Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games has announced Stuffed Fables designed by Jerry Hawthorne,  will have a retail release date of February 1st, 2018. This is a slight delay from the December release date given when the game was announced at GenCon 2017.

For those who pre-ordered the game Plaid Hat noted:

Customers who pre-ordered from the Plaid Hat Games web store will receive their copies at their door on or around February 1st. 

Stuffed Fables is the first in the new StoryBoard line of products by Plaid Hat Games. In the first game in this new line, Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.

Stuffed Fables is a unique adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Players roll and assign color-coded dice to perform a wide variety of actions, from daring melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.

StoryBoard games will come with a large storybook that, when opened, will have one page acting as a the board for the game while the opposite page will act as a rules reference and story guide. Stories will play out over multiple adventures, with each adventure moving through multiple pages from the immersive Storybook.

Playtime is listed at 60-90 minutes for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+. Players eager to find out more about how the game works can already take a look at the rulebook posted on the Plaid Hat Game website.

Eric Summerer has provided a rules overview over on youtube. If Eric’s voice on the video seems familiar it may be because you’ve listened to some of the hundreds of audiobooks and other voiceover projects Mr. Summerer has worked on.

What’s in the Box?

While it’s release is only a few weeks away, for those anxious to begin their stuffed adventures know that you can look forward to a box full of content. Stuffed Fable includes:

  • 23 miniatures
  • 35 multicolored dice
  • 1 dice bag
  • 6 unique character cards
  • 100+ page storybook
  • 1 Sideboard
  • 29 Lost cards
  • 10 Sleep cards
  • 47 Item cards
  • 40 Discovery cards
  • Counters

The Worlds of Jerry Hawthorne

Stuffed Fables will be the second universe that designer Jerry Hawthorne has brought to Plaid Hat Games. Hawthorne is the designer of the popular Mice & Mystics world. Hawthorne is also credited as a designer on multiple Heroscape products.

Kristen Pauline and Regis Demy are the artists bringing the world of Stuffed Fables to life.

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games was acquired in 2015 by F2Z Entertainment, and subsequently Asmodee in 2016 when Asmodee absorbed F2Z. Plaid Hat Games now functions as an independent design studio under the Asmodee umbrella.

Plaid Hat Games are sharing previews of Stuffed Fables every Wednesday until the game’s release. This week Jerry Hawthorne, the game’s designer, shared his experiences bringing the game from concept to completion.

The idea originates from a few years ago. After seeing the Pixar movie, Inside Out, he became obsessed with gamifying it’s premise. He later realized that he didn’t really want to make a game inspired by the movie but rather to create an original story experience. His idea to create a game to evoke an emotional response lead him to think about kids and their stuffed animals which acted as surrogate parents. He then thought of weaving his tale around a little girl and stuffed animals which represented different parts of her personality as she grew up. The players learn who the girl is through the stuffed animals. In order to create this story he needed to break boardgame convention by relaying the experience in the form of a book instead of on a board.

Mr Hawthorne realized this would not be easy:

“Writing a story is tough in its own right, especially one that branches in different directions, but what Colby was proposing was to make each scene in the story fit on a ten by ten inch page. This meant that each story needed to be split into evenly sized chunks, and each chunk needed to fit on the given page. And each page had to not only offer a game experience, but also advance the narrative! Writing like this is incredibly hard, but it’s also a good way to focus your approach.”

The story’s antagonists needed to evoke an emotional response so he based them on anxiety and the things which cause us to lose sleep. This prevented the tale from being too dark and scary. For a detailed account of his experiences you can read the full article on the Plaid Hat Games website.

Expected retail release date for Stuffed Fables is December 2017.

Even though the holidays will soon be upon us, companies are already preparing for the next year with some new games.  First on that list is the next expansion for the Aeon’s End card game from Indie Boards and Cards. Aeon’s End is a card game in which each player has their own deck, specific to the breach mage they choose, and will have to work together with the other players to defeat the nemesis they have chosen.  You will have to work well together as the nemesis has their own deck and will be fighting back, quite viciously, to defeat you before you can cast them out.  The new expansion, called Aeon’s End: The Void, adds in two new nemeses and two new breach mages, as well as new gems, relics, spells, and minions.  So if you enjoy the game, be sure to check out this expansion when it hits store shelves in January of 2018.

Next we have two expansion decks coming from Plaid Hat games for the Ashes, Rise of the Phoenixborn card game.  The two new decks are The Goddess Ishra, and The Boy Among Wolves, each of which will require an Ashes base game in order to supply the needed dice.  These two decks just expand even more the options of cards you have for the game and bring two new phoenixborn into the game.  The Boy Among Wolves has the highest battlefield number in the game at 10, meaning he can have lots of units in play at once.  This is especially important because his abilities and cards lead to summoning a large number of units in a very short amount of time.  The Goddess Ishra is more about control, offering average stats but having a highly useful ability of being able to exhaust a unit when an attack is declared, either by your opponent or you.  She also continues this sense of control with her cards that specialize in controlling the actions of your opponent, and even so far as to controlling some of your opponent’s units.  Both of these decks will be hitting stores soon and you can find out more on the Goddess Ishra preview and the Boy Among Wolves preview on the Plaid Hat site.

Finally we have a new food truck themed game from Adam’s Apple Games, and that is Truck Off: The Food Truck Frenzy.  This is a simultaneous action selection type game where you will be picking where you will park your truck, and then trying to sell food there.  The game is played over five rounds and each round consists of picking where you park, and then picking your special action for the round.  For each location you will then roll their specified die, from a d4 up to a d20, and the result will be equally split among the trucks that are present there, earning each truck owner money.  At the end of five rounds the winner will be the one who managed to bring in the most money.  So if this light food truck themed game sounds good to you, look for it on store shelves in January.

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.

Plaid Hat Games has announced a new game set in the Raxxon Pharmaceuticals universe. Simply titled Raxxon, the newest game is a cooperative game where players seek to evacuate the healthy and quarantine or eliminate those infected at the start of the zombie apocalypse players have come to know through Dead of Winter.

Up until this point, Raxxon was only available by private invite from other who had already purchased the game. This “viratl marketing” technique was the talk of the community for weeks as people used social media to advertise their invites available or to ask if anyone had one available.

The game is designed by J. Arthur Ellis. Artwork is by Fernanda Suarez, the same artist that created the artwork for Ashes: Rise of the Phoenixborn.

Raxxon finds the players working cooperatively at the very start of the Zombie Outbreak, which has only recently gotten out of control:

For weeks, Raxxon Pharmaceuticals has been partnering with local teams across the globe to contain the recent viral outbreak.

Today, we regret to announce that despite Raxxon’s best efforts, the global infection rate has reached the tipping point. Many cities are unlikely to be salvaged, and citizens everywhere should evacuate to safer regions immediately.

As the global infection has begun to run rampant, Raxxon has moved on to Phase 2 — evacuate and exterminate. The difficult choices players make now will lay a path for humanity — “search desperately for those final healthy survivors as Raxxon’s power reaches its apex, or watch as the undead overrun your city.”

Gameplay

At the beginning of the game each player will need to choose one of six specialists who are working with Raxxon to evacuate healthy citizens and eliminate sick citizens.

Raxxon Cards will function similarly to Crossroads cards from Dead of Winter, featuring stories and paths related to the characters in play.

Players will face a grid of face down citizen cards. Gameplay takes place in rounds, with each round revealing a new grid of citizens from the citizen deck. Actions will allow the cards to flip, revealing the healthy and sick citizens, each triggering different effects when flipped. Character actions interact spatially with the grid affecting rows, columns and adjacent cards. Actions will also have stacking consequences that will resolve over future turns.

Once all players have passed in a round a new crowd of cards is created and the action continues. Only if all the healthy citizens are evacuated will the players win the game. If the infection deck runs out (a deck of only sick people) or Raxxen maxes out their power the players will lose and face a long, cold, Winter.

Releasing in October 2017

Raxxon will be available in October. With a suggested age range of 14+, you’ll need 1-4 evacuators who are willing to commit about an hour to saving humanity.

Additional Raxxon scenarios will be available at: myraxxon.com. Plaid Hat Games has already released the rules, how to play and more: rules video, rules pdf, and more.

Dead of Winter Crossover

Set in the Plaid Hat World, each of the Raxxon games will include 2 new, exclusive Dead of Winter characters. Meryl Wolfe and KD James will help you fight the outbreak in Raxxon and will carry over to join the colonies of Dead of Winter. Each copy of Raxxon comes with character cards, standees, and crossroads cards.

Plaid Hat Games has announced Stuffed Fables designed by Jerry Hawthorne, the first in the new StoryBoard line of products.

In the first game in this new line, Stuffed Fables, players take on the role of stuffed toys that have been drawn into the Fall, a dark realm ruled by a master of nightmares.

Stuffed Fables is a unique adventure game in which players take on the roles of brave stuffies seeking to save the child they love from a scheming, evil mastermind. Players roll and assign color-coded dice to perform a wide variety of actions, from daring melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a peril-filled hill.

StoryBoard games will all come with a large storybook that, when opened, will have one page acting as a the board for the game while the opposite page will act as a rules reference and story guide. Stories will play out over multiple adventures, with each adventure moving through multiple pages from the immersive Storybook.

In addition to fighting minions, each page of the storybook offers numerous points of interest, charming characters to interact or trade with, as well as many unusual challenges. And each page is but one chapter that folds into a branching, overarching story with a multitude of items and a special discovery deck full of surprises.

Driven By Dice

On a players turn, they will draw 5 dice from a bag. The colors of the dice will determine what actions a player can take. White dice can re-stuff the stuffed heroes. Red dice and green dice perform melee and ranged attacks respectively. Yellow dice will allow for searching, blue dice will allow for special actions, and finally purple dice act as wild dice. Dice will help move items, use items and contribute to unique group tasks. Dice can even be stored for later to make stronger actions or multiple activations on a single turn.

A truly cooperative game, players can share dice or share stuffing, which acts as health in the game. As black dice are drawn minions emerge and attack, resetting the bag at the same time.

What’s in the Box?

Box contents include:

    • 23 miniatures
    • 35 multicolored dice
    • 1 dice bag
    • 6 unique character cards
    • 100+ page storybook
    • 1 Sideboard
    • 29 Lost cards
    • 10 Sleep cards
    • 47 Item cards
    • 40 Discovery cards
    • Counters

Playtime is listed at 60-90 minutes for 2-4 players with a recommended age of 7+. Players eager to find out more about how the game works can already take a look at the rulebook posted on the Plaid Hat Game website.

Gamers eager to help save their beloved child from a nightmarish land can preview and demo the game at GenCon 2017 in Plaid Hat Games booth #1537.

The Worlds of Jerry Hawthorne

Stuffed Fables will be the second universe that designer Jerry Hawthorne has brought to Plaid Hat Games. Hawthorne is the designer of Mice & Mystics as well as the subsequent expansions and Tail Feathers game. Hawthorne is also credited as a designer on multiple Heroscape products.

Mice & Mystics has proven to be both an evergreen title for Plaid Hat Games as well as being a critical hit. Awards for the game included:

Kristen Pauline and Regis Demy are the artists bringing the world of Stuffed Fables to life.

Plaid Hat Games

Plaid Hat Games was acquired in 2015 by F2Z Entertainment, and subsequently Asmodee in 2016 when Asmodee absorbed F2Z. Plaid Hat Games now functions as an independent design studio under the Asmodee umbrella.

Asmodee North America has announced an “exclusive multi-year hobby channel distribution agreement” with Alliance Games Distributors to take effect August 1, 2017. This is a pretty big blow for the other big board game distributors Asmodee has used in the past, such as GTS Distribution, ACD Distribution and Southern Hobby Supply. Keep in mind that Asmodee has spent the past few years collecting other board game companies, meaning that this new agreement covers all games from Asmodee themselves, as well as those from Plaid Hat Games, Days of Wonder, Z-Man Games, Fantasy Flight Games, and others. Asmodee is also scheduled to announce changes to their sales policies and retailer initiatives at the end of June.

You can read the press release from Asmodee here.

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

Here we have a trio of new game announcements from some notable names in the industry, Asmodee, CMON, and Plaid Hat Games.  First we have Asmodee and Space Cowboys with a new edition of the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective game, which was last printed by Ystari back in 2015.  This new edition contains the same ten cases as before, however, they have retranslated and revised all the cases so the solutions and clues in some of them will have changed from the Ystari version.  So while it may not be much new content for the owners of the original, this still brings the game back into print for those wanting a mind melting challenge.  Look for this new edition on store shelves in the third quarter of this year, and you can check out the preview on Asmodee’s site.

Next from CMON we have the announcement of the next game in their Zombicide line, Zombicide Green Horde.  They are staying in the middle ages with this one and so will be a sequel to the wildly successful Zombicide Black Plague.  The terrors will be numerous and overpowering for our warriors in this game, but together they just might be able to pull through.  “If Zombicide: Black Plague gave you nightmares, Zombicide: Green Horde will make them come true.”  You can see the announcement for the game on CMON’s page, and look forward to the Kickstarter later this year.

Finally we have a new game being developed by Plaid Hat Games called Crystal Clans.  This is going to be a two player tactical card game in a similar vein to Summoner Wars with different armies, card based units, and included maps to deploy on.  However, in the comments of the announcement they have stated that is where the similarities end, and that Crystal Clans is going to have fresh new mechanics to make it stand out.  The game is being designed by Colby Dauch, Andrea Mezzotero, and J. Arthur Ellis along with illustrations by the talented Martin Abel.  You can check out the announcement on Plaid Hat’s site to see some of the excellent art being put together, and then prepare yourself for it’s planned fall release.

Plaid Hat Games has announced a new game in the Specter Ops universe, Crossfire by Emerson Matsuuchi. In Crossfire, players join the struggle between Raxxon and A.R.K. trying to either kill or save a Raxxon VIP. Players are divided into two teams of assassins and agents, and need to use deduction, social skills, and their limited information to figure out who among the crowd of bystanders is the VIP, and whose side each player is on. After three minutes of play, players need to decide on one person to shoot. If the VIP is still standing, the Agents win, otherwise the assassins win. But be careful, because anyone who accidentally shot a bystander automatically loses.

Crossfire is due to be released this summer. You can read the full news article on Crossfire here.