portal games

Portal Games will be releasing Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game on August 2nd at Gen Con 2018. However, if you can’t wait that long or don’t think you’ll be able to pickup a copy wading through a sea of gamers you can pre-order the game directly from Portal Games and have it shipped directly from Poland to receive it in July.

“Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game is a fully co-operative, immersive, detective experience. This is a game of wits and deduction, a full game night experience – a single game session can last up to 3 or more hours. It is also rules-light, meaning, that the most powerful tool at your disposal is your team, your imagination, and your own mind.” [source]

In this story-driven game, designed by Przemysław RymerIgnacy Trzewiczek, and Jakub Łapot for 1-5 players, the group plays as Antares National Investigation Agency members. Together, you tackle five different cases and solve them in order. The detectives need to use an online database which they access at a website provided by Portal Games. Each case affects the next and together they form a campaign that puts your detective skills to the test. At the end of each case there’s the option to “save the game” so that you can continue play at your next session. Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game plays in about 2-3 hours and is aimed at players aged 16+.

Those who pre-order the game (of which there are only 1000 pre-order copies) will receive bonus content which will be revealed over 4 weeks. Currently, an additional case, investigator, and consultant have been revealed.

Portal Games have announced many new releases for 2018 at their games convention, Portalcon.

Monolith Arena

This is a new fantasy, battleground, board game designed by Michał Oracz, creator of Neuroshima Hex! Monolith Arena gets its namesake from the Monolith which serves as each player’s headquarters. There are various factions, which all have unique abilities and units, and the faction headquarters also has unique abilities. Each player seeds their Monolith with three tokens which activate when the opponent damages the Monolith and the player exposes the top token. Each time the Monolith is damaged the next token is revealed. The game plays over a hex-based board, supports 2-4 players aged 10+, and plays in roughly 30-40 mins.

Monolith Arena is expected to release at Essen Spiel 2018.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game

Don your fedoras and your raincoats, and cue the moody lighting as you take the role of a detective! No, wait, don’t do that because it’s not the 1920’s anymore. In Detective: A Modern Crime Game the players are placed in a modern setting with access to 21st century tools to solve the case. The game is a story-driven, cooperative game which includes 5 scenarios that can be played as a complete campaign. Each case is represented by 35 cards.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game has 1-5 players taking the role of investigators for the government agency, ANTERES, who have access to an online database to aid in their investigations. The database has information about suspects, witnesses, and documentation from arrests and trials. Players also have access to the investigation manual and can even use real world resources such as Wikipedia, Google Maps, and other available resources.

Detective: A Modern Crime Game is designed by Przemysław Rymer and Ignacy Trzewiczek and is expected to release at GenCon 2018.

Imperial Settlers: Amazons

The all-female, warrior tribe of the Amazons will be featured in the third expansion for Imperial Settlers. The Amazons use elements of the deck-building mechanism to modify the deck during play by discarding reconstructed faction cards from their deck. They also get bonuses for building their cheap faction cards which allows them victory through conquest or construction bonuses.

Imperial Settlers: Amazons supports 1-4 players, aged 10+, and is expected to release during the second half of 2018.

Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire

The third Empire Pack for Imperial Settlers includes fifty new cards to allow players to expand their base factions and conquer faction cards of their opponents. Imperial Settlers: We Didn’t Start the Fire adds borders which are placed between each pair of players.

The game will be part of an early launch kit to be released May 2nd, 2018 but will see official release on May 16th, 2018.

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales

This expansion adds a new campaign titled The Lost City of Z, where you follow great explorer, Lieutenant Colonel Percy Fawcett as he tries to find the enigmatic city. It also includes a full set of rules and components that can be played with the base game of Robinson Crusoe.

Robinson Crusoe: Mystery Tales introduces new characters, beasts, and Mystery deck cards and adds a new mechanism of Horror and Sanity with dangerous and Cthulhu-like stories.

The expansion support 1-4 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 90-180 mins.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery

Humanity has discovered something by accident. It is a mysterious resource, hidden deep under the surface of a distant planet. The race for wealth and new opportunities begins.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery is an expansion to the popular Alien Artifacts, 4x card game. It adds a new type of card, Alien Resources, and new types of ships and planets. A total of 50 cards is added and helps move the storyline forward of the base game.

Alien Artifacts: Discovery is designed by Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska, supports 1-4 players aged 10+, and plays in 45-90 mins. The game will be part of an early launch kit on March 7th, 2018 and will see full release on March 21st, 2018.

Portal Games is planning for a busy start to the year with a pile of expansions and retail launch kits ready for players. Alien Artifacts, Robinson Crusoe, and Imperial Settlers will all have new content being released in the first quarter of 2018. Portal Games had already announced a slew of new expansions for 2018, but now players are getting release dates and details of additional in store event kit surprises.

Imperial Settlers

Imperial Settlers by designer Ignacy Trzewiczek and artist Tomasz Jedruszek will receive an expansion deck of cards, We Didn’t Start the Fire, on May 16, 2018. The new empire pack introduces the concept of conquest to Imperial Settlers. Contesting introduces borders to Imperial Settlers. When a player completes a conquest they move the border between empires and can take the left-most faction from their neighboring empire and built it into their own empire. The empire pack will include 50 new cards and support all previous factions.

Portal Games is also planning for the release of a retail support kit for Imperial Settlers prior to the launch of We Didn’t Start the Fire. Releasing on February 2nd, 2018, the In-Store Event Kit will help retailers planning for local tournaments. The retail support kit will include three cards for each of the original 4 base factions that feature a panoramic layout. The three cards in each faction can be placed side by side for a seamless and massive view of the world of Settlers. The kit will also include an Imperial Settlers playing mat (23″ x 13″) to be used as a prize in local tournaments. Winner of the 2014 Golden Geek for best solo game and now almost four years old, Imperial Settlers continues to build a fanbase of players.

Alien Artifacts
Alien Artifacts: Discovery will be released March 21st, 2018 as the first expansion to Alien Artifacts by designers Marcin Senior Ropka and Viola Kijowska. The first expansion begins to move along the storyline of the Alien Artifacts universe.
By accident, humanity discovers a mysterious resource hidden under the thick crest of one of the planets. The race for the wealth and new possibilities begins!
The expansion introduces the Alien Resource card which will allow players to harvest additional resources from planets and gain new abilities. The Discovery expansion will add 50 new cards to the game, including planets, technologies, ships, Alien Artifacts, and Alien Resources.
An Early Launch Kit will release on March 3, 2018 for brick and mortar stores. Participating stores will receive 10 copies of the expansion, 10 promo materials, and an Alien Artifacts poster. Most importantly, participating retailers will receive the expansion a full two weeks before the official release date.

Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island

Robinson Crusoe will see the The Lost City of Z big box expansion in 2018, but prior to that players will have the chance to travel through time with Robinson Crusoe though an In-Store Event Kit on March 21st, 2018. The In-Store Event Kit will allow players to take part in a new time travel themed scenario. The kit will include:
  • a new scenario about time travel
  • 8 unique player characters
  • four sets of custom wooden pieces representing the food resource
  • one poster
Released in 2013, Robinson Crusoe Adventures on the Cursed Island won the Golden Geek Best Thematic Game award, the Gra Roku Advanced Game of the Year and the Swiss Gamers Award.
The game has also appeared on a number of Dice Tower Top 10 lists including:

Portal Games was one of the stars of the show at GenCon 2016 with the highly asymmetrical area control game Cry Havoc. Players took completely different strategies playing as either the inventive Human Military Complex, the destruction-oriented Machines, the mystical almost euro-stylings of the Pilgrims, or the native omnipresent Trog. Now with the recent release of the first expansion, Aftermath, Portal Games has been filling the inter-sphere with goodies showing off its new addition. First, Portal has put up a beautiful gallery of images from Cry Havoc: Aftermath, showcasing its gorgeous art and elegant, functional graphic design.

Secondly, Portal Games has always been very close with the fans, and Portal Games founder and number one cheerleader Ignacy Trzewiczek has been known to keep dialogs going online, getting new ideas from the people who play the games the most. Ignacy has recently posted a blog describing some of the best moments where game design came directly from we, the public, the fans. For an interesting read, the original BGG threads that led to the Blog are referenced here.

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

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.

Alien Artifacts

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

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

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.

On the cusp of Cry Havoc’s 1 year anniversary, Portal Games have announced Cry Havoc Aftermath‘s release date, and that is the Essen fair later this year.  Also, in addition to announcing the date of its release, Portal Games has also given us more info on what you can expect from this new expansion.  Below is from the email announcement they sent:

New addition: Universal Structures

Aftermath expansion includes new universal structures, such as victory points generating Propaganda Center, crystal placing Geological Scanning Center and card drawing AI Servers, which will give you universal bonuses and advantages.

New addition: Faction Structures

Your army never was more powerful, more determined and closer to ultimate victory. These new Faction Structures include units transporting Choppa (which allows you to Get to da choppa!) for the Human Army, prisoner exploiting Psycho-Chamber (which will let you get psyched) for the Machine Army, crystals turbo harvesting Turbo Harvester for Pilgrim Army and movement slowing Swamp Fields for Trog Army.

New addition – 4 Leader Boards

Four great leaders for your armies, such as Human Col. E Rose, Machine Omega Brain T-14, Pilgrim Mystic or Trog Ashlas Chief who will not only increase number of your tactical options, but will prove quite useful at managing your skills and structures.

New addition: Scoring Events

Additional ways to score points with new scoring events cards, such as Probe Reports and Training Alarm!

So if you are a fan of Cry Havoc and want more, look for this at the Essen fair, and if you aren’t there, look for it on store shelves soon after.

Origins is one of the biggest conventions in the US for gaming, and they have been giving out their awards for the best each year.  The different categories include family games, role-playing games, card games, game accessories, board games, collectible games (CCG, TCG, etc.), miniatures, and finally a Game of the Year.  Some of the past winners include great games like Codenames, Imperial Assault, and 7 Wonders Duel, so you know bad games aren’t getting these awards.  But that’s enough background information, here are the nominees for the 2017 Origins Awards:

Family Games (6 Nominees)

Role-Playing Game (10 Nominees)

  • 7th Sea: Second Edition by John Wick Presents (designed by John Wick, Mike Curry, Rob Justice, Mark Diaz Truman, Jesse Heinig)
  • Curse of Strahd by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • No Thank You, Evil! by Monte Cook Games (designed by Shanna Germain and Monte Cook)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Fantasy Flight (designed by Tim Flanders, Corey Konieczka, and Sam Stewart)
  • Shadowrun-Seattle Sprawl by Catalyst Game Labs (designed by Raymond Croteau, Jason Hardy, James Meiers, O.C. Presley, Scott Schletz, R.J. Thomas, Malik Toms, Thomas Willoughby, CZ Wright, and Russell Zimmerman)
  • Symbaroum by Järnringen and co-published by Modiphius Entertainment (designed by Martin Grip, Mattias Johnsson, Mattias Lilja and Johan Nohr.
  • Storm King’s Thunder by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jenna Helland, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Christopher Perkins, and Richard Whitters)
  • Star Wars: Edge of the Empire-Special Modifications by Fantasy Flight (designed by Blake Bennett, Tim Cox, Jordan Goldfarb, Sterling Hershey and Monte Lin)
  • The One Ring: Horse: Lords of Rohan by Cubicle 7 (designed by Shane Ivey, Andrew Kenrick, T.S. Luikart, Francesco Nepitello, and James Spahn)
  • Volo’s Guide to Monsters by Wizards of the Coast-D&D (designed by Jeremy Crawford, Ed Greenwood, Adam Lee, Mike Mearls, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K. Reynolds, Matthew Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter)

Traditional Card Games (8 Nominees)

Game Accessories (4 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage Organizer by The Broken Token (designed by Greg Spence)
  • Dungeon Morph Dice Adventurer Set by Inkwell Ideas / Q-Workshop (designed by Joe Wetzel, Dyson Logos, Matt Jackson, Shane Knysh, Tim Ballew, Dave Millar, Sigurd Johansson, AJ Stone)
  • Flip ‘N Tray Mat Case by Ultimate Guard (designed by Adrian Alonso)
  • Improved D Total by Gamescience (designed by Dr. A.F. Simkin, Col. Louis Zocchi, Frank Dutrait)

Board Games (10 Nominees)

  • Blood Rage by (designed by Eric M. Lang)
  • Clank! by Renegade Games (designed by Paul Dennen)
  • Cry Havoc by Portal Games (designed by Grant Rodiek, Michael Oracz, Michael Walczak)
  • Feast for Odin by Z Man Games/Asmodee (designed by Uwe Rosenberg)
  • Islebound by Red Raven Games (designed by Ryan Laukat)
  • Mansions of Madness by Fantasy Flight/Asmodee (designed by Christopher Burdett, Anders Finér, Henning Ludvigsen)
  • Scythe by Stonemaier Games (designed by Jamey Stegmaier)
  • Star Wars Rebellion by Fantasy Flight (designed by Corey Konieczka)
  • Terraforming Mars by (designed by Jacob Fryxelius)
  • World’s Fair 1893 by Renegade Game Studios and Foxtrot Games (designed by J. Alex Kevern)

Collectible Games (5 Nominees)

  • Yu-Gi-Oh Breaker of Shadow Booster by Konami (designed by Konami Digital Entertainment)
  • Pokémon XY11 Steam Siege Booster by Pokémon USA (designed by The Pokémon Company)
  • Magic the Gathering: Kaladesh Booster Pack by Wizards of the Coast
  • Marvel HeroClix: Uncanny X-Men Booster Brick by WizKids (designed by WizKids)
  • Cardfight Vanguard Fighters Collection by Bushiroad

Miniatures (5 Nominees)

  • Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team by Games Workshop
  •  Konflikt ’47 by Warlord Games (designed by Clockwork Goblin Miniatures)
  • Dragon Rampant by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine
  • TANKS by Battlefront/Gale Force Nine (designed by Andrew Haught, Chris Townley, Phil Yates)
  • Dropfleet Commander by Hawk Wargames (designed by Andy Chambers and David Lewis)

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