Nat Levan

Build your pocket-sized boomtown in Circle the Wagons, a two player card game designed by Steven Aramini (Yardmaster), Danny Devine (Mob Town), and Paul Kluka with art by Beth Sobel (Viticulture, Lanterns: The Harvest Festival).

The game contains just 18 cards, but cleverly allows for nearly 5,000 combinations in using them to build your boomtown, ensuring that you’ll never build the same town twice.  15 cards are arranged in a circle around 3 bonus scoring cards. Players take turns drafting cards using a take-or-skip mechanic to build a town that will score them the most points. The rulebook is only 4 pages and can therefore be taught very quickly. The game last about 20 minutes and is recommended for ages 10 and up.

But wait, there’s more!  Also included in the Kickstarter are three more games; Mint Julep, That Snow Moon, and Wagon Wheels.

Mint Julep is a 2-4 player horse racing/betting game where players draft cards, place bets, and then manipulate the race in order to ensure the horse that they want to win ends up finishing in a top spot.

That Snow Moon is a 2-4 player asymmetrical card throwing game. Players divide into two teams, Liberation and Dynasty. Liberation throws their cards facedown onto the table in an attempt to build particular sets.  Dynasty drops their cards on to the table, trying to land on the Liberation cards to reveal and remove them from play.

Wagon Wheels, a 2 player game based on Circle the Wagons, has players placing and moving tokens around a map card to score the most points by taking advantage of the quadrant’s special bonus while trying to get the east and west sides of the map for additional points.  With just 3 cards and a few tokens, designer Nat Levan has turned the small wallet game into nano-sized entertainment.

Head over to the Circle the Wagons Kickstarter page to learn more and back the project!


new bedford

Dice Hate Me Games, developer of Compounded, BrewCrafters, Great Heartland Hauling Co. and VivaJava, Each of these games were successfully backed on Kickstarter and they’re now back with New Bedford: The Game of Historic Whaling and Town Building. This is the revival of a campaign that was cancelled back in December 2014.

Designed by Nat Levan and Oakleaf Games, New Bedford is set in the 19th century town of New Bedford MA in the heart of the whaling age. For 2 to 4 players, each player takes turn placing workers to collect resources, build buildings and expand the town. Ultimately, the players send out sailing expeditions to harvest whales and collect tokens representing Right, Bowhead and Sperm whales which randomly appear among empty seas. Once returned to port, the whales can be converted into money or resources. But, players have to be careful. Whale tokens are limited by the number of players, and the longer the game goes, the fewer whales will appear at sea, reflecting the depletion of the resource by over hunting. The winner is determined by the number of points accumulated for whale tokens, ownership of buildings, bonuses and money in each player’s possession after 12 rounds.

new bedford comp

Game components look nice, with thick cardboard tiles for buildings, whaling boards and player boards, plus wooden tokens for workers, ships and resources. All will be packaged in the small size ‘rooster’ boxes that Compounded and VivaJava came in to reduce storage size. The campaign has only two backer levels, including a limited level with a copy of the game autographed by the designer and artist. It runs until August 14, 2015. You can support the campaign, at Kickstarter, here.