatures . Festival gives a new way to play the game and a new resource for players to race for, the masks, which impact game play.

More about the 2nd edition can be found here .

More about Mancers can be found here.

More about Festival of Masks can be found here.

Level 99 Games continue to expand their World of Indines into new gaming genres as players now get to build train railways. Wait, another train game you say? Not so fast! There’s a clever twist here as you play captains of industry bringing the age of steam to a magical world.

In Empyreal: Spells and Steam you build railways to connect magical resources to your network, then supply them to cities around the world. Each magical resource you harvest enables new technological developments which improve your capabilities. Players also need to fulfill contracts which build up your infrastructure and lead to new company-specific powers once completed. You compete for mana mined from the land to enable construction of more train lines.

The game design has been completed and the publisher is currently working on components and graphic design. Artist Fábio Fontes has put together 8 train cars, roughly one inch in length, to represent the 8 playable companies. Each company has their own disposition and powers.

You can view concept sketches of these train cars on the Level 99 Games website.

Coming into this week I thought I wouldn’t have much to talk about, thankfully Kickstarter proved me wrong, lets look at this week’s highlights.

First up is a board game accessory, and that is the Hex Chest Remasters from Elder Wood.  These are essentially hand crafted dice carrying cases that allow you to carry 7 dice in a beautifully made wooden chest.  As per their previous projects, the craftsmanship of these are excellent, and they come in a variety of wood colors and an even larger variety of lid carvings to choose from.  Also available in an oblong octogon to hold 9 dice, and you can even opt for inlays over engraving to give it make it really stand out.  They are even offering a flat pack option where you build your hex chest yourself, saving some money and allowing you to customize it how you want.  So if you are looking for that next great dice accessory, check out this Kickstarter page.

Next is another board game accessory and that is MOJO, the digital score keeper device.  This device boats an inexpensive price tag of $10 and while it’s main focus is keeping track of life and other counts in Magic game, it can be used as a score keeper for various other games for up to 4 players.  It also has a nifty option to flip the screen on one side so you can be playing across from someone and both have your personally score easily readable.  Is this device necessary considering the board game scoring apps out there?  The designers think so as this device is the size of a standard card, and is stand alone so you don’t have to mess with your phone or drain it’s battery.  Check out the Kickstarter page if you think you might want one, but be quick, the campaign ends on July 30th.

After that is the first offering from Spiel Press in their new premium roll and write series of games.  In this campaign you will be able to pledge for the Star Maps book and the Blood Royals book. Star Maps plays like the typical roll and write games you have played, where dice are rolled and you pick a die to fill in on your chart.  As you fill things in you will unlock bonus points and try to score the highest.  The big change however is that after that game, on the next page you will have more options to do things, and eventually even a tech tree of special abilities.  This gives the game a legacy feel as you advance through the game taking differing paths as you go.  The same goes for the Blood Royals game where you are battling your opponent for influence on the map, but as time goes on the geography changes, and alliances shift making for a different feel each time you play.  Needless to say I backed this immediatly as the concept intrigues me, if it intrigues you are well than head over to the Kickstarter page.

Following is a new version of Catacombs simply called Catacombs Conquest.  Catacombs is a highly rated dexterity, dungeon crawl type game where you are heroes flicking yourselves to victory, while the dungeon master tries to take you out.  What Catacombs Conquest aims to do is shrink down and simplify the game so that newer players can jump right into the game without having to learn more complex rules.  In this two to four player game and on your turn you simply do three things, draw a card, play a card, and then flick an obstacle.  This simple system means you will be up and running quickly, trying to flick your opponent into oblivion on an ever changing landscape.  Plus, with a price of $24 Canadian, this game has a low cost of entry as opposed to the larger game.  So if you want in on this flicking game, check out their Kickstarter page.

Next we have a trio of games for young children called Numeracy Legends, all aimed at helping them learn different math and game concepts.  In the first game, Numeracy Legends and The Rainbow Unicorn, players are route building in order to collect ingredients to help the rainbow unicorn make their famous cupcakes.  This is to teach children graph theory by determining the best route to collect all their ingredients.  The next game, Numeracy Legends and the Zerda Fox, has kids learning about probabilities as they decide what paths they want to take, when to get more cupcakes or ice cream, and more.  And finally there is Numeracy Legends and the Gluttony Dragon, this is the final game and turns into a once versus many game with the adult as the dragon, and the kids as the heroes.  The players will be drafting equipment cards and secretly choosing battle types in order to face off against the dragon.  This teaches game theory as the kids will be working together to try and defeat a common enemy.  So if you want to get your hands on this trio of games, head on over to the Kickstarter page.

Lastly we have the 2nd edition of the game Argent: the Consortium.  This is a highly confrontational worker placement game where you are all vying to be the next dean of the pretigous magic school.  To do that you need to get the most votes, but the tough part is, out of the 12 that will vote, you know how three are going to vote.  This means you will either have to use the shotgun approach and try to be good at everything, or spend time and energy learning their voting styles to tailor your strategy.  Either way you are going to be sending out your students to various tasks to get new spells, up various stats like wisdom and IQ, purchase new items, or make some money.  The confrontational part comes in with two aspects, first is that you only collect resources and such at the end of the round, not when you place your people.  Second, you can knock people out of their spots, meaning getting to a spot last may be better than getting to a spot first, and risking getting knocked out.  Either way, if you liked the first edition or are interested in this game now, check out the Kickstarter page.

As convention season is in full swing, new game announcements are going to be coming fast, so lets get to it.  First up is a new expansion to add to the innovative card crafting game, Mystic Vale, called Mystic Vale: Mana Storm.  This expansion continues the trend of adding more of what you want, more cards, leaders, and advancements, while still adding something new to the game.  This time around it’s leaders that can be upgraded, giving them more powerful abilities, and amulet tokens which are just like mana tokens except that have unique powers associated with them.  So if you enjoy Mystic Vale, I am sure this expansion will just make the game that much better.  Look for it on store shelves in October of this year.

Next is a monster pack for the second edition of King of Tokyo featuring King Kong.  While this isn’t as exciting, except for the fact you can have a three way monkey showdown now, what is also coming in the box is a new way to win the game.  What way is that you ask?  Well, I don’t know, but we will all find out when this pack hits stores in October of this year.

Next we have the big box expansion for Legends of Andor that finishes out the epic story, Legends of Andor: The Last Hope.  Krahder has ended his raid, and in the process has kidnapped many of the citizens of Andor, so it is up the heroes to rescue them.  They will venture beyond the Gray Mountains to fight the hordes of skeleton warriors with Krahder leading them.  Eventually you will work your way to Krahder himself to defeat him once and for all, bringing the overarching story of Legends of Andor to it’s conclusion.  While the German version of the game has been released, the English version of the game will be released in October of this year.

After that is the latest set in the BattleCon series and that is BattleCon: Trials of Indines from Level 99 Games.  This set brings an additional 10 fighters into the game with more new combos, moves, and strategies to give you greater variety in your BattleCon games.  This game was previously Kickstarted back in October of last year, and so this year will see it’s fulfillment to backers, and retail release.  No firm date yet is given but they do expect the game to ship this year to both backers and retailers, so look forward to it.

Finally we have an expansion to the popular tile based Cthulhu war game, Shadows over Nomandie, called Desert Wrath.  In this set it takes you out of the typical theaters of war for the time and sends you to Egypt.  There you will “follow the adventures of the Section M and accompany Captain Harris Badger and the Corporal Akhee Singh in their fight against the Black Sun in search of the legendary city of Irem“.  This expansion includes the new Section M faction as well as the typical new units, spells, heroes, etc. that you come to expect in a big box expansion.  So if you enjoy the game, and don’t mind the change of scenery, then this expansion will just bring more variety and replayability to the game.  Check your local game store in late July for this expansion.

It’s that time of year again, the Dice Tower has announced their nominees for the best games of 2016.  These are the best of the best according to the panel of judges on games released in English in 2016.  You can see previous winners along with this year’s nominees and their pictures on the Dice Tower Awards website, and look forward to the winners being announced at Dice Tower Con later this year.  And now, your nominees:

Best Game from a New Designer  (The game has to be the designer’s first or second published game to qualify for this award)

Best Artwork

  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game – illustrated by Christopher Hosch, Ignacio Bazán Lazcano, Henning Ludvigsen, Mercedes Opheim, Zoe Robinson, and Evan Simonet; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Inis – illustrated by Dimitri Bielak & Jim Fitzpatrick; published by Matagot
  • Islebound – illustrated by Ryan Laukat; published by Red Raven Games
  • Kanagawa – illustrated by Jade Mosch; published by Iello
  • Scythe – illustrated by Jakub Rozalski; published by Stonemaier Games

Best Theming

  • Black Orchestra – designed by Philip duBarry; published by Game Salute
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • SeaFall – designed by Rob Daviau; published by Plaid Hat Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Two-Player Game

Best Reprint

Best Expansion

Best Party Game

  • Codenames: Pictures– designed by Vlaada Chvátil; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Happy Salmon – designed by Ken Gruhl & Quentin Weir; published by North Star Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Secret Hitler – designed by Mike Boxleiter, Tommy Maranges, & Max Temkin; published by Goat Wolf & Cabbage

Best Cooperative Game

Best Family Game

  • Harry Potter: Hogwarts Battle – designed by Forrest-Pruzan Creative, Kami Mandell, & Andrew Wolf; published by USAopoly
  • Ice Cool – designed by Brian Gomez; published by Brain Games
  • Junk Art – designed by Jay Cormier & Sen-Foong Lim; published by Pretzel Games
  • Karuba – designed by Rüdiger Dorn; published by HABA
  • Sushi Go Party! – designed by Phil Walker-Harding; published by Gamewright

Best Strategy Game

  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Best Board Game Production

  • Conan – designed by Frédéric Henry, Antoine Bauza, Pascal Bernard, Bruno Cathala, Croc, Ludovic Maublanc, & Laurent Pouchain; published by Monolith
  • The Others – designed by Eric M. Lang; published by Cool Mini or Not
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games

Most Innovative Game

Best Game from a Small Publisher  (The published must have published five or fewer games at the beginning of 2015)

  • Arkwright – designed by Stefan Risthaus; published by Capstone Games
  • Cottage Garden– designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Edition Spielwiese
  • Not Alone – designed by Ghislain Masson; published by Geek Attitude Games
  • Roll Player – designed by Keith Matejka; published by Thunderworks Games
  • Vast: The Crystal Caverns – designed by David Somerville; published by Leder Games

Game of the Year

  • Adrenaline – designed by Filip Neduk; published by Czech Games Edition
  • Captain Sonar – designed by Roberto Fraga & Yohan Lemonnier; published by Matagot
  • Cry Havoc– designed by Grant Rodiek, Michał Oracz, & Michał Walczak; published by Portal Games
  • A Feast for Odin – designed by Uwe Rosenberg; published by Z-Man Games
  • Great Western Trail – designed by Alexander Pfister; published by Stronghold Games & eggertspiele
  • Inis – designed by Christian Martinez; published by Matagot
  • Mechs vs. Minions – designed by Chris Cantrell, Rick Ernst, Stone Librande, Prashant Saraswat, & Nathan Tiras; published by Riot Games
  • Scythe – designed by Jamey Stegmaier; published by Stonemaier Games
  • Star Wars: Rebellion – designed by Corey Konieczka; published by Fantasy Flight Games
  • Terraforming Mars – designed by Jacob Fryxelius; published by Stronghold Games & FryxGames

Level 99 Games has started a Kickstarter Campaign for the second season of Exceed, themed to Seventh Cross. Exceed, released last year from D. Brad Talton, Jr. (BattleCON series of games), is a 2 player card game mimicking the arcade-style one-on-one fighter game experience. The original Exceed covered 16 characters from Jasco Games‘ Red Horizon Universe. Exceed Season 2 adds another 16 characters, this time from an original 1920’s macabre/horror setting, which will be the setting for a future rogue-like exploration board game.  Exceed Season 2 is offering 4 standalone boxes, each containing 4 characters and over 120 cards.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Exceed Season 2 continues through April 30, and is expected to deliver in November 2017.

For those waiting on the new releases from Origins and Gencon, perhaps your appetite can be sated with some of these games being distributed by Impressions now!

exceed

Exceed: Red Horizon – Reese & Heidi vs. Vincent & Nehtali

From Level 99 Games, this is their new one-on-one fighting game utilising fighters from the RED HORIZON universe. Originally a Kickstarter product, this is the first of four duel deck products, with more along the way using different IPs in the future.

tracy island

Thunderbirds: Tracy Island

This expansion to Matt Leacock’s cooperative Thunderbirds game will bring about new disasters for your team to avert as you continue to face the nefarious The Hood. This expansion features new cards, playable characters, machines and models of 14 pod vehicles that requires the base game to enjoy.

undercover

Good Cop Bad Cop: Undercover

The popular hidden role deduction game Good Cop Bad Cop is getting its second expansion: Undercover. On top of discovering the true allegiance of the other players, you now have a unique ability in the form of your undercover assignment as well as 12 new Equipment cards and more!

dead last

Dead Last

The last game I’ll mention here is Dead Last, a ‘social collusion’ game based on a tontine which often leads to murder. This game has players plotting who to murder, calling bluffs to counter with ambushes, stealing a bit of the pot, and hoping to be the last one standing to claim all the spoils.

For all the other games now being shipping by Impressions, please visit here!

duelist library

Level 99 Games is excited to announce Duelist Library, a collection of 5 two-player games that will debut as a single collection in late 2016.  The company will be expanding their line of well-known productions such as Pixel Tactics, BattleCON, Sellswords, and RESISTOR_ with these 5 new games, which will be available both individually and as a complete bundle.  

Here is an excerpt from the official press release from the GAMA Trade Show at Las Vegas 2016:

In 2013, Level 99 Games released the Minigame Library, containing 6 different games across multiple genres, group sizes, and play lengths. Duelist Library aims to continue this tradition, while improving component quality and focusing on a core theme of 2-player games. Rather than being available exclusively as a collection, four of the games will also be designed and packaged as fully-fledged individual releases. The complete collection will come with an exclusive bonus game, and a package of additional expansion cards that tie the various games together.

The titles and the descriptions of the new games will be released over the next few months via the Level 99 Games newsletter and on our homepage. Each game in the library is primarily designed for two players, and has a different theme, play length, and designer, to ensure that gaming groups of two have a game on hand for any mood or situation.

 This summer, 2016, the Kickstarter will launch to fund this project, with an estimated fulfillment date of winter 2016.  For more information and to stay abreast of this upcoming release, visit the official news release on the Level 99 Games website here.

exceed

From David B. Talton Jr. at Level 99 Games (BattleCON and Pixel Tactics) comes EXCEED, a new two-player tabletop fighting card game.

EXCEED is a turn-based fighting card game with a simultaneous selection element, combining the pacing of structured play with the tension of simultaneous attacks. Each turn you’ll be able to move, to use one of your fighter’s many boost options, or to improve your position by drawing more cards. If you think you’ve got the advantage, press the attack and Strike your opponent to compare your cards. Whoever has the superior attack will win the exchange!

Each fighter has their own unique attacks and abilities that will change the way you evaluate the battlefield and your hand, as well as inform when you want to attack and when to play it safe. You can even improve your unique ability further by going into Exceed Mode and unleashing your full power!

exceed comp

This game will have easy-to-learn gameplay as well as flexible options so that players can adapt fighters to their own style. EXCEED will come as a series of Duel Decks, each containing four fighters and enough cards for two players to play. Unlike CCGs or LCGs, each character is a complete kit, so when you get a Duel Deck, you get the complete deck for those four characters.

The Kickstarter currently has four different duel decks to choose from – so you can pick which deck you want, or get them all!

To learn more and see the heroes from the first ‘season’ of EXCEED, visit the Kickstarter here. Also, you can download the rulebook and a free demo deck to try it out and see if you like it!

 

millennium blades ccg

Have you ever wanted to play a board game about playing a collectible card game? Millennium Blades, a game now on Kickstarter from Level 99 Games (Pixel Tactics, BattleCON), brings you just that.

There’s more to a collectible card game (CCG) than just playing a game. There’s the collecting, the speculating on the market of rare cards, the building decks, and the tournaments.

Millennium Blades is a board game about a fictional collectible card game, which is also called Millennium Blades. You begin the game on pre-release night with just your starter deck. You’ll open new packs, form collections, and sell your junk cards on the aftermarket to buy hot new cards. Trade with your friends, build up your deck, and prepare to compete at Millennium Blades Worlds for the title of World Champion!

There are two phases to the game – the Deckbuilding Phase and the Tournament Phase. In the first phase, players buy cards and construct their decks by trading, collecting sets, fusing cards, and more. In the Tournament Phase, players use their decks in a free-for-all battle to try to score the most victory points. There are many ways to score victory points: through tournaments, valuable collections, money from selling cards, and friendships you gain. All of these together simulate the experience of participating in a CCG.

If you and your friends (2-5 players) enjoy the idea of simulating collectible card games with a board game and want to learn more about Millenium Blades, see the Kickstarter here.