One vs all

Detective: City of Angels, from Van Ryder Games and designed by Evan Derrick, is a 1-5 player deduction game that is now back on Kickstarter with a brand new expansion, Smoke and Mirrors!

The base game is set in 1940’s Los Angeles where players take on the role of LAPD Homicide detectives as they are taken along a narrative-driven experience and attempt to solve 9 different cases. Each detective is competing to be the first to solve the case. However, one player is The Chisel who is attempting to misdirect the players! If you want a cooperative experience, there is a mode for that as well.

Detective: Smoke and Mirrors adds 4 new cases to the game (originally 3 but the stretch goal was reached). These cases are more complex and challenging than the cases from the base game with new mechanics, new types of cards, and new requirements to solve the case! Instead of just identifying the guilty suspect, the murder weapon, and the motive, players will now also have to identify each additional accomplice that was involved as well as where the next crime could take place.

For more information, check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

In 1956, fresh within the Cold War, a nation-wide revolt erupted across Hungary against the choking grip of the communist government. In the capital of Budapest, students and laborers who were fed up with the low standards of living and eager to build relations with the western world began to protest and criticize the Soviet policies driving their country, eventually leading to resistance, gunfire, and revolution. This is the theme for Days of Ire, an asymmetric game successfully crowdfunded in July of 2016 where players took on the role of those rebels against the Soviet troops. Now it’s sequel, Nights of Fire: Battle for Budapest, is on Kickstarter along with an expansion that ties both games together for a truly thematic and evocative historical experience. As described via the campaign page:

“Nights of Fire is a thematic sequel to the well received Days of Ire. While directly connected in theme to Days of Ire, Nights of Fire is a standalone game which can be played solo, cooperatively by 2 players, or by 1-2 players against a live opponent in charge of the Soviet troops. Days of Ire is not required to play, however, the Days & Nights: Red Army Pack expansion contains rules and cards for campaign play of both games in sequence and 28 miniatures usable in both games.”

Designing a board game steeped in such history certainly can’t be easy, and doing it twice even less so without needing to mention the ability to combine the two, which is entirely what makes this project special. It’s also very cool to have an asymmetric 3-or-less player title that is flexible enough to allow for competitive or cooperative play as well as appealing to wargamers and non-wargamers alike. For those who missed backing Days of Ire, it too can also be purchased through this campaign at a few pledge levels. If you are interested in learning more about Nights of Fire, be sure to check out it’s Kickstarter campaign which has, as of writing this, reached nearly 200% funding!

Upper Deck Entertainment has just posted a blog article reviewing their 13 card and board game releases for 2017. Legendary, the very popular deck building system, added the small expansions Legendary Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Legendary: Noir, and the larger Marvel Legendary: X-Men. Additionally, the Legendary system welcomed the new standalone game Legendary: Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

VS System 2PCG had a number of changes and additions last year, including Legacy, Monsters Unleashed, S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra, and The Predator Battles. The games have also undergone a huge change in their publication format, and Upper Deck has said the small box expansions (now known as Giant-Sized Issues) will be released much less frequently.

There were also 5 original games released in 2017, including The Dingo Ate The Baby, Dread Draw, Dungeon Draft, Quest for the Antidote. Finally, Upper Deck released the wonderfully campy hidden movement one-vs-many game Shark Island from Richard Launius and Pete Shirey.

Read the full press release on Upper Deck’s webpage here.

Here we are with another week of Kickstarters of a wide array from an election game, to a detective game, to a war game, so lets get started.  Up first, we have a card game based on an app called Cahoots, and being published by Mayday Games.  The game Cahoots is a normal trick taking game, but with a bit of a twist in that there are no follow rules and you score is based on which suit won the trick, not who won the trick.  But the question is, which suits will score for you?  That is determined by a card you receive at the start of the game and will have three of the six suits on them, and it’s these suits that will score for you.  However, you won’t be the only one scoring with those suits, so over the game you will be partnering with different people in order to score the suits on your card.  So each round you will play out a total of two cards, and whatever suit had the highest total value will be the winner and be scored that round.  After that you will choose some cards to keep, and some cards to remove from the game, shrinking the available card pool.  Once all the cards are out of the game, whoever has the most points is the winner.  So if this new take on trick taking sounds interesting to you, or you are a fan of the app, check out the Kickstarter page.

Next is our war game entry, coming straight to you from the prolific war game creator DVG, this time as an air dog-fighting card game called Down in Flames: Locked On.  In this game you will be flying one, two, or three of dozens of different aircraft of the recent age like the F-15C Eagle or the Sea Harrier FRS1.  You will be taking these into battle trying to shoot down the opposing player’s planes through clever use of your missiles.  At the heart of this game are the action cards, each with multiple uses from special abilities, to maneuvering, to attacking, and even countering your enemy’s attack.  When you attack you will play your card, if your opponent counters with a card you then have the opportunity to counter that card, continuing like this until the final card is played.  If you managed to play the final card your attack succeeds, if your opponent, then the attack is canceled.  When an attack is successful you will then draw cards based on what you fired to then carry out another attack sequence with those cards.  If you succeed there, you have destroyed the enemy craft, and if they are all destroyed you win the game!  So if a fast playing, dog-fighting style card game with a healthy dose of real life accuracy is your kind of thing, then check out this Kickstarter today.

Next we have a new detective game from Van Ryder Games called Detective: City of Angels.  This game I think is best described as Clue on steroids, with the main difference is that this game is more complex and is done as a one versus all style game.  One person is The Chisel, whose sole job is to lead the detectives astray and keep the case from ever being solved.  The detectives will be moving around the board, investigating locations and questioning suspects.  But here is where it gets tricky, The Chisel will be choosing the responses that he gives from those being question, and he can even outright lie to you.  However, if you challenge him on his bluff you can get the truth, revealing much needed information to solve your case, but challenge on a truth and he gets leverage over you to use against you later.  You can also bribe a snitch to be able to listen in on this info so even if you aren’t there, you can get some critical info to help you solve your case.  Strong arm some suspects, get to the truth, and solve the case before the trail goes cold and you can win the game.  You can find out more on the Kickstarter page.

After that is the unusual game of the article, and that is Electioneer, the Hong Kong election board game from Nightdreamer.  This game aims to do with the Hong Kong election system what Die Macher did for the German election system, and that is create a great game out of it.  This is an area control and resource management type game where you will be going around the various towns and cities trying to secure the most votes.  One way to get votes is through strategy cards, which show a number of territories that have some connection to them, like hitting the 12 different districts that are home to higher education institutions to get the college vote.  You will also get votes for holding the most influence in different zones on the board, as well as for holding the second most influence.  Basically there are a lot of ways to get votes, and this game shows it’s designer’s researching ability because all of these ways to get votes are methods used in actual Hong Kong elections.  Will you be able to manage your money well and get enough votes to be elected?  Check out the Kickstarter page for more information.

And last but not least, we have a reprint and revamp of a previously Kickstarted game, and that is Endure the Stars from Grimlord Games.  This 1.5 version will not only allow new players to be able to acquire this game and it’s many extras, but also improve the game for those who already own it.  Endure the Stars itself is a survival horror type game where you are passengers on a colonization ship a year into it’s long journey.  However, unauthorized experiments have been conducted to try and engineer a new life-form to explore new planets, but those experiments were discovered and the lifeforms got out, killing everyone in their path.  Now people are living in small groups scavenging to survive, and it’s up to your group to try and root out these creatures before they kill you all.  Fight back with all sorts of different weapons and ammo, and try to maintain your sanity as you play through the campaign to defeat this evil.  So if a sci-fi dungeon crawl game sounds interesting, or if you own the first edition, check out the Kickstarter page today.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Specter Ops: Broken Covenant, a stand-alone expansion from Emerson Matsuuchi for his 2015 hit Specter Ops. In Broken Covenant, one player again takes on the role of a lone A.R.K. agent, secretly moving within the jungles of South America, trying to retrieve 3 mission targets while being pursued by genetically modified hunters from Raxxon. Broken Covenant uses very similar mechanisms to Specter Ops, with one player marking their movements on a pad representing the board, on which the hunters search for their prey, but features new equipment, hunters, game board and agents.

You can read the full press release about Specter Ops: Broken Covenant on Plaid Hat’s website here.

Reforged and Ninja Division are partnering to Kickstart a new game called Warforged: First Contact.  Warforged bills itself as a skirmish level exploration game, similar to games like Descent or Shadows of Brimstone, but still very different.  This is a one vs many game where one person controls the Mantra, an alien race that is invading through a portal at the center of a shrine.  The many play as the Iron Legion, the military force sent to investigate the portal, with each player leading their own squad.  Play is simple in that on your turn you have two actions to take, and your available options are move or shoot.  Player order though is the interesting thing, as every figure has a card, and all the cards are shuffled into a deck, and drawing from that deck determines who moves.  This means you will need to coordinate very well, because luck may fall to where the enemy gets all their turns before you, making your job that much harder.  The map is also modular and hex based instead of square, allowing for more varied and eclectic map layouts.  Will the Iron Legion be able to stem the tide of aliens and reach the portal, or will the Mantra horde overrun them?

The game has some excellent art and some nice sculpts for the minis included in the game.  Gameplay is easy with all information on the characters contained on the turn order cards, and several scenarios ready to play right out of the box.  You can head over to the Kickstarter page to check out more, and you can even see a gameplay video produced by the folks at Let’s Play.

whitechapel mini

Fantasy Flight’s popular hidden movement game of cat-and-mouse Letters from Whitechapel is getting a new expansion in the form of Dear Boss this Q4 of 2016.

Designed by Gabriele Mari and Gianluca Santopietro, Letters from Whitechapel is a one vs all game inspired by the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888 London. One player takes the role of Jack the Ripper escaping to his hideout while the rest of the players take the role of London’s finest searching for clues and attempting to capture Jack.

whtiechapel mini 150

This brand new expansion, Dear Boss, comes with twelve plastic miniatures and three new modules to raise the stakes even further. One module is the Policemen cards which provide the police players with new abilities to assist in the capture of Jack. Another module is the Jack Suspect cards, which create new restrictions on Jack the Ripper’s movements and options, forcing the Ripper player to work much harder in order to succeed. The final module makes things easier for Jack the Ripper as the Potential Victim cards can give Jack a leg up during his escape.

For additional information, check out Fantasy Flight Games’ website here!

conan game

Take on the mantle of the legendary barbarian, Conan, in the upcoming release by Asmodee: Conan! Based on the original fantasy novels of Robert E. Howard and designed by Frederic Henry and Adrian Smith comes this one vs. all cooperative game packed full of miniatures and dice.

In Conan, one player controls the Overlord and his minions while one to four other players control Conan and his allies through different scenarios. On their turns, players can expend energy to perform different actions, but the catch is that not all energy is regained at the end of your turns, so you will have to gauge when is the proper time to make a massive push. To make this balance even more interesting, damage from enemies draws from your energy pool as well, reducing your total available energy.

This game comes with:

  • 74 plastic miniatures
  • 4 hero sheets
  • 1 Book of Skelos
  • 45 tiles
  • 9 custom dice
  • 75 plastic gems
  • 39 asset cards
  • 16 spell cards
  • 148 tokens
  • 1 hero rulebook
  • 1 Overlord rulebook

Look for Conan in the 4th quarter of 2016! As this game was originally a Kickstarter release, there has been no mention currently of whether or not stretch goals or other add-ons will be available in the future. For additional information, visit Asmodee’s website here.