Minion Games

Minion Games has launched a Kickstarter campaign for an expansion to The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire. The Cold War expansion adds six separate modules which can be added to the base game, as well as, components for an automated solo play.

The expansion modules range from new nations and structures cards, to a doomsday clock board. The addition of a ‘Clash of Nations‘ card deck provides a new solo play experience. The Kickstarter campaign has reward tiers which include print-and-play, just the new expansion material, all the way up to a bundle with the base game and both expansions.

If you would like to know more about the base game of The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire, you can watch The Dice Tower review with Sam and Zee.

Some readers may know of Kingdom of Solomon, a worker placement game designed by Philip duBarry and published by Minion Games back in 2012. It’s a well-regarded and unique game that just didn’t have enough going for it at the time. With a distinctive theme of building-up ancient Israel, Kingdom allowed players to not only diversify their resources and how they got them, but also had a “cash in your chips” mechanic where you could give up all of your workers for a massive bonus if you felt it was worth the risk. I’m glad to write today that this cool design will not fade into obscurity as it’s new and improved spiritual successor, Wisdom of Solomon, is now on Kickstarter.

“Wisdom of Solomon is a worker placement game with a splash of network building. A typical game takes about 15 minutes per player, with games being a little bit longer the first time playing.  Wisdom of Solomon is a light to medium weight game, meaning that there is plenty of strategy for experienced gamers to enjoy but the game is intuitive and simple enough for new gamers to be able to jump right in.”

Now the game is back, with updated gameplay, art, and components, and ready to show everything that made Kingdom of Solomon so special all over again with it’s best foot forward. I particularly enjoy seeing a thoughtfully designed game like this being brought back in earnest, as it showcases a period of history that is worth learning about. The new publisher, Funhill Games, is also using some of the funds from this campaign to reprint Kings of Israel, a cooperative game as equally well-regarded and welcome again. If you are interested in learning more about Wisdom of Solomon, or Kings of Israel, check out the Kickstarter campaign page for the rules, gameplay videos, reviews, community feedback, and updates.

Minion Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for the first expansion to the 2015 release Dead Men Tell No Tales which is entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken.  Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken is designed by Kane Klenko and the artists are Jason D. KingsleyChris Ostrowski.

In this expansion, players will face the dreaded Kraken.  Adding the expansion adds a few new conditions to the game such as requiring players to kill the Kraken before they can escape the ship with their treasure and lives.  If the Kraken pulls the ship down or destroys it, the players lose.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken comes with 1 Kraken miniature, 15 tentacle miniatures, a new character with meeple and miniature, status tokens and board for the Kraken, 42 game tokens, 1 cloth bag, new cards, and 5 player aids.

The campaign also offers a set of 7 miniatures for the base game characters that can be purchased alone or as an add-on.  Finally a start board that is split apart so that it is easier to mark tiles exploded is available as an add-on.  This new start board can be used to replace older versions of the base game before the the start board was updated in later editions.

Dead Men Tell No Tales: The Kraken campaign is running now and will end on February 15, 2018.  Please see the campaign page for any information on pricing.

Minion Games has started a Kickstarter for the next game in its nuclear lineup, and sequel to the critically acclaimed Manhattan Project by Brandon Tibbetts, Manhattan Project 2: Minutes To Midnight. In Minutes To Midnight, 2-5 players use a worker placement mechanism to try to develop their superpower nation to nuclear domination. Players use 4 worker types – Laborers, Politicians, Generals and Spies – to create an effective triad of nuclear force, consisting of Bombers, Missiles and Submarines. Build and test Nukes, use third world nations, and build buildings to gain points toward world domination.

The game comes with 3 player boards – Worker Assignment, Building Market, and Technology, along with a large number of tiles, tokens, coins, counters, cubes and discs. Additionally, all of the previous Manhattan Project games and expansions are available as add-ons.

The Kickstarter for Manhattan Project 2: Minutes to Midnight continues through June 13, and is expected to deliver in December 2017.

 

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

saga-of-the-northmen-comp

Minion Games has started their latest Kickstarter project, Saga of the Northmen.

Designed by Scott Leibbrandt and tested at Protospiel, Saga of the Northmen is for 2 to 4 players ages 13 and up and plays in 30 to 40 minutes.  It is a light war game set in the Dark Ages where you are the chieftain of a clan of Vikings allying and battling other clans for control of the 7 kingdoms of Europe.

A great introductory game to the area control mechanic, Saga of the Northmen is played over a series of rounds in which each player will draft influence cards which will be used to garner influence throughout the 7 kingdoms as well as populate the neutral regions with the very plunder (VPs) you will need to collect in order to win the game.  Each chieftain will also have a hidden trade route objective(s) that if completed will increase their wealth at the end of the game.

So, go forth, spread your influence, plunder the land’s riches, hire heroes to help you battle for control of contested neutral regions, establish trade routes, and conquer as many of the 7 kingdoms of Europe as you can on your way to victory in Saga of the Northmen!

To learn more or pledge today for as low as $39, <click here>.

Minion Games is expanding the universe of their Manhattan Project game with a small card game and big box game.  The first is the small card game called Manhattan Project Chain Reaction, a quick card combo type game.  During the game you will be using cards that on each card are workers along one side, an input at the top and an output at the bottom.  On your turn you will play down as many cards as you can combo together, obtaining or using the output from each card you can fully supply the input for.  This is all contained in a single turn, although the two resources you can hold between turns is fuel and yellow cake (an unprocessed form of uranium).  From there you can then convert the yellow cake and fuel into refined uranium and ultimately into bombs.  Once someone builds 10 bombs the end game is triggered, and then whoever has the most bombs at the end is the winner.

The second game is a big box game and that is Manhattan Project Energy Empire.  In this game the war is over and it’s time to take your country into the atomic age through building up your commerce, industry, and government.  But in order to do that you are going to have to make nice with the UN, work to avert global crisis, and most importantly expand your energy generation.  One interesting aspect about the game is on your turn you have to choose what you want to do, work or generate.  To work means that you place a worker and execute the action, to generate means you roll the energy dice to see what kinds of power you generate to use in a later work phase.  Most points at the end of the game is the winner.  Look for this game on store shelves in October.

energy empire

Having released two expansions for the original game, The Manhattan Project, Minion Games is starting to expand the universe with more games. The first is a small card game called Chain Reaction, the next being the big box game The Manhattan Project: Energy Empire.  The goal is no longer to build up your nuclear arsenal but to provide energy to your empire while ensuring you don’t create any global crisis or too much pollution.

energy empire inside box

Players start by randomly selecting an achievement, which awards bonus points at the end, and picking a nation, with each nation having different starting resources and ways to improve their standing in the UN.  When the game starts you will have two options on your turn, work or generate.  When you work, you are sending out your workers to drill for oil, do scientific research, build plants, cleanup pollution, and so on to expand your energy empire.  If you generate you will pull back all your workers and generate energy with the resources you collected and power plants you built.  You will play for six rounds, with scoring determined by the global impact cards drawn that round, and at the end of the sixth round you score achievement points and see who has scored the most points building their energy empire.

If this all sounds interesting you can head over to the campaign page to pledge for your copy, and you can pledge for copies of the original Manhattan Project with Nations expansion or the Chain Reaction card game as well.

chain reaction cards2

Following on from the success of The Manhattan Project worker placement board game, designer James Mathe and his company Minion Games have launched a card game version on Kickstarter.

The Manhattan Project : Chain Reaction features the same, distinctive art-style as the board game and is a hand-efficiency race to build nuclear bombs using dual-use cards. Each card can be used either as a building/facility or as workers.

The game is for 1-5 players, recommended age is 8+ with a playtime of 20-30 minutes, ideal for when you don’t have time for the longer board game.

There are print-and-play, standard and deluxe versions available in this Kickstarter, with only the standard version being readily available in shops after launch.

For more information see the Kickstarter Project Page

 

saga northmen

Scott Liebbrandt, designer of Colonialism, has just launched a Kickstarter Campaign for his new release, Saga of the Northmen. Publisher Minion Games describes it this way on the campaign homepage:

“Glory awaits intrepid adventurers of all ages in the Saga of the Northmen, a Dark Ages wargame of shifting alliances and area control. Through deft use of influence cards, you do battle with other chieftains to gain control of the 7 major kingdoms of Europe. Forge alliances and then move your armies and fleets to plunder while completing secret objectives unknown to others. Earn the most points from plunder and completed objectives to be crowned Supreme Chieftain!”

saga northmen comp

Supporting 2-4 players with an estimated game time of 40 minutes, the light design employs area control and direct conflict. It features a beautiful map of a fairly general overview of early medieval Europe and what appears in the videos to be rather nice component quality, but not much art variety in its cards. Of course, you get to play as competing Viking Jarls, so a lot can be forgiven.

The campaign will conclude on October 12 at 11:00 PM EDT and is estimated for delivery in March, 2016.