Mystic Vale

Over the next several months, AEG is releasing additional material for their popular games.

First up is World Tour: International Incident, which add four new factions from four corners of the world to Smash Up: Luchadores from Mexico, Musketeers from France, Mounties from Canada, and Sumo Wrestlers from Japan. This expansion kicks off the World Tour 2019, which offers event kits for stores this summer where players can find an exclusive Penguin faction and have a chance to win Smash Up card sleeves.  Look for World Tour: International Incident in stores on 22 March 2019.

Next is Mystic Vale: Harmony, which not only adds new advancements and vales but also powerful leaders and amulets.  Amulets grant you mana tokens new abilities.  When you spoil, your amulet can be “evoked” for its special power.  Look for Mystic Vale: Harmony in stores on 3 May 2019.

Final, the next episode of The Captain is Dead arrives in a stand-alone game: The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet.  In The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet, the crew has escaped the alien prison in Lockdown and have landed on an abandoned alien planet inhabited by giant bugs.  The crew must explore the tunnel system in search of alien relics that might serve as the key to peace between the aliens and Spacefleet.  Meanwhile, the crew must hold off the onslaught of bugs and keep their shuttle safe.  The Dangerous Planet tunnel system is modular to create easier or harder challenges.  Look for The Captain is Dead: Dangerous Planet in stores on 12 July 2019.

GAMA is done and over, but the announcements continue to come for companies in attendance, one such company was Steve Jackson Games.  At the trade show they showcased a number of their newer and upcoming games, the biggest draw of which was the Munchkin CCG.  But of note here are is the new crossover that they have going with Slugfest Games to bring Red Dragon Inn items into Munchkin, and to get the Munchkin characters into The Red Dragon InnMunchkin: The Red Dragon Inn will feature many of the favorite characters and items from the game, and bring them into the munchkin universe.  Conversely, Red Dragon Inn Allies: Spyke and Flower will bring the two title characters of Munchkin into the Red Dragon Inn universe, allowing them to drink all their worries away.  Look for both on store shelves later this year.

Next we have the latest expansion for AEG’s flagship card crafting game, Mystic Vale.  This expansion is called Twilight Garden and does like more of the other expansions and adds more cards in the form of advancement cards, vale cards, leader cards, and of course a new mechanic.  This time the mechanic is curses, which can give you a boost during the game, but come the end you will have to pay the price.  Use them or don’t, but this new expansion will hit store shelves in July of this year.

Sleeving cards has been a part of hobby gaming for years, yet John D. Clair turned the idea into a game mechanism and has been running with it brilliantly. Starting with Mystic Vale, the act of creating cards wrought several interesting ways to effect decisions in the long term. Continued with Custom Heroes, we saw how simple choices by one player change the ongoing experience of the game for everyone involved. Ever since the release of the first card-crafting game, Edge of Darkness had been advertised as the next step coming sometime in the future and it prevailed in the minds of fans captivated with the thought of something more. Now it is here, seeking funding on Kickstarter and described as follows:

     “Edge of Darkness combines Card Crafting, Worker Placement, shared deck-building, and a whole new Threat Challenge system in a medium-weight euro-style boardgame of 60 to 120 minutes for 2 to 4 players. […] Each Guild vies with the others to become the leaders of the Aegis in a desperate struggle against great evil. But the Guilds must also work together because the dangers facing the city can harm them all.”

Edge of Darkness is an incredible offering deserving of its exposure with the nearly-bulging seams of its imposing box. The idea of it just being another spiritual successor to Mystic Vale is frankly laughable, because the game has so much more than just card crafting. The cards being double-sided representing your efforts in the city and also the threats against it, the attention-grabbing threat tower, the unique back and forth between guilds competing over locations…all come together to form something that probably couldn’t exist outside the power of Kickstarter. So if you’re interested in this ambitious new game from AEG, be sure to check out the Kickstarter for more information, gameplay, and updates.

Mystic Vale, the card crafting game that continues to get bigger and bigger, is taking a different approach with their next expansion in December, called Mystic Vale Conclave.  This new expansion will of course add more cards, but it also add new rules and is meant as a box to hold all of the Mystic Vale cards released to date, and more.  The new rules are called the Equinox rules that allows for much faster game play, and the box will include two more starter deck to bring the max player count up to 6 players.  Also included are Conclaves that allow you to customize decks of advancement and vales, totem cards to give you unique abilities, and spirit counters to help keep track of what symbols you generate each turn.  All in all you will get a great box to hold all of your Mystic Vale, and more goodies to include in your games to keep them fresh, look for it on store shelves in December of 2017.

The Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design presented the Origins Awards Saturday June 17th at the annual awards show held at the GAMA hosted convention Origins in Columbus, OH.  As part of this winners were announced in seven categories along with a fan favorite award in each category as well.

We would like to extend congratulations to all award winners.

Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Board Game of the Year

Scythe – Stonemeier Games

Family Game of the Year

Happy Salmon – North Star Games

RPG of the Year

No Thank You, Evil! – Monte Cooke Games

Best Collectible of the Year

Pokemon XY11 Steam Siege Booster – The Pokemon Co.

Best Accessory of the Year

Blood Rage Organizer – Broken Token

Card Game of the Year

Mystic Vale – AEG

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.

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)

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

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has just announced a player survey, open to the public, in which you could win Mystic Vale Promo cards! Mystic Vale (2016) was AEG’s smash “card building” hit, in which players use clear cards and sleeves to create their own cards in a deck-building environment. AEG is interested in what the community thinks about Mystic Vale and Kickstarter campaigns. By answering a few simple questions (it took me only about 5 minutes) every participant will receive “three enhancements, the Sunshard Glebe, one for each of three card slots”. AEG will be mailing out the Promo Kit towards the end of 2017.

For more information about the AEG Mystic Vale Survey, click here.

Alderac Entertainment Group (AEG) has announced several upcoming releases for 2017

Vale of the Wild, a new expansion for Mystic Vale, promises to add new elements to the card crafting game, and is due to be released in April 2017.

Custom Heroes, by John D. Clair, uses the card crafting system from Mystic Vale in a trick taking game. The theme is heroes gearing up for battle, and the card crafting is used to modify your unique hero cards. The game is being released at Game Market Tokyo in May 2017  as part of AEG’s Big in Japan 2017 line. Custom Heroes is due to come to America later in the year.

The Captain is Dead, originally a kickstarter project by The Game Crafter, is seeing a reprint from AEG in 2017. This humorous cooperative game has the players take on familiar sci fi tropes, such as Admiral, Chief Engineer or Janitor,  on a starship moments after a disaster has left the ship near destruction and the captain dead. The Captain is Dead is due out May 2017.

Unicornus Knights is a cooperative adventure with an anime theme where the players help a princess retake her father’s kingdom. The princess is game-controlled and can be headstrong, so the players need to guide and advise her on her mission. The board changes each game, depending on the heroes the players use. Unicornus Knights will be released as part of the Big in Japan 2017 line in August 2017.

Cutthroat Kingdoms is a strategic social game for up to 6 players. Using social manipulation and troop movements, the players must get their noble house ahead by any means necessary. Cutthroat Kingdoms has a release date of September 2017.

Smash Up: Big in Japan is the latest expansion for the hit card game Smash Up. Featuring Kaiju and magical girls, with art suggesting powerful spandex-clad ranger-type people and pocket-sized ball-bound cartoon creatures, this expansion should appeal to lots of people. Another in the Big in Japan collection, Smash Up: Big in Japan has a release date of September 2017.

Finally, AEG has announced the release of Sakura Arms by Bakafire, the hit designer of Tragedy Looper and Code of Nine. Sakura Arms is a 2 player fighting card game with incredible brush style art. The players combine two megami into a team to battle other pairs under the Sakura tree. Also in the Big in Japan line, Sakura Arms is due out October 2017.