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.
Portal Games has announced that Monolith Arena, from designer Michał Oracz (Neuroshima Hex, Cry Havoc), will be available on October 24, at Essen Spiel 2018. Monolith Arena is a fantasy, hex based, arena combat game for 2-4 players. Players pick one of 4 factions, The Harbingers of the Forest, the Guardians of the Realm, the Dragon Empire, or the Lords of the Abyss, each of which come with 35 unique hex tiles. The tiles are drawn into a “hand” of 3 each turn, at least one of which much be discarded, while the others can be saved or played. Tiles represent banners, units and runes, placed on the hex board to fight or modify nearby units, or represent orders, allowing already placed units to move, fight, or push others. Tiles vary greatly in which direction they can target, how many targets they can affect, how fast they enter battle, how hard they hit or how tough they fight. Advanced players can play with Monoliths, comprised of 3 stacked, hidden tiles in a plastic structure, which can unfold into the component tiles, given enough space on the board. If a player manages to destroy their opponent’s banner, they emerge victorious. Otherwise, game play continues until the last tiles are drawn, which can trigger a final battle, and the end of the game. Read more about Monolith Arena on Portal’s website, and look for the game at Essen on October 24.
Portal Games has announced a plethora of new games and expansions for 2018. As it is apparently 2018 in Poland (I did not fact check this, it might still be 2017) many of the mini-expansions announced are available now.
First Martians: Adventures on the Red Planet
Now available in both Europe and North America, Portal Games describes First Martians as the most anticipated game in Portal Games history. Strong pre-orders make it hard to argue that fact. Based on the adventure gaming engine from Robinson Crusoe, digital apps do a lot of the heavy lifting in First Martians. Portal Games announced new content almost exclusively driven by the app for 2018:
- First Martians rules Almanac in PDF form
- 7th stand-alone Removal mission release
- Community created content delivered via app
- New app features
- Tutorial mission
Portal Games also plans to release a new Epidemia mission as well as an in-store event kit.
First Martians is getting a new mini-expansion, in this case a set of extra ROI tiles. This mini-expansion is available now.
Robinson Crusoe gets a pair (and a half) of big announcements. The first is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a companion app! The game isn’t getting any easier, but it is getting additional content as the app will add new events and new adventures to the game. Portal Games also describes the app as allowing players “to choose a theme for each scenario.”
The second big announcement is that Robinson Crusoe is getting a second big expansion. Similar in size to the Voyage of the Beagle expansion from 2013, the Lost City of Z expansion will also follow a single explorer. Players will follow Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett on his expedition through the Amazon in search for the Lost City of Z. Lost City of Z will add Horror and Sanity into the game, add new characters, beast and a mystery deck. The game adds 5 new missions for an epic campaign.
To tide you over until the app and expansion come out Portal has released another mini expansion – Herb Garden and Pen cards. This expansion is available now.
It’s never too early for new content. Alien Artifacts was just released this week, and already Portal Games has accounted a forthcoming expansion. The Alien Artifacts: Discovery expansion moves the storyline of the game forward and introduces Alien Resources to the game. The small (but not mini) expansion adds a total of 50 new cards to the core game.
Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire is the third Empire Pack of Imperial Settlers. Empire Pack’s don’t add new factions to the game, but always add new mechanics and an expanding selection of cards to integrate into the core game. Portal describes the new expansion as adding new cards and increasing the replayability of the game.
Imperial Settlers is getting a Diplomacy mini-expansion which is available now. The new expansion adds two double-sided tiles that add new rules for player interaction through diplomatic mean. The double sided tiles are Declaration of War & Mobilization and Golden Route & Confiscation.
Neuroshima Hex will also be getting an expansion in 2018. The Iron Gang Hexpuzzle Pack is an expansion for the Neuroshima Hex! 3.o base game that will introduce puzzles on the hex board that will need to be solved. The expansion will be playable both solo and competitively with other players. The expansion will include a bonus army tile for the Iron Gang Army Pack.
Monolith Arena – A Fantasy Battleground Boardgame
Speaking of Neuroshima Hex… Portal Games is also introducing new games in 2018! Michal Oracz, creator of Neuroshima HEX, has created a fantasy battleground boardgames. Wage war against your opponents on a familiar hex board. Five factions will each have unique abilities and unites, along with literal monoliths looming large over the battlefield.
Monolith Arena has an estimated playtime of 30-45 minute for 2-4 players aged 10 and up.
Detective: A Modern Crime Boardgame
But wait! There’s more! Przemyslaw Rymer and Igancy Trzewiczek have designed a board game that tells actual stories. A modern crime boardgame, Detective will focus on stories inspired by true events. Sleuths will have a variety of modern tools at their disposal including checking the internet, investigating clues and pouring over the facts. A variety of high quality components will be introduced over 5 unique scenarios. Detective plays out over 90 minutes for 1-4 intrepid investigators aged 14 and up.
It’s shaping up to be a big 2018 for Portal Games!
Portal Games has announced the newest expansion group for Neuroshima Hex 3.0, the Iron Gang. Iron Gang specializes in chain attacks, spreading webs of iron across the battlefield. Units can cast a chain attack, drawing a line of destruction between units and damaging those in between. Additionally, units can cast ranged nets, which can hinder enemies, although are not very durable. Finally, who can resist the “chick on the bike” unit, riding across the battlefield wreaking destruction, and increasing the initiative of her allies.
You can read the full press release from Portal here.
Portal Games has announced the upcoming release of a brand new army in the extremely popular board game universe of Neuroshima Hex 3.0 designed by Michał Oracz!
Neuroshima Hex: Death Breath is designed by Michał Oracz. Death Breath is a nasty virus that infects everything creating mindless, killing machines with powerful mutations. Like all deadly viruses, Death Breath spreads quickly from one victim to the next. This army also introduces a new game mechanic called the Zombie Pool. When an infected unit is destroyed, instead of being discarded it is added to the Zombie Pool. The Death Breath headquarters special power is that it can revive Zombie units from the pool after each battle making this army particularly difficult to kill. One whiff of Death Breath and the Zombie Apocalypse begins!
To learn more, visit the Portal Games page by clicking <here>.
Portal Games is opening up a new division of their company based in Germany called Portal Games Deutschland.
This new German-division of Portal Games will be run by industry veteran Benjamin Schönheiter who has worked previously with the German publisher Pegasus Spiele localising games for the German market and working on a German gaming website called SpieLama.de prior to that. The focus of this new division is to bring current Portal Games products to the German market as well as to examine current games from other publishers that can be localised for German consumption.
Portal Games Deutschland will be debuting at Essen SPIEL 2016 with three new products: the new 51st State Master Set, Neuroshima Hex and an unannounced army for Neuroshima Hex. For additional information, visit Portal Games’ website!
Portal Games has announced an August release for two new armies in the extremely popular board game universe of Neuroshima Hex 3.0 designed by Michał Oracz!
The first is Mephisto designed by Michał Herda & Michał Oracz. Now I know what you’re thinking…Is Portal Games bringing in a particularly nasty Marvel Villain to rain down hell in Neuroshima Hex?!?! No, not this time. Mephisto is quite simply, a half-worm, half-steel maggot born of radioactive bomb craters that will give players a shortcut and resources but quite possibly at the cost of their life. Make good use of the new implants and modules to bring the awesome power of this monster down on your enemies!
The second is Dancer designed by Rustan Håkansson. A beautiful lady twirling upon her toes across the board as…wait, that doesn’t sound right at all. Oh no, “Dancer” is in fact a code name for a predictably sinister genetic experiment that was damaged during the Moloch attack on Omega. Now the 3 raving-mad, hive-mind subjects of this military-experiment-gone-wrong have escaped and together they are a lethal combination of healing, free attacks, and massive damage. But enemies take heed! If you can find a way to kill one of them…Dancer will fall.
To learn more, visit the Portal Games page by clicking <here>.
This War of Mine, the critically-acclaimed and heart-wrenching survival game from 11 bit studios, is now “a board game experience, carrying an important message: In war, not everyone is a soldier. Can you survive to see the end of the war?”
Awaken Realms and 11 bit studios introduces a board game adaptation of This War of Mine by Michal Oracz, designer of the much-loved Neuroshima Hex!, and Jakub Wisniewski, the storyteller behind Dying Light. This new game will include features such as:
- 430 high-quality components, including 12 figures
- a companion mobile app
- over one thousand unique stories
- an open & play system that makes it easy to start playing without previous learning the rules
- a save-game mechanism
- the innovative Reality Impact system, introducing an enormous amount of meaningful plot, choices and consequences.
The Kickstarter for this project is now live, and the following is an excerpt form the Kickstarter game summary:
This War of Mine: The Board Game is a fully co-operative, open and play, survival experience. In this challenging, story-driven game for 1-6 players, you will play as group of civilians trapped in a city torn by a military conflict. To survive, you will need to make tough moral choices, delivered in a role-playing style.
The start of the campaign will be accompanied by an extraordinary event via livestream on May 10 at 3pm PST. Artists for major tabletop and collectible-card-game franchises like Star Wars, A Game of Thrones, and Magic: The Gathering will unite as an ArtistsOnBoard group to create a large-format acrylic painting that will grace the cover of This War of Mine. Click here for the link to the live streaming.
For more information on this project, visit the Kickstarter page and the game’s official website.
Your goal is to build a new State in this post-apocalyptic world. Whether you command merciless Mutants or brave New Yorkers, your aim is always simple and clear – conquer new lands, incorporate new regions, and destroy everyone who is of no value. How will you achieve this? It’s pretty simple – the highest score wins the game. Pretty novel, huh?
Portal Games is currently running a preorder campaign for the revitalization of their hit card game 51st State in the form of the 51st State Master Set. 51st State is a competitive game that takes place in the unforgiving, post-apocalyptic work of Neuroshima Hex. In the game, players take control of a faction such as New York, Appalachian Federation, Mutants Union, or the Merchants Guild and, by levying the power of his faction, build a new state: a 51st state.
The core design and mechanisms of the game resemble that of Portal’s popular game Imperial Settlers, which is itself a redesign of the core mechanisms of the original 51st State card game. The new 51st State Master Set will include a complete redesign of the original version of 51st State, as well as new editions of New Era and Winter, the original expansions for the game. The boxed set includes:
- 1 Victory Point Board
- 200 Cards
- 88 Base Set Cards
- 12 Connection Cards
- 50 New Era Cards
- 50 Winter Cards
- 4 Victory Point Markers
- 1 First Player Token
- 4 Faction Boards
- Goods Markers
- 38 Brick resource pieces
- 38 Fuel resource pieces
- 30 Gun resource pieces
- 38 Iron resource pieces
- 38 Workers pieces
- 10 Shield Tokens
- 13 Bullet Tokens
- 9 Development Tokens
- 20 Red Contact Tokens
- 20 Blue Contact Tokens
- 30 Grey Contact Tokens
- 7 Universal Contact Tokens
- 4 Multiply Tokens
- 1 Rulebook
The preorders will be closing on this item soon. To learn more about the details of the game and what’s included in the preorder, visit the Portal Games website here.
On a recent blog post, Portal Games shared with us the rules, along with some card samples, for their upcoming game: Neuroshima: Convoy, 2nd edition. This is a card game for two players set in the world of Neuroshima. In the game you will battle against your opponent by taking control of either Moloch machines to level New York City or soldiers of the Outpost to defend the city.
The full rules booklet is now available for viewing and for download, here.
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