So day 3 brought bigger crowds for sure! Indystar.com reported over 70,000 attendees and the crowds in the corridors certainly seemed to validate that! So my first visit was to the Plaid Hat Games’ booth (823). Many that know me may know that Mice and Mystics is my family’s all-time favorite game and PHG certainly doesn’t continue to disappoint.
Aftermath, from designer Jerry Hawthorne, was available to playtest. The game is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which players control various critters in a story-book cooperative game similar to that of Mice & Mystics.
” In the game, you play as a misfit band of critters known by their colony as “providers”. There’s the guinea pig with anger issues, a hamster that talks fast and drives faster, a small mouse with keen eyes and a lot to prove, and a mysterious vole who’s borderline feral. These characters each have their own personalities, play-styles, and personal goals. “
Also available to demo and purchase is a new release, Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein, designed by Dan Blanchett. The game pits you, competitively, against other players as you test your monster-building skills.
“Through worker placement and careful management of decomposing resources, you’ll gather materials from the cemeteries and morgues around the city, conduct valuable research at the Academy of Science, hire less-than-reputable associates, and toil away in your lab — all in an effort to assemble a new form of life and infuse it with a “spark of being”.
The artwork was phenomenal and it really combined a great set of mechanics – blending worker placement with set collection and a touch of variable player powers! Stop by the booth to give it a test!
It was next off to the iELLO booth to take a look at one of their newest releases – Ishtar: Gardens of Babylon, designed by Bruno Cathala. Ishtar was a beautiful tile-laying game that just rang of high quality! The circular tile pieces were of the thick card stock that we’re used to from iELLO and Cathala didn’t disappoint with game mechanics. Players are responsible for turning an arid desert into a flourishing garden by placing trees and flowers.
“Get them before your opponents, recruit apprentices, send them to earn points in the copses of flowers you have created, block others and think carefully of the upgrades to purchase if you want to become the best gardener at the end of the game!”
As you’re undoubtedly aware, there is much more to Gen Con than JUST board games….there’s board game upgrades! And one of the leaders in the upgrade business is Top Shelf Gamer (2051). The folks over at TSG offer a variety of upgrades from token and resource bundles to coins and gaming overlays and for tons of current and popular games!
My last stop of the day was near and dear to my heart. I’m a HUGE fan of the old Diablo game. Sanctum, from CGE Games (room 237) scratches a very large itch for me. I was able to see a demo of this game (due to release at Essen 2019). It’s a competitive game that fans of the hack n slash genre should feel very comfortable with. Supporting up to 4-players, Sanctum will have players hacking and slashing while obtaining lots of weapon and skill upgrades. With an inventive skill leveling system, Santcum will have players traversing the map and leveling up their character while eventually heading to a boss fight at the climax of the game.
“As one of the heroes, you embark upon a quest to rid the land of a demonic invasion, fighting your way through countless enemies and gearing up to face the Lord of Demons himself. In the process of venturing deeper into the land, ever so much closer to the Demon Lord, the heroes have to improve their equipment and adapt their combat tactics to face the increasing difficulty of combat.”
Also available to purchase in the CGE room was a fun-little word cooperative game, Letter Jam! I got to play this and, although the rules took a bit to pick up, once you had a solid understanding of the game it made for a fun word game that had players puzzling out different words to culminate in a final word scramble that led to a big payoff – or a realization at just what that word was you were trying to guess several turns ago!
Fans of heroic rodent campaign games, rejoice! Plaid Hat Games has announced that ‘Aftermath,’ the latest entry in the Adventure Book Game series, is now available for pre-order.
Designed by Stuffed Fables and Mice and Mystics designer Jerry Hawthorne, Aftermath is set in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, leaving common animals like mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and other small creatures to inherit the Earth. Across 27 story-driven mission, Players will take on the role of one of these animals and must explore suburban ruins in order to scavenge for food and other resources to provide for their colony while also being on guard against predators.
The game promises dynamic card play that will allow players to complete a wide variety of actions and also will include a mechanic for players to choose whether to use combat or diplomacy to resolve various threats. Finally, similar to Dead of Winter, each player will have a personal goal to accomplish in addition to the main objective.
The list of contents, pre-order and other information about this upcoming release can be found here.
The day has come, the final two decks have been released for the popular living card game Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn – The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia join the ranks of the other deck archetypes. With these last two marks the end of the series as we know it, as these Phoenixborn complete the remaining combinations of dice among the six schools of magic within the game. The story has finished, the game has been rounded out, and the end of the era is here, but Plaid Hat is very proud of this long-running LCG and has a proper send-off in mind. Along with these last two decks is the announcement of a reprint of the base game and one final tournament to rule them all.
“To celebrate all that Ashes has given our studio and fans, we’ve organized to have one last no-holds-barred tournament here in Dallas, Texas. In association with Common Ground Games, we are pleased to announce that the Ashes Complete Your Collection Tournament will take place on Saturday, June 22nd from 12:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. There will be participation prizes including one limited edition neoprene playmat for each participant, as well as several all-new alt-art Phoenixborn cards. The winner will receive one playmat for each of the original seven Phoenixborn as well as an Ashes poster signed by designer Isaac Vega himself.”
To participant in this tournament, there is a survey you must complete which is a fine investment for the chance to be a part of the history of this game. Collectors of this series can finally complete their collections by buying these decks right now through Plaid Hat’s website or by waiting a few days to pick them up from their favorite retailer. It may be a bittersweet end to the series for some, but it an ideal one that Plaid Hat has prepared for knowing this is the best time to do it. If you are interested in learning more, check out the release on Plaid Hat’s website for details about these new decks, the tournament, and future related announcements.
Plaid Hat Games has announced Battlelands, a fast and furious card game for 3-5 players designed by Jerry Hawthorne (Mice & Mystics) and Andrea Mezzotero (Crystal Clans). In Battlelands, players send fighters to seize key locations, collect resources, or recruit more fighters. There are five factions to play – Junkers, Scaled Ones, Bighted, Hoodies, and the Nocturne – each with their own special abilities. The player who secures enough resources is the winner. Like Mice and Mystics, Battlelands features factions made up of mice, rats, lizards and moles, but the game is set in a modern world in which the human beings have vanished. This will be the same world used in another game by Jerry Hawthorn coming out later this year, Aftermath. Little is known about Aftermath at this time other than it will be an Adventure Book game like Mice and Mystics but set in a modern post-human world.
Look for Battlelands
at your friendly local game store in July, 2019.
Plaid Hat Games has just announced a new gothic horror strategy board game, Abomination: The Heir of Frankenstein by designer Dan Blanchett. In Abomination, 2-4 players take on the role of scientists in 1800s Paris competing to complete the work of the infamous Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Scientists need to deploy assistants to raise money, charge Leyden Jars, research new scientific findings, and most importantly collect raw materials.
Body parts need to be harvested, exhumed or bought, then used to build bodies before they go bad. Players only have 12 rounds to try to create a viable creature for their mysterious benefactor. For more information and game rules, check out the Plaid Hat web page here.
Plaid Hat Games has announced a new hero pack for their 2018 card game, Guardians. Guardians: Retribution brings four additional heroes to the game; namely, Jupiter, Ryker, Therion and Warhead.
“… heroes in this expansion do even more to push the boundary of how ultimate cards can shape gameplay, by including even more double-sided ultimate cards, and even an ultimate capable of being reused more than once in a game!”
No specific release date was given for the card expansion, only that it is “coming soon.” You can read the press release for Guardians: Retribution from Plaid Hat by clicking here. If you want to learn more about the base game, you can watch Tom Vasel’s review of Guardians here.
For anyone who enjoys programming, deduction, and/or cooperative games, keep reading. Designed by the excellent Nikki Valens (designer of Mansions of Madness 2E and Legacy of Dragonholt), Quirky Circuits is coming from Plaid Hat Games this summer and features some of the most adorable miniatures ever created. 2-to-4 players cooperate in one of twenty-one scenarios to complete their goals before their batteries run out. Using the same scenario book system that other Plaid Hat releases such as Stuffed Fables and Comanauts have used ensures quick and easy setup to support the fast and engaging gameplay.
“Players place programming cards face down, only knowing what types of cards their friends have played – movement, turn or quirk. Quirk cards must be played before a player uses any other card in their hand and every player must play at least one card per round. Using deductive reasoning, all players will move the robo-buddy around the board, trying to complete its mission!”
“Quirky” really is an appropriate adjective in the title, because that’s precisely what I wanted to write several times during this article to describe it. Everything about the look of the design is cute, fun, compact, and to-the-point, and that’s a great advantage for this game. Not to be understated, Quirky Circuits fits an excellent niche in the market right now, being a much more accessible point of entry to teach programmed movement and deduction, in stark contrast to the long-lived Robo Rally. Moreover, this is only the second cooperative version of such a mechanic after the heavyweight Mechs vs. Minions, where the speed of setup due to Plaid Hats innovation will really shine in comparison. If you’re interested in learning more about Quirky Circuits, check out Plaid Hat’s news and product pages for updates, pictures, full rules, and availability.
Plaid Hat Games has just announced their new game, Super Punch Fighter, a card driven arena battle game with a video game theme from designer Robert Klotz. In Super Punch Fighter, 1-6 players try to knock their opponents off of the stage a la Smash Brothers, and complete achievements, earning stars towards victory. Players each control a fighter with its own deck of cards representing button mashes. Place thumb tokens on the cards to increase movement, allow more draws, initiate extra attacks, or even block. Don’t mash buttons too haphazardly, because you can only remove tokens from 4 cards. Any cards which still have a token at the end of a turn are discarded. Unique fighter cards can be played if you have enough buttons available, and if you start a new fighter card with the last button from a previous card, you can combo the attack. Super Punch Fighter also comes with a 1-2 player cooperative “minion rush” stage. Look for Super Punch Fighter coming Q1 2019, and for more information and pictures, check out Plaid Hat Games’ official announcement here.
The Gem Clan uses the Crystal Force ability which lets them gain +1 attack for each crystal in any score area (including their opponent’s). This army is composed of nomadic artisans who rack up crystals throughout the game.
The Moon Clan has a ghostly, pirate crew, based army from the ship, Risen Anabelle. They make use of the Plunder ability to remove units from their opponents’ hands, and also have access to the Pirate and Reanimated keywords for their aiblities.
The Grave King and The Protector of Argaia are 2 new decks which expand the game of Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn from Plaid Hat Games. In Ashes, an expandable card game for 2-4 players, players take on the roles of Phoenixborn, who are demi-gods and protectors of their world. Unfortunately, the Phoenixborn are at war with one another and seek to bath in the ashes of their defeated foes in order to absorb their power and be the sole, remaining god with dominion over all the land. Ashes is designed by Isaac Vega and features amazing art by Thander Lin, David Richards, and Fernanda Suárez.
The Grave King deck includes the Phoenixborn, James Endersight, who uses divine and ceremonial magic to sacrifice and resurrect his armies in order to overwhelm his foes. The Protector of Argaia deck has Fiona Mercywind, a Phoenixborn of Birdsnest who uses Sympathy and Charm magic.